Past Forward Essay Competition 2022

Winners of the 2019 competition

Write 1000 words, Win £100!

Do you have a passion for local history? Is there a local history topic that you would love to see featured in Past Forward?

Then why not take part in the Barbara O'Neill Local History Writing Competition.

Competition prizes

  • 1st prize - £100
  • 2nd prize - £75
  • 3rd prize - £50
  • Five runners-up prizes of £25

The essay writing competition is kindly sponsored by J. O'Neill and named in memory of Barbara O’Neill who supported the competition for many years.

Winning entries from previous competitions are published in Past Forward magazine.

What do I need to know?

  • Articles must be a maximum of 1000 words
  • Articles must focus on a local history topic within the geographical boundaries of Wigan Borough
  • By entering the competition you agree to your work being published in Past Forward magazine.

The winning article will be published in Past Forward magazine along with other submissions.

If selected for publication the Past Forward editorial team may edit your submission.

How to enter the competition

Submit your entry for the 2022 competition not later than Saturday 15 January 2022.

Before you enter the competition, please take note of the following:

  • Electronic submissions are preferred although handwritten ones will be accepted.
  • You must state clearly that your article is an entry into the Local History Writing Competition
  • You must include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable). We will not pass your details on to anyone
  • It will not be possible for articles to be returned
  • You are welcome to include photographs or images however they cannot be returned.

To enter the competition you can either:

  • Email your article to
  • Post your article to Local History Writing Competition, Past Forward, Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU.

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