The ‘exceptionally high standard’ of finalists in a short story competition will be published in a book as part of a popular festival.

Talented writers who penned tales of 250 words on the theme of putting on a brave face, have been recognised ahead of Wimbledon BookFest.

The 12 shortlisted entrants will have to read out their entries to an audience on Saturday, October 3 as part of the ten day festival.

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Organisers said they had more entrants than ever before, which had to be whittled down by judges including award-winning short story writer Sian Hughes and Tony Kane, BookFest chairman.

The winners and runners up will be decided by an audience vote on the night.

The 53 who were long-listed, including Wimbledon Guardian news editor Becky Middleton and Joseph Hood School chairman of governors Posey Furnish, will be published in an anthology to be sold at the festival.

Up for grabs is £50 for the winner and £25 for second and third place.

Purchase £10 tickets for the event in the William Morris tent on Wimbledon Common from 6.15pm to 8pm by visiting the website

The festival will take place between October 2 and 11.