Trading Places/ BLT19 Competition 2020 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions – and the answers

Q.1 Why is it called Trading Places/ BLT19 Competition?

A.1. There are lots of reasons.

BLT19 stands for “Business, Labour, Trade and Temperance and 19th-century Periodicals.” That’s not a catchy title, so we tried to make it catchy by using only the first letters of the first three words and the number of “nineteenth-century.” We thought it would make people think of “BLT” Sandwiches – Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato! – and that would help them remember us. BLT19 refers to the whole website not just the competition.

We called the competition “Trading Places” because it’s all about putting yourself into one of the many work situations that are described on the site – imagining you are in such a work place, surrounded by the kinds of people, rules, regulations described here: what does it feel like? What might the story of your life be in such a situation? And because the site is all about the value of work, of trading your work for money – or not in some cases – we thought highlighting “trade” in the title would be a good idea. Writers “trade places” with the creatures of their imagination, and that is what we’re asking you to do here. There are lots of other reasons too, but that’s enough for one answer.

Q.2 I’m a 16 year old student but I don’t live in the UK: can I still enter the competition?

A.2       Yes, it’s an international competition open to all students between the ages of 12-18 years old.

Q.3      I’ll be 16 years old in October 2020: in which age category should I apply, the 12-15 years or the 16-18 years one?

A.3       You should choose whichever age group applies on the day you submit your application.

Q.4      I’m a home-schooled student and I don’t attend school or college, can I still enter the competition?

A.4       Yes you can. If you are 16 -18 years old please email us at to confirm your home study arrangements.  If you are aged between 12-15 years please ask a parent or guardian to email us at to confirm the home study arrangements on your behalf.

Q.5      I was told about the competition at school. But we don’t have a computer at home so I can’t enter online over the summer holidays. Can I enter the competition any other way?

A.5       Because the competition closes on 16th October 2020 we would prefer you to submit your entry using a school computer. If this isn’t possible, you can send a postal entry to

Trading Places/ BLT19 Competition,
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences,
University of Greenwich, Old Royal
Naval College,
30 Park Row,
SE10 9LS

Please include your full name, parent or guardian’s name and signature (if you are under 16), your age, school and the address of your school. The story should be typed.

Q.6      Help! I’m struggling to write a story about the nineteenth century, what advice do you give?

A.6      Your story can be set at any time not just the nineteenth century! But you do need to tell us what you read or saw on the BLT19 website that inspired your story and why. If you need some further inspiration have a look at the samples stories by our University of Greenwich students here on the BLT19 website

Q.7      What are the prize vouchers for?

A.7       Winners will be able to choose a voucher from a range of British stores, all of which  have websites and many offer international deliveries.   

Q.8 If I’ve got question about the competition, who should I write to?

A.8 This is an official email from the University of Greenwich (you can tell it’s a bona fide UK University email because it has on the end). Please note that we can’t give you feedback on your submission though, unless you are a winner.

Good luck!