The editorial team at Short Fiction journal are excited to announce the relaunch of our internationally-renowned Prize, now the Short Fiction/University of Essex Prize. It offers £500 for the winner and £250 for the runner-up, and will be judged by acclaimed author Jon McGregor.
Submissions are open now! The deadline is 31 March 2020, but if you enter in January or February, you’ll benefit from a discounted entry fee of £7 instead of £9. We are also offering 25 free entries for writers for whom the fee would be a barrier to entry – but hurry, as these are offered first-come, first-served.
It’s the start of a new and exciting time for us, as we’re affiliating with the University of Essex LiFTS department – not just through their sponsorship of the Prize, but also to support our publishing excellent short fiction as we head into the new decade. In the coming year we’ll be getting into a position to handle submissions through Submittable, reduce our response times and – best of all – significantly increase our payments to writers.
But, for now, the Prize! All details are on the Competition page of our website, but the headlines are: it’s open internationally, judged blind, with a maximum length of 5,000 words. A shortlist will be announced in May, with the winner and runner-up chosen by Jon McGregor and announced in June.
We can’t wait to start reading your entries – and we’d really appreciate it if you could spread the word about the Prize through your own networks. Thanks!
Ruby, Agri, Liam, Maria, Emma, Naush and Jon
Story Friday in February has the theme LEAP! in celebration of 2020 as a leap year. Story Friday is on 28th February, the day before the leaping day, and we want to revel in the glory of this springing theme! Whether your stories feature proposals or boxing hares, Christmas lords or death defying jumps, we are so looking forward to reading what you come up with!
Story Friday LEAP! will be on 28th February, deadline for submissions is 17th February. We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer. (Full submission details are here). Writers must be available to come to Bath for the event. If you’d rather not read, we have wonderful actors who can read your story for you.
For more information about Story Friday, to listen to stories that we have recorded at our events over the years, and/or to submit your story please visit A Word In Your Ear.
The A3 Review has recently launched Issue 11. We’ve also just posted new themes for our monthly contests. Publication and cash prizes for winners. To enter and for more details, please visit our Submittable page by clicking here. The next few themes will be included in our “T” issue, so we’re looking for short stories (as well as poems and artwork) about : Tablets, Transformations, and Thanatos.
The two winning entries from September 2019 to February 2020 will make up the list of contributors to Issue 12 (The “T” Issue). From this list, three overall winners will receive cash prizes: 1st = £250, 2nd = £150, 3rd = £75. Issue 12 will appear in April 2020.
The word limit is 150 words, so we’d particularly like to see flash fiction and mini essays. Our $5 (approx £3.50) submission fee helps us cover admin and printing costs and makes sure we can keep offering cash prizes.
Call for submissions – 2019 Ouen Press Short Story Competition
Ouen Press are pleased to extend an invitation for writers to submit an original short story in line with this year’s theme – ‘The Gift’. Winning authors will receive cash prizes and be published in an anthology early in the New Year. This follows on from the success of the competition in previous years and subsequent publications .
The short story must be a work of fiction involving in its theme a ‘gift’ of any sort [e.g. a present, a capability ] at any time [past, present day, future] or in any place [this world or another]. For the purposes of this competition, the term ‘gift’ will be viewed by the judges in the widest possible sense related to both setting and context. They will focus on well-written compelling storylines, thoughtful plots and engaging characters.
Deadline for entries is 31st December 2019 – full information and rules of the competition, which is open to writers worldwide, can be found at www.ouenpress.com
For updates on our activities – come follow us on Twitter @OuenP
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Thursday 1st August 2019 will see the launch of the seventh Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition hosted by the award-winning charity InterAct Stroke Support.
The competition asks writers to write a piece in any genre in no more than 1000 words. The winner of the competition will receive £1000 and will be commissioned to write four further stories for InterAct Stroke Support over the course of one year. The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Monday 2nd December 2019 and first place will be awarded at the winner’s ceremony on Tuesday 3rd March 2020, InterAct’s 20th birthday. This year the competition will be judged by esteemed novelist Margaret Drabble.
Entries can be submitted by email or post and the submission fee is £15.00 per story. Please find more details and terms and conditions of entry on the InterAct Stroke Support website: https://www.interactstrokesupport.org/ssc2020
Previously shortlisted competition entrants have been published alongside authors such as Ruth Rendell, Toby Young and Nell Dunn in our illustrated collection of short stories and poems, Interactions, which is available to purchase on our website: https://www.interactstrokesupport.org/shop
InterAct Stroke Support is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting stroke recovery by using professional actors to deliver hospital readings and community projects. InterAct specialises in delivering stimulating and inspiring short stories specially selected to suit the needs of stroke patients. The readings are designed to assist recovery by improving mood, stimulating the brain and providing much-needed entertainment.
Writers’ HQ wants your words! So send 500 of your best to their new flash fiction competition, running quarterly throughout 2019.
It’s free to enter, open-themed, with no restrictions on genre or style. PLUS win yourself up to 12 months Writers’ HQ membership and get access to over £1000’s worth of online creative writing courses as well as UK one-day writing retreats.
Deadline: 31st March
Word limit: 500 words
Entry fee: FREE! (But optional donations to our bursary fund are welcomed)
- 1st place: 12 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 one-day writing retreats
- 2nd place: 6 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 one-day writing retreats
- 3rd place: 3 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 one-day writing retreats
Find the full guidelines (for the love of all that’s shiny, please read the guidelines) and entry form HERE
The London Independent Story Prize 4th Quarter Deadline is on 12th November 2018. And beside the £200 cash prize, our winner will also receive One-Year Membership from Jericho Writers, which is worth £195.00!
Don’t miss the great prizes!
Jericho Writers is a club for writers, created by writers. They organise wonderful courses, webinars, one-to-one agent meetings, and great events that you can extend your network.
Simply, Jericho Writers is helping writers to get published.
Could you be next?
Dearest compatriots, collaborators, friends, foes, gentlepeople, unicorns (both sparkly and plain), folkingtons, allies and everyone in between and either side and up and down and diagonal and round and round the whole glorious spectrum of humanity.
You may have heard about a rather unpleasant exclusionary flash fiction competition that’s been doing the rounds on Twitter lately. Not just exclusionary, but implying members of the LGBTQ+ community are somehow comparable to scenes of graphic violence or torture. Yeah. Not exactly what we want to see from a writing competition in 2018.
But you cannot fight hate with hate. The answer is love. Only love and always love. Whatever damn kind of love you’re into. Because love knows no bounds, people.
Specifically, we want your LGBTQ+ stories, your stories of love, grace and compassion (and most importantly your creative swearing). Here’s the lowdown in a handy bullet list – click here for the full rules, FAQs and entry form:
- Word limit: 500 words
- Deadline: 30th November 2018
- 1st prize: £100 + 12 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 writing retreats
- 2nd prize: £50 + 6 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 writing retreats
- 3rd prize: £25 + 3 months Writers’ HQ membership + 3 writing retreats
- Honourable mention: £25
- Judges: Kirsty Logan and Paul McVeigh
- Theme: LGBTQ+, love, acceptance, charity, grace (swearing and profanity highly encouraged)
As we hurtle towards Christmas we’re planning our next Story Friday and the theme is Feast! We’re looking for stories long and short that touch on feasting. You might go traditional and give us tables laden with roast meats and suet puddings, or take us to far-flung corners of the globe for fresh mangoes and newly dropped coconuts. You might decide that lack-of-feast, or famine, is your interest, or look at a feast that has nothing to do with food. However you want to interpret the theme we know we will be intrigued by your offerings!
Story Friday Feast will be on November 30th, deadline for submissions is on 19th November. Please check that you are available to come along to Burdall’s Yard in Bath on the 30th November before you submit.
We are looking for short stories or monologues, fact or fiction (but mainly fiction), maximum 2,000 words. If you want to enter a flash piece that can work too, either for the stage, or in print – recently we’ve included a flash piece in our programme for the audience to read in the interval and take home with them. No poetry, thank you.
We have some wonderful professional actors who are very happy to read your story if performance gives you the jitters. Olly Langdon of Kilter Theatre (who is also our brilliant host) will read a male voice, and we have a number of female actors who can read stories which need a female voice. Let us know in your email when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.
To submit, click here.
The 2018 competition is judged by Paul McVeigh. The winning story will be published in Southword in September. The winner, if they choose to come to the Cork International Short Story Festival in September (12th to 15th) to receive their prize, will be offered a festival reading slot and hotel accommodation with full board. Second prize also and four runners-up, all published in Southword. 3000 word limit. July 31st is deadline.
Full details here: http://www.munsterlit.ie/SOF%20Page.html
Read last year’s winning story in the Irish Times here:
The very best 2017 competition entries have been published in one anthology entitled ‘Tasting Notes & other short stories’ – a diverse and complex menu of short fiction, expertly crafted to tantalise and entertain.
Contributors were encouraged to explore imaginative interpretations of one or more of the various meanings that could be derived from the term ‘Taste’.
Congratulations to the prizewinners and many thanks to all who entered the competition – visit www.ouenpress.com to view the FINAL RESULTS.
Sussex based editor and writer, Philippa R Francis writing as K.M. Lockwood was placed as overall winner her work ‘Tasting Notes’. Other prizewinners include Texan-based writer Randall G. Arnold for ‘Taste of the Broken Sea, and UEA Creative Writing graduate and editor Krishan Coupland for ‘The Life of Dogbreath’.
Delighted again with the global reach of the competition, we have been enthralled by those who have opted for the less obvious approaches to the brief, as we hoped they would do what excellent writers can do – expand the subject beyond what might first come to mind.
Deadline dates and details of the theme for the next competition will be made available on our website later in the year – or you may wish to check in with us on Twitter @OuenP or Facebook @ouenpress, for more regular updates on future competitions and all our other activities.
Wishing you every success with your future writing projects.
The Ouen Press team
Just over a week to go now for this great competition for a great cause. So get finalising those poems, flash fictions and short stories. Closing date is next Friday 20th July at 17.00hrs.
Just over 3 weeks to go on this one so get the biros, pencils and laptops working. Closes 5 pm on 20th July
Writing Competition in aid of the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund.
Michael Mullan (26) is battling cancer for third time and needs funds to continue availing of life saving treatment in Boston that is not available in Ireland.
How to Enter
Longlist of top 20 authors will be published on www.michaelmullancancerfund.com in mid-August 2018.
Shortlist of top 6 authors will be published in early September.
Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at Kildare Readers Festival on 3rd October 2018.
Please read the Terms & Conditions before entering: Terms & Conditions
The A3 Review is looking for entries to their May contest. This month, they’re inviting stories, poems and artwork on the theme of The Moon. Mystery, cheesy, bloody, science-fictiony, or with cows jumping over it… they welcome all moon-inpired stories.
Stories about werewolves, high tide and low tide, moonlit sonatas, stories based on myths and folklore. Stories about dancing to the light of the moon. What happens to you on nights when the moon is full? Write about that!
For more lunar inspiration, and to enter The A3 Review‘s May contest, check out our Submittable page.
As always, the word limit is 150 words, and all artwork needs to fit into an A6 panel.
Mooning anecdotes most welcome!
Visit them at TheA3Review.com.
The Royal Society of Literature is delighted to announce the nineteenth V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize. There is a prize of £1,000, and the winning entry will be published in Prospect magazine online and in the RSL Review.
Entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth and likely to be available for a prizegiving event in Autumn 2018. Stories entered for the competition must not have been published previously, or broadcast in any other medium.
The judges this year are Tibor Fischer, Irenosen Okojie and Leone Ross.
Entries can also be sent by post to:
VSP, The Royal Society of Literature
Somerset House, Strand
London, WC2R 1LA
Postal entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form (which also contains full rules and eligibility criteria). Download the application form.
The closing date for entries is Friday 29 June 2018.
The hour-long Stratford Words radio programme has announced a free-to-enter SHORT STORY COMPETITION for residents of Warwickshire and Coventry. The title of the comp is A Certain Age, but it’s up to you what that age is and how you interpret it. Closing date is Sunday 20th May, max 3000 words, free to enter, fifty quid prize, (FIFTY QUID!!), twenty and ten pound book tokens for the runner-ups, publication in The Love Hope & Peace Journal – and – you get to read your story live on air on July 1st, in lovely Stratford upon Avon, during the River Festival. Click the link above to download your entry form, so that you can fill it out and send it off along with your fabulous short story to those lovely people at Stratford Words on Welcombe Radio. Email only folks, we can’t do paper as we haven’t got a letter box.
Grab your hats, coats, shoes and socks and be sure to wipe your calendars clean for the evening of Friday 26th January 2018.
Because on that night ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Short Story Spoken Word Event will be barrelling into the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, with a freshly sharpened pencil clamped between its teeth, and brandishing a proper-fancy gaggle of fabulous stories for anyone brave enough to pitch up and listen.
Six super-fine short story writers will duke it out in front of a live audience to find out who will be crowned the very first ever ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Writing Competition Champion of the World!
There will be prizes, live music, a bar, some occasional bawdiness and, of course, those six spoken word performers who will have travelled from far and wide (maybe even further) in pursuit of the Holy Grail that is ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Writing Competition Champion of the World title.
The game’s afoot: and upon this charge (just £5.50 per ticket), cry ‘gimme one!’ (or maybe two) to secure your seats.
‘The Squat Pen Rests’ is actively seeking writer-performers. So, if you’d like to be in with a chance of performing your story on the night (and winning fifty smackers, to boot) then we’d love to hear from you. All you have to do is follow the link for further details. The Squat Pen Rests Writing Competition
And when does this glorious event take place, I hear you roar. Well, because you’ve roared so nicely, I’ll tell you.
The date is Friday 28th January 2018. Doors will open at 7.30pm and the readings will commence around 8pm. Closing time is ‘late’.
And Where, pray tell, doth this event take place?
All right Shakespeare, keep your hair on. I’ll tell you where:
The Place – Wyvern Theatre,
Swindon SN1 1QN
For all other enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Missing Halloween already? Been inspired by ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night? Story Fridays wants your stories on the theme of HAUNTING. This is our firstly ghostly themed Story Fridays in five years, so we’re really excited and just a little bit scared already! Stories should be 2,000 words or fewer, deadline for submissions is coming up fast on 13th November, and the date of Story Friday Haunting is 24th November in Bath. Please ensure you are available to come along before you submit. If you don’t want to read your story, and would like one of our wonderful actors to read it for you, please let us know when you send in your story. We can’t wait to read them! For more information, to listen to the kind of stories we like, and to submit your story, click here.
WORDS AND WOMEN ANNUAL NEW WRITING COMPETITION – GET YOUR ENTRIES IN!
Deadline Midnight, 15th November 2017
Win the national prize for women over 40 of £1,000 and a month’s writing residency provided by Hosking Houses Trust and a regional prize (East of England) of £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.
Winning entries will be published online and in a Compendium of Words and Women’s best entries from the last 4 prize-winning anthologies.
Entries can be fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction and life-writing on any theme.
Guest judges: Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, authors of A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendship of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf.
National prize open to women writers over the age of 40. Regional prize open to women writers over the age of 16 living or working in the East of England.
For more details email email@example.com or visit our blog at www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk
WORDS AND WOMEN ANNUAL NEW WRITING COMPETITION IS OPEN FOR ENTRIES
Deadline Midnight, 15th November 2017
The short prose competition offers the opportunity to enter not only short stories but non-fiction, memoir, and life-writing and this year’s guest judges arrive fresh from non-fiction triumph with their co-authored book, A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf. Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney are also award-winning writers of fiction. Emily is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and Emma is author of the award-winning novel Owl Song at Dawn. They co-run SomethingRhymed.com, a website that celebrates female literary friendship.
Both judges are looking ‘for compelling voices that combine a sensitivity to the musicality of language with a story that holds the reader’s attention from beginning to end.’ Narratives that are nuanced, complex and unusual will make them sit up and take note.
The national award, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, offers women writers over the age of 40 the opportunity to win £1,000 cash and a month-long writing retreat at Church Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon.
The East of England prize offers the winner £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust. Both national and regional winners will be published in a compendium of the best stories published by Words and Women over the last five years. The compendium will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2018 in Norwich, as part of a year of activities supporting The Year of Publishing Women, a provocation launched in Norwich last year by Kamila Shamsie and supported by Words and Women.
‘We are very grateful and excited that Hosking Houses Trust has agreed to sponsor our competition with such a substantial national prize for a second year. It is a brilliant opportunity for women writers over 40 and we are looking forward to receiving entries from Billericay to Belfast. And to have Jill Dawson’s mentoring session again as part of our regional prize is immensely supportive and provides a great opportunity for our regional winner,’ said Bel Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women.
‘This year, we have two outstanding guest judges with experience of both non-fiction and fiction, and we are looking forward to working with them and hearing their views on the selected long-list,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser of Words And Women. ‘We work closely with the judges to select the winners but ultimately it is their choice after much discussion! It’s always an exciting process.’
Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life. Writers who have been awarded residencies include Joan Bakewell and Sally Vickers.
Jill Dawson is the author of nine novels, including the best-selling Fred and Edie, (short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize) and Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange Prize). Her novel The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read. Her latest is The Crime Writer, about Patricia Highsmith. Jill is the founder of Gold Dust, a high calibre mentoring scheme. Gold Dust will offer all entrants to our competition a special discount on their mentoring scheme.
The Words and Women prose competition has proved itself to be a great showcase and previous winners have gone on to secure agent representation and increased interest in their work.
Entries should be 2,200 words or under. Short works of fiction of any genre, memoir, life-writing, essays and creative non-fiction are all welcome. Extracts from longer works will not be considered. The deadline is 15th November 2017. Winners will be announced in January 2018. See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for details