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
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.
Visit The A3 Review’s website to see some back issues. The A3 Press also publishes chapbooks and is open for submissions until December the 10th.
Shooter Literary Magazine has opened submissions for its summer issue (#10), which will be Identity.
The biannual lit mag (recently reviewed in the TLS) wants stories, essays, reported narratives and poetry on anything to do with the sense of self, whether personal or cultural. What defines someone – character, actions, associations, appearance? Why is identity important? What happens when it’s threatened? Shooter particularly seeks content that addresses topical issues of gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion and occupation, but the theme is open to wide interpretation.
For anyone with stories outside that theme (and keen to reap a rather larger cash reward), Shooter’s 2019 Short Story Competition is also open for entries. The winner will collect a £500 prize, with publication online and in the summer issue, while the runner-up receives £100 and online publication.
Deadline for both general and competition submissions is April 21st. Please visit Shooter’s Submissions or Competition pages for guidelines on how to submit.
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.
ENTER THE COMPETITION HERE
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
Our next contest deadline is July the 28th, and we also have new monthly themes for other A3 Review contests till November. We’re looking for short fiction, mini essays, poetry and artwork on the theme of Ears, Hats and Triangles, for example.
Visit our Submittable page for all the details.
The next theme is Thieves. Hearts, heists, identities, or apricots from a neighbour’s tree. We like work that feels immediate and edgy, so check out the prompts and start creating now! We welcome submissions from around the world.
Three winners per issue receive cash prizes, and all monthly winners receive contributor copies, back issues and Writing Maps. All the details are here.
You can read some of the work that we feature in The A3 Review on our Instagram page.
Any questions, please do write to us at a3 [at] writingmaps.com
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.
We’ve been thinking that it could be fun to set up a small press. The A3 Press. Same kind of format as The A3 Review and Writing Maps, a place for writers and artists to publish short work. We’re imagining these beautifully designed chapbooks that fold out. Let us know what you think! If you click here, you’ll be taken to the survey.
We’re almost ready to start compiling Issue 8, The Gold Issue. This month is the last opportunity to be included in our next issue. The theme is brief encounters and the deadline is Saturday, 24th February. Quickies, chance meetings, a brief exchange that changes a life. Click here for all the details and some further suggestions. You can also pre-order a copy of Issue 8 here.
For all our future contest themes, check out our Submittable page.
One of the fun aspects of putting together The A3 Review is coming up with the themes and prompts for each month’s contest. This month’s theme is particularly rich. One of those themes that you really need an entire novel to tackle, and we’re inviting you to do it in no more than 150 words! Betrayal. In 12-and-a-half dozen words or less. Do not betray your risk-taking disposition as a writer and an artist! This month’s theme is for you.
We’re looking for stories, poems and artwork that are political, personal or both. Secret betrayals and double crossings. From the banal to the Biblical. Write the Samson story from Delilah’s POV, for example. Or: What would Judas say? Write a poem about feeling betrayed by someone’s Tinder profile. He, or she, is definitely not as cute in real life!
Find inspiration in the words associated with betrayal: back-stabbing, double-dealing, disloyalty, treachery and duplicity.
Or tell the story of the first time you betrayed someone. What happened and where is that person today? Put into words what it feels like to be betrayed. Or what it tastes like, smells like. Write a poem of rage or forgiveness. Possible opening phrases could be: “We knew we’d been betrayed when…” or “This is how I betrayed him…” or “Just before she did it she…” or “It wasn’t the first time that…”
Click here for more prompts, suggestions, and details about how to enter this month’s contest. Deadline is the 28th of October. There’s also info here about the next few contests. If you think “Betrayal” is a juicy one, then there’s “Losing It” and “Brief Encounters” coming up, too.
When you enter our contests, don’t forget our popular (and very affordable) Brief Critique option. For just $15 we provide a line edit of your submission, along with 250 words of feedback on ways to take your work to the next level. Tick the Brief Critique add-on, and you’ll be able to pay together with your entry fee. Critiques are provided once the month’s winning entries have been announced.
We hope you’ll enjoy this month’s theme.
Sit up straight, face the front, and no chewing in class! Yes, all you well-behaved and naughty people, this month’s A3 Review contest is on the theme of Teachers.
Inspired by the Write Through School Writing Map, we’re looking for short fiction, poetry and artwork on tutors, instructors, professors, mentors, personal trainers… any type of teacher. We’ve all had them and many of us are them!
Write about a memorable moment with a memorable teacher. Frustrated teachers, inspirational teachers, nervous newbies or those who’ve seen it all. Create something that delves into the heart of the teacher/student relationship. Explore different setting where teaching takes place: a farmer passing on knowledge to a child; an experienced soldier guiding a raw recruit; a chance meeting in a remote, dusty town that results in a lesson learned.
The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel. To find out more about what kind of work we like at The A3 Review, check out the latest issue here, and see our submission guidelines here. This month’s deadline is Saturday, the 27th of May. Send us your work. It’s not compulsory, but it is for your own good!
Good luck and keep writing!
We’re busy as beavers here at The A3 Review, assembling Issue #6 and choosing the overall cash-prize winners. The issue will be out in early April, and we’re wild about the fact that ShortStops’ own Tania Hershman will be our Guest Writer!
Meanwhile, talking about wildness, Issue #7 is already, ahem, logging up entries for our March contest on the theme of Forests and Woods (deadline is March 25th).
Woodlands have inspired writers and artists for hundreds of years – now it’s your turn. Submit stories, poems and art inspired by the arboreal! Whether it’s tropical, mystical, tundral (is that even a word?!), or your own backyard. So many folktales and fairytales happen in forests. Find a story you love and update it. Think “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Hansel and Gretel”, and Baba Yaga. Think: Robin Hood or Tarzan. Be outrageous. Be controversial. Surprise us with new takes on old stories.
For more inspiring prompts, check out the Writing with Fabulous Trees Writing Map (see pic).
And for even more ideas and inspiration, and details about prizes, visit The A3 Review’s Submittable page. You can also purchase all back issues on The A3 Review‘s site.
We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.
Good luck and keep writing!
PS. The A3 Review‘s editor, Shaun Levin, is running an online writing course, starting on the 24th of April. Click here for all the details.
The holiday season is on its way, but don’t let that distract you from writing… and entering The A3 Review’s last monthly contest of 2016.
This month’s theme is Orange Things: an antidote to the grey winter weather (or to echo the sunshine if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). Deadline for entries is 24th December. We won’t be expecting you to address festive topics (do people still put satsumas into Christmas stockings?) or even The Donald’s tan and hair dye!
We’re looking for short fiction, poetry and artwork that reflects the complexity and uniqueness of ‘orange’ – an ancient word and one of the few which (fun fact alert) has no direct rhymes in English, only half-rhymes.
Write about the colour orange and its associations with places: an orange beach under an orange sun with melting orange ice-lollies. Write or draw the moods and situations associated with orange: warmth, fire, energy, danger. Or explore the association of orange and religion: Irish Protestant links with Orange in France, the meaning of the colour for Hindus and Buddhists. The Dutch House of Orange.
Visit our Submittable page for more inspiration.
“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now’.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast.
Each month we choose two winning pieces for publication in our six-monthly journal. All winning entries receive Writing Maps and contributor copies, while three overall winners for each issue receive cash prizes totalling £275.
Follow us on Twitter and sign up to our newsletter. And if you’re looking for detailed, knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on your short fiction, editors KM Elkes and Shaun Levin offer a critique service for writers. To find out more about it, click here.
Come and play with The A3 Review (you know you want to!) and write something for our November contest on the theme of Playhouse. Deadline is 26th November.
Here’s some ideas to get you playing and writing: Playhouses are places where ‘make believe’ happens. Imagine situations where a garden playhouse is a place of sanctuary, or safety, or even danger. What happens in playhouses when adults are no longer around?
Write a surreal piece about a playhouse that’s very different when you crawl inside. Think about treehouses, dens, forts and castles made in the woods, on wasteground, fields, railway sidings and rubbish dumps.
What kind of animals or creatures might take over an abandoned playhouse? Take the idea of children ‘playing house’ to explore a deeper, darker theme of children imitating adults. Or a warring couple having to ‘play house’ while friends or relatives visit.
Write about the mid-life-crisis playhouse, or the playhouse you miss, the doll’s house you never had. Write about playhouses you remember, indoors and out.
View our Submittable page for details about how to enter. The deadline is 26 November 2016, so just a few more days to play around with your words!
Each month we choose two winning pieces for publication (The A3 Review is published twice a year). All winning entries receive Writing Maps and contributor copies, while three overall winners for each issue receive cash prizes.
You can get more inspiration by following The A3 Review on Twitter @TheA3Review and sign up for our newsletter here.
Meanwhile, If you’re looking for detailed, knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on your short fiction, editors KM Elkes and Shaun Levin are offering an affordable critique service for writers. To find out more go here.
It’s a busy time at the The A3 Review. Issue #5 has officially launched! Short fiction and poetry from the UK, North America and Ireland. There’s also a guest piece from leading US flash fiction writer Meg Pokrass. You can order a copy via this link.
Meanwhile, our monthly contests to find contributors for Issue #6 are underway. The theme for October is Uniforms. Soldiers, nurses, prisoners, cops, sailors, fighter pilots, guerilla fighters, firefighters, goths, priests, chefs, hipsters and school children… the list of uniforms people wear is long and varied.
We’re looking for stories about how characters change when they put on a uniform, how people perceive those in uniform, how much of a disguise a uniform can be. You could write about a couple – one who loves their uniform, the other hates it. Or someone who doesn’t need to wear a uniform, but does anyway. Use the idea of rank and status to kickstart your creativity. Write about uniforms you’ve worn, or about those that excite or scare you. Secret uniforms and uniforms that elicit shame or pride.
Visit our Submittable page for more inspiration. The deadline is 22 October 2016.
Each month we choose two winning pieces for publication (The A3 Review is published twice a year). All winning entries receive Writing Maps and contributor copies, while three overall winners for each issue receive cash prizes totaling £275. You can get more inspiration by following The A3 Review on Twitter @TheA3Review and sign up for our newsletter here.
If you’re looking for detailed, knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on your short fiction, editors KM Elkes and Shaun Levin are offering a critique service for writers. To find out more click here.
Happy writing and reading.
This month’s Writing Maps Writing Contest coincides with the official launch of The Big Gay Writing Map: Story Ideas for Anyone Who’s a Little Bit Different.
The prompt for July’s Writing Contest is our toughest challenge yet! Write a sex scene without using gender-specific pronouns and without using any punctuation (except a full stop/period at the end, if you want to). This could be a story, poem, graphic story or snippet of memoir. Fiction or autobiography, SF or mis mem, erotic or academic. In 150 words, gender-neutral and punctuation-free. Enjoy!
Please make sure to view our full guidelines here or on the Writing Maps website by clicking here. In brief, the main rules are:
Entry is free. One entry per person. All genres welcome. All writers welcome. 150 words max.
Deadline is 26 July 2014.
The two winning entries will be published in A3
, the Writing Maps Journal, and winners will receive 2 copies of the new Writing Map
Good luck and good writing!
Writing Maps, the illustrated posters with creative writing prompts and story ideas, launches its 4th monthly Writing Contest. The June contest coincides with the official launch of the Writing Maps Pack of 5 Notebooks, and this month’s two winners will receive a complete pack of notebooks, along with publication in A3, a new fold-out literary magazine. The first issue will appear in September 2014.
The challenge is to write a 150-word piece in response to the Prompt of the Month. June’s Writing Maps Writing Contest opens on 21st June 2014. Deadline is: 28 June 2014. Did you know we’re the quickest contest in town – one week between announcement and deadline!
The prompt for June’s Writing Contest is a title. Write a story, poem, graphic story or snippet of memoir called “Ode to My Notebook”. For some extra inspiration, check out Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to My Suit” or Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. As always, we’re looking for pieces that are quirky and intense, that give us a glimpse into private worlds, and that make us feel nicely awkward. In 150 words, show your notebook (or a character’s notebook) some love!
Please make sure to view our full guidelines here or on the Writing Maps website by clicking here. In brief, the main rules are:
Entry is free. One entry per person.
All genres welcome. All writers welcome.
150 words max.
Deadline is 28 June 2014, which is just a few days from now.
The two winning entries will be published in A3, the Writing Maps Journal.
Hello story lovers,
Welcome to February, which is wet and windy round here. A good excuse to stay in, read and write, right? Here’s a round-up of what’s been happening at ShortStops over the past fortnight.
Lit Mags, Competitions and Workshops
New to the site is The Grind, a “literary and visual arts magazine serving Scotland and its diaspora”. Short Fiction’s 2014 short story prize wants your stories, deadline March 31st. The editor of the Writers’ Hub has blogged some useful advice about How To Get Published On The Writers Hub (And Elsewhere). The Moth International Short Story Prize is now open for entries, deadline June 30. Coming soon – a call for submissions for Transportation, a new Tasmanian/English short story anthology.
Smoke, the London Peculiar, is calling for submissions for their London water-themed short story anthology, Smoke on the Water. And Neon Magazine wants your tiny fictions for a new project, Battery Pack.
If you want some help working on your short stories before sending ’em off, check out the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s upcoming short story workshops.
Stand-Up Tragedy’s February event is Tragic Love, Feb 13th in London – on that same night in Brighton, head down to Rattle Tales – the line-up for the event has just been announced. On Feb 28th White Rabbit presents Are You Sitting Comfortably? Science Fiction in London.
Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today, Feb 3rd, is the deadline to send your stories to the Davy Byrnes short story competition you are an Irish citizen or resident. The National Flash Fiction Youth competition is open for entries til Feb 21st. Number Eleven mag welcomes submissions, and Riptide Journal is open for submissions for Volume 10, on the theme of ‘Imaging the Suburbs’ (deadline March 1 2014).