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Short Story Competitions

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Last updated 28th July 2014

Below are tables listing various short story competitions. Some are based in the UK, some are global. Some contests are of high renown (like the BBC Short Story Award or the Bridport Prize), offering huge prizes, and some are lesser known, but offer great opportunities for newer writers to become published authors. I will try and keep this list up to date, but please check the rules and dates on the different competition websites before entering. Most of the competitions accept entries from anywhere in the world, but require stories to be written in English.

I’ve kept the information on the writing competition calendar brief, only detailing the important bits, like genre, approximate opening dates, approximate closing dates, word count and, of course, the amount of prize money you can win. You can learn lots more about the rules for each individual competition by visiting the different websites. I have provided links to make this resource as easy to use as possible :)

If you run a short story competition and would like me to add it to the lists below, please contact me. I will also try and add to this list regularly as I hear about more competitions.

If you want to see stats of the growing audience you can reach by being listed here, please see my website performance analysis page. I update this page once a year.

Please contact me if there is any other information you would like to see on this page, or for any ideas on improvements. I have recently updated the page into sections as detailed in the quick links at the top of the page, and have put the competitions in alphabetical order, the only exception being discontinued competitions which appear at the bottom of the relevant list for reference only. I hope this makes the lists easier to use.

Also, as the page is getting larger and the lists are getting longer, it is becoming harder for me to maintain. I'll do my best to check all the links regularly, but if you spot any mistakes, outdated information or broken links, please let me know.

If you are a writer and have a success story you would like to share regarding any short story writing competitions, please let me know. I’m happy to consider publishing other writers’ stories on the site as long as they have been published or won or been shortlisted in short story competitions. I would also need useful comments about your experiences with the relevant short story competitions / publishers. See Devil's Crush as an example.

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Regular Short Story Competitions

The first table lists monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly and bi-annual short story competitions.

# Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1 Apostrophe Books - Fiction Fast-Track England Bi-Monthly B-Monthly no max FREE See notes
Notes on Fiction Fast-Track Competition: Any genre - novels and collections of short stories (fiction only) - winners voted for by readers - winner published as an eBook and sold through 130 digital retailers by Apostrophe Books - all profits split 50/50 with the author - this competition offers a unique prize which is perfect for any writer with a completed novel or short story collection - as the competition is run by writers, winners are treated very fairly
2 Creative Competitor Writing Competitions France Various Various Various Various Various
Notes on Creative Competitor Competitions: These guys run, on average, 2 different writing competitions a month. Comps include short stories, poetry and more. I can't really keep on top of listing all the changes, so the best bet is to visit the website and see what they have running which might appeal to you
3 Dark Places Short Story Competition England Triannual Triannual 5,000 £1.25 Various
Notes on Dark Places Competition: Sci-Fi & Fantasy - free critique for all entrants - winners published in e-magazine through Amazon - first prize vaires, second prize is a subscription to Grammarly - also available free in PDF format on the Dark Places website - you can read the first issue here
4 Dark Tales Short Story Contest England Monthly Monthy 5,000 £5 £100
Notes on Dark Tales Competition: Horror and speculative fiction - an optional monthly contest subscription for just £5 allows two entries into each competition or an entry plus a tick-sheet critique - all winners and shortlisted entrants published in anthology
5 Dragon & Owl Publishing Pithy Pages For Erudite Readers Contest USA Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 7,000 $20 See notes
Notes on Dragon & Owl Publishing Competition: Any style / genre - entry fees, up to a maximum of $5000, will be shared between winners as cash prizes in the following way: First Prize receives 50%, Second Prize 15%, Third Prize 10%, Honorable Mention five prizes of 5% - so the top prize could be $2,500
6

e-Literate-World ‘Cut A Long Story Short’ Competition

Australia Quarterly Quarterly 5,000 A$8 See notes
Notes on e-Literate-World Competition: Any style / genre, unless specified otherwise for that month (no children's) - monetary prizes depend on number of entries - placed entries will be published via Kindle eBook and made available on Amazon - this competition has recently changed name, previously it was called My Mate Kindle
7 Ether Books Writing Competitions England Varies Varies Varies FREE None
Notes on Ether Books Competitions: Associated with Raging Aardvark Publishing - they run a variety of contests throughout the year, so check the website for current competitions and themes - winners published in anthology - all entries have the possibility of being published by Ether Books
8 Fabula Press Short Story Contest Hong Kong Quarterly Quarterly min 2500 - no max $10 $150
Notes on Fabula Press Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme - winners published in anthology
9 Ferrytaleawards Short Story Competition England Varies Varies 2,500 £10 £100
Notes on Ferry Tale Awards: Any style or genre - entry fee is either £10, or you can buy a copy of the Ferrytaleawards on Amazon, write a short review and gain entry that way instead - 10 winning stories published in Ferrytaleawards book
10 Flash Fiction 500 Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 500 £5 £300
Notes on Flash Fiction 500 Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in Word With Jam magazine
11 GKBCinc International Short Story Competition England Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 2,000 FREE £100
Notes on GKBCinc Short Story Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme - the winner and 9 runners up from each comp published in an annual anthology (so each anthology contains 20 stories) - winners also published on the website - winners recently announced here
12 Global Short Stories Competition England Monthly Monthly 2,000 £5 £100
Notes on Global Short Stories Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on the website - competition supported by Bill Bryson
13 Henshaw Press Short Story Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 2,000 £5 £100
Notes on Henshaw Press Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website - second prize £50, third prize £25
14 Indelible Chaos Short Story Competition India Bi-Monthly Bi-Monthly 15,000 FREE See notes
Notes on Indelible Chaos Competition: Different competitions with different styles and themes run on a bi-monthly basis - prize is publication in a bi-annual anthology
15 Just 100 Words Writing Competition USA Daily Daily 100 $5 $50
Notes on Just 100 Words Competition: Any style / genre - winners announced within 24 hours and published on the website
16 Lady in the Loft Writing Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 2,000 FREE £10
Notes on Lady in the Loft Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme - prize money is awarded in WHSmith vouchers, 1st prize £10, 2nd and 3rd prizes £5 - winners published on the website and in an anthology - you can learn more about the anthology and see the cover art on the Lady in the Loft Blog
17 Leaf Books Writing Competitions England Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Leaf Books Competitions: Various competitions, from diary competitions to horror competitions to the infamous Tiny Weeny writing comp - prizes and entry fees vary - best to visit the website and see what comps they are currently running -Leaf are currently undergoing financial difficulties, so I'd advise you not to enter their comps until they have been resolved - they are being very open about the issues, so there is nothing nasty going on, you can learn more here
18 Mash Stories Flash Fiction Competition USA Quarterly Quarterly 500 FREE $100
Notes on Lady in the Loft Competition: Any style / genre, but stories must be based on 3 random objects so see website for current details - winners published on the website
19 Multi Story Competition England Bi-Monthly Bi-Monthly Varies £5 £300
Notes on Multi Story Competition: Any style / genre - length of entry varies, so check the website
20 Needle in the Hay Writing Awards Australia Weekly / Monthly Weekly / Monthly 200 to 2,000 FREE A$50 to A$400
Notes on Needle in the Hay Competitions: Any style / genre - LOADS of different competitions, run weekly and monthly all year round for different story lengths with varying prize amounts - best to check the website and see what is currently running - short listed stories published on the website and then readers vote for winners
21 Park Publiscations (Scribble & Debut Magazine) England Quarterly Quarterly 3,000 £3, FREE to subscribers £75
Notes on Park Publications Competitions: Any style / genre - short listed stories published in Scribble magazine and judged by readers. Scribble has now merged with Debut to become 1 magazine which also accepts articles (I've been published in Scribble, so you can read a lot more about it here)
22 SEAM Short Story Jam Competition USA Monthly Monthly no max stated FREE $100
Notes on SEAM Competition: Any style / genre - choice of themes, see website for more details
23 Sentinel Literary Short Story Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 1,500 £5 £150
Notes on Sentinel Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in Sentinel Literary Magazine
24 Sons of Joy Short Story Competition USA Monthly Monthly 1,000 FREE $100
Notes on Sons of Joy Competition: Any style / genre - themed about food, check website for current theme - prize paid as Visa giftcard - winners published on the website
25 Spinetinglers Short Story Competition N Ireland Monthly Monthly   FREE £100
Notes on Spinetinglers Competition: Themed, so check website for current theme - 2nd prize £50, 3rd, 4th and 5th prizes of £25 - each monthly winner published in yearly anthology
26 Tethered by Letters Short Story Competition USA Quarterly Quarterly 7,500 $10 $250
Notes on Tethered by Letters Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in the Tethered by Letters’ Quarterly Journal - all finalists considered for later publication in the journal - TBL also run a variety of other competitions, including a regular flash fiction competition, a new poetry competition and a literary contest for stories up to 10,000 words in length, so check out the website for more details
27 The Red Line Short Story Competition England Bi-Monthly Bi-Monthly 3,500 FREE £50
Notes on The Red Line Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check the website for the current theme - winners and short listed entries published on the website
28 The Writing Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 500 £4 £100
Notes on The Writing Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website
29 Totally 4 Women Short Story Competition England Monthly Monthly Varies FREE Varies
Notes on T4S Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme - men and women are welcome to enter - winners published on the website
30 Webook Writing Competition England Monthly Monthly Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Webook Competition: Themes, lengths, styles, genres and prizes vary - check website for current requirements
31 Word Hut Short Story Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 1,000 £4 £60
Notes on Word Hut Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the Word Hut website - also see the meet the writer and writers' showcase sections of the website as these can offer great exposure to new authors (I've been published by Word Hut, you can read more about the competition here)
32 Words Mag Short Story Competition England Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 2,000 £3 £75
Notes on Words Mag Competition: Any style / genre - all winning and commended short stories are published in Words Magazine and online anthologies
33 Writer's Digest Writing Competitions USA Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Writer's Digest Competitions: They run a wide variety of contests throughout the year, some offering big cash prizes (thousands of dollars) - best to check the website and see which competitions are currently running
34 Writers' Forum England Monthly Monthly 3,000 £6, £3 for subscribers £300

Notes on Writers' Forum Competition: Any style / genre - top 3 stories published in Writers' Forum magazine (I've won this competition in the past, so you can read more about it here)

35 Writing Magazine Short Story Competition England Monthly Monthly Varies £4, £3 for subscribers £200

Notes on Writing Magazine Competition: Any style / genre - winners are published in Writing Magazine - WM run a variety of competitions, some open and some for subscribers only, so it's best to check the website to see what competitions are currently open - they also run Writers' News, which comes as an insert to subscribers to Writing Magazine - Writers' News run a monthly short story competition for subscribers only with a top prize of £100 and free entry

36 Writers of the Future USA Quarterly + Annual Quarterly + Annual 17,000 FREE $5,000
Notes on Writers of the Future Competition: SF & Fantasy - quarterly prizes + annual prize - amateur only, so if you've published more than 3 stories you're not eligible
37 Writers Type Short Story Competition USA Monthly Monthly 6,000 $10 $25
Notes on Writers Type Competition: Any style / genre - prize awarded as an electronic gift card - each monthly winner and runner up is automatically entered into the yearly part of the competition which has a prize of a $225 gift card - winners published on the website - they also run a 'flash fiction' and 'first chapter' competition, check the website for more details
38 Writers' Village England Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 3,000 £15 £3,000
Notes on Writers' Village Competition: Any style / genre - all entries receive critique or tips on how to improve their writing, so you get feedback from the judges which is excellent - 2nd prize now £500, third prize of £250 and there are 15 runner up prizes of £50 - winners and runners up published on the website (I have been published through this competition - read more about it here)
0 Brighton COW Competition - NO LONGER RUNNING England Quarterly Quarterly 3,000 £4 £100
Notes on Brighton COW Competition: Any style / genre - top 10 stories published on website + recorded for radio (I've been published through this competition in the past, so you can read a lot more about it here) - unfortunately the website was removed from the internet early in 2012
0 Darker Times Fiction Short Story Competition England Monthly Monthly 5,000 £5 See notes
Notes on Darker Times Competition: 'Darker times' theme - while they focus the competiton on horror stories, they also accept entries linked to the theme of 'darker times' in other ways, encouraging writers to be as creative as possible - the winner receives a percentage of the money raised by entry fees (minimum of £15) plus their short story will be published in one of the Darker Times Horror Anthologies, released as an ebook through Amazon - runners up and honourable mentions also published - CLOSED 2014
0 Equestrian Fiction Finder Short Story Competition England Monthly Monthly 1,000 £3 £30
Notes on EFF Competition: Doesn't seem to have been running since August 2012, but have left link live in case they start running it again in the future - themed, so check website to see current theme - the 3 winners are published on the website
0 Five Stop Story England Quarterly Quarterly 3,000 £4 £100
Notes on Five Stop Story Competition: Any style / genre - top 20 stories punlished on website every quarter, and on the Five Stop Story iPhone and iPad application. £150 for annual winner - changed from a monthly competition to a quarterly competition at the beginning of 2013 - CLOSED IN 2014
0 Meridian Writing Short Story Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 3,000 £5 £100
Notes on Meridian Writing Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website - unfortunately, after 4 years of running their quartery competition, the Meridian Writing Competition closed in 2013
0 My Daily Story Competition USA Bi-Monthly Bi-Monthly 3,000 $10 $50
Notes on My Daily Story Competition: Any style / genre - also accept non-fiction and will consider poetry and blog posts - entry fee includes full edit and critique of your story AND you can submit up to 3 stories for the 1 fee, so that's a really good offer! - winners published on the website - website disappeared in 2014
0 Pink Pen Short Story Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 2,000 £4.50 £100
Notes on Pink Pen Competition: Doesn't seem to be rnning anymore. Any style / genre - winners published on website and in ebook anthology - maximum of 100 entries, so competition might close early if 100 entries are recieved

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Prestigious &/or Big Prize Short Story Competitions

The second table lists well renowned and prestigious competitions which offer big cash prizes. Any short story competition with a prize of more than £1,000 ($, € or other currency) is listed here. There are a couple of other big prize awards listed in the Regular Short Story Competitions (it seems pointless to list them twice) .

# Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1 Aeon Award (speculative fiction) Ireland November December 10,000 €20 €1,000
Notes on Aeon Award Competition: Speculative fiction - so fantasy, sci-fi, horror etc - winning stories published in  Albedo One
2 The Asham Award England Biennial Biennial ? ? £1,000
Notes on the Asham Award: Any style / genre - the competition is only open to women who live in the UK - run every other year - attracts up to 950 entries, so competition is tough - winners published alongside well known female writers in a collection
3 Bath Short Story Award England March June 2,200 £8 £1,000
Notes on the Bath Short Story Award: Any style / genre (except childrens) - winning stories might be published on the BSSA website and may also be read on local radio stations - 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100, £50 for best local entry and £50 for best entry from a previously unpublished author
4 BBC Short Story Award UK March September 8,000 FREE £15,000
Notes on BBC Competition: Any style / genre - you have to be a published author to enter this, so you need to win another competition first, or be published in a publication of some renown. Self published does NOT count! - winning and short listed stories recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 4
5 Bridport Prize England May November 5,000 £9 £5,000
Notes on Bridport Prize Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published in anthology - highly prestigious, so lots of competition
6 Bristol Prize England April July 4,000 £7 £1,000
Notes on Bristol Prize Competition: Any style / genre - top 20 stories published in Anthology - in 2011, over 2,000 entries, so high competition
7 Brit Writers' Awards England March ? 5,000 See notes £10,000
Notes on Brit Writers Awards: Any style / genre - competition for short stories, novels, music, pretty much anythin - you have to join (£10.95) and then enter stuff - unfortunately I've received a couple messages from other writers raising concerns about the Brit Writers Awards, for more details see the comments section on this page
8 CBC Books Canada Writes Prize Canada November ? 1,500 $25 C$6,000
Notes on CBC Books Competition: Any style / genre - you have to be Canadian to enter - 4 x runner up prizes of $1,000 - winner published in Air Canada's enRoute Magazine and on website
9 Commonwealth Short Story Prize England November May 5,000 FREE £2,500 / £5,000 - see notes
Notes on Commonwealth Short Story Prize: Any style / genre - regional winners receive £2,500 prize, overall winner receives £5,000 prize - winning stories are published in an anthology - open for submissions in October and November only
10 Costa Short Story Award England August January 4,000 FREE £3,500
Notes on Costa Short Story Award: Any style / genre - 6 shortlisted stories are announced in November and then the public vote for the winner - runners up receive £750
11

Cowley Literary Award & Short Story Competition

Australia June August 1,000 A$25 A$5,000
Notes on the Cowley Literary Award: Any style / genre - 1 runner up prize of A$1,000 - award takes fiction AND non-fiction submissions, the best entry of either type could win - winners might be publsihed on the website
12 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award Ireland February June 15,000 €10 €15,000
Notes on the Davey Byrnes Award: Any style / genre - 5 runner up prizes of €1,000 - runs every 5 years - open to Irish citizens and to writers who are resident or were born in the thirty-two counties - last time the competition ran in 2009 they released an anthology and are likely to do so again on future competitions
13 Eco Arts Literature Award NC, USA August January 5,000 $30 $1,000
Notes on Eco Arts Award: Any style / genre - winners published on website
14 Fish Publishing Short Story Competiton Ireland November March 5,000 €10 €3,000
Notes on Fish Publishing Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published in the Fish Anthology
15 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award Ireland March ? no max FREE €35,000
Notes on Frank O'Connor Competition: Any style / genre - this is for published short story collections ONLY, so not a competition for the newer writer - you have to have had your collection of short stories published by a publisher, NOT self published - still I thought it worth listing so that when your amazing collection of short stories is snapped up and published in the very near future, you know to enter the comp! Prize money seems to increase each year, so keep an eye on the current prize offered - you can find more information on this and other big prize awards at The Guardian
16 Glimmer Train OR, USA Varies Varies no max varies up to $2,500 (see notes)
Notes on Glimmer Train Competition: Any style / genre - Glimmer Train run various competitions throughout the year, with prizes varying from $700 to $2,500 - entry fee varies from FREE to $15 depending on the competition - winners are published in the Glimmer Train Literary Journal, which is a highly respected US publication read by many literary agents and publishers
17 Grain Writing Contest Canada April August 2,500 C$40 C$1,000
Notes on Grain Writing Contest: Any style / genre - entry for Canadians is C$35, international entries are C$40, but every entrant receives a 1 year (4 issue) suscription to the magazine
18 Gemini Magazine
Short Story Contest
MA, USA March ? no max $5 $1,000
Notes on Gemini Magazine Contest: Any style / genre - winners published on Gemini Magazine website
19 InkTears Short Story Competition England Varies Varies 3,000 £6 £1,000
Notes on InkTears Competition: Any style / genre - winners and runners up published on website and also offered the possibility of having a collection of their short stories published through Ink Tears (I've been published through this competition and you can read more about my experiences here)
20 Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing England October March 2,500 FREE £7,500
Notes on Jeremy Mogford Competition: Theme is food and drink - part of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in association with Oxford Gastronomica
21 Kingston Writing School International Short Story Competition England June November 5,000 £10 £3,000
Notes on Kingston Writing School Competition: Any style / genre - winner has the opportunity to have his/her work considered for publication by KUP (Kingston University Press) - winners and shortlisted entries published in anthology
22 Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize NY, USA March June 750 $25 $1,000
Notes on Kupferberg Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives cash prize plus 10 week writing course through Gotham Writers' Workshop in NYC or online - winning story read at the Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space in June and recorded for possible broadcast on radio
23 Launceston, Tasmania Literary Award Tasmania June October 1,500 A$10 A$2,500
Notes on Launceston Tasmania Competition: Any style / genre - run by The Society of Women Writers, Tasmania but open to male and female entrants residing anywhere in the world - winners published in an anthology
24 Lightship Publishing Short Story Competition England June ? 5,000 £12 £1,000
Notes on the Lightship Publishing Competition: Any style / genre - winning story and 9 runners up published in anthology
25 Magic Oxygen Literary Competition England November February 4,000 £5 £1,000
Notes on the Magic Oxygen Competition: Any style / genre - winners and shortlisted entries published in anthology - Tracey and Simon, the competition organisers, plant a tree for every entry received (each entrant receives GPS coordinates to their tree so they can go and visit it if they wish!) and are also funding the build of a classroom at a school in Kenya
26 Manchester Writing Competition England August October 2,500 £17 £10,000
Notes on Manchester Writing Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories may be published in journals or on the website
27 Moth Magazine Short Story Competition Ireland June Autumn 6,000 €9 €3,000
Notes on Moth Magazine Competition: Any style / genre - winning story publsihed in the summer issue of Moth Magazine
28 New Welsh Review Writing Awards Wales November February 30,000 FREE £1,000
Notes on New Welsh Review Competition: Any style / genre, but themed around nature and the environment as associated with WWF - winner receives £1,000 as advance on royalties, will be published by New Welsh Review, receives a residential weekend in Flintshire and has lunch with a literary agent in London - runners up may also be published - only open to residents of the UK and Ireland, or people living worldwide that were educated in Wales for a minimum of 6 months
29 Prarie Fire Press Short Fiction Contest Canada November ? 10,000 C$32 C$1,250
Notes on Prarie Fire Contest: Any style / genre - entry inludes 1 year subscription to Prarie Fire magazine - winners published in the magazine and paid for publication
30 Prism International Short Fiction Contest Canada January ? 6,000 C$45 C$2,000
Notes on Prism International Contest: Any style / genre - all contest entrants receive a 1 year subscription to Prism International
31 Ruminate Magazine William Van Dyke Short Story Prize CO, USA October March 5,500 $15 $1,000
Notes on Ruminate Short Story Contest: Any style / genre - winner and runner up published in the spring issue of Ruminate Magazine - they recommend that you read previous winners to see the preferred style
32 Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition England October ? 1,000 £15 £1,000
Notes on Ruth Rendell Competition: Any style / genre - winner commissioned to write four more short stories for InterAct Reading Service - opens for submissions around May
33 The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition Ireland July September 3,000 €15, US $20 or £15 € 2,000
Notes on the Seán Ó Faoláin Prize: Any style / genre - winners and runners up published in Southward Literary Journal - winner invited to read their story at the Cork International Short Story Festival in Ireland
34 Sixfold Short Story Competition USA April ? 5,000 $6 $1,000
Notes on Sixfold Competition: Any style or genre - collaborative writing community, writers vote for the stories they want to see published in the journal, so there is no 'editor' - winners published in the journal which is made available in many formats, inclduing print and eBook
35 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award England October March 6,000 FREE £30,000
Notes on Sunday Times Competition: Any style / genre - offers the largest prize for a short story competition on the planet. You can enter from anywhere, but have to have a history of creative writing success in the UK or Ireland. I assume they mean you have to have been published in these countries to enter.
36 Tom-Gallon Trust Award England October ? 5,000 FREE £1,000
Notes on Tom-Gallon Competition: Any genre, but states to enter traditional stories rather than experimental - authors must be a citizen of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland - you can enter published or unpublished work, but you must have had a short story published in the past to be able to enter - the winning author's finincial situation will be taken into account
37 Tom Howard / John H Reid Short Story Contest USA April ? 5,000 $16 £3,000
Notes on Howard / Reid Competition: Any style / genre - they accept short stories, essays and other works of prose - 10 winning stories published on the website
38 Valentine's Day Ideas Romantic Story Contest USA February ? 3,000 FREE $1,000
Notes on Valentine's Day Ideas Competition: Romance and love stories - 9 runner's up prizes - winning stories published on the website and in an eBook
39 White Review Short Story Prize England March April 7,000 £15 £2,500
Notes on White Review Competition: Any style / genre - you must be resident in the UK or Ireland to enter - winners published online and get a meeting with a literary agent to discuss their work
40 Winning Writers Sports Fiction & Essay Contest MA, USA May ? 6,000 $15 $1,000
Notes on Winning Writers Competition: Any style / genre, but must have a sporting theme - winners published on the Winning Writers website
41 Write a Story for Children  England March May 2,000 £3 £2,000
Notes on Write a Story for Children Competition: Childrens
42 Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition Canada March ? 2,500 C$29 C$2,500
Notes on White Review Competition: Any style / genre - you must be resident in Canada to enter
43 Writers' Village England Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 3,000 £15 £3,000
Notes on Writers' Village Competition: Any style / genre - this competition is run bi-annually, so for more details see the Writers' Village listing in the regular competitions list (I have been published through this competition - read more about it here)
44 Zoetrope All Story Short Fiction Contest USA October May 5,000 $20 $1,000
Notes on Zoetrope All Story Competition: Any style / genre - the writers of the three winningstories and the seven honourable mentions will all be considered for representaion by a number of well renowned writing agents. This is a unique offer and provides a fantastic opportunity for writers seeking an agent
0 Biscuit Publishing Short Story Competiton England Jan March 5,000 £10 £1,500
Notes on Biscuit Publishing Competition: Any style / genre - top 10 stories published in anthology. Over 400 entries in 2011 - closed in 2013
0 Chapter One Promotions England September April 2,500 £10 £2,500
Notes on Chapter One annual Competition: Any style / genre - winners and runners up all published in an anthology - lots of different types of competitions run every year, so check the website - I was a runner up in this competition in 2012 and they were supposed to release an anthology called 'Primed' with my story in it at the beginning of 2013, but they've stopped responding to my emails and letters - the lack of professionalism I've encountered from Chapter One Promotions is very disappointing - I don't like to bad mouth anyone in the writing community, but feel I have to warn others of this before they enter the competition, as I've found it very frustrating - I'm still hopeful that they will release the anthology, but research shows this is an ongoing problem - you can read more on Dan Purdoe's blog (Dan won the 2010 competition) - Recently, one of my website users got in touch with me and said this: "I was published in an anthology a few years ago, and it took two years to receive the book. The quality of the publication is abysmal. (Don't get me started on the font, print quality etc) I feel it's a book which will only be purchased by the families of the authors who are published in it and, at £10 a pop, only if their families love them very much. I am just gutted as I consider this to be a good story I have utterly wasted."   - If you have encountered problems with Chapter One Promotions, please let me know - In September 2013 I received a proof of my story to OK, 1 YEAR after they said they'd send it, so maybe the anthology will eventually be released... In 2014 the website disappeared - I've heard nothing from them since
0 Kite Journal Annual Short Story Contest Ukraine June September 10,000 $10 $1,000
Notes on Kite Journal Competition: Any style / genre - all entrants receive a one-year digital subscription to The Kite Journal and a digital copy of the Special Edition issue - entrants receive free critiques of submitted work - website taken down in 2013 so no longer running
0 Nottingham Short Story Competition England April ? 2,500 £10 £1,000
Notes on Nottingham Short Story Competition: Any style / genre - 3 winners and 15 short listed stories published in anthology. 3 winners also receive critiques - website taken down in 2013
0 Scare the Dickens Out of Us Short Story Contest TX, USA October December 5,000 $20 $1,000
Notes on Scare the Dickens Out of Us Competition: Ghost stories only - nice cash prizes and trophies, but no publication for winners - the competition is run as a fundraiser for the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas - sadly, this comp closed in 2013

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Annual Short Story Competitions

The third table lists yearly competitions of different genres offering a wide variety of prizes, some cash, some not. The majority offer publication to the winning writers and runners up.

# Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1 Aesthetica England August October 2,000 £10 +VAT £500
Notes on Aesthetica Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories will be published in the Aesthetica Creative Works Annual
2 Allen Raine Short Story Competition Wales September November 7,500 £5 £200
Notes on Allen Raine Competition: Any style / genre - entries can be written in Welsh or English - winners maybe published on the website
3 Almond Press Short Story Contest England June July 5,000 FREE £100
Notes on Almond Press Competition: Themed, so check website for current theme - winners and shortlisted entries published in a collection
4 Atlantis Short Story Competition USA November March 2,500 $10 $300
Notes on Atlantis Competition: Any style / genre - every entry receives insightful feedback which is excellent - winners receive full critiques in addition to prize money
5 Audio Arcadia Short Story Competition England June July 2,000 £3.50 See notes
Notes on Audio Arcadia Competition: Any style / genre except children's - winning stories professionally recorded and made available as a digital download - authors receive a royalty percentage of the net profit from each download
6 Bartleby Snopes Dialogue Only Writing Contest USA September October 2,000 $10 $300
Notes on Bartleby Snopes Competition: Any style / genre, but dialogue only, so no narration at all - if more than 50 people enter, prize pot goes up by $5 per entry - winners published on website and in the Bartleby Snopes literary magazine
7 Big Issue in the North England August September 2,000 £5 See notes
Notes on Big Issue in the North Competition: It looks like this competition may not be running anymore as the page about it on the Big Issue North website has disappeared. I've changed the link to the homepage incase it returns later in the year! Any style / genre - winning story published in The Big Issue in the North Magazine. Winner also Invited to read story at The Short Issue reading in Manchester in September. Winner also interviewed - a news item on the story and you will appear on the Dead Ink website. And finally, the winner will receive career planning and tuition from Wes Brown, a novelist, critic and co-ordinator of the National Association of Writers in Education
8 British Czech and Slovak Association Writing Competition England June November 2,000 FREE £300
Notes on BCSA Writing Competition: Fact or fiction - must be writing concerning the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics - winner and runner up published in the British Czech and Slovak Review
9 British Fantasy Society Short Story Comp England June  September 5,000 £5, 1 x FREE entry for subscribers £100
Notes on British Fantasy Society Competition: Fantasy, science fiction, horror, supernatural, fabulation, magic realism, slipstream, etc - top 2 stories published in BFS journal
10

Brittle Star Short Story Competition

England March May 2,000 £4 £250
Notes on Brittle Star Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in Brittle Star Magazine
11 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest CA, USA June ? no max FREE a pittance
Notes on Bulwer-Lytton Competition: Any style / genre - entries must consist of one sentence only, with a suggested max of 50-60 words, but there is no official max - loads of categories with lots of winners
12 Calderdale Ted Hughes Writing Competition England July October 3,000 £4 £300
Notes on Calderdale Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on website, winners announced at the Calderdale Word of Mouth Festival
13 Canadian Authors Association National Capital Writing Contest Canada February ? 2,500 C$10 C$500
Notes on NCWC Competition: Any style / genre - only open to open to members of CAA-NCR and/or residents of the National Capital Region - at the bottom of the page that this entry links to there are links to many other writing contests
14 Candy Jar Book's South Wales Short Story Competition Wales August ? 3,000 £2 Kindle Fire
Notes on Candy Jar Books Competition: Any style / genre - open to unpublished authors in the UK only - winners published in an anthology
15 Christopher Fielden's 'To Hull & Back' Short Story Competition England August October 4,000 £5 £100 and see notes

Notes on the To Hull & Back Competition: Any style / genre, but stories must contain some element of humour - winners published in the To Hull & Back anthology and, in addition to money, the winner will receive the GREATEST writing prize in the known universe (click the link to see more) - seeing as I've been running this list for almost 2 years now, it seemed appropriate to launch my own short story competition!

To Hull and Back Short Story Competition Banner

16 Choc Lit Short Story Competition England February Easter 1,500 £3 £200
Notes on Choc Lit Competition: Theme is chocolate related but check the website for more details - choccy treats in addition to prize money - winner published on website
17 Chudley Pheonix Short Story Competition England January April 1,500 £4 £100
Notes on Chudley Pheonix Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on website
18

Cinnamon Press Short Story Competition

England May April 4,000 £12 £150

Notes on Cinnamon Press Competition: Any style / genre - winners and up to 10 runners up published in winners' antholoy - they run a variety of other competitions, best to check the website to see what's currently open

19 Conium Review Short Story Competition USA March May 7,500 $15 $500
Notes on Conium Review Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in the Conium Review
20 Corncott Writing Competition England August September 750 FREE Holiday
Notes on Corncott Writing Competition: Has a 'What do you love about Cornwall' theme - really a micro-fiction competition due to low maximum word count. Winner receives a free holiday in a Cornish cottage plus the possibility of being published in a local Cornish Magazine
21 Creative Writing Matters WoW Short Story Competition England May July 1,000 £5 £200
Notes on Creative Writing Matters Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website and in anthology - CWM also run a flash fiction competition with a £100 prize which has a closing date in April, you can see the details on the website
22 Cwrtnewydd Scribblers' Short Story Competition Wales July August 1,500 £3 £40
Notes on Cwrtnewydd Scribblers' Competition: Any style / genre - entry is £3 but for an extra 3 quid you can get a critique
23 Curry Mallet Short Story Competition England May June 2,500 £5 £100
Notes on the Curry Mallet Competition: Any style / genre - winning story published on the website, you have to use one of 3 given titles so check the website to see what the current titles are
24 Deddington Writing Competition England April June 2,000 £5 £100
Notes on Deddington Writing Competition: Any style / genre - winners might be published on the Deddington website
25

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition

England July October 1,200 £3 £150
Notes on Doris Gooderson Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in Wrekin Writers anthology and on Wrekin Writers website
26 Early Works Press Short Story Competition England October January 8,000 £5 or £10 see notes £100
Notes on Early Works Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in anthology containing 10 to 20 stories, depending on length - £5 entry fee for stories up to 4,000 words in length, £10 over 4,000 and up to 8,000 words in length - they also run other writing competitions, so it's worth checking the site to see what's currently running
27

Egyptian Writers International Writing Competition

Egypt February April 3,000 FREE See notes
Notes on Egyptian Writers Competition: Any style / genre - no monetary prize, but winners are announced on MarwaRakha.com, receive certificates, have their stories reviewed in magazines, and have their work translated into Arabic to be published in a book in Egypt
28 EllenorLions Hospices Short Story Competition England November January 1,500 £5 £100
Notes on EllenorLions Competition: Any style / genre - theme is 'survival' in support of the hospice staff undertaking the Arctic Survival Challenge next year - link above takes you to The Write Place where the competition is hosted, but you can learn more about the charity here
29 Erewash Writers' Group England September October 2,000 £3 £100
Notes on Erewash Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on the Erewash Writers' Group website - each time it runs, the competition administrators donate around £100 to charity through money raised by entry fees
30 Exeter Writers Short Story Competition England March July 3,000 £5 £500
Notes on Exeter Writers Competition: Any style / genre - entries by post only. The top 3 stories will be published on the Exeter Writers website
31 Eyelands International Short Story Contest Greece June October 2,500 €5 See notes
Notes on Eyelands Competition: Any style / genre, but check website for current theme - prize is that winners are published on the website and in 2 anthologies, one in Greek and one in English
32 Fiction Desk Flash Fiction Prize England January February 1,000 £3 £200
Notes on Fiction Desk Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in the Fiction Desk anthology
33 Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition England May July 5,000 £7 £500
Notes on Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition: Ghost stories - winners published in the Fiction Desk anthology - at least 5 other runners-up will receive prizes of £100 each
34 Five Minute Fiction Christmas Short Story Competition England November ? 1,500 £2 See notes
Notes on 5 Minute Fiction Competition: Christmas theme - winners published on the website - prizes range from a visit to a writer's retreat to Amazon vouchers - visit the website for full details of prizes as there are all sorts - you can also submit stories up to 2,000 words in length of any genre (except erotica) for consideration for publication on the website like you would to a magazine here
35 Frome Festival Competition England May July 2,200 £5 £300
Notes on Frome Festival Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories read by a leading literary agent - some stories read on Frome FM (the local radio station) - 1st prize is £300, 2nd £150, 3rd £75 and there are also prizes for the best local entries
36 Grace Dieu Writers' Circle Short Story Comp England February Summer 2,000 £5 £300
Notes on Grace Dieul Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on website
37 Hamilton's Literary Festival gritLIT Writing Competition Canada July ? 3,000 C$20 C$200
Notes on gritLIT Writing Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in the gritLIT literary chapbook - winner invited to read their story at LiT LiVe Reading Series and the gritLIT literary festival
38 Harry Bowling Flash Fiction Prize England September March 750 £5 £100
Notes on Harry Bowling Flash Fiction Prize: Any style / genre, but entries must have an urban setting - winners published on the Harry Bowling Prize and MBA websites - sponsored by Headline and administered by MBA Literary Agents - runs every two years
39 H.E. Bates Short Story Competition England November December 2,000 £4 £150
Notes on H E Bates Competition: Competition is run by Northampton Writers Group - comp is themed, so check website for current details - adults and children's categories
40 H.G. Wells Short Story Competition England July September 5,000 £5 See notes
Notes on H G Wells Competition: Themed, so check website for current theme - free entry if you are under 26 years of age - prizes: £1,000 for entrants aged under 19; £250 for entrants aged over 20; £100 handwriting prize for children of primary school age in the UK - all winners and short listed entrants published in anthology
41 Highlands & Islands Short Story Association Scotland July October 2,500 £5 £400
Notes on HISSAC Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on website
42 Homestart-Bridgewater Short Story Prize England January April 2,200 £7 £500
Notes on Homestart-Bridgewater Prize: Any style / genre - you can learn way more about this competition here where it lists all the winners of the last competition and details of why they won - winning stories read out at a prize giving event
43 Hysteria Short Story Competition England August ? 2,000 £3 £150
Notes on Hysteria Competition: Any style / genre except erotica or horror - women entrants only - winners published in anthology
44 James White Award Ireland December March 6,000 FREE £300
Notes on the James White Award: Science Fiction - winner announced at Eastercon during the British Science Fiction Awards ceremony - the winner will be published in Interzone, the UK's leading sci-fi magazine
45 King Author Short Story Prize England March April 2,000 £3.50 £100
Notes on King Author Competition: Any style / genre - winning entries published in an anthology
46 Knoxville Writers' Guild Writing Contests TN, USA June ? Varies Varies $100
Notes on KWG Competition: Themes, styles and genres vary as there are multiple categories, so best to visit the site for current details - each category has a 1st prize of $100, 2nd prize of $50 and 3rd prize of $25 - categories for all age groups, so there are opportunities here for younger writers too
47 Inclusive Works International Short Story Competition Netherlands August ? See notes FREE See notes
Notes on Inclusive Works Competition: Childrens - winners publsihed as illustrated books in English and Dutch by Clavis publishers - stories can be written in English or Dutch - 2 categories; stories for 1 to 3 year olds with a 600 word limit; stories for 4 to 6 year olds with a 900 word limit
48

Legendary Women, Inc. Literary Contest

USA November February 5,000 FREE $50
Notes on Legendary Women Inc Contest: Any style / genre - 1,000 word minimum - all stories must feature a female protagonist - winner will receive an author interview with LW Inc - winner and 2 runners up will be published on the website
49 Literary Juice Flash Fiction Contest IN, USA February March 700 $5 $200
Notes on Literary Juice Contest: Any style / genre - winner and runner up published in Literary Juice magazine
50 Little House Short Story Competition (Previously called Laurel House) Wales December ? 2,000 £5 £100
Notes on Little House Competition: Any style / genre - the 5 runners up receive a 400 word critique, winner receives full critique (I've won this competition in the past, so you can read a lot more about it here) - they also run a 200 word micro fiction contest with a £50 pound prize
51 London Magazine Short Story Competition England October January 4,000 £10 £500
Notes on The London Magazine Competition: Any style / genre but no flash fiction- winners announced at The London Magazine Winter Party at the House of Commons in London - winners and runners up published in the magazine and on the website - this is the UK's oldest cultural journal, first published in 1732 - it is suggested that you read previous copies before submitting
52 Longworth Editors Annual Short Story Competition England March ? 2,000 £10 £250
Notes on The Longworth Editors Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check the LE website for current theme - every entrant receives a small amount of feedback from the judges - winning stories published on the website
53

Mere Literary Festival Short Story Competition

England September October 350 £2 £50
Notes on MLF Competition: Any style / genre - themed and written in a week - the theme is realeased at the end of September and the deadline is a week later
54 Milton Keynes Speakeasy Short Story Competition England October ? 2,100 £4 £125

Notes on Milton Keynes Speakeasy Competition: Any style / genre

55 Momaya Press Short Story Competition UK/USA April ? 3,000 £8 £110 ($200)
Notes on Momaya Press Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme - 3 winners, 7 runners up and some short listed entries published in the Momaya Press Annual Review
56 National Association of Writers' Group England October December 2,000 £5 + optional £3 critique £250
Notes on National Association of Writers' Group Competition: Stories for adults - link also contains details of lots of other short story competitions
57 National Galleries of Scotland Inspired? Get Writing! Creative Writing Competition Scotland January April 1,000 FREE See notes
Notes on National Galleries of Scotland Competition: Any style / genre - write a poem or piece of prose inspired by one of the works in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland - winners published in the Scotsman newspaper, runners-up and winners receive free entry into National Gallery of Scotland exhibitions and highly commended, runners-up and winners have work read at public reading and are all published in an anthology
58 New Writer Short Story Competition England November March 3,000 £5 £300
Notes on New Writer Competition: Any style / genre (not childrens) - winners published in the magazine
59 Nottingham Writers' Club Short Story Competition England January February 2,000 £5 £200
Notes on Nottingham Writers' Club Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the NWC website - there are twelve extra prizes donated by sponsors Random House, Tesco and Morrison’s
60 Pen & Ink Designs Spring Writing Competition England May ? 4,000 £4 £25
Notes on Pen & Ink Designs Competition: Any style / genre - winner and 10 best entries published in a short story collection
61 Playing Bingo Short Story Competition England February March 3,000 FREE £300
Notes on the Bingo Competition: Any style / genre, but theme is about Bingo. Winners and short listed stories published on the site and in an anthology
62 Polar Expressions Publishing Short Story Competition Canada August ? 750 FREE C$500
Notes on Polar Expressions Competition: Any style / genre - you must be a Canadian resident to enter - winners published in an anthology
63 Prole Books Prolitzer Prize Short Story Comp England October December 2,500 £4 £150
Notes on Prole Books Prolitzer Competition: Any style / genre (I think - guide says 'writing that is accessible to all while not sacrificing quality') - winner published on website and possible publication through Prole
64 Red Tuque Books Inc Short Story Competition Canada December March 5,000 C$15 C$500

Notes on Red Tuque Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in anthology

65 Renay Allen's Woman vs. Muse Writing Competition Australia April May 2,500 A$10 A$100
Notes on Renay Allen's Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme - all proceeds go to charity MS Queensland
66 Room Magazine Writing Contest Canada July ? 3,500 $45 $500
Notes on Room Magazine Competition: Any style / genre - entries are cheaper for Canadian residents ($32.50) and all entries include a year's subscription to Room Magazine - winners published in Room Magazine
67 Rubery Short Story Competition England October ? 3,000 £7.50 £600
Notes on Rubery Competition: Any style / genre - winners and shortlisted stories published in an anthology - 2nd prize £150, 3rd prize £50
68 Segora Short Story Competition France June July 3,000 £5.50 £150
Notes on Prole Books Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website and they publish an anthology every couple of years - they also run a 300 word flash fiction contest with a £50 prize
69 Shade of Loud Short Story Competition England January March 1,500 £5 £250
Notes on Far From the Madding Crowd Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current theme
70 Short Fiction Literary Journal Short Story Competition England March ? 5,000 £10 £500
Notes on Short Fiction Competition: Any style / genre - entry fee includes 2 story entries and a copy of the journal - all stories entered, whether winners or not, will be considered for publication in the journal
71 Sophie King Prize England January March 2,500 FREE See notes
Notes on The Sophie King Competition: Romantic fiction only - the winning story will be recorded professionally and broadcast via an audio player on the Sophie King website - the winner also receives a £50 voucher for an online shop called the Handpicked Collection and a silver plated jug
72 Southern Pacific Review Short Story Competition South America March ? no max FREE $100
Notes on SPR's Competition: Any style / genre - entries accepted in English or Spanish - winning entries published in the Southern Pacific Review
73 Southport Writers' Circle International Short Story Competition England October December 2,000 £3 £150
Notes on Southport Writers' Circle Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website
74 Swanezine Short Story Competition England August September 1,000 FREE £30
Notes on Swazine Competition: Any style or genre - UK residents only, 2 entries per author. This is a new competition, launched in 2012. Shortlisted stories will be published on the website
75 Swift Satire Festival Battle of the Books Competition Ireland July July 1,000 €5 €500
Notes on Swazine Competition: Any style or genre but themed, so check website for current theme (humour is not essential, but will probably help!) - winners maybe published
76 Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 'The Page Is Printed' Creative Writing Competition England May June 1 side of A4 £10 £200
Notes on Tacchi-Morris Competition: Any style or genre - short stories, poetry, or any type of creative writing but entries must be no longer than 1 saide of A4 - £10 fee allows up to 3 entries - under 16's can enter free - send entries to thepageisprinted@gmail.com
77 Talent River Shortz Competition England September ? 5,000 FREE See notes
Notes on Talent River Competition: Any style or genre - winner receives a £250 Amazon voucher - winner selected by public vote - winners published on website - look in the 'About' section of the website under 'Writing' to find the details
78 Tenby Arts Festivel Wales July September 1,500 £4 £150
Notes on Tenby Arts Festival Competition: Any style / genre - entries by post and not email, so no leaving it to the last minute!
79 The Short Story Competition England September December 4,000 £5 £300
Notes on The Short Story Competition: Any style / genre accept sci-fi, fantasy or stories for children - winner published on the website
80 The Write Place England August ? 1,500 £4.50 £100
Notes on The Write Place Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on website
81

Thresholds International Short Story Forum

England February April 2,000 ? £250
Notes on Thresholds Competition: Any style / genre
82 Wells Literary Festival Competition England July October 2,000 £5 £500
Notes on Wells Literary Festival Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published on website
83 Wasifiri New Writing Prize England July ? 3,000 £6 £300
Notes on Wasifiri Competition: Any style / genre - entry is £3 but for an extra 3 quid you can get a critique
84 West Country Writers' Association Short Story Competition England December ? 1,200 £5 £50
Notes WCWA Competition: Any style / genre - entrants must have had no more than 2 short stories professionally published, or read on the radio - the winning story will be published on the WCWA website
85 West Sussex Writers National Short Story Competition England March July 3,000 £5 £200
Notes West Sussex Writers Competition: Any style / genre (not childrens)
86 Willisden Herald Short Story Competition England December ? 7,500 £3 £300
Notes on New Writer Competition: Any style / genre - the ten short-listed stories will be published in "New Short Stories #" - an anthology by Pretend Genius Press
87 Winchester Writers' Conference Short Story Competition England May June 3,000 Varies £100
Notes on Winchester Writers' Competitions: Style and genre vary - Winchester Writers', associated with the University of Winchester, run 17 (yep, you read that right - seventeen) different writing contests, the details above regard the short story competition - entry fees vary depending if you attend the conference or not - all entries receive feedback from industry experts and winners are published in a widely read anthology
88 Words for the Wounded England March June 400 £3.50 £200
Notes on W4W Competition: Any style / genre - works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry can be entered - winning stories published in Writers' Forum magazine - winners announced on D-Day (June 6th) and all profits will go to charitys like Help for Heroes
89 Words Just Words Science Fiction Short Story Competition England May July 3,500 £3.50 £50
Notes on Words Just Words Competition: Science Fiction - winners published in printed anthology
90 Words on the Waves WOW! Award Ireland November February 3,000 €15 € 750
Notes on WOW! Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in WOW! anthology - Words on the Waves is affiliated with Words on the Street publishers
91 Words with Jam First Page Competition England May August 400 £6 £500
Notes on Words with Jam Competition: Any style / genre - this year Words with Jam are running thier first page competition, so the first page of a story up to 400 words - winning stories published in Words With Jam magazine
92

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook Short Story Competition

England February March 2,000 FREE £500
Notes on Writers' & Artists' Yearbook Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check the website for current theme - run by Bloomsbury Publishing Group - winners published on the website, short listed entries might also be published - the winner will also be awarded a place on an Arvon Foundation residential writing course worth £605
93 Writer's Bureau England June September 2,000 £5 £500
Notes on Writer's Bureau Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published in Freelance Market News
94 Writers Fest Writing Contest Canada October January 1,500 C$15 C$500
Notes on Vancouver Writers Fest Competition: Any style / genre
95 Writers' Reign England June July 1,500 £3.50 £100
Notes on Writers' Reign Competition: Themed, so check their website for current theme - winning stories published on Writers' Reign website - 2 entries for £6
96 Yeovil Literary Prize England May September 2,000 £6 £500
Notes on Yeovil Literary Prize Competition: Any style / genre - winners might be published in anthology
97 Yoga Tribe Short Story Competition Austria March April 8,000 € 15 € 500
Notes on Yoga Tribe Competition: Any style / genre, but themed around yoga - prize is either cash or a yoga teacher training scholarship
0 Fantasy Book Review Short Story Competitions England September November 5,000 FREE Apple iPad
Notes on Fantasy Book Review Competition: Fantasy theme - winning stories possibly published. Every entry receives a free ebook - no longer running
0 Hay on Wye Short Story Contest Wales July December 2,000 £6 £400
Notes on Hay-on-Wye Competition: Any style / genre - old site seems to be down (http://hayshortstory.com/Hay-Short-Story-Home.html) but there is some info on the new link I've provided. Unsure if this is still running, hence it appears at the bottom of the list...

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Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children

The fourth table lists writing contests for young writers and children. Some of them have different age categories, so check click on the links and be sure to read all the rules.

# Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1 Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize England October ? 1,500 FREE £750
Notes on Benjamin Franklin Prize: Fiction or non-fiction interpretations of a Benjamin Franklin quote, check the website for the current quote - entrants must be between 18 and 25 years of age - winners published on The Telegraph website
2 Child Writes Competition Australia August September 800 A$15 See notes
Notes on Child Writes Competition: Story suitable for a child's picture book - competition only open to Australian primary-school aged child writers and illustrators - the competition administrators are looking for the best story and the best illustrator, the two are then paired up to produce a picture book which will be published by Boogie Books and the writer and illustrator will receive royalties on all sales
3 Curry Mallet Children's Short Story Competition England May June 500 £3 £35
Notes on Curry Mallet Children's Competition: Any style / genre - 2 categories: under 11s and 12-16 - 3 winning stories receive feedback from a published author
4 H G Wells Handwriting Prize England July September NA FREE £100
Notes on H G Wells Handwriting Prize: Winners published in anthology - for children of primary school age in the UK
5 Inkhead Short Story Competition England April June 1,000 £5 £150
Notes on Inkhead Competition: Any style / genre - five story titles given on the site for you to choose from - four different age group categories: 7-9, 10-12, 13-14, 15-16 - winners published in anthology which is released in the October following the competition
6 Junior Authors Short Story Contest Canada June October 1,000 FREE See notes
Notes on Junior Authors Competition: Any style / genre - top six writers in each category win Amazon gift cards - winning story in each categry is published on the website - 4 age groups: 9-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18-21 (you must be a student to enter)
7 One Teen Story Short Story Contest NY, USA June ? 4,000 FREE $500
Notes on One Teen Story Competition: Any style / genre - winner published in One Teen Story magazine - in addition to the cash prize, the winner receives 25 copies of the magazine and a 28" x 20" poster of the OTS magazine's front cover - honourable mentions in 3 categories: 14-15, 16-17, and 18-19-year-olds
8 Polar Expressions Student Writing Contest Canada November ? 450 FREE See notes
Notes on Polar Expressions Competition: Any style / genre - open to Canadian students in kindergarten through to grade twelve - prizes vary depending on age, so check the website - winners published in an anthology
9 Saugus Ghost Story Competition USA October Halloween 24 pages FREE T-Shirt
Notes on Saugus Competition: Ghost stories appropriate for any age group - 4 categories: Adult, High School, Middle School and Elementary school - winners published on website during 31st October
10 Small but Mighty Writers Competition for 7 to 11 year olds England July July 500 FREE See notes
Notes on Small but Mighty Writers Competition: Any style / genre - entrants must be 7 to 11 years old - winner receives a bundle of writing goodies and is published on the website, 2nd and 3rd prize winners receive a £5 book voucher
11 Small but Mighty Writers Competition for 12 to 15 year olds England July July 1,500 FREE See notes
Notes on Small but Mighty Writers Competition: Any style / genre - entrants must be 7 to 11 years old - winner receives a bundle of writing goodies and is published on the website, 2nd and 3rd prize winners receive a £5 book voucher
0 Chapter One Promotions Children's Story Competition England October January 1,000 £6 £150

Website disappeared in 2014

Notes on Chapter One Children's Competition: Any style / genre - four different age group categories: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18 - winners and runners up published in anthology - please see the notes in the main listing for Chapter One Promotions before entering their competition!!

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One-Off Short Story Competitions

The fifth table lists one-off short story competitions, which are usually held to commemorate or celebrate a landmark event. As the list grows, I will add current competitions alphabetically at the top, and competitions that have already taken place below - I think it's nice to keep a history, so I won't delete them.

# Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1 ABC Tales 100 Years On Competition England 1st June 2014 16th June 2014 2,500 £5 See notes
Notes on Almond Press Competition: Any style or genre, but must be about or include a mention of the 1st World War - prize is 50/50 split of proceeds; half of the money from entries will be split between the prose and the poetry categories, and the other half will go to funding ABCtales - judged by Francisco Vilhena who is on Granta Magazine editorial team
2 Almond Press 'Broken Worlds' Dystopian Short Story Competition England 1st May 2014 ? 5,000 FREE £100
Notes on Almond Press Competition: Fiction, dystopia, dark humour, post-apocalyptic minds
3

Historic House Short Story Competition

England September 2014 November 2014 2,500 FREE £150
Notes on Historic House Competition: Any style / genre, but stories must be set in a historic house - winner also receives a tour and afternoon tea with the owners of Levens Hall in Cumbria and membership to the Historic Houses Association - winners published in eBook anthology
4 Love on the Road Short Story Competition 2014 USA 31st July 2014 2014 5,000 $10 $200

Notes on Love on the Road Competition: Themed around travel and love - 12 winning stories published in an anthology

5 Offside Stories Writing Competition England 14th July 2014 2014 1,000 £8 £100
Notes on Offside Stories Competition: Themed around football - accept short stories, flash fiction, poetry and football chants as entries - you can enter 3 stories for the £8 fee - winners in each category receive a minimum prize of £100 - winners and shortlisted entrants published in anthology
6 SaveAs Writers "The Bigger Picture - Reflections on the Great War" Writing Competition England 23rd August 2014 October 2014 3,000 £3 £50
Notes on SaveAs Writers Competition: Themed around the first world war - winners published in pamphlet
7 Swansea Writers WW1 Short Story Competition Wales 16th June 2014 July 2014 2,500 £5 £100
Notes on Swansea Writers WW1 Competition: Stories must be about the first world war - winners published in an anthology
8 Subtopian Magazine Short Story Competition USA May 30th 2014 ? 1,000 $10 $100
Notes on Subtopian Competition: Any style / genre, but stories must be written in the first person and be on the topic of a Dystopian future - 20 winning stories published in anthology and performed live on stage in Portland - winners will receive a digital copy of the performance - if successful, this will become a regular short story competition
9 Tales of Eltham Short Story Competition England 21st February 2014 23rd April 2014 300 FREE £15
Notes on Tales of Eltham Competition: Any style / genre but stories must be set in Eltham, London SE9, UK - winners published on the website
10 The Missing Slate New Voices Fiction Writing Competition 2014 Pakistan 1st July 2014 August 2014 10,000 $10 $150
Notes on Missing Slate Competition: Any style / genre - winner and runners up published in print anthology - if enough people enter, the prize money will increase - although the magazine originated in Pakistan, the editorial staff are sprawled across five continents and have published poetry and fiction from over 50 countries including work from Pulitzer winner (and Booker Prize 2013 shortlisted writer) Jhumpa Lahiri, Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Mohsin Hamid, Moniza Alvi, Kamila Shamsie, Anis Shivani, Luke Kennard, S.J. Fowler, Jeet Thayil, Sidin Vadukut, Tishani Doshi, Shikha Malaviya, Anuradha Roy, Ravi Shankar, among others
11 This Very Breath Flash Fiction Competition USA see notes see notes 750 $4 $50
Notes on This Very Breath Competition: Any style or genre - competition closes after 100 entries have been received - winners published in This Very Breath Journal - may become regular if first one is a success
12 World City Stories Short Story Competition Ireland

Feb 2014

Aug 2013

Mar 2014

Sept 2013

3,500 FREE €100
Notes on WCS Competition: Any style / genre, but story must be set in a city - winners published on the website - the August comp was such a success that a 2nd comp is being run until February 2014 - this competition may become a regular comp depending on popularity, but for now it is staying in the one off list!
0 1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars Writing Contest USA 22nd December 2013 12th January 2014 1,500 FREE $500
Notes on 1,000 Prompts Competition: Any style or genre, but themed from 10 prompts, see website for more info - open to US and UK writers only - prize money paid as Amazon gift card - CLOSED
0 Barbara Pym Centenary Short Story Competition England May 2013 September 2013 2,200 £7 or $10 £150
Notes on Barbara Pym Competition: Stories written in the style and manner of English novelist Barbara Pym - winning stories published on the Barbara Pym Society website - CLOSED
0

Holland House Books / Lost World Press Flash Fiction Competition

England 30th October 2013 September 2013 750 FREE £20
Notes on Holland House / Lost World Press Competition: Speculative (lost worlds, sci-fi, parallel/alternative, parody,steam/clockpunk, Atlantis re-found, things that go bump in the night,  alternative universes, timeslip, parodies and parallels) - prizes paid in Amazon vouchers - CLOSED
0

Kristell Ink Flash Fiction Competition

England August 2013 September 2013 500 FREE £20
Notes on Kristell Ink Competition: Fantasy/science fiction/steampunk - a subgenre story involving something with a feline feel - prizes paid in Amazon vouchers - judged by Adam Dalton (Gollancz author) and Mark Lawrence (Harper Voyager author) as well as Alex Shepherd, a well respected reviewer from the website Fantasy Faction - winners published on the website - CLOSED
0 Love on the Road Short Story Competition 2013 USA March 2013 2013 5,000 $10 $200

Notes on Love on the Road Competition: Themed around travel and love - 12 winning stories published in an anthology - CLOSED

Anthology has been released - see http://loveontheroad2013.com/

0 Solopress Story Writing Contest England Feb 2013 March 2013 no max see notes £500
Notes on Solopress Competition: Any style / genre - 500 word minimum, no maximum - the £500 prize is paid in Amazon vouchers, not cash - rather than an entry fee, you have to like them on Facebook, subscribe to their blog and link to their site from your blog (where you also have to publish your story) - CLOSED
0 The World's Greatest Writing Competition Australia 9th November 2013 10th November 2013 no max stated FREE See notes
Notes on TWGWC Competition: Any style / genre - re the prize, I'm told all entrants will be able to gain some benefit either in the form of financial benefit and/or exposure to TWGWC's global audience - may become a regular comp - CLOSED
0 University College London 'Changing The Human Brain' Writing Competition England 15th September 2013 ? 1,500 FREE ?
Notes on UCL Competition: Themed: the brain - more details to follow - CLOSED

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Non-Fiction Writing Competitions

The sixth table lists non-fiction competitions. So short stories entered into these competitions will have to be about real events.

# Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1 Garden Museum’s Festival of Garden Literature Writing Competition England May June 2,500 £5 £2,500
Notes on Garden Museum’s Writing Competition: Memoirs inspired by or set in a garden - winners published by Granta Online

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Other Short Story Publishing Opportunities

Other Useful Lists On This Site

I have launched a page about short story magazines, which details various printed and online magazines around the globe that publish fiction regularly, and a page about book / novel writing competitions, which gives details of prizes avaiable for completed books. Often, these can lead to decent publishing opportunities.

Trinity College London's International Playwriting Competition

Submit your one-act play for children or young people and win up to £1000.

Write a one act play for young performers or audiences and be in with a chance to win a range of prizes including a trip to London to see your play performed and cash prizes of up to £1,000. Categories: Plays for Young Performers; Plays for Teenage Audiences. Entry fee of £10 or £20 for written feedback. The Competition closes 13 December 2013.

To find out more and enter visit: www.trinitycollege.co.uk/playwriting

Publisher Free

This is an Australian writing community who previously ran TWGWC (The World's Greatest Writing Competition). It offers the opportunity for writers to see their work published and make money from it. Visit the site for more information: www.publisherfree.com

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By Christopher Fielden

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Gary D
The Ruth Rendell short story comp actually closed in 2011 – this is not entirely clear from their website, even the ‘terms and conditions’ just said closing Oct 29th and (as I discovered) the online form still lets you submit a story and send them £10 – they returned the entry fee and sent an apologetic email, but it might be worth noting so no-one else makes the same mistake I did. Thanks for your website, I very much enjoyed your short stories and find your competitions listings page to be very useful … now I’m just looking for a good market for my 1,000 word story that I’d oh-so-carefully crafted for the Ruth Rendell comp!

Chris Fielden
Thanks for the info Gary, I've updated the Ruth Rendell competition details, listing it as closed. Best of luck getting the story placed!

Tim
Thanks for doing this, very nicely laid out and easy to follow salient facts, it is much appreciated. I'm pretty new to short story writing and was looking for comps for a short I've just written. I didn't realise the problems I'd face with it being around 7,500 words though! 

Chris Fielden
Thanks Tim, yes, there are very few competitions which accept over 5,000 words. You can try the magazines page as a lot of the US publications take submissions around the 7,000 word mark.

F Venn
Greetings, I've noticed the 'Dark Lane Quarterly Collaborative' magazine, is not an addition to any of the listings. As well as short stories, this non-profitable [and micro compact] fiction publication, also welcomes submissions - such as proses, poetry and black & white artwork.. 
Perhaps, it could be added to the 'Other short Story Publishing' list.

Chris Fielden
Thanks F, I've added the DLCQ mag to the magazines page (see link in comment above yours)!

Brenda
Thank you for compiling all these contests. The first time I was on this site I thought I saw a contest pertaining to anything to do with horses, but now can't find it. Is it here?

Chris Fielden
Hi Brenda, it's called Equestrian Fiction Finder and is in the regular short story competition list :-)

John W
Hi. I have written 18 short stories for children (say 4 to 8 years) about a young bear and a hedgehog and their adventures. Perhaps you could recommend suitable competitions I could enter? Regards, John

Chris Fielden
Hi John. Your best bet is to try the Write a Story for Children competition, which is in the Prestigious &/or Big Prize Short Story Competitions list on this page, although they get a lot of entries, so competition is tough!

Jo B
This is a brilliant resource.  Thank you.

Harshita N
Thanx for providing so many opportunities on a single page. But it would be absolutely fantastic if u would also list competitions outside the UK, USA. etc. and include Asian countries.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Jo :-)

Harshita, I will list any short story competitions from any country (there is one Egyptian one listed) but I need to know about them! If there are any you know of that you'd like listed here, please tell me.

Richard B
I just wanted to say thanks. Yours is the best competition list I've found. Cheers, Richard

Chris Fielden
Thanking you Captain Rich

Jane B
Hi Chris - your list is most useful, thank you. Bristol Prize has a word max of 4,000 rather than 3,ooo according to the website. J 

Chris Fielden
Thanking you Jane, much appreciated - I have updated the details accordingly :-)

Pamela A
Wonderful, comprehensive listings - thank you very much. I've wasted too much time compiling lists instead of focusing on writing - procrastinating and getting too tidy! Cheers and good health, Pamela

Russell S
Your site is an excellent resource for someone such as myself looking to get on that tricky first rung of the publishing ladder. Can I recommend adding details of a new short story/poetry journal called Sixfold which I have recently submitted to? They have had to postpone their first issue in order to allow more submissions. It is to be writer voted i.e. everyone who submits gets involved with the reading/rating process to pick a winner. I think it's a great concept and would be grateful if you could help spread the word by adding it to your list. Thanks

Chris Fielden
Thanks Pamela.

Russell, thanks for the information. I've added Sixfold to the prestigious, big prize competition list. Best of luck - I hope you do well in the competition :-)

Honor W
I was searching for the annual competition for a book of Scottish Short Stories, which used to have the closing date of 31st Jan - but I can't find it. Does it no longer exist do you know or am I using the wrong search terms? Thanks for this list - it's very useful. .

Chris Fielden
Hi Honor, the only one I'm aware of is the HISSAC competition. That closes in July, but the organisers might have changed the entry dates.

K I
Thank you sooo much for putting this up! Honestly, it has been of a great help to me. KI

Anne
Thank you so much for compiling this list! It's saved loads of time for me, and it's given me a lot of motivation too!

Julie C
Hi Chris,

Love your competition website!  Incredibly useful to me. 

I've written a collection of short stories and have decided to enter them in various competitions this year, since publishing them as a whole collection is proving to be quite difficult (as a previously unpublished author). 

However, there is one thought that is concerning me and I can't find the answer to it anywhere. Hence my asking you! 

If I win a competition, or am a runner-up, can I then use the story again in a collection at a later date?  I don't want to enter and possibly win competitions if that means I then can't use the story again, as part of a complete collection.  My purpose for trying to get a mention in competitions is to make publishers more likely to consider taking my collection as a whole. 

Any knowledge or advice you have in this area will be most welcome. 

Thanks! Julie

Chris Fielden

Hi Julie

Thanks for getting in touch.

What you're talking about is exactly what I'm planning to do with my short stories long term - put a collection together, ALL of which will have been previously published. So I think it's a fantastic idea, but I am slightly biased :-) 

However, I'm afraid I can't give you a definitive answer to your question, as I don't actually know. I'd assume it would vary from publisher to publisher.

I believe that having stories in your collection that are previously published would make your work far more saleable as the stories are of a proven quality - an editor or competition judge has already thought they were good enough to publish. And if you have work published, it means you already have an audience, so a publisher is more likely to consider you seriously. It also gives you some great experience in dealing with editors so it's fabulous for your writing CV.

The only time you might run into issues is with the contracts you enter into when your work is published through competitions. The vast majority of competitions and short story magazines ask for previously unpublished works and ask for first publishing rights in their Ts & Cs. The copyright generally remains with the author, meaning that after the magazine or competition have published your work, you are then free to resell it. That is certainly the case for all of the stories I've published, including one which is due to be in the Chapter One promotions anthology 'Primed' this year. For this particular story, I've had to sign quite a lengthy contract, but the copyright remains with me and, once their book is published, I'm free to do what I want with the story.

So  I really can't see it being a problem (in most cases) if some or all of the stories in a collection have been published previously.

To back this theory up, 'The Golden Apples of the Sun' and 'The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl' are examples of 2 very famous books that contain stories that have been previously published in a wide variety of magazines. Admittedly, these are old books from established authors, but the fact that the stories were previously published didn't stop a publisher releasing them as a collection. The books actually say where and when they were first published - maybe because they are obliged to, but probably because the reader will find it interesting.

In the end, I'd advise you to try and get as many stories published as you can through competitions, always aiming to WIN! Even if it turns out that you can't use them in a collection, they might get a publisher's interest. Then you can write more stories for the collection once you have a publishing contract!

I hope that's useful.

Chris

Julie C
Hi Chris, Thanks for such a swift and helpful reply. 

Your answer is very encouraging, and pretty much what I suspected myself.  It means that I can go ahead and enter loads of competitions in the meantime.  I will be super-aware of the contracts aspect, though, and try to ensure that the copyright remains with me. 

My husband suggested I 'just write more' if I can't re-use the stories, but you know how precious they become - I want to see them belong together, since I deliberately wrote them with similar themes to fit together neatly into a collection. 

It would be annoying if I can only use them once. Many thanks again, and best of luck with your own collection.  It sounds as if you're well on the way to putting one together! 

Julie

Chris Fielden
Hi Julie

No problem, I'm glad you found it helpful :-)

I know what you mean about stories becoming precious. I must admit though, over time, I've become less precious about them - I just like to see them in print!

Best of luck with the competitions. If you have any joy, please get in touch and let me know.

Cheers, Chris 

Roger S
Christopher, I plan to enter one of the short story contests you mentioned. But I do have a 7,000-word short story set in England -- where we have often traveled to from here in the Colonies -- and wondered if you might be able to suggest a contest in the UK that accepts entries of that length. All help appreciated. Roger

Chris Fielden
Hi Roger

The only one I'm aware of in the UK is the Earlyworks Press Competition. The BBC Short Story Award also takes stories of this length, but you have to be from the UK and previously published to enter it.

There are a couple of UK magazines that take longer stories - you can see them here.

Best of luck with getting your story placed! Chris

Sarita
Really useful list. Thank you for sharing :)

Christopher O
This is a brilliant resource. Thanks. I wish I knew of it earlier.

Anne K
Thanks for such a useful web site, just thinking of starting out again decades after having some small success with short story writing with HE Bates. Feel very inspired now!

Samantha D
This is so useful.  I have a short story that I would like to try and get published but have found that most sites/competitions are for stories around the 2,000 words mark (mine is just under 5,000).  I have seen a couple of possible sites/competitions here, so THANKs. Sam

Alison C
I run the Frome Festival Short Story Competition - can you add the fee please?  It\'s £5 plus £47 for in depth critique. Thanks, Alison

Chris Fielden
Hi Alison - updated for you :-)

And thanks Sarita, Chris, Anne and Sam - all good to hear!!

Dave P
Thanks for this Chris, kind of you to share it. Very useful. Dave

Monica G
Hi !! I'm sixteen years old and I'm an Indian. I would love to register in a competition but  really don't know which category to look under. My story is about adventure and little bit of detective work. I would really like your suggestions. Thank you so much ! :)

Chris Fielden
Thanks Dave :-)

Monica, try the list of Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children. It contains competitions aimed at younger writers around your age. Best of luck!

Pierre F
You missed the Writers Type competition. They offer Amazon Gift Coupons as prizes. It's a monthly affair, and winners qualify for re-entry in the Annual Competition, where the Coupon prize is more substantial.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Pierre - added!

Dee J
What about the monthly short story comps in Writing Magazine and Writers' News? I had a quick look at your regulars listing but didn't see these mentioned. The magazines come together these days, one inside the other. Available at newsagents in the UK and probably elsewhere. They have a website.

Thanks for compiling these lists. Very useful.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Dee, added!

Cathy M
There's also the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story prize - it actually closed today (sorry!) but seems to be an annual thing, open to writers of any nationality.

Chris Fielden
Thank you Kathy, added :-)

Judith W
Fascinating - the entire site - shall get weaving at once - thank you very much. Judith

Moody C
Hi Chris, I live in Australia (originally from Yorkshire).  This site is fanbloodytastic!  Thank you so much for taking time to create it.  My teeny worry is you mention Brit Writers.  I was short listed in their 2011 Awards and travelled from Australia to England for the ceremony (which was no hardship whatsoever!). However, I have serious concerns about this lot - they will not reveal anything about themselves and wouldn't even say who the judges were apart from 'famous authors, members of book clubs, editors ...'. See Harry Bingham's Writers' Workshop blog about them (post 1 here and post 2 here).  Dodgy as.  Thanks again, MC

Chris Fielden
Thanks for the heads up Moody :-) If you have any other info about this, please let me know! Chris

Moody C
I felt really deflated by Brit Writers - in fact, I even wondered if I'd been chosen because I live in Australia and it looked good on their fancy programme. A lad at our table on the evening had been shortlisted in the song writing category. He said that when he received the phone call (re the shortlist) he was told that if he didn't travel to London for the ceremony then he couldn't win!

Another lady was there with her two young daughters.  One daughter (12) had been shortlisted in the children's category. The other daughter was 9 and they travelled from Cornwall. They charged the mum £100 for the 9 year old's ticket! A few months later I got an email saying the CEO of the company wanted one-to-one meetings with all finalists 'to see what he could do to help...' I was, coincidentally, coming over to England in the Dec/Jan, so wrote back immediately, saying I would be available for 6 weeks and would be delighted to travel from Yorkshire to London to meet him. I never heard another word. Perhaps I'm being harsh but you know when you just have a bit of a funny old feeling?

Chris Fielden
Certainly do Moody! Thanks for sharing this, it's really useful for users of my website to be able to see this kind of information. Anyone else got any info on Brit Writers they'd like to share?

Jackie P
This is a great resource and wonderful of you to have put so much of your time and effort into putting this together. Tired of writing "legalese", I'd like to try and return to a more creative format and was wondering where to look for short story contests. Look no further! Thank you!

Stella S
Hello, first time visitor to your site, I'll definitely bookmark it! Thank you.

Carol W
Hello,

 Are you familiar with the Manchester Writing School with its B-I-G prize money? ( closely linked with the poet laureate C.A. Duffy, to boot). Am I having a dim moment, or does merely entering a story to them mean that it will never be free of them again? My 'copyright' as author merely assures my right to have my name linked with my work and any quotation from the same, doesn't it? £17 seems a high price to pay to lose control of one's story for ever and ever. Regards, and thanks for your helpful page. Carol

Chris Fielden

Thanks Jackie & Stella! Carol,

I am familiar with the Manchester writing competition - I've entered it before, but not got anywhere. If you enter, you retain all rights to your story. You just grant the Manchester Writing Competition first publication rights. This is standard stuff and very fair, especially given the 10K prize. This means, once the they have published your story, you can do what you want with it. At least, that's how I understand it.

Hope that's helpful, and best of luck with with the competition! Chris

Venu G
Hi there, thanks so much for this super-helpful list. Just to help you keep it updated I'd like to let you know that one link is broken. It's in the notes of the Bridgewater competition, where it says you can get way more info by clicking 'here'. I'm in india now so there's a chance it just doesn't work here. Thanks again! Venu

Chris Fielden
Thanks Venu, it was broken! I've updated it :-) Cheers, Chris

Petrina F
I am an EL school teacher from Malaysia. I'd like to get my students interested in writing so I thought participating in writing competitions would be a good start. Unfortunately, due to the dearth of such competitions in Malaysia, I'm forced to search the international scene. I came across your fantastic website. I need to know: Do they accept international entries? Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Hi Petrina, most of the competitions listed on the site accept entries from residents in any country as long as the stores are written in English. There are a few which only accept entries from specific countries, so you’ll have to check each competition website to see the exact rules, but most are happy to accept entrants from anywhere.

Lynn L
Hi Chris, a writer friend put me onto your site and it's great. It's well organised, honest whilst remaining encouraging and it's great to see that you update so regularly as some sites allow their info to become out of date quickly. Thanks for your hard work.

Chioma C
Hello Chris, thank you for such a comprehensive list! I'm a budding poet, and wondered if you could point me in the direction of poetry competitions please? Many thanks!

Chris Fielden
Hi Chioma, you could try getting a copy of Writers Forum magazine as they list poetry competitions regularly and also run a poetry competition every month. Or try the Poetry Library. They list many competitions and it looks like it's kept quite up to date :-)

Chioma C
Hello Chris, I looked it up, many thanks! Followed you on Twitter too... Looked at your activity there and I see you list competitions there as well. Chioma

Chris Fielden
No probs, thanks Chioma :-)

Tim K
I received a mail recently to say the Ruth Rendell Interact comp is running.

Here is an extract from the mail: Entries can be submitted online or by post. Please find more details and terms and conditions of entry on the InterAct Reading Service website.

Fionnuala K
Hi Christopher, I wanted to say " Thank you" for your tremendous  chart of all the competition possibilities - great to see it all in one place and a smashing research job.

I just wanted to add some things - although the Frank O Connor is only for published writers, there is another competition through MunsterLit, which is the Sean O Faoilain short story which is (I think) open to all, needing just an unpublished story. There are other great opportunities in Ireland, including the fantastic Listowel Writers week where there are both short story,  and playwriting opportunities thanks to Bryan Mac Mahon (short story) and Eamon Keane (full length play). Listowel writers week staff are also a tremendous group of people to work with - very supportive and helpful.

Chris Fielden
Many thanks Tim & Fionnuala! I've updated the page accordingly :-)

Fionnuala K
You are welcome, Chris. Thank you again for a great resource and good luck with the writing, Fionnuala

Bree W
This is a great list, thanks Chris for putting it together. Just a quick question, I'm very new to this and was wondering if you could enter the same story in multiple competitions? Just wondering.  Thanks in advance.

Chris Fielden

Hi Bree, it depends on each individual competition's rules. Some are happy for you to enter your work elsewhere, like the Bristol Prize for example, but many prefer you not to enter your work for consideration elsewhere until they have announced their winners. Personally, I think you should be able to enter stories into as many competitions as you like as you will sometimes be waiting for months to hear about results and it can seriously slow up your publishing rate. However, I can see why competition administrators ask you not to enter your work elsewhere, as it can cause them problems if your work is placed and they select you as a winner.

I'd just use your common sense, but bear in mind that the probability of being placed in more than one competition at once is unlikely, no matter how good your writing is! If you do enter more than one competition at once, I'd just let any other competitions know when your work has been accepted elsewhere so it causes them minimum inconvenience.

Hope that's helpful, and best of luck with your writing.

Bree W
Thanks for the reply :-) Now to filter through the competitions and pick a couple. Thanks again :-)

Anthea C
Thank you so much for all the work you have put into your website. So helpful. Do you have any ideas of a competition that I could enter my lower sixth A level English students into? They have just returned to school after taking their AS levels and I want them to study narratology and am going to get them to write a short story. It would be great if they knew it was being entered for a competition, because then it would make it feel more important to them. Any ideas? Many thanks. Anthea (Head of English, Kent College, Pembury)

Chris Fielden
Anthea, you could try one or two of the competitions from the list I have for young writers and children on this page.

Aside from that, maybe one of regular competitions, like Writers' Forum, as you can enter that at anytime during the year. But you'd have to check they don't have an age limit.

Hope that's helpful :-)

Edmund W
Just wanted to say thanks very much for collating all this information - extremely useful to aspiring novelists!

Maureen O
Thanks so much for this list and for all the effort that you obviously put into it. I may have missed it but I did not see the Glimmer Train Stories. They run different competitions year long. Cheers, Maureen

Chris Fielden
Thanks Edmund!

Glimmer Train added Maureen - thanks for the heads up :-)

Palash P
Thank you so much, Christopher. It's quite an exhaustive list. I belong to the Writers' family in India. Of late I felt the hunger to put my thoughts into words and it resulted in immense gratification. I do not know if I have the X factor in me to become a writer and create a niche in someone's heart, but I can try!

Chris Fielden
Welcome, Palash - best of luck with your writing :-)

Bill C
First time I saw all the comps listed. Very helpful!

Mandy T
Just wanted to thank you for such an excellent website. I found out about Myslexia and Scribble magazines here and now subscribe to both - waiting to hear back from Scribble re a short story I recently sent them as I write this ... I've also entered several competitions this year from your extensive listings, and have just found four more I'd like to try my hand at. Happy writing!

Chris Fielden
Thanks Bill!

Mandy - glad you found this resource so useful. It would be great to hear how you get on with the competitions :-)

Marlene P
Hi Chris, this is excellent. I write a lot of short stories. What you have done here is very helpful . Can you let me know what Writing Course you did? Thanks alot.

Chris Fielden
Hi Marlene, I did the Writers Bureau course. I found it very comprehensive and did the non-fiction and fiction modules. Let me know if you have any questions about it .

Marlene P
Thanks Chris... I've been reading your stories....:-):-):-)

Emma W
Hi Chris, thank you very much for this resource. 

My question - In your experience do successful short stories usually approximate the maximum word limit? In other words, would a 2,000 word short story be considered an acceptable entry in a competition with a 5,000 word limit? Thanks

Chris Fielden
Hi Emma, in my experience, it doesn't matter how long the story is, it's the quality of the story that counts. For example, I've had 2,500 word story published through a 5,000 word limit competition before.

The only exception to this is if a contest stipulates a minimum and a maximum, which some magazines do to fit their print requirements. But if no minimum is stated, you should be fine entering any length of story. Hope that's helpful :-)

Helen M
Was wondering why the Hennessy New Irish Writing in conjunction with the Irish Indo is not listed? It can be entered throughout the year and is free. Fiction, non published and free.  Regards, H

Chris Fielden
Hi Helen, to list the comp, I need the details and I can't find any entry rules or anything online. Are you familiar with the rules (how to enter, entry dates, prizes offered, dates, word limit, frequency of the comp etc)? I'd need all these to list the comp. If you could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated :-)

Ruth
Thank you for this information, it was helpful...

Helen M
Hi Chris, thanks for reply. It's a noted competition in Ireland. I've added a link. I've been shortlisted for the 43rd Hennessy  in 2013 and like yourself found it difficult to find any info on it. I was sent a link by a friend which is how I ended up entering. Hope this helps and if not please feel free to email me back. Well done on the comp list you have provided. Regards, H

Chris Fielden
Thanks Ruth!

And thanks very much Helen :-) I've contacted www.writing.ie to see if they can give me more details, or point at the right website to find out all the entry details. I'll let you know if they get back to me.

Tanya V
Hi. I'm looking for competitions in Canada and only see 2 on your list. CBC Books has a competition underway shortly. I wonder if you could look up more from Canada. Thanks.

Chris Fielden
H i Tanya, I've added the CBC Books short story competition to the lists - thanks for the heads up :-)

I'm not very familiar with the Canadian writing market, so if you know of any other short story competitions based in Canada, please let me know and I'll be happy to list them. Thanks, Chris

Tanya V
Will do – I’ve been researching them so I’ll send you links to the ones I’ve found. Thanks for replying.

Another question – if a competition is set in, say, England, does that mean it’s only open to English citizens?

Chris Fielden
That would be great, thank you Tanya :-)

In my experience, most competitions will accept entries from anywhere in the world as long as they are written in English. But it's best to check the rules and submission guidelines for each competition carefully to make sure, as there are some exceptions to this rule.

Iris A
This site looks good, but you should have a section for younger writers; I'm 13 and none of these competitions are what I'm looking for.

Chris Fielden
Iris, try the Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children list on this page ;-)

Will H
I'm far from the first to say this, but what an excellent site! It's been most helpful to me as I've written a couple of shorts recently and have decided to put them into a few competitions to test the water.

I have a small conundrum, which is probably as much me getting ideas above my station as anything else, but I've entered them into a couple of the more prestigious competitions (omitting the ones that demand exclusivity of submission) and a couple from the regular short competitions, including a monthly one whose submission deadline is very near. While it would be amazing to receive any acknowledgement to help give me a platform, I'm considering withdrawing from this one as if it was published it appears it would mean needing to withdraw from Glimmer Train which has a much later deadline for submission. It's unlikely that I'll find out if GT will be interested in my submission before the less prestigious competition publishes its winner, and though my odds of success are considerably less on GT, I'm quite confident about the piece. Or do you think it would be best to get over myself and just cross that bridge when I get there? Thanks very much.

Chris Fielden
Will, I'd definitely leave the story in both competitions. Glimmer Train is brilliant but incredibly competitive. From what I've read, they have thousands of submissions and the chance of being published is slim, even for an amazing story. That's not to say we shouldn't submit to them, but I feel it would be shortsighted to withdraw from a regular competition given the small chance of success with GT. Even the regular competitions can have hundreds of entries, so it's pretty tough to get published through them too. The likelihood of success in both competitions is probably akin to winning the lottery! OK, maybe a little melodramatic, but it really isn't likely. If you are placed in either, be happy. For that reason I'd leave your story in both and deal with the 'problem' (and it's a nice problem to have) should it arise :-)

Will H
Thanks so much for the advice. That's incredibly helpful and I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly!

Paul A
I just wanted to say thank you for the list of various competitions avaliable for short story writing. 

I must say the more comps that appear, thanks to you updating, the more encouraging it is to keep writing and trying new things. Paul

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much Paul :-)

Rochelle P
Hello, firstly I would like to thank you for compiling together this list............... Boy,  does it save a lot f time. Secondly I appreciate the effort at unfailingly ensuring your response to each comment. I mean it's quite encouraging for beginning writers like me. I am trying my best to pen stories written from my heart.... of course it may take a while to see them published anywhere but for now, the mere fact of writing is rewarding enough for me......

Chris Fielden
Thanks Rochelle :-) 

I'm glad you find the site useful and encouraging. Best of luck with your writing!

Ben S
Hi Chris, thank you so much for the list! This is a great resource and has enabled me to quickly find and enter a number of competitions, and hopefully many more in the future. You've done a great service putting these lists together. So again, thank you! Ben

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much Ben :-) Glad you find it useful!

Carla D
Thank you very much for doing this, all the time that you went through to gather this information and to put it nicely here... thanks!

Archie D
Hi Chris, very useful website, thank you.

Just thought I should let you know that the Meridian Competition is no longer running. Neither, it seems, is PinkPen or Friends of Dickens.

Plenty left though!

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much Archie, I've updated the listings accordingly :-)

Oke I
Nice work Chris. So helpful. I did list you as a source in one of the competitions.

Chris Fielden
Great, thanks Oke!

Seana S
Hi, thanks for all your hard work... invaluable stuff, for sure.

I reckon I am probably too late for this year, but have recently written a short story which has surprised me a lot. It has a Christmas theme, some family/aging angles as well,  but I seem to have avoided any kind of  shlocky sentimental quality. It has had a very good response from my usual readers, all agreeing it MUST be sent off in time for  Holiday publication. All well and good, but I am having trouble finding any competitions in this area, or even publications looking for submissions with a Christmas theme. Any suggestions?? Again, many thanks, Seana

Chris Fielden
Seana, I'm not familiar with any competitions with a Christmas theme, but I'd consider submitting to some of the more regular competitions (see the regular comps list). Writers' Forum might be good, probably between now and the end of October, ready for the magazine released closest to Christmas. And maybe some of the quarterly competitions, like Writers' Village. While these competitions don't specifically ask for a Christmas theme, your story might appeal to them more at this time of year. It's worth a go!

Hope that's helpful :)

Gerelyn D J
Many thanks for your very comprehensive listing of writing opportunities.The search was a pleasure which has indeed provided me with options. I'm encouraged too, to  press ahead for the five figure prizes!

Chris Fielden
Great, thanks Gerelyn :-)

Laura J
Hi Chris! Thanks for creating this website! Extremely helpful and organised!

Do you know of any free, early teen English competitions? Thanks.

Chris Fielden
Hi Laura, the only competitions I know of that are for younger writers are in the Competitions for Young Writers and Children list. There are a few free ones listed there, so you could try those :-)

Lawrence C
Thank you so much for all your alerts on the time schedules of writing contests. I wish to know if you're allowed to submit a story to two different competitions that fall within the same time, date and month? Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Lawrence, different competitions have different rules about this. Some will let you submit while submitting elsewhere and some won't. You will have to look at the rules for each individual competition to see what they say.

However, I tend to enter multiple competitions at once where possible or if a competition has long turnaround times (4 months or more). It's very rare that you will have a story accepted by two competitions at once, so I wouldn't worry too much about it, and that speeds up how quickly your stories are likely to be published. But with competitions that have quick turnarounds, I tend to wait, as it doesn't hinder your submissions too much. I hope that's helpful :-)

Gale B
I now have too many competitions that I want to enter! Thank you for listing them all like this,  I have been trolling the net for ages looking for a list like this. I'm new to this writing lark so really appreciate this site. Can we have some updated one off competitions now as some in your list have now expired. Cheers.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Gale :-)

I will add more one-off competitions as I hear about them - if you know of any, please let me know!

Betty H
Thanks for such and excellent resource.

Nigel H
Thank you for your site. It is the most useful tool I have ever come across. Fantastic. Thanks for all the work you must have put in in order to tabulate all that information. Wonderful.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Nigel!

Simon M
Just to say that the "My Daily Story" link above now leads to a dead webpage.

Also Apostrophe Books at the very top, while still active, don't now appear to be running any competitions - the link above goes to a "page not found" notice.

This is, nevertheless, a very useful resource - having just won a writing competition (for scripts) I'm keen to enter more, especially for prose as it's not something I've done before, and a site like this is very helpful.

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much Simon. I've updated the links accordingly :-)

Stefani H
Mr. Fielden, I was checking out the list of writing contests on your website. When I checked out the Glimmer Train contest there is a $15.00 "Reading Fee" for each entry. On your site it is listed as a free contest. Just letting you know.

Thank you very much for the list!

Chris Fielden
Thanks for letting me know, Stephani!

I’ve had a look and Glimmer Train run a couple of free competitions throughout the year, but, like you say, the rest do have a reading fee, so I’ve updated the information accordingly :-)

Miranda N
Do you know of any international writing competitions? Or are they mentioned in the notes, 'cause I only checked the country...? Especially contests in Northern Europe :)

Chris Fielden
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with many writing competitions based in Northern Europe, Miranda, so can't really help there.

However, most of the competitions listed are international, accepting entries from writers residing anywhere in the world, providing their stories are written in English. There are a few exceptions, but around 95% are international. You'll just have to check the rules of each competition to be sure.

Hope that's helpful :-)

Jennifer M
Dear Chris, congratulations on an absolutely brilliant resource for budding writers.  You deserve serious kudos for the time and effort you must have put in to this web-site.  Also loved your story on Ninjas and zombies. Not a word wasted.  Perfect.

Keep up the good work,

one grateful reader...

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much Jennifer :-)

Deb T
I enjoy your site very much - thank you for keeping it so well-stocked!

I was wondering if you have heard any news about the Ruth Rendell short story competition - is it actually being judged at all, for instance? Strange question, but I entered a story last autumn (£15, fairly expensive) and apart from the acknowledgement I've heard nothing more and can find nothing out. There appears to be nothing about it on the website (Interact Reading Service). Just wondered...

Thanks!

Chris Fielden
Deb, you're welcome - I'm glad you like the site :-)

I don't know about the Ruth Rendell competition - I couldn't find anything about it on their site either. I've tweeted them asking if they're judging and will let you know if they get back to me. Have you tried emailing them to ask?

Deb T
CHi Chris, I finally got round to asking them today - why I didn't before now I don't know!

Apparently the entries have been judged and there is a date next week when Ruth Rendell presents the prize. I do think it odd that there is no indication on the site as to when this would happen. I had a very nice email from the organiser, who said that because the competition begins and ends in May of consecutive years it would be too confusing, and they have to work around Ruth Rendell's busy schedule. Hopefully they've taken my comments on board, as I also think it's a bit confusing not to mention the "end" at all!

I appreciate your website very much - thank you for all the hard work. Deb

Chris Fielden
Great, thanks for letting me know, Deb.

They also responded to my tweet today and said: Hi Chris, the awards ceremony is being held next Tues 20th, where Ruth Rendell will announce the winner.

Best of luck with your entry!

Kay
Hey, this is a really good list! I'm 14 and really struggling to find a competition to enter my 400 word short story into! Do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

Chris Fielden
Kay, there are a few suitable competitions aimed specifically at your age group in the Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children list on this page.

Hope that's helpful and best of luck with your writing :)

Preeti
Do you know about any short story writing competitions held in India?

Chris Fielden
Preeti, I'm afraid I don't know of any competitions in India. If you hear of any, please let me know and I'll list them :-)

Nira M
Hi, I wanted to say thank you so much. I'm from Iran and I was very dissapointed about how to publish my stories and through your site I realized that there are competitions for writing short stories. So you encouraged me to write more and translate my stories into English and try my best.

I wish you the best.

Chris Fielden
Thank you so much, Nira. I wish you the best of luck with getting your stories published.

Ruby S
Thank you for this - this list and your comments are such a help. Seeing all these competitions gives hope to aspiring writers!

Chris Fielden
Thanks Ruby :-)

Arta S
I'm a writer from Iran. I have to win a big prize, so that I can live, support myself and my profession. I have no problems with  writing,  I can write in any genre. Can you please guide me - which one is the right one for me.

Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Arta, you'll have to some research and see which competitions would be most suitable for your style of writing. The lists I provide will help you to do that. I would say that the competitions that offer large prizes are hard to win, as so many people enter them and the standards are extremely high. If you're new to writing, it might be more sensible to start with some of the smaller competitions that offer feedback so you can improve your work and get a feel for the right markets to submit your stories to.

I hope that's helpful and best of luck with your writing.

Kevin C
Chris, I have just stumbled across your website while looking for information on outlets for short stories. I just wanted to say what a terrific job you've done in putting this together. It's really a one-stop shop for anyone getting started in writing short stories and looking for places to submit them and other relevant advice. It's amazing how much there is out there and great to have some kind of a guide as to where to start.

I have just had a short piece of 'flash fiction' published on the Mashstories website and I don't think they are included in your list of competitions, unless I missed it, so you might want to consider adding them. Maybe you don't include 'flash-fiction' (?). I have had a good experience in submitting my piece to them: prompt response, prompt sensible and helpful feedback from the judges, and they put all short-listed stories into the form of a podcast.

Your own short story pieces on the site are very good, I especially enjoyed Mr Kill - well done.

Unfortunately, I also wasted a lot of precious time when I should have been writing, thanks to your 'Stuff what makes I laugh' section, so thanks a lot for that. I'll put it down as 'research'.

Keep up the good work.

Chris Fielden
Kevin, thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you find the site useful.

I do list flash fiction competitions, so I’ve added the Mash competition to the lists. Thanks for making me aware of it.

Sorry if the Stuff What Makes I Laugh page distracted you from your work, but I think having a giggle once in a while helps the brain to work more efficiently and makes your writing better. I’m no doctor, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Best of luck with your writing and congratulations on having your work published by Mash Stories.