UPDATE: For our 2016 short story competitions list, please click here
The Sunday Times Short Story Prize
is the world’s richest short story competition with the winner receiving £30,000 (US$47,000). In 2014 the prize was won by Adam Johnson for his story ‘Nirvana’. The longlist for the 2015 Sunday Times Short Story Prize will be announced in February and the winner in April. Entries for the 2016 prize are expected to open in July 2015. The six stories shortlisted for the 2014 prize are available here.
Bristol Short Story Prize
is open to stories up to 4000 words. Entries can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (crime, science fiction, fantasy, historical, romance, children’s etc). Twenty stories will be shortlisted and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8. Entries close 30 April.
Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest
has the aim of seeking out and encouraging talented writers, with the winning and runners-up’s work being forwarded to leading literary agents. A first prize of US$1000 is also offered. Stories can be up to 5000 words. Entries open on 1 July and are expected to close on 1 October.
A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest
is open to both fiction and creative non-fiction. Stories must be between 1000 and 5000 words and there are no entry fees. Entries are accepted between 1 April and 21 June each year.
PRISM International Short Fiction Contest
offers a CA$2000 (US$1800) first prize for stories up to 6000 words in length. The 2014 prize was judged by novelist Joseph Boyden. Entries close 23 January.
Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
is one of three contests run each year by Boston Review.The winning author will receive US $1500 and have his or her work published in the summer edition of the magazine. First runner-up will be published in a following issue and second runner-up will be published on the Boston Review website. Entries close 1 October.
Homestart Bridgwater Short Story Prize
is being run in aid of an independent registered charity offering support to families facing difficulties The prize is open to stories up to 2200 words and will be judged by Tracy Chevalier, best known for the international best-seller Girl with a Pearl Earring. Entries close 1 February.
Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest
is for new writing that takes risks. Submission may include any combination of flash fiction or short stories up to 7500 total words.The winner receives US$500 and publication. Entries open 1 February and close 1 May.
Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
is dedicated to recognising and supporting the work of emerging writers whose fiction has not yet achieved success. Entries must be less than 3500 words and the competition is open to writers based anywhere is the world. The winner receives US$1500 and publication. The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition first ran in 1981; entries close 15 May.
Commonwealth Short Story Prize Prize
is an annual award for unpublished short fiction open to citizens of the 53 Commonwealth countries. The prize covers the five Commonwealth regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. One winner will be selected from each region, with one regional winner to be selected as the overall winner. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5000 (US$8200) and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries for the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize are expected to open in October 2015.
Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
is offered each year by Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing. The winner receives a US$2000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be under 50 pages. Entries close 14 March.
Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest
is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish a book. Fiction entries must be under 6000 words. The winner in each genre will be awarded US$1000 and publication. Entries close 15 May.
Writer’s Digest’s Short Short Story Competition
has been running for 15 years. The competition is for stories up to 1500 words in length. The winner receives US$3000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City. There are also many runner-up prizes. Entries are expected to open in November.
Danahy Fiction Prize
is an annual award with a prize of US$1000 and publication in Tampa Review. Judging is by the editors of TR, and all entries will be considered for publication. They generally prefer manuscripts between 500 and 5000 words but stories falling slightly outside this range will also be considered. Entries close in November.
Griffith University’s Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize
is one of Australia’s richest short stories prizes. First prize is AUD$10,000 and second prize is $5000. Stories must be under 2000 words. Griffith University also offers a poetry prize with equal prize money. Entrants must be Australian citizens or residents and entries close 13 February.
David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction
is only open to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, either a novel or collection of stories. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Southwest Review. Stories can be up to 8000 words in length and all entries will be considered for publication. The deadline for entries is 1 May.
Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
offers a total of AUD$8000 (US$7000) in prize money and is open to writers worldwide. Entries must be between 2000 and 5000 words and written in English. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August. Entries open in December 2014 and are expected to close in May.
Orlando Prize for Short Fiction
is for stories up to 1500 words and is open to women writers worldwide. First prize is US$1000 and publication in The Los Angeles Review. Prizes are also offered for creative non-fiction, poetry and flash fiction. There are two entry deadlines each year: 31 January and 31 July.
Manchester Fiction Prize
is a major international literary competition open to anyone aged 16 or over. The winner receives a cash prize of £10,000 (US$15,500). Stories can be up to 2500 words in length. Entries open in April and are expected to close in August.
For more writing competitions see our more recent post 15 Short Story Competitions to Enter Before the End of the Year and follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.