For up to date information about writing competitions and prizes, read our latest Opportunities for Writers post.
The Sunday Times Short Story Prize
is the world’s richest short story prize with the winner receiving £30,000 (US$49,000). In 2013 the prize was won by Junot Diaz for his story ‘Miss Lora’. The longlist for the 2014 Sunday Times Short Story Prize will be announced in February and the winner in April. Entries for the 2015 prize are expected to open in July 2014. Junot Diaz’s winning story along with the other five stories shortlisted for the 2013 prize are available here.
Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
is open to writers outside Australia for the first time in 2014. A total of AUD$8000 (US$7000) will be awarded with prizes for first, second and third place. Entries must be a single-authored short story of between 2000 and 5000 words, written in English. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August. Entries close 1 May.
Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition
is for unpublished short stories up to 2200 in length and open to women writers from around the world. The winner receives £2,000 (US$3200) plus two optional extras: a one-week writing retreat at Chawton House Library and a day with a Virago editor. Entries for the 2014 Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition close on 17 March.
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Contest
awards two prizes of US$1000 each for fiction and for essay, with ten additional honourable mention prizes of $100 each. Entries can be on any theme and the maximum length is 6000 words. Entrants can be from any country. The work you submit must be in English but if you have written a work in another language, you may submit an English translation. The closing date for this competition for 2014 is 30 April.
Boston Review’s Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
will be judged in 2014 by Kiran Desai, winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize for her novel The Inheritance of Loss. The winning author will receive US $1500 and have his or her work published in the summer edition of Boston Review. First runner-up will be published in a following issue, and second runner-up will be published at the Boston Review website. Stories should not exceed 5000 words and must be previously unpublished. Entries close 1 October.
Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story Competition
is open to all English-speaking writers aged 16 or over. First prize of £500 (US$800) and there is a second prize of £100. Both winners will also be published in a Fiction Desk anthology. Fiction Desk advises that ‘ghost story’ can mean a lot of different things, from an encounter with an actual phantom to more unusual paranormal phenomena and unexplained events. All types are welcome and writers are free to experiment: Entries open in late February.
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 for the 2014 prize open in April.
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 £2,500. Entries for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Prize are expected to open in October 2014.
International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest
is for short stories in any speculative fiction genre including fantasy, science fiction and horror. The contest has been running since 2004 and has a Grand Prize of €1000 (US$1300). Entries must be less than 10,000 words and must not have been previously published. The contest opens on 1 January each year, and runs for four rounds throughout the year. The submission deadline for the first round is 31 March, the second round 30 June, the third round 30 September and the final round 30 November.
Spokane Prize for Short Fiction
is open to book-length manuscripts of stories. Manuscripts must include at least three short stories and be no less than 98 pages. There is no maximum page count and stories may have been previously published in journals, anthologies or limited edition volumes. The winner receives US$2000 and publication of their manuscript by Willow Springs Editions. Entries close 15 May.
Southwest Review’s 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.
The Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction
is part of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award Series. The prize is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and it is open to published and unpublished authors alike. Only book-length manuscripts are eligible with ‘book-length’ defined as being between 150 and 300 manuscript pages. The winner receives US$5500 and publication by the University of Massachusetts Press. The 2014 prize will be judged by Jaime Manrique and entries close 28 February.
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 runners up prizes. Entries are expected to open in November.
Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Annual Fiction Contest
is for writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. It is open to writers based anywhere in the world and submissions must be less than 7000 words. First prize is US$1500, a domestic airfare and accommodation to attend the next festival in New Orleans, a VIP All-Access Festival pass, a public reading at a literary panel at the next Festival and publication in Louisiana Literature. Entries open on 1 June and close 15 November.
For more writing competitions check out 19 (More) Short Story Competitions in 2014.Photo by Seth Morabito via Creative Commons