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17 Short Story Competitions to Enter Before the End of the Year


Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites (linked in bold) for all the latest terms and conditions. For more writing competitions and writing-related news follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Indiana Review Fiction Prize
This competition is open to short stories up to 8000 words in length. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Indiana Review. The final judge is author Aimee Bender and all entries will be considered for publication. Entries close on 31 October.

Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction
is offered annually by The Madison Review. The winning story will be awarded US$1000 and publication. Entries may be up to 30 pages. The Madison Review also runs the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry. Entries for both prizes close on 1 November.

Commonwealth Short Story 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is an annual award for unpublished short fiction open to citizens of the 53 Commonwealth countries.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 and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries close 1 November.

Malahat Review’s Open Season Awards
are open to short fiction up to 2500 words, as well as to poetry and creative non-fiction. The winning entries will share in CA$4500 (US$3450) and will be published in The Malahat Review’s March 2017 issue. Entries close 1 November.

John Steinbeck Short Story Award
is one of three prizes offered by Reed Magazine. This award is for a work of fiction up to 5000 words. The winner of the award receives a cash prize of US$1000 and all entries are considered for publication. Entries close 1 November. The same deadline applies for Reed Magazine’s poetry and non-fiction prizes. 

Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest
is for unpublished stories up to 7000 words. Entrants must be emerging writers who have not published a novel at the time of submission. First prize is US$2000. Entries close 15 November.

Robert J. Demott Short Prose Contest
welcomes previously unpublished pieces of 500 words or fewer and writers may submit up to three works with each entry. First prize is US$1008.15 and publication in Quarter After Eight.

Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize
is for original, unpublished pieces up to 3000 words in length. The prize is open to writers from around the world and at any stage of their career. The winner receives AUD$4000 (approx US$3000) and publication in Overland. There are also two runners-up prizes of $500 each. Entries close 20 November.

Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award
is run by Mid-American Review and is open to stories up to 6000 words in length. The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Entries close 30 November.

Fish Publishing International Short Story Prize
is for stories up to 5000 words. First prize is €3000 plus a 5 day Short Story Workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival. Ten short stories will be published in the 2017 Fish Anthology. Entries close 30 November.

Baltimore Review’s Winter Contest
is open to short stories, poems and creative non-fiction. The theme for the contest is ‘Milestones’. Prizes of US$500, $200, and $100 will be awarded. All entries are considered for publication. Entries close 30 November.

Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story Competition
is open to all English-speaking writers aged 16 or over. Alongside a cash prize, 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 on 1 November (closing date TBC).

Fiddlehead’s 26th Annual Contest
will award CA$2000 (approx US$1500) and publication to the best short story. Entries must be unpublished and can be up to 6000 words. The competition also has a poetry category with equal prize money. Entries close 1 December.

Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story
will award US$2000 and publication in Beloit Fiction Journal to the top unpublished story on any theme. The judge for this year’s contest is Dean Bakopoulos, author of Summerlong. Stories may be up to 7000 words. Entries close 10 December.

Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
is open people who have not yet published a book of fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. Stories may be up to 8000 words and must be previously unpublished. The winner will receive US$1500 and have their story published in the magazine. Entries close 31 December.

Danahy Fiction Prize
is an award of US$1000 and publication in Tampa Review given annually for a previously unpublished work of short fiction. Manuscripts between 500 and 5,000 words, but stories falling slightly outside this range will also be considered. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, and all entries are considered for publication. Each entrant also receives a one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries close 31 December.

River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest
carries a first prize of US$1500. Writers may submit stories of up to 500 words and up to three stories with each entry. First, second and third place winners and honourable mentions will be published in the Spring issue of River Styx. Entries close 31 December.