UPDATE: Looking for competitions in 2019? Our latest guide to short story contests is now online.
Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites for all the latest terms and conditions. For more writing competitions and writing-related news follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.
Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize
is open to works of fiction up to 7500 words in length. All entrants must not have yet published a full-length book, and have no book forthcoming before 1 May 2019. Entries close on 20 October.
Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction
is organised by the University of Central Lancashire and Comma Press. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over and based in the UK. Entrants must submit a short story of between 2000 and 6000 words in length. The winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an eBook anthology. There is no entry fee and only one entry is permitted per writer. The entry deadline is 26 October.
Blue Light Books Prize
is run by the Indiana Review. It is open to full-length poetry manuscripts between 48 and 75 pages, not including table of contents and acknowledgements. A publication contract with IU Press and a prize of US$2000 against future royalties will be awarded to the winner. Entries close on 31 October.
John Steinbeck Short Story Award
is one of three prizes offered by Reed Magazine, California’s oldest literary magazine. The John Steinbeck Short Story Award is for a work of fiction up to 5000 words. The winner receives a prize of US$1000 and all entries are considered for publication. Entries close 1 November.
Gabriele Rico Challenge for Nonfiction
is also offered by Reed Magazine. This award is for a work of creative nonfiction up to 5000 words and the winner receives a prize of US$1333. Entries close 1 November.
Robert J. Demott Short Prose Contest
welcomes 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. Entries open on 1 November (closing date TBC).
Room Magazine Short Forms Contest
is open to entries of one or two prose poems, flash fictions, or flash creative non-fiction works of up to 500 words. All submissions, regardless of genre, will be judged in a single category, and two prizes of CA$500 will be awarded. Winners will also be published in the June 2019 issue of Room Magazine. Entries close on 1 November.
Commonwealth Short Story Prize
is a highly regarded competition which aims to bring stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience. Open to citizens of the 53 Commonwealth countries, the prize covers the five Commonwealth regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. The overall winner will receive £5000 and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries close 1 November.
PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers
recognises twelve emerging fiction writers each year for their debut short story published in a literary magazine or cultural website last year and aims to support the launch of their careers as fiction writers. Each of the twelve winning writers receives a cash prize of $2,000 and the independent book publisher. Catapult will publish the twelve winning stories in an annual anthology. The deadline for submissions is 10 November.
Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition
is run by Ireland’s Munster Literature Centre. The Centre invites entries from emerging and established poets from all over the world for its annual poetry competition. The winner will receive €1000, a week’s residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, publication in Southword and four nights accommodation in Cork city during the Cork International Poetry Festival. Entries close on 30 November.
Fish Publishing International Short Story Prize
is open to stories up to 5000 words. First prize is €3000 plus a five-day Short Story Workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival. Ten short stories will be published in the 2018 Fish Anthology. The entry deadline is 30 November.
Baltimore Review’s Winter Contest
is open to short stories, poems and creative non-fiction. The theme for the contest is ‘Tools’. Prizes of US$500, $200, and $100 will be awarded and all entries are considered for publication. Entries close on 30 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 on November.
Owl Canyon Press Short Story Hackathon
invites writers to create and submit a short story consisting of 50 paragraphs. The contest provides the 1st and 25th paragraphs, and the short story writer crafts the rest. First prize is US$3000, 2nd prize is $2000, and 3rd prize is $1000 with the winning short stories published in a short story anthology. There is no entry fee and the contest is open to writers worldwide. Entries close on 1 December.
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 December.
Peter Porter Poetry Prize
is being run for the 15th time by Australian Book Review. Open to poets worldwide, the winner will receive AUD$5000 and an Arthur Boyd etching. Entries must be an original single-authored poem of not more than 75 lines written in English. The entry deadline is 3 December
Fiddlehead’s 27th Annual Contest
has both fiction and poetry categories. Each winner will receive CA$2000 and publication. Fiction entries can be up to 6000 words; poets can submit up to three poems of no more than 100 lines each. Entries close on 3 December.
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 and publication in Overland. There are also two runners-up prizes of $500 each.
Entries close on 19 November The entry deadline has been extended until 3 December.
Strokestown International Poetry Competition
offers a first prize of €2000 plus a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat in Ireland. Ten shortlisted poets will be the Strokestown Poetry Festival in County Roscommon in the west of Ireland to read their work and each receives a €300 reading fee and publication in the Festival’s anthology.
Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story
This competition will award $2000 and publication in Beloit Fiction Journal to the best story on any theme. The judge for this year’s contest is Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lions: A Novel. Stories may be up to 7000 words. Postmark deadline is 10 December.
The Half and One Prize
is a writing competition that seeks to promote the best in Indian and international writing. The Winner US$1500, and there are 5 Consolation Prizes of $150 each. Shortlisted entries will be published in an Anthology.
The entry deadline is 31 October The entry deadline has been extended until 10 December.
Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
is open writers 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 his or her story published in the magazine. Entries close on 31 December.
Danahy Fiction Prize
is an award of US$1000 and publication in Tampa Review given annually for work of short fiction. Manuscripts between 500 and 5000 words, but stories falling slightly outside this range will also be considered. Each entrant receives a one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries close on 31 December.
Nowhere Magazine’s Fall Travel Writing Contest
is seeking stories that possess a powerful sense of place. Entries can be fiction, nonfiction or essay and first prize is US$1000. Stories should be between 800 and 5000 words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted. The entry deadline is 31 December.
River Styx 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 will be published in the 100th issue of River Styx. Entries close on 31 December.
Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction
is open to stories up to 10,000 words in all genres and styles. The winner will receive US$1000 and the winner and all finalists will be published in a special anthology. Entries close on 31 December.
Bayou Magazine’s James Knudsen Prize for Fiction
is open to unpublished pieces up to 7500 words in length including novel excerpts if the submission stands alone as a complete short story. The winner receives US$1000 and all submissions will be considered for publication. Submissions close on 1 January.