“Short fiction seems more targeted – hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them.” ―
UPCOMING SHORT STORY CONTESTS
BBC National Short Story Award
is open to British nationals and UK residents who have a prior record of publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom. First prize is £15,000 and entries may be up to 8000 words. Entries can be either unpublished or first published after 1 January 2018. There is no entry fee. The closing deadline is 11 March.
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 at least 10 pages (or 2500 words) but no more than 50 pages (12,500 words). The entry fee is $17. The closing deadline is 14 March.
Bath Short Story Award
is open to stories up to 2200 words in length. First Prize is £1200 (US$1500) and stories may be in any genre. This year the shortlist judge is literary agent Samuel Hodder from Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. The entry fee is £8. The deadline for entries is 15 April.
Craft Short Fiction Prize
is open to stories up to 5000 words. Three stories will be selected published in CRAFT, accompanied by an introduction from judge Elizabeth McCracken and a craft essay from each author. The author of the prize-winning story will receive US$2000; the two runners-up will receive $500 and $300, respectively. Entries close on 30 April.
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
is open to original short stories and essays on any theme. The winner in each category receives US$2000 and there are 10 minor prizes of $100 each. Entries should be maximum of 6000 words. The entry fee is $20. The closing deadline is 30 April.
RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Short Story Competition
is open to writers who are Irish or reside in Ireland. Three winning entries will receive €3000, €2000 and €1000 each. The winning and shortlisted stories will be produced and broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 in a season of new writing, read by leading actors. There is no entry fee. The closing deadline is 10 May.
Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest
is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish a book. The winner in each genre will be awarded US$2000. Entry is free for current subscribers to Ploughshares or non-subscribers receive a one-year subscription to the magazine with their $24 entry fee. The closing deadline is 15 May.
Tillie Olsen Short Story Award
is run The Tishman Review. The contest is open to stories up to 5000 words and first prize is US$500. The entry fee is $15 and all entrants receive a one-year digital subscription to the magazine. Entries open on 1 April and close on 30 May.
Curt Johnson Prose Award
is run by December magazine, a magazine whose many accomplishments include being the first to publish the work of Raymond Carver. The Award is open to stories up to 8000 words in length, with the winner receiving $1500 and publication in the magazine. Entries are expected to open in April.
Craft Short Fiction Prize
is open for stories up to 6000 words. Three winners will be selected by a guest judge, with US$2800 awarded in prize money. The winners will also receive publication, with a written introduction by the judge. Entries open on 1 March and close on 30 April.
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 entry fee is $25. The deadline for entries is 1 May.
Bristol Short Story Prize
is open to stories up to 4000 words and has a first prize of £1000. 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. The entry fee is £9. The closing deadline is 1 May.
Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
is open to writers from around the world and offers $2500 across five prizes. Entries open on 1 April and close on 15 May.
Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
is dedicated to recognising and supporting the work of emerging writers whose fiction has not yet achieved success. To be eligible writers must not have had their fiction published in a nationally distributed magazine/journal with a circulation of 5000 or more. Entries must be less than 3500 words. The winner receives US$1500 and publication. The entry fee is $15 before 1 May and $20 before 15 May.
Bridport Prize for Short Stories
is open to work in any fictional genre and on any subject up to 5000 words. Open internationally, the winner receives £5000 (US$6300) and there are prizes for second, third and highly commended. The entry fee is £10. The closing deadline is 31 May.
Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition
invites writers worldwide to provide an original story of up to 3000 words in any genre. The catch: they provide your opening and closing lines chosen from a classic work of literature. Entries are expected to open in May.
V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize
is the Royal Society of Literature’s annual prize for the best unpublished short story of the year. The winner receives £1000 (US$1260) plus publication in Prospect Magazine and the RSL Review. Entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth. Stories should be between 2000 and 4000 words. The entry fee is £7.50. The closing deadline is 28 June.
is a short fiction contest open to writers worldwide. Entries must be between 1000 and 2000 words, with the winner to receive £1000 (US$1250). There are also two runners-up prizes and all winning and placed stories will be published in an anthology. The entry fee is £8. The closing deadline is 1 July.
Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition
is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world. First prize is €2000 (US$2250), publication in the literary journal Southword, and a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat. The entry fee is €15. The closing deadline is 31 July.
Indiana Review’s Half-K Prize
offers a first prize of US$1000 and publication. Writers can submit up to three pieces of writing up to 500 words each and there are no genre or form restrictions. The entry fee is $20 and includes a one-year subscription to Indiana Review. Entries are expected to open on 1 July.
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 are expected to open in 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$11,500). Stories can be up to 2500 words in length. The entry fee is £17.50. Entries are expected to close in mid-September.
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 receives a cash prize of US$1000 and all entries are considered for publication. Entries open on 1 June and close 1 November.
Commonwealth Short Story Prize
is 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$6500) and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries close in November.
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 entry fee for 2019 is TBC. Entries open on 1 October and close on 1 December.
Magic Oxygen Literary Competition
is open to short stories up to 4000 words. First prize is £1000 (US$1150) and the contest organisers will be planting a tree in Kenya for each entry received (when the contest closes they will email the GPS coordinates of your tree to you). The entry fee is £5. Entries are expected to open on 1 October and 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. The entry fee is $20 and each entrant receives a copy of the contest issue. Entries open on 1 October and close on 31 December.
PAST SHORT STORY CONTESTS
Mogford Short Story Prize
is for work with food and drink at its heart. First prize is £10,000 (US$11,500) and stories may be up to 2500 words. The entry fee is £10. The closing deadline is 7 January.
offers a grand prize of a full fellowship (airfare stipend, tuition, and housing included) to the 2019 Disquiet International Program in Lisbon, Portugal. Submissions may be up to 25 pages. The entry fee is $15. The closing deadline is 10 January.
Let Your Hair Down Speculative Writing Contest
is open to speculative fiction up to 1800 words, as well as to poetry and creative nonfiction. First prize is CA$1000 (US$730) and all entries will be considered for publication. The entry fee is $32.95 and includes a one-year subscription to EVENT magazine. The closing deadline is 20 January.
Kenyon Review’s Short Fiction Contest
is only open to writers who have not yet published a book. To enter writers must provide a story of up to 1200 words. The entry fee is US$24 and includes a one-year subscription to the Kenyon Review. The closing deadline is 31 January.
Masters Review Winter Short Story Award
is for new writers who have not published a novel or collection with a circulation over 5000 copies. First prize is US$3000. publication on The Masters Review site, and review from multiple agencies. The second and third place stories receive $300 and $200, respectively, publication, and agency review. The entry fee is $20. The closing deadline is 31 January.
Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award
has been held annually since 1981. The award carries a first prize of US$3500 and has five finalists ($750 each). Stories can be up to 8000 words and entrants must be a legal resident of the United States. There is no entry fee. The closing deadline is 31 January.
Iowa Review Awards
is open to short fiction of up to 25 pages (double spaced), as well as poetry and nonfiction. First prize is $1500 and all entries will be considered for publication. The judges for the 2019 Awards are Rebecca Makkai (fiction), Kiki Petrosino (poetry) and Roxane Gay (nonfiction). The entry fee is $20. The closing deadline is 31 January.
Newcastle Short Story Award
is open to Australian writers aged over 18. Stories may be up to 2000 words and the winner will receive AUD$3000. The entry fee is $16.50. The closing deadline is 4 February.
Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition
offers the winner a place on an Arvon residential writing course of their choice (valued at £1000) and publication on writersandartists.co.uk. Stories must be under 2000 words and can be on any theme. There is no entry fee. The closing deadline is 13 February.
The Sunday Times Short Story Award
is the world’s richest short story competition, with the winner receiving £30,000 (US$38,000). The 2018 award attracted over 1100 entries from countries. There is no entry fee. The closing deadline is 15 February.
Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize
will be awarded for an original work of short fiction under 2000 words. The first prize winner will receive €1000 (US$1100), a week’s residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy and a consultation with a US literary agent from Foundry Literary. The entry fee is €20. The closing deadline
is 14 February has been extended until 28 February.
Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize
is run by Vermont-based journal Hunger Mountain. The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Stories may be up to 10,000 words in length and all entries will be considered for publication. The entry fee is $20. The closing deadline is 1 March.
White Review’s Short Story Prize
awards £2500 to the best piece of short fiction by a writer resident in Britain and Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. Entries must be 2000 words minimum, 7000 words maximum. The entry fee is £15 and free entry is offered to writers who are on a low-income. The closing deadline is 4 March.