Prizes

Short stories

Here you will find listings for UK short story competitions that you can enter, when they close and where to go to get your entry form.

To ensure this list stays comprehensive, if you're running a short story competition, please email us with the subject line 'Short Story Competition'. Please include the name of the competition, the maximum words, the theme, the first prize, the entry fee and the closing date. Book Trust is not responsible for any external content on these sites. As Book Trust has no control over the content on external pages, some of the competitions may no longer exist.


We will only post UK-based competitions on this page.


Have a look at our online resource providing top tips for including more diversity in your writing

Latest competitions added:


John Yeoman Writers' Village Competition - First prize is £1,000 and second prize is £500. Entry is £15 and word limit is 3,000 words. Deadline is 30 June 2015. Find out more about John Yeoman Writers' Village Competition.

 

Culture Vultures: Poem of the Week - No entry fee and no prize offered. Submit by Saturday at midnight. Find out more information about Culture Vultures: Poem of the Week.


Competitions closing soon:

 

Bath Short Story Award - Any theme with 2,200 word limit. Entry fee is £8 and first prize is £1,000. Closing date is 27 April 2015. More information about Bath Short Story Award.


Crediton Short Story Competition - Competition is open for adults, 12-18 and under 12s. The theme is 'generations' and first prize is £50 for adults and book tokens for children. Entry fee is £5 and closing date is 24 April. More information about Crediton Short Story Competition.

 

Exeter Story Prize - First prize is £500 and word limit is 10,000 words. Entry is £8 and closing date is 30 April 2015. More information about Exeter Story Prize.

 

Poetic Republic Short Story Prize - First Prize £2,000. Short Story to 3,000 words. Entry fee: £12. Closing Date: 30 April 2015. More information about Poetic Republic Short Story Prize.

 

Competitions:

 

500 Words - Chris Evans' short story-writing competition for children 13 and under, returns to BBC Radio 2 in 2015. Watch out for a big announcement on 19 January about some very special plans for the competition's 5th anniversary! More information on the 500 Words competition

 

Almond Press Dystopian Short Story Competition - First place prize is £100 for a story with an apocalyptic theme. Stories must be submitted by 15 July. More information about Almond Press Dystopian Short Story Competition.


Asian Writer Short Story Prize - Annual award for new and original fiction under 3,000 words. More information about the Asian Writer Short Story Prize.


Asham Award - this award is for women only. First prize £1,000. Entry fee £15 for a story up to 4,000 words. More information about the Asham Award.

 

Bath Flash Fiction Award - Entry fee is £9 (£4 for members). Word limit is 300 words and first prize is £1,000. More information about Bath Flash Fiction Award

 

BBC National Short Story Award - Annual award. First prize £15,000 for a short story up to 8,000 words. More information about the BBC National Short Story Award.

 

BBC Young Writers' Award - New award for young people aged 14-18, in the UK. More information about the BBC Young Writers' Award.

 

Bedford Writing Competition - Stories of any theme are eligible; word limit is 3,000. First prize is £100 and entry starts at £5. More information about Bedford Writing Competition.

 

Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize - Competition for writers aged 18-25-years-old. First prize is £750 and second prize is £500. The story needs to interpret the quote 'If all Printers were determin'd not to print any thing till they were sure it would offend no body, there would be very little printed.' Entrants must be received by 31 October. More information about Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize.

 

Blue Thumbnail Short Story Competition. 3,000 word limit; entry is £6. First prize is Writers' workshop or Greek retreat, there are also related runners up prizes.

 

Bridport Prize - Yearly short story competition, any theme. More information about the Bridport Prize. The 2013 prize will be announced in the New Year.

 

Bristol Short Story Prize - short story, 4,000 words. First prize £1,000. Entry fee £8. More information about the Bristol Short Story Prize.

 

Caladria Short Story Competition - Free competition with three different themes. First prize is a £25 Amazon token. Submissions close on 31 May. More information about Caladria Short Story Competition.


Carillon Magazine Charitable Competition - Chosen stories will feature in an anthology to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research. Stories should be 600 - 1,200 words; entry is £2 per story and winners will receive 80% of entry fees. More information about Carillon Magazine Charitable Competition.

 

Christopher Fielden's To Hull & Back Humorous Short Story Competition - Entry starts from £5 and first prize is £200. Word limit is 4,000 word and closing date is 31 August. More information about Christopher Fielden's To Hull & Back Humorous Short Story Competition


Cinnamon Press - this website runs monthly competitions. More information about the Cinnamon Press competitions

 

Costa Short Story Competition - short story up to 4,000 words long. First prize £3,500. Free entry. More information about the Costa Short Story Competition.

 

Creative Writing for All - First prize £60 for a short story up to 2,000 words on the theme 'Childhood Memories'. Entry fee £5. Additional entries £3. Any profits will be donated to Women's Aid. More information about Creative Writing for All - Short Story Competition.

 

Curry Mallet History Festival Adult's Short Story Competition - First prize £100 for a story on the theme 'rebellion' and maximum word count is 2,500 words; closing date is 15 June. Entry fee £5. More information about the Curry Mallet History Adult's Short Story Competition.

 

Curry Mallet History Children's Short Story Competition - 11 years-old and under - theme is story about a wonder horse and/or cat. 12-16 year-old category - theme is 'rebellion'. Both categories have 500 word limit and first prize is £35. Find out more Curry Mallet History Children's Short Story Competition.


Dark Tales - First prize £100 for horror and speculative fiction. More information about the Dark Tales prize

 

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition - annual short story competition on any theme, maximum 1,200 words. More information about the Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition.

 

Eclat Fiction - regular competitions for stories up to £1,500. First prize £100. Any theme. More information about the Eclat Fiction competitions

 

Emerald Writing - First prize £75 for flash fiction. More information about the Emerald Writing prize

 

Festival of Literature for Young People - Word limit is 500 words and you must finish a story that one of the festival authors has already started. First prize is a selection of books and the chance for the completed story to be published. More information about Festival of Literature for Young People competition.

 

Fiction Fast-Track - Apostrophe Books run monthly short story competitions. More information about Fiction Fast-Track

 

The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition - First prize £500; entry fee £7; runs March to end of May annually. More information at The Fiction Desk.

 

The Fiction Desk Flash Fiction Competition - First prize £300; entry fee £5; runs April to end of May annually. More information at The Fiction Desk.

 

Frome Festival Short Story Competition - First prize £300, second prize £150, third prize £75. Entry fee £5 (£47 for in-depth critique) for a short story 1,000-2,200 words, any theme. More information about the Frome Festival Short Story Competition.

 

Fish Publishing - this website runs monthly competitions. More information about the Fish Publishing competitions

 

Flash 500 - flash fiction competition for short stories up to 500 words. Regular competitions. More information about Flash 500

 

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award - awarded to the best short story collection. More information about the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

 

The Glasgow Student Short Story Writing Competition - First prize is £300 and second prize is £100. Top ten stories selected will be published; £5 entry. Deadline is 30 April 2015. More information about The Glasgow Student Short Story Writing Competition.


Henshaw Short Story Competition - For unpublished stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme. Closing date is 30 June and first prize is £100. Entry is £5. More information about Henshaw Short Story Competition.


The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition - The competition is open to anyone under the age of 19. Entrants have to complete a story begun by the winning author of the previous year's Branford Boase Award. More information about The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition


Highlands and Islands Short Story Association Competition - annual prize for a short story up to 2,500 words. First prize £400. Entry fee £5. More information about the HISSAC.

 

Hour of Writes Weekly Competition - Theme changes every week and word limit is 2,000 words. Entry fee is £3 and the prize is a minimum of £50. Closing date is every Friday at 11pm (GMT). More information about Hour of Writes Weekly Competition.

 

Inktears short story competition - Stories of any theme are welcome and word length is between 1,000 and 3,500. First prize is £1,000 and runner-up is £100. Competition closes 30 November. More information about Inktears short story competition.


inkhead Short Story Competition - First prize £150 for a short story up to 1,000 words on one of the following titles: Grandpa's Ghost, The Sound of Crickets and Sighing Trees, Dangerous Andrew's Last Mission, A Day In The Life of Robot Ronnie, A Hero Sits Next Door. Entry fee £5. More information about the inkhead Short Story Competition


Jukebox Story - a new monthly night and website dedicated to short stories inspired by songs (800-1,000 words). More information about Jukebox Story

 

KalliKids Short Story Competition - First prize sees winners in each category having their book published. Word limit is 500-600 words and the theme is 'shine'. Closing date is 8 June. More information about KalliKids Short Story Competition

 

Kishboo Short Story competition - On going competition; entries must be a maximum of 2,000 words and the ten best stories will be selected for publication. Readers note for the winning stories. First prize is £50 and second prize is £25. More information about Kishboo Short Story Competition.

 

Lightship International Short Story Prize - First prize: £1,000. Judge: Tessa Hadley. Max: 5000 words. Entry Fee: £12. Patrons: Hilary Mantel, Andrew Motion, Christopher Reid, Cynthia Ozick, Lindsay Clarke. More information about the Lightship International Short Story Prize and other competitions.

 

Limnisa Bluethumbnail Short Story Competition - First prize: one week writer's retreat in Greece for short stories up to 3,000 words on any theme. Entry fee £6 per story. More information about the Limnisa Bluethumbnail Short Story Competition.

 

London Magazine's Poetry Competition - First prize is £300; second prize is £200. Deadline is 31 May and entry is £7 for first poem, £5 after. More information about London Magazine's Poetry Competition


Meridian Writing Competitions - this website hosts regular writing competitions. More information about Meridian Writing Competitions

 

Moth Short Story Prize - First prize is €3,000 and entry is €12. Word limit is 6,000 words and closing date is 30 June. More information about Moth Short Story Prize.


Multi-Story - Bi-monthly competitions ranging from flash fiction up to 2,500 words. First prize £300. Entry fee £5 for one or £8 for two. All judges are publishing professionals. More details about the Multi-Story competitions

 

Ninevoices 2015 Writing Competition - Stories accepted on any topic, word limit up to 2,000. First prize is £100; second prize is £50. Entry is £5 (profits to go to charity). Closing date is 31 May. More information about Ninevoices 2015 Writing Competition.

 

Octopus of Love Competition - Valentine's Day themed competition. Entry is free and prizes are $25-$50. Find out more about the Octopus of Love competition.

 

Over the Red Line - bi-monthly competition with a £50 prize. Story must have a limit of 3,500 words. Visit Over the Red Line for more details. 

 

Park Publications UK - this website runs regular competitions. More information about the Park Publications UK competitions

 

Paul's Books Short Story Competition (Summer 2014) - There is no theme for this prize and entry is free. The maximum word length is 2,000

words and first prize is £20. More information about Paul's Books Short Story Competition.

 

Prolitzer Prize - Any style or theme (unpublished) with a word limit of 2,500 words. £4 per entry and winner receives £200.  Competition closes 1 October. More information about Prolitzer Prize.

 

Segora Short Fiction/Short Story/Poetry/One Act Play Competition - Entry fees start from £4 and prizes start from £200. General deadline is 15 June. More information about Segora Short Fiction/Short Story/Poetry/One Act Play Competition.


Senior Travel Expert City, Town or Village Writing Competition - First prize of £100 for a story up to 750 words on any 'City, Town or Village' which will persuade readers that they would really like to visit the place. Free entry. More information on The City, Town or Village writing competition


Short Story Sunday - No theme with maximum length of 3,500 words. First prize is to have worked by Literary agents and publishers. Free entry. More information about Short Story Sunday.


Spinetinglers.co.uk Monthly Short Story Competition - The top five stories each month will be published on the site and the first place story will be published in the annual anthology. First prize £100; 2nd prize £50; third prize £25. Closing date for submissions is the 15th of each month, limit is 5,000 words and the theme is dark fiction. More information about Spinetinglers monthly competition.

 

Steyning Festival Short Story competition - The theme is 'home thoughts from abroad'. Best story by a young author (aged 16-19) - £100. Best story by an overseas resident visiting Britain - £250 and Best story by a British resident - £250. In addition, three submissions will be marked for special commendation in the competition, and will receive £50 each. More information about Steying Festival Short Story competition.

The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award - Annual award. First prize £30,000 for short stories of up to 6,000 words. More information about the The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.

 

The Thresholds Short Story Forum - Feature writing competition. First prize £250 and publication on The Forum. More information about The Thresholds Short Story Forum.

 

Tom-Gallon Trust Award and The Olive Cook Award - First prize £1,000 each awarded biennially, in alternate years. More information about Tom-Gallon Trust Award and The Olive Cook Award

 

V S Pritchett Memorial Prize - First prize £1,000 to the best unpublished short story of the year. More information about the V S Pritchett Memorial Prize

 

West Sussex Writers National Short Story Competition 2015 - No theme and word limit is 3,000 words. First prize is £250 and second prize is £75; £5 entry. More information West Sussex Writers National Short Story Competition 2015.


What needs to change? - First prize £200 for a short story up to 1,500 on any subject. What should we be talking about? Free entry. More information about LibArts London.

 

Whoosh Books Competitions - regular short story competitions. First prize £50. More information about Whoosh Books Competitions

 

Wild Words Biannual Writing Competition - Word limit 1,000 words and entry is £7. First prize is a Wild Words online course. Theme is 'Tell me, what is it you expect to do, With your one wild and precious life?'. Closing date is 21 June. More information Wild Words Biannual Writing Competition

 

The Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize - First prize £300 for short story 7,500 words max, any theme. More information about the Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize 2013-14.

 

Win Your Way to Swanwick - First prize: a week at Swanwick Writers' Summer School for short stories and writing for children up to 1,000 words on the theme '65 Not Out'. Entry fee £5. More information about the Win Your Way to Swanwick writing competition.

 

Words and Women Prose Writing Competition - Winner £600 and publication in an anthology.  Entry is open to all women writers over the age of 16 who live or work in the East of England. Entry fee £10. More information about the Words and Women Prose Writing Competition

 

The Word Hut Short Story Competition - Prize: £50.00. £4.00 per entry. 1,000 words maximum, any subject. More information about The Word Hut Short Story Competition

 

Working Parent Short Story Competition - Maximum word limit of 10,000 work and theme is 'significant event to impact a working family'. First prize is a Kindle Fire + £100 Amazon voucher. Entry is free and closing date is 30 November. More information about Working Parent Short Story Competition.

 

The Write Stuff Short Story Competition - For girls aged 11-18-years-old; the theme is 'friendship'. Word limit is 1,000. Stories must be submitted by 3 July. More information about The Write Stuff Short Story Competition.

 

The Writer's and Artists' Yearbook Annual Short Story Competition - First prize £500 and a place on an Arvon course of your choice. Short stories up to 2,000 words on the subject of freedom. Free entry. More information about The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook Annual Short Story Competition.

 

Writers' Forum Short Story Competition - Ongoing monthly competition with cash prizes. More information about the Writers' Forum Short Story Competition

 

Writers Reign Short Story Competition - The competition has no theme and word count is between 1,00 and 1,500 words. Entry is £3.50 for one story or £6.00 for two. First prize is £100, second prize is £50 and third prize is £25. More information about Writers Reign Short Story Competition.

 

Young Creatives' Writing Award - This competition is open until the end of March, we have 60 prizes on offer from book tokens to kindles and amazon vouchers, as well as holiday vouchers. More information about the Young Creatives' Writing Awards.