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:

 

Headway In West Kent Short Story Competition - Maximum words: 500. Theme:  headway (can be interpreted in a broad way). 1st Prize; £50 Waterstones voucher &  publication in Kent & Sussex Courier. Entry fee: £3 per story or 4 for £10. Closing Date: 18th September 2015

More information about Headway In West Kent Short Story Competition

 

Henshaw Short Story Competition - Unpublished stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme. Closing date is 30 September/ First prize is £100 and 2nd is £50. Closing date is 31 October. More information about Henshaw Short Story Competition

 

Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story Competition - Entry is £3.50 and 10 winning stories will be published and made available for sale; each winner will receive a percentage of the royalties. Closing date is 31 August. More information about Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story Competition

 

Script Your Own Hollywood Classic Competition - 750 word limit, either in prose or script form, to write an alternative ending to famous films. £2,000. Closing date is 4 September. More information about Script Your Own Hollywood Classic Competition  

 

Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival Creative Writing Competition - Poems (max 600 words) and short stories (max 2000 words) welcomed. Open in three age categories (7-11, 12-17 and 17+). Free to enter and winning entries and highly commended entries published in a Festival book. More information about Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival Creative Writing Competition


 

Competitions closing soon:

 

Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition -1st Prize: 2000 Euro, Southword publication, invitation to read at the Cork International Short Story Festival, and a writer's retreat at Anam Cara. 2nd prize is 500 Euro + Southword publication. Four more shortlistees will be published in Southword and receive a publication fee of 120 Euro. Deadline is 31 July. More information on Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition

 

Bookers Corner Writing Competition - Any theme and word limit of 4,000 words. First prize is publication on website with view of it being in a future anthology. Deadline is 31 August. More information about Bookers Corner Writing Competition

 

Wells Festival of Literature competition - Word limit of 2,000 word on any theme. First prize is £500 and entry is £5; closing date is 31 July. More information about Wells Festival of Literature competition  

 

Competitions:


Artificum Competition - Competition open for short fiction, poetry and very short fiction. Terms and conditions vary and prizes range from £25 to £200. More information about Artificum 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


Bath Children's Novel Award - Word limit is 3,000 words with a one-page synopsis. First prize is £1,000 and entries close on 11 October. More information about Bath Children's Novel 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.


Bure Navigation Conservation Trust competition - 'River Writes' - any form of writing inspired by the River Bure. The first prize is £100 and the best entries will be published in 2016. More information about Bure Navigation Conservation Trust competition


Cambridge Fiction Award - Monthly competition, which is free. A new subject is determined on the 25th of each month. More information on Cambridge Fiction Award


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.


Caterpillar Short Story Prize - Competition for children aged 7-11-years-old. Stories on any subject welcomed with a 2,000 word limit. Closing date is 30 September and first prize is €1,000. More information about Caterpillar Short Story Prize.

 

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.

 

Cro Magnon Short Story 2015: Primitive Humanity - Entry is £5 and the theme is 'primitive humanity'. Maximum word length is 3,000 words and the closing date is 30 September 2015; first prize is £100. More information about Cro Magnon Short Story 2015: Primitive Humanity

 

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.

 

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

 

Food for Thought Short Story Competition - 'A food-themed short story. Be as wild and creative as you please, just be sure to mention a pigeon in there somewhere'. First prize is publication in The Pigeonhole. Deadline is 3 August and maximum word count is 5,000 words. More information about Food for Thought Short Story Competition


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


HG Wells Short Story Competition - The theme is 'class' and the word limit is between 1,500 - 5,000. Prize is £1,000 for under 21s and £250 for senior category. Entry is free for under 21s and £10 for senior category. More information about HG Wells 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

 

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.

 

Less than 100 words competition - Weekly competition that closes at 6pm (GMT) every Friday. Prize is £20; entry is 99p. More information about Less than 100 words 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 Short Story Prize 2015 - The competition is open to writers over the age of 18 who live in the UK, and we welcome stories of up to 8,000 words. The winner will receive £1,000, a Brunel writing desk courtesy of Heal's and publication via Spread the Word's Flight Press short story anthology. Closing date is 1 September 2015, midday. More information about London Short Story Prize 2015


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

 

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.


Oriel Davies Writing Competition 2015 - The theme is 'flora' and first prize is a £50 voucher. Entry is £3 and closing date is 2 November. More information about Oriel Davies Writing Competition 2015


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.


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


The Short Story Competition - New winners are picked monthly with a £250 prize; entry is £4.99. Word limit is 2,000 words. More information about The Short Story Competition.


Short Story Competition 2015 - Word limit is 1,000 - 5,000 words. Entry is £5 and prizes range from £50 to £300. Deadline for submission is 15 September 2015. More information about Short Story Competition 2015


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

 

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 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.