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. Booktrust is not responsible for any external content on these sites.


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:

Ben's Heroes Trust Super Amazing 2014 Short Story Competition - For children aged 7-11. Maximum word length is 500 and the theme is 'friendship'. No entry fee and first prize is £35 book token. Closing date is 21 November. More information about Ben's Heroes Trust Super Amazing 2014 Short Story Competition.


Henshaw Short Story Competition - Stories on any subject with max word length of 2,000 words. Entry is £5; first prize is £100 and second prize is £50. Closing date is 12 January. More information about Henshaw Short Story Competition.

 

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition - Maximum words 3,000 and prizes range from £100 - £500. Entry is £6 and the closing date is 28 February. More information about Exeter Writers Short Story Competition.

 

October Flash Jam Competition - No maximum words and the theme is 'selfies'. No entry fee and prize is $50. More information about October Flash Jam 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.

 

Competitions closing soon:

 

The Fiction Desk Newcomer's Short Story Prize - For short stories from 1,000 to 5,000 words. Entry fee £8, first prize £500, deadline 31 October. More information about The Fiction Desk Newcommer's Prize.

 

The Scott Prize - international annual prize for a first collection of short stories in English. Salt Publishing accepts submissions of short story manuscripts from 1 July to 31 October every year. The winner is announced the following April with a collection publishing six months later. More information about The Scott Prize

Bare Fiction Prize - Prizes available for poetry, flash fiction and short stories. First prize in each category is £500. entry cost ranges from £3 - £8 and the deadline is 31 October. More information about Bare Fiction Prize.


Huge Jam Writing Competition - For writers aged 4-18-years-old. First prize is illustrated eBook and signed illustration. Word length is 1,000 words and closing date is 3 November. More information about Huge Jam Writing Competition


Competitions:

 

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.


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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

Commonwealth Short Story Prize - Awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000-5,000 words). The Overall Winner will receive £5,000, and four Regional Winners will receive £2500 each. Translators will receive additional prize money. Free entry. Closing date 15 November 2014. More information about the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

 

Contest Fiction Second Short Fiction Contest - 2,500 word limit, theme or closing date - the contest is decided by donations left by readers - £100 will be paid to the reader when £125 is reached. More information about Contest Fiction Second Short Fiction Contest.

 

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 stories on the theme 'The reunion', 'The journey' or 'The letter'. Entry fee £5. More information about the Curry Mallet History Festival Adult's Short Story Competition.

 

Curry Mallet History Festival Children's Short Story Competition - First prize £35 for stories starting with the sentence 'My hamster is stuck in the piano!' for the aged 11 and under category and for the 12-16 category, either 'Ghosts don't sing in tune', she said' or 'I think our garden shed is a time machine.' Stories should be under 500 words. Entry fee £3 per entry. More information about the Curry Mallet History Festival 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


Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story - awarded to the best short story collection. More information about the Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story

 

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

 

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.

 

Eyelands Third International Short Story Contest - First prize air tickets from a European city to Greece and back, and publication, for a short story up to 2,500 words on the theme 'Dream' and 'Getaway. Entry fee: 10 Euros. More information about the Eyelands Third International Short Story Contest.

 

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.

 

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

 

Five Stop Story's monthly competition - First prize £50. Entry fee £4. 1,000-3,000 word short stories on any theme. More information about Five Stop Story. New competition every month.

 

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

 

Green Lady Award for Fiction - Entry fee is £5 and the first prize is £50. The word limit is 3,000 words and the theme is 'resistance'. Deadline is 30 November. More information on Green Lady Award for Fiction.

 

Greenacre Writers Short Story Competition - Annual competition. First prize £100 for a short story up to 2,000 words. Entry fee £5,50. More information about the Greenacre Writers Short Story Competition

 

Greenacre Writers montly competition - Closing date is 20th of each month; word count is 1,000 on any theme or subject. First prize is £45 and second is £25. Entry is £4. Find out more about Greenacre Writers montly 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.

 

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.

 

Leaf Books - this website runs regular competitions. More information about the Leaf Books competitions

 

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.

 

Little House Short Story Competition - First prize £2,000 for short story up to 2,000 words. Entry fee £6.50. More information about Little House Short Story Competition.

 

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

 

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

 

My Mate Kindle Monthly Competition - Monthly competition for short stories up to 2,000 words. More information about the My Mate Kindle Monthly Competition

 

The New Writer - regular poetry, short story and micro-fiction competitions. More information about The New Writer Magazine

 

New Welsh Writing Awards 2015 People, Place & Planet: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment - Non-fiction piece between 8,000 and 30,000 words on the theme of nature and the environment. Closing date is 1 November and first prize is £1,000 and publication of your work. More information about New Welsh Writing Awards 2015 People, Place & Planet: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment.

 

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.

 

Rubery Short Story Competition - First prize £500, Second prize £150 & Third prize is £50 and all shortlisted stories will appear in the annual anthology. Entry is £7.50 and closing date is 31 October. More information about Rubery Short Story Competition.

 

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition - Prize is £800 for stories up to 1,500 words. Open to all UK writers over 16. Deadline is 31 March and entry fee is £10. More information about Scottish Arts Club Short Story 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.

Segora Short Story Competitions - regular competitions for cash prizes. More information about Segora

 

That Which We Do Not Understand Competition - Open Brief. Your writing could take the form of poetry, flash fiction or short story. Or it could be a piece of documentary writing, a report, an interview or a diary. No minimum length, maximum length 2500 words. If your writing is included in my artists book then you will receive a copy and an invitation to the launch party. Deadline is 10 November. More information about That Which We Do Not Understand.


The London Magazine Short Story Competition - 4,000 word limit, no theme, £500 first prize plus publication in The London Magazine. Closes 31 October. More information about the London Magazine 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


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

 

Writer's Worldwide Prize - this website runs regular writing competitions. More information about Writer's Worldwide Prize

 

Writers' Village Contest - Any genre or theme with maximum word count of 3,000 words. Entry fee is £15 and first prize is £1000, second prize £500 and third prize £250. Everyone will receive feedback and closing date is 31 December. Find out more about Writers' Village Contest.