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.


Latest competitions added:

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.

 

SEAM Short Story Jam - The theme is 'martyrdom'. Prize is $100 and $50 with no entry fee. Closing date is 30 September. More information about SEAM Short Story Jam.

 

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.


World War One Short Story Competition for 15-21-year-olds - Theme is 'the impact of World War One'. First prize is €1,000 with runner up prize is €300. Word length is 3,500 words and closing date is 24 October. More information about World War One Short Story Competition for 15-21-year-olds.

 

Competitions closing soon:

Allen Raine Short Story Competition - First prize is £200 and the closing date is 30 September. Word limit is between 1,000 and 7,500 words and entry is £5. More information about Allen Raine Short Story Competition

 

Historic House Short Story Competition - Max 2,500 word story inspired by or set in a historic house (real or imagined). Free entry. First prize: £150, private tour and afternoon tea with owners of Levens Hall, Cumbria. Double Friends Membership to the HHA. Two runners-up prizes of Double Friends Membership to the HHA. Deadline: 26 September 2014. More information about Historic House Short Story Competition

 

Literature Works First Page Writing Prize 2014 - Submit the opening pages of your unpublished novel and a 150 word synopsis. First prize £1,500 and a reading from a literary agent. Closing date is 30 September 2014. More information about Literature Works First Page Writing Prize 2014.

 

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.

 

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.


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.

 

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). Regional winners will receive £2,500 and the Overall Winner will receive £5,000. Translators will receive additional prize money.  More information about the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

 

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

 

Equestrian Short Story Competition 2014 - Equestrian-themed competition with 6,000 word limit. Deadline is 11 August 2014. More information about Equestrian Short Story Competition 2014.

 

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2013 - First prize £250 for a short story up to 3,000 words. Entry fee £5. More information about Exeter Writers Short Story Competition.

 

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

 

Flash Fiction Contest  - There is no theme and the maximum word count is 1,500 words. First prize is $500 and entry is $10. Closing date is 30 September. More information about Flash Fiction Contest.

 

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

 

'Hello, I must be going' Short Story Jam - First prize is $100 and the theme is 'What if technology makes us disposable?'. Closing date is 31 August. More information about 'Hello, I must be going' Short Story Jam.

 

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.

 

2014 Inclusive Works Competition - The theme is 'Grandma, Grandpa and I live in a multicultural society . Stories for children aged 1-3 and 4-6. years-old. the winning stories will be published in an illustrated children's book. Deadline is 31 August 2014. More information on 2014 Inclusive Works 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.

 

The Prolitzer Prize for Prose Writing 2014 - Entries of up to 2,500 words, either fiction or creative non-fiction. First prize - £150, 2 x runners up prize of £50. Closing date is 1 October 2014. Entry fee: £4.00. More information about the Prolitzer Prize for Prose Writing.

 

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.

 

SASH Writing Competition - The prize is open to anyone over the age of 16 to raise awareness of youth homelessness. Entry is free, although a small donation would be appreciated. The first prize is a 5-day residential course with Arvon and the closing date is 10 October. More information about SASH 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 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

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


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

 

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


Writer's Village - First prize £1000 for a short story, any theme, up to 3,000 words. Entry fee £12. More information about Writer's Village.