Useful writing info. (competitions & submissions etc.): Short stories

28 Jul

Every fortnight I provide my writing group with handouts of useful stuff like competitions to enter, websites to visit etc. and I thought I’d share them with you. Here are the short story-related ones (see this blog’s ‘Useful Info.‘ page for more)…


  • A free entry monthly short story competition: winners are published in one of our collections of short stories – details see
  • has two new competitions: “The first is free to enter and is titled ‘Summer Loving’. This is for fiction 500 to 1000 words, with three £10 prizes and the deadline is 31st July. The other is an open themed fiction competition. 3000 word limit and the prizes are £100, £50 and £25 as well as the shortlisted stories to be published on our site. This one costs £4 to enter (deadline is 31st August).”
  • has a deadline of 1st August. 500 words maximum. £5 fee.
  • The Manchester Fiction Prize 2011 will award a cash prize of £10,000 to the writer of the best short story of up to 3,000 words, open internationally to both new and established writers aged 16 or over. The story can be on any subject, and written in any style, but must be fiction and new work, not previously published, or submitted for consideration elsewhere during this competition. See for details. The deadline for entries is 5pm (UK time) on Friday 12th August 2011.
  • For Books’ Sake and Pulp Press:
competition to find the best pulp fiction written by women.
Deadline 15th August.
  • New Eastbourne Writers 2nd National Short Story Competition.
Theme: Lucky Break. Maximum Length: 1500 words
Prizes: £100, £50 and £25; website publication of winning entries
Fee: £5 per entry/£7 for two.
Closing date 27th August. Judge: Vanessa Gebbie (who I met recently at Winchester)
  • provides details of the Aesthetica Magazine’s artwork/photography, fiction and poetry comp; deadline 31st August.
  • The Write Place Open Short Story Competition
also has a closing date of 31st August. Submit: Short story, open themed, 1,500 words max.  Fee £4.50 per entry, (optional one page critique £4.50) Prizes: 1st £100, 2nd £75, 3rd, £50.  Entries to Francesca Burgess, 34 Capelands, New Ash Green, Longfield, Kent, DA3 8LG. Make cheques payable to ‘The Write Place’. 
More information at or email
  • Once every quarter, CheerReader has a short story competition. The maximum story length is 2500 words, and you can write about any subject genre you like, but it has to be amusing, witty, funny, or whatever other word you may care to choose. See for full details. The next deadline is 31st August.
  • The Wellington Town Council Short Story Competition 2011 is open to all. Max 4,500 words. Closing date 31st August. Entry fee £3, prizes £150, £100, £75. – go to the home page and scroll down for rules and entry form.
  • – see above (31st August).
  • The Short Story website is designed to showcase the best short stories from around the world. The idea is simple. Submit your story and you will automatically enter The Short Story competition. First prize: £300, second prize: £150, third prize: £50. The winners will be published on the website ( Deadline for submissions 15th September.
  • Short story competition: First Prize £500 (approx. 812 US$; 573€) Second Prize £150 (approx. 244 US$; 172€) Third Prize £50 (approx. 81 US$; 57€) Winners and shortlisted stories will be published in an anthology. Our short Story judge is Paul McDonald. Closing date: 30th September and costs £7.50 (12.50 US$; 9€) to enter. Details
  • 1st October is the deadline for Prizes are £500, £250 and £125. Entry fee £5. Max 3,000 words.
  • 28th October is the deadline for although you can submit any time. Entry is free and prizes vary from £100 to £500. Thanks Denny for the info.


  • Bound Off is a great free podcast that pays $20 per short story accepted which you can either record yourself or they would have an actor/actress to do it (I think it would be great to hear someone else read my story). I’ve submitted (and been rejected) a couple of times but they only take 2-3 stories a month so think it’s just a case of keeping going. They used to take submissions by email but now have to be sent via the website and not until after the summer (1st September). Bound Off’s website is
  • I had an email from Patrick Hollander of the Hollander Literary Agency to say they are looking for short stories of any genre to pass on to publishers. Submission by email only please to 1. Use Word.doc format only. 2. Maximum 25 pages. 3. Name & Address, email address, Title, Genre should appear on the front page. 4. The story should finish with the words – End of story. 5. Please allow 12 weeks for us to read submissions. 6. No communication will be entered in to unless we feel there is potential in the story but we will offer advice where we feel it is needed. 7. Communication will be to the email shown on Page 1 of the submission. Thank you for your attention to this matter.” It sounds genuine but you may wish to tread carefully nonetheless.
  • Iota welcomes submissions of short fiction in any genre, including life writing and memoir. “Please send short stories of between 2000 and 6000 words. All stories must be the original work of the author. We accept translations as long as they are identified as such. All work must be typed and double spaced. Please also send proposals (150 words) for features or essays. We also accept new fiction, biography and life writing for review, and copies should be sent to the Fiction Reviews Editor at the address below. Please email submissions and proposals to” Closing date for submissions to the third fiction & non-fiction issue is 31st July (and I assume every four months thereafter). See
  • Paraxis is a new online publisher of short stories. We relish fiction with elements of the strange, uncanny or fantastic. We will be featuring new stories, reprints, artwork and essays.
  • Shortbread is an online community of short story readers and writers, free to join. See
  • Short Story Submission Guidelines for The Fiction Desk can be found at


  • Me and My Short Stories – Harper Collins Digital Director Scott Pack (who I pitched to in February 2011 and was lovely) 🙂 reviews short story collections at:
  • The Short Review – each monthly issue of the short review brings you original reviews of new, not-quite-so-new and classic collections and anthologies, written by reviewers many of whom are also short story writers themselves and who love short fiction.
  • On 25th March 2011, short story writer Sally Quilford created Anti-Conning Writers Day, in which she highlighted the pitfalls and scams that part new (and not so new) writers from their hard-earned cash. You can read Sally’s views on dodgy agents, publishers, competitions and writing services by visiting (which is well worth a visit anyway) and clicking on the Anti-Conning Writers Day link at the top of the page.
  • The New Writer’s Prose & Poetry Prizes 2009 judge Vanessa Gebbie (who I met recently at Winchester) appears in the latest list of 12 of the best British short story writers – see
  • is a 500-1000 word site that is free to subscribe / read, free to submit to (, although they’re currently closed while wading through their slushpile). Payment is via donations with 60% going to the author and 40% going to the site so there’s no way of knowing how much (if anything) you’d earn but another opportunity perhaps.

For more information like this (not just this genre) – see this blog’s ‘Useful Info.‘ page.


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