Monday, 13 July 2020



in association with the Costa Book Awards TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY Please read all terms and conditions carefully before submitting an entry. Please note that the only email address from which individual queries will be answered is We will respond where possible but we are sorry that we cannot guarantee a response to all emails. Emails sent to any other address found on the Costa Book Awards (the “CBA”) website will not receive a response. All relevant updates will be posted on and via Twitter (@CostaBookAwards). Please note that unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted individually. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of all the terms and conditions of entry. Incomplete entry forms and short stories not submitted in accordance with these terms and conditions will not be eligible for consideration. Note: Proof of any of the following conditions of eligibility may be requested from entrants at any time and will be checked at shortlist stage. 1 ELIGIBILITY a) The Costa Short Story Award (the “CSSA”) is for a single, previously-unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January 2020 whose primary residence (ie resident for over six months of the year) has been in the United Kingdom or Ireland since 1 November 2017. UK or Irish nationality is not a requirement. 

If there is any issue about whether or not you qualify as a UK resident, please check with the organisers before submitting your entry. b) Entries must be submitted in English. Translations of short stories originally published in languages other than English are not eligible. c) Entries will not be eligible where the author is a member of the judging panel, anyone involved in the management/administration of the CSSA or a close family relative of any such person. d) The submitted story must not have been previously published in print or online or broadcast. e) A story published posthumously will not be eligible if the author died prior to 1 January 2020. f) Authors currently serving a term of imprisonment are ineligible for the CSSA. This is for practical purposes - when an author is shortlisted/wins, the organisers need direct and speedy access to the author. 2 ENTRY a) Entries may only be submitted online via the specific entry form on the CBA website ( Entries submitted in any other form will not be accepted. b) Entries for the CSSA can be submitted at from Wednesday 1st July 2020. Submission of entries will be acknowledged automatically with an on-screen message when the Submit Story button has been pressed. There will be no separate acknowledgement by email. The closing date for entries to be submitted is 5pm on Monday 3rd August 2020 and entries submitted after this date will not be accepted. A message will then appear on to confirm that entry for the CSSA is closed and entries submitted after that time will not be accepted. c) Entries may be submitted by the author, their publisher or their agent. d) Although the entries will be assessed anonymously, they must be submitted in the author’s own name. e) The submission of an author’s work by the publisher/agent will be taken as agreement by the author that they are willing for the submitted work to be considered and to comply with these terms and conditions. f) No more than one story per author may be submitted. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that no more than one of their stories is submitted in total. If more than one story is submitted, only the first story received will be considered. g) Authors may only enter individually and not as part of a team. h) The story submitted must be a separate, standalone, original story and not a chapter of a book or ongoing work. h) The story submitted must be (and by submission of this form is warranted by the author and accepted by the CBA to be) original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work. It must not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party and not be libellous, unlawful or defamatory of any living person or corporate body. The author is entirely responsible for any potential copyright or other legal issues in their story. 3 THE SHORT STORY a) The story must not exceed 4,000 (four thousand) words. Please note: 4,000 is the maximum word count but not a specific target. b) If the story has already been submitted to other competitions or publications, please ensure that it is given a different title before being submitted to the CSSA. This is because, if it has already been commended elsewhere, this would then compromise the anonymity of its author, particularly if it is shortlisted. c) There is no set theme to the story, but we encourage all entrants to submit entries that are bold, different and original in order for them to stand out from the rest. d) The format of the story must adhere to these following rules, and the CBA management team will change all shortlisted/Highly Commended stories to this format to ensure that they are all the same: i) PDF format ii) Typed in Arial 12 pt black font iii) Double-spaced iv) Hard returns between paragraphs (NO indentations anywhere please and NO page numbers) v) The name of the author must not appear anywhere within the story vi) The name of the story and word count to be included within the header on every page. 4 JUDGING a) Entries will be judged anonymously; in other words, the name and other personal details of the author will not be linked to the story/made available to either the initial readers or the judges. b) The judges of the CSSA will be looking for what they think is the best entry on the basis of quality and originality of prose, narrative voice and storyline. c) All entries will be initially read by a team of readers who will select a smaller number of stories for the judging panel to read. This is not deemed to be an official longlist (as each story will have been selected at this stage by one reader rather than as a result of collective discussion and agreement), and authors of these stories will not therefore be advised that their stories have been selected for submission to the judging panel. d) A judging panel will read the short stories selected by the team of readers and will draw up a shortlist of three stories plus an additional list of up to six Highly Commended stories. e) The three shortlisted stories (which will remain anonymous) will be made available on the CBA website between mid-November 2020 and mid-January 2021, and the public will be asked to vote for their favourite. f) The identity of the authors of the three shortlisted stories will be announced after voting has closed. At the same time, the authors of the Highly Commended stories will be announced. All shortlisted/Highly Commended authors will be contacted by the CBA management team before this announcement. g) A winner and two runners-up will be announced in January 2021. h) The winner will receive prize money of £3,500. The author in second place will receive £1,000 whilst that in third place will receive £500. i) Costa Limited ("Costa Coffee") reserves the right to increase or reduce the numbers of entries selected for the judges to read and for the shortlist at its sole discretion. j) The judging will be fair and independent. The judging panel will be appointed by the Director of the Costa Book Awards. The decisions of the judges are final. Neither discussion nor correspondence concerning any decision will be entered into. 5 SHORTLIST AND WINNER a) All three shortlisted writers will be contacted personally by email or by telephone using the details provided at the time of entry. Unsuccessful entrants will NOT be contacted. The three shortlisted stories will be published on the CBA website during November 2020. The overall winner and two runners-up will be announced at the CBA presentation in January 2021. b) For the purposes of fairness to all three shortlisted authors, their anonymity must be maintained throughout the voting period. If there is any evidence that any of the authors have told anyone that their story is shortlisted (eg by comments made on the internet which have been found after a brief search), Costa Coffee reserves the right to withdraw that author’s short story from the competition immediately. c) The winner will receive a cheque for £3,500. The author in second place will receive a cheque for £1,000 whilst that in third place will receive a cheque for £500. d) By submitting a story, the entrant agrees to (or if the entrant is the author’s publisher or agent it confirms that it has secured the author’s agreement that the author will BA in the event of being shortlisted and, in the event of winning, to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of activities to promote the CSSA particularly immediately after the announcement of the winner has been made. For the avoidance of doubt, any publisher or agent who submits an entry on behalf of its author shall be responsible for inviting and ensuring their author’s attendance at the Awards ceremony and any further activity agreed. f) It is a condition of entry that the authors of all the Highly Commended/shortlisted stories must cooperate with the CBA management team in all publicity and promotion opportunities surrounding the CSSA. g) By submitting an entry, writers of all winning, shortlisted or Highly Commended entries agree to ensure that in the event that any winning, shortlisted or Highly Commended entry is published, including in any anthology publications, it will carry approved Costa Book Awards credits if requested to do so and provided all materials bearing such approved credits, logos or trademarks are pre-approved by the CBA management team. Such accreditation if required will be provided to the winning, shortlisted and Highly Commended authors. 6 COPYRIGHT AND TERMS OF USE a) Entrants retain the copyright in their entries, but by submitting a story into the CSSA, entrants acknowledge and agree that each shortlisted entrant: i) grants to Costa Coffee, its affiliates, licensees, successors and assigns a worldwide sub-licensable, perpetual, transferable, non-exclusive royalty-free licence to use in any way whatsoever including but not limited to public performance, public display, publishing, reproduction, broadcasting, amendment or modification of the entry or any part of the entry on and through the website or any website associated with Costa Coffee in its different present and future forms - for example newsprint, Braille, talking book, podcast, audio download, electronic databases, e-paper, mobile device application, electronic media or website including mobile form or any other facsimile or derivative versions in any medium; and ii) without prejudice to the above, grants Costa Coffee a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free licence to publish the first three paragraphs of the winning entry and runners-up on the Costa Coffee and Costa Book Awards website ( b) All entrants (whether author, publisher, agent) will be deemed to have granted the rights for publication and distribution in paper, e-paper, e-Book, downloadable format, talking book, podcast, mobile device application, electronic media or website including mobile form or in any other present or future form of publication, and they or their agents will clear the necessary rights for such publication and distribution. The rights for publication will be nonexclusive, with no bar on publication rights elsewhere. 7 ADMINISTRATION a) The competition will be administered by the CBA management team. b) All announcements in relation to the CSSA will be published on and via the CBA Twitterfeed (@CostaBookAwards). c) Entrants must provide their name, email address, telephone number and postal address on the initial entry form. We will make use of this data, and other information we may collect about you, for the purposes of administering the CSSA and promoting the CSSA. For more information on how we use your data, and your rights, please see our privacy policy at d) Entrants must supply full details as required above, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the CSSA. Ineligible, obscene or fraudulent entries will be automatically disqualified. e) The CBA management team reserves the right to refuse any entry for any reason at its absolute discretion, and reserves the right to vary the Terms and Conditions of Entry, and alter the published programme, as may be deemed necessary to ensure the proper administration and integrity of the CSSA and where required for reasons beyond its control. Any amendments will be published on f) The CBA management team reserves the right to cancel, modify or supersede the CSSA (including altering prizes) at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion to ensure the proper administration and integrity of the CSSA, or if circumstances arise outside of its control. g) By entering, all eligible entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by each and all of these Terms and Conditions. Costa Coffee reserves the right to exclude entrants and withhold prizes for violating any of these Terms and Conditions. h) The submission of an author’s work by a publisher or agent will be taken as agreement by the author that they are willing for the submitted work to be considered and that they consent to and approve of all terms and conditions contained herein and as agreement by the publisher or agent to guarantee and procure the author’s compliance with these Terms and Conditions. If such publisher or agent fails to do the foregoing, Costa Coffee may at its sole discretion disqualify the entry and/or reclaim any Award and/or associated prize money and revise the shortlist and (if applicable) winning entries. Any author who submits an entry warrants that they have obtained all necessary publisher and/or agent consents required to submit an entry in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. i) All entrants will indemnify Costa Coffee and the CBA management team against loss or damage (including any legal costs or expenses and any compensation costs and disbursements paid by Costa Coffee and the CBA management team on the advice of legal counsel to compromise or settle any claim) occasioned to Costa Coffee or the CBA management team in consequence of any breach of these Terms and Conditions by the entrant or arising out of any claim alleging that the submitted entry constitutes an infringement of copyright or contains libellous, obscene, defamatory or otherwise unlawful matter. j) There is no alternative to the prizes stated and the prizes are not transferable, and no part or parts of any prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions. k) Costa Coffee and the CBA management team will not be liable for any failure of receipt of entries. Costa Coffee and the CBA management team have no responsibility for any entries which are lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid. If the CBA management team is unable to contact a shortlisted author despite making reasonable attempts to do so, the judges will be entitled to shortlist another entry. Other than death or personal injury arising from the acts or omissions of Costa Coffee, the CBA management team or their employees, Costa Coffee and the CBA management team will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of participation in the CSSA or the award of a prize. l) The promoter of this award is Costa Coffee Limited, Costa House, Houghton Hall Business Park, Porz Avenue, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU5 5YG. m) These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales and entrants submit all matters arising in relation to these Terms and Conditions or the CSSA (including all non-contractual disputes) to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales provided that if you are a resident of Scotland, you may also bring proceedings in Scotland, if you are a resident of Northern Ireland, you may also bring proceedings in Northern Ireland, and if you are resident of Ireland you may also bring proceedings in Ireland. Nothing contained in this clause shall limit the right of Costa Coffee, its affiliates or subsidiaries, successors or assigns, to bring a claim in any other jurisdiction.


In our quest to offer authors a stage for their work, we are hosting our Summer Short Story Competition.

Short story: 3,000 words maximum, no minimum. The title is not included in the word count.

The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English, 16 years old and over at the time of the closing date.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must not, at the time of entering, have won any other national or international competition prizes.
All entries are judged anonymously.

Entries may be in the following genres: fiction including science fiction or non-fiction (e.g. biography, memoir, true story).

Entrants may submit any number of stories.

Entrants may withdraw entries from the competition by notification in writing. Entry fees will not be refunded.

Entries will be disqualified if they exceed the word count.

Multiple entries are allowed.

Friday, 10 July 2020


The Primadonna Prize is designed to open up access to the publishing industry for talented, emerging writers who are unsigned and unrepresented.

Entrants must submit 500 words written around the theme: ‘the more things change’.

A longlist of 30 entries will be sent onto professional editors at a mainstream publishing house who will agree a shortlist of five. Shortlisted writers will be required to submit a longer piece of 5,000 words.

The prize will be judged by multi-award-winning author Elif Shafak; author and panellist June Sarpong OBE; author Monisha Rajesh; publisher Lisa Milton and literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes.
The winner will be awarded £500 and the opportunity to be represented by Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown literary agency.
The runner up in the fiction category will receive £100 and a mentoring session with Kit de Waal.
The runner up in the nonfiction category will receive £100 and a mentoring session with Catherine Mayer.


Tuesday, 30 June 2020



Submissions for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards are open and we look forward to seeing all the wonderful Irish writing from the last year.

Eligibility and category information

Along with every other arts project affected by the Covid 19 public health crisis, the awards trustees will continue to review all the planned activities in the coming months. The team will be sure to keep everyone updated with news on this website. The current schedule of dates are as follows:

2020 dates:
Submissions close – 31st August
Shortlist launch – 22nd October – likely to be a virtual event
An Post Irish Book Awards 2020 –Mid-End November – The team are discussing a range of options and possible outcomes with sponsors, key stakeholders and the official media partner: RTÉ.

Submitted titles will be considered by both, a book-industry panel and a second body of critics and reviewers who will assess these in mid-September. Feedback is then combined to select the shortlists.

Successful publishers will be notified confidentially in early October. Due to the volume of submissions we regret that we cannot undertake to notify unsuccessful publishers.

Copies of submitted titles are only required if your titles are shortlisted but NOT at the submissions stage.

The Short Story of the Year is administered by – click here for submissions information

The Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year is administered by Listowel Writers’ Week – click here for submissions information

Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year is administered by Love Leabhar Gaeilge – click here for submissions information

If you have any queries or problems with your submissions please contact


Friday, 26 June 2020


2020 Writing Competition

Entry is now open for this year!

This is an open competition for short stories, flash fiction and poems on any subject matter.

The competition is open to people of 16 years and over. See poster for more information.

All entry fees will go to the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund.

Closing Date is 12.00 midnight (GMT) on Thursday 16th July 2020. This competition is also open to international entrants, last year we had entrants from the USA to Australia.

*A longlist of the top 20 submissions in each competition will be listed here in August 2020.

*The top 6 shortlisted in each competition will be listed here in September 2020.

*Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at a special event in Naas Library as part of the 2020 Kildare Readers Festival Programme.

*The winning entries in each competition will be published on the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund website and also on the Kildare Library and Arts Service website.

Please read all T&C's.

Short Story Entries

- Entries should not exceed 2,000 words.

- Entry Fee €15, pay fee here or click on the button below.

Short Story Entry

Flash Fiction Entries

- Entries should not exceed 500 words.

- Entry Fee €10, pay fee here or click on the button below.

Flash Fiction Entry

Poetry Entries
Poetry Entry

- Entries should not exceed 40 lines.

- Entry Fee €10, pay fee here or click on the button below.

Email entries to:

Meet the Judges



Natasha (085-1941977) or Ciaran (086-4611361)

Wednesday, 24 June 2020


Autumn 2020 – Open for Entries

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third
(approx. $1,230, $620, $310)
Deadline: 31 August 2020
Entry fee: Choose your own
Judge: David Gaffney

Entries close: 31 August 2020
Judging: September 2020
Longlist announced: 1 October 2020
Winner published: 31 December 2020

After the longlist has been announced, we’ll publish one story each day culminating in the publication of the winning stories at the end of December 2020.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Fiction Desk Looking for Submissions

On the theme of  'Gardens'

Until the end of July, we're looking for short stories on a theme of 'gardens':

"Private gardens, public gardens, or shared gardens. The neighbour's garden, or gardens of the rich and famous. Secret gardens, exotic gardens, well-kept gardens, forgotten gardens, haunted gardens, dangerous gardens, gardens of the past or of the future. What do they mean to us? How do we use them - or not use them? What might happen in them - or not happen?"

You can find out more about this call, or send us your story, on our website right here. (If the theme doesn't grab you, we're also open for general submissions: see here for details.) Meanwhile, I've dug up (ha!) some sources of inspiration from around the Internet, from books to news stories....

Friday, 22 May 2020


You can define what it means to be an author

Stories are being written every single day. By the early morning tweeters and lunch time lyricists, the midnight emailers and all day texters. Authors, hidden in plain sight. Authors, who don't even know they're authors yet. Authors like you.

WriteNow is our award-winning programme which aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves.

WriteNow gives you the tools, information and access you need to get published.

It starts with just 1,000 words.

How do I apply?

As part of your application we'll ask you to tell us about your book. What's it called? What's it about? What makes it special?

We'll also ask you to send us up to 1,000 words – it could be the opening chapter, or a later section of your book which you’re particularly proud of. It's up to you.

In 250 words, we will also ask you to tell us how you meet our criteria.

Editors from across Penguin will assess your application, considering your writing talent and ability, as well as the originality of your story or idea.

"‘I grew up thinking people like me didn’t belong in books or on the bookshelves. The WriteNow programme was the invitation I needed to believe that voices like mine matter."

Published author and WriteNow alumnus Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Thursday, 21 May 2020

General Short Story Submissions

Our standard submission call, for all types of story.

Theme: various

Deadline: Open now. Deadline 31 July 2020.

Word count: 1,000-20,000 words

Submission fee: standard (see submission guidelines).

Payment and rights: standard (see submission guidelines).

How to submit: Read the submission guidelines, then send us your story through our submission form.

Our 'general' category is our standard, catch-all category, and runs during every submission period. It includes the range of styles and genres that feature in all of our anthologies: literary or general fiction, light supernatural or science fiction, and combinations of those.

If you've read one of our anthologies, you'll know the kind of thing we're looking for. If not, the best way to get a sense of what we publish is to pick up a recent volume. Our latest, Somewhere This Way, is out now.



Two category winners will be presented with a cash prize of €250 and the overall winner will receive the top cash prize of €500.

All three winners will receive a beautiful hand-crafted Write By The Sea Festival 2020 Writing Competition trophy and all three winning pieces will be published on the Write By The Sea website.


There are three competition categories:

1. Fiction Short Story (maximum 3,000 words)
2. Memoir – a factual account of a memorable moment
(maximum 3,000 words)
3. Poetry (maximum 40 lines)

The independent panel of judges will select one winner in each category.

One of the three category winners will be selected as the overall winner.


The competition is open for entries from Monday 16th March 2020.
Entries must be the original and unpublished work of the entrant.
Entries must relate to our Write By The Sea 2020 theme ‘Waves’.
Entries must be typed in Word document format and double-spaced* (see Note A below).
Entries must be submitted via the Online Entry Form on the Competition page of the WBTS website, where entrants will upload their names and contact details.
As submissions are judged on an anonymous basis, the author’s name and contact details must not appear anywhere in the text of the writing submission.
Entrants can submit as many entries as they wish at €10 per entry, or €25 for three entries (which can be in any or all of the three categories).
The decision of the judges is final.
No correspondence/contact will be entered into and no feedback will be given to individual entrants.
Entrants should retain copies of their work as entries will NOT be returned.
The closing date for entries is 11.59 pm on Friday 10 July 2020
Committee members and relatives of committee members of the Write By The Sea festival, its agents, contributors or sponsors are not eligible to enter the competition.
All non-winning entries will be deleted from our records after three months from the date of the announcement of the competition results.

Note A: It breaks our hearts when we have to disqualify entrants who break the rules. Sadly, last year we disqualified over 50% of the entries for disregarding simple rules such as not submitting text in double spacing or including their names and addresses in the text of their submissions.

Note B: When you successfully submit an entry to the competition you will receive two emails from us.

The first email is confirmation of the information submitted by you, including a copy of the information you provided and the entry you uploaded.

The second is a receipt of payment of your entry fee from Kilmore Quay Community Development Association CLG.

if you do not receive these emails within 24 hours of submitting your entry, please check your spam folder. If you do not receive both emails, your submission has not been entered in the competition. Please try again.

If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch with us via



THE COSTA SHORT STORY AWARD  in association with the Costa Book Awards TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY Please read all terms and co...