Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The John Murray Prize with The Spectator

To celebrate their 250th birthday, John Murray are launching a new international non-fiction prize in association with The Spectator – open to unpublished authors everywhere
John Murray and The Spectator

We believe strongly that the best non-fiction isn’t confined by category – as our history shows. Alexander von Humboldt’s Personal Narrative of his five years exploring South America came out in 1814; it was a major influence on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and his seminal Origin of Species (1859) and both inspired Andrea Wulf to write her multiple prize-winning The Invention of Nature (2015). John Murray are immensely proud to have been the publisher of all three, very different books across over two centuries.

We may be Britain’s oldest publisher but we are always looking for new writers and fresh ideas. Our current list include critically acclaimed and bestselling books as diverse as Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, Matthew Syed’s Black Box Thinking and Randall Munroe’s What If? We know the best non-fiction challenges you to think again about everything. And with this prize we are looking for truly original writing that will stand the test of time.

The prize will be officially launched on 2nd January 2018.
How to Enter

Write an essay on the theme of ORIGIN.

Tell us about a beginning or a discovery of any kind. Explain an idea, a movement or a species. Take us across the world, into outer space or deep into the past. Explore your passion, discipline or background. Surprise us.

What you write about and how you write about it – whether it’s in the form of history, science, literature, nature, travel or memoir – is up to you.

Our judges are Andrea Wulf, Sumit Paul-Choudury (editor in chief of New Scientist), Amanda Vickery (professor of history at Queen Mary), Sam Leith (literary editor of The Spectator) and Stig Abell (editor of the TLS).

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We are looking for (1) an original, insightful and lively piece of non-fiction writing of no more than 4000 words that offers an unexpected view of an origin of your choice. And (2) a separate outline/description of how this essay could become a book.

Deadline for submissions is 1st May 2018 (midnight GMT).

You can submit your essay to

The overall winner will be announced on our actual anniversary in October.

For the winner:
A £20,000 book contract with John Murray and mentoring sessions with our publisher
Their winning essay published both in The Spectator and in a special anniversary anthology
An invitation to our anniversary party

For the runners-up:
Their winning essay published in an elegant anthology
A selection of books from John Murray

Click here for full terms and conditions.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2018

Edge Hill University’s 12th annual Short Story Prize is now accepting submissions, with the winner due to receive £10,000 at a special event in London in November.

The Prize is the only UK-based award that recognizes excellence in a published short story collection and will also include a £1,000 Reader’s Choice award to a writer from the shortlist, and a further category for stories by Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing students.

The Edge Hill Short Story Prize was founded in 2006 by the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction, Ailsa Cox, to highlight the intricate artisanship of short story writing and acknowledge the wealth of published collections available.

Now, after 11 years, Ailsa will pass the torch to fellow Creative Writing lecturer Billy Cowan.

Billy, who is an award-winning playwright, as well as a short-fiction writer, has previously acted as a judge for the awards.

When asked about his new role, he said:

“If, as Neil Gaiman says, it only takes a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart, then running the Edge Hill Prize this year means I’m in for a helluva ride.”

Ailsa, who will take a seat on the judge’s panel added:

“I’m looking forward to discovering new voices and to reading new collections from writers at the top of their game. I have a feeling it’s going to be a bumper year, and one that will be full of surprises.”

Three more judges for this year’s prize will be announced soon.

Publishers must submit collections for consideration by Friday 23rd March 2018. The shortlist will be announced by Saturday 30th June with awards to be presented at a special event in London in November.

To be eligible, collections must be published during 2017. Authors must be born or normally reside in the British Isles (including Ireland).

The 2017 prize was awarded to Daisy Johnson for Fen (Cape). The Readers’ Choice winner was Lucy Caldwell for Multitudes (Faber). The 2017 Prize featured an all-female short list, including Irenosen Okjie (Speak Gigantular – Jacaranda), K. J. Orr (Light Box – Daunt) and Joanna Walsh (Vertigo – And Other Stories).

Click here for more information about submitting an entry.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Harper's Bazaar short-story competition 2018

Fiction has long been the life blood of Bazaar. Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood and Ali Smith are just a handful of names that make up our glittering roster of past contributors. For the chance to follow in their footsteps, enter our annual short-story competition by submitting 2,500 words on the subject of ‘The Looking Glass’. The winner will receive a two-night stay and a three course dinner for two in Amberley Castle, an inspiring 900-year-old retreat in rural Sussex and the chance to see their work published in Harper’s Bazaar.

Terms and conditions: the competition is open to individuals aged 18 and over, published or unpublished. To enter, send an original, unpublished short story, written in English on the subject of 'The Looking Glass', of up to 2,500 words to The competition closes at midnight on 9 April 2018. Stories received after the closing date will not be considered. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges and will be based on literary merit, originality and readability. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms and to have agreed to be bound by them. The winner will receive a selection of gifts from Smythson and a two-night stay in a Classic Room for two at Amberley Castle Hotel. The prize is valid for an overnight stay Sunday to Friday inclusive (not Saturday). It includes breakfast on both days and three course dinner on one night. All additional food and beverages will be charged as extra, payable direct to the hotel on departure. The prize is subject to availability and must be taken by 31 October 2018. There is no cash alternative and the prize is non-transferable and cannot be extended. It does not include travel to and from the hotel. This competition is not open to any employees of Hearst, the promoter or their immediate families, the promoter's advertising agency and sales-promotion consultancy, or anyone else connected with the creation and administration of the competition. Only one competition entry, fulfilling the eligibility requirements above, will be accepted per person. Once selected, only the winner(s) will be contacted personally by email, using the contact details provided upon entry. Entry to the competition and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission to use any entrant's name, image and any competition-entry photograph, for promotional and/or editorial purposes in any format in print and non-print media without additional consultation. It is assumed that you have the permission of your employer for any time off work that is required to claim the prize. Hearst or the third party are not liable in any way to any winner who cannot attend.Winners will be notified by 1 July 2018. By entering the competition and in consideration for Hearst publishing your entry, you assign to Hearst the entire worldwide copyright in your entry for all uses in all print and non-print media and formats, including but not limited to all rights to use your entry in any and all electronic and digital formats, and in any future medium hereafter developed for the full period of copyright therein, and all renewals and extensions thereof, any rental and lending rights and retransmission rights and all rights of a like nature wherever subsisting. Hearst's decision is final in every situation, including any not covered above, and no correspondence will be entered into in respect of the validity of any such decision. Hearst shall be permitted to exclude or disqualify any entrant at any time at its sole discretion. Hearst reserves the right to exclude late, incomplete or multiple registrations, or registrations made by third parties or agents. Hearst Magazines does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. The name of the winner(s) will be announced in Harper's Bazaar (print magazine or online) in August 2018. No purchase is necessary. Once entered, entries cannot be returned or withdrawn. Spammers will be disqualified. Prizes must be taken as stated, although Hearst reserves the right to change the prize in the event of unforeseen circumstances. By entering the competition, you agree to the terms of the Privacy Policy. In addition, Hearst may pass your personal information to the promoters of the competition (where it is not Hearst) and their data processors. However, we always demand that any such parties adhere to the same security procedures that we follow ourselves. Hearst reserves the right to (i) cancel and/or withdraw this competition and/or (ii) amend these terms, at any time without notice. Where Hearst runs a competition with a promoter such that the promoter is responsible for the selection and/or the provision of prizes, then Hearst shall not be responsible for or have any liability for the provision of such prizes. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will Hearst be liable, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any loss, damage or injury arising under or in connection with this competition. These terms are governed by English law, and entrants agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts in relation to all matters arising under or in connection with these terms.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

STORGY Flash Fiction Competition

1st Prize
£100 + STORGY Gift Bundle
2nd Prize
STORGY Gift Bundle
3rd Prize
STORGY Gift Bundle

Entry Dates
Submissions for the STORGY Flash Fiction Competition will be accepted from 1st February 2018
The deadline for receipt of entries is 11.00pm 31st March 2018
How to Enter

Applicants are encouraged to submit online via Submittable as early as possible before the deadline.
Instructions for Entering

1) Type and format the short story as per the following instructions: Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) with the story title in the file name.
One entry per author
Written in English
A maximum of 500 words
Font: Garamond, 12pt, black
Double spaced
Front page with title of the story, author name, and word count

2) Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) with story title in the file.

3) 3) Visit the STORGY Submittable Page via the following link:

The Short Fiction Prize - 2018

F I R S T P R I Z E £500 + publication

S E C O N D P R I Z E £100 + publication

T H I R D P R I Z E Place on our masterclass

Please read the competition rules before entering.

Entry = £8 per story.

Entry is via Paypal or credit/debit card.


Email entries to with ‘Competition Entry’ in the subject box.

The Writers Bureau Short Story Competition 2018

1st Prize - £300

2nd Prize - £200

3rd Prize - £100

4th Prize - £50

How To Enter

Please read the Rules of Entry carefully before submitting your entry. Entries not following the rules will be disqualified.

Enter Online

Submitting your competition entries is easy.

To proceed, click the link at the bottom of this page.

1. You will first be asked to enter your credit/debit card details.

2. Having completed this stage you will be issued an order number that you need to send with your entries.

3. You can print this page for reference. We will also send you a notification of all these details by email.

4. The next stage is to email us your entry. Full details are given at the end of the payment process.

Please note:

Payment will be taken from your card immediately.

Enter Online Now

Enter By Post

Download the entry form and return with your payment and story/ies.

Download Entry Form

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Bridge House Publishing Annual Anthology

Bridge House Annual Anthology

We open for submissions for a yearly anthology of short stories on January 1st each year until March 31st.

The theme this time for 2018 is Crackers. We don't mean just the Christmas sort. We're looking for stories that amuse, certainly, though. It would be good to have a few that give us great big belly laughs, but also welcome those that just make you smile. Another interpretation of "crackers" might be madness. So think Black Mirror, Inside Number 9, Kafka's Trial, Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister, Catch 22. Got one of those in you? Give it a go!

New writers, established writers and writers we've included in other anthologies are all equally welcome.


Submissions accepted January 1st until 31 March

Editors' decisions By 30 June or thereabouts!

Editorial 1 July until 30 September

Book design and early marketing 1 October until 14 November

Book release 15 November

Celebration event 1 December


You said you wanted to write more this year. You said you’d enter more contests. Maybe you decided you wanted to publish more short stories in 2018. There’s no doubt about it: this is your opportunity. From now until March 11th 2018 we’re hosting our first ever short story contest and you’re invited. It’s free to enter and we’re open to virtually any short story between 1500 and 2000 words. Bookmark this post and challenge your friends too!

You can download the full set of rules as a PDF or keep scrolling for all the information you need.


• Your story must be between 1500 and 2000 words.
• We accept previously unpublished work only.
• You must be 18+ to enter.
• Your story must be written by you.
• You must submit your entry through our submissions form as a document file.
• We only allow ONE entry per round and you cannot resubmit or edit your entry after it has been submitted.
• We are open for entries for one month from February 6th to March 11th 2018 at 23:59 GMT.
Any entries that don’t follow these rules will be automatically disqualified.


(Awarded if we receive 10 or more qualifying submissions)

1st Prize
£25 or $30 Amazon gift card, your story published on our website, and a coveted Lucent Dreaming badge!

2nd Prize
£10 or $15 Amazon gift card, your story published on our website.


Go to and fill out our submissions form. You must have a Gmail account to enter!*


Your story will be judged on its premise; the quality of writing; whether we feel for your character and your story’s overall coherence. We will announce the winners of the contest three weeks after the contest ends. Our preferred genres include anything surreal or speculative, but we enjoy anything that makes us think about, care and feel for your characters and your story!


*If you can’t submit through our Google form or don’t have a Gmail account, attach your .doc or .docx file with your word count, pen name and submission title to by the deadline with the subject ‘LD Contest’. 1. Our prizes are only awarded if we have 10 or more qualifying submissions. 2. We’ll disqualify stories that don’t follow our rules, are offensive or otherwise inappropriate. 3. We can’t accept stories not written in English. 4. By submitting to the contest, you agree that if you win, you allow us to publish your story on our website. 5. We’ll use your email address to contact you regarding your contest entry.


Friday, 16 February 2018

The Steyning Festival Short Story Prize 2018 - Sussex Writers Only

First Prize - £200 + trophy
Second prize - £75
Third Prize - £50
The top 3 stories will be published on the West Sussex Writers website
The 6 shortlisted entrants will be invited as guests to the awards event

The Steyning Festival Short Story Prize encourages and spotlights Sussex-based literary talent, open to all writers who are living or have lived in East or West Sussex. Stories are invited between 1,500 and 2,500 words. The theme is entirely open, but if you need a prompt you can follow the 2018 festival theme of ‘Revolution’.
Winners will be announced on 31 May 2018 at a ticketed, dinner event as part of the festival.
The top stories will be judged by Sussex writers Elly Griffiths and Simon Brett. Elly Griffiths is the author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries and the Stephens & Mephisto novels. Simon Brett is a prolific writer of crime fiction. He published his 100th book in 2017, promptly followed by his 101st.
Elly and Simon will both speak at the awards event, there will be excerpts read from the shortlisted stories and, of course, the award of the story prize. The competition and the awards event is sponsored and run by West Sussex Writers and the Steyning Bookshop in conjunction with the Steyning Festival.
It promises to be a memorable evening and an excellent chance to brush shoulders with other Sussex writers.
The competition is only open to online entry with payment via PayPal. A single entry is £5 or you can enter two stories for £8. Good luck!

Please read the rules carefully to avoid disqualification. Rules of Entry

Submit your entry here

Enter Lunch Ticket's Flash Prose Contest

Please read these guidelines thoroughly before submitting to Lunch Ticket. Submissions that do not adhere to our guidelines will be automatically rejected without being read.

We review Flash Prose submissions from February 1 to April 30, and August 1 to October 31.

Flash Prose Submission Guidelines:

- Please submit once per submission period.

- If your flash prose has been published in Lunch Ticket, please wait one year before submitting again.

- All submissions at Lunch Ticket are read blind in the first round. Any submissions with identifying information will be returned without consideration.

- All prose must be double-spaced in 12-pt Times New Roman font.

- Please include the genre (Creative Nonfiction or Fiction) and a word count at the top of your piece: we accept prose 750 words or less.

- If your piece is 751 to 5,000 words, please submit it to Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, or YA (13+).

- We do allow simultaneous submissions, however, if your piece is published elsewhere, please let us know immediately.

- We do not accept previously published work.

- We accept multilingual work in all genres.

We look forward to sampling your work! More info here.

The John Murray Prize with The Spectator

To celebrate their 250th birthday, John Murray are launching a new international non-fiction prize in association with The Spectator – open...