Friday, 14 June 2019

The London Short Story Prize


The London Short Story Prize aims to find the best short stories from emerging writers in the capital.

The winner of the 2018 London Short Story Prize is Guy Ware for his story the year of peace.

Highly commended: A Complete History of Portraiture by Kira McPherson and Dead Shark by Emma Hutton.

Shortlisted: Real Estate by CG Menon, Like A Blooming Discotheque by Judith Wilson, and Chicken Shop Girl by Katie Lumsden.

Longlisted: As Close as it Comes by Adam Welch, Granda by Ken Barlow, First Time Ever by Erika Banerji, Strange Inherited Jazz by Lou Kramskoy, Madrid by B R Porter, and End of the Terrace by Luan Goldie.

Ten of the longlisted stories for the 2018 prize will be published in the London Short Story Prize 2018 Anthology

The 2018 judges were authors Guy Gunaratne, Clare Fisher and literary agent, Sarah Such.

We will be open for entries to the London Short Story Prize 2019 on Friday 14 June.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

The Sean Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize 2019

Word limit: 3,000 words
Closing date: 31st July (midnight)
Entry fee: €18 per story

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcastshort stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Translated work is not in the scope of this competition.

1st Prize
— €2000
— Residency (one week) at Anam Cara Retreat
— Publication in Southword 38

2nd Prize
— €500
— Publication in Southword 38

Four Runners-Up
— €250
— Publication in Southword 38

2019 Judge

Billy O'Callaghan

Friday, 24 May 2019

The Moth International Short Story Prize: Entries Close


This prize is open to previously unpublished works of fiction up to 5000 words. In addition to the €3000 (approximately US$3400) first prize, a second prize winner will receive a writing retreat at Circle of Misse, located in the south of France’s Loire Valley plus €250. A third prize winner will receive €1000 and all three winners will have their stories published in the autumn issue of The Moth.

The winners will be decided by judge Kit de Waal. de Waal’s writing has received numerous awards, including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and has been shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the British Books Awards Debut Novel of the Year.

The judging takes place anonymously; de Waal will only learn the identities of the shortlisted writers after the selection of the winning stories. The Moth publisher Rebecca O’Connor thinks this is an important way of levelling the playing field. According to O’Connor, The Moth is “passionate about nurturing new talent and much of what we publish is by new or up-and-coming writers. We want to produce a magazine which is vibrant and new, and which keeps its readers on its toes. So often, these publications can become stale when they focus too much on names and not enough on entertaining their readers . . . Having just one judge means there is no compromise.”

The Moth Short Story Prize closes on Sunday 30 June 2019. An entry fee of €15 is payable with each entry. For full entry details visit The Moth website.

To discover more writing prizes, see our guide to short story contests in 2019.


“The Moth is a beautiful creature.” – David Mitchell

Founded in June 2010, The Moth is an Irish quarterly printed arts and literature magazine based in featuring poetry, short fiction and art by established and up-and-coming writers and artists. Each issue also features two interviews with writers or artists.

In addition to its annual prizes for poetry and short fiction, The Moth also accepts unsolicited submissions. Prose pieces (up to two short stories) should preferably be no longer than 3000 words. If you are submitting poetry, then you are asked to send no more than six poems. Submissions are also open for The Moth’s junior edition, The Caterpillar. The Caterpillar’s audience is primarily readers aged between 7 and 11.

The Fiction Desk - Short Story

Now open for submissions...

From now until the end of September, we're asking writers to submit short stories on a theme of 'Houses and Homes'. This is our first themed call for submissions, and there's plenty of opportunity for different approaches: from domestic dramas to haunted houses, from the political to the personal.

Submissions are made in the usual way, through our website. There's more information here: Stories about 'Houses and Homes'.

If you're looking for inspiration, here's a selection of recent news stories that relate to the theme in one way or another. (The Fiction Desk is based in the UK, so these have a British slant, but we welcome submissions from around the world.) And if you're not interested in this theme, we're open for general submissions too.

Friday, 17 May 2019



Starting on Monday 20 May, the course is open to both new and experienced screenwriters. The course is led by Michael Lengsfield, a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program. His credits include scripts for the Walt Disney Company and Harpo Entertainment, and his work has screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to Lengsfield, “for those of you who’ve never given much thought to screenwriting, the course will offer a brief glimpse into the thinking that goes into the construction of a screenplay. For those of you who have previous experience with screenwriting, the course should offer you new techniques, or approaches, that will help to further your own work.

The course runs for two weeks and requires a three-hour per week commitment. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

Explore key issues in the practice of creating screenplays
Explain the basic principles of the screenwriting process
Identify the essentials of the screenplay format
Discuss the construction of a professional script
Design a story pitch

For further information about the course and to enrol visit the Future Learn website.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

The International Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation

Created in 1989, The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation has its own Constitution, Officers and independent Board of Trustees.

Each year, The Foundation administers the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. The competition is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30, and offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting. Entrants are asked to create a completed half-hour to one-hour English-language television drama script.

The award winner receives $2,500, a trip to New York City, and an invitation to the International Emmy® Awards Gala in November.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction


The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short FictionComma Press and the University of Central Lancashire are proud to host the annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction.

Dinesh Allirajah (1967-2014) once said of himself (referencing a Sonny Criss sleeve note): ‘I am a jazz writer, which is a full-time creative job’. Dinesh had many other occupations, too – lecturing in creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Central Lancashire and Edge Hill, running workshops and literacy classes in community centres, schools and prisons, acting as Chair of the National Black Arts Alliance and the National Association for Literature Development, as well as being a long-term director of Comma Press. He was also a DJ, playwright, radio presenter, cricket enthusiast and blogger. Dinesh regularly performed to audiences across the UK, as well as in France, Poland, Germany, Bangladesh and Nigeria. His short stories were featured in numerous anthologies and magazines, and first collected in A Manner of Speaking (Spike Books, 2004). Scent is the first comprehensive collection of his work, published by Comma Press following his sudden passing in December 2014.

Dinesh was a Founding Board Member of Comma (2007-2012), and a Director of Comma Press since it became a National Portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council in 2012. He also lectured in Creative Writing at UCLan for 8 years and was much-loved by everyone he worked with. Amongst these many other things, first and foremost, he was a writer, and he loved to write short fiction, which he posted regularly on his blog (Real Time Short Stories). His sudden passing in 2014 was a shock to all who knew him, and now Comma in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, have set up this prize, in his name, as part of a lasting legacy of his love of writing short fiction.

The prize is open to anyone 18 years or over who is a resident of the UK, and the story you submit must not have been published anywhere else, online or in print. It is free to submit your entry, but only one per writer please. All entries will be made anonymous upon receipt. Entries will be made anonymous upon receipt and will remain so until after the shortlist has been decided.

The 2018 prize was announced on Tuesday 8th May in Preston. The winning story was 'Bakhur' by Lucas Stewart. More info here about the 2018 prize. You can buy the 2018 prize anthology featuring all 10 shortlisted stories from Amazon Kindle for only 99p.

Entries for the next round (2019) will be on the theme of 'Scent', which is the title of Dinesh's posthumous collected works, and entries will open open 14th May 2018 and close midnight on the 26th October 2019.

You must submit your story electronically. All entries must include a cover letter which states the author’s name, address, email, contact number, and story title. Any entries sent without this information will not be considered. Please send your story entry and cover letter electronically to in the form of a Word Doc.

The shortlist will be chosen with the help of UCLan creative writing students, who will then handover the shortlist to our panel of judges, which includes Dr. Naomi Kruger (novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing at UCLan), Zoe Gilbert (award-winning short story writer and author of Folk (Bloomsbury, 2018)), Irenosen Okojie (short story writer, curator and Arts Project Manager) and Andy Murray (writer and Film Editor of Northern Soul).

The winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an ebook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online. The winner will also have their story published online by our media partner Northern Soul. The prizegiving ceremony and announcement of the winner will take place in May 2019.
Full terms and conditions:

1. The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2018 is organised by the University of Central Lancashire ("UCLan") and Comma Press.

2. The Competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over and based in the UK who is not excluded by these Rules. There is no upper age limit for entry.

3. Members of University of Central Lancashire staff (who may also be students) and their spouses are excluded from being eligible to enter.

4. The deadline for electronic entries is midnight (UK time) on Friday 26th October 2018. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered.

5. Entrants must submit a short story of between 2,000 and 6,000 words in length. Titles, blank lines and page numbers are not included in the word count.

6. Entrants may submit one story each.

7. All work submitted for consideration must be on subject with the theme of 'scent', and must be the entrant's own original writing.

8. The story entered should not have appeared in print, online or have been broadcast prior to or be published after entry. Work which has been published on public websites, blogs or social media sites can be submitted, but must be taken down before the date of entry and must not be uploaded again until the writer has been notified whether they have been successful in making the shortlist. Shortlisted writers are asked not to publish their story anywhere as it will be included in the shortlist eBook. Work found to be published in print or to have been broadcast or to have appeared on a website outside of these terms will be disqualified.

9. All work must be submitted electronically by email to, and must include a cover letter which states the author’s name, address, email, contact number and story title. Without a cover letter the story will not be eligible. Preferably entries should be typed or word-processed, clearly legible and written in English. Entrants should not include illustrations or artwork. Beyond these stipulations, presentation (e.g. font and spacing) is at the entrant’s discretion.

10. Translations into English of work written in other languages can be accepted, provided that the source text is the entrant's own original work and has not been published (in line with the above); translations into English of work published (in line with the above) elsewhere in other languages will not be accepted.

11. All entries will be assigned an ID number and made anonymous upon receipt. The readers will not be privy to the entrants’ names while deciding on the long list and the panel of judges will not be privy to entrants' names during the reading and judging process of the shortlist. Names will be reattributed to entries only after the winner and runners-up have been decided.

12. If shortlisted, writers should please do their best to attend the special prizegiving event which will take place in the North West in May 2019 where the winner and highly commended entries will be announced and the eBook launched. The winner will be notified in advance of the ceremony to ensure they are in attendance for the announcement.

13. Electronic entries will only be valid if accompanied by a cover letter containing all the necessary information (see 9).

14. Entries submitted for consideration may be withdrawn from the Competition by entrants by notification in writing (by email) to be received by Comma Press.

15. Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted; stories cannot be amended, corrected or substituted. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into. So please proof your work thoroughly!

16. Comma Press and UCLan reserve the right to disqualify any entry if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these Rules, or made a false declaration on the entry form.

17. Neither Comma Press nor UCLan will accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the Competition.

18. Comma Press and UCLan will act in accordance with current UK data protection legislation in relation to your personal data.

19. The Competition and Rules will be governed by English Law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

20. Comma Press and UCLan reserve the right to amend these Rules where it is deemed necessary to do so or where circumstances are beyond their control. Any changes to the Rules will be posted on the competition web page on

21. Submission of an entry will be deemed to imply unqualified acceptance of the Competition's Rules. In the event of any dispute regarding these Rules or any other matter relating to the Competition, the decision of Comma Press and UCLan shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

Translate at City summer school

Launched in 2007, our translation imprint publishes the best short fiction from around the world. We have translated collections and single stories from over fifteen languages, including Arabic, Icelandic, Bengali and Spanish, among others. Our international authors include Sema Kaygusuz, Pawel Huelle, Larissa Boehning, Atef Abu Saif, and Iraqi refugee Hassan Blasim, described by the Guardian as perhaps ‘the greatest writer of Arabic fiction alive'.

We're delighted to partner with the Translate at City summer school on a new literary translation competition. Summer school participants will be invited to submit a sample translation from Arabic into English, with the best translator being commissioned to translate a single story for a forthcoming Comma anthology. The winner will benefit from editorial support and feedback from an in -house editor, and will see their work appear alongside established literary translators.

The 2016 winner, Emre Bennett, was featured in Iraq + 100 (the first ever anthology of Science fiction from Iraq) and a second winner, Perween Richards, was recently commissioned to translate a Palestinian short story to be published in a 2018 collection.

This is a great opportunity for emerging translators to develop their craft, and to be guided through the publishing process by industry professionals.

You can find out more about submitting to the prize on the Translate at City website, where you can also learn about their summer school programme for emerging translators.

We are sorry that there will be no Translate at City Summer School in 2018, due to the decision to close the Translation Centre at City University of London. Course directors Professor Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz are working on transferring to a new university venue for the next summer school, which is planned for 2019. Watch this space for further announcements. We will post more information as soon as we have it.

Monday, 6 May 2019

The John McGahern Award 2019

As part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival, Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre with the support of the McGahern Estate host the John McGahern Award for Literature to encourage the development of emerging Irish writers and to pay tribute to the exceptional contribution of John McGahern to literature, and to Leitrim. The recipient of the award who will receive a two-week fully resourced residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and a stipend of €1,000, will be publicly announced during the festival on Saturday 5th October 2019 .

John McGahern is one of Ireland’s most respected and celebrated authors. His fiction is critically acclaimed internationally, has been translated into many languages and has appeared in many anthologies. He was a member of Aosdána and won numerous awards, including the Irish-American Foundation Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and the Prix Etranger Ecureuil. He taught at universities in Ireland, England, the USA and Canada. Amongst Women, which won both the GPA and Irish Times Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a BBC television series.

Who Can Apply:

This is an open call to writers of fiction resident in the Republic of Ireland. Applicants must have had some fiction or short stories published in a recognised journal or anthology selected by an established publisher or editor.

How to Apply:

Applications are accepted on-line through and must include:
A cover letter clearly and concisely outlining the project you would like to focus on during your time at Annaghmakerrig.
An up to date biography.
Three samples of recent seperate work of up to 500 words each.
Each sample of work should have two cover pages: the first listing the title of work and the author’s name, address, and contact details; and a second listing only the title of the work. The author’s name, other identifying information, and publication information must not appear after the first cover page.
All attachments should be in .pdf, ,doc or .docx format
Works submitted are judged anonymously.

Application Deadline:

Closing date for receipt of submissions is Midnight Wednesday 31 July, 2019. No late applications will be considered. Applications will be acknowledged by email on receipt.

Selection Process:

Applications go before a selection committee nominated by Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The successful applicant will be notified no later than 15 September, 2019. The recipient of the award will be publicly announced on Saturday 5th October 2019 during the Iron Mountain Literature Festival at The Dock, Carrick on Shannon.

Further information available here.

ServiceScape Short Story Award 2019

Calling all short story writers: Are you a short story writer interested in gaining more exposure and a bigger audience for your creative work? Would an extra $1,000.00 USD in your pocket be a great thing right now?

If so, our ServiceScape Short Story Award is the perfect way to achieve both. For this award, any genre or theme of short story is accepted. All applicants should submit their original unpublished work of short fiction or nonfiction, 5,000 words or fewer, to be considered. Along with receiving an award for $1,000.00 USD, the winner will have his or her short story featured within our blog, which reaches thousands of readers per month. Rules and exclusions apply.

View the winners from previous years
Terms and Conditions
In order to qualify as a contest participant, a person must successfully submit the application form below and must be at least 18 years of age. ServiceScape is not responsible for any situation that constitutes an application form submission failure, including technical malfunctions experienced by the form submitter or by ServiceScape. ServiceScape employees and/or their immediate family and household members are not eligible to be contest participants. There is no purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.
Contest participants will be entered only once.
Contest participants' application form submissions must be written in English.
The contest starts on December 1, 2018 GMT and ends on November 30, 2019 GMT.
Contest participants will be judged on their quality of writing. All decisions are final. Non-winning entries will be discarded after the winner has been chosen and the contest participants will retain all the rights to their submitted work.
The potential winner will be notified via email in December 2019. The potential winner must send a headshot photograph within 10 days of the prize notification. The potential winner must also sign and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release, and a publicity release (where legal) within 10 days of the prize notification. If the potential winner does not deliver these required items within the specified time period or if the potential winner cannot be contacted for any reason, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate potential winner will be selected. If all required items are delivered within 10 days of the prize notification, the potential winner will be considered the winner of the contest.
The winner of the contest will be awarded $1,000.00 USD, payable by check and mailed within 4 weeks. The prize is non-transferable and any tax requirements are the sole responsibility of the winner. The winner's name, headshot photograph, and writing will be featured within the ServiceScape blog soon thereafter.
ServiceScape Incorporated reserves the right to modify or terminate this contest at any time without prior notice.

Big Issue Writing Competition

Please read this competition terms and conditions carefully. If you enter this competition, it will be assumed that you have read these rules and that you agree to them.

This competition is to win a two-book publishing contract for a novel to be published as a paperback book under the Avon Books UK imprint by HarperCollins. Only one overall winner will be chosen from all submissions.

To enter the competition entrants must submit:
Synopsis of no more than 100 words

the full and complete manuscript of their novel. The text must be double spaced and typed in Times New Roman font, point size 12 and must be the entrant’s own original work,
their contact information including their telephone number, email address and any social media handles
All the material which is submitted must be written in English. Entries should be emailed as Word document attachments to: with subject line ‘Big Issue writing competition’. Any entries which do not comply with all the requirements of this clause will not be eligible for entry into the competition.
The competition opens at 9am on Monday 4 March (the “Opening Date”) and closes at midnight on Friday 31 May (the “Closing Date”). All entries must be received between the Opening Date and the Closing Date. Any entries received before the Opening Date or after the Closing Date will not be eligible for entry into the competition and will be disregarded.
After the Closing Date members of the established panel will select a winner from the eligible entries. The winner will be the one which is the best written in the eyes of the panel. The panel’s decision is final.
There is no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
The winner will be notified of who has won on Friday 4 October and is required to keep the information confidential and not disclose it to any third party by any means. The Winner’s name will be announced publicly on the cover of The Big Issue on Monday 21 October 2019 and will be published on Avon’s website and certain other HarperCollins websites and social networking feeds and pages on the same day. The winner agrees to take part in reasonable post event publicity and to the use of their name and photograph in such publicity as the Promoter may require.
Publication of the winning entry by Avon will be subject to a separate contract (the “Publishing Contract”) between the author of the winning entry and Avon. It will also be subject to agreement of the Publishing Contract. If Avon and the winner are unable to agree the Publishing Contract, then that person’s entry will not be published at all and Avon reserves the right to not publish any work or to select another entrant from the qualifying entries with support from the judging panel.
The Publishing Contract will be for all publishing rights worldwide, including all electronic rights. It is intended, subject to agreement of the Publishing Contract, that the winning entry will be published by December 2020. There is no prize money for this competition or any advance payable under the Publishing Contract, though royalties will be paid to the author in accordance with the Publishing Contract.

The submission must contain the entrant’s own original work. Nothing must be included which is defamatory, private or in infringement of copyright or other intellectual property right or in any way a breach of another’s right. The material cannot have been previously published or been available online. If the submission includes any material in which a third party owns the copyright or any other right such as a poem or song lyrics, permission must be sought from the owner by the entrant. Avon reserves the right to ask for the permission(s) before entering into the Publishing Contract. Entrants must be free to enter into the Publishing Contract and must not be subject to any constraints which would prevent Avon from publishing the work such as (but not limited to) a contractual option given to another publisher. Writers who have been previously published by a publishing house are ineligible, though self-published authors may still apply.
Any entry in breach of this clause will be disqualified from participating in the competition and from winning any prize.
The competition is open to anyone in the UK aged 18 or over except employees of HarperCollins, their families, or anyone professionally connected to the competition either themselves or through their families.
Only one entry per person is allowed. Second or subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.
Avon is not responsible for contacting entrants who provide unclear or incomplete contact information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
The prize cannot be transferred to another person.
Avon reserves the right to alter the prize, or to not select any winners at all. The travel expenses for the first visit by the winner to the HarperCollins offices to meet the team will be paid for by Avon. Subsequent visits must be paid for by the individual directly.
By entering the competition each entrant will be assumed to have read and agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
This competition is being organised by Avon.
Please read our Privacy Policy which tells you how we use any personal information we may collect about you by entering a competition.
These terms and conditions will be governed by the laws of England and the courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction over any disputes.

The London Short Story Prize