Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Writing for a Change: Flash Fiction Competition

Writing for a Change: Flash Fiction Competition

The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to announce the return of a Flash Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction competition themed around the climate crisis, in partnership with the National Botanic Gardens and Channel.

"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable." - Mary Oliver

The climate crisis and the environment are constant subjects of discussion, but it can be hard to stay aware of the need to be consciously active in making environmental improvements in our daily lives. In this competition, we are asking writers to embrace the concept of the climate crisis through short new pieces of contemporary writing which reflect or illustrate this subject in an innovative and relevant manner. This year we ask writers to respond to the Mary Oliver quote above.

To help inspire potential entrants, the National Botanic Gardens will be organising a special free tour of the garden led by an experienced member of staff who will speak on the effects of climate change on the plants in the gardens. This tour will take place on Sunday the 2rd of February 2020 at 12:30, and while it is not a prerequisite or a condition for entering the competition, we encourage participation if you are thinking of entering, as it will be invaluable in helping to shape your ideas for you submission(s). Tour starts at the Visitor Centre and there is no need to sign up.

On 28 April a showcase event will be held in the National Botanic Gardens where winners will read their work alongside commissioned writers.

There will be four winners: two Irish language winners, one over 30 and one under 30, and two English language winners, one over 30 and one under 30.

Competition Rules
Entries are welcomed in English or Irish
Entries must be under 400 words (longer pieces will be disqualified)
We’re happy to accept either fiction or creative non-fiction pieces
Entries are free and you may enter up to 3 submissions.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 11 March at 5pm.

Upload your entry through our entry form.

Entries will be judged by Éanna Ní Lamhna and Liz McManus.


Each of the four winners will receive:
A place on a one-day writing workshop at the IWC
Publication in partner Irish literary magazine: Channel
€50 book voucher
Opportunity to read at the competition event alongside IWC commissioned writers in the Botanic Gardens on April 28th, 2020

Saturday, 18 January 2020

University of Essex Prize 2020

The 2020 Short Fiction/University of Essex Prize awards the winner with £500 and publication at Short Fiction; the runner-up is awarded £250 and publication.

Please enter via our Submittable link after reading the following competition rules.


Dates: The Prize is open for entries from 1 January 2020. The deadline for receipt of entries is 31 March 2020 (23:59 BST).

Language: All entries must be in English.

Geographical restrictions: There are no geographical restrictions on entry: while the Prize is UK-based, all writers – within and outside the UK – are welcome to enter.

Length: The maximum length of submissions is 5,000 words, not including the title. There is no minimum length. There are no restrictions on genre, style, theme, or subject, but entries should be prose fiction – not poetry or memoir.

Entry fee: There is an entry fee for each story submitted (though see Free entries, below). In the final month, March, the entry fee will be £9. To encourage early submissions, the fee for entries submitted in January and February will be £7 – the discounted fee will apply until 29 February 2020 (23:59 GMT). Payment is made through the Submittable portal for the Prize. At the time of entry, writers can opt to pay a supplement of £1 to subsidise a free entry for a writer in more difficult circumstances.

Free entries: Twenty-five free entries are available to writers for whom the fee would be a barrier to entry. To request one, please email These are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and you do not need to give us detailed information about your circumstances. Free entries will be judged blind, the same as paid entries.

Blind judging: Entries will be read and judged anonymously; entrants’ names and contact details should only appear on the entry form and not anywhere on their stories/manuscripts. The stories/manuscripts must be free of all personal information about the author. This includes age and address.

Entry format: Entries should be in a standard 12pt font and double-spaced, unless the form of the story demands otherwise. Entry is online-only, via Submittable. Entries sent to our normal submissions email address will be discarded.

Multiple entries: Writers may enter as many stories as they like; each separate story requires a separate entry fee.

Simultaneous submissions: Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please withdraw your entry via Submittable as soon as possible if the story is accepted for publication elsewhere, in print or online (including self-published, ebook, magazines, journals, audio, websites, blogs, social network sites), or broadcast.

Age restriction: Entrants must be 18 years old or over on the closing date.

Corrections: No corrections or alterations can be made after receipt of an entry.

New work only: Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been previously published, in print or online (including self-published, ebook, magazines, journals, audio, websites, blogs, social network sites), or won a prize in another writing competition. Any entry found to have been plagiarised will be disqualified.

Judging process: Each entry will be read by two members of a diverse panel of experienced short story readers. A shortlist, announced in May 2020, will then be forwarded to the Judge, Jon McGregor, who will select the winner and runner-up for final announcement in June 2020. The panel’s and Judge’s decisions are final and no individual correspondence will be entered into.

Prizes: £500 will be paid to the overall Prize winner. The runner-up will receive £250.

Publication: The winner and runner-up will be published online at Short Fiction journal. Acceptance of the 1st or 2nd prize implies agreement for the relevant story to be published online. The shortlist will be considered for publication. Shortlisted individuals will be contacted about this by email after the winner and runner-up have been announced.

Results: Entrants will not be contacted individually about the competition results unless they are selected for the shortlist.

Rules acceptance: Entry implies an acceptance of these rules. Entries that fail to comply with the entry rules and requirements may be disqualified.

We look forward to reading your entries!

Submit here

LiFTS are specialists across literature, screen and stage. We are an interdisciplinary department with expertise in English literature, drama, creative writing, journalism, film and screen media. Our courses are taught by leading academics, writers, film makers and journalists, and allow you to follow specialised pathways or to combine your interests across subject areas. Literature was one of the founding subjects at the University of Essex and since the department's inception in the 1960s under the poet Donald Davie, it has built its reputation on scholarly and critical achievements across English, comparative and world literature.

Jon McGregor is the author of four novels and a story collection. He is the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize,

Betty Trask Prize, and Somerset Maugham Award, and has twice been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of

Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page, a literary journal in letters. He was born in

Bermuda in 1976, grew up in Norfolk, and now lives in Nottingham.

Friday, 17 January 2020

The Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction 2020

Submission Period: 15th January 2020 – 15th March 2020

Word Length: 400

Entry Fee: Early Bird (until midnight on 14th February) £8; £9 thereafter. There will be a limited number of free entries for those in economic hardship – full details tbc.
Prizes: £1000 (1st) £300 (2nd) £200 (3rd) and all remaining shortlisted will be awarded £50.
Other Details: All writers will be published online across 2020.

Judges: Elisabeth Ingram Wallace
The Cambridge Prize for Short Stories, 2020
Submission Period: 15th April 2020 – 15th June 2020
Word Length: 3,000
Entry Fee: Early Bird (until midnight on 14th February) £8; £9 thereafter. There will be a limited number of free entries for those in economic hardship – full details tbc.
Prizes: £1000 (1st) £300 (2nd) £200 (3rd) and all remaining shortlisted will be awarded £50.
Other Details: All writers will be published online across 2020.
Judges: Katy Darby
The Cambridge Prize for Essays on Short Fiction, 2020
Submission Period: TBC
Word Length: 3,000
Entry Fee: Early Bird (until midnight on 14th February) £8; £9 thereafter. There will be a limited number of free entries for those in economic hardship – full details tbc.
Prizes: £1000 (1st) £300 (2nd) £200 (3rd) and all remaining shortlisted will be awarded £50.
Other Details: All writers will be published online across 2020.

The 2020 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize

Our aim is to celebrate short stories and to give emerging writers encouragement and a little financial assistance to write.

We're looking for new, exciting and diverse voices.

£1000 First Prize

£250 Second Prize

£100 Third Prize

The winners and longlisted entrants' stories will be published in the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize anthology in October 2020.
The prize is open to all UK residents over the age of 18 for original short stories between 1000 and 5000 words.

The 2020 judges are Sharmaine Lovegrove, Harriet Moore and Chris Power.

Sharmaine Lovegrove spearheads Dialogue Books, an imprint of Little, Brown.

Dialogue Books is home to stories from illuminating voices often excluded from the mainstream. Its aim is to shine a spotlight on stories for, about and by readers from the LGBTQI+, disability, working class and BAME communities. The imprint has a clear focus of distinctive, cross-genre titles that spark a conversation across fiction, non-fiction, commercial and literary publishing.

Dialogue Books' authors include Irenosen Okojie, Season Butler and Amer Anwar.

Harriet Moore is a literary agent at David Higham Associates. She represents literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction and poetry. She is looking for writing which has atmosphere, ambition, style and flair with a particular interest in books which are emotionally rigorous. She is drawn to voices which are precise and artful; writing which is both intimate and political; and women thinking hard about other women.

Writers she admires include: Lydia Davies, Joy Williams, Anne Enright, Rachel Cusk, Denise Riley, John Berger, MFK Fisher, Fleur Jaeggy, Jean Rhys, Natalia Ginzburg, Katherine Heiny, Elizabeth Strout, Claudia Rankine, Anne Carson, Jane Bowles, Mary Gaitskill, Laurie Colwin.

Chris Power’s short story collection Mothers was published by Faber in 2018. It was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. His next book, a novel, will be published in 2021. His column, ‘A Brief Survey of the Short Story’, has appeared in the Guardian since 2007. He lives in Hackney.

2020 Timeline

Submissions open: January 2020

Deadline for entries: 15/05/20, 5PM

Long long list of 50 stories announced: 06/07/20

Longlist (12 stories to be published in the anthology) announced: 27/07/20

Short list announced: 14/09/20

Book Launch and Prize announcements: October 2020, date TBC.

How to Enter

Deadline for receiving entries: 5PM, Friday May 15th 2020.

Entry costs £10 per story. The proceeds pay for the administration of the prize and towards the cost of publishing the longlist anthology. Everyone involved with the running of the prize is paid, including our first readers.

Use this Paypal button to pay your £10 entry fee.

Send all entries to

Paste your Paypal reference number in the body of your email along with your name and contact details.

Attach your entry as a PDF file, using the File Specifications outlined below.

You will receive an automated reply.

If you are entering more than one story, please send each in a separate email, using the same format as above.

Use '2020 Prize Submission' as your email subject heading.

This year, we have 25 free entries for low income writers. These are available on a first come, first served basis and after emailing Kate at If you consider yourself eligible, we'll trust that, and no questions will be asked.

File Specifications

Save your entry as a PDF file.

Use the title of your story, followed by your word count as the file name. Eg:WorldOnFire4521

Your name must not be anywhere on the document. If it is, the entry will be automatically disqualified. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Use 12pt, black, double spaced in Arial.

Number your pages.

Terms and Conditions

Stories must be between 1000 and 5000 words (not including the title).

Stories must be written in English.

All submissions are blinded to judges.

Long-listed and short-listed writers will be notified by email.

Longlisted stories will be copy edited in preparation for publication. No large edits will be made, but suggestions by our copy editor will be made to individual writers via email.

No editorial feedback can be provided on non-longlisted stories.

The judges' decision is final.

Entrants must be over eighteen.

Entrants must be residents of the UK. Proof of address will be required at the longlist stage.
Entries not paid for or received after the deadline of 15/05/20, 5PM will not be accepted.
Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Entries must be an original work of fiction by the entrant. Non-fiction or poetry will not be accepted.

Your story must be unpublished and not scheduled for publication (in print or online). Please let us know if this changes.

The entrant may have had other work published.

The copyright remains the author's but Brick Lane Bookshop have the right to publish your story if it is longlisted.

The story cannot have won another prize but may have been short/longlisted.

Multiple entries from the same author are accepted, but each entry is £10.

We are sorry that unsuccessful entrants cannot be contacted.

Entries will not be accepted from members of the Brick Lane Bookshop team nor their relatives.

Please email any queries to:

Limnisa short story competition 2020

Win a holiday with your short story.

Entries must be the author’s original, unpublished work of fiction in English of 1000 words or less and submitted by email to before 23.59hrs on Sunday MARCH 29, 2020.

Subject should be loosely inspired by the text and/or picture below. We're looking for writing with spark and conviction.

​Our international contest is free, open worldwide and for short stories up to 1000 words.

​1st Prize:

One week Writers’ Retreat in 2020 or 2021 at seaside location near Agios Georgios, Methana, Greece.

All inclusive: Full board, 7 nights accommodation in single room, optional yoga sessions,

literary evening, use of all Limnisa facilities: beach, bikes, international library etc.


2nd and 3rd Prize:

50 % discount on the Writers’ Retreat (see above).


2 Runners up:

25% discount on the Writers’ Retreat (see above).

(Prizes do not include travel to Limnisa and are not transferable. They are valid only in 2020 and 2021.)

Keep in mind:

Open to anyone (18 or older) worldwide (except friends of the judges). Only one story per person.

Submit as a PDF in Arial or Times New Roman, preferably size 14, without either headers or footers. The title should be at the top but please only put your name at the END of the story, along with your email address.

Your story must be sent to as an attached file. Your covering email should mention the title of your story and your full name and email address. Your entry is FREE but please provide a link to your Social Media to show you have shared news of Limnisa and the competition.

You will receive an automated reply to your submission. Don’t worry, we won’t lose it and will read it, PROVIDED you have complied with the instructions above. We regret we cannot always reply to personal questions relating to the competition or accept alterations to your submission.

Judges are anonymous but include published authors and a publishers’ editor as well as a cross section of general readers. Their verdict will be final.

Optional - for a fee of £35 we offer a professional evaluation of your story. If you would like to have this please mention it in your covering email when you send in your story. Submit the £35 to via PayPal.

Results will be announced on 15 June 2020

Winners will be contacted by e-mail

Winning stories will be posted on only with the author’s consent

all copyrights remain with the author

Goldsmith Poetry Contest! 2020

Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

Awarded for an original work of short fiction under 2000 words

The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing. That’s why we’ve teamed up with fourteen different literary and artistic institutions to offer not only a cash prize and writing retreats but to ensure that all our shortlisters have the opportunity to be published in multiple print and online journals, have their work put in front of literary agents and perform in multiple countries.

Last year we produced the beautiful booklet Eleven Stories 2019, which you can see below.

This year we’ve just added more to the kitty.

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize adheres to CLMP’s Contest Code of Ethics


Thursday, 16 January 2020

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide.

We are seeking original and engaging stories on any topic up to 2,000 words. Our new chief judge is Andrew O’Hagan, multi-award winning author and editor-at-large of the London Review of Books. He is assisted by a team of passionate and dedicated readers in the early rounds.

2020 Prizes include:

First prize of £1,000, second prize £500, third prize £250 open to writers worldwide

£600 Isobel Lodge Award open to unpublished writers born, living or studying in Scotland.

Publication for the top twenty stories in out next anthology - published December 2020.

The Scottish Arts Club will present one year free membership of the Club to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and Isobel Lodge winners. Explore the Club and its many affiliations in other cities (Please note this offer does not apply to current or former members of the Scottish Arts Club.)

Dedicated page on our website for all finalists to promote their work and share insights about their writing life. Go to the Writers' Pages.

The Scottish Arts Club Member's Prize is awarded by our reader's panel to the top story entered by a member of the Scottish Arts Club of at least two years standing.

Long-listed stories will be announced in August 2020. Seven short-listed finalists will be contacted by phone or email in early September and invited to attend the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards Dinner to be held on Saturday 3 October 2020. For a limited period the stories of all seven finalists will be published on this website.

More Information Here

White Review’s Short Story Prize


The White Review Short Story Prize is an annual short story competition for emerging writers. Established with support from a Jerwood Charitable Foundation Small Grant in 2013, the prize awards £2,500 to the best piece of short fiction by a writer resident in Britain & Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. Previous winners are Claire-Louise Bennett, Ruby Cowling, Owen Booth, Sophie Mackintosh, Nicole Flattery, Julia Armfield and Vanessa Onwuemezi. They have gone on to secure publishing deals with Hamish Hamilton, Fitzcarraldo Editions, Fourth Estate, Bloomsbury, Boiler House Books and The Stinging Fly.

This year, the prize will be judged by Omar Robert Hamilton, Kishani Widyaratna, and Sophie Scard. The judges will be looking for short stories that explore and expand the possibilities of the form. We encourage submissions from all literary genres, and there are no restrictions on theme or subject matter. We would only emphasise that the prize was founded to reward ambitious, imaginative and innovative approaches to creative writing.

The winning story will be published in a quarterly print issue of THE WHITE REVIEW. Shortlisted writers will have their work published online.

THE WHITE REVIEW will offer 50 free entries to writers on low incomes. If you are a low-income writer and would like to apply for free entry, please read the additional low-income entry guidelines below.

In 2013, the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize was judged by novelist Deborah Levy, agent Karolina Sutton and editor Alex Bowler and won by Claire-Louise Bennett for ‘The Lady of the House’.

In 2014, the second White Review Short Story Prize was judged by novelist Kevin Barry, agent Anna Webber and editor Max Porter and won by Ruby Cowling for ‘Biophile’.

In 2015, the prize was judged by novelist Ned Beauman, agent Lucy Luck and editor Hannah Westland and won by Owen Booth for ‘I Told You I’d Buy You Anything You Wanted So You Asked For A Submarine Fleet’.

In 2016, the prize was judged by novelist Eimear McBride, agent Imogen Pelham and editor Simon Prosser and won by Sophie Mackintosh for ‘Grace’.

In 2017, the prize was judged by editor Mitzi Angel, novelist Joe Dunthorne, and writer and critic Jon Day, and won by Nicole Flattery for ‘Track’.

In 2018, the prize was judged by by novelist Chloe Aridjis, novelist Sam Byers, editor Anne Meadows, agent Sophie Scard, and The White Review editor Željka Marošević. It was won by Julia Armfield for ‘The Great Awake’.

In 2019, the prize was judged by Chris Power, Michal Shavit and agent Sophie Scard. It was won by Vanessa Onwuemezi for ‘At the Heart of Things’.


Omar Robert Hamilton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. He has written for the GUARDIAN, the LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS and GUERNICA. He co-founded the Mosireen media collective in Cairo and the Palestine Festival of Literature. His debut novel is THE CITY ALWAYS WINS (Faber, 2017).

Sophie Scard is an agent at United Agents.

Kishani Widyaratna is a commissioning editor at Picador Books and a contributing editor for THE WHITE REVIEW. Her authors include Sarah Moss, Andrea Lawlor, Julia Armfield, Raven Leilani, Olivia Laing, Denise Riley and Sinéad Gleeson.


The deadline for submissions is: 17:00 27 February 2020. No entries will be considered if submitted after 17:00 on 27 February 2020 (GMT/EST).

Please read these eligibility and entry rules carefully before beginning the online entry process. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules.

To enter the Prize, you must first buy an entry from The White Review Shop.


You must then enter your payment reference number, contained in the payment receipt, into the form below, along with your entry.


The shortlist will be announced in April. The winner will be announced at a party in London in May. For any queries not covered below, please email:


Friday, 20 December 2019


The International Radio Playwriting Competition 2020

The International Radio Playwriting Competition 2020 - from the BBC World Service and British Council in partnership with Commonwealth Writers - is an opportunity for writers from outside the UK to tell their stories.

The competition runs from 1 October 2019 to midnight GMT 31 January 2020 and is open to new and established writers, provided they live outside the UK and are aged over 18 on 31 January 2020.

There are two categories for entry - one for entrants who speak English as a first language and the other for entrants with English as a second language - and the prize includes a trip to London to see the winning play being recorded for broadcast.

In order to enter you need to send:
• A script for a 53 minute radio play with up to six central characters
• A synopsis which outlines your play is no longer than 400 words

Find all the competition rules and how you can enter here.


Writing for a Change: Flash Fiction Competition

Writing for a Change: Flash Fiction Competition The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to announce the return of a Flash Ficti...