Thursday 1 September 2016

Unbound Short Story Prize


The Synopsis

To celebrate the fifth birthday of Unbound, the founders are delighted to announce the first Unbound Short Story Prize.

The competition is open to writers from all over the world, writing in any style or genre, and there is a prize fund of £5,000. The top 20 stories will be published in the Unbound Short Story Prize Anthology.

The author of the winning story will receive £2,000 and be offered a book deal with Unbound.

We can't wait to read the stories you send us.

Like all Unbound books, this one is being crowdfunded. Our hope is that we will find short story enthusiasts, both writers and readers, who want to help us make this anthology a reality.

The book will be published once we hit 100% and the closing date has passed, with everyone who helped to crowdfund it getting a special Unbound edition, and another edition appearing later in bookshops

Everyone who pledges gets their name listed in the back as a supporter of the prize and patron of the book.


1. Closing date for receipt of entries is midday on 31st October 2016. Unbound reserves the right to extend the deadline beyond this date but all entrants will be informed if this happens.

2. The maximum length per story submitted is 5,000 words but there is no minimum length. Flash fiction will be accepted. Stories can be in any style or genre and tackle any theme or subject.

3. The prize is open to all published and unpublished writers from anywhere in the world but all entries should be in English and entrants must be over 16 years old on the closing date, 31st October 2016.

4. Submitted stories should not have previously been published in print or online. Full submission guidelines, including format requirements, will be contained in the email you receive once you have pledged and entered the competition. Entrants can submit their story at any time between the day they pledge and the closing date. There is no need to submit at the time of pledging.

5. Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant. No plagiarism or copying. We cannot accept simultaneous submissions.

6. All entrants must agree that, if shortlisted, their work will be published in the Unbound Short Story Prize Anthology book and ebook. Authors retain copyright of their work at all times but Unbound has first publication rights.

7. Each of the shortlisted authors will receive one free copy of the Unbound Short Story Prize Anthology, in addition to the copy they receive as part of their pledge, and will be able to purchase further copies at a discount of 50%.

8. No entrant may win more than one prize. The prize will be judged by the Unbound editorial team who will select a longlist of 50 titles before selecting 20 prize winners. The judges decision is final and no individual correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection.

9. Prizes are: 1st prize-£2000, 2nd prize -£800, 3rd prize -£500. Each of the 17 remaining shortlisted writers will receive £100.

10. Timings for the announcements of the longlist, shortlist and prize winners will be confirmed prior to the closing date. All entrants will be kept updated on the prize via the Shed and email.

11. Entrants who have paid for critiques and feedback will be contacted once the longlist has been announced.

12. Entry implies an acceptance of all the prize rules. Entries that fail to comply with the entry rules and requirements may be disqualified. Sorry about that but rules are rules.

13. This competition, like all projects at Unbound, is crowdfunded. In the unlikely event that the book does not hit its target all entrants will be offered a full refund.


1st Prize. £2,000 plus publication at the lead story in the prize anthology and a contract with Unbound to crowdfund your book.

2nd Prize. £800 plus publication in the prize anthology.

3rd Prize. £500 plus publication in the prize anthology.

Runners-up. 17 authors that make up the rest of the top twenty will receive £100 each and have their stories published in the prize anthology.

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