Thursday 16 January 2020

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:


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