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Short Story and Flash Fiction Competitions

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This page was last updated in August 2023

Aesthetica Magazine. International poetry and short fiction competitions. Cash prizes and publication.

Almond Press. A biannual dystopian short story contest.

Aurora Poetry and Short Fiction Open Competition. A poetry and short-story competition with a special ‘Stonewood Press Regional Prize’ for writers from the East Midlands. Cash prizes. Entry fee.

Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Writing Competition. Prize for short stories on a theme. Winners are published on audiobook.

BBC National Short Story Award. Open to UK residents or nationals, 18 or over, with “a history of publication in creative writing”. Cash prizes and broadcast.

The Bath Short Story Award. A short story contest from the City of Bath. Cash prize.

The Bedford Competition. An international short story competition. A top prize of £1,500 for a story up to 3,000 words.

Bridport Prize. International short story, flash fiction and poetry competitions. Total prizes of £15,000. There is a special award for writers from Dorset.

Bristol Short Story Prize. An annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished writers. Cash prize and publication.

British Czech and Slovak Association. Cash prizes awarded to the best original writing, in English, on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics, or describing the Republics since 1989.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. International contest for the opening sentence of the worst novel you never wrote. The prize is publication on the website and undying fame.

Chip Lit Fest. International short story contest for writers over 16. Cash prize.

Cinnamon Press. Cash prizes for poems, flash fiction, short stories, novels and novellas. Entry fees.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Open to writers from Commonwealth countries, the cash prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction. Regional winners receive £2,500 and the Overall Winner receives £5,000. Translators receive additional prize money where stories are not submitted in English.

Complaint Letter. A site devoted to complaining! They have a monthly letter competition open to UK citizens that offers a £30 prize.

Crime Writers’ Association Margery Allingham Short Story Competition. An international competition for an unpublished mystery story.

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition - Wrekin Writers. Cash prizes for stories less than 1,200 words.

Dream Quest One. An international annual poetry and prose competition that offers cash prizes. Entry fees.

Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Contest. International short story contest with adult and junior categories.

Exeter Writers. International novel and short story contests. Cash prizes, with extra awards for writers living in Devon.

Exeter Writers. International novel and short story contests. Cash prizes, with extra awards for writers living in Devon.

Fiction Desk Competition. International short story contest with an annual ‘ghost story’ call. Small fee.

Fish Publishing. International short story, flash fiction, poetry and memoir contests. Cash prizes, publication and more.

Flash 500. International competitions in flash fiction (quarterly), humorous verse (quarterly) and novel first chapter and synopsis (annual). Cash prizes and publication (for short story and verse). Entry fees.

Frome Festival. International short story contest. Cash prizes and critiques. Additional prizes for local authors.

The Henshaw Short Story Competition. International short story contest. Up to 2,000 words on any theme. Cash prize and publication. Fees.

Highlands and Islands Short Story Association. International annual short story competition. Cash prizes and more.

The IGAS Spooky Story Competition. The International Ghost Appreciation Society award for spooky stories under 4,000 words (ideally 2,000).

Lancashire Authors’ Association. Cash prize for a short story of exactly 100 words (excluding the title) on any theme or subject.

Limnisa Greece. Short story and poetry competition. Prize is a writing holiday in Greece.

The London Magazine. International short story and poetry competitions. You are advised to read the magazine before submitting to gauge the writing style being sought. Cash prizes and publication.

Malahat Review. International short fiction, novella, and long poem competitions. Cash prize and publication.

Manchester Writing Competition. International competitions for short stories and poetry. Cash prizes up to £10,000.

The Mogford Food and Drink Short Story Prize. The prize awards £10,000 to the best short story that has food and drink at its heart. Runner-up prizes of £250.

The Somerset Maugham Awards. Awards given for a published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK and under the age of 30.

Michael Terence Publishing. International short story contest. Up to 3,000 words on any theme, including non-fiction. Cash prizes and publication.

Moth Magazine. International short story and poetry competitions. Cash prizes, publication and more.

Mslexia Magazine. International women’s short story, flash fiction, novel and poetry competitions. Cash prize and publication.

Norwich Writers’ Circle. Various competitions, but most for members only.

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature. Prizes for short stories up to 1,000 words and flash fiction up to 300 words.

Prairie Fire Magazine. Annual poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction contests. Cash prizes and publication.

Prism International. International annual competitions in creative non-fiction, short fiction, and poetry. Cash prizes and publication.

The Royal Society of Literature V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize. An annual prize for the best unpublished short story of the year. Award of £1,000 and publication in the RSL journal.

Rubery Book Awards. International annual competitions for self-published novels (including ebooks) and short stories. Cash prizes, publication of short story, and more.

Scottish Arts Trust. Annual short story competition and the Edinburgh Flash Fiction Competition.

Scribble Magazine. Annual and quarterly short story and article contests. Cash prizes and publication. Entry fees, but free to subscribers.

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Magazine. International quarterly poetry and short story competitions. Cash prizes and publication.

Short Fiction Journal. Annual international short fiction competition. Cash prizes and publication.

Short Grain Writing Contest. International poetry and short fiction contest. Cash prizes.

Sixfold Magazine. International quarterly short fiction and poetry competitions. Judging is by peer review. Cash prizes and publication.

The Tom-Gallon Trust Award. A £1,000 award made to a traditional fiction writer who has had at least one short story accepted for publication.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. An international short fiction and essay competition with a $3,500 prize.

Wasafiri New Writing Prize. International annual contests for unpublished authors in poetry, short fiction and ’life writing’. Cash prizes and publication.

Wells Festival of Literature. Annual international competitions for poetry and short stories. Cash prizes and more.

Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition. Annual international short story competition. Publication on website and free entry to residential writing course.

The Writers Bureau. Annual international short story, poetry and flash fiction competitions. Cash prizes and publication.

Writers Online. A wide range of short story and poetry competitions. Some contests are open only to subscribers. Cash prizes and publication.

Writers’ Union of Canada. Short fiction contests for Canadians or Canadian residents. Cash prizes.

The Yeovil Literary Prize. Annual international competitions for novels (first chapters and synopsis), short stories and poetry. Additional awards for authors in Somerset or Devon. Cash prizes.

Zeotrope All-Story. Co-founded by Francis Ford Coppola, this magazine has an annual international competition for short fiction, screenplays and short films. Cash prizes and online publication. Entry fees.

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