2013 International Short Story Competitions

Since we have plenty of short story writers here at the BWC, I thought I’d compile a list of international short story competitions for 2013. Well, from February onwards, anyway!

There are more writing competitions than you can shake a lemming at, so I narrowed my search to competitions that are (a) international, (b) include publication in either anthologies or magazines, and (c) preferably do not require the donation of one or more of your limbs in order to enter.

Most of the competitions listed below require that your submission has not been published elsewhere beforehand, but you can check each site individually for comprehensive entry rules. Some also include poetry and flash fiction categories, so I’ve indicated those ones where applicable.

Disclaimer: I cannot speak for the legitimacy of any of these competitions. Entry is at your own risk. Please do not pelt me with rotten aubergines if it turns out you enter something dodgy.

MARCH DEADLINES

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Theme: Open
Word limit: Under 50 pages
Entry fee: $15USD
Prizes: 1st prize £2000USD
Deadline: March 14, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Fall/Winter 2013 edition of Colorado Review
Website: http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/nelligan-prize

The Pinch Literary Awards

Theme: Open
Word limit: 5000 words max
Entry fee: $20USD
Prizes: 1st prize $1000USD
Deadline: March 15, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Spring edition of The Pinch Journal (University of Memphis)
Website: http://www.thepinchjournal.com/contest/

Mslexia 2013 Women’s Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 2,200 words max
Entry fee: £10 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £2000, 2nd prize £500, 3rd prize £250
Deadline: March 18, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Issue 58, Mslexia Magazine
Extra information: Women writers only
Website: http://mslexia.co.uk/whatson/msbusiness/scomp_active.php

The Bath Short Story Award

Theme: Open
Word limit: 2,200 words max
Entry fee: £5 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £50, 3rd prize £50
Deadline: March 30, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: E-book anthology
Website: http://bathshortstoryaward.co.uk

Love on the Road 2013

Theme: Stories about making connections
Word limit: 5000 words max
Entry fee: $10 (unclear from website which kind of dollars they want!)
Prizes: 1st prize $200, 2nd prize $100, 3rd prize $50
Deadline: March 31, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Love on the Road 2013 (Anthology)
Website: http://loveontheroad2013.com/

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition

Theme: Open (but no children’s stories)
Word limit: 3000 words max
Entry fee: £5 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £250, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: March 31, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Exeter Writers website
Website: http://www.exeterwriters.org.uk/p/competition.html

Five Stop Story 2013 Quarterly Short Story Competitions

Theme: Open
Word limit: 3,000 words max
Entry fee: £5 (gets cheaper with multiple entries)
Prizes: 1st prize £100, two runners up £10
Deadline: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31 (quarterly competition)
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: On Five Stop Story website, and Five Stop Story iPhone and iPad app.
Extra information: ‘Five Stop Story’ means the story can be read within 5 stops on the London Underground. Cool idea!
Website: http://www.fivestopstory.com

APRIL DEADLINES

Inkhead Short Story Competition

Theme: Stories must be written under one of five possible titles (listed on their website)
Word limit: 1000 words max
Entry fee: £5 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £150, 2nd prize £60, 3rd prize £40
Deadline: April 1, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Inkhead Winners Anthology
Website: http://www.inkhead.co.uk/pages/competition-2013

Bristol Short Story Prize

Theme: Open
Word limit: 4,000 words max
Entry fee: £8 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £1000, 2nd prize £700, 3rd prize £400
Deadline: April 30, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology (Volume 6)
Website: http://www.bristolprize.co.uk

The Flying Elephants Short Story Prize

Theme: ‘Hunger’
Word limit: 2500-5000 words (but judges are flexible)
Entry fee: FREE
Prizes: 1st prize $2000, three finalists £1000
Deadline: April 30, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Two stories maximum
Publication: Online (AndWeWereHungry website)
Website: http://andwewerehungry.org/short-story-contest-at-a-glance

MAY DEADLINES

The Bridport Prize

Theme: Open
Word limit: 5000 words max
Entry fee: £8 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £5000, 2nd prize £1000, 3rd prize £500
Deadline: 31st May, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Bridport Prize 2013 Anthology
Extra information: Also includes poetry and flash fiction categories
Website: http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

Barbara Pym Centenary Short Story Competition

Theme: Stories must be written in a ‘Barbara Pym-esque’ style
Word limit: 2,200 words max
Entry fee: £7
Prizes: 1st prize £150, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £50
Deadline: 30th May, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Green Leaves (journal), and online
Website: http://www.barbara-pym.org/Homepage.html

JUNE DEADLINES

Cinnamon Press Writing Awards

Theme: Open
Word limit: Short stories 2000-4000 words, first novels/novellas up to 10,000 words (can be longer, but they accept only the first 10,000 words)
Entry fee: £12
Prizes: Short stories: 1st prize £150; Novels/novellas: £400)
Deadline: June 30, 2013 and November 30, 2013 (twice yearly competition)
Multiple entries permitted: Not stated
Publication: Short stories published in Cinnamon Press winners’ anthology, novels/novellas published by Cinnamon Press
Extra information: Also includes a poetry category, and monthly writing competitions
Website: http://www.cinnamonpress.com/competitions/major-awards

JULY DEADLINES

Wyrd Books Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 2000 words max
Entry fee: Free (as far as I can tell!)
Prizes: Publication only
Deadline: July 31, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Not stated
Publication: Non-profit paperback ‘Wyrd Stories’
Extra information: Entries that do not make it into the collection may be published on the website
Website: http://www.wyrdbooks.co.uk/Wyrd_Stories.html

Highlands and Islands Short Story Competition

Theme: Open (no link with Scotland necessary. Unconventional story lines encouraged)
Word limit: 4000 words max
Entry fee: £5 (or 3 stories for £12)
Prizes: 1st prize £400, 2nd and 3rd prizes £50
Deadline: July 31, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Not stated
Publication: Online only (HISSAC website)
Website: http://www.hissac.co.uk/CompetitionDetails

OCTOBER DEADLINES

The Scott Prize (for short story collections)

Theme: Open
Word limit: Short story collection between 30,000 – 75,000 words
Entry Fee: £20
Prizes: First prize £1000
Deadline: October 31, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: N/A
Publication: Publication and contract with Salt Publishing
Extra information: Individual short stories that may have already been published can be included within your collection
Website: http://thescottprize.co.uk

NOVEMBER DEADLINES

The New Writer Annual Prose and Poetry Prizes

Theme: Open (but must reflect ‘writing today’, whatever that means!)
Word limit: 500-3000 words
Entry fee: £5 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £300, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: November 30, 2013
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: The New Writer Annual Collection (anthology)
Extra information: Also includes a poetry category
Website: http://www.thenewwriter.com/prose-and-poetry-prize

Writers’ Village Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 3000 words max
Entry fee: £15
Prizes: 1st prize £1000, 2nd prize £250, 3rd prize £50
Deadline: November 30, 2013
Multiple entries permitted:
Publication: Writers’ Village website
Extra information: This competition guarantees feedback from judges for all entries received
Website: http://www.writers-village.org

ROLLING DEADLINES

Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 1000-3000 words
Entry fee: £5 (or £3 for subscribers)
Prizes: 1st prize £300, 2nd prize £150, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: Rolling
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Published in Writers’ Forum Magazine
Extra information: Also includes a poetry competition
Website: http://www.writers-forum.com/comps.html

Okay, so that’s where I got up to before getting tired. For a more comprehensive, but seemingly mainly Canadian-based list, you can visit this website. For details of competitions predating February, you can visit the UK’s Booktrust website, which is where I found plenty of the competitions listed above.

If any BWC members or random site visitors know of a competition that fits our bill (i.e., it’s international, includes publication, and doesn’t cost a kidney to enter), just email us at brusselswriterscircle at gmail.com and I’ll see about adding it to the list.

I hope this is useful for some of you! And remember, no rotten aubergines for dodgy listings…

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One thought on “2013 International Short Story Competitions

  1. Also ending in April, The Momaya Press Short Story Competition. Check it out at http://www.momayapress.com. Accepting Entries Now through April 30th, 2013. Guidelines: Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and offers the opportunity for winners to be published in the Momaya Annual Review 2013. First Prize is $200 and the 2013 theme is “Music”. While entries for the short story competition may be on any topic, the review gets its cohesion from stories and artwork focusing on our central theme, interspersed amongst the contest winners’ stories.

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