2014 International Short Story Competitions

For all of you budding short story writers in the BWC, we’ve compiled a list of international short story competitions you might consider trying your hand at in 2014. Apart from the opportunity to make some dosh from your writing, recently-published BWC member Colette Victor also confirms that having a few short story competition wins under your belt can help you on the road to publication.

Since there are more writing competitions than you can shake an aardvark at, our search was narrowed 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 these have been indicated where applicable.

JANUARY DEADLINES

Chapter One International Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 2500 words max.
Entry fee: £10
Prize: 1st prize £2500, 2nd prize £1000, 3rd prize £500
Deadline: January 30, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Winners, runners-up and highly commended published in Chapter One Promotions anthology
Website: http://www.chapteronepromotions.com/competitions/open-short-story-competition.htm

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize

Theme: Open
Word limit: Max. 12 double-spaced pages
Entry fee: $25USD
Prize: $1000USD
Deadline: January 30, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Unclear
Publication: The Thomas Wolfe Review
Website: http://www.ncwriters.org/programs-and-services/competitions/26-thomas-wolfe-fiction-prize

Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Prize

Theme: Open
Word limit: 3000 words max.
Entry fee: $15USD
Prize: $1500USD
Deadline: January 31, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: 3 submissions max.
Publication: Winner published in Glimmer Train Stories
Extra information: This is a quarterly competition, so future deadlines will be announced for April, July and October 2014
Website: http://www.glimmertrain.com/veryshort.html

Labello Press International Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 12,000 words max.
Entry fee: €10
Prize: First Prize €300
Deadline: January 31, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Gem Street 2014 (anthology)
Website: http://www.labellopress.com/submission-guidelines.html

FEBRUARY DEADLINES

The Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction

Theme: Open
Word limit: 30 double-spaced pages max.
Entry fee: $2USD
Prize: $1000USD
Deadline: February 1, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: No
Publication: Fall 2014 issue of The Madison Review
Extra information: Also a poetry category
Website: http://english.wisc.edu/madisonreview/?page_id=58

The Ledge Fiction Awards Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 7500 words max.
Entry fee: $15USD
Prize: $1000USD
Deadline: February 28, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: The Ledge Magazine
Extra information: Also a poetry category
Website: http://www.theledgemagazine.com/Annual%20Contests.html

MARCH DEADLINES

The Pinch Literary Awards

Theme: Open
Word limit: 5000 words max
Entry fee: $20USD
Prizes: 1st prize $1000USD
Deadline: March 1, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Spring edition of The Pinch Journal (University of Memphis)
Extra information: Also includes poetry and nonfiction categories
Website: http://www.thepinchjournal.com/contest/

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Theme: Open
Word limit: Under 50 pages
Entry fee: $15USD
Prizes: 1st prize £2000USD
Deadline: March 14, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Fall/Winter 2014 edition of Colorado Review
Website: http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/nelligan-prize

Mslexia 2013 Women’s Short Story Competition

Theme: Open
Word limit: 2,200 words max
Entry fee: £10
Prizes: 1st prize £2000, 2nd prize £500, 3rd prize £250
Deadline: March 17, 2014
Multiple entries permitted:
Publication: Jun/Jul/Aug 2014 edition of Mslexia Magazine
Extra information: Women writers only
Website: http://mslexia.co.uk/whatson/msbusiness/scomp_active.php

Momaya Press Short Story Award

Theme: ‘Captivity’
Word limit: 3000 words max.
Entry fee: £8
Prize: 1st prize £110
Deadline: March 30, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Momaya Annual Review 2014
Website: http://momayapress.com/momaya-short-story-competition/

The Bath Short Story Award

Theme: Open
Word limit: 2,200 words max
Entry fee: £8
Prizes: 1st prize £1000, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: March 31, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: E-book anthology
Website: http://bathshortstoryaward.co.uk

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, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Exeter Writers website
Website: http://www.exeterwriters.org.uk/p/competition.html

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: £100
Deadline: April 1, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Inkhead Winners Anthology
Website: http://www.inkhead.co.uk/pages/competition-2014

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, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology (Volume 7)
Website: http://www.bristolprize.co.uk

MAY DEADLINES

The Bridport Prize

Theme: Open
Word limit: 5000 words max
Entry fee: £9
Prizes: 1st prize £5000, 2nd prize £1000, 3rd prize £500
Deadline: May 31, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Bridport Prize 2014 Anthology
Extra information: Also includes poetry and flash fiction categories
Website: http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

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: £1000 plus publishing contract
Deadline: May 31, 2014
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
Website: http://www.cinnamonpress.com/competitions/

JULY DEADLINES

Tethered by Letters’ Fall Literary Contest

Theme: Open
Word limit: 7500 words max.
Entry fee: $10 USD per short story
Prizes: 1st prize $250 USD
Deadline: July 15, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Tethered by Letters’ Fall 2014 Quarterly Journal
Extra information: Also includes flash fiction and poetry categories
Website: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Highlands and Islands Short Story Competition

Theme: Open (no link with Scotland necessary. Unconventional story lines encouraged)
Word limit: 2500 words max.
Entry fee: £5 (or 3 stories for £12)
Prizes: 1st prize £400 plus a Writing Retreat in Wales
Deadline: July 31, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Not stated
Publication: Online only (HISSAC website)
Website: http://www.hissac.co.uk/CompetitionDetails

SEPTEMBER DEADLINES

Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine Sixth Annual Dialogue Only Writing Contest

Theme: Dialogue
Word limit: 2000 words max.
Entry fee: $10USD
Prizes: 1st prize $300USD
Deadline: September 15, 2014
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Issue 13 of Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine
Website: http://www.bartlebysnopes.com

NOVEMBER DEADLINES

The New Writer Annual Prose and Poetry Prizes

Theme: Open
Word limit: 500-3000 words
Entry fee: £5 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £300, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: To be announced (was in November last year!)
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

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

The list above has been compiled mainly from the Booktrust website, which also includes more information about UK writing competitions.

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 too much to enter), just leave a comment here and we’ll see about adding it to the list.

Disclaimer: we cannot speak for the legitimacy of any of these competitions. They all seem bona fide, but we advise that you check the individual websites to make up your own mind!

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12 thoughts on “2014 International Short Story Competitions

    • Hi Ranjeeta,

      This post simply lists the details for some international writing competitions you may enter; we don’t actually run any of them ourselves. As far as we’re aware, all of them are open to anybody, so long as you’re writing in English. However, for details on particular competitions, we’d advise you to follow the links to the official competition pages.

      Hope this helps!

    • Hi there, sorry we were a bit late with our response, and now it seems your May 1 deadline has passed! Do you have any further competitions this year? Otherwise, we’ll be happy to list your 2015 competition when the time comes around. Any details on that one yet?

  1. Dear Brusselswriterscircle, Please consider listing Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine Sixth Annual Dialogue Only Writing Contest. Our Contest begins June 1, 2014. All submissions up to 2,000 words must be received by September 15th. There is a one-time only $10 USD for unlimited entries. Winners will be announced by October 19th. The order of winners will be determined by the staff of Bartleby Snopes and our two guest judges, Ronald Friedman and Ben Tanzer. A minimum of $500 USD will be awarded, with at least $300 USD going to the grand prize winner. Our five finalists will also appear in Issue 13 of the magazine. Last year we awarded $945 USD in prize money. All rights revert to back to the author after publication. Please see our website for further guidelines and information: http://www.bartlebysnopes.com

  2. Brussels Writers’ Circle,

    I work for the literary journal, Tethered by Letters. I’m writing in hopes of adding our literary contests to this wonderful directory!

    We are currently accepting submissions for three categories: short story, flash fiction, and poetry.

    Tethered by Letters’ Fall Literary Contests
    We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction contest (55, 250, or 500 words), and poetry contest (max of three pages per poem). TBL strives to publish writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. All winners will be published in Tethered by Letters’ Fall 2014 Quarterly Journal. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. The prizes are $250 (USDA) for the short story winner, $50 (USDA) for the flash fiction winner, and $100 (USDA) for the poetry winner. Winners will be announced publicly on August 1st, 2014. Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. Good luck to all our authors!
    Deadline: July 15th, 2014
    Prize: $250 for Short Story, $50 for Flash Fiction, $100 for Poetry
    Entry Fee: $10 per Short Story; $4 per Flash Fiction OR $10 for three Flash Fictions; $5 per poem OR $12 for three poems
    URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission
    Contact Info: Alison Auger, AAuger@tetheredbyletters.com

    Please let me know if you have any questions or if further information is required!

    Thank you for your time and for continuing to offer this contest resource to writers everywhere.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Christine PS Stocke
    Junior Editor
    Tethered by Letters
    csstocke@tetheredbyletters.com

    • Hi Christine,

      Thanks for letting us know about your competitions. We’ve now updated our directory with the information, and will check in again next year to see if you have more on offer.

      Thanks again!

      • Dear Brussels Writers’ Circle,

        Our contest is back! Please add us to your directory once again, for our “Tethered by Letters’ Fall Literary Contests”–the information from last time being quite the same, excepting that submissions will be due Dec 15th, and winners will be published in our Summer 2015 journal, this time around.

        Please do email me if you have any questions!
        Thank you!

        Courtney Fatur
        Administrative Director
        Tethered by Letters

  3. Could you add our humble new press to your wonderful directory?

    Many thanks 🙂

    Theme: Resistance
    Word limit: 3000 words max
    Entry fee: £5
    Prizes: 1st prize £50, 2nd prize £25, shortlisted entries published
    Deadline: November 30, 2014
    Multiple entries permitted: Yes
    Publication: Online and Kindle
    Extra information: Also accepting non-fiction submissions for the blog

  4. Dear Brussels Writers’ Circle,

    We (Fabula Press) concluded one short story contest in 2014 styled as ‘Aestas’, and at the time of this message the contest anthology is going to print. I am writing to check if it would be possible to get our winter short story contest to be listed on your site.If yes, please find the relevant details below:

    Competition Nivalis Short Story Contest 2015
    Country Global (Hong Kong based)
    Starting Date 01 Dec 2014
    Closing Date 28 Feb 2015
    Winners Announced April 2015
    Word Count min 2500 – no maximum
    Entry Fee $10
    Top Prize US$150, publication and 2 copies of the anthology
    Website http://www.fabulapress.com
    Many thanks, and you are really doing a fabulous work with the listing.

    Kind regards,

    Anirban Ray Choudhury
    for Fabula Press

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