2016 International Short Story Competitions

Another year, another chance to give those tales of yours a chance to win some dosh. Here we go again with our fourth annual list of international short story competitions you might consider trying your hand at in 2016.

Since there are more writing competitions than you can shake an armadillo at, our search was narrowed to competitions that are (a) international, (b) preferably include publication in either anthologies or magazines, and (c) 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 (or at least not in a publication with more than a certain threshold of sales), 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.

Good luck people!

JANUARY DEADLINES

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: Max. 12 double-spaced pages
Entry fee: $25USD
Prize: $1000USD
Deadline: January 30, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: n/a
Publication: The Thomas Wolfe Review
Website: http://www.ncwriters.org/index.php/competitions/3587-thomas-wolfe-fiction-prize

FEBRUARY DEADLINES

Glimmer Train Short Story Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: 12,000 words max.
Entry fee: $18USD
First Prize: $2,500USD
Deadline: February 29, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: n/a
Publication: Winner published in Glimmer Train Stories
Website: http://www.glimmertrain.org/pages/guidelines/short_story_award_for_new_writers_guidelines.php

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2016
Theme: Open (but no children’s stories)
Word limit: 3000 words max
Entry fee: £6
Prize: £500
Deadline: February 28, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Exeter Writers website only
Website: http://www.exeterwriters.org.uk/p/competition.html

MARCH DEADLINES

Nivalis Short Story Contest 2016
Theme: ‘Nivalis’, meaning ‘Winter’, no children’s stories, young adult, chicklit, hardcore sci-fi
Word limit: 1,500-7,000 words
Entry fee: $10USD
Prize: $250USD
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Winners anthology
Extra information: biannual competition,

Website: http://www.fabulapress.com/the-contest/

The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition 2016
Theme: Ghost story
Word limit: n/a
Entry fee: £8
Prize: £500
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: The Fiction Desk Ghost Stories Anthology 2016
Website: http://www.thefictiondesk.com/submissions/ghost-story-competition.php

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction 2016
Theme: Open
Word limit: Under 50 pages
Entry fee: US$15
First Prize: US$2000
Deadline: March 14, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Colorado Review
Website: http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/nelligan-prize/submission-guidelines/

The Pinch Literary Awards
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 5,000
Entry fee: US$20
Prizes: 1st prize $1000USD
Deadline: March 15, 2016
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.pinchjournal.com/2016-contest-guidelines/

Mslexia 2016 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 14, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Mslexia Magazine
Extra information: Women writers only
Website: https://mslexia.co.uk/competition/short-story-competition/

Short Fiction Journal Short Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 6,000
Entry fee: £7
Prizes: £500
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: The Short Fiction Journal
Website: http://www.shortfictionjournal.co.uk/?page_id=33

Metamorphose Novella Fiction Prize
Theme: Fantasy, Science fiction
Word limit: 20,000-40,000
Entry fee: n/a
First Prize: US$50
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Metamorphose Volume 2
Website: http://metamorphoselit.com/category/news/

Tethered by Letters Short Story Fiction Prize

Theme: Open
Word limit: 1,000-7,500
Entry fee: US$18
First Prize: US$1,000
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Friction
Website: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submissions/

APRIL DEADLINES

Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 3,000
Entry fee: US$16
Prize: US$2,000
Deadline: April 30, 2016
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 2016
Website: http://www.glimmertrain.org/pages/guidelines/very_short_fiction_guidelines.php

The Bath Short Story Award
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 2,200
Entry fee: £8
Prizes: 1st prize £1000, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: April 25, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: The Bath Short Story Award 2016 Anthology
Website: http://bathshortstoryaward.co.uk

Momaya Press Short Story Award
Theme: ‘Treasure’
Word limit: up to 3,000
Entry fee: £8
Prize: US$200
Deadline: April 30, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Momaya Annual Review 2016
Website: http://momayapress.com/momaya-short-story-competition/

Bristol Short Story Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 4,000
Entry fee: £8 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £1000, 2nd prize £700, 3rd prize £400
Deadline: April 30, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology (Volume 8)
Website: https://www.bristolprize.co.uk/rules/

MAY DEADLINES

The Bridport Short Story Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 5,000
Entry fee: £10
Prizes: 1st prize £5000, 2nd prize £1000, 3rd prize £500
Deadline: May 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Bridport Prize 2016 Anthology
Extra information: Also includes poetry and flash fiction categories
Website: http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

Cinnamon Press Annual Short Story Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: 2000-4000 words
Entry fee: £12
First Prize: £500
Deadline: May 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: up to 4
Publication: Cinnamon Press winners’ anthology
Extra information: Cinnamon Press also includes annual competitions for poetry and first novels/novellas
Website: http://www.cinnamonpress.com/competitions/annual-short-story-prize/

JULY DEADLINES

Highlands and Islands Short Story Competition
Theme: Open (no link with Scotland necessary)
Word limit: 2500 words max.
Entry fee: £5 (or 3 stories for £12)
Prizes: 1st prize £400
Deadline: July 31, 2016
Multiple entries permitted: Not stated
Publication: Online only (HISSAC website)
Website: http://www.hissac.co.uk/CompetitionDetails

ROLLING DEADLINES

Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition
Theme: Open
Word limit: 1000-3000 words
Entry fee: £6 (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 poetry and flash-fiction competitions
Website: http://www.writers-forum.com/comps.html

If any BWC members or other 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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