International writing competitions 2018

If you started 2018 full of energy and fresh ideas for stories, we’ve got good news for you: many competitions might be waiting for them.

Here’s our selection of short stories and competition for this year. Most of the competitions listed below accept only submissions that haven’t been published anywhere else. Do check individual website for details.

Best of luck!

JANUARY
Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: Max. 3,000 12 double-spaced pages
Entry fee: $25 per submission ($15 NCWN members)
Prize: $1000
Deadline: January 30, 2018
Publication: The Thomas Wolfe Review

The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition 2018
Theme: Ghost story
Word limit: n/a
Entry fee: £8 per story
Prize: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £250, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: January 31, 2018
Publication: The Fiction Desk Ghost Stories Anthology 2018

FEBRUARY 
Glimmer Train Short Story Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: 12,000 words max.
Entry fee: $18 per submission
First Prize: 1st prize $2,500, 2nd prize $500, 3rd prize $300
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Publication: Winner published in Glimmer Train Stories

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2018
Theme: Open
Word limit: 3000 words max
Entry fee: £6
Prize: 1st prize £500,  2nd prize £250, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Multiple entries permitted: Yes
Publication: Exeter Writers website

MARCH
The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction 2018
Theme: Open
Word limit: Under 50 pages
Entry fee: $17 per story
First Prize: $2000
Deadline: March 14, 2018
Publication: Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Colorado Review

The Pinch Literary Awards
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 5,000
Entry fee: $20 for first entry or 1-3 poems, $10 for each subsequent entry
Prizes: 1st prize $1000
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Publication: Spring edition of The Pinch Journal (University of Memphis)
Extra information: Also includes poetry and nonfiction categories

Tethered by Letters Short Story Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: 1,000-7,500
Entry fee: $15 per submission
First Prize: $1,000
Deadline: March 15, 2018
Publication: F(r)iction

Short Fiction Journal Short Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 5,000
Entry fee: £8 per story
Prizes: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize online masterclass
Deadline: March 31, 2018
Publication: The Short Fiction Journal

APRIL
The Bath Short Story Award
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 2,200
Entry fee: £8 per story
Prizes: 1st prize £1200, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100
Deadline: April 23, 2018
Publication: The Bath Short Story Award 2018 Anthology

Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 3,000
Entry fee: $16
Prize: 1st prize $2,000, 2nd prize $500, 3rd prize $300
Deadline: April 30, 2018
Multiple entries permitted: 3 submissions max.
Publication: Winner published in Glimmer Train Stories
Extra information: This is a quarterly competition, other deadlines are 31 August 2018 and 2 January 2019

Momaya Press Short Story Award
Theme: Coming of age
Word limit: up to 3,000
Entry fee: £15 per story
Prize: 1st prize $150, 2nd prize $75, 3rd prize $55
Deadline: April 30, 2018
Publication: Momaya Short Story Review 2018.

MAY 
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: May 1, 2018
Publication: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology (Volume 11)

The Bridport Short Story Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: up to 5,000
Entry fee: £10 per entry
Prizes: 1st prize £5000, 2nd prize £1000, 3rd prize £500
Deadline: May 31, 2018
Publication: Bridport Prize 2018 Anthology
Extra information: Also includes poetry and flash fiction categories

Metamorphose Short Story Contest
Theme: fantasy & science fiction
Word limit: 1,000 – 7,500
Entry Fee: $5 per entry
Prize: $50 and publication in the anthology
Deadline: May 31, 2018

JUNE

Literary Taxidermy Short story Competition
Theme: Open but the competition provides opening and closing lines, chosen from a classic work of literature
Word limit: 3,000
Prizes: a total prize for winnng stories: $1500 and publication in Literary Taxidermy anthology.
Deadline: June 4, 2018

Wells Festival of Literature
Theme: Open
Word limit: 1,000 – 2,000
Entry fee: £6
Prizes: 1st prize £750, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £200
Deadline: June 30, 2018

Moth Short Story Prize
Theme: Open
Word limit: 5,000
Entry fee: £12 per story
Prizes: 1st prize £3,000, 2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend 3rd prize €1,000
Deadline: June 30, 2018
Publication: The Moth

JULY
Highlands and Islands Short Story Competition
Theme: Open (no link with Scotland necessary)
Word limit: 2000 words max.
Entry fee: £5 (or 3 stories for £12 or 5 for £18)
Prizes: 1st prize £650, 2nd prize £50, 3rd prize £25
Deadline: July 31, 2018
Publication: Online only (HISSAC website)

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

Have more competitions you would like to add? Great! Leave a comment and share link to more information.

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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