Short story competitions to enter in 2018

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Do you love writing short stories? Not only can these bite-sized gems help you to develop finer storytelling skills, you can potentially earn big bucks from your work. Check out the range of short story competitions to enter in 2018. And if you’re looking to stand out from the pack – our Short Story Essentials online course will give you the insider secrets and techniques for a polished short story (and invaluable feedback from a professional editor). Happy writing!

UPDATED AUGUST 2018

Furious Fiction
Presented by the Australian Writers’ Centre (us!), this is a fun, fast and FREE short story challenge to flex your creative writing muscles each month. Everyone 17 years and over, anywhere in the world is invited to take part – for a seriously awesome cash prize.
Opens: 5pm (Sydney/Melbourne time) on the first Friday of the month
Closes: 55 hours later (midnight, Sunday)
Word limit: 500 words
Prize: AUD$500 cash to the winning story every single month
Join the Furious Fiction Fan Club to be notified as soon as the next challenge goes live.

Lane Cove Literary Awards
This is a prestigious national writing competition organised by Lane Cove Council. Australian writers over 16 years of age are invited to participate. Prizes are awarded in Short Story, Theatre Script and Poetry categories.
Open: 23 May 2018
Closes: 22 August 2018
Word limit: 3000 words for short stories
Prize: $2000 for the winning short story, $1500 for the best theatre script and $1500 for the poetry prize

Manchester Fiction Prize
Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 and over with a major prize up for grabs.
Closes: 14 September 2018
Word limit: 2500 words
Entry fee: £17.50
Prize: £10,000 for the winning story

The Andy Griffiths Kids’ Writing Competition
Perfect for young writers! Dymocks and Pan Macmillan invite Australian kids to exercise their creative minds and submit an imaginative short story – that will be judged by bestselling author Andy Griffiths. Open to primary aged school children who are residents of Australia.
Closes: 1 October 2018
Word limit: 400 words
Theme: Living in a Treehouse
Prize: One major prize winner will receive their story framed with illustrations by Terry Denton. The top 5 entries (including the winner) will each win an Andy Griffiths book pack containing 14 books valued at $206.86 each.

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2018
Awarded to a previously unpublished story on the theme ‘Feeding Time’. The theme can be interpreted as broadly as you like and the competition is open to everyone. This is an international competition and writers outside of Australia are encouraged to enter.
Closes: 15 October 2018
Word limit: 2500 words
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $1000 for the winner and $300 for a highly commended story. Both will be published in Mascara Literary Review.

Odyssey Short Story Competition
This competition is open to writers of all ages and experience. The money raised from the competition will go towards the work of Odyssey House Victoria – providing a supportive drug-free environment for people and their families affected by problems associated with drugs and alcohol.
Closes: Friday 2 November 2018
Word limit: 1500 words
Theme: ‘Reflection’
Entry fee: $10 per story
Prize: AUD$1000 and one year membership to Writers Victoria for the winning entry. 2nd prize is $100 and 3rd prize is $50.

ServiceScape Short Story Award 2018
With the freedom to write in any genre and about any theme – it’s a great opportunity for original and unpublished works of fiction and non-fiction. Plus it’s free to enter!
Closes: 30 November 2018
Word limit: 5000 words
Prize: USD$1000 and the short story published on the ServiceScape blog.

InkTears Short Story Contest
Open to all writers internationally aged 18 years and over. There are multiple prizes awarded, and all prize winners will have their story published to the InkTears readership.
Closes: 30 November 2018
Word limit: Short stories must be between 1000-3500 words
Entry fee: £7.50
Prize: Winner receives £1000, runner up receives £100 and 6x highly commended will earn £25

Past competitions

The Hope Prize
The Hope Prize aims to encourage aspiring writers to examine the resilience of people in the face of adversity.
Closes: January 31, 2018
Word limit: 2000 to 5000 words
Prize: The first prize $10,000, second prize $4000, third prize $2000. Highly commended stories $250 and award for an emerging writing under 18 years $500.

100 Word Stories 2018
Write a story in exactly 100 words and this could be your chance to get published by Reader’s Digest.
Closes: January 31, 2018
Word limit: 100 words
Prize: First prize of $1000 and two runners up prizes of $250

Newcastle Short Story Award
This year the Newcastle Short Story Award has an open theme and no limit to the number of submissions.
Closes: February 5, 2018
Word limit: 2000 words
Prize: First prize of $3000, second prize of $1700, third prize $1000

Atlantis Short Story Contest
This competition is open worldwide and offers opportunity for feedback, a perfect start for writers looking to get some direction for their short stories.
Closes: February 25, 2018
Word limit: 2500 words
Prize: First prize $300, second prize $100, third prize $50
Entry fee: Starting at $10 (varies depending on the level of feedback wanted)

Nambucca Valley Writers Group Bad Writing Competition
The Nambucca Valley Writers Group have announced their So Bad, It’s Good writing competition. It’s open theme, open genre and the long list of entries will be published as an Amazon ebook.
Closes: February 28, 2018
Word limit: 500 words
Prize: First prize $500, second prize $250, third prize $100
Entry fee: $10

The Stockholm Writers Festival
The Stockholm Writers Festival is accepting submissions for their first inaugural First Pages Prize for the first 5 pages of a longer work of fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry. Open worldwide, the competition is for writers who are currently un-agented, whether previously published or unpublished. Entries must be unpublished, original and written in English.
Closes: March 13, 2018
Word limit: 1250 words (first 5 pages)
Prize: Five winners receive a cash prize and partial developmental editing to support the completion of their manuscript. The prize money is awarded in US dollars: $700 for 1st place, $400 for 2nd, and $200 each for 3rd, 4th, and 5th places.

The Sheila Malady Short Story Competition
In honour of the Shakespeare on the River theme this year, the 2018 Sheila Malady Short Story Competition has a theme of ‘For the love of…’ and is open to all nationalities and ages.
Closes: March 20, 2018
Word limit: 2000 words
Prize: $300 cash prize
Entry fee: $5

2018 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction
Lip Magazine launches its annual The Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. This is a themed fiction competition open to all women, female-identifying and non-binary writers. The theme of the 2018 competition is ‘Metamorphosis’, with a focus on women’s stories.
Closes: April 20, 2018
Word limit: 2000 words
Prize: First place: $1000 cash prize; a 12 month online subscription to Books + Publishing; a book pack courtesy of Wakefield Press, Verandah Literary Journal, Pilot Press, Express Media and Scribe Publications and publication on the Lip magazine website.
Second place: $500 cash prize; a 12 month online subscription to Books + Publishing; a book pack courtesy of Wakefield Press, Verandah Literary Journal, Pilot Press, Express Media and Scribe Publications and publication on the Lip magazine website.
Third Place: 
$250 cash prize; a 12 month online subscription to Books + Publishing; a book pack courtesy of Wakefield Press, Verandah Literary Journal, Pilot Press, Express Media and Scribe Publications and publication on the Lip magazine website.
Entry fee: $10

2018 Bristol Short Story Prize
This is an international competition open looking for published or unpublished talented writers of short stories to form the basis of their newest novel Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 11.
Closes: May 1, 2018
Word limit: 4000 words
Prize: 1st prize is £1000, 2nd prize is £700, 3rd prize is £400. 17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the remaining shortlisted writers
Entry fee: £8

Writer’s Digest annual writing competition
This competition offers a variety of genres including genre fiction, mainstream fiction, literary fiction and memoir.
Closes: May 4, 2018
Word limit: 2000-4000 words (depending on the genre of writing)
Prize: There will be one grand prize winner of $5000, in addition to an interview with the author in Writer’s Digest, one on one attention from four editors or agents, a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference and a one year subscription to Writer’s Digest Tutorials. The first place winner in each category will receive $1,000 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop, second place winner in each category will receive $500 cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop, third place winner in each category will receive $250 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop.
Entry fee: Starting at $15 (changes depending on genre and number of entries)

SmokeLong Quarterly
SmokeLong Quarterly is open for submissions for their first ever Flash Fiction competition. Stories must be original works and not have been previously published anywhere online or in print, including personal blogs.
Closes: May 20, 2018
Word limit: under 1000 words
Prize:Prize: $1500, automatic nomination for The Best Small Fictions series, the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and other awards, publication in our 15th-anniversary Issue in June, and their undying love and devotion. At least 14 runners-up will also be published in the June 2018 contest issue–and each of the finalists will receive $15.
Entry fees: 
February 5 – April 29  entries — $10, up to 2 stories
April 30 – May 20 entries — $13, up to 2 stories

Boroondara Literary Awards
This open short story award is available to all Australian residents.
Opens: Monday 7 May
Closes: Friday 31 August 2018
Word limit: 1500-3000 words
Prize: First: $1500 Second: $1000 Third: $500


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