Short story competitions to enter in 2023

Is 2023 the year you share your short stories with the world? There are plenty of competitions and writing opportunities for you to challenge your creativity and get your work out there – with the chance to win some great prizes.

Don’t know where to find these great opportunities? Well, we’ve got you covered with a list of short story competitions that you can enter in 2023.

We’ll keep adding to this list throughout the year – be sure to bookmark this page so you can keep on writing and submitting.

Get ready to share your compelling short stories with the world…

Fiction Factory Poetry Competition
Closing date: 1 March 2023
Fiction Factory welcomes submissions to its second poetry competition, to be judged by novelist and poet Helen Cox. Five shortlisted poets will receive a supportive critique on their poems. One winner from that shortlist will receive a £100 cash prize, as well as feedback on five poems they have written. They will also benefit from an hour-long mentorship Zoom call with the judge to talk about their poetry.
Type: Poetry
Word limit: 40 lines
Entry fee: £4.00 for 1 entry / £10.00 for 3 entries.
Prizes: One winner from that shortlist will receive a £100 cash prize, as well as feedback on five poems they have written. They will also benefit from an hour-long mentorship Zoom call with the judge to talk about their poetry.
Website: https://fiction-factory.biz/poetry-competition/

Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2023
Closing date: 1 March 2023
Poems are invited that deal with any aspect of nature and place – these terms will be given a wide interpretation by the judge Ian McMillan.
Type: Poetry
Word limit: 40 lines
Entry fee: You can submit up to six poems in one batch, the entry fee for the first poem is £7 and includes an administration fee, the fee for each subsequent poem in the batch is £4.
Prizes: 1st prize – £1000
2nd prize – £500
3rd prize – £250
Website: https://www.therialto.co.uk/pages/nature-poetry-competition/

New Australian Fiction 2023
Closing date: 5 March 2023
Each year New Australian Fiction showcases stories from some of Australia’s best and brightest short fiction writers. The anthology will be once again edited by Suzy Garcia and will be released in September.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 2000-6000 words
Entry fee: You must be a KYD Member ($49.95) to be considered (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers excepted).
Prizes: Contributor payment
Website: https://www.killyourdarlings.com.au/2023/01/submissions-for-new-australian-fiction-2023-now-open/

Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize
Closing date: 10 March 2023
Each year the Williamstown Literary Festival is delighted to convene the Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize, named after one of Australia’s finest colonial writers, Ada Cambridge.
Type: Short non-fiction
Word limit: 1000-3000 words
Entry fee: Open to all writers aged 18+ residing in Victoria. Entry is $15.
Prizes: The winner will receive $500.
Website: https://www.willylitfest.org.au/home/writing-prizes/ada-cambridge-writing-prizes/

Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize
Closing date: 10 March 2023
Each year the Williamstown Literary Festival is delighted to convene the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize, named after one of Australia’s finest colonial writers, Ada Cambridge.
Type: Poetry
Word limit: 30 lines
Entry fee: Open to all writers aged 18+ residing in Victoria. Entry is $15.
Prizes: The winner will receive $500.
Website: https://www.willylitfest.org.au/home/writing-prizes/ada-cambridge-writing-prizes/

The Young Adas
Closing date: 10 March 2023
Each year the Williamstown Literary Festival is delighted to convene the The Young Adas, named after one of Australia’s finest colonial writers, Ada Cambridge.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 1000 words
Entry fee: This prize is open to writers aged between 14 and 18 years on 10 March 2023 who live, work or study in the western suburbs of Melbourne. No entry fee.
Prizes: $250.
Website: https://www.willylitfest.org.au/home/writing-prizes/ada-cambridge-writing-prizes/

Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition
Closing date: 15 March 2023
The KSP Writers' Centre is proud to present this annual spooky story competition, sponsored by Little Black Dress Productions. The judges will be looking for good quality original, unpublished writing with engaging characters and a compelling narrative including an excellent beginning, middle and end. Entries must be rated PG and should address the set theme.
Young writers up to 17 years of age: You must be an Australian resident to enter this competition.
Adult writers 18 years and over: You must be a West Australian resident to enter this competition.
The theme for 2023 is ‘After Midnight'.
Type: Short story
Word limit: YOUTH: Max 500 words, one entry only (Australian residents)
ADULT: Max 1,200, unlimited entries (WA residents only)
Entry fee: Adults: $10 per entry
Youth: Free
Prizes: $100
Website: https://www.kspwriterscentre.com/spooky-story-competition

Peter Carey Short Story Awards 2023
Closing date: 16 March 2023
Moorabool Shire Libraries and local writers Jem Tyley-Miller and Wayne Marshall are proud to announce the 2023 Peter Carey Short Story Award. Born and raised in Bacchus Marsh, Peter Carey is arguably Australia’s greatest living writer. It seems only natural to name this award after one of Moorabool’s (and Australia’s) most gifted and imaginative storytellers.
In 2023, we will also be presenting one outstanding entry with the Moorabool Shire Libraries’ Best Local Entry Award. Writers who enter the Peter Carey Short Story Award and who live, work or study in Moorabool Shire are eligible for consideration. The winning story will receive $500.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 2000 – 3000 words
Entry fee: $15
Prizes: The winning entry receives $2000, while the runner-up wins $1000.
Website: https://www.moorabool.vic.gov.au/Services-and-support/Libraries/Creative-Writing-Opportunities/Peter-Carey-Short-Story-Awards-2023

Fiction Factory Chapter Novel Competition
Closing date: 31 March 2023
Have you completed the first draft of your novel? Are you ready to pass it on to a fresh pair of eyes, to see if you are on the right track? Is your all-important first chapter ready for submission to an agent? Whatever your plans, your first chapter must shine – it must grab your readers or quickly lose their interest.
Type: First chapter
Word limit: 5000 words
Entry fee: £18
Prizes: £500 + an appraisal
All short-listed entrants will receive a free appraisal.
Website: https://fiction-factory.biz/chapter-novel-competition/

Northern Beaches Writers’ Competition
Closing date: 31 March 2023
Writers are invited to enter original stories (max 2500 words) inspired by the theme of RAIN, along with one (1) original image that reflects and enhances that story. Stories can be non-fiction, fiction, or fiction inspired by true events. All genres and styles welcome. Multiple entries also welcome. If you are a visual artist, you are welcome to collaborate with a writer of your choice and enter jointly.
Type: Short story
Word limit: max 2500 words
Entry fee: $15
Prizes: 1st Place: $250 + online publication
2nd Place: $100 + online publication
Northern Beaches Commendation Award (for Northern Beaches residents only): $100 + online publication
Website: http://northernbeacheswritersgroup.com/northern-beaches-writers-competition/

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize
Closing date: 31 March 2023
The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is an annual prize for an unpublished poem written by an adult for children aged 7–11.
Type: Poetry
Word limit: There is no line limit.
Entry fee: €15
Prizes: 1st prize €1,000 plus a week at Circle of Misse in France
2nd prize €500
3rd prize €250
Website: https://www.thecaterpillarmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=7679&page=2

UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing
Closing date: 31 March 2023
To recognise the best of the best, UNSW Press established an annual prize for the best short non-fiction piece on science written for a general audience. The Bragg UNSW Press Prize is named in honour of Australia’s first Nobel Laureates, William Henry Bragg and his son, William Lawrence Bragg. To be eligible for the UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing 2023, entries must have been first published in print and/or online between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023. Previously unpublished work will not be considered.
Type: Short non-fiction
Word limit: 7000 words
Entry fee: n/a
Prizes: $7000 First prize | 2 x $1500 Runner up prizes
Website: https://unsw.press/the-unsw-press-bragg-prize-for-science-writing/

UNDER THE SILVER TREE SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2023
Closing date: 12 April 2023
Under the Silver Tree’s creative writing competition is now open and we’re offering big prizes to the winners. First place in the UTST Short Story competition earns $1,000 and there are special prizes for young people and local writers. Anyone over the age of 16 can enter. This year’s theme is ‘underground’.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 2000 words
Entry fee: $10
Prizes: $1000
Website: https://www.underthesilvertree.com/writers-competition

Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize
Closing date: 16 April 2023
The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing. That’s why we’ve teamed up with fifteen different literary and artistic institutions to offer not only a cash prize and writing retreats but to ensure that all our shortlisters have the opportunity to be published in multiple print and online journals, have their work put in front of literary agents, and perform in multiple countries.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 2000 words
Entry fee: €20 for the first entry
€10 for every further entry
(max. of five entries per person)
Prizes: First Prize:
– €1500
– A week’s residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation
– A consultation with Literary Agent Charlotte Seymour from Johnson & Alcock
– A manuscript assessment and follow-up meeting with a literary editor from The Literary Consultancy

Runner-up Prizes:
– €750 (two prizes available)
Website: https://desperateliterature.com/prize/

Positive Words April Short Story Competition
Closing date: 23 April 2023
Positive Words magazine holds two major competitions each year, one closing 23 April and the other 31 October.
Type: Short story
Word limit: up to 2000 words
Entry fee: $4.8
Prizes: $100
Website: https://positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com/competitions/

F(r)iction Spring 2023 Short Story Contest
Closing date: 27 April 2023
We accept work, written in English, from anywhere in the world—regardless of genre, style, or origin—and welcome speculative writing and experimental literature. Strange is good. Strange with a strong character arc is even better. Keep it weird, folks.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 1,001 – 7,500 words
Entry fee: $15.00
Prizes: $1,000.00
Website: https://frictionlit.org/contests/

F(r)iction Spring 2023 Poetry Contest
Closing date: 27 April 2023
We seek work that actively pushes boundaries, that forces us to question traditions and tastes. If your work takes risks, we want to read it. We like strong narratives that make us feel something and stories we haven’t seen before.
Type: Poetry
Word limit: up to three pages per poem
Entry fee: $10.00
Prizes: $300.00
Website: https://frictionlit.org/contests/

F(r)iction Spring 2023 Flash Fiction Contest
Closing date: 27 April 2023
Experimental, nontraditional, and boundary-pushing literature is strongly encouraged. Show us your wildest and weirdest!
Type: Flash fiction
Word limit: 1000 words
Entry fee: $10.00
Prizes: $300.00
Website: https://frictionlit.org/contests/

F(r)iction Spring 2023 Creative Nonfiction Contest
Closing date: 27 April 2023
F(r)iction celebrates and welcomes all forms of creative nonfiction: flash, hybrid, memoir excerpts, personal essays, braided narratives. We are particularly drawn to works with interesting structures that help to propel the narrative forward—we aren’t looking for pieces that are just weird for weirdness’ sake, they need to be weird for a reason.
Type: Creative nonfiction
Word limit: 1,001 – 7,500 words
Entry fee: $15.00
Prizes: $1,000.00
Website: https://frictionlit.org/contests/

SILVER TREE POETRY COMPETITION 2023
Closing date: 30 April 2023
Under the Silver Tree holds writing competitions to further our mission of encouraging reading, writing and the love of literature. We acknowledge the continuous support of West Darling Arts.
Type: Poetry
Word limit: 50 lines
Entry fee: $10
Prizes: $1000
Website: https://www.underthesilvertree.com/writers-competition

FREMANTLE ROUND HOUSE JOHN GAVIN WRITING COMPETITION 2023
Closing date: 30 April 2023
Drawing on the trial of John Gavin and the historical resources provided, create a story that explores connections or commonalities between John Gavin and your character’s story, centred around John Gavin but from an outside perspective that can relate to Gavin’s life. We are looking for creativity in your interpretation while maintaining reasonable historical detail.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 750 words
Entry fee: $10
Prizes: 1st Prize $350 2nd Prize $175
Website: http://www.fremantleroundhouse.com.au/competitions/

Furphy OPEN SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2023
Closing date: 30 April 2023
In the spirit of Archibald and honouring the author of Such is Life, the Furphy Literary Award has been established to promote and extend the tradition of story telling, both factual and fictional, that is so much part of Australian life.
Theme: Australian Life in all its diversity
Type: Short story
Word limit: 5,000 words
Entry fee:
Prizes: 1st Prize – $15,000, 2nd Prize – $3,000, 3rd Prize – $2,000
Website: https://www.furphystory.com.au/furphy-literary-award/open-short-story-competition/

South Perth Young Writers Award
Closing date: 4 June 2023
The South Perth Young Writers Award encourages excellence in creative writing and is open to all students from Year one through to Year 12 who live in or attend school within the City of South Perth.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 1500 words
Entry fee: n/a
Prizes: n/a
Website: https://southperth.wa.gov.au/community/libraries/about-our-libraries/south-perth-young-writers-award

Anthology Short Story Competition
Closing date: 31 August 2023
Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, the Anthology Short Story Competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. There is no restriction on theme or style.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 1500 words
Entry fee: Early Bird: €12 – until 30 April 2023
Standard fee: €18 – until 31 August 2023
Prizes: FIRST: The winner will receive a €1,000 cash prize and the chance to see their work published in a future issue of Anthology. The winner will also receive a one-year subscription to Anthology.
SECOND: €250
THIRD: €150
Website: https://anthology-magazine.com/awards/short-story-competition/

Positive Words October Short Story Competition
Closing date: 31 October 2023
Positive Words is a monthly magazine which was started in 2002 to encourage new writers, showcase experienced writers and generally provide a much-needed opportunity for publication for Australian, and World, writers. Each issue contains poetry, short stories and articles, as well as hints, competition advice and daily topics to get you motivated.
Type: Short story
Word limit:
Entry fee: $4.8
Prizes: $100
Website: https://positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com/competitions/

2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
Closing date: 24 April 2023
The 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is now open for entries. The Jolley Prize is worth a total of $12,500 and is for an original work of short fiction of between 2,000 and 5,000 words, written in English.
Type: Short story
Word limit: between 2,000 and 5,000 words
Entry fee: Online entry (current ABR subscriber) – $20
Online entry (standard/non subscriber) – $30*
Non-subscribers will receive digital access to ABR free of charge for four months.
Prizes: $12,500 (first prize: $6,000, second prize: $4,000, third prize: $2,500)
Website: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/prizes-programs/elizabeth-jolley-story-prize/2023-jolley-prize

Nan Manefield Writers' Award
Closing date: 30 April 2023
2023 marks 34 years of Stanton Library and North Sydney Council celebrating the writing talent of young people in our community with our annual Young Writers' Award since 1989.
Young people aged 11 to 18 years old are invited to submit either one poem or one short story not exceeding 750 words for the Nan Manefield Young Writers’ Award.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 750 words
Entry fee: n/a
Prizes:
Website: https://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/ywa

What Matters? Writing Competition
Closing date: 5 May 2023
Inspired by Gough Whitlam's commitment to involving young people in shaping Australia's future, the What Matters? writing competition is currently open to school students in years 5 to 12 from Australia. Responding to the simple question ‘what matters?', entrants are free to express their views on any matter they care about.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 600 words
Entry fee: n/a
Prizes: The overall competition winner, announced at the awards ceremony, will receive:
– $1500 cash
– A personalised trophy
– A very special package from MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy) This includes a bespoke Digital Excursion program, with the MoAD Learning team connecting live into their classroom.
– The winner’s school library will receive a unique and curated selection of books focused on active citizenship, civics and democracy.
Website: https://www.whitlam.org/what-matters

The Synopsis Skirmish
Closing date: 31 May 2023
A good query submission can be described in terms of concept and craft. In other words, you want to convey an original idea or fresh take and demonstrate a mastery of narrative structure. These elements are both important in your pitch, but even more so in your synopsis. So lay out your story's chain of consequence, and demonstrate character, context, and conflict—with style but without gimmick. And may the best plot summary win!
Type: Synopsis
Word limit: One page: maximum 500 words
Entry fee: • Entry is $5 CAD
• Optional feedback for $30 CAD
Prizes: First place: $700 CAD
Second place: $200 CAD
Third place: $100 CAD
Website: https://darlingaxe.com/pages/the-synopsis-skirmish

The 2023 Writing for the Environment Prize
Closing date: 31 May 2023
Through the R D Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize, Sutherland Shire Environment Centre continues to value the role and place of the art of writing in bringing about change – in issues of social justice and environment. Writing offers a chance to reflect on these problems and their causes, as well as on the solutions and their causes.
Type: Short story
Word limit: no more than 800 words
Entry fee: n/a
Prizes: For the under 19 and the 19-26 categories:
Winner $500
Second place $250
Third place $100
The Sutherland Shire Writers Group will continue to offer a $100 prize to a young and inspiring writer. This is the Pat Strong Writing Award, and the winner will be drawn from the under 19 category. Pat was a member of the original writing group that Bob Walshe set up over 50 years ago!
For the Over 60 category:
Winner: $500
Runner-up: $100
Website: https://www.ssec.org.au/grants-and-awards/rd-walshe-memorial-writing-for-the-environment-prize/

2023 E.M. Fletcher Writing Competition
Closing date: 15 July 2023
The E.M. Fletcher Writing Competition is named in honour of Society Fellow Eunice Fletcher, a long-time member who had significant input into the formation of the Society over many years. Entries should be 1500 – 2000 words on a family history or genealogy theme.
Type: Short story
Word limit: 1500 – 2000 words on a family history or genealogy theme
Entry fee: $20.00 for FHACT members and $30.00 for non-members
Prizes: 1st: $1,000 – 2nd: $500
Website: https://www.familyhistoryact.org.au/writingcompetition

How can I write better short stories?

New to short story writing or looking to refresh your skills before you submit your stories? Maybe you’re looking to hone your techniques and get feedback on one of your short stories? Look no further than our Short Story Essentials self-paced course – it is the ideal place to start.

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