The Best Short Story Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 208 contests


The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

The Ghost Story

We’re interested in flash fiction pieces of between 250 and 1,000 words. We’re seeking the finest work we can find that incorporates an uncanny element. Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is superb writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

print and online publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: January 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Short Story, Thriller

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swamp pink Prizes

crazyhorse

From January 1st to January 31st, submit short stories and essays of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Winners in each genre will receive $2,000 and publication.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Creative Writing Award for Short Fiction

Aesthetica

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is a celebration of innovative new writing from across the globe. Each year, the competition invites submissions of short fiction that redefine the parameters of form, concept and technique.

Top prize

$3,068

Additional prizes

Publication + Consultation

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $22

Deadline: September 08, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Kurt Brown Prizes

Association of Writers & Writing Programs

AWP will offer three scholarships of $500 each to be awarded to three first-place winners in the genres of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. These scholarships must be used to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency at one of the AWP member programs in the Directory of Conferences & Centers. All winners and six finalists will also receive a one-year individual membership.

Top prize

$500 scholarship

Additional prizes

one-year membership

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Short Story

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AIIRA Writing Contest

AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture

We invite contestants to submit writing that imagines the world in the year 2050 and explores the relationship between humans, technology, and their food: what will food look, taste, and feel like; where will it come from; who will produce and transport it; and how will we access and consume it? The world you bring to light should be believable and probe the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the future of agriculture. Your submission can be fiction or creative non-fiction, but keep in mind that the strongest submissions will use research to support the reality described. Contestants must be undergraduate students to submit to this contest.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $1,500 | 3rd: $1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

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NOWW 25th International Writing Contest

Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW)

A Canadian contest with an international flair. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we have increased the prize total to $1800 over six major categories: poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, crime fiction, literary critical writing, and The Bill MacDonald prize for prose (A Northwestern Ontario setting must be central to the work).

Top prize

$150 CAD

Additional prizes

Publication in NOWW magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Voice.Club - Flash Fiction Writing Contest

Voice.Club

Express yourself in a supportive, family-friendly community, as you develop your writing skills. Voice.club is a family-friendly platform where creators can express themselves in a supportive environment. Our recurring writing contests have attracted talented writers from all over the world, and invite you to write a story of 350 words or less, based on our current prompt.

Top prize

$50 Amazon Gift Card + Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: December 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomer Plus

Stories Through The Ages

Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomers Plus 2023 is open to people born 1966 or earlier. The deadline for entries is June 15, 2023. There is no prompt for the contest. Authors may write about any topic. The entry fee is $20 ($15 if submitting more than one story). The word count for this contest is 900 - 5000 words. Cash prizes of $500, $200 and $100 will be awarded. There will be a minimum of 15 finalists whose story will appear in the book.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $200 | 3rd: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 15, 2023


Genres

Short Story, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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The Goldilocks Zone

Sunspot Lit

Inspired by the search for Goldilocks Zone planets, Sunspot Lit is looking for one short story, CNF, artwork, poem, graphic novel, or script that combines excellence with appeal. Literary and genre works accepted; feedback available.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: December 19, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Minds Shine Bright Writing Competition

Minds Shine Bright

As we adjust to new realities, inflationary pressures, geo-political tensions, environmental challenges and more it’s time to imagine and explore. The Minds Shine Bright writing competition Confidence 2023 is open and calling for entries of short stories, short scripts, flash fiction and poetry which explore the theme of confidence in some way.

Top prize

$1,080

Additional prizes

$540 for each category winner | $118 for commended entries

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story

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Pulp Fictional Writing Competitions

Pulp Fictional.com

Our Flash contest is now open and will run until 1st January 2023. The Short Story contest begins on the same date and will run until 31st May 2023.

Top prize

$452

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Short Story, Thriller

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Ethos Literacy Annual Short Short Story Contest

Ethos Literacy

The challenge: write a story using 100 words on one of four topics. Open to all ages with a special prize for authors 14 years or younger. The contest supports nonprofit literacy programs.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

6 cash prizes of $100 each; publication in digital magazine, inclusion in webcast

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: January 15, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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The Roswell Award & Feminist Futures Award

The Omega Sci-Fi Awards

The Omega Sci-Fi Awards are proud to accept entries for The Roswell Award international short science fiction story competition from writers age 16 and older. The Feminist Futures Award will be awarded to a distinct winner for an outstanding feminist sci-fi story.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: December 19, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story

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Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Baen Books

The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen. We are seeking short stories of no more than 8,000 words, that show the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.

Top prize

Publication on the Baen Books website for normal paying rates

Additional prizes

Free entry into the 2021 International Space Development Conference, a year's membership to the National Space Society, a prize package

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 01, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story

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CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Crime Writers' Association

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story. Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Two weekend passes to CrimeFest

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Mystery, Short Story

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The Breakwater Fiction Contest

Break Water Review

We are seeking submissions for pieces that breathe freshness to the form. We are interested in previously unpublished prose ranging from 1,000 - 4,000 words.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: December 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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F(r)iction Short Story Contest

F(r)iction

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. You may submit up to three entries for $12. A single entry is $10. Each entry can be up to 1,000 words long.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Considered for publication in F(r)iction

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: November 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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SNHU 2022 Fall Fiction Contest

Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU is hosting its 8th annual Fall Fiction Contest, where you can showcase your talents and creativity by submitting an original short story. This contest is open to any writer, based in the continental U.S., and submissions will be accepted from Oct. 3-31. By entering, you'll have the opportunity to win up to $3,000 in SNHU scholarships, have your short story featured in The Penmen Review and more.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: October 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Mum Life Stories Micro Fiction Writing Competition

Mum Life Stories

Win cash prizes and publication in an anthology. This is the 6th and final round of the second series of micro fiction competitions on the blog 'Mum Life Stories'. Just 500 words around the them 'Empty Nest', which can be interpreted any way you like, as long as it includes a mum somewhere in the story. There will be an anthology release early to mid 2023 including the shortlists (Top 10) from each round.

Top prize

$31

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $2

Deadline: November 06, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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The European Writing Prize

The European Society of Literature

The European Writing Prize is a competition that seeks to find young, unrecognised talent in the literary scene, and showcase their work to the public.

Top prize

$50

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 01, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Edit Your Source Code

Effective Altruism at Berkeley

With a $1800 prize pool, Effective Altruism at Berkeley is hosting a scifi creative writing contest. In this contest, writers can explore the ways that becoming a supercapable human affects their lives and changes the world. In the Edit Your Source Code Contest, you’re asked to: Imagine what change(s) you would make to your own source code. Then, explore the possible consequences of your edits. What is it like living in the world as an altered, potentially superpowerful person? We encourage you to explore a range of possible outcomes, including what would happen if your edits create outcomes that are misaligned with your goals.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $350 | 5x runner-up: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: October 23, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

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Wenlock Olympian Society Short Story Competition

Wenlock Olympian Society

A prestigious short story competition with a maximum of 2,500 words. Entries can be on any theme in any genre. We are looking for flair and creativity. The competition will be judged by highly acclaimed author Emma Cooper. Winners to be announced in March 2023.

Top prize

$165

Additional prizes

2nd: $55 | 3rd: $27

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: November 23, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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Leiby Chapbook Contest

The Florida Review

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Florida Review is given annually for a chapbook of short fiction, short nonfiction, or graphic narrative. Submit a manuscript of up to 45 pages with a $25 entry fee by December 31. All entries are considered for publication. All entrants receive a 1-year subscription. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: December 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novella, Short Story

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Story Unlikely's Short Story Contest

Story Unlikely

Short Story contest with $1,000 prize package and NO entry fee. Fiction or memoir, up to 4,500 words. Looking for well-written, expertly told stories, regardless of genre.

Top prize

$1,000 total package

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Writing MISCHIEF

Sadie Tells Stories

For Sadie's final writing competition of 2022 she wanted to inspire you to have a little fun, mischievous fun that is. One of the definitions of mischief is: irresponsibly playful. Writing MISCHIEF is a 500 word short story contest. The story can be fiction or non-fiction as long as it includes an element of mischief. As usual, it does not need to be about mischief, it just needs to have an element of it somewhere in the story.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: November 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

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Historical Fiction Challenge

Globe Soup

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a period in history. As soon as you receive your assignment, you'll have until the closing time to research, write, and submit a short story of no more than 4,000 words, set during this historical period.

Top prize

$1,131

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: October 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Dream Quest One Writing Contest

Dream Quest One

Write a short story, 5 pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, fiction, non-fiction, creative nonfiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries, short stage plays, screenplays, and screenwriting). All entries must be either typed or legibly hand printed. Multiple and simultaneous poetry and short story entries are accepted.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

2nd: $125 | 3rd: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 19, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Inception 2022: $250 for Best Opening

Sunspot Lit

Beginnings weight one moment with a particular power. A poem handles this differently than flash fiction, a novel, a graphic novel or an art series. Send your best opening. No restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Publication will be offered to runners-up and finalists.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication in digital and print editions

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: October 09, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Indignor Play House Annual Short Story Annual Competition

Indignor House Publishing

Indignor House Publishing is proud to announce that our annual writing competition (INDIGNOR PLAYHOUSE Short Story Annual Competition) is officially open with expected publication in the fall of 2023.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Story of the Year Contest

Storyshares

The annual Story of the Year Contest is coming back for the sixth year, and we are searching for fresh, diverse stories that are "easy to read and hard to put down." The 2022 competition will run from October 4 to December 27 and will feature 4 distinct categories. Winners will receive $12,000 in cash prizes, plus publication in both digital and print form. Entry will be free, unlimited, and open internationally.

Top prize

Diversity $3,000

Additional prizes

Tough Topics $2,000 | For Teens By Teens $2,000 | People’s Choice $1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: December 27, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

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Flash Fiction Battle

Writing Battle

Writing Battle is a creative writing competition for writers, by writers. Light on battle. Heavy on fun and friendship (but still somewhat battle-like). Receive prompts, write a short story, then judge each other's stories. Win cash and get feedback from your peers. Join the battle!

Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

Feedback by industry professionals.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 02, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Annual Contest Submissions

So to Speak Journal

So to Speak seeks work by writers who want to challenge and change the identity of the “canonical” writer. Our mission is to amplify voices of BIPOC, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, women, neurodivergent people, people of different religions or none, migrants, refugees & immigrants (regardless of citizenship), and incarcerated writers. Free submissions for Black and Indigenous Writers.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication for winner and runner-up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: November 14, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest

Lazuli Literary Group

We are not concerned with genre distinctions. Send us the best you have; we want only for it to be thoughtful, intelligent, and beautiful. We want art that grows in complexity upon each visitation; we enjoy ornate, cerebral, and voluptuous phrases executed with thematic intent.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in "AZURE: A Journal of Literary Thought"

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: February 22, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Novella, Script Writing

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Seán O'Faoláin International Short Story Competition

Munster Literature Centre

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.

Top prize

€2,000

Additional prizes

Residency at Anam Cara Retreat, Featured reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival, Publication in Southword

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $22

Deadline: July 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story

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Black River Chapbook Competition

Black Lawrence Press

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or prose between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication by Black Lawrence Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: October 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry, Short Story, Fiction

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