The Best Short Story Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 208 contests


Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction

Prism

Winter means one thing around these parts: our annual Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction is now open for submissions! The prize is named for Jacob Zilber, who played a central role founding the University of British Columbia’s department of creative writing, (the very first of its kind in Canada) and PRISM international (us!).

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

$600, $400

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: January 16, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Lumiere Review Writing Contest

Lumiere Review

The Lumiere Review is back with our annual Writing Contest! We accept both poems and prose (fiction, nonfiction) from all writers. That said, we particularly encourage emerging writers, as well as those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA, disabled, or other marginalized groups to submit to our contest. We will actively promote writers with these backgrounds.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in Lumiere Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

LGBTQ, Poetry, Short Story

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IEW Writing Contest

Institute for Excellent Writing

We are delighted to present our annual writing contest for all aspiring and accomplished writers, ages eight to eighteen. Whether or not they have experience with IEW's Structure and Style® Writing Method, your students are invited to participate.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: April 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Children's, Short Story

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Uncharted Magazine Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Story Award

Uncharted Magazine

We invite writers to submit to the Uncharted Magazine Science Fiction and Fantasy Prize from August 1 to September 30, 2021. We’re excited to offer the winner of this prize $3000 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $300 and $200, respectively along with publication.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Uncharted Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Science Fiction, Short Story

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Bristol Short Story Prize

Tangent Books

Welcome to the Bristol Short Story Prize – an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Romance, Children’s etc..) .

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

£500, £250, £100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: May 04, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Saudi Historical Short Story Award

Historical Novel Society

Inaugural Saudi Historical Short Story Award. Entries must have historical Saudi themes or characters. Please read full guidelines.

Top prize

£10,000

Additional prizes

5 runners up prizes of £1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: November 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Do Wha(TS) Write

Do Wha(TS) Write

Contest entries should be flash fiction or short stories, with an absolute word limit of 1000 words. There is no required prompt or topic. Write whatever you'd like! We want to see you get creative!

Top prize

$200 (CAD)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $2

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Accenti Writing Contest

Accenti Magazine

The Accenti Writing Contest is inviting submissions for original and unpublished prose under 2,000 words. $1000 and publication is awarded to the winner.

Top prize

$1000 (CDN)

Additional prizes

$100 (CDN) for three runners-up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: February 07, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story

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Stories Out of School

The Academy for Teachers

A flash fiction contest sponsored by The Academy for Teachers and Electric Literature. The story’s protagonist, or its narrator, must be a K-12 teacher.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Gabo Prize in Translation & Multilingual Texts

Lunch Ticket

The Gabo Prize is funded by writers, translators, and Antioch University Los Angeles MFA Alumni, who launched the prize to support the work of peer translators. This cycle, we are seeking works dealing with the theme of "yet to emerge." Please send us works of translation less than 3,500 words long, that are fresh, current, and showcasing underrepresented authors, languages, and cultures.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication in Lunch Ticket

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award

The Ghost Story

The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award competition for full-length short stories on a supernatural theme is now open for submissions! Twice each year TGS awards $1,500 and both online and print publication to the winner of our short story competition.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

online and print publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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All-Story Short Fiction Competition

Zoetrope

The three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation by a number of literary agencies. Guest Judge: Daniel Mason, finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd $500; 3rd $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: October 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Baton Rouge Area Foundation

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence honors Louisiana’s revered storyteller, Ernest J. Gaines, and serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level. Authors may submit a work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that will be published in 2021. Galleys for a 2021 publication are also accepted. The cash prize is to support and enable the writer to focus on writing.

Top prize

$15,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: August 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story

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Dateline Hastings 23-09-21

Hastings LitFest ltd.

A contest for poetry, short stories & life writing based on current events. Up to 12 winners will be invited to an all-day workshop in Hastings on 23/09/21, working with editors to prepare their pieces for publication. Three prizes of £100 will also be given. The resulting anthology Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 will be published two days later at a launch event with Hastings Literary Festival patron Sir David Hare.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

workshop & publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: July 24, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Dillydoun International Fiction Prize

The Dillydoun Review

International fiction contest open to all genres, themes, and subjects. 8,000 word max / no minimum. Short story, flash fiction, self-contained excerpts from longer works welcome. Entries must be written in English.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd $1,000, 3rd $500, Honorable Mention $50, Publication in Print Anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Dialogue Only

The Write Contest and Community

The Write Contest and Community is now accepting entries to our Dialogue Only Contest. The Dialogue Only Contest is an opportunity to create a clear and compelling story using nothing but dialogue. Your entry can be up to 250 words.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Cash prizes for top three entries.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 18, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story

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Horizons

SaveAs Writers

2021 marks the centenary of T S Eliot’s visit to Margate, where he wrote part of The Waste Land. To celebrate his work and the views from our coastline, SaveAs Writers launch their annual international creative writing competition, this year asking for poems and short stories on the theme of Horizons. The theme can be literal, figurative, a celebration of views, a reflection on Eliot and his work, or a broader take on the theme.

Top prize

£200

Additional prizes

£100 second place, £50 third place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: August 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry, Short Story

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Grindstone Short Story Prize

Grindstone Literary

The Grindstone Short Story Prize returns this year, seeking out the best short fiction writers from around the world. Writers are asked to submit a piece of short fiction between 1000 and 3000 words, of any genre, aimed at adult readers.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

£200 runner-up, £50 four shortlisters

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: August 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Short Story

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Annual Short Story Contest

Flash 500

We are looking for stories (of any genre) ranging between 1,000 and 3,000 words, with strong characters, a well-crafted plot and realistic dialogue (where used). Make us laugh, make us cry, but most of all, make us feel!

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

£200 for 2nd place, £100 for 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Vocal Challenges

Creatd

Enter themed storytelling contests to put your creativity to the test and be in with a chance of winning cash prizes and more. To submit, you'll need to sign up for a monthly fee of $9.99, or $4.99/month for 3 months.

Top prize

$1,000 — $5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Youth Writing Contest

The Vancouver Writers Fest

The Vancouver Writers Fest's annual youth writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 8-12 in British Columbia. Entries will be accepted for previously unpublished short stories (fiction or non-fiction) and personal essays: 1,500 word limit. The first-prize winner will receive a $200 cash prize and the second-prize winner, a $100 cash prize.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Short Story, Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction

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Typehouse Literary Magazine Open Fiction Contest

Typehouse Literary Magazine

We are pleased to announce Typehouse Literary Magazine 's third biennial Open Fiction Contest! All pieces must be between 1000-6000 words, entries must be previously unpublished and all genres are accepted.

Top prize

$175

Additional prizes

$100 for second place and $50 for third place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Nowhere Magazine Spring 2021 Travel Writing Contest

Nowhere Magazine

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a travel-specific short story, long-form creative nonfiction piece, poem or essay that possesses a powerful sense of place, character or time. Unpublished and published pieces that have not previously been chosen as a contest winner are eligible. Submit your 800- to 5,000-word piece with a $20 entry fee by June 30, 2021.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Nowhere magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Nowhere Emerging Travel Writers' Prize

Nowhere Magazine

We are looking for never-been-published travel writers from anywhere in the world to send us stories—fiction, nonfiction, essay or poetry—that possess a powerful sense of place, people and time.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in Nowhere Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Juniper Prizes

University of Massachusetts Press

The Juniper Prizes for Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction are awarded annually to original manuscripts: two books of poetry, one work of creative nonfiction, one short story collection, and one novel. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by University of Massachusetts Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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John Steinbeck Award for Fiction

Reed Magazine

Awarding one of the richest purses among literary magazines—$1,000 for the winning story—the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction recognizes exceptional works of fiction. Aesthetically, we are open to most styles and approaches. All works should be stand-alone short stories, not chapters of a longer work. Please limit prose submissions to 5,000 words.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: November 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction

The Lascaux Review

Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in The Lascaux Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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An Axe to Grind - Flash Fiction Contest

The Darling Axe

Tell us a story in fewer than 1000 words for a chance to win from a growing prize pool, plus publication on the Chopping Blog.

Top prize

$700

Additional prizes

Publication on the Chopping Blog

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Flash Fiction

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Women's National Book Association Writing Contest

Women's National Book Association

Do you want to show the world your writing? Then enter the 2020 WNBA Writing Contest! You can enter your work in four categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, flash prose, and poetry.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publishication in an anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: December 01, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Short Story Competition 2021

Exeter Writers

Exeter Writers runs an annual short story competition. The competition began in 2009 and is very popular, receiving entries from all over the world. The maximum word count is 3,000.

Top prize

$900

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: February 28, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Chalk Circle Short Story Competition

Chalk Circle

Whether you are creating a dystopian nightmare, revelling in absurdist humour, or writing stories to celebrate what you love, or have discovered, and fear to lose, we invite you to submit your story to our inaugural short story competition. The word limit is 2,000.

Top prize

$240

Additional prizes

Publication on website or anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: August 31, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Atlantis Short Story Contest

Atlantis Short Story Contest

In its seventh year, the Atlantis Short Story Contest accepts entries from unpublished authors around the world who write their short stories in English and do not exceed the length of 2,500 words. They are looking for short stories that create exciting new worlds with dynamic characters.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

In-depth feedback

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: February 25, 2018 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Nelson Algren Short Story Award

Chicago Tribune

The 2018 Nelson Algren Literary Awards is sponsored by Chicago Tribune. Stories must be written in English, double-spaced, and no longer than 8,000 words. A total of 10 prizes will be made available during Contest: One Grand Prize: $3,500, Four Finalist Prizes: $1,000, Five Runner-up Prizes: $500.

Top prize

$3,500

Additional prizes

Publication in Printers Row

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 07, 2018 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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