Skip to content

The top short story competitions to enter in August and September


The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award’s pick of the most interesting upcoming short story competitions to enter up until the end of September

  • The Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize 2017/18
    Closing date: August 27
    Submit a story of up to 6,000 words. The winner receives £1,000 or 12 months of editorial support from the directors of the independent publishers Galley Beggar Press. Shortlisted entries receive £150; while those longlisted receive £50 of book tokens, plus a four-book subscription to Galley Beggar Press.
    Entry fee: £10; galleybeggar.co.uk/prize

    The HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition
    Closing date: September 1
    Can you transport a reader into the past? This competition’s only condition is that your story is set at least 35 years ago. First prize is £500, publication in the Whispering Gallery and Historia Mag, a mentoring session from an author and agent, and tickets to the Historical Writers Association Crowns Ceremony in London. Two highly commended entries will also receive mentoring.
    Entry fee: £5; historicalwriters.org/dorothydunnett

    The Short Story Competition
    Closing date: September 15
    Enter stories of any theme with a word count of between 1,000 and 5,000 words. First prize is £500, while second place scoops £100.
    Entry fee: £8; theshortstory.net

    The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2018
    Closing date: 28 September
    Enter the world’s richest prize for a single short story and be in with a chance of winning the £30,000 prize. Submit stories up to 6,000 words in length. This competition is open to writers of any nationality or residency, but you must have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the UK or Ireland.
    Entry fee: free to enter; shortstoryaward.co.uk

    Manchester Fiction Prize
    Closing date: September 29
    Stories on any subject, in any style (of up to 2,500 words), can be entered into the Manchester Fiction Prize. The winner, as judged by Nicholas Royle, Bonnie Greer and Angela Readman, will take home £10,000.
    Entry fee: £17.50; mmu.ac.uk/writingcompetition/fiction-prize

    Heatseeker Short Story Competition
    Closing date: September 30
    The popular website dedicated to female fiction, booksandthecity.co.uk, have teamed up with Heat magazine to find and publish an exciting new women’s fiction short story writer. Submit a piece of women’s fiction (of up to 2,500 words). The winner will receive a mentoring session with the author Paige Toon and a critique of their work with the literary agent Rebecca Ritchie.
    Entry fee: free to enter; booksandthecity.co.uk/heatseeker

    The Henshaw Competition
    Closing date: September 30
    Henshaw Press are a group who wish to actively support creative writing. Submit a short story on any theme of up to 2,000 words. First prize is £100, while second place takes £50 and third, £25. Publication on the Henshaw Press website. Winners and authors of commended stories will also be offered the opportunity of inclusion in their next anthology.
    Entry fee: £5; henshawpress.co.uk

    Crowvus Christmas Ghost Story Competition 2017
    Closing date: September 30
    Crowvus are looking for your ghostly Christmas stories of up to 4,000 words to be included in an anthology, to be published in December 2017. The competition is open to all ages and prizes will be awarded to writers under 16 and adults.
    Entry fee: £3; crowvus.com/competition

    Round up by Sophie Haydock