Welcome to our list of short story writing competitions. Updated at the beginning of every year, it includes some of the key competitions which we anticipate launching for the first time or running again during the coming months. 

We hope it will help you plan ahead for the short story competitions you’d like to enter this year. They’re ordered by the month in which they’re due to close to assist with your scheduling and we’ve tried to pick the ones with prizes worth winning.

All the competitions listed should be open to writers based in the UK and most are open internationally too. 

Please note that, as some of these competitions won’t have opened yet for the year, full information for each one may not be online yet and some may change. We’ll keep this page updated throughout the year as details are announced by the competition organisers. 

In addition, every month, we publish fuller details of each key competition that has a deadline over the coming weeks, including information about the prizes on offer, entry requirements, eligibility, entry fees (some are free) and the final submission dates.  You’ll find the latest one here.

To make sure you never miss news about the best writing competitions, why not subscribe to our free newsletter?

January

  • Cambridge Short Story Prize – Details here.
  • DISQUIET Literary Prize – Fiction – Details here.
  • Iowa Review Awards – Fiction – Details here.
  • Light Bringer Project Roswell Award – Details here
  • Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers – Details here
  • New Millenium Writing Awards – Fiction – Details here.
  • NYC Short Story Challenge – Details here
  • Prism International – The Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction –  Details here
  • Short Story Project Competition – Details here

February

  • ChipLitFest Short Story Competition – Details here.
  • Crime Writers’ Association Margery Allingham Short Story Competition – Details here
  • Desperate Literature Prize for Short Fiction – Details here.
  • Exeter Writers Short Story Competition – Details here.
  • Glimmer Train Fiction Contests – Last chance to enter this year! – Details here
  • New Welsh Writing Awards – Details here
  • Ruminate Magazine – William Van Dyke Short Story Prize – Details here.
  • The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition – Details here
  • The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award – Details here
  • Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition – Details here

March 

  • BBC National Short Story Award 2019 with Cambridge University -Details here.
  • Enizagam Literary Contest for Fiction – Details here.
  • Limnisa Short Story Competition– Details here
  • Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction – Details here.
  • Prairie Schooner Book Prize for a Short Story Collection– Details here
  • Room Magazine Fiction Contest – Details here
  • The White Review Short Story Prize – Details here.

April 

  • Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize – Details here.
  • Bath Short Story Award – Details here.  
  • Shooter Literary Magazine Short Story Competition– Details here.
  • Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction Contest – Details here.

May 

  • Bristol Short Story Prize – Details here.
  • Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize – Details here. Extended deadline!
  • Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition – Details here
  • Mairtín Crawford Short Story Award – Details here.
  • Raymond Carver Short Story Contest – Details here
  • Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest – Details here.
  • The Bridport Prize – Short Story Prize – Details here
  • William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition – Details here.
  • Yeovil Literary Prize Short Story Category – Details here

June

  • Creative Future Literary Awards – Details here.
  • Eyelands International Short Story Contest– Details here
  • Moth Magazine International Short Story Prize – Details here
  • Royal Society of Literature V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize – Details here.
  • Wells Literary Festival Short Story Competition – Details here

July

  • Costa Short Story Award – Details here.
  • Grindstone International Short Story Prize – Details here.
  • H.G. Wells Short Story Competition – Details here.
  • Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Prize – Details here
  • The Conium Review Short Fiction Contest – Details here.  

August

  • Aesthetica Creative Writing Award – Short Fiction – Details here.
  • Blue Mesa Review Summer Contest– Details here.

September

  • Bedford International Writing Competition – Details here
  • Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize – Details here
  • Hammond House International Literary Prizes – Details here
  • Manchester Fiction Prize – Details here.
  • ServiceScape Short Story Award – Details here.
  • The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize – Details here
  • The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature – Details here
  • The New Guard Machigonne Fiction Contest – Details here
  • The Short Story Competition – Details here

October

  • Bare Fiction Short Story Competition – Details here
  • Boston Review Aura Estrada Short Story Contest – Details here.
  • Comma Press – Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction – Details here.
  • Eyelands Book Awards – Short Story Collections – Details here.
  • Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Fiction Contest– Details here
  • The Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize – Details here.
  • The Society of Authors Tom-Gallon Trust Award – Details here
  • Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Competition – Details here.

November

  • Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest – Details here
  • Cinnamon Press Literature Award – Details here.
  • Commonwealth Short Story Prize – Details here.
  • Fiction Collective Two Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest – Short Story Collections – Details here
  • Fish Publishing Short Story Competition – Details here.
  • Ink Tears Short Story Contest – Details here
  • Prairie Fire Short Fiction Contest – Details here
  • Reed Magazine John Steinbeck Award for Fiction – Details here.

December

  • Boulevard Magazine Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers – Details here
  • H.E. Bates Short Story Competition – Details here
  • Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction – Details here.
  • Magic Oxygen Literary Prize – Short Stories – Details here.
  • Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition – Details here.
  • The Beloit Fiction Journal Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story – Details here

If you know of any other great competitions for short story writers coming up this year, please get in touch with us here and we’ll consider adding them to this list, promoting them on one of our monthly lists and/or on social media.