Short story competitions 2022

[UPDATED 13/5/22] Happy New Year, happy new writing opportunities. January seems as good a time as any to plot world domnation through words. If nothing else, it can be useful to set deadlines in order to actually finish some the many drafts languishing in your files. And some competition organisers are so forward-thinking, you could be making a start on your entries for late-summer prizes if you like to be very efficient. The list of Irish and UK competitions below is very varied, some big, some more modest or niche, so I hope there will be something of interest for everyone.

As always, I will be regularly updating this post whenever new competition dates are confirmed, so do pop back, as I know many of you do. And as ever, please check out the smallprint before entering anything – don’t go blaming me if the prize consists of a writer’s retreat in Antartica. Best of luck!

  • The Tenth Annual Mogford Food & Drink Short Story Prize
  • Closing date: January 12 (12 midday)
  • Prizes: 1st place £10,000. Three runners up receive £250, and all shortlisted entrants will have their stories published on the Mogford Prize website and in booklets placed in The Oxford Collection’s five star hotels and restaurants in Oxford, UK
  • Judges: writer Michael Morpurgo and broadcaster Andi Oliver
  • Word limit: 2,500 words
  • Theme: as the prize name suggests, the story must feature food and/or drink in some significant way
  • Entry fee:  £15 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Bournemouth Writing Prize 2022
  • Closing date: January 16
  • Prizes: 1st place £500, plus feedback on a sample of your work (short story or a short extract from your novel) from a commissioning editor or agent and a professionally produced recording of your work for your website. Shortlisted writers will be considered for anthology publication
  • Judges: include literary agent Julia Silk and commissioning editor at Picador Ansa Khan Khattak
  • Word limit: 3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £7 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Manchester Fiction Prize
  • Closing date: January 28 (5pm)
  • Prize: £10,000
  • Judges: writers Nicholas Royle, Simon Okotie and Hilaire
  • Word limit: 2,500 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £18 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Cúirt New Writing Prize 2022
  • Closing date: EXTENDED TO January 31 (5pm)
  • Prize: €500 and the opportunity to read at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, which takes place in Galway, April 4-10
  • Judge: author Lisa McInerney
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Some subsidised entries available on application. Open internationally (though travel expenses will not be provided to attend the festival)
  • Writers’ & Artists’ Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: February 11
  • Prize: a place on an Arvon residential writing course in the UK. The winning story will also be featured on the Writers’ & Artists’ website
  • Judge: yearbook editor Alysoun Owen
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: free to enter, you just have to register for a free account on the Writer’ & Artists’ Yearbook site. One entry only, open internationally (though travel costs will not be provided)
  • ChipLitFest Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: February 14
  • Prize: 1st place £500, 2nd place £100, 3rd place £50. The three winnng stories will be published on the Chipping Norton Literary Festival website (scheduled for April 21-24)
  • Judges: literary agent Yasmin Kane
  • Word limit: 5,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £5 for stories of up to 2,500 words. £8 for stories up to 5,000 words, mutiple entries permitted. Some sponsored free entries are available for low-income writers, on application. Open internationally
  • Crime Writers’ Association/Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition
  • Closing date: February 28 (6pm)
  • Prize: £500 plus two weekend passes to CrimeFest 2023 (ie next year) in Bristol, UK
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit:  3,500 words
  • Theme: a mystery that fits into crime writer Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”
  • Entry fee: £12 per entry, mutiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Exeter Writers 13th Annual Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: February 28
  • Prizes: 1st place £700, 2nd place £250, 3rd place £100. There is also a £100 prize for the best entry by a Devon-based writer
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £7 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: February 28
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £500, 3rd place £250. There is also a £750 Isobel Lodge Award open to unpublished writers living or studying in Scotland. Publication will be offered to the authors of least twenty stories in the next anthology. The Scottish Arts Club will present one year free membership of the Club to the finalists, and they will also be given a page on the website to promote their work
  • Judges: chief judge is author Andrew O’Hagan
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. All proceeds are used to support the arts in Scotland. Open internationally
  • Flash 500 Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: February 28
  • Prizes: 1st place £500, 2nd place £200, 3rd place £100
  • Judge: writer Wendy Clarke
  • Word limit: 1,000-3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry details: £7 for one story, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four. There is also an option to receive a critique for £25 per story. Open internationally
  • Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award 2022
  • Closing date: March 1
  • Prize: €1,000. This is the official short story competition for Listowel Writers’ Week, which takes place in Listowel, Co Kerry, June 1-5
  • Judge: writer Christine Dwyer Hickey
  • Word limit: 3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €10 per entry for postal entries (+€3 booking fee if submitted online), multiple entries permitted. They don’t mention whether this is open internationally
  • Du Maurier Festival Short Story Prize
  • Closing date: March 6
  • Prizes: 1st place £200, 2nd place £100. The official prizegiving will be at the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature (May 6-14), which celebrates the life and work of Daphne du Maurier. The winning entries will be published on the website
  • Judge: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 1,500 words
  • Theme: ‘Spring Picture’, inspired by the title of a lesser-known novel by du Maurier, published in 1944
  • Entry details: £10 per story, one entry only. Open internationally
  • Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: March 11 (5pm)
  • Prize: 1st place £200, 2nd place £100, 3rd place £75
  • Judge: author Simon Whaley
  • Word limit: 2,500 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £5 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally.
  • The Phare Magazine WriteWords Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: March 18
  • Prizes: 1st place £150 and an invitation to record the entry for the journal’s podcast. 2nd place £50. Both finalists, along with the runners-up and longlisted stories, will be published in the March edition of the magazine
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: early bird entry of £6 for one story, £10 for two until January 31. Thereafter £8 for one story, £14 for two. There are five free spots available for writers of restricted means, on application. Appears to be open internationally
  • The George Floyd Short Story Writing Competition II
  • Closing date: March 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £250, 2nd place £175, 3rd place £75. Shortlisted entries will receive £15 each. All finalists will be published in an anthology in the autumn and receive a year’s free membership of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, regardless of location
  • Judges: TBA
  • Word limit: 5,000 words, no minimum requirement
  • Theme: ‘EARTH 2.0’
  • Entry fee: free to enter, one entry only. Open internationally
  • The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize 2022
  • Closing date: April 1
  • Prizes: 1st place £10,000, 2nd place £3,000, 3rd place £2,000. The finalists will be invited to attend The Alpine Fellowship 2022 Symposium on Freedom (I can’t see any details yet of where this will take place)
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 2,500 words
  • Theme: ‘Freedom’
  • Entry fee: appears to be free to enter, one entry only permitted in each category (prose, poetry etc). Open internationally
  • Bath Short Story Award 2022
  • Closing date: April 11
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,200, 2nd place £300, 3rd place £100. There’s also the Acorn Award of £100 for a previously unpublished writer of fiction. The top twenty stories will be published in the annual print and digital anthology
  • Judge: writer Paul McVeigh
  • Word limit: 2,200 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £9 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • From the Well Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: April 29 (4pm)
  • Prizes: the 18th edition of the annual Cork County Council Library and Arts Service short story anthology will include 20 selected stories; the winning story and two other stories will also be featured as part of the 2022 West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry (July 8-15)
  • Judges: not yet announced
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: free to enter, one entry only. Open to registered library members (I believe that’s nationwide, though I may be wrong about that)
  • Desperate Literature Prize for Short Fiction
  • Closing date: April 30 [DEADLINE EXTENDED FROM APRIL 15]
  • Prizes: 1st place €1,500, a week’s residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, a consultation with literary agent  Charlotte Seymour from Johnson & Alcock in London and a manuscript assessment and follow-up meeting with a literary editor from The Literary Consultancy. Two runners-up will each win €750. One shortlisted writer will be offered a spot at the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature, Georgia, along with a ten-day residency at the Writers’ House of Georgia. A travel stipend of €400 will be provided. All shortlisted writers will be published in a limited-edition book, which will be launched at the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize Salon, Madrid, Spain. They will also be published by one of Desperate Literature’s partner journals: Helter SkelterThe London Magazine, Open PenPrototypeHotelGorseKill Your Darlings or Minor Literature[s]. There will be opportunities for participation in prize salons at Desperate Literature, Madrid; Burley Fisher, London and Typewronger Books, Edinburgh, depending on Covid restrictions
  • Judges: writers Natasha Brown, Ottessa Moshfegh and Joanna Walsh, and literary translator Anton Hur
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee:  €20 for the first entry, €10 for every further entry up to a max of five entries permitted. There are also some free and reduced-fee entries available for low-income writers, on application by April 1. Open internationally
  • Mairtin Crawford 5th Short Story Award
  • Closing date: May 1
  • Prizes: 1st place £500 and a five-night stay at The River Mill Writing Retreat in Co Down. Two runners-up will each receive £250
  • Judges: writers Lucy Caldwell and Rachael Kelly
  • Word limit: 2,500 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £6 per entry. Some free entries are available on application. Open to writers born in, citizens of or resident in Ireland and UK (note that this is a change from previous years)
  • 2022 Bristol Short Story Prize
  • Closing date: May 4
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £500, 3rd place £250. 17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the remaining shortlisted writers. The Sansom Award will be presented to the highest placed story by a Bristol writer
  • Judges: literary agent Tom Drake-Lee, writer Irenosen Okojie and independent bookshop manager Jessica Taylor
  • Word limit: 4,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £9 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Some free entries available on application. Open internationally
  • The White Review Short Story Prize 2022
  • Closing date: May 9 (5pm)
  • Prizes: 1st place £2,500 and publication in a print issue of The White Review magazine. Shortlisted writers will have their work published online. The competition is sponsored by literary acency RCW
  • Judges: author Julia Armfield, Penguin Press editor Ka Bradley, The White Review editor Rosanna Mclaughlin and RCW literary agent Matt Turner
  • Word limit: 2,000-7,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £15 per entry, one entry only. There will be 100 free entries available to low-income writers, on application. Open to residents of the UK and Ireland
  • RTE Short Story Competition 2022 (better known as the Francis MacManus Competition)
  • Closing date: May 13
  • Prizes: 1st place €5,000, 2nd place €4,000, 3rd place €3,000. Shortlisted authors will each receive a fee of €250. The ten winning stories will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1
  • Judges: Lisa McInerney, Ferdia McAnna and Éilis Ní Dhuibhne
  • Word limit: 1,800-2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: free to enter, one entry only. Entrants must be resident on the island of Ireland, or, if living abroad, hold an Irish passport (proof of nationality and/or residency may be requested of shortlisted writers)
  • I AM Writing Short Stories Competition
  • Closing date: May 15 (opens for entries soon)
  • Prizes: 1st place £250 and publication in Writing Magazine. The top three entrants will receive a year’s subscription to Writing Magazine
  • Judges: Writing Magazine
  • Word limit: 1,500-1,700 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. They have yet to confirm whether it will be open internationally
  • Lough Corrib Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: May 21
  • Prizes: 1st place €100 and a seven-day writer’s retreat at self-catering accommodation in Clonbur, Co Galway. 2nd place €75, 3rd place €50. All shortlisted writers will be invited to read at the Clonbur Writers Weekend (July 22-24), where the winners will be announced
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 1,500-3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €4 for one short story or three short stories for €10, multiple entries permitted. Appears to be open internationally
  • 2022 Shooter Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: May 29
  • Prizes: 1st place £400 and publication in the summer edition of Shooter Literary Magazine, 2nd place £100. Both stories will be published on the site
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 5,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £7 for one entry, £10 for two, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Lucent Dreaming 2022 Short Story Prize
  • Closing date: May 31 (9pm UK time)
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, publication in Lucent Dreaming magazine and limited-edition merchandise. 2nd place £250, publication in the magazine and merchandise. 3rd place £150 and merchandise. Highly commended and shortlisted stories will be considered for publication in the anthology and magazine, for which they will receive a contributor fee and free copy of the publication
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 1,500-4,000 words
  • Theme: ‘Hope’. The guidelines state: ‘Not the sort that diminishes or belittles life’s struggles (toxic positivity), but rather stories that leave the reader with some feeling of hope, for the characters, their own lives, or the wider world’
  • Entry fee: £4 per entry, up to five entries permitted. Entries are free for low-income writers, there is no need to declare or prove your income threshold. Open internationally
  • Bridport Prize for Short Story
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £5,000, an invitation to take part in the awards celebration and feedback from the judges and Bridport Prize professional partners. 2nd place £1,000, 3rd place £500, both with an invitation to the awards ceremony. Ten Highly Commended stories will be awarded £100 each. All the winning and highly commended pieces will be published in an anthology and entered into the Sunday Times Audible competition, top prize £30,000. Literary agency AM Heath will read all the shortlistees and consider representation
  • Judge: not yet revealed
  • Word limit: 5,000 words (no minimum requirement)
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £12 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Michael Terence Publishing Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £500, 3rd place £250. Five runners-up will win £50. All prizewinning stories will be published in the MTP 2022 Anthology (print book and ebook). The anthology will take its title from the winning entry
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 3,000 words (no minimum)
  • Theme: none (non-fiction is also allowed, ie memoir etc)
  • Entry fee:  early bird entry of £5 per entry till February 28, thereafter £7 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Yeovil Literary Prize for Short Story
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £600, 2nd place £250, 3rd place £125
  • Judge: Nicholas Royle
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee:  £8 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • 202Frome Festival Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £400, 2nd place £200, 3rd place £100
  • Judge: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 1,000-2,2000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £8 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Write By The Sea Kilmore Quay – Fiction Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: June 3 (opens for entries April 23)
  • Prizes: 1st place €500, a handcrafted trophy and publication on the festival website. An additional prize of €500 will be awarded to the overall winner of the three competition categories (Fiction Short Story, Flash Fiction and Poetry), ie. they will receive €1,000. Each category winner will be invited to read their work at a public event as part of the festival. This may be online or live with an audience depending on Covid-19 restrictions. Each category winner will also receive a free weekend ticket to the Write By The Sea festival 2022 (September 23-25, Covid-19 restrictions in force at festival time will determine the type of free ticket to be offered)
  • Judges: independent panel
  • Word limit: 3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry Fee: €10 for one entry, or €25 for three entries (which can be in any or all of the three categories: Flash Fiction, Fiction Short Story, and Poetry ), multiple entries permitted.  Open internationally
  • Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2022
  • Closing date: June 22 (12 midday)
  • Prize: 1st place €250 cash plus a course of the winner’s choice at the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore, Co Waterford, in 2023 (to the value of €250)
  • Judges: anonymous 
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: free to enter, one entry only. Open to writers resident on the island of Ireland
  • 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
  • Closing date: June 30 (5pm)
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000 and publication in Wasafiri magazine. Shortlisted writers will have their work published on Wasafiri’s website. All fifteen shortlistees and winners will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility), and a conversation with Nikesh Shukla of The Good Literary Agency to discuss their career progression
  • Judge: panel includes novelist Preti Taneja 
  • Word limit: 3,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £10 for one entry, £16 for two, multiple entries permitted. A limited number of subsidised entries is available at a rate of £6 per entry, on application. Open internationally
  • Wells Festival of Literature 2022 Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: June 30
  • Prizes: 1st place £750, 2nd plae £300, 3rd place £200, plus a Local Prize of £100
  • Judge: author Lucy Jago
  • Word limit: 1,000-2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £6 per story, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • The Moth Short Story Prize 2022
  • Closing date: June 30
  • Prizes: 1st place €3,000, 2nd place a week-long writing retreat at the Circle of Misse writers’ retreat in France (including €250 for travel) and a 3rd prize of €1,000. The winning stories will be published in the autumn 2022 edition of The Moth magazine
  • Judge: novelist Sarah Hall
  • Word limit: 4,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €15 per story, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • The HG Wells Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: July 11
  • Prizes: 1st place £500. All shortlisted stories will be published in an anthology. There is also a category called The Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition for Young Writers (under-21s), with a prize of £1,000
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 1,500-5,000 words
  • Theme: ‘Switch’
  • Entry fee: for entrants over 21, it’s £10 per story, or £5 for students with student ID, multiple entries permitted. Entry is free for writers under 21 (see above). Open internationally
  • Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: July 12
  • Prizes: 1st place £200, 2nd place £100, 3rd place £50. The winning entries may be published in the next Wrekin Writers Anthology and on the Wrekin Writers website. Publication in the anthology, or on the website, is not guaranteed
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Word limit: 1,200 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £5 per entry, multiple entries permitted (50% of any profits will be donated to the Severn Hospice). Open internationally
  • Michael Mullan Charity Fund Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: July 14
  • Prizes: 1st place €200, 2nd place €50. Winners will be announced at a special event in Kildare Town Library as part of the Kildare Readers Festival in OctoberThe winning entries will be published on the Michael Mullan Charity Fund website and on the Kildare Library and Arts Service website
  • Judge: novelist Niamh Boyce
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €15 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally. All entry fees will go towards Kidney Cancer Research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, USA, where Michael was treated

  • Anthology Magazine Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: August 31
  • Prize: €500, publication in a future issue of Anthology magazine and a one-year subscription
  • Word limit: 1,500 words
  • Judges: doesn’t say
  • Theme: ‘Courage’
  • Entry fee: early bird entry of €10 per story by April 30, €15 per story thereafter, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2022
  • Closing date: August 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £2,500, publication in the Aesthetica creative writing anthology, a consultation with Redhammer Management, a selection of books from Vintage Books and a one-year print subscription to Granta magazine. The twenty shortlisted writers will be published in the anthology
  • Judges: quite a long list here
  • Word limit: 2,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: early bird entry of £9 during the month of January, £18 per entry thereafter, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Willesden Herald Short Story Competition 2022
  • Closing date: August 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £300 and a one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed ‘Willesden Short Story Prize 2022’. 2nd place £200. 3rd place £100. Seven shortlisted entries will win £50. All ten winning stories will be published in the Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12 print-on-demand anthology in the UK and US. A copy of the anthology will go to each of the prizewinners
  • Judges: anonymous
  • Word limit: 1,000-7,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £5 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • 2022 Exeter Story Prize and Trisha Ashley Award
  • Closing date: August 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £500, 2nd place £250, 3rd place £150. There is also a Trisha Ashley Award of £200, though I’m not clear what the difference is. Every entry will receive brief feedback in the form of one or two sentences
  • Judges: novelist Trisha Ashley
  • Word limit: 5,000 words
  • Theme: none, although the judge has expressed an interest in ‘humorous, engaging and quirky stories’
  • Entry fee: £12 per entry. Open internationally

Retreat West Short Story Prize 2022
Closing date: October 30
Prizes: 1st place £400, 2nd place £250, 3rd place £150. Shortlisted entries will win £20. The 10 shortlisted writers in all categories will receive cash prizes and be published in a paperback and ebook anthology and will receive one copy of each
Judge: short story writer Sarah Schofield
Word limit: 1,000-2,500 words
Theme: none
Entry fee: £10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally

PS. If you’re new to writing and/or submitting, you might find a useful tip or two in my post 6 Things I’ve Learned About Entering Competitions

Photos: Republica/Pixabay; AbsolutVision/Pixabay; alfcermed/Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Short story competitions 2022

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s