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A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.

So the summer is over and it’s back to school, back to work and back to submitting. Here are some of the best opportunities for the last quarter of 2015. Competitions are a great way to get your work recognised and the prize money can take the sting out of all the unpaid work writers do.   What are you waiting for? Get writing, editing, and submitting … 2015 is ticking away!


Smokelong Kathy Fish Fellowship – a unique chance to be an online writer in residence for a year. Submit 4 samples of Flash Fiction (word limit = 1,000 each), winner has a new piece per quarter published in Smokelong journal plus prize of $500 in total ($100 when appointed + $100 per piece)

Deadline: 15 October


The Short Story are running a new bi-monthly competition with a 1,000 – 5,000 word limit and a first prize of £450.

Deadline: 31 October


Bare Fiction Magazine publish everything – poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Their competition offers prizes of £500, £200, and £100 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category, plus 4 prizes of £25 for commended pieces and publication in the March 2016 magazine.

Deadline: 31 October


The Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize This is a big one! £5,000 to the winner and 3 other regional shortlistees receive £2,500 each. Only open to certain countries including the UK so check the list (for example Ireland is excluded) Word limit = 2,000 – 5,000

Deadline: 1 November


The Fiction Desk are running their annual Newcomer Prize with a larger word limit, ie, 7,000. First prize is £500 plus publication. It is open to anyone without a publishing record who has never been previously published by the Fiction Desk.

Deadline: 6 November


Galley Beggar Press the respected indy publishers have announced their short story competition: word limit 6,000 and a first prize of £500 or alternatively, expert editorial advice for a year.

Deadline: 15 November


Flash 500 there are 2 opportunities here – their quarterly Flash Fiction competition with a word limit of 500 (1st prize of £300) and their new, annual Short Story competition with a word limit of 1,000 – 3,000 ( 1st prize of £500)

Deadlines: 31 December 2015 (Flash) and 28 February 2016 (Short Story)

There are more of course, but I think that’s enough to be getting on with until the end of the year.

  • The quote at the top of the page is by Edgar Allan Poe