short story writing competition

Short Stories

"Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner." Neil Gaiman

We welcome your short stories in any fictional genre and on any subject; stories with compelling characters, sparkling dialogue and strong, original voices. We are ready to be amazed by your ideas! However, we do not recommend short stories written for children.

The short story competition is open to writers in the UK and internationally. 

Please download and read the Entry Instructions and Rules, below, before submitting your work.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification

Word limit: 5,000 words maximum (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee: £10 for each short story submitted. You may enter as many stories as you wish.

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left to enter

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We know writers usually have multiple draft versions of their work. Please double check you have the correct version of your short story ready to upload. You won’t be able to substitute work once it has been submitted.

Postal Entry


1st £5,000
2nd £1,000
3rd £500

10 x £100 for Highly Commended

“Winning the Bridport has been a delight and an honour. Venerable and international, it is the prize writers long to win.  But I almost didn’t enter. ‘Cut Loose’, which emerged from the memory of a creaky little room at the top of a shed in Denver, a room seen once but never forgotten, was a story I thought readers might find too strange and uncomfortable. I dithered, then submitted it just hours before the deadline in May.

"On prize giving day, which was a glorious occasion, I spoke to contest readers,  judges, administrators... and was struck by how much care and rigour goes into the process of selection and how committed the prize is to supporting writers. The first prize win was tremendously affirming."

Wendy Brandmark (UK) winner, Short Story competition 2016

Judge 2018

Monica Ali

“I will be looking for stories that are strongly voiced, and that are not simply undernourished versions of authorial restraint."

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