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49 Short Story Competitions to Enter in 2021

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by Gayle Beveridge (subscribe)
Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published April 5th 2021
Turn Your Stories into Success

You love to pen a story and maybe during the 2020 COVID lockdown you wrote up a storm but what a shame it would be if you left your masterpieces languishing on a disk drive or in a drawer. A story writer is first and foremost a storyteller and storytellers need an audience. Writing competitions are a good way to find that audience and perhaps make a little money for your efforts along the way. The following are a small selection of competitions available between now and the end of 2021. This is by no means an exhaustive list and if you're really keen a Google search will reveal many more.

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Some things to bear in mind when entering the competitions are:

a) The following listings are summaries only and it is imperative that you always check the rules and terms and conditions on the competition website to ensure both you and your story are eligible to enter. For example, most competitions exclude previously published or awarded stories and some have regional or age limits. Many award additional prizes for the best local entries.

b) Make sure you follow all the entry instructions including those for formatting.

c) Proofread and edit your story before entering it. Make sure you check spelling and grammar. If you want help with that ProWritingAid is a good editing tool that goes way beyond just spelling and grammar. I have been using it for many years. There is a cost associated with this program but most will find it affordable and there is a free trial period available. You can check it out here. https://prowritingaid.com/

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d) Reading your work aloud is a helpful editing tool. Perhaps even have a friend or family member read it through; a second pair of eyes often sees what the first misses. You can even have your computer read it back to you with a free version of 'Natural Reader' which can be downloaded here. https://www.naturalreaders.com/software.html

e) Some competitions publish non-winning entries on their websites or in anthologies without remuneration. You may be quite happy to just have your story out there, there is nothing wrong with it, but be aware that story is then 'published' which precludes entry into most other competitions.

f) Read previous winning entries if they are available. They will give some insight into what is sought, although many competitions have different judges with each passing year and each will have their own likes and dislikes.

g) If you want to brush up on your writing skills you find there are a plethora of free courses on almost any writing topic. You can check these out in the article 73 Free Writing Courses You Can Do at Home. https://www.weekendnotes.com/73-free-writing-courses-you-can-do-at-home/

All that remains to be said is have a go and good luck.

Monthly Competitions

1 - 7. Writer's Forum Monthly Short Story Contest
Full Details: https://writers-forum.com/short-story-contest/
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: From 1000 to 3000 words
Submission Deadline: Rolling contest – enter anytime for May to December
Expected Results Date:
Prizes: 1st £300 2nd £150 3rd £100
Publication: In Writers' Forum magazine and possible future Writers' Forum anthologies.
Entry Fees: £6 or just £3 for subscribers
Critique Offered: Optional feedback for just £5

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Image in the public domain from Pixabay

8 - 14. Furious Fiction
Full Details: https://www.writerscentre.com.au/furious-fiction/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: A series of prompts apply to each story.
Word Count: to 500 words
Submission Deadline: Competition runs on the first weekend of every month. Prompts are supplied on 5pm Friday night and you have until Sunday night to get your story in.
Expected Results Date: One month from submission
Prizes: 1st $500
Publication: On the Australian Writers Centre website
Entry Fees: Free

Quarterly Competitions

15 -17. WOW Quarterly Flash Fiction Competition
Full Details: www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php
Country of Origin: USA
Known Restrictions: Entries limited to 300
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 750 words
Submission Deadline: Spring - May 31st, Summer - August 31st, Fall - November 30th,
Prizes: USD 1st $400, 2nd $300, 3rd $200 Amazon gift vouchers (top 20 placings awarded)
Publication: On the WOW! website
Entry Fees: USD $10
Critique Offered: USD $10

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Image in the public domain from Pixabay

18 - 20. Flash 500
Full Details: www.flash500.com/index_files/flash500rules.htm
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 500 words
Submission Deadline: 30th June, 30th September and 31st December 2021
Expected Results Date: About 6 weeks after closing date
Prizes: 1st £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100
Publication: On the Flash500 website
Entry Fees: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories
Critique Offered: £15 per story

21 - 23. Write Time Over 60's Short Story Award
Full Details: https://writetime.org/competition-rules/
Country of Origin: UK
Known Restrictions: Over 60 years of age
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 1,500
Submission Deadline: 30 June, 30 September and 31 December.
Expected Results Date: Within six weeks of the closing date
Prizes: 1st £50, 2nd £25, 3rd £25
Publication: www.writetime.org/storytime and in the WriteTime anthology.
Entry Fees: £3 for one entry, £5 for two entries

Six Monthly Competitions

24 -25. The Best of Times Short Story Competition
Full Details: wildthoughts.com.au/bot.html
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Any theme but must be humorous
Word Count: to 2,500 words
Submission Deadline: Autumn 15th May, Spring probably 31st October
Expected Results Date:
Prizes: 1st $500, 2nd $100.
Publication: on the Wild Thoughts website
Entry Fees: $10

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April Deadlines

26. 2021 Newcastle Short Story Award
Full Details: https://hunterwriterscentre.org/newcastle-short-story-award-2021/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 2,000 words including the title
Submission Deadline: 14th April 2021
Prizes: 1st $3,000, 2nd $1,500, 3rd $1,000, 4th $500, 5th $250, 6th $100
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: $16.50

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Image in the public domain from Pixabay

27. Peter Cowan 600 Word Short Story Competition
Full Details: https://pcwc.org.au/competitions/2021-peter-cowan-600-short-story-competition/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 600 words
Submission Deadline: 16th April 2021
Expected Results Date: 15th May 2021
Prizes: 1st $200, 2nd $100, 3rd $50
Publication: PCWC e-Magazine.
Entry Fees: $10 for 1 story, $18 for 2 stories, $25 for 3 stories

28. The Bath Short Story Award
Full Details: https://www.bathshortstoryaward.org/
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 2,200 words
Submission Deadline: 19th April 2021
Prizes: 1st £1,200, 2nd £300, 1st £100
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: £9

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29. The 2021 Sutherland Shire Literary Competition - Short Story Award
Full Details: www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Community/Library/Sutherland-Shire-Literary-Competition
Country of Origin: Australia
Known Restrictions: Over 18 and a current resident of Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 2,000 words
Submission Deadline: 19th April 2021
Expected Results Date: 23rd July 2021
Prizes: 1st $1,000, 2nd $500
Publication: Council Website
Entry Fees: $15

30. Banjo Patterson 2021 Writing Awards - Short Story
Full Details: www.cwl.nsw.gov.au/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Australian Content
Word Count: to 3,000 words
Submission Deadline: 23rd April 2021
Expected Results Date: 21st June 2021
Prizes: 1st only $2,000
Publication: Orange City Council Website
Entry Fees: $15

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31. The Furphy Literary Award
Full Details: https://www.furphystory.com.au/furphy-literary-award/
Country of Origin: Australia
Known Restrictions: Over 18 and a current resident of Australia
Theme: Australian Life in All its Diversity
Word Count: to 5,000 words
Submission Deadline: 30th April 2021
Expected Results Date: By the end of July 2021
Prizes: 1sr $15,000, 2nd $3,000, 3rd $2,000, (and a residency program in Shepparton for the winner)
Publication: Anthology - current payment AUD $250
Entry Fees: Free

May Deadlines

32. The 2021 ABR Elizabeth Jolly Short Story Award
Full Details: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/prizes-programs/elizabeth-jolley-story-prize/current-jolley
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: 2,000 to 5,000 words
Submission Deadline: 3rd May 2021
Expected Results Date: Aug or Sept 2021
Prizes: 1st $6,000, 2nd $4,000, 3rd $2,000
Publication: August or September 2021 issue
Entry Fees: $25

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33. The Bristol Short Story Prize
Full Details: https://www.bristolprize.co.uk/rules
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 4,000 words
Submission Deadline: 5th May 2021
Expected Results Date: 21st July 2021
Prizes: 1st £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250, 4th £100
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: £9

34. Laura Literary Awards
Full Details: https://rockyriverriters.club/competitions/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 1,500
Submission Deadline: 7th May 2021
Prizes: 1st $200
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: $10

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35. Maureen Freer Literary Competition - 2021 (FAWQ)
Full Details: https://fawq.com.au/2316-2/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Freedom (Title and Gist)
Word Count: to 2,000 words
Submission Deadline: 15th May 2021
Expected Results Date: October 2021
Prizes: 1st $300, 2nd $100, 3rd $50
Publication: Scope Magazine / Website / Future anthologies
Entry Fees: $10 for 1 story, $20 for 3 stories

36. Alan Russell Award for Memoir (Eastwood Hills FAW Literary Competition 2021)
Full Details: https://hillsfaw.wordpress.com/2020/12/14/annual-literary-competition-2021/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Memoir
Word Count: to 1,500 words
Submission Deadline: 15th May 2021
Expected Results Date: 7th Aug 2021
Prizes: 1st $150, 2nd $50
Entry Fees: $8 or $30 for 4

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37. Pauline Walsh Award for Short Story (Eastwood Hills FAW Literary Competition 2021)
Full Details: https://hillsfaw.wordpress.com/2020/12/14/annual-literary-competition-2021/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 1,500 words
Submission Deadline: 15th May 2021
Expected Results Date: 7th Aug 2021
Prizes: 1st $150, 2nd $50
Entry Fees: $8 or $30 for 4

38. Word Periscope Flash 1500
Full Details: https://www.wordperiscope.co.uk/
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Time
Word Count: to 1,500 ( /- 10%)
Submission Deadline: 15th May 2021
Expected Results Date: 15th June 2021
Prizes: 1st £1,500
Publication:
Entry Fees: £7
Critique Offered: £8

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Image in the public domain from Pixabay

39. The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition
Full Details: www.smokelong.com/the-smokelong-grand-micro-competition/
Country of Origin: USA
Known Restrictions:
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 400 words
Submission Deadline: 16th May 2021
Expected Results Date: June 2021
Prizes: USD 1st $1500, 2nd $500, 3rd $300, 4th $100
Publication: June 2021 issue of SmokeLong Quarterly.
Entry Fees: USD $6 for 1 story, $10 for 2 stories, $16 for 4 stories

40. Grieve 2021
Full Details: https://hunterwriterscentre.org/grieve-2021/
Country of Origin: Australia
Known Restrictions: Over 18 and Australians only
Theme: Grief and Loss
Word Count: to 500 words including title and sub-headings
Submission Deadline: 26th May 2021
Prizes: See website for details of the 25 prizeshttps://hunterwriterscentre.org/prizes/
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: $15

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Image in the public domain from Pixabay

41. The Bridport Short Story Competition
Full Details: https://bridportprize.org.uk/the-competition/short-story/
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 5,000 words
Submission Deadline: 31st May 2021
Prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500, 10 x £100
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: £12

42. Burdekin Readers & Writers Association Short Story Competition
Full Details: https://www.facebook.com/brwayr/posts/2908706522747917
Country of Origin: Australia
Known Restrictions:
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 3,000 words
Submission Deadline: 31st May 2021
Prizes: 1st $200, 2nd $100
Entry Fees: $10 for the first story then $5 for subsequent entries

June Deadlines

43. 2021 Henry Savery National Short Story Award (FAW Tasmania)
Full Details: https://fawtas.org.au/competitions/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 2,500 words
Submission Deadline: 30th Jun 2021 (Snail mail entry so allow time for the post)
Prizes: 1st $400, 2nd $100
Entry Fees: $5

Writing competition,Story competition 2021,Competitions,Competitions for writers 2021,Writers competition,Short story competition,Short story contests 2021,Flash fiction competition,Fiction competitions,Fiction writing competitions
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44. Wells Festival of Literature Competition
Full Details: https://www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk/2021-short-story-competition/
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: 1,000 to 2,000 words
Submission Deadline: 30th June 2021
Prizes: 1st £750, 2nd £300, 3rd £200
Entry Fees: £6

45. The Writing Magazine Grand Prize 2021 Short Story Competition
Full Details: https://www.writers-online.co.uk/writing-competitions/writing-magazine-grand-prize-2021/
Country of Origin: UK
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 2,000 words
Submission Deadline: 30th June 2021
Expected Results Date: 3 months - up to 30th Sept
Prizes: 1st £1,000, 2nd £250, 3rd £100 / mini critique / 12 month subscription
Publication: Perhaps in the magazine for up to 12 months after competition
Entry Fees: £15

July Deadlines

46. Anthology Magazine Short Story Competition
Full Details: https://anthology-magazine.com/awards-awards/awards/short-story-award-anthology-2021/
Country of Origin: Ireland
Theme: Memories
Word Count: to 1,500 words
Submission Deadline: 31st Jul 2021
Prizes: €500 (euros)
Publication: A future issue of 'Anthology'
Entry Fees: €15 (euros)

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August Deadlines

47. Albury Council Short Story Award
Full Details: https://www.writearoundthemurray.org.au/competitions
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: ? Probably Open
Word Count: to 3,000 words
Submission Deadline: 31st Aug 2021
Expected Results Date: September 2021
Prizes: 1st $1,000, 2nd $200 book voucher, 3rd $100 book voucher
Entry Fees: $10

Writing competition,Story competition 2021,Competitions,Competitions for writers 2021,Writers competition,Short story competition,Short story contests 2021,Flash fiction competition,Fiction competitions,Fiction writing competitions
Image in the public domain from Pixabay

48. Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition 2021
Full Details: https://hawkeyebooks.com.au/writing-competitions/sydney-hammond-memorial-short-story-writing-competition-2021/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Courage
Word Count: to 1,000 words
Submission Deadline: 1st Aug 2021
Prizes: 1st $250 Hawkeye Publishing Gift Voucher
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: $12

October Deadlines

49. Bert van Bedaf Memorial Short Story (The Coal Creek Literary Festival)
Full Details: https://coalcreekcommunityparkandmuseum.com/literary-festival/
Country of Origin: Australia
Theme: Open
Word Count: to 500 words
Submission Deadline: 1st October 2021
Expected Results Date: 10th October 2021
Prizes: 1st $500
Publication: Anthology
Entry Fees: $15

Writing competition,Story competition 2021,Competitions,Competitions for writers 2021,Writers competition,Short story competition,Short story contests 2021,Flash fiction competition,Fiction competitions,Fiction writing competitions
Image in the public domain from Pixabay

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Why? You are a story teller, share your stories and win prizes
When: 2021
Where: At your place
Cost: A couple are free but otherwise entry fees are listed in the article.
Your Comment
I'll be passing this on to a recently retired friend; I know she loves writing stories.
by betty (score: 2|568) 18 days ago
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