7 Short Story Contests You Should Enter This Season
We get it—you’ve got big publishing dreams. But in order to get your own book on the shelves, it’s often vital to have some publishing experience behind you—not least because it'll help you get noticed by agents and publishing houses alike. A great way to do this is by entering your work into short story contests.
Not only are you gaining amazing publishing credits in some of the country’s most lucrative journals and magazines, but unlike simply submitting your work, you can also win a nice stack of cash. Just for you, we’ve rounded up seven of the best upcoming short story contests that are open for submission right now. That’s right: we’ve just made submitting a total breeze.
Have at ‘em!
1. CBC Short Story Prize
An annual fixture in the Canadian lit contest circuit, the CBC Short Story Prize is known for providing great exposure to emerging writers. Past winners include D. W. Wilson, Bill Gaston, and Gwendolyn MacEwen.
Criteria: All entries must be original and unpublished pieces of short fiction, and they must not exceed 2,500 words. Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.
Prizes: The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, their story will be published on CBC Books, and they’ll have the opportunity to attend a two-week residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will receive $1,000 and also have their story published on CBC Books.
Price of Entry: $25
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Take a gander at their contest details!
2. The Malahat Review’s Open Season Awards
Based out of Victoria, British Columbia (the OG home of JEC), The Malahat Review has been an integral Canadian publication since its conception in 1967. Dedicated to excellence in both Canadian and international writing, The Malahat Review is recognized for featuring poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
Criteria: The Malahat Review is seeking entries in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. All entries must be previously unpublished, and they must not exceed 2,500 words for both fiction and non-fiction, and 100 lines for an individual poem (you can submit up to three poems). Multiple entries are allowed. This contest is open to all Canadian and international writers.
Price of Entry: $35–$45
Prizes: Prizes totalling $6,000
Deadline: Midnight on November 1, 2018
Check out their contest guidelines for more information.
3. Room’s 2018 Short Forms Contest
Recognized for its focus on female and genderqueer writers and artists, Room publishes short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and art out of Vancouver. Notable contributors include Lorna Crozier, Bronwen Wallace, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
Criteria: Room is looking for a wide variety of entries in their Short Forms Contest. Each entry can either consist of one or two prose poems, flash fictions, or flash creative non-fiction works, so long as each work does not exceed 500 words. All genres will be judged in a single category, regardless of genre. This contest is open to Canada and the United States only.
Price of Entry: $35–$42
Prizes: First prize is $500 and publication in Room.
Deadline: November 1, 2018
For more information on details and upcoming contests, check out their contest calendar.
Need a helping hand this contest season? Worry not! We offer some amazing prize-winning editing packages—like the one below—to help you boost your chances of winning.
Prizewinner Short Story Package
Get specialized critical feedback and impeccable technical editing for your short story so you can start cutting through the slush piles and winning those literary contests! The package includes:
A comprehensive developmental edit to heighten tension, perfect pacing, ensure tip-top characterization, attain the perfect level of detail, and win those contests!
A second developmental edit to answer any questions you raise during revisions.
A final proofread by a second editor, ensuring your story goes out in perfect shape to blow away your judges and would-be publishers.
Each edit is guaranteed to be completed within twenty working days, so that you can submit on deadline easy-peasy.