Short Story Contests You Should Enter This Summer
Like any muscle in the body, sometimes your creative muscle is in need of a good stretch. Whether you’re game to get yourself out of a writing slump or you just want to try something new, there’s no better way to put yourself out there than entering one (or more) of the many short story contests taking place in the coming months.
The added bonus? Money. Oh, and getting published!
Read on to see four creatively inspired short story contests to enter this summer.
Want to know more about the benefits of short story contests? Check out our blog post on the importance of submitting!
The Literary Taxidermy Short Story Contest is aimed at assessing your best suturing abilities. Open internationally, this contest invites writers to craft a piece of short fiction between the opening and closing lines of a novel or story provided. The goal is not to rewrite the source material, but rather to allow the source material to inspire contestants to create something new. This year’s source materials include opening and closing lines from The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett, Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll and “A Telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker. Each work has its own separate contest that will be judged individually.
Criteria: Story must be fewer than 3000 words, formatted properly and must include the opening and closing lines of whichever source text has been chosen.
Fee: USD $10
Awards: The winner in each contest will win USD $500 and a publication in the 2018 Literary Taxidermy Anthology.
Deadline: June 4th, 2018
Known for its inclusive, diverse, and distinctly female voice, Room is a great avenue for female-identifying, non-binary, and transgender writers. This year their annual Fiction Contest is judged by Canadian author, television writer, and poet, Zoe Whittall (a Juniper Editing & Creative favourite), and is comprised of a short story submission up to 3,500 words.
(If you’re a poet at heart, Room’s annual Poetry Contest is open at the same time!)
Criteria: Each submission must be up to 3,500 words.
Fee: For residents of Canada: CAD $35 to submit your initial entry, and CAD $7 for any additional entries. For international submissions: USD $42 and USD $7 for any additional entries.
Awards: First prize includes $1000 and publication in Room, second prize is $250 and publication in Room, and the honourable mention prize includes $50 and publication on Room’s website.
Deadline: July 15th, 2018
Hosted annually since 1977 over Labour Day Weekend, the 3-Day Novel Contest is exactly as it sounds; entrants attempt to write a novel over the course of the weekend: a mere 72 hours. Though based in Vancouver, the contest is open internationally and welcomes all genres and styles. You don’t have to travel to Vancouver to enter, but may write from your home or wherever you are most productive and comfortable! The contest is aimed at challenging the entrants to push their boundaries, break writer’s block, and see what kind of finished product they’ll have by the end of the weekend.
Criteria: You are allowed to develop story ideas prior to the contest, though this isn’t mandatory. The novel must have been written over the course of the weekend and entrants should aim for roughly 100 pages double-spaced, which is the average length of an entry. As the contest is based in Canada, stories should be written in English. However, if you would rather not write in English, the contest allows for a translator who may work alongside entrants during the writing process.
Fee: Early entry fee is CAD $35; normal entry fee is CAD $50
Awards: The winning story is edited by volunteer staff of 3-Day Books, published by 3-Day Books (an imprint of the 3-Day Novel Contest), and distributed by Anvil Press.
Deadline: 12:01 am on the Saturday of Labour Day Weekend, to 11:59 pm the following Monday.
Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, the CBC Short Story Prize involves submitting an original, unpublished piece of fiction for consideration. This contest is creatively challenging through its limited word count. Though not quite flash fiction, this contest is perfect for a writer who is used to constructing lengthy, in-depth fiction and wants to write inside the box for a change.
Criteria: Each submission must be between 1200 and 1800 words, and may also be submitted in French which is a separate short story contest.
Fee: CAD $25
Awards: The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published with CBC Books and will attend a 10-Day writing residency with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will also receive a cash prize of $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will be published by CBC Books.
Deadline: Contest opens as of September 1, 2018, and closes on October 31st, 2018.
Short story contests provide the perfect opportunity to practice your craft, get your name out into the wide world of writers, and if you’re lucky, win some cash money and publishing stripes. So get writing, editing, and submitting! You can thank us later.
Not sure it's contest-ready? Fret not! We offer prize-winning editing packages to give you the best chances possible to win. Set up a free call with us now!