where to submit short stories

Long-term relationships are all well and good, but sometimes all you want is a short fling. However passionate, heart-wrenching, or emotional, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that it won’t last forever.

Or at least, that’s how I feel about short stories. I’ve avoided them for so long, but writing a submission for The Random Eye has made me realize that short doesn’t necessarily mean unsatisfying. And now that I’m reaching a slight burnout with my novel-sized projects, I’ve realized just how beneficial a few flings can be.

Plus, let’s face it: writing short stories well is hard. Or it is for me, at least. So, there’s no better time to practice than now, and what better way to practice than to entice yourself along with the promise of a reward?

Research (not only my own) has resulted in the following (mostly UK-centric) short story competition and submission opportunities, all presented in a neat table for your viewing pleasure. Many thanks to Adam for supplementing my findings with a list of his own.

Click on the competition name for more information.



Deadline Competition Theme Word Limit Fee
JAN 18 John Muir Trust Wild places <1200
JAN 31 Theatre Royal Onward Open <1200 £4
JAN 31 Secrets & Spies Crime <2500 £3
FEB 14 Writers &
Artists Yearbook
“Unity or Union”
Adult fiction
<2000 *
FEB 28 Myriad Editions A WIP of yours <10000
FEB 28 Writers’ Reign “A new day” 1000-1500 £3
FEB 28 The Last Laugh Humour <2500 £3
MAR 20 Fish Flash Open <300 €12
MAR 31 Bristol Short Story
Open <3000 £7
APR 14 Biscuit Publishing Open 1000-5000 £10
APR 15 Scribble “A Country Story” <2000 £3
APR 30 Cooldog Prize Open <3000 £6
APR 30 Words Magazine Children’s <2000
APR 30 Momaya Press Family <3000 £8
MAY 29 Segora Open 1500-3000 £5
JUN 30 Bridport Prize Open <5000 £7
JUN 30 Words Magazine Open <2000
JUL 10 The Guardian Open <2000 £7
JUL 31 Highlands & Islands Open <2500 £5
AUG 31 Earlyworks Press Open <4000 £5
SEPT 1 Scribble DEBUT “A Old Cottage” <3000 £4
NOV 30 The New Writer Open <4000 £5
DEC 31 Words Magazine Open <2000
Untitled Books Open ?
Writer’s Forum Open 1000-3000 £10
Dark Tales Horror / Spec fic <5000 £3

*For the Writers & Artist’s Yearbook Competition, you need to be register here.



Deadline Competition Theme Word Limit Fee
JAN 29 The New Bedlam Spring Festival >6000
MAY 18 Golden Vision Alien encounters 1500-3500
each 26th Cazart Open 400-3000 £3
StoryFeedback Open <3000 £3


2010 details not yet announced for:
Sean O Faolin, Wells Literature, Legend Writing Award, Willesden Herald, Fish Short Story Competition, Vogue Talent Contest, Dundee Book Prize, & Manchester Fiction Prize.

Phew! Am I missing any?


About A.M. Harte

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.
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