Short Story Competition 250 Words Essays

1. Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2018

Another crisis we are facing as a world is Global Warming or Climate Change. You are invited to submit a short fiction in any genre which should not exceed 5000 words. They note in the website, “Climate change is so massive and sometimes so ineffable that we need all the tools of narrative to adequately understand it and share short stories and experiences about it.”

Deadline: February 28, 2018

Prize: $1,000 for the winning story and $50 for nine finalists.

Check out their website for more detail: ASU

2. ZEISS Photography Award 2018 ‘Seeing Beyond Untold Stories’

ZEISS and World Photography Organization are calling upon ambitious photographers to submit a series of photos. The photo series should tell a story that has never been told or a story that has not been told well. “The work could explain a familiar theme told from a different perspective or it could address an issue that has had previously little attention.”

They welcome any form of photography.

Deadline: February 6, 2018

Each entry should consist of a series of 5-10 images including a description of the images.

For more information do check their website: World Photography Organization

3. Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest

Biopage notes we are living in an era of social media whereby pictures and videos are the most uploaded and shared, little is spared for words which is the real language of communication. “We are in the age of social media. It is everywhere, around us, mostly pictures and videos.

Not enough words, sentences, paragraphs.

To communicate with clarity and depth, nothing is better than the real language, with words.”

This contest is aimed at reminding people the importance of words which are effective in communicating something with clarity. They are inviting you to submit anything about anything but you need to be economic with your words as the limit is 1,000 words.

Prizes: $1,000 for the winner and $200 for three runners up.

Deadline: February 28, 2018

They have provided some hints on what you can write about: “You can write about good life experience, or embarrassing, frightening experience. You can write about relationship, your boss, or a weird situation. You can write about your interest, tennis or golf or baseball, music or video or movie or games, and books! You can write about childhood, school life, college, and that job you love or hate. And traveling of course, you can write about your favorite city, and the best place for vacation.”

For more information check their website: Biopage

4.Student Video Contest 2018

Currently, the world stands at over 7 billion and as the years go by the population is expected to increase drastically. The huge world population creates a myriad of challenges of which the organizers of these contests are calling upon the students to offer some insight and solutions in some areas they have indicated.

They note, “We now live in a world of over 7 billion people and demographers expect us to reach 9 million by mid-century.

Human population growth exacerbates many of the innumerable challenges facing our global society.

Taking on these complex challenges and finding solutions will require understanding, cooperation and creativity.”

You are required to create a video which should not exceed one minute which should address any of the following topics which are challenges facing the world:

  • Advancing women and girls
  • Feeding 10 billion
  • Preventing pollution

They state, “All videos must include:

  1. How population growth impacts the issue
  2. At least one idea for a sustainable solution

Remember, you should narrow “your focus by concentrating on a subtheme within your topic.” They have provided some suggestions of the subthemes in each topic which can you base your video on.

Deadline: February 22, 2018
Check out their website here.

5. The Independent Photographer

The aim of Independent Photographer is to showcase or expose the works of photographers from all over the world.

They hold monthly contests on photography but each month contains a different theme.

The theme for February contest is STREET. As regards to this theme they state, “Street photography has been one of the most exciting and influential form of photography since the creation.

From candid and unexpected street situations to meticulous geometric scenes within the urban sphere: We are in the lookout for photographers finding those spontaneous and fleeting moments.

Whether the subject is your own urban environment or as you explore other territories and cultures.

Street photography can take many forms: Show us YOUR streets!

Enter the street photography competition in February and win $1500 cash.”

Deadline: February 28, 2018

For more information check out their website: Independent Photographer

15 Best Writing Competitions That You Can Enter and Win

If you’ve been looking for writing competitions, then you’ve probably come across several giant lists of contests, prizes and awards, with very little to help you tell any of them apart.

Sound familiar? It should: writers on our courses are constantly asking us which competitions we’d recommend they enter.

Well, luckily, a number of these contests do actually stand out from the rest due to the rewards, prestige and opportunities that they present for the winners:

So read on, as we bring you the curated list of the very best writing competitions you can enter, and the prizes you could scoop up if you do…


Writing Competition Deadlines

The 15 competitions below are the ones we’ve picked out as the year’s best – but there are far more writing contests taking place month to month than we could hope to list here.

You can though, sign up for Writers’ Academy updates and have upcoming competition deadlines dropped into your inbox every month, along with links to enter:


That way, you never have to miss out on a writing contest again, big or small!

And now, the cream of the crop…


Costa Short Story Award

Probably the biggest competition on this list purely in terms of the amount of exposure that awaits any winner…

An offshoot of the massively popular Costa Book Awards, the coffee giants introduced the Short Story Award in 2012, allowing unpublished writers to get in on the act.

The lack of an entry fee, a sizable cash prize and the publicity that Costa can bring makes this an obvious starting point for any award-chasing author.

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: 4000 word limit     Prize: £3000

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Feeling adventurous?

Brought to you by famed South African novelist Wilbur Smith’s charitable foundation, this prize seeks to find the best unpublished adventure manuscript of the year.

At 50,000 words, this is not a competition to complete in your spare time, but instead a fantastic chance for aspiring adventure writers to spread their unpublished novel.

The unique prize involved is sure to appeal to adventure lovers too: a large grant to fund travel and research for your next novel!

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: 50,000 word minimum     Prize: £15000 

Commonwealth Short Story Prize

If you’re a Commonwealth citizen, you’ll want to take advantage of the free entry to this prestigious short story competition…

The Commonwealth Writers initiative offers a substantial prize fund to the writer of the best piece of unpublished short fiction by a commonwealth writer.

Regional winners are awarded a nice £2500 sum too, so there’s still a tasty incentive if you don’t win the overall prize.

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: 2000 – 5000 words     Prize: £5000

American Short(er) Fiction Contest

As the name suggests, this competition will appeal to those writers who like to keep it brief…

The Short(er) Fiction award from American Short Fiction promises its winner publication in a future issue of their national magazine, along with the usual cash bonus.

The combination of financial incentive, publicity and a very modest word count has competitive short story writers everywhere flocking to submit entries!

Entry Fee: $17     Word Count: 1000 limit     Prize: $1000 and publication

CDS Documentary Essay Prize in Writing

If fiction writing isn’t your thing, you’ll want to know about this competition from Duke University:

Their Center for Documentary Studies Essay Prize honours the best piece of literary non-fiction (in alternating years from its prize for documentary photography).

As well as receiving a handsome cash sum, winners will also be featured in one of the CDS’ digital publications, and their work will take pride of place in the university’s Archive of Documentary Arts.

Entry Fee: $40    Word Count: 4000 – 6000 words      Prize: $3000 and publication

Reader’s Digest 100-Word-Story Competition

Being paid £20 a word is an arrangement most writers would be more than pleased with…

Before you rush off to submit a 300,000 word manuscript though, note that this fantastic little competition is strictly limited to entries of exactly 100 words – no more, no less!

This unique challenge from Reader’s Digest is for UK and Irish residents only –  but if that happens to be you, get involved in this fun and rewarding competition.

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: Exactly 100     Prize: £2000

Gotham Writers Past-Year Memoir Contest

If you thought 100 words was short, how about 16?

This memoir writing contest from Gotham Writers invites you to tell a story from the last year of your life within this tiny little word limit, in the hope of finding the most captivating entry.

Really, there’s no reason not to give this one a go – let’s face it, it’s a fun exercise whether you win or not!

Entry Fee: Free    Word Count: 16 word limit     Prize: Writing course entry

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

If you consider yourself both a comedian and a poet, then Winning Writers have got just the contest for you:

The memorably-named Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest seeks the best humor poems of today, with no restrictions on age or country and a very accommodating line limit.

As well as first and second prizes, there’s also $100 in it for 10 honourable mentions – so plenty of chances to have your humor recognised and rewarded!

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: 250 line limit     Prize: $1000

ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Fancy being published in a gigantic nation’s leading arts and literary review, and taking home an impressive cash sum to boot?

The Australian Book Review’s short story prize is open to anyone too, provided their submission is written in English – so no excuses even if you don’t live down under!

There is a modest $25 fee for entry, though it should be pointed out that the second and third place prize funds ($2000 and $1000, respectively) are more than many writing competitions will offer to winners.

Entry Fee: $25     Word Count: 2000 – 5000 words     Prize: $7000 and publication

National Flash Fiction Youth Competition

Youth writing competitions are a great way for young writers to cut their teeth in the publishing game:

Given that, the National Flash Fiction Youth Competition from the University of Chester is a great option for UK-based students – with winners having their work published in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine.

The prizes may be smaller for his age group, but the chance to have your work recognised by a prestigious institution at such a tender age is one that no junior writer should pass up!

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: 360 word limit     Prize: £100

Keats-Shelley Prize

Those with an interest in the Romantics will want to get involved in these dual essay and poetry competitions from the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association.

The winner of each will enjoy a £3000 reward, but all shortlisted candidates will still see their work published either online or in print…

…and as an added sweetener, you’ll get to attend a swanky awards ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall, if you weren’t already convinced.

Entry Fee: Free     Word Count: 3000 word/30 line limit     Prize: £3000 and publication

The White Review Short Story Prize

Now expanded to include a US and Canada counterpart to the usual UK & Ireland contest, The White Review’s Short Story Prize really is a great one:

Open to all genres, with no restrictions on theme or subject, the emphasis here is on rewarding “ambitious, imaginative and innovative approaches to creative writing”.

Aside from the prize fund, if shortlisted you’ll also receive feedback from editors of The White Review – an invaluable experience for any emerging writer.

Entry Fee: £15    Word Count: 2000 – 7000 words     Prize: £2500 or $3000

Bristol Short Story Prize

Don’t let the name fool you, the Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all writers – UK based or non-UK based, published or unpublished.

20 submissions in total (the top 3 and a remaining 17 shortlisted entries) will receive prizes and be published in an anthology – so you’ve got a great chance at some recognition with this one.

Take a look here to see the form that your published work could take.

Entry Fee: £8     Word Count: 4000 word limit     Prize: £1000

Mslexia Women’s Short Fiction Competition

Quarterly magazine Mslexia is all about helping women writers progress and succeed, and their annual writing competitions are a big part of that.

New to the line-up are their two Short Fiction competitions, for short stories and flash fiction, and both offer tantalising rewards for their female entrants:

Generous monetary prizes and magazine publication await both winners, and the Short Story winner also enjoys a week’s writing retreat and a day with an editor!

(Details below are for the Flash Fiction and Short Story competitions respectively)

Entry Fee: £5/£10     Word Count: 300/3000 word limit     Prize: £500/£2000

Nature and Place Poetry Competition

Nature loving writers should be all over this one…

This competition from The Rialto invites poetry submissions dealing with any aspect of nature and place, and offers some unique additional prizes:

Winners will enjoy personal tours with celebrated nature writer Mark Cocker and leading ecology professor Nick Davies – a treat for any naturalists out there.

Entry Fee: £6     Word Count: 40 line limit    Prize: £1000

More Writing Resources

That’s it for the best writing competitions, but what about the best websites to do freelance writing for? Or advice for writing dialogue, or characters?

Check out our Writing 101 page – home to all of this and a whole host of other useful resources, and practical tips aimed at helping you become a better writer.

We’d love to know about your own experience of entering competitions. Have a favourite not listed here? Planning on submitting to any of those above? Let us know below!

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