Win a £3000 ($4800) prize for your short story

Cash prizes totaling £4500 ($7200) can be won in the Writers' Village International Short Fiction Competition summer 2014 for prose fiction in any genre up to 3000 words.

The first prize is £3000 ($4800), with a second prize of £500 ($800), third prize of £250 ($400) and 15 runner up prizes of £50 ($80).

The top 50 contestants, whether they win a cash prize or not, will also gain a brief personal critique of their stories.

That's 50 opportunities to win a valuable prize!

The Writers' Village award is one of the world's largest short story competitions that specifically welcomes new writers from anywhere in the English-speaking world.

Prizes will go to those writers whose short stories show the greatest originality, mastery of the craft skills of creative writing, and power to move the reader.


The new summer 2014 contest follows the continuing success of the previous 11 Writers' Village short story competitions, entered by writers from all over the world.
The judges for the short story award are:


Lawrence Block
is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery and suspense genre. He was named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards. His most recent novels are The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons, Hit Me and A Drop Of The Hard Stuff. He's well known for his books for writers, including the classic Telling Lies For Fun & Profit and The Liar’s Bible.


Jill Dawson
is the Orange and Whitbread-shortlisted author of eight novels including Fred and Edie, The Great Lover and Watch Me Disappear. Her most recent, The Tell-Tale Heart, will be published in 2014 by Sceptre. She teaches creative writing for the Faber Academy and Guardian/UEA and works individually with new writers at Gold Dust, a mentoring scheme for writers which she founded in 2010.


Dr John Yeoman
, MA Oxon, MA (Res), MPhil, PhD Creative Writing is a university tutor in creative writing and has been a successful commercial writer and publisher
for 42 years. He established Writers' Village in 2009.
The new contest deadline is midnight GMT Monday 30th June 2014. Early entry is advised.
Find further details of the short story contest here.
To read all the winning stories since 2009, click here.
To keep up with contest updates - and join our free writing success 'mini course' - click here
Gain a £500 ($800) cash bursary for your debut novel plus the chance of representation by a top literary agency

Here's an opportunity to win a £500 ($800) cash prize for your unpublished novel plus the chance of representation by top literary agency A. M. Heath.

Every calendar quarter the
Writers' Village Foundation endows a bursary with a cash value of £500 (approx. $800) for a novel previously unpublished by a trade publisher. The deadline for the current round is midnight GMT 30th June 2014.

The principal judge for the Foundation awards is novelist Michelle Spring, a mentor for the Arts Council’s Escalator program and a Royal Literary Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

All net revenues received under this not-for-profit program will be returned to fund future bursaries.

Find further details of the Foundation here.

What contestants told us about the feedback on their stories

Jenny Heap. Warwickshire, England. "I was most impressed that you were able to give such genuinely considered, insightful and helpful feedback – a definite bargain!"

Ruth Michel. Kansas City, Missouri. "I am thrilled with your comments about my story. I don't mean to gush, but gush I will. I feel more confident in my writing and it is getting fun again!"

Sonia Bellhouse. Armadale, W. Australia. "I am delighted to announce that I have won two major awards in the Rockingham Short Fiction awards. I took your advice and you can see the results."

Gun Caundle. Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. "[Following your critique], I won the Takahe Cultural Studies competition for my story ‘Ross’. I also put this down to your lessons. They have raised the quality of my writing."

Lorna Lennon. County Wicklow, Ireland. [Shortlisted winner 2013] "While I was delighted at winning the prize, the icing on the cake really was the prompt communication and advice, speedy set-up on the site and quick payment. All in all, a very positive experience and you should be congratulated on your professionalism."

Mark Sheehan. Cwmbran, Torfaen. "Your 100 words or so [of critique] is well worth the entry fee alone."

Mary Jane Lick. Gatesville, Texas. "I appreciate the very helpful critique you have offered on my piece. This is the only contest I have found, so far, that provided a critique without charging extra for that. You offered some excellent suggestions that I will certainly consider."

Carrie Mumford. Alberta, Canada. "I can't thank you enough for your helpful feedback. You run a wonderful contest and website. Thank you for offering this to aspiring authors! I'll be sure to share news of your contest and website with my writing group."

Carolyn McKenzie. Auckland, New Zealand. "Thank you very much for your feedback and comments on my story. I particularly like your marking system and suggestions. They make the 'critique' very encouraging and useful. I consider my entry fee very well spent indeed."

David Hill. Eastbourne, England. "Your advice on short story competitions is excellent. I have followed it and won one competition and been shortlisted in two others so far."

Nancy Pawelek. Ottawa, Ontario. "Getting your critiques WAS worth the entry fee. I appreciated the conciseness of your advice and your encouragement. Seeing the points for each element now helps me focus in my re-writes."

Keith Smith. St Etienne sur Usson, France. "Your comments have given me much food for thought and I greatly appreciate your encouragement and integrity. I thank you for what is, to me, the best writing site on the net."

Patsy Miranda. London. "This is the best website I have found so far especially if you are an aspiring writer. The free writing tips are invaluable, the critiques are extremely helpful and certainly more than their money's worth, and free access to the winning stories is a bonus. Absolutely well worth a visit, or two or more!"

Warren Glover. Woollahra, Australia. "I've both placed and been unsuccessful in Writers' Village contests and each time I've found the feedback fair, justified and extremely useful. I'd recommend Writers' Village contests as both a motivational and learning tool."

Patricia Smith. Johannesburg, South Africa. "Your feedback highlighted the weaknesses of my piece with great accuracy and offered solutions to explore. Much appreciated!"

James Ward. East Sussex. "Out of the 66 writing competitions I've entered to date, yours is far and away the best organised, most competitor-friendly, and easily the best value for money."

Angela Johnson. Barcelona, Spain. "I treasure your valuable feedback and I'm glowing from some of the comments you made. I am sure I will enter a story again!"

Madeline Parsons. Southend-on-Sea, England. "I very much liked your marking system. It made me feel confident that the story had been judged against a set of criteria which had been applied to all the entries, and thus the competition was less subjective. I found your feedback to be just and insightful."

Laura Lindsay. Freeport, USA. "You cannot imagine how excited I was to receive good useful feedback from someone who knows the field. It was a gift, indeed."

Barbara Leahy. Cork, Ireland.  "Competitions can be like black holes swallowing up stories so it is great to get feedback from someone who actually read and thought about my entries."

Joan Sonnenburg. Ontario, Canada. "Many thanks for your comments. These are more helpful than any cash award."

David Roberts. Westerham, England. "Your feedback was much appreciated and indeed well worth the entry fee. It's always good to know where exactly you fail in a competition otherwise it is almost impossible to improve oneself."

Charles Clennell. Gilberton, Australia. "Thank you for your very constructive feedback to my two stories. Failing to gain a prize was less important to me than receiving useful feedback to help improve my writing skills."

Susan Hartnell-Beavis. Yeovil, England. "[I'd like to record] my thanks for the tremendous value your critiques have for me. Not only does it help us improve as writers, but it is also obvious, from the winners that you choose, that your standards are very high. That is why we can trust what you say."

Ken McBeath. Ontario, Canada. "A critique such as yours is worth as much as a prize or more -  and very few competitions offer feedback without a hefty extra payment."

Maureen Gallagher. Galway, Ireland. "Yours is the most exciting competition I've entered. A real thrill to get your insightful comments!"

Helene Dolder. Newcastle upon Tyne, England. "It wasn't the taking part, it was the taking apart that most encouraged me! Your time to read, digest, regurgitate and comment was tremendous value for the entry fee."

Ann Leander. Klagenfurt, Austria. "Many thanks for your as usual, hugely enlightening comments on my stories. Well worth the entry fee!"

Sharon Birch. Aberfeldy, Perthshire. "Feedback such as this is invaluable to me as a writer and very helpful when I come to edit and put them right. I shall enter your future competitions and spread the word amongst fellow writers. Your helpful tips emails are extremely informative and a welcome insight."

Joyce Mackenzie. Dundee, Scotland. "I am delighted at the [feedback you gave me]. Its just as good as a win for me. Your marking system is extremely good. It lets the writer know where they have succeeded and where they have failed."

Hazel Martell. Keighley, West Yorkshire. "Thanks again for the kind comments - they really were appreciated! I'm also passing information about your competitions to various writing friends and hope they will also be encouraged to enter."

Alan Coley. Thames Ditton, England. "It was very good to receive your comments. It's so refreshing to receive constructive criticism rather than being left to stare at the short list and not be able to work out why my name wasn't on it. Many thanks."

Kim Kremer. Penrith, Cumbria. "Thanks for the feedback I received on my two stories. It was encouraging and helpful, and I'd definitely enter the competition again."

Debbie Allard. Spring Lake, Michigan. “I love every part of your program. I’ve received invaluable tips. My feedback was highly detailed and helped me improve my writing. Thank you!”

Donald Blair. Garve, Highland. "Thank you very much for your very encouraging comments on the stories."

Peter McGinniss. East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. "I found your comments to be very helpful, and illuminating in terms of what is being looked for in a short-story writing competition. I shall take the advice on board."

Nicola Young. Sevenoaks, Kent. "Thank you for your feedback. It was a great to help to me. It's just encouraging to know you're going in the right direction, especially as I'm new to this."

Lande Abudu. Eastcote, Middlesex.  "I really needed to hear an independent view of ways to improve my writing. It was helpful to get feedback as I am only just venturing into the world of writing competitions; I'll keep at it and hope to be a winner some day soon."

Valerie Bowes. Surrey. "Thank you very much for your comments, which I did indeed find helpful. Of particular use is knowing how I scored on the points system which you use to make your judgements. And the writing tips are very good, as well!"

Gail Richards. London. "John treated my stories with respect from start to finish, understood the theme and the characters and made some incisive and pertinent suggestions for improvement. I was impressed with the time and trouble he took and the insight he showed. If this is terse feedback I'd love to see a full critique!"

Paul Barron. Co Wexford, Ireland. "I found John's feedback exceptionally good.The breakdown and marks system is particularly good in focusing attention on parts that are not working. Most competitions offer no feedback or charge a fee. For my part I can't see how you can improve unless you know where you went wrong. Thanks again, John, for the feedback."

Jason Heaver. Streatham, London. "Yours is the only competition I've found that gives any kind of feedback as part of the entry fee, rather than for an additional price, and it's greatly valued."

Doreen Stoneham. Oxford, England. "Your comments have helped me to identify points which appeared clear to me but not to the reader. I shall certainly be entering again. I have been recommending your site to my writing group. It’s the best I have found."

Evelyn Evans. Buckingham "Your comments are really helpful and I will certainly act on your advice. This is the first time I have had the courage to share any of my work and I feel enormously encouraged (if not amazed!) by your response. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read it so closely."

Amy. High Wycombe, England. "Your comments brought clarity to my doubts and renewed my interest in those two stories, which is fantastic. I really feel it is possible to make both those stories work now, whereas before I was unhelpfully despondent/irritated with the outcome."

Kim Offenburger. Kentucky, USA.."I want to really thank you for offering these important lessons! I've taken quite a few writing classes on line, and these free lessons and tidbits about writing are really extraordinary. Almost everyone of them gives me an 'a ha!' moment."

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All that's contained in the free 14-week Writers' Village mini-course.

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Winner 2013
Gayle Beveridge
Winner winter 2012
Ellie Stewart
Winner autumn 2012
Claire Thomson

Winner summer 2012

Fleur Smithwick
Winner spring 2012
Alice Dryden
Winner winter 2011
Moya Green
Winner autumn 2011

 Michael Simon

Winner summer 2011

Leo Madigan

Winner summer 2010

Claire Girvan
Winner spring 2010

Karen Wolfe

Winner summer 2009

Shuna Meade

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