Deadline: February 28, 2023

Entry fee: $10

About the competition

£3,000 first prize for writers worldwide and stories on any topic up to 2,000 words.

We’ve come a long way since 2014 when we held the first Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition with a first prize of £300. The first prize is now ten times higher, although the entry fee has stayed the same and we’ve introduced free entry for writers living in Scotland who receive any form of income support or universal credit.

Alexander McCall Smith was our chief judge for the first six years of the competition, then Andrew O’Hagan and now Ian Rankin….all fabulous writers with great advice for anyone wanting to enter the awards.

Competition guidelines

  • The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to all writers worldwide, published and unpublished, who are over 16 years by 1 September 2022. You do not have to be Scottish to enter the competition.
  • Simultaneous submission is permitted. Should your story win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we may remove your entry from the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards. Stories entered for the competition should not have been previously published in any format, online or print, self-published or paid. 
  • Stories must be for adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 14 years not eligible. Illustrated stories are not eligible.
  • All stories must be in English. Dialect is fine, but bear in mind our readers come from many lands and backgrounds, and may not be familiar with all regional variations.
  • Good layout can help a lot. We’d recommend 1.5 lines spaced (or double), font about 12pt Calibri or Times, 11 Arial.
  • Files must be in Microsoft Word (.docx or .doc), rich text (.rtf) or in PDF format. We cannot accept .pages or ,odt files, as we cannot guarantee these will be readable (though we will try). If you experience difficulties in saving as a Word or PDF document please click here to read these guidance notes.
  • Having the title of the story and page number on every page is optional, but can avoid confusion for our readers. Ideally this should be inserted using the header format option, not typed on each page (in case someone wants to resize when reading).
  • It helps if the total number of words excluding the title is listed at the end of the story (though we check them anyway). Stories that are even one word over 2,000 words will be disqualified (no sneaky hyphenation either!).
  • The competition is judged anonymously. The author must not be identifiable from anything in the story or included in the story pages. If your name appears anywhere in the story document (even on a separate title page) the story may be disqualified.
  • Read the whole guideline and enter the competition here.
VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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