Deadline: November 30, 2022

Entry fee: £16

About the competition

Most literary competitions and magazines limit short stories to 5,000 words. We don’t. We want your ‘Pieces of Eight’, like the pirates of the Caribbean. That’s eight thousand words to express yourself fully in. That bit more to challenge the form, play with.

The judge, Roland Watson-Grant, is a master of the Short Story, having won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Caribbean Region) in 2021 and being short-listed for the Society of Authors’ Tom Gallon Award with the short story ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell’.

Roland’s ear for voices is his special talent. Characterisation through narration. His short story writing has been honed by his experience of screenwriting for Charles Steel (Producer of Top Boy), and Kevin MacDonald, (Director of The Last King of Scotland). So, try your best to utilise voice to enchant your readers, whether it’s an authorial voice or the voice of narrators. Put him under your spell.

To be long listed (final 20) for The Plaza Prizes will look great on any writer’s CV. To be shortlisted in the Top 10, may create a platform that literary agents will be interested in. To win, or place second or third, is a validation of your skills that might just get your work published in future. That’s exactly what happened to Roland—he is living proof it can happen to you. Alma Publishing snapped up the rights to his first two novels: Sketcher (2013) and Skid (2015).

Competition guidelines

  • Read the rules carefully before entering the competition. Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply will result in disqualification.
  • All entries are judged anonymously. Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle etc on the document or in the file name or it will be disqualified.
  • Entries will be disqualified if they are over the word limit, and there will be no refund.
  • Entries must be entirely your own work.
  • Entries must NOT have been traditionally published in book or magazine form. Work that has been self-published on a website, blog or online forum is eligible for entry.
  • Entries must NOT have won in any other competition. If your entry was long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions it is eligible.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed but if an entry wins a prize elsewhere, is published or scheduled for future publication, prior to the date of prize giving, you must inform us to withdraw immediately. Entry fees will not be refunded.
  • Maximum 8,000 words.
  • Entries must be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font, double-spaced with numbered pages and the Short Story’s title on every page. Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or PDF file with the title as the file name. Do not include your name in the file name as this will lead to disqualification.
  • Max 2MB file. Include the word count for the Short Story, top right, first page.
  • Do not add cover pages
  • No illustrated work
  • Enter the competition here.
VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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