Deadline: April 14, 2024

Entry fee: €20

About the competition

The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing. That’s why we’ve teamed up with fourteen different literary and artistic institutions to not only offer cash prizes and writing retreats but also to ensure that all our shortlisters have the opportunity to be published in multiple print and online journals, have their work put in front of literary agents, and present their stories in multiple countries.

First Prize:

  • €2000
  • A week’s residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.
  • A consultation with Literary Agent Charlotte Seymour from Johnson & Alcock.
  • A manuscript assessment and follow-up meeting with a literary editor from The Literary Consultancy.

Runner-up Prizes: €1000 (two prizes available).

All Shortlisted Writers:

  • Will be published in a truly smashing, limited edition book published by ourselves truly and launched at the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize Salon, Madrid.
  • Publication with one of our partner journals: Helter Skelter, The London Magazine, Prototype, gorse, Tenement, Kill Your Darlings, Minor Literature[s], The Second Shelf.
  • Participation in Desperate Literature Prize events at Desperate Literature, Madrid and Burley Fisher, London.

Competition guidelines

  • Submissions must be in English
  • Submissions must be made in .pdf format 
  • Submissions that carry an author’s name will not be considered
  • Submissions may include images, but the maximum file upload size per entry is 10MB
  • Submissions must be previously unpublished works of up to 2000 words
  • The entry fee is set at €20 for the first piece of short fiction and €10 for every further entry with a maximum of five entries per person
  • Read the whole guideline and submit your entry here.

VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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