With almost 600 entries to consider, selecting our favourite 10% was never going to be easy. But the decisions this year have been especially difficult, as the standard of entries is the best we’ve ever seen. We’re thrilled to have attracted such a range of excellent fiction, sent to us from six continents. As always, we’re delighted that our long list features a mix of multi-published, award-winning authors and exciting new voices.
Our judges this year are Senja Andrejevic-Bullock, Phil Bowne, and D.D. Johnston. Senja is a playwright, lecturer in dramatic writing, and also a widely published author of short fiction. Phil is a television and fiction writer for The Wombles – a forthcoming children’s TV show and book series – whose first novel Cows Can’t Jump was recently awarded the Spotlight First Novel Prize. He’s represented by the SP Agency and his short fiction has been published in the UK, US and Canada. D.D. Johnston is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershrie and the author of three novels.
We’ve picked a longlist of 60, but we could have picked any of several hundred high-quality stories, so commiserations to those who didn’t make the cut this time. These decisions are subjective, and luck plays a big part too; it always seems to me that if the previous story made the list then the next story up for consideration is at a disadvantage. You need a lot of skill to be placed in a writing comp, but you need a bit of luck too. In that way, I guess writing comps are more like poker than chess.
Anyway, congratulations to the following authors, listed in alphabetical order by surname. Next up, we’ll be narrowing this esteemed field down to a shortlist of 12, which we’ll publish on this website on Monday 15th July.
Eunice M. Amero
Nana Adwoa Amponsah-Mensah
Laura J. Campbell
Paul B. Cohen
Atar J Hadari
Samantha Louise Nepomuceno
Jeffrey G. Roberts
R. A. Savary
Alexander Xavier Urpí
Janine Mick Wills
Submissions have now closed for the 2019 OWT Short Story Prize, and we want to thank everyone who has shared their work. We’ve received 486 submissions, which is slightly fewer than last year, but still a lot to read!
The judging now begins. Alas, we have only three prizes to award, so we apologise that there is no way we can give all entries the recognition that they deserve. Please know how grateful we are to everyone who shared their work, and please remember that with so many strong pieces our choices will inevitably be subjective.
Given the volume of entries, we plan to make our selections in three stages. In the first instance our aim is to narrow the field to a long list of 50 (approx. 10% of entries), which we plan to announce on Monday 1st July. We will announce authors by their name (or pen name), but, so as not to hinder non-winning entrants’ chances of publishing their stories elsewhere, we will not publish story titles at this stage. We’ll then narrow the field to a shortlist of 12, which we plan to publish on July 15th, and we hope to announce the prize winners on July 29th. Please be patient as we try to choose between so many excellent pieces of writing. Thank you and good luck!
Yes, the Online Writing Tips Short Story Prize is back for 2019, and the deadline has just been announced as midnight on Friday May 31st (GMT). It’s free to enter and international entrants are welcome. There’s no theme, but to get an idea of what we’re looking for, check out the winning story from 2016, the winning story from 2017, and the winning story from 2018. This year, first prize will again be a sumptuous £100, with £50 for second place, and £25 for third. There are richer story competitions, but none brought to you with more love: our only goal is to encourage new and experienced writers to excel, regardless of their means or location. All the submission information is available here – good luck!
Today, we’re pleased to announce that three people will receive prizes, but sorry that more than 600 others have been disappointed along the way. We’ve tried to make our decisions as fairly and diligently as possible, but disappointing news isn’t nice to receive or deliver. We take comfort in knowing that with so many brilliant entries, the authors who didn’t get the breaks in our competition this year will no doubt have success placing their stories in other markets.
But, now, here’s the happy bit… After extensive deliberations, this year’s judges – Lucy Tyler, D.D. Johnston, and Tyler Keevil – have made their decisions.
On this occasion, our three winners are:
3rd place (£25): Nathan Alling Long
2nd place (£50): Grace Wynter
1st place (£100): Hillard Morley
Congratulations to all of the above, including Nathan, who becomes our first multiple prize winner after winning first place last year. They will receive their prize money this week. In a close contest, Hillard Morley clinched first place with her short story “A Little Folding of the Hands,” a subtle story remarkable for its nuanced exploration of interior process from a third-person perspective. It has an exceptional unity of voice and subject matter and caused the judges to draw comparisons with the stories of Katherine Mansfield. Hillard is our first ever UK-based winner, so football fans will know what we mean when we say that at least something is coming home this summer! We are thrilled that we will be publishing “A Little Folding of the Hands” on this site in the coming days.
Thank you again to everyone who entered – judging hasn’t been easy, but it has been a treat.