2016 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize


Here at Wollongong Writers Festival, we are committed to amazing stories. That’s why we are pleased as punch to announce that we are running a Short Story Prize in 2016. This international short story prize is open to writers around the world regardless of age, genre or career stage. And the winner will be published in prestigious literary journal, Mascara Literary Review.

The Theme

The theme for this year’s competition is Tidal. Wollongong is a beautiful coastal city, but you still never know just what might wash up on the shore! We are really hoping people will take that theme and make it their own. That means that your submission doesn’t have to be all about the beach  (unless you want it to be).  All submissions are blind judged and our Judges are looking for a story that makes them sit up in their seats, regardless of genre.

The Word Count 

We want stories of 2,500 words or less (not including the title).

Important Dates

The Prize opens for submissions on Sunday the 15th of May 2016 and closes on Thursday the 15th of September 2016. All entries must be received by midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time.

The Winner will be announced at the final day of the 2016 Wollongong Writers Festival on Sunday the 27th November 2016. Anyone who enters the prize will be automatically signed up to the Festival Newsletter, but be sure to follow us on social media as well where we will announce the Short List.

Cost to submit


The Judges

Michelle Cahill

Michelle Cahill wrote The Accidental CageVishvarūpa and Night Birds and is winner of the Hilary Mantel International Short Story Prize. She edits Mascara Literary Review, and is Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her collection Letter to Pessoa is forthcoming with Giramondo.

Patrick Lenton

Patrick Lenton is the author of A Man Made Entirely of Bats. His short stories have been published in places like The Best Australian Stories and The Best Australian Comedy Writing. He is the winner of the Thiel Grant for Online Writing. He runs Town Crier, a social media and digital marketing consultancy for authors. He tweets @patricklenton.



Does it cost money to submit?

Yes. Each submission must be accompanied by an entry fee of 12 Australian dollars. This fee helps us administer and fund the prize, and any profit goes straight back into our not-for-profit festival.

I am making a submission from outside Australia. How do I pay?

That’s great! We’re really excited to open this competition up to writers around the world. When Submittable processes your payment, it will automatically convert your currency into Australian dollars. The exchange rate will depend on the exchange rate at the time Submittable converts the payment.

My work was published online, on my personal blog or another website where I did not receive payment – can I submit it?

Unfortunately anything that has been published, either online or in print (including personal websites and social media), is not eligible for this competition.


I don’t have a Submittable account. What should I do?

Don’t worry! It’s super easy to set one up. Just hit ‘submit’ on our Submissions page here and you’ll be prompted to create a Submittable account. It’s a quick and easy process and once you’re signed up you’ll be able to upload your submission and write a short cover letter.


Will I receive confirmation that my submission has been received?

You will receive an email confirmation from Submittable that your submission has been received.


Will you consider works in languages other than English?

All submissions must be in English.  Works translated by the author into English will be accepted.


Where can I find the terms and conditions?
All the Ts & Cs can be found on our Submissions page here.


If you still have questions, feel free to shoot us an email at: competition@wollongongwritersfestival.com


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