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The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

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Article by ERMurray © 23 August 2019.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Competition deadline: 1st October 2019

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is calling for previously unpublished short stories of up to 2500 words related to the theme, ‘All Lit Up’.

The top prize is $1000 AUD and publication in Mascara Literary Review. A highly commended entry will receive $250 AUD and publication in Mascara Literary Review.

The judges are Australian authors Effie Carr and Helena Fox.

Submissions close October 1, 2019. Entry fee is $15 AUD. The competition is open to international entrants.

The winners will be announced on November 22, 2019 at the Wollongong Writers Festival in NSW, Australia.

See here for information on how to submit and terms and conditions.

Full details:

First Prize: $1000. Highly Commended: $250
Theme: All Lit Up
Word limit: Up to 2500 words
Opening date: 00:01AM EST 1 August 2019
Closing date: 11:59PM EST 1 October 2019

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will be awarded for a previously unpublished story of up to 2500 words on the theme ‘All Lit Up’. The winning entry will receive $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. Highly commended will also receive publication in Mascara Literary Review, and $250.

The winning and highly commended stories will be announced at the Festival launch on Friday evening, November 22, 2019.

Submission Guidelines

The theme of the 2019 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is ‘All Lit Up’.

Our aim is to bring marginalised issues into the spotlight; think taboo, grey areas, topics only ever spoken about in hushed voices. It’s about time we looked at these subjects in the light of day, don’t you think?

The theme can be interpreted as broadly and playfully as you like. Feel free to experiment with form and content, but please keep submissions within the word count. Entry fee is $15.

This competition is open to everyone except Wollongong Writers Festival staff, board members, and advisers. Festival volunteers may enter. This is an international competition and writers located outside Australia are encouraged to enter. Please ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions of the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize before entering.

You can read the winning and highly commended entries from the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2018 in ISSUE 23 of Mascara Literary Review.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Stories must be no more than 2,500 words, not including the title.
  2. Submissions must be the original work of the applicant.
  3. Works currently under consideration by another competition or publication, or works that have previously won an award or been published, either online or in print (including personal websites and social media), are not eligible for this competition.
  4. All entries must be in English. Works translated by the author into English will be accepted.
  5. Submissions will only be accepted via the email competition@wollongongwritersfestival.com
  6. The entry fee is $15 AUD per submission. Every submission must be accompanied by payment. There is no limit to the amount of entries.
  7. All entries will be judged anonymously. As such, the author’s name and identifying details must NOT appear on the submission file.
  8. Submissions should be double spaced, in a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  9. Wollongong Writers Festival staff, board members, and advisers are not eligible to enter. Festival volunteers may enter.
  10. The winner and highly commended entry will be published online in Mascara Literary Review. Intellectual Property remains with the writer, but we ask that the winning and highly commended works not be published elsewhere until after December 2019. Any subsequent publications should acknowledge the Prize and Mascara Literary Review.
  11. The judges’ decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into and it is not possible to make changes to entries once they have been submitted.
  12. Wollongong Writers Festival reserves the right not to award the prize in the event that a suitable winner is not found.
  13. The closing date is 11.59pm EST, 1 October 2019. Late entries will not be accepted.

Please note that as part of the submission process you will be automatically subscribed to our newsletter, from which you may unsubscribe at any time. To stay up to date with competition announcements, visit our website, ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


Follow Elizabeth online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Elizabeth Rose Murray lives in West Cork where she writes, fishes, and grows her own vegetables. Her first book for young adults Caramel Hearts (Alma Books) was published June 2016. Her debut novel for children aged 10-12, The Book of Learning - Nine Lives Trilogy 1 (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children and the follow-up The Book of Shadows - Nine Lives Trilogy 2 was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The final installment The Book of Revenge will be published in February 2018.

Elizabeth has poetry and short fiction published in journals across the UK and Ireland - including Ogham Stone, Southword, South Circular, Esc and 3am - and has been shortlisted in various competitions including TV3AM Short Story, Francis MacManus, and Aesthetica Creative Works. She has also performed in Ciudades Paralelas: Station - a live writing installation.

Hoping to encourage new writers, Elizabeth provides manuscript reports and online writing courses through Inkwell Writers and Big Smoke Writing Factory. She is a regular at literary festivals, and offers adult workshops on writing for children and young adults, as well as multiple events and workshops for children and teens.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter @ERMurray, Facebook www.facebook.com/ERMurray.Author or her blog www.ermurray.com