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Competition: The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award

Article by Writing IE Admin © 18 January 2019 Writing.ie .
Posted in the Magazine ( · Writing Competitions ).

Competition deadline: 15th February 2019

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is the richest prize for a single short story in the English language, worth £30,000 to the winner. The award, for a story of 6,000 words or less, is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland.

Entries for the 2019 award open on December 16, 2018 and close at 6pm on February 15, 2019. Six shortlisted authors will receive £1,000 and have their stories published by Audible, and the winner will be announced on September, 12 2019.

Submit your story here.



1.1 Award” means this competition to find the best short story, as determined by the appointed judges, along with five runners up and which shall be known as “The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019”.

1.2 “Entrant(s)” means all authors, publishers and/or agents submitting an entry, either personally, in the case of an author, or anyone acting as an agent, representative or publisher of an author.

1.3 “Entry” means any short story meeting the submission criteria entered for the Award and “Entries” shall be construed accordingly.

1.4 “TNL” means Times Newspapers Limited (company number 00894646), whose registered office is at 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.

1.5 “Audible” means Audible Limited (company number 0528095), whose registered office is at 26-28 Glasshouse Yard, London, EC1A 4JU.


2.1 From the Entries submitted, the judges will draw up a longlist of up to twenty (20) Entries. The judges will then reduce this to a shortlist of six (6) outstanding Entries, from which they will select the winning Entry and five runners-up. TNL reserves the right to increase or reduce the number of Entries selected for the longlist and shortlist at their sole discretion.

2.2 TNL in its sole discretion shall permit the judges to call in short stories they feel are worthy of entry but have not been submitted for the Award.

2.3 First prize is worth £30,000 and this will be presented to the author of the best, eligible Entry in the opinion of the judges. The Entry will be the “Winner of The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019” and the winning Entrant will be permitted to use such or similar accreditation as approved by TNL and Audible and subject to clause 4.5.

2.4 There will be five runners-up prizes of £1,000 each. The Entry will be “Shortlisted – The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019” and will be permitted to use such or similar accreditation as approved by TNL and Audible and subject to clauses 4.3 and 4.5.

2.5 Prizes will be awarded as cheques to the winning Entrant and runners-up Entrants only.


3.1 The Award is open to authors writing in the English language, aged 18 years or over at the time of submission, who must have been previously published in the English language in the United Kingdom (UK) or Ireland.

3.2 The Entry must not contain more than six thousand (6,000) words. The word count should be listed on the Entry and must be precise.

3.3 Entries may be submitted by the author or by his/her publisher or agent acting in their capacity as agent on behalf of the relevant author.

3.4 No more than one story per author may be submitted. It is the responsibility of the author to make sure that that there is not more than one of his/her stories submitted to TNL in total.

3.5 The Entry must either:

3.5.1 be unpublished (worldwide); or

3.5.2. be first published or scheduled for publication after 1 January 2018.

3.6 The author must have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the UK or Ireland. This means the author must previously have had works of prose fiction, drama or poetry published by an established print publisher or an established printed magazine in the UK or Ireland, or broadcast by a national radio station or in audio format in the UK or Ireland. For the purpose of this clause 3 and for the avoidance of doubt:

  • 3.6.1 ‘established publisher’ means a current or past publishing house that publishes/published a list of titles by different authors, that produces/produced titles with an ISBN and sells/sold them in pounds sterling or euros, and that distributes/distributed them through retail outlets, e-commerce store or online marketplace;
  • 3.6.2 ‘established printed magazine’ means a periodical that is published regularly (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly), that has been and is currently in circulation for at least the past 12 months, has an ISBN or ISSN number and is not self-published by the Entrant or otherwise;
  • 3.6.3 None of the following will constitute a ‘record of prior publication’:
  • self-published material of any kind;
  • work published using a print-on-demand service;
  • work published via commercial arrangement through which the publisher is paid (in monetary or in kind) by the author;
  • online publication;
  • a piece of creative writing pending publication;
  • work published in a newspaper, magazine or audiobook format;
  • work of broadcast television or film;
  • feature writing; and/or
  • musical lyrics.

3.7 Entrants warrant that the Entry is original; entirely the author’s own work, does not infringe any existing copyright, moral rights or any other rights of any third party, contains nothing obscene, libellous, unlawful, defamatory or anything which TNL may otherwise deem to be inappropriate and the Entrant warrants that the Entry is suitable for publication in The Sunday Times in any media it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, the Sunday Times Online, eBook, audiobook or any other digital or print form of publication.

3.8 The Award is not open to employees of TNL, publishers of The Sunday Times (referred to herein as TNL or The Sunday Times), any of its associated, affiliated or subsidiary companies, Audible, the Administrators, or anyone connected with the Award (except by authors represented by a publisher or agent affiliated with the Award) or their direct family members.

3.9 Entries are limited to stories written in English. Translations of short stories originally published in languages other than English are not eligible for the Award.

3.10 An Entry that was published or is submitted posthumously will not be eligible for the Award if the author died prior to 15 February 2019.

3.11 Authors currently serving a term of imprisonment are ineligible for the Award.

3.12 Entries must be submitted in the author’s own name.

3.13 Following submission of an Entry to the Award, Entries should not be published or submitted for publication in any other UK or ROI national newspaper, magazine, anthology or by way of audiobook or podcast. Any Entry subsequently published in another UK or ROI national newspaper, magazine, anthology or as an audiobook or part of a podcast (unless scheduled for such publication prior to Entry) between the opening of submissions and the announcement of the Award will not be eligible for the Award.

3.14 Stories which were previously entered into The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and/or 2018 are not eligible. Stories previously entered into other awards (other than The Sunday Times Short Story Award) are eligible.

3.15 Stories should be for an adult audience; writing for children will be deemed ineligible.


4.1 Entrants retain all rights to their entries, but by submitting a story for the Award; Entrants acknowledge and agree that the winning, shortlisted, and/or any other Entrant grants to TNL, its affiliates, licensees (including Audible), successors and assigns (“TNL Parties”) a worldwide sub-licensable, perpetual, transferable, non-exclusive, royalty free licence to use the Entry in any way whatsoever including but not limited to, public performance, public display, publishing, reproduction, communication to the public, amendment, abridgement, or modification of the Entry or any part of the Entry, transmission and distribution of the Entry or any part of the Entry (either as an individual Entry and/or with other Entries and/or other third party content) on and through the website www.thesundaytimes.co.uk or any website, app or other digital product associated with any of the TNL Parties (whether or not only available to subscribers) and/or on and through any online store and/or app/e-book store (including but not limited to Amazon and/or Audible and/or iTunes and/or Google Play) and/or any newspaper or other publication published or owned by any TNL Parties in its different present and future forms for example newsprint, Braille, talking book, podcast, audio download, audiobook, electronic databases, e-paper, mobile device application, electronic media or website including mobile form or any other facsimile or derivative versions in any medium;

4.2 In addition to the condition set out in clause 4.3, in the event that an official “Short Story Award Selection” containing the winning Entry and selected longlist Entries is published by TNL, its affiliates, licensees, successors or assigns (the “Selection”) all such Entrants will be deemed to have granted the rights for such publication and distribution in paper, e-paper, e-Book, downloadable format, talking book, podcast, mobile device application, electronic media or website including mobile form or in any other present or future form of publication (collectively, “the Media”), and the Entrant or their agents will clear the necessary rights for such publication and distribution. The rights for publication will be non-exclusive, with no bar on publication rights elsewhere other than in any other UK or ROI national newspaper, magazine, book or audio for one year from the public announcement of the winning Entry. In the event TNL decides to add any Entries other than the winning Entry and longlisted Entries to the Selection, TNL, will contact such selected Entrants and agree the basis of their inclusion in the Selection.

4.3 Each shortlisted author acknowledges and agrees that they shall enter into an exclusive agreement with Audible for a twelve (12) month period commencing on the date the shortlist is announced for a one-off, non-negotiable sum of £1000.00 to record, distribute and market the audio version of their shortlisted Award entry. Thereafter, Audible shall have the non-exclusive right to record, distribute and market such audio version for at least ten (10) years. To be shortlisted for the Award, it is a condition of these Terms and Conditions that the relevant author (at the request of TNL) enter into the Agreement. In the event that any author refuses, fails or otherwise does not enter into the Agreement, the relevant author shall not be eligible to be shortlisted for the Award.

4.4 TNL may also (but is not obliged to) enter into arrangements with third parties to publish and distribute the Selection in some or all of the Media. In that event, TNL will contact the Entrant in relation to such arrangements, and the Entrant may enter into any required agreements with TNL and the third party in relation to that publication and distribution.

4.5 By submitting an Entry, Entrants agree to make themselves available for public relations activities at TNL’s reasonable request wherever possible, including participating in events in the run up to the Award in London and elsewhere. In the event of being shortlisted for the Award, Entrants agree to attend the Award ceremony (if one is held), and in the event of winning the Award undertake a mutually acceptable limited programme of activities, as may be agreed with the winning Entrant, to promote the Award particularly immediately after the Award is made. For the avoidance of doubt, any publisher or agent who submits an Entry on behalf of an author shall be responsible for ensuring the author’s attendance at the Award ceremony and any further activity agreed. Entrants are responsible for all reasonable costs associated with attending public relations activities, the events and Award ceremony.

4.6 By submitting an Entry, Entrants agree to give an interview that may be recorded and participate in a frequently asked questions session, and/or assist in the production of a follow up article in each case that may be published and made available to the public by TNL in The Sunday Times, or any website associated with TNL or its affiliates, Audible or the Award, or any other medium at TNL’s sole discretion. In the event that an interview or article is made about an Entrant, this does not mean that the Entrant is entitled to an award or prize.

4.7 By submitting an Entry, Entrants of all winning or runner-up Entries agree to ensure that in the event that any winning or runner-up Entry is published, including in any anthology publications such as a Selection, it will carry approved credits if requested to do so and provided all materials bearing such approved credits, logos or trademarks are pre-approved by TNL.

4.8 The Entrant acknowledges and agrees that each shortlisted Entry shall be cleared and can be used for publicity purposes to generate coverage for the Award and TNL Parties across media outlets, in a format, manner and for such time as may be determined by TNL.


5.1 The Award judges (as appointed by TNL) will select a longlist from which they will select a shortlist of six Entries. TNL reserves the right to increase or reduce the numbers of Entries selected for the long list and the shortlist at their sole discretion.

5.2 All shortlisted Entries will be contacted personally by email or by telephone. The overall winner of the Award will be announced at the Award ceremony on 12 September 2019.

5.3 The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into or appeals shall be heard.

5.4 The judging will, to the best of TNL’s knowledge and belief, be fair and independent. The judging panel will be appointed by the Award Director in association with TNL and will include a representative from TNL as well as members of the literary community.


6.1 If entering by post: The Entry Form and eleven (11) copies of the Entry must be received at the address stated in these Terms and Conditions by 6PM (GMT) on Friday 15 February 2019. If entering online: The Entry Form must be completed by 6pm (GMT) on Friday 15 February 2019. The longlist of Entries will be released in July 2019, with the shortlist due to follow in August and the winner and runners up announced on 12 September 2019 at the Award ceremony. All announcement dates are approximate and may be subject to change.

6.2 Entrants must provide their name, email address, telephone number and postal address. The Award will be managed by an independent team of administrators. TNL and its Award administrators will only ever use personal details for the purposes of administering this Award, and will not publish them or provide them without permission to anyone not involved in the administration of this Award. Uses of personal data received by TNL in the course of the Award are subject to the privacy policy found on the www.thesundaytimes.co.uk website or at https://newsprivacy.co.uk/single/. As a condition of entry to the Award, Entrants consent to their names being published by TNL Parties in connection with the Award.

6.3 Should Entrants be shortlisted they are responsible for any costs and related expenses to attend any relevant events or promotional activity including (without limitation) the Award winner announcement at the Award ceremony.

6.4 The Award Director and administrators will not acknowledge receipt of Entries and do not accept any responsibility for late, lost or damaged Entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

6.5 Entrants must supply full details as required above, and comply with all rules and terms and conditions to be eligible for the Award. Ineligible, obscene or fraudulent Entries will be automatically disqualified. In the event that any Entrant breaches or TNL reasonably believes that an Entrant has breached these Terms and Conditions, TNL may reject the Entry and/or remove the Entrant from any longlist or shortlist and/or retract the Award.

6.6 Please note that no Entries can be returned.

6.7 TNL and administrators reserve the right to refuse any Entry to the Award for any reason at their absolute discretion.

6.8 Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions to agree to be bound by them when submitting an Entry upon completion of the entry forms and relevant tick boxes.

6.9 A publisher or agent who submits a story on behalf of an author warrants that by submitting that author’s story for the Award they have obtained the author’s informed consent and approval of all terms and conditions contained herein and to have taken on the responsibility of guaranteeing and procuring the author’s compliance with the terms and conditions set out herein. If such publisher or agent has failed to do so, the administrators or TNL may at its sole discretion disqualify the Entry and/or reclaim any Award and/or associated prize money and revise the longlist, shortlist and (if applicable) winning Entries. Any author who submits an Entry warrants that they have all necessary consents, approvals, rights and licences required to submit an Entry in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.

6.10 Entrants indemnify and will keep TNL, the Administrators and Audible indemnified against loss, injury or damage (including any legal costs or expenses and any compensation costs and disbursements paid or incurred by TNL, the administrator and/or Audible on the advice of legal counsel to compromise or settle any claim) occasioned to TNL, the Administrators and/or Audible in consequence of any breach of the warranties contained in these terms and conditions or arising out of any claim alleging that the submitted entry constitutes an infringement of any third party intellectual property rights or contains libellous, obscene or defamatory matter.

6.11 There is no alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable and no part or parts of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions.

6.12 TNL Parties and/or the Administrators will not be liable for any failure of receipt of Entries. TNL Parties and the Administrator have no responsibility or liability for any Entries which are lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid. Other than death or personal injury arising from the acts or omissions of TNL, TNL, the Administrators and Audible will not be liable for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of the Award.

6.13 TNL reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the Award (including altering prizes) if, in their sole discretion, the Award is not capable of being conducted as specified. TNL reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value in the event that circumstances beyond their control make this unavoidable or such other reasons as TNL may deem reasonable.

6.14 The promoter of this Award is TNL, publisher of The Sunday Times (address below).

6.15 By entering, all eligible entrants agree to abide by each and all these Terms and Conditions. TNL reserves the right, with or without cause, to exclude entrants and withhold prizes for violating any of these terms and conditions. TNL reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions. Any amendments will be published on the Award website www.shortstoryaward.co.uk. It is the responsibility of the entrant to check for any changes to the Terms and Conditions.

6.16 For a list of winners, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: TNL Competitions Department, The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF stating that you would like details of the winners of the Award.

6.17 These Terms and Conditions are exclusively governed by the laws of England and Wales and Entrants submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales. Nothing contained in these Terms and Conditions shall limit the right of TNL, its affiliates or subsidiaries, successors or assigns, to bring a claim against any party in any other jurisdiction.