In July 2000, my story For a Yellow Jersey, already a first prizewinner, won World Wide Writers £3,000 award for Best Short Story of the year. Allan Prior, author of 20 novels, 250 television scripts and 70 radio plays was the judge. His comments on For a Yellow Jersey were: A tour of the Tour de France! I felt I was in the saddle all through this long short story, so gripping – on a high technical and emotional level – was this vivid and informative piece of writing… Fit for the New Yorker at least.
Success in World Wide Writers competition included publication in a very nice, perfect-bound magazine, voted one of the top 20 in the world by influential American magazine Writers’ Digest. World Wide Writers paid out substantial prize money but is now sadly defunct, having been merged (without trace as far as I can see) into its sister magazine, Writers Forum.
Some of my other prizewinning stories are:
Man of the House
Bless me Father
The Angel of Kresnik
Throughout its 31-issue life, I was joint editor of BuzzWords magazine, responsible for its fiction content. Because of or perhaps in spite of that, I have often been involved in organizing and judging writing competitions.
For BuzzWords competitions, we editors always read every story in full ourselves and did not pass them out to inexperienced readers or simply skim through the first paragraph. Yes, it did mean a lot of work for us but we felt that the people who paid us the money deserved to have their work taken seriously.
Here are some really good competitions:
Prize (UK) offers £5,000 and considerable kudos if you are even shortlisted.
Another well regarded competition is the Fish Prize - €10,000 (
In Australia, where I now live, the Melbourne-based Age newspaper has an annual short story competition paying A$ 3,000. This also is free to enter.
Competitions run by good small press literary magazines are worth entering because they help to keep the magazines in print; the prize money is incidental.