University of Sunderland in Association with Waterstones Short Story Award

UPDATE 30 April: Our shortlist is now out. Do have a look to see if you’re on it at


Rules and Prizes

Judged by the world’s first professor in short fiction, Professor Ailsa Cox.

 We have two categories; 11-17 (where the word limit is 1500 words) and Adults (2500). There is no theme.
New and experienced (published) writers are welcome and prizes are on offer for both categories – £500 for the winning adult and £200 for the winning 11-17 year-old. Shortlisted writers in both categories will be published in a special one-off edition by Bandit Fiction   Winners in the 11-17 category will be entitled to future feedback opportunities from Sunderland Story Club, in an effort to help you continue your writing journey, should you wish to access it.
Entry fee is £5 for the adult category, but free for the 11-17 year olds.
No previously published submissions. International entrants welcome.

Any queries to Sarah Dobbs at


Adult category entrants only, please pay here: online payment