City Academy Short Story Writing Competition 2021

With our latest Writing Competition, City Academy is on the search for the best original short story written by a previously unpublished writer. Whether you have completed a writing course with City Academy or not, this is your opportunity to devise a piece of short fiction that will be read by an expert panel of judges, and considered for the £1,000 first prize.

No prior experience of writing short stories is necessary. After registering for this competition you will receive a series of writing prompts to encourage you as you write. These prompts, delivered direct to your inbox, will guide you through the process of writing a dynamic story with all the brevity and intensity of a classic. There are no restrictions on style or subject matter so regardless of whether you are inspired by the work of Ursula K. Le Guin, James Baldwin, or Alice Munro the judges will be looking for great stories told with wit, verve, and style.

Please note that registrations for this competition are now closed.

City Academy Short Story Competition 2021

We are on the search for the best original short story by a previously unpublished writer. This is your opportunity to devise a piece of short fiction that will be read by an expert panel of judges, and considered for the £1,000 first prize.
No prior experience is necessary to enter and entrants will receive a series of writing prompts in the lead up to the competition deadline. These prompts, delivered direct to your inbox, will guide you through the process of writing a dynamic story.
Registration for this competition is now closed. Please sign up to our newsletter to receive more creative opportunities.

City Academy Short Story Competition 2021

Winner has been announced!

City Academy was on the search for the best original short story written by a previously unpublished writer. This was an opportunity to devise a piece of short fiction to be read by an expert panel of judges, and considered for the £1,000 first prize.

A winner has now been announced - follow the link below to find out who our winner is for 2021

How it works

The Prize

The winner of City Academy’s Short Story Writing Competition 2021 will receive a cash prize of £1,000 and a City Academy voucher worth £300. The winning story will also be published on our website.

Two runners up will also be published on our website and will each receive a free writing course of their choice. Three more writers will receive written feedback from the judging panel.

The competition will be judged by a panel of writers: Freddie Machin, Shyama Perera and Merrie Joy Williams.

Competition Timeline

Registration was open until 25th May 2021.

From Monday 22nd March entrants received a series of 8 writing prompt emails packed with handy tips and brimming with encouragement.

25 May 2021 at 9am: Registration closes

25 May 2021 at 11.59pm: Submission deadline

30th June 2021: Winners announced

Writer Support

In the lead up to the submission deadline all entrants will receive a series of 8 writing prompts designed to support you in your creative process.

The emails will include exercises designed to unlock your writing, reflections on different elements of short fiction, and a reading list.

With the support of the writing prompts writers will have the tools they need to write and submit a short story to the competition.

Competition Criteria

We welcome and encourage a broad spectrum of amateur writers to take part in this Short Story Competition.

Before registering, please ensure that you understand and fulfil the following criteria:

  • Submissions must be works of fiction written in English.
  • Submissions must be no longer than 4,000 words.
  • There is no set theme and submissions should be intended for an adult readership.
  • Maximum of one submission per author
  • The short story must not have been published before and must be an original work
  • Submissions should be made in Word or PDF format in Arial Regular font, 12pt, black.
  • Entry fee is £15
  • Entrants must be 18yrs+

Deadlines: Registration will close at 9am, Tuesday 25th May 2021. Submission deadline is 11.59pm on 25th May 2021. Please note that submissions after this time will not be considered.

Registration: To stand a chance of winning the £1000 cash prize, £300 City Academy voucher and your story published on our website, register today by completing the registration form.

Your Judges

Merrie Joy Williams is a poet, novelist and editor. She was shortlisted for the 2020 Bridport Poetry Prize, and is a winner of The Poetry Archive’s ‘Wordview 2020’ competition, permanently featured on their website. She is the recipient of a London Writers Award (2018), and Arts Council England awards for both poetry and fiction.

Shyama Perera is a former Guardian Journalist and a published novelist. Her first novel, Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet, was released by renowned publishing house Sceptre in 1999, and since then she has published three more novels. Shyama is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, as well as writing regularly for the national press, contributing short stories and essays to anthologies and presenting on radio and TV. She also writes a theatre reviews blog: Monkey Matters Theatre.

Freddie Machin wrote the feature film Chicken, which was based on his play of the same title and had its UK cinema release in May 2016. Mark Kermode included it in his best films of that year for the Guardian newspaper, and it is now available on Amazon Prime. Freddie has written extensively for the stage including his large-cast play about social housing in London, The Real Estate, which is published with Nick Hern Books. Freddie originally trained as an actor, and has taught both acting, and playwriting for Shakespeare’s Globe, the Almeida Theatre, the Royal Opera House, and Central School of Speech and Drama amongst others.