Short Story (5000 words max)

Short Story (5000 words max)

Judged by Annie DeWitt

1st prize: £1000. 2nd prize: £300. 3rd prize: £100

1,500 words min. to 5,000 words max.

We’re running a second Short Story competition this year, with a maximum word-count of 5,000 words.

Our judge, Annie DeWitt, is an award-winning short story writer, novelist, and literary agent in the U.S. Her debut story collection – CLOSEST WITHOUT GOING OVER – was shortlisted for the Mary McCarthy Prize and is forthcoming from Thayer Books. Stories in the collection have been translated into Latvian and Swedish and have appeared widely in the U.S. in Granta, Guernica, Esquire, BOMB, Electric Literature, NOON, The Iowa Review, The American Reader, ZYZZYVA, amongst others.

Annie is the Founder of DeWitt Authors at The Shipman Agency she represents literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry and hybrid works of extraordinary authenticity, urgency and voice. Her debut novel WHITE NIGHTS IN SPLIT TOWN CITY was named one of 2016’s “Most Anticipated” debuts by The Millions, was shortlisted by The New York Times Book Review as a debut novel of note and received accolades from BookForum, Interview Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Vogue, amongst many others. It now appears in several languages.

Annie has also penned nonfiction reviews, essays and interviews for The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, BOMB, Tin House, Guernica, Esquire, BOMB, Bookforum, The LA Review of Books, art+culture, Catapult, The Towner, Rhapsody Magazine, and Poets and Writers. She holds an MFA from Columbia School of the Arts, was the Founder and Director of the Roxbury Writers Residency and was recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship.

Annie is keen to discover some new talents, so send her your short stories.

“What a great prize! Honoured to take part in this. Really looking forward to reading some amazing stories.”

Annie DeWitt

The Prizes

First Prize: £1000

Second Prize: £300

Third Place: £100

Top 10

The 10 shortlisted entries will be published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology, which will be launched at our awards ceremony, 2023.

Terms and Conditions



  • Deadline: 30th April 2023
  • Writers can enter any number of times. (£15.00. Subsequent entry: £7.50)
  • Short stories can be in any style or form, but must be in English, and written for adults.
  • Entries must be submitted online. No email submissions. In exceptional circumstances, postal entry may be accepted, as long as a cheque made out for the correct entry fee is sent to The Plaza Prizes Ltd. (Postal address is on Contact Form.)
  • Enter the correct version of your work. If you make a mistake, entry fees will not be refunded. (You will have to enter again.)


Read the rules carefully before entering the competition. Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply will result in disqualification.

All entries are judged anonymously. Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle etc on the document or in the file name or it will be disqualified.

Entries will be disqualified if they are over the word limit, and there will be no refund.

Entries must be entirely your own work.

Entries must NOT have been traditionally published in book or magazine form. Work that has been self-published on a website, blog or online forum is eligible for entry.

Entries must NOT have won in any other competition. If your entry was long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions it is eligible.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed but if an entry wins a prize elsewhere, is published or scheduled for future publication, prior to the date of prize giving, you must inform us to withdraw immediately. Entry fees will not be refunded.


Maximum 5,000 words.


£15 per Short Story. (Subsequent entry: £7.50)

Entries must be submitted online via Submittable. No email submissions.


  • Entries must be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font, double-spaced with numbered pages and the Short Story’s title on every page. Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or PDF file with the title as the file name. Do not include your name in the file name as this will lead to disqualification.
  • Max 2MB file. Include the word count for the Short Story, top right, first page.
  • Do not add cover pages
  • No illustrated work


The judges’ decision is final. No individual correspondence can be entered into. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. The Plaza Prizes reserves the right to change the judge without notice.


Copyright remains with the author, but The Plaza Prizes reserves the right to publish extracts from any of the 10 shortlisted short stories for publicity purposes.

Results & Awards

The Short Story 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize-winners will be announced on the website and social media in July 2023. The 10 short-listed entries will be published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology, which will be launched at our inaugural awards ceremony in August 2023.

Bursary Scheme

In 2022-2023, we are offering 100 FREE ENTRY BURSARIES across all our competitions to writers on low incomes, and from underrepresented groups. You can apply for a bursary if low income, class, race, age, gender, sexuality, caring responsibilities, location, disability, or mental and physical health affects your writing. We want to encourage equality to discover quality new writing from diverse voices. Click here to apply for our Bursary Scheme.


The Plaza Prizes reserves the right to amend the rules where it deems necessary. Any changes to the rules will be posted on our website.

If you have a query about eligibility, please contact: hello@theplazaprizes.com

Are you ready to share your creation?

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