Short Story

Short Story

Judged by Roland Watson-Grant

1st prize: £2000. 2nd prize: £300. 3rd prize: £100

1,500 words min. to 8,000 words max.

Most literary competitions and magazines limit short stories to 5,000 words. We don’t. We want your ‘Pieces of Eight’, like the pirates of the Caribbean. That’s eight thousand words to express yourself fully in. That bit more to challenge the form, play with.

Our judge, Roland Watson-Grant, is a master of the Short Story, having won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Caribbean Region) in 2021 and being short-listed for the Society of Authors’ Tom Gallon Award with the short story ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell’.

Roland’s ear for voices is his special talent. Characterisation through narration. His short story writing has been honed by his experience of screenwriting for Charles Steel (Producer of Top Boy), and Kevin MacDonald, (Director of The Last King of Scotland). So, try your best to utilise voice to enchant your readers, whether it’s an authorial voice or the voice of narrators. Put him under your spell.

To be long listed (final 20) for The Plaza Prizes will look great on any writer’s CV. To be shortlisted in the Top 10, may create a platform that literary agents will be interested in. To win, or place second or third, is a validation of your skills that might just get your work published in future. That’s exactly what happened to Roland—he is living proof it can happen to you. Alma Publishing snapped up the rights to his first two novels: Sketcher (2013) and Skid (2015).

“Winning the Lightship Short Story Prize landed me a publishing deal.”

Roland Watson Grant

The Prizes

First Prize: £2000

Second Prize: £300

Third Place: £100

Top 10

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

Terms and Conditions



  • Deadline: 30th November 2022
  • Writers can enter any number of times. (£16.00. Subsequent entry: £8.00)
  • 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.
  • 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 8,000 words.


£16 per Short Story. (Subsequent entry: £8.00)

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 on 1st April 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 50 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?

Enter now