The Plaza Short Story Prize

The Plaza Short Story Prize (5000 words)

Judged by Damon Galgut

1st prize: £4000 / $5000. 2nd prize: £300 / $360. 3rd prize: £100 / $120

5000 words maximum

The Plaza Prizes are even bigger and better in 2025. We have the best judges in the world and the cash prizes aren’t too shabby either. You could win £4000 / $5000, and publication, for your short story.

Our 2025 judge is Booker Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and playwright, Damon Galgut.

Damon was born in Pretoria in 1963. He published his first novel, The Sinless Season at the age of 17. A collection of cracking short stories came next, Small Circle of Beings. Since then, he has published another 7 books. The Good Doctor won the International Dublin Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book: Africa, and was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize.

In a Strange Room was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012. Arctic Summer won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. In 2021, Damon won the Booker for The Promise.

The Promise certainly lives up to its promise. ‘This bravura novel about the undoing of a bigoted South African family during apartheid deserves awards,’ The Guardian. ‘Galgut extends his extraordinary corpus with a rich story of family, history, and grief’ Kirkus Reviews.

Damon has long since left apartheid Pretoria behind, and currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He is at work on another collection of short stories. It is highly likely these will also be world class.

So please send our judge, Damon Galgut, your short stories. To be long-listed (that’s the final 20) is an achievement. To be shortlisted in the Top 10, or place second or third, or win will be a validation of your skills, and get you published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology 3, in 2025.

“I'm looking forward to reading some great stories from all over the world.”

Damon Galgut

The Prizes

First Prize: £4000 / $5000

Second Prize: £300 / $360

Third Place: £100 / $120

Top 10

The 10 shortlisted entries will be published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology 3, which will be launched at our third awards ceremony, in 2025.

Terms and Conditions



  • Deadline: 30th April 2025
  • Writers can enter any number of times. (£15.00 / $18.00 Subsequent/discount entry: £12.00 / $14.40)
  • Poems 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 60 line limit, and there will be no refund.

Entries must be entirely your own work.

Entries must NOT have been published traditionally because we will publish the 10 shortlisted in our anthology. Self-published poems or poems published in online journals ARE 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 5000 words.


£15.00 / $18.00 per entry. (Subsequent/discount entry: £12.00 / $14.40)

Entries must be submitted online via Submittable. No email or snail-mail submissions.


  • Entries must be typed, can be SINGLE- or DOUBLE-spaced, with the story title at the top of every page. (Any formatting issues will not lead to disqualification. Please just make sure your work is as easy to read as possible.)
  • 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 line count for the poem, 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 poems in an anthology and use extracts from any of the 10 shortlisted entries for publicity purposes.

Results & Awards

The Plaza Short Story Prize winners will be announced on the website and social media in June 2025. The 10 short-listed entries will be published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology 3, which will be launched at our awards ceremony in October 2025.

Bursary Scheme

We have offered 250 bursaries in 2022-2024. We are offering 100 FREE ENTRY BURSARIES in 2025 across all our competitions to poets/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: simon@theplazaprizes.com

Enter by pressing the big orange button below.