The Plaza Sudden Fiction Prize

The Plaza Sudden Fiction Prize

Judged by Angela Readman

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

1500 words max.

Sudden Fiction can be bold, daring. The lengths make us care faster, see sharper, listen to sounds lost in a bigger picture. A single detail can haunt us.

Voice is key. Writing in flashes can be exhilarating. Reading it is like being spellbound, in such a short space our perspective is altered. It commands our attention like no other form, done well it’s like a shot in the arm, a jab that tells us wake up, pay attention, lean close.

Test yourself against our judge, Angela Readman. Her stories have been winners of The Costa Short Story Award, The Mslexia Competition, and The New Flash Fiction Review prize.

She has published two short story collections. Her debut, Don’t Try This at Home was shortlisted for the Edgehill Prize and was the winner of The Rubery Book Award. Her latest, The Girls are Pretty Crocodiles, was published in 2022.

She also writes poetry, her latest collection is Bunny Girls.

So, send Angela your Sudden Fiction. Up to 1500 words. The Top 10 will be published in our second anthology in 2024. The Top 3 will the win cash prizes.

“We all know the fundamentals: make words count, consider our choices, waste no time and avoid explanation, yet there’s more. Good flash lingers. Reading it gives us a sense of holding our breath, we feel sentences pulse.”

Angela Readman

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 2, which will be launched at our awards ceremony, October 2024.

Terms and Conditions



  • Deadline: 30th November 2023
  • Writers can enter any number of times. (£14.00 Subsequent entry: £7.00)
  • Sudden Fictions 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, sorry, 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 1500 words.


£14.00 per Sudden Fiction. (Subsequent entry: £7.00)

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 Sudden Fiction’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 Sudden Fiction, 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 Sudden Fictions for publicity purposes.

Results & Awards

The Sudden Fiction 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize-winners will be announced on the website in February 2024. The 10 short-listed entries will be published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology 2, which will be launched at our awards ceremony in October 2024.

Bursary Scheme

In 2023-2024, 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

Enter by pressing the big orange button below.