Women’s Short Story Competition 2016

The competition is now closed.

It’s that time of year again when our Women’s Short Story Competition is open for business! As always, the 2016 competition welcomes writers of all levels of experience, writing stories on any subject – in any style. Up for grabs is a sumptuous £2,000 first prize, publication in the June 2016 issue of Mslexia and the fantastic exposure that this competition gives its finalists. So if you’ve got a story – or an idea – that could fit into our 2,200 word limit, we’d love to see your work.

1st prize: £2,000

Plus two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at Anam Cara, and a day with an editor at Virago Press.

2nd prize is £500, 3rd prize £250. Three other finalists will each receive £100. All six winning stories will be published in the June issue of Mslexia.

Entry fee: £10 per story

Judge: Michèle Roberts

Please read the competition rules below before entering. If you have any questions please email [email protected] or call us on 0191 204 8860.

‘It was Debbie Taylor and when she said I’d won I couldn’t quite get my head around it. Honestly, afterwards I thought I’d dreamt the whole thing.’
Cherise Saywell, winner of the Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition 2015.



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May we have your attention please! Our brand spanking new autumn issue is out now, and it’s packed to the rafters with gritty features, candid interviews and our usual sprinkling of writerly advice and inspiration – no matter where you are on the publishing ladder.

This issue throws out an abundance of challenges for you to conquer, whether that’s writing a novel on Twitter, experimenting with traditionally ‘masculine’ (pffft) themes, launching your own literary award, or giving your author website a much-needed (sorry!) facelift. Our tips, tricks and tidbits will leave you feeling motivated and determined to make the last few months of 2016 your most productive and rewarding yet.

Of course, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best, which is why we sought career advice from Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction winner Lisa McInerney, bestselling women’s fiction author Rowan Coleman and Carnegie winner Sarah Crossan. Take heed of their guidance on plot, pace and giving yourself permission. You’ll be writing – and thinking – like a pro before you know it.

We aren’t pulling any punches in our features, either. Editor Debs is getting all hot under the collar exploring the issue of literary plagiarism, while Laura Wilson is fed up of female crimefighting archetypes, and Kat Lewis talks us through the process of working with asylum seekers and refugees on their creative writing. Oh, and we had a poke around The Everyday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates’ bedside table too. Because we’re nosy like that.

As ever, our highly treasured directories have been lovingly researched and curated by our listings editor to help shape your autumn for the better. If you’re looking to get your work noticed, you can choose from hundreds of hand-picked submission slots and prestigious competitions, or if you want to expand your horizons, you can pick out literary events in your area or choose from dozens of writing-themed retreats and holidays.

Try a free sample here >>> bit.ly/2bz2j6R
Buy a single issue here >>> bit.ly/1xtWPo4
Subscribe here >>> bit.ly/1ZIcF8q
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Team Mslexia had a wonderful time at An Evening with Jessie Burton in Waterstone's Newcastle tonight! If you haven't read The Miniaturist or The Muse yet, you absolutely must. Such a talent! ... See MoreSee Less

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