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The 2018 Costa Short Story Award is open for submissions.

Founded in 2012 and funded by Costa Coffee, the £3,500 award recognizes a previously-unpublished short story of “up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January 2017 whose primary residence (ie resident for over six months of the year) has been in the United Kingdom or Ireland since 1 November 2014.” The runner-up and second runner-up will receive £1,000 and £500 respectively.

Here are key things to note, as stated on their Website.

  • Entries must be submitted in English. Translations of short stories originally published in languages other than English are not eligible.
  • If the story has already been submitted to other competitions or publications, please ensure that it is given a different title before being submitted to the Costa Short Story Award. This is because, if it has already been commended elsewhere, this would then compromise the anonymity of its author, particularly if it is shortlisted.
  • There is no set theme to the story, but we encourage all entrants to submit entries that are bold, different and original in order for them to stand out from the rest.
  • The name of the author must not appear anywhere within the story.
  • The name of the story and word count to be included within the header on every page.
  • Entries will be judged anonymously.
  • A judging panel will read the short stories selected by the team of readers, and will draw up a shortlist of three stories plus an additional list of up to six Highly Commended stories.
  • The three shortlisted stories (which will remain anonymous) will be made available on the Costa Book Awards website between mid-November 2017 and mid-January 2018, and the public will be asked to vote for their favourite.
  • The identity of the authors of the three shortlisted stories will be announced after voting has closed. At the same time, the authors of the Highly Commended stories will be announced.

The winner and runners-up will be announced at the award ceremony in January 2018.

Previous winners are Avril Joy in 2012 for “Millie and the Bird,” Angela Readman in 2013 for “The Keeper of the Jackalopes,” Zoe Gilbert in 2014 for “Fishskin, Hareskin,” Danny Murphy in 2015 for “Rogey,” and Jess Kidd in 2016 for “Dirty Little Fishes.”

Read their terms and conditions HERE.

Submit HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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