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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Founded in 2012 and funded by Costa Coffee, the £3,500 award recognizes a previously-unpublished short story of “up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January 2017 whose primary residence (ie resident for over six months of the year)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 a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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