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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Founded in 2012 and funded by Costa Coffee, the £3,500 award recognizes a previously-unpublished short story of “up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January 2017 whose primary residence (ie resident for over six months of the year)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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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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