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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Founded in 2012 and funded by Costa Coffee, the £3,500 award recognizes a previously-unpublished short story of “up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January 2017 whose primary residence (ie resident for over six months of the year)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 is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator 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 cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. 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. When bored, he 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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