North & South Short, Short Story competition

One of the best-paying flash fiction competitions in the country, this year the North & South offers $400 for the winning story, along with publication in North & South.

Entry is free and Ōtautahi writers have always done well in this competition, so polish up your stories of 300 words or less!

See North & South for how to enter and read last year’s winning stories.

Deadline: 11 May 2020.

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Flash journals

Here’s a selection of some of the best local and international journals that specialise heavily (or exclusively) in the very short form. Most of these journals are dedicated to flash fiction, but a few are looking for flash nonfiction too.

We haven’t included journals that publish flash along with a mix of other forms, although there are plenty of those too (see Publications for some good leads).

A3 Review

Atticus Review

Bath Flash Fiction

Best Small Fictions


Cheap Pop


Everyday Fiction

Fictive Dream

FlashBack Fiction

Flash: The International Short Fiction Magazine

Flash Fiction Magazine

Flash Frontier

Ghost Parachute


Jellyfish Review

Lost Balloon


MoonPark Review

NANO Fiction


New Flash Fiction Review

Okay Donkey

Paper Darts


Popshot Quarterly

SmokeLong Quarterly


The Drabble

Tiny Essays

TSS Publishing

Vestal Review





[100 word story]

3AM Magazine


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Year’s Best Science Fiction

Paper Road Press is calling for submissions to its Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy, Volume II.

Editor Marie Hodgkinson will read stories of up to 10,000 words from any sub-genres within the sci-fi and fantasy umbrellas. Stories must have been published between 1st January and 31st December 2019.

Don’t miss this paid opportunity, with stories included in the anthology paying NZ 1.5c per word.

Find out more here and check out last year’s anthology, which included work from Hagley Writers’ Institute graduate, Toni Wi.

Deadline: 1 March 2020.

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Page & Blackmore ​Short Story Competition

This year’s New Zealand Society of Authors’ annual Page & Blackmore Short Story Competition will be judged by Mandy Hager.

Winning and shortlisted stories will be published in the Horizons anthology, and prizes include book vouchers and cash, with $500 for first place.

The maximum length for entries is 1500 words, and the entry fee is $20.

Find out more about the competition.

Deadline: 31 March 2020.

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MiNDFOOD Short Story Competition

For each month of 2020, Mindfood magazine will select one short story for publication. At the end of the year, Mindfood readers get to vote for an overall winner of Best Short Story.

Focused on emerging writers, this is an excellent opportunity to get your writing in front of a wide audience.

To get a feel for what the judge’s are after, have a read of Flotsam and Jetsam, Kathryn Van Beek’s wining story of 2019.

Stories need to be close to 2000 words, but stories of 1900 to 2100 words will be considered.

See the call for entries.

Deadline: 8 October 2020.

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The Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction

Open internationally, the Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction is accepting entries of up to 400 words.

Run by TSS Publishing, this is a great one if you’re looking to get your writing to a wider audience, as all winning and shortlisted stories will be published online.

The prizes are generous too:

  • First place: £1000  
  • Second place: £300
  • Third place: £200
  • Shortlist: £50.

This year’s judge is the acclaimed flash fiction writer, Elisabeth Ingram Wallace. As she says on her website, “I just want to read a creepy/weird/face-melting/clavicle-crunching story ….”

You can find the terms and conditions, and enter here.

Deadline: 15 March 2020 (midnight, UK time).

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Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition

“It was 3am…”

The first three words of entries to this competition are set, so if this prompt sets your mind whirring (or if you can work this beginning into one of your existing stories), then get entering!

In it’s ninth year, the Cambridge Autumn Festival’s Cooney Insurance Short Story competition offers some excellent prizes to stories up to 1500 words:

  • First place: $1000
  • Second place: $500
  • Third place: $250

Read more about the competition and download the entry form. Postal and online entries accepted. Open to New Zealand permanent residents.

Deadline: 31 January 2020

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Poems in the Waiting Room competition

The Poems in the Waiting Room competition seeks previously unpublished poems of up to 25 lines. Judge Jenny Powell will award:

  • First place, $175
  • Second place $150
  • Third place $125

The competition is open to New Zealand residents only, and there is no set theme.

Poems in the Waiting Room is a wonderful “arts in health” charity. Dunedin-based, it publishes and distributes free poetry to medical waiting rooms, rest homes, hospices and prisons throughout the country. The poems are carefully selected and aimed at reader enjoyment.

Read more about the competition and about Poems in the Waiting Room.

Deadline: 29 February 2020. Note that entries are by post only.

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Griffith Review novella competition

The Griffith Review‘s eighth novella competition is now open for entries from Australian and New Zealand writers.

The competition is part of the Novella Project publication series, and in this round the editors seek work on the theme of “generosities of spirit”, that is, work that celebrates kindness.

Entries can be fiction or creative non-fiction, and should be around 15,000 and 25,000 words long.

The winning novellas will be professionally edited and published, and the winners will share in a $25,000 prize pool.

Find out more about the competition.

Deadline: 31 March 2020

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International submission opportunities

There are thousands of places to submit your work – too many to cover here! Start discovering new literary journals and competitions via:

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