Creative Writing Short Story Competition 2023


  1. Submissions for the 2023 Competition will be accepted from May 15th, 2023.
  2. The DEADLINE for receipt of entries is 4pm (GMT) on September 30th, 2023.
  3. Entries will only be accepted through Submittable.
  4. All authors are strictly required to obtain the prior approval of any third party who holds any rights in their story before submitting an Entry.
  5. Entries can be any theme or genre. You can enter any number of short stories but please check you are submitting the correct version of your work before uploading, as mistakes cannot be rectified later. If you have submitted the wrong version or have made a mistake in the work, you can withdraw it and resubmit a corrected version with the word ‘FINAL’ included in the file name. Please note a further fee would be payable. Entries can be withdrawn by logging into your account. To see how to withdraw, please click here. Entry fees will not be refunded.
  6. Fill in the Entry Form and submit your short story via Submittable. All entries are judged anonymously. Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, social media details, etc on the short story document or in the file name as this will result in disqualification.


  1. Format your short story as per the following instructions:
    • Your short story must be written in English
    • A maximum of 3000 words. No minimum. Title not included in the word count.
    • Typed
    • Arial or Times New Roman, 12pt, black
    • Double spaced
    • Include a front page which details the title of the short story and the word count ONLY. The author’s name should not be included anywhere in the document or the file name.
    • No illustrations
    • Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx). We also accept file types .rtf, .pdf, with the short story title as the file name. Please do not include the author’s name in the file name or it will be disqualified. 



1.1 “Competition” means this competition to find the best short story, as determined by the appointed judges, along with two runners-up and which shall be known as the “Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition 2023”.

1.2 “Entrant(s)” means all authors submitting an entry.

1.3 “Entry” means any short story meeting the submission criteria entered for the Competition and “Entries” shall be construed accordingly.


2.1 From the Entries submitted, the judges will draw up a longlist of up to twenty (20) Entries. The judges will then reduce this to a shortlist of three (3) outstanding Entries, from which they will select the winning Entry. Creative Writing Ink reserves the right to increase or reduce the number of Entries selected for the longlist and shortlist at their sole discretion.

2.2 First prize is 1,000, an online creative writing course with Creative Writing Ink, and publication on our website. Two runners-up will receive £200 each. These prizes will be presented to the author of the best, eligible Entry in the opinion of the judges.

2.3 The prize money will be transferred to the bank account of the winning Entrant and runners-up Entrants only.


3.1 The Competition is open to writers across the globe, writing in the English language, aged 16 years or over at the time of submission.

3.2 The Entry must not contain more than 3000 words. The word count should be listed on the Entry and must be precise.

3.3 Entries must be submitted by the author. Entries must be entirely the author’s own work. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

3.4 The author may submit more than one short story, as long as the entry fee accompanies each individual Entry.

3.5 Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, have won or been placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up etc) in any other competition. If your entry has been long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, it is eligible.

3.6 Simultaneous submissions are allowed but will become ineligible should they win a prize elsewhere, be published or scheduled for future publication prior to the date of prize giving. Entry fees will not be refunded. You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

3.7 Entrants warrant that their Entry is original, entirely the Entrant’s own work, does not infringe any existing copyright, moral rights or any other rights of any third party and contains nothing obscene, libellous, unlawful, defamatory or anything which Creative Writing Ink may otherwise deem to be inappropriate, and the Entrant warrants that the Entry is suitable for publication on the Creative Writing Ink website.

3.8 The Competition is not open to employees, tutors, or editors of Creative Writing Ink, any of its associated, affiliated or subsidiary companies, the administrators, or anyone connected with the Competition or their direct family members.

3.9 Entries are limited to short stories written in English. Translations of short stories originally published in other languages and translated into English are also eligible for the Competition.


4.1 Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author but Creative Writing Ink has unrestricted rights to publish the winning, and shortlisted short stories on the Creative Writing Ink website and any relevant promotional material.

4.2 The Entrant acknowledges and agrees that each shortlisted Entry shall be cleared and can be used for publicity purposes to generate coverage for the Competition, in a format, manner and for such time as may be determined by Creative Writing Ink.


5.1 The Competition judges (as appointed by Creative Writing Ink) will select a longlist from which they will select a shortlist of three Entries. Creative Writing Ink reserves the right to increase or reduce the numbers of Entries selected for the longlist and the shortlist at their sole discretion.

5.2 All shortlisted Entries will be contacted personally by telephone. The overall winner of the Competition will be announced on November 15th, 2023, on the Creative Writing Ink website.

5.3 The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into or appeals shall be heard. Judges are unable to comment on individual Entries. Judging is fair and unbiased.

5.4 The judging panel will be appointed by the Competition Director in association with Creative Writing Ink and will include a representative from Creative Writing Ink as well as members of the literary community. Published author Lucie Brownlee will be the final judge. Creative Writing Ink reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.


6.1 The Entry Form, short story and payment must be completed and submitted by 4pm (GMT) on September 30th, 2023.

6.2 Entrants must provide their telephone number and postal address. Creative Writing Ink will only ever use personal details for the purposes of administering this Competition, and will not publish them or provide them without permission to anyone not involved in the administration of this Competition. Uses of personal data received by Creative Writing Ink in the course of the Competition are subject to the privacy policy found on the Creative Writing Ink website. As a condition of entry to the Competition, Entrants consent to their names being published by Creative Writing Ink in connection with the Competition.

6.3 Online Entries are confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to PayPal plus an email from Submittable. Please check your spam folder as emails can land there. It is NOT possible to confirm receipt of Entries by phone or email.

6.4 Entrants must supply full details as required above, and comply with all rules and terms and conditions to be eligible for the Competition. Ineligible, obscene or fraudulent Entries will be automatically disqualified. In the event that any Entrant breaches or Creative Writing Ink reasonably believes that an Entrant has breached these Terms and Conditions, Creative Writing Ink may reject the Entry and/or remove the Entrant from any longlist or shortlist and/or retract the Competition.

6.5 Please note that no Entries can be returned.

6.6 Creative Writing Ink reserve the right to refuse any Entry to the Competition for any reason at their absolute discretion.

6.7 Any author who submits an Entry warrants that they have all necessary consents, approvals, rights and licences required to submit an Entry in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.

6.8 Entrants indemnify and will keep Creative Writing Ink indemnified against loss, injury or damage (including any legal costs or expenses and any compensation costs and disbursements paid or incurred by Creative Writing Ink, on the advice of legal counsel to compromise or settle any claim) occasioned to Creative Writing Ink, in consequence of any breach of the warranties contained in these terms and conditions or arising out of any claim alleging that the submitted Entry constitutes an infringement of any third party intellectual property rights or contains libellous, obscene or defamatory matter.

6.9 There is no alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable and no part or parts of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions.

6.10 Creative Writing Ink will not be liable for any failure of receipt of Entries. Creative Writing Ink have no responsibility or liability for any Entries which are lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid.

6.11 Creative Writing Ink reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the Competition (including altering prizes) if, at its sole discretion, the Competition is not capable of being conducted as specified. Creative Writing Ink reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value in the event that circumstances beyond their control make this unavoidable or such other reasons as Creative Writing Ink may deem reasonable.

6.12 Creative Writing Ink reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions. Any amendments will be published on It is the responsibility of the Entrant to check for any changes to the Terms and Conditions.

6.13 These Terms and Conditions are exclusively governed by the laws of Ireland and Entrants submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ireland. Nothing contained in these Terms and Conditions shall limit the right of Creative Writing Ink, its affiliates or subsidiaries, successors or assigns, to bring a claim against any party in any other jurisdiction.