2020 applicants
News

Competition launched for creative writers

  • Date

    Fri 3 Jan 20

Man writing in a notebook

A new international short story competition, jointly launched by our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies will give budding writers the chance to see their work published.

The Short Fiction University of Essex Prize has been launched jointly with literary journal Short Fiction.

Entrants can submit up to 5,000 words, written in prose fiction, before the closing date on 31 March for a chance to win either the £500 first prize or £250 second prize and the opportunity to have their story published by Short Fiction.

All judging will be blind with acclaimed short story writer and novelist Jon McGregor choosing the winning entry from an initial shortlist.

Speaking about the collaboration, which it’s hoped will also deliver training and workshops for Essex students, Professor Elizabeth Kuti, Head of the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies (LiFTS), said: “We are very proud to collaborate with Short Fiction on this exciting competition, which aims to nurture and promote this wonderful, flexible story-telling form.

“We have many short story writers in our Department, with published short story writers amongst our academic staff and PhD students. We believe the short story offers a unique way of commenting on human experience, and that it can be poetic, political, incisive, funny or tragic – its beauty is its encapsulation of a moment, a character, an emotion into crystalline and concise expression.”


Professor Elizabeth Kuti
"We believe the short story offers a unique way of commenting on human experience, and that it can be poetic, political, incisive, funny or tragic."
Professor Elizabeth Kuti Department of literature, film, and theatre studies

Short Fiction’s Editor, Ruby Cowling, said: “It’s brilliant to have Essex as our partner. Their generous support means we will be able to support short fiction writers even better from 2020 onwards. Essex’s long-standing reputation for nurturing excellence in literature makes them a great fit for our Prize and we can’t wait to start reading the fantastic work we know is on its way.”

Dr Jon Crane, teacher and PhD student, and Emma Kittle, PhD student, writer and tutor in creative writing, are among those in the LiFTS community who are have been working with Short Fiction journal.

Professor Elizabeth Kuti added: “We want to encourage more of our creative writing students to jump on board and get involved where opportunities have generously been offered by Short Fiction.”

How to enter the competition.