Creative writing prize returns

  • Date

    Wed 30 Mar 22

Man writing in a notebook

An international creative writing competition, which last year attracted entries from over 40 different countries, has opened again for its 2022 prize.

The Short Fiction/University of Essex International Short Story Prize is awarded in partnership by Short Fiction journal and the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies. It offers creative writers the chance to win a £750 main prize and a £500 Wild Writing Prize.

Dr James Canton, from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, returns for a second year as one of the judges of the Wild Writing Prize, which celebrates nature, environmental and climate crisis fiction.

Dr Canton, whose book The Oak Papers was featured as Book of the Week on Radio 4, said: “We had some wonderful writing sent in last year. I’ll be excited to see the various forms of work that we get this year – there has been a significant increased interest in the MA Wild Writing recently, along with a rising general awareness of the importance of supporting the natural world both for our own welfare and that of the planet.”

This year the main prize will be judged by Caleb Azumah Nelson, winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2021 for Open Water, and agent Seren Adams of United Agents. Edge Hill Prize-winning author Daisy Johnson will join Dr Canton to judge the Wild Writing Prize.

James Young, Managing Editor of Short Fiction, said: "We're delighted that LiFTS at the University of Essex has once again agreed to partner with us in running the Short Fiction/University of Essex International Short Story Prize. Their support has been invaluable in helping us grow the competition into a renowned, global short story competition, not least through the department's enthusiastic commitment to our popular Wild Writing Prize category. Last year's competition attracted almost 800 entries from over 40 countries, we expect this year's edition to be even bigger."

The submission deadline is 30 June 2022. All submissions should be written in English and no longer than 5,000 words. Find out more about how to submit your entry. The shortlist will be announced in August and the winners in September.