Getting your short stories published

Have you written a great short story that you want to get published soon? Perhaps even earn some money from it? I do! I’ve been scouring the internet, looking for places to get my fiction out there. This is what I discovered …

There are numerous competitions, both in New Zealand and internationally. Many of them require an entry fee. Each competition has its own set of eligibility rules, so it pays to read the small print. A lot of them ask that you write to a theme, and there are varying word count requirements. 

Close up of books on desk in library. Image from iStock.

The site that has the most current and useful list of local competitions is the NZ Writers College website. To keep on top of the deadlines, it would be wise to keep a list or add recurring reminders to your calendar, as many of these competitions occur annually.

I can also see that it would be useful to build up a back catalogue of stories, just waiting for the right opportunity to be launched.

Here are the top three publishing opportunities and competitions open at the moment.

1 kiss me hardy 

NMIT’s very own kiss me hardy arts and literary journal is open for submissions until Monday 7 September 2020. Creative writing students from around New Zealand are invited to submit fiction up to 2,500 words. Entries of essays, reportage and poetry are also invited. The theme is ‘home’ and what it means to you.

‘We invite you to explore what ‘home’ means to you – is it a place, a person, a time, memories, emotions, a state of mind, a spiritual place, turangawaewae or a connection to tangata whenua?’

More details and entry contacts can be found on the kiss me hardy website.

2 NZ Writers College competition

NZ Writers College aim to support beginner writers through this competition, so writers have to be previously unpublished or have been published fewer than four times in any genre. Short stories of up to 2,000 words will be considered, and the first prize is $1,000 and publication in an anthology of winning stories. The top three submissions will also receive feedback on their submitted works.

The theme for this competition is ‘What we took for granted’ and the competition closes at midnight on Wednesday September 30 2020. Details can be found on the NZ Writers College website.

3 Mindfood magazine

Every month until October 2020, Mindfood publish one reader’s story. Staff vote for their favourite at the end of the year, which wins $1,000. They invite submissions before Saturday October 10 2020 from budding non-professional writers. Entries must be 2,000 words in length and previously unpublished.

More details can be found on the Mindfood website.

Best of luck!


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