Writer’s Digest’s 21st Annual Short Fiction Competition

***Please note, there has been an uptick in publishers that are not accepting unagented submissions. Too many presses and publishers are getting mass submissions that do not fit their catalogs. DO NOT submit your work if it doesn’t fit the publisher’s guidelines.

Think you can write a winning story in 1,500 words or less? Then check out Writer’s Digest’s 21st Annual Short Fiction Competition for a chance to win $3,000, a spot in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to their annual conference.

There are prizes for the first place to eleventh place winners. You do have to pay an entry fee to submit to the competition. They accept applications from writers everywhere, with a few exceptions (please view their submission guidelines).

banner for the 21st annual short fiction competition

How to Submit to Writer’s Digest’s 21st Annual Short Fiction Competition

Interested in submitting? Great! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Your word count cannot exceed 1,500 words.
  • Entry forms must have the word, line, and page count listed where requested.
  • All entries must be in English.
  • Only original works unpublished at the time of submission in print, digital, or online publications will be considered.
  • Self-published work in blogs, on social media, etc., will be considered.

All entries must be made online through their submissions manager. They do accept simultaneous submissions but ask you to remove your work if you decide to publish elsewhere.

Unfortunately, I do not know their submission fee, but if it’s of a similar price to their big competition, it’ll be around $35.

The deadline to submit is December 15, 2020.

To learn more and to view their submission guidelines, click here and here.

Good luck to all of you who choose to submit. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.

And if you are accepted, please let me know! I’d love to read your work and pass it along to a friend.

Want more publishing opportunities delivered straight to your inbox? Then please consider signing up for my weekly newsletter for advanced notice of upcoming opportunities!

Stay safe, everyone.

Until next time.



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Danielle Adams

Danielle Adams

Danielle Adams is a writer and editor for a local marketing agency. She has formerly worked as a writer for the Investing News Network and as an editor for Whetstone, a bi-annually published literary magazine. Aside from writing, Danielle has an unabiding love for all marine life and the outdoors. She loves taking long hikes with her husband and cooking delicious meals in the kitchen.


8 Responses

    1. Strangely enough, they have pushed back a lot of their deadlines this year due to a lack of submissions. I don’t think a lot of writers are either writing or submitting due to all things pandemic. 🤷‍♀️

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