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What are the top four tips for entering the Newcastle Short Story Award?

  1. Read the FAQs and the Terms and Conditions thoroughly.
  2. Do not enter a work that has been published before
  3. Do not include your name in the submitted document – either in the title or within the body of work.
  4. Read your story out loud to check if your story reads smoothly.
  5. Purchase a past Newcastle Short Story Award anthology to understand the diversity of works selected in previous years. 

How many time can I enter?

As many as you wish. One story = one entry = one payment.

How do I know my story has been entered successfully?

You will receive a confirmation email with the details of your entry. If not received within 24 hours, please check your junk mail folder. We have found the confirmation email likes to hide there sometimes. If you still have not received a confirmation email, please email contact (@)

Is there a theme I need to write on?

There is no theme. You are welcome to write on any subject.

Does my short story have to be fiction?

Yes. The Newcastle Short Story Award is for works of fiction.

Can I use a pseudonym instead of my real name?

Yes, you can but you will be asked on the entry form to also supply your real name – this will never be revealed to third parties.

Is there an exact style and format you require?

We only accept .doc, .docx file formats.

The Hunter Writers’ Centre uses a bespoke house-style within all our publications, and the copy editors make sure the stories within the printed anthology conforms to these styles. For more information on our house style, please see Hunter Writers’ Centre House-style guidelines.

Can I submit a piece I have submitted in the past?

If you have a piece of writing that has been published previously – no.

If it has been written and submitted but not published – yes.

If it has won an award but not published – yes. 

What does ‘published’ mean?

This means any form of publication – printed or online including blog entries, writing groups, within social media groups etc.

Are titles, sub-titles, dedications and other ‘extras’ included in the word count?

Yes! Stick to the word limit to avoid being disqualified.

If my name appears on my work or in the name of the file is it disqualified?

Yes. The most common mistake entrants make is putting their name on the work or in the filename.

Other tips: 

Check spelling mistakes – have a friend read it to check your spelling. 

Read the story out loud.

What if the piece is written for a child to read?

The history of the project is that we publish works written for adult readers.

How old do I have to be to enter the competition?

Anyone over the age of 18 years old, who is an Australian resident or citizen can submit stories into the competition.

Can I include illustrations/drawings/photos in my work?