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The Newcastle Short Story Award is a project of the Hunter Writers’ Centre Inc. and supported by the University of Newcastle.

By entering the Newcastle Short Story Award, the you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions:

Submission Deadline

1. The closing date for submissions is Friday 20 October, 11:59 pm


2. First prize is $3,000. Second prize is $1,000. Third prize is $500.

3. All prizes are cash prizes except voucher awards where indicated.

Who can submit?

4. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.

5. Submissions are open to Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia residing anywhere in the world.

6. The 2023 Newcastle Short Story Award judges, Hunter Writers’ Centre staff and Board members and their immediate families are ineligible to enter.

7. Entrants must provide their own name on the entry form for administrative purposes. If an Entrant prefers to be published under a pseudonym, they must note both their pseudonym and real name on the entry form.

How to submit

8. Entry is online only, and must be submitted via the Hunter Writers’ Centre Newcastle Short Story Award webpage.

9. Multiple submissions are welcome. A separate entry form and separate entry fee of $16.50 (incl. GST) must accompany each entry.

10. Submissions entered into previous Newcastle Short Story Award competitions and not selected in the short-list, anthology, or for prizes may be re-entered.

11. Each submission will receive a Confirmation of Entry email. If you have not received a confirmation email, please check:

    • the entry fee has been deducted from your bank account, and
    • The Confirmation of Entry email is not in your spam or junk folder. COVID-19 resulted in increased malware and spam attacks and some email hosts may block emails generated from websites.

12. If you still have not received your Confirmation of Entry email, please contact us on contact (@)

Submission Formats

13. We accept Word document (.doc, .docx). The file name must only include the title of the story.

14. Text should be presented in 12pt font.

15. Pages should be numbered.

16. More information of the Hunter Writers’ Centre house style, can be found here: Hunter Writers’ Centre House Style Guidelines

17. The word limit is 2000 maximum. This includestitles and any sub-headings. There is no minimum.

18. The judging is conducted blind and the submitted story must not include the author’s name or any features which can identify the author.

19. Entries must not include personal dedications.

20. Poetry and plays are not eligible for entry.

Submission Conditions

21. Entries must be original works of fiction, written by the entrant.

22. Entries may be subject to an academic integrity check.

23. Eligible entries using or referring to Aboriginal content must be in accordance with the Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their heritage (ICIP) guidelines and to the Aboriginal protocols of the region where they have been produced. If a piece includes the lived experience of minority persons or communities, we may contact the entrant to clarify this out of respect for cultural safety.

24. Entrants must acknowledge any quotes or text from other sources used within entered stories.

25. Entry fees are non-refundable if a story is withdrawn from the Newcastle Short Story Award


26. By entering the Newcastle Short Story Award, the entrant warrants that:

    • they have all necessary rights to submit their entry and the material submitted has not been previously published or licensed for publication in any form;
    • their manuscript is their original creation;
    • to the best of their knowledge, their manuscript is not defamatory;
    • their manuscript does not infringe any existing copyright or licence or any other third-party rights. 

27. Hunter Writers’ Centre reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and entrants (including the entrant’s identity, age and place of residence) and to disqualify any entrant who tampers with the entry process. Failure by the Hunter Writers’ Centre to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.


28. Entries must not be published in any form (print or electronic) or currently offered for publication.

29. During the judging period, stories may be entered into other competitions. If a story is short-listed for the Newcastle Short Story Award, the author will be given a 24-hour period to decide whether they want to withdraw their story from the Newcastle Short Story Award or from the other competition/s. Exclusivity is essential for the Newcastle Short Story Award short-listed stories.

30. If, during the judging period, a story is published or longlisted in another competition, the author must immediately notify the Hunter Writers’ Centre and withdraw their entry from the Newcastle Short Story Award or withdraw from the other competition.


31. Judging is conducted blind and all entries are anonymous.

32. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with either the judges, the staff or the Board of the Hunter Writers’ Centre. 

33. We unable to provide feedback on individual entries.

34. The judges, in their absolute discretion, may disqualify any entrant or entries if they reasonably suspect any unlawful or improper conduct, such as infringing a third party’s intellectual property rights, or if there has been a breach of these terms and conditions. 

Media and Communications

35. Prize winners may be required to participate in media-related events associated with the competition.

36. By entering the Newcastle Short Story Award, the entrant agrees to the Hunter Writers’ Centre sending opt-out correspondence.


37. By entering the Newcastle Short Story Award, the entrant gives permission to Hunter Writers’ Centre to publish their work in the anthology if selected by the judges. The copyright to the work is retained by the author.

38. As publisher of the anthology, Hunter Writers’ Centre has First Publication Rights to all submitted works and may use any title or phrase from any entry for the purpose of promoting the competition and the anthology.

39. Any collection or publication after the Newcastle Short Story Award that includes the author’s story should acknowledge this competition.

40. Copyright in the shortlisted stories resides with the author. The short-listed author grants the Hunter Writers’ Centre an exclusive license to publish the story in relevant Hunter Writers’ Centre print and online publications for three months after the date of first publication, and thereafter a non-exclusive license indefinitely to publish the stories whole or in-part online or in print.


41. Authors whose stories have been selected to be published in the Newcastle Short Story Award anthology will be notified in late November or early December.

42. Authors selected to be published will be contacted directly. We do not contact entrants who are not successful.

43. Shortlisted stories and authors will be announced on the Hunter Writers’ Centre’s website and social media channels.

44. The 2023 Newcastle Short Story Award published anthology will be available late January 2024.


45. To the full extent permitted by the law, Hunter Writers’ Centre will not be liable for any delay, death, injury, damages, expenses, or loss whatsoever (whether direct or consequential) to persons or property as a result of any person entering into the competition or accepting or using any prize, including without limitation non-receipt of any prize or damage to any prize in transit and the Prize winner’s failure to comply with the terms and conditions (if any) specified by any third party. 

46. The entrant agrees to indemnify Hunter Writers’ Centre against any loss or damage resulting from any breach of the terms and conditions above and acknowledge that Hunter Writers’ Centre may, in its absolute discretion, not award any prize to entrants for breach of the warranties above.