London Short
Story Prize

Our annual London Short Story Prize seeks to discover, publish and profile the best stories and writers coming out of the capital.

The Prize is now open for its sixth year of entries. The 2018 judges are authors Guy Gunaratne, Clare Fisher and literary agent, Sarah Such.

The winner will receive £1,000 and a meeting with an agent. Two highly commended authors will receive £250 and a meeting with an editor. Further prizes include spaces on Spread the Word courses, and membership to the London Writers Network. Additionally, the winner, highly commended and shortlisted writers will see their stories published in the London Short Story Anthology 2018, produced by Kingston University Press and launched in April 2019.

Entry is £8 per story (up to 5,000 words). We’re also offering 50 free entries to low-income writers. To apply for this please e-mail with your name, postcode and a short paragraph on why you are eligible for a free entry along with supporting documentation.

You can find out more about what this entails in the Prize rules and guidelines listed here. If your question or query isn’t listed then please get in touch. Writers can submit online or by post. All postal entries must have an entry form attached to their submission.

The deadline to enter is 5pm on Monday 17 September 2018. 



2018 JUDGE

Guy Gunaratne

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Guy Gunaratne grew up in North West London and has worked as a designer, documentary filmmaker and video journalist covering post-conflict areas around the world, as well as co-founding two technology companies. His debut novel is In Our Mad and Furious City.


2018 JUDGE

Clare Fisher

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Clare Fisher was born in 1987 in Tooting, south London. Her debut novel All the Good Things was published by Penguin in 2017. In June 2018 her first collection of short stories, How the Light Gets In, was published by Influx Press.


2018 Judge

Sarah Such

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Sarah Such is a literary agent and founder of Sarah Such Literary Agency, a thriving London-based independent representing a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction, YA and children’s. She has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year three times at The British Book Awards, 2017, 2014, 2013, and previously held a variety of senior publishing roles including publicity director at Penguin Books UK, senior editor at Hodder & Stoughton and editorial director at Duckworth. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahsuch.


“I’m looking forward to judging Spread The Word’s London Short Story Prize 2018. It’s an important initiative and one that brings new writing to the surface in the very best way, allowing everyone to appreciate a form that is desperate for more voices.

A great short story attempts the impossible. It’s a form that demands much of a writer. I think the bar will be set high – it needs to be to find something that compels a reader, that nourishes a reader, and leaves a lasting impression with so few words.

I want to read something fearless. A story that really takes risks, attempts something new and reflects London’s vitality and invention. This city to me is language, so if I come across a story that tries something courageous, I’d be intrigued.”

Guy Gutarane, London Short Story Prize 2018 Judge


Top tips from previous winners of the London Short Story Prize

  • London Short Story Prize


  • Archive

‘Roots and Bones’ by Anton Rose
an extract

  • Fiction

‘Kitchen Sink Mutinies’ by Selma Cordoso
an extract

  • Blogs

‘T-t-television’ by Kerstin Twachtmann
an extract

  • Fiction

Alun Evans on the
MA Publishing LCC Podcast

  • Interview

Listen to Maria Thomas on
MA Pub LCC podcast

  • Interview

Dylan Brethour on the
MA Publishing LCC Podcast

  • Interview

‘The Visitor’ by Bren Gosling
a reading and interview

  • Interview

An INTERVIEW WITH MARIA THOMAS – London Short Story Prize 2017 winner

  • Interview

An Interview with Foye McCarthy
London Short Story Prize 2016 winner

  • Interview


2017 Winner
Maria Thomas

2016 Winner
Foye McCarthy

2015 Winner
Joanna Campbell

2014 Winner
Ruby Cowling

2013 Winner
Clare Fisher


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