The Ringwood Short Story Competition 2023
Ringwood Publishing has held a Short Story Competition each year since 2020. As a country built and thriving on literature, Scotland is home to many incredible writers who go unacknowledged every year. Ringwood wants to bring some of those underrepresented voices to light. Writers residing in or originally from Scotland are encouraged to send their best work to our panel of judges.
We welcome submissions from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, disability or religious belief. We are looking to hear from everyone and welcome anyone who wants to contribute to the rich tapestry of our literary history. Your voices matter.
The 2023 Competition is now open, with a final closing date of 1st December 2023.
The winning writer will receive a prize of £100 and publication on our website; up to two runners-up will also receive acknowledgement and publication on the website.
In 2023 there will be two new prizes:
The Leela Soma Prize
The winner of the Leela Soma Prize will receive £50. This new prize will be awarded to the best entry from a writer of colour who identifies as Scottish by birth or residence or has a Scottish connection. This prize is named after Ringwood author Leela Soma who was the principal force behind the creation of the Kayva Prize in 2022 at the University of Glasgow. Entrants for this prize will also be eligible for the main prize. Anyone wishing to be considered for this prize should indicate their eligibility and interest in their cover letter.
The Grant Muir Prize
The winner of the Grant Muir Prize will receive £50. This new prize, named after the late Ringwood Company Secretary, will be restricted to entries from existing or previous Ringwood Interns, staff or authors. For reasons of perceived fairness, these entries will not be eligible for the main prize. Anyone wishing to be considered for this prize should indicate their eligibility in their cover letter.
The full rules and criteria are outlined below. Please read them carefully before submitting any entry.
2023 Ringwood Short Story Competition: Full Terms and Conditions
Ringwood wants to celebrate up-and-coming writers with a Scottish connection, so the competition will be open to all writers based in Scotland, or who have previously resided in Scotland, or who identify as Scottish.
Ringwood particularly welcomes and encourages submissions from underrepresented communities, including but not limited to people from people of colour, LGBTQ+ and/or disabled communities, women, and non-binary people. Ringwood seeks to encourage diverse voices and shift the gaze of the literary scene from decades of the ‘norm’ to become more inclusive. The participation of ‘new Scots’ from diverse backgrounds can enrich the diversity of mainstream Scottish literature.
The age limit requires that entrants must be at least 16 years of age at the date of submission.
Entry is £2 per story, entries must be short stories with a maximum word limit of 3000, and the final deadline is Friday 1st December 2023. Payment to be made via the Pay Submission Fee button at the bottom of these Rules and Terms and Conditions .
We are only accepting contest submissions electronically. Please email the entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any writer is welcome to submit up to five stories, each as a separate submission with its own £2 entry fee. You will receive a confirmation email once your submission and payment have been received.
The winner of the first prize of £100 will be announced in late December 2023 with the winning entry and at least one other being published on the website at the same time as the announcement of the results.
Please include a cover letter containing your contact details, any previous publications and your residence in Scotland (if applicable) or your Scottish connection, This letter should be the first page of your entry.
Entries should be sent as a double-spaced Word document. Please include page numbers, use an easy-to-read font (Arial or Times New Roman), and have the subject of your email read ‘Short Story Submission.’ All entries will be judged anonymously.
Once payment has been made and your entry is sent to email@example.com, you will receive a confirmation email notifying you that your piece has been received and accepted.
Entrants can have had other work published; short stories, poetry, novels or similar. However, entries for this competition are restricted to short stories that have not been previously published. Simultaneous submissions to other competitions are accepted and encouraged, though please let us know if your piece is subsequently accepted for publication elsewhere, since it will then be ineligible for this competition. And if that happens, many congratulations!
The judges’ decision is final, and any entries received after the deadline will not be considered.
No postal entries shall be considered.
We will not be able to offer feedback on individual entries.
It is recommended entrants read the 2020, 2021 and 2022 winners to get a sense of the standards required to compete.
The winner of our first-ever short story competition in 2020 was Mónica Ferreira. You can read her story, ‘The Shoes’, and learn more about her here.
The 2021 winner was Emily Miller. You can read her excellent story, ‘A Study of Perambulation’, here.
Be inspired rather than intimidated by these excellent stories, and please believe that you can match or exceed those standards.