How to Win Short Story Competitions: Second Edition


The fastest way to get ideas

Two highly experienced writers and competition judges discuss everything they know about entering, judging and (most importantly) winning short story competitions, in an easy-to-follow question and answer format.

You'll learn:

  • exactly what competition judges are looking for
  • how scoring systems work
  • how to score highly in every category
  • what impresses judges and what turns them off
  • how to write an exceptional short story
  • which types of competition give you the best chance of winning
  • how to avoid being disqualified
  • and much more

This new edition includes updated and expanded content, a table of contents and index, and two award-winning short stories.

140 pages.

From just £2.99 / US$3.99.

Kindle edition:

Paperback edition:


Customer reviews (for the first edition)

"An informative book for the writer at any level to hone their skills in short story writing. Written in plain English and easy to understand. This is the only guide you need to fulfill your dreams of first prize accolades. I highly recommend this book to have pride of place in your bookshelf. Great Xmas gift."
Frances Johnson
Member and ex-Vice President of Gold Coast Writers’ Association,
Queensland, Australia.

"This book delivers more than its title promises. I read it to find out if I wanted to pursue short story contests … but I also found some real gems for improving my writing and chances of being published."
Summa Nulla

"Written in conversational style, this book for me is like having a private lesson with two experts in the field. Easy to follow and understand. It contains very useful inside information for anyone wanting to enter (and win!) short story competitions. It is divided into easily absorbed chunks and I would say it covers just about everything one would need to know on the subject."
AM Jones

"The marking scheme for short story competitions opened my eyes and it will definitely change my approach when I plan a story in the future. Lots of fantastic information packed into a quick and easy read. Highly recommended."
D Wilkinson


About the authors

Dave Haslett is the founder of ideas4writers, the ideas and inspiration website, and has judged several competitions on the site, some of which attracted hundreds of entries.

Geoff Nelder is an award-winning short story writer and novelist, and was the fiction judge for the Whittaker Prize in 2009 and 2012, and the FunFic international fiction contest in 2018.


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