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Writing Opportunities 2023

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

Closing date: 
16 April 2023
Open to all writers over 18 with an unpublished short story in English of up to 2,000 words
Winner will receive €1500 and many other prizes, 2 runners-up €750 and other prizes

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize has opened submissions for its sixth year, along with announcing the panel of authors judging the 2023 prize. It asks for innovative and 'boundary-pushing' short fiction under 2,000 words.

This year's judges are bestselling author Ottessa Moshfegh, Indonesian-English translator and author Tiffany Tsao and Argentinian novelist and short story writer Mariana Enríquez. This year the prize will partner with over a dozen literary organisations, including writers' residences, bookshops, literary journals, a literary agent, and The Literary Consultancy.

The winner will receive €1500; a seven-day stay at the Civitella Ranieri artist's residency in Umbria, Italy; a consultation with Charlotte Seymour of Johnson & Alcock

Literary and commercial fiction, children's fiction; general non-fiction including current affairs, biography and memoirs, history, lifestyle, health and personal development; film and music, graphic novels.

Children's fiction and non-fiction; ages 9-12, teenage fiction, young adult, series fiction.

Also accept adult fiction and non-fiction.

No short stories, poetry or picturebooks.

If you would like the agency to consider representing you for your work, contact them in the first instance by post at the address above. There is no need to phone the office in advance. Please note they do not accept or respond to email submissions.

For works of fiction they ask for a synopsis and three chapters, or approximately the first 50 pages of the novel. For non-fiction please supply a full outline and chapter breakdown along with at least 30 pages of the text. All submissions should be double spaced and on A4 paper.

Remember to include a covering letter with your biographical details and relevant experience, and a stamped addressed envelope either for the return of the manuscript or for a reply.

; a manuscript assessment service of up to 60,000 words through The Literary Consultancy; and a one-to-one editorial consultancy session with one of TLC's editors.

The winner and the rest of the shortlist will be published in a limited edition offset-print book published by Desperate Literature, have their work put forward for publication to the prize's partner journals, and be invited to read at events in Madrid and London in late 2023. Two runners-up will receive €750, and a consultation meeting with Seymour.

Finally, an additional shortlisted writer will be offered a spot at the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature, along with a seven-day residency at the Writers' House of Georgia. A travel stipend of €400 will be provided.

There are 40 fully sponsored entries and 60 reduced-fee entries, available to underrepresented writers or writers suffering from financial hardship. Enter by 1 April if you are applying for a sponsored place.

More details