The London Magazine Short Story Competition 2012 is now closed.

We are thrilled at the response to our first competition and would like to thank all those who took the trouble to send in their writing.

Our judging panel are very much looking forward to reading through all the stories and making their selections.

The winners will be notified in writing by 8 January 2013 and formally announced in a presentation ceremony at The London Magazine Winter Party at the House of Commons on 22 January 2013. Good luck to everyone who entered.

Also, make sure to keep an eye out for our future competitions!


The London Magazine is excited to announce a competition to find the best short stories – in English – from anywhere in the world.

With a prize fund of £1,000, a prestigious award ceremony taking place at the Houses of Parliament and the opportunity to see your work published in the UK’s oldest cultural journal, now is the time to send your creative short fiction to our expert panel of judges.

The London Magazine has always been proud to champion the short story, a difficult yet exciting literary form, and has launched many important literary careers. This is the chance for your writing to be assessed by our editorial board.

First prize: £500

Second prize: £300

Third prize: £200

The winning story will be published in an issue of The London Magazine, both in print and online.

The closing date for postal entries is 26 October 2012.

The closing date for email entries is 31 October 2012.

The entry fee is £15 per story. There is no limit to the number of stories submitted.

  • We will consider short stories of up to 4,000 words in length (no flash fiction). The title is NOT included in the word count.
  • The competition is open to everyone: it is not restricted to those who live in the UK.
  • Prize-winners will be notified in writing by the 8 January 2013.
  • The winners will be announced at The London Magazine Winter Party at the House of Commons on 22 January 2013.


Please refer to The London Magazine before submitting your work to see the type of material we publish.

The competition will be judged by:

Cathy Galvin, Alison MacLeod, Derwent May and

Steven O’Brien, Editor

Cathy Galvin was deputy editor of The Sunday Times Magazine, where she introduced its first fiction slot, launched the ebook short story imprint Fast Fiction and founded The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. She has recently founded The Story Salon: ‘London’s most intimate literary venue’.

Alison MacLeod is a novelist and short story writer. Her stories have been widely published, and broadcast on Radio 3 and 4. Her story collection, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction (Penguin), was ‘highly recommended’ by Time Out and deemed by The Guardian to be ‘as inventive as it is original’. In 2008 her story, ‘Dirty Weekend’, won the Society of Authors’ Short Fiction Award. In 2011 she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, while in 2012 the same story was longlisted for The International Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is currently completing her next short story collection. Her third novel, Unexploded, will be published by Penguin in 2013. She is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester.

Derwent May is a novelist, journalist and poet. He was literary editor of The Listener and the Sunday Telegraph. His latest books are Wondering About Many Women (Greenwich Exchange), a volume of poetry, and Life on the Wing: A Bird Chronicle from the Pages of The Times (Robson Press)

Entry Format


  • Entries must be in English.
  • Postal entries must be single-sided, typed, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple. Each entry must be on a new sheet.
  • The filename of email entries must be the author followed by the title of the story. It must be either a .doc, pdf or .txt file.
  • Entries must be labelled clearly with your name, address and email address on the front page.
  • Entries will not be returned, so please make sure to keep a copy.
  • No corrections can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.
  • Please ensure that you use the correct postage.




  • The London Magazine will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories (including runners up) in the magazine and online.

Payment details


  • Fees are payable by credit/debit card, cheque or postal order.
  • Cheques must be in pounds and should be payable to The London Magazine with your name and address on the back.
  • Credit card payments can be accepted by telephone.
  • Receipt of entry will be received by email regardless of the manner of sending.



  • The winning entries will be notified by post.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot respond to every entry. Only the winning entries will be notified.

Postal entries should be marked ‘Short Story Competition’ and sent to:

The London Magazine
11 Queen’s Gate


Email submissions should be sent to:

The subject line should include your name, the title of the story, and then ‘short story competition’.

Please download and complete the entry form. It must be sent with your story, whether by email or post.

We cannot accept submissions without the entry and payment forms.


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