LIVE Reads – Short Story Competitions


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In keeping with the theme of short stories, we've sourced a few cool writing competitions - some for kids as young as 9 to enter!

So you have a way with words and dream of becoming an acclaimed writer, but you’re not sure how or where to start? Entering writing competitions may be a good idea then.


Our latest issue of Live Magazine featured a review on short story collections by Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman and Karren Russell. 


In keeping with the theme of short stories, we’ve sourced a few cool writing competitions – some for kids as young as 9 to enter!



Random Struik House


Randon House Struik, the publishers of James Patterson’s novels in SA, are hosting a competition to celebrate the release of Patterson’s new book, Confessions of a Murder Suspect which will be coming out in October later this year.

Some of Patterson’s famous works include the Middle School, Daniel X and Witch Wizard series. In 2010, he was voted Author of the Year at the Children’s Choice Book Awards in New York.

Patterson is passionate about encouraging children to read, and invites students to write short stories of their own as part of this competition.

Check out the author’s shout out to SA in the video below:

The competition is divided into two fields, one for Kids (9 – 12yrs old) and the other for Young Adults (13 – 17yrs old).

All you need to do is write a fictional short story of no more than 1000 words.


The winner will receive R5000 cash and a set of books worth R10 000 for their school library.


The winning school will also be able to nominate a disadvantaged school of their choice to receive another set of books worth R10 000.


There are also 3 runner-up prizes of a set of books worth R5000 each for the school libraries of the selected winners.


DEADLINE: 31 March 2013



1. Entrants must be living in South Africa.

2. Entry is via

3. Stories must be your own original work in English and meet the length requirement.

4. By submitting the story, the young author grants non-exclusive print and digital rights to Random Struik House (Pty) Ltd.

5. Winners will be notified by the end of April 2013.

6. Your information will not be shared or used for any other purpose other than to inform you should you win.

7. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Visit for more info



Paperight Young Writers Anthology 2013



High school learners from around South Africa are invited to submit their original short stories, essays, poetry and black-and-white illustrations for inclusion in this ground-breaking new collection.

The collection will be selected, edited and compiled by a collective of literary editors and designers and will be distributed in print (through a national network of Paperight outlets) online and on mobile phones, potentially reaching an audience of hundreds of thousands of young readers.

To enter, all you have to do is submit a short story or essay of no more than 2000 words on any topic. Illustrations submitted should be in grayscale or black-and-white, and should fit on an A4 page.


The authors of the best poem, essay, short story and illustration will each win R1000.


Submissions can be sent electronically to, or by post to Paperight Anthology, 3rd Floor, Sunclare Building, Dreyer Street, Claremont, 7708.

If you have any concerns, queries or problems with submission, contact

DEADLINE: 22 March 2013



1. Submissions will be accepted in English, Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans, and can be on any subject.

4. All submissions must be accompanied by a short letter with your name, contact details (phone number and/or email address), your school, your grade, the title of your work and its word count.

5. You may submit a maximum of five pieces. Do not send any original copies of your work as we are unable to return your submissions.

6. Writers and artists whose work has been selected for the Anthology will be notified of the decision by phone or email by 8 April 2013.

7. The Anthology will be published in May 2013.

8. Judges and editors’ selections are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Visit for more info



SA Writers’ College


SA Writers’ College are hosting their annual Short Story Competition for Emerging Writers in South Africa.

The competition is to acknowledge excellence in creative writing in the Short Story genre. The contest is open to any emerging writer residing in South Africa who has had fewer than four stories/articles published in any format (print or digital).

All you have to do is submit a story of no more than 2000 words on the theme “Doing the Right Thing”.


First Prize: R 5000 plus entry into one of our short courses

Second Prize: R2000

People’s Choice Award: R 1000


The top 5 entries will be published on the SA Writers’ College website and the top 5 winners will receive editorial comments on their submitted works.


Send your submissions to

DEADLINE: 22 March 2013



– Your first page of your Word document must include the story title, your name, email address, and total number of words of the entry.

– Do not include your name on any page of your story, except the title page. All entries will be judged blind.

– Make sure your story has been edited and polished according to tips and guidelines provided on our college site under “Writing Resources”.


THE JUDGES: The panel of judges for 2013 include Ginny Swart, Lisa Lazarus, Karen Jeynes, Alex Smith and Sarah Lang.



1. The competition is only open to South African residents over the age of 16.

2. Any entries exceeding the word count by 50 words will not be considered.

3. Only entries written in English will be accepted.

4. Entrant must own full copyrights of their work. Writers retain copyright, but give permission for their work to be displayed on our website.

5. We aim to support and acknowledge beginner writers, so we only accept stories from writers who have been published fewer than four times in any genre, in any publication (for payment or otherwise). This does not include articles for community or work newsletters where the circulation is under 1000.

6. Stories must not have been previously published.

7. Only one story per entrant is allowed.

8. Only email submissions are accepted, with stories attached as Word Documents. Mark your entry clearly with the subject line: ‘SAWC Annual Short Story Competition’, and submit according to the rules.

9. If you have not received acknowledgement of your submission within three days, please re-send your entry or contact us.

10. Prizewinners will be also notified via email, and a list of winners will be displayed on the SA Writers’ College website by 30 April 2013.

11. Prize money will be paid via electronic transfer. 

12. The judges’ decision is final; no disputes will be entered into.

13. SA Writers’ College reserves the right to extend the competition deadline, or cancel the competition should the entries not be of publishable quality or up to the required standard.

Visit for more info



The Chaeli Campaign




The Chaeli Campaign presents DisABILITY Dreams, a short story writing competition that encourages writers to create stories that challenge current understandings and misunderstandings of disability in South Africa.

The Chaeli Campaign has launched this competition with the aim of encouraging budding African writers to talk about disability.

Submissions should be no more than 600 words.

Entries should be emailed to with ‘Chaeli Short Story 2013’ in the subject line. You can also post or deliver entries to The Chaeli Cottage, 18 Culm Road, Plumstead 7800 Cape Town.


DEADLINE: 22 March 2013



1. Stories must be previously unpublished and must be the exclusive work of the entrant.

2. Entries may be in English, Xhosa or Afrikaans.

3. All entries must contain the entrant’s name, the title of their story, their physical address, date of birth and contact details.


Visit for more info