Feature Writing Competition 2016

photo © Daniel Go, 2011




1st Prize of £500

2 x Runner-up Prize of £100

PLUS, a selection of short story titles for all shortlisted writers

DEADLINE: 06 March 2016, 11:59pm (GMT) NOW CLOSED




THRESHOLDS is the only online forum dedicated to the reading, writing and study of the short story form. One overall winner will be chosen, followed by two runners-up. We are inviting submissions in either of the following feature categories:

Author Profile: exploring the life, writings and influence of a single short story writer.

We Recommend: personal recommendations of a collection, anthology, group of short stories or a single short story.**

FULL COMPETITION RULES CAN BE FOUND HERE. Entries should be emailed to: thresholds@chi.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Feature Competition’.

The winning and runner-up feature essays and shortlist will be published on the THRESHOLDS Forum during 2016.



For the first time in the THRESHOLDS Competition, we are delighted to announce that friends of Thresholds have provided a selection of fantastic short story titles as prizes for our 2016 shortlisted writers. These prizes come from the generous teams at the Bath Short Story Award, the Bridport Prize, Comma Press, Daunt Books, Salt Publishing, Unthank Books, and Writing Maps with Treehouse Press.

Along with their cash prizes, our winning and runner-up writers will each receive a Writing Map, plus 2 short story publications. The remaining shortlisted writers will each receive a whopping stack of 9 short story titles, plus two Writing Maps (taken from the selection above).


We are sometimes asked what we mean by ‘feature essay’:

The answer is a non-fiction essay that has an engaging style. Something that makes us want to stop what we’re doing and pick up the story being recommended, or find a collection by the author being profiled. The judges hope to see a range of styles and approaches in the feature essays, and interesting or experimental angles are certainly welcome. We look, above all, at the quality of prose, the insights offered, and your ability to really hook your readers. The focus must be on the short story form.




Previous winning essays:
2015 winner: The Laureate of the Veld by Richard Newton
2014 winner: Wolves at the Hearthside by Sharon Telfer
2013 winner: A Trio of Irish Short Stories by Nuala Ní Chonchúir
2012 winner: H.P. Lovecraft by Geoff Holder

The runners-up can be found here.


LOGO_BathSSThe Bath Short Story Award launched in 2012 and has rapidly become established as one of the prominent short story competitions in the UK. Prize title: Bath Short Story Award 2015.


LOGO_Bridport Prize2the Bridport Prize was founded in 1973 and has steadily grown in stature and prestige. Today many thousands of entries are received from over 80 countries worldwide. Prize title: the Bridport Prize 2015.


LOGO_CommaPressComma Press is a not-for-profit publishing initiative dedicated to promoting new writing, with an emphasis on the short story. Prize titles: The BBC National Short Story Award 2015 and The Book of Tokyo – A city in short fiction.*


LOGO_DauntBooksDaunt Books’ imprint is dedicated to publishing brilliant works by talented authors from around the world. Prize titles: One Point Two Billion by Mahesh Rao and The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg.


LOGO_salt-publishing-limitedSalt Publishing was founded in 1999 and now publishes around twenty books of contemporary British fiction a year. Prize titles: Best British Short Stories 2015 and Fly Away Home by Marina Warner.


LOGO_UNTHANK-BOOKSUnthank Books is an independent publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction, Unthology and Writers in Conversation. Prize titles: Unthology 6, Unthology 7 and Unthology 8.


LOGO_Writing_MapsWriting Maps contain at least twelve extended and thought-provoking writing exercises created to suit writers of all genres and levels. Treehouse Press books are unique and beautiful objects that may shift the way you look at the world. Prize titles: How to Write a Story, My Writing Life and The Voice and Point of View Map; LOGO_TreehouseLost Souls by Becky Mayhew and Writers in the Crowd: Stories.



To note:

• The Competition is open for non-fiction entries only. Short story submissions will NOT be accepted.

Entries will be judged anonymously. Your name, address, or email address should NOT appear on the manuscript.

• The entrant warrants to THRESHOLDS’ editors that the essay is original to him/her, that he/she has the full power to agree to the Competition rules of entry, and that he/she is the sole author of the feature essay.

• The entrant warrants to THRESHOLDS’ editors that his/her essay is in no way whatsoever a violation of any existing copyright and that it contains nothing libelous.

• The judges’ decisions are final and no discussion will be entered into once work has been submitted. The judges reserve the right not to make the award if the quality of entries does not merit it.

• By entering the competition, you are deemed to have agreed to the full competition rules.



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