Why is the short story format gaining in popularity? I will tell you why! It is because it is quickly and easily consumed by people who have little time to sit and work through a long book.
Short stories are short.
And being short, they deliver what a long story cannot. They give the reader a quick burst of enjoyment and a satisfactory conclusion within the limited time frame they have available.
“How do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time.”
People are handing over cold hard cash for that one bite. They don’t want to buy a whole elephant. But they will, over time, if they can have it a bite at a time.
Publishers realize this, and are rewarding short story authors in record numbers. Amazon was inadvertently doing this, by setting up a payment system that rewarded authors by the number of books sold, (which encouraged some dubious authors to write super short fast books that grabbed a larger section of the pie than was fair.)
With the revisions to their KDP payment system, they now pay based on the total number of pages read, correcting some of this imbalance.
Short stories are beneficial to the writer too.
It is easier to produce five – 20,000 word novellas than it is to produce one – 100,000 word epic, and you will likely earn more overall on the novellas, which typically sell for .99 to 1.99 for an e-book, while a novel might run 2.99 -4.99. The price point alone encourages more sales at the lower price point.
Now that you now WHY you should consider writing short stories, the next step is to write! There are a host of competitions available, that are focused on short story submissions. Aerogramme Writer’s Studio has compiled a fine listing of annual competitions for short stories. For further details, please visit their site at the link above.
To get you started, here is a list of 40 short story contests running right now. There are literally hundreds of them annually. If you click on the name of the event below, you will be directed to the entrance page for each contest.
- Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award
- Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
- CBC Short Story Prize
- Caine Prize for African Writing
- Grain Magazine’s Annual Short Grain Writing Contest
- Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize
- The London Magazine Short Story Competition
- Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
- Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
- The Lorian Hemmingway Short Story Competition
- Bath Short Story Award
- Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
- A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest
- Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest
- Prairie Fire Press Short Story Contest
- David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction
- Prism International Short Fiction Contest
- Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
- Red Tuque Books Short Fiction Contest
- Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
- Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans
- Room Literature Fiction Contest
- Narrative Magazine
- Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition
- The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize In Literary Excellence
- The Sunday Times Short Story Prize
- The Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition
- HG Well Short Story Competition
- Writers Digest Annual Writing Competition
- Manchester Fiction Prize
- Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest
- Hourglass Literary Magazine Contest
- Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Award
- John Steinbeck Short Story Award
- Commonwealth Short Story Prize
- Nimrod Literary Awards
- Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize
- Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
- Masters Review’s Short Story Award for New Writers
- The Ghost Story Fiction Award
Honorable mention needs to go to The Ontario Poetry Society, for their exhaustive listing of Poetry related contests.
Remember to peruse my blog posts, there are plenty of short story prompts and ideas to inspire you and get those creative juices flowing! Don’t miss a single blog post, ever! Sign up below and have my blog delivered to your inbox.
Now get writing and start submitting! Your prize awaits!
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