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Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize 2022

Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize 2022

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The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing.

This competition not only offers a cash prize and writing retreats but to ensure that all shortlist have the opportunity to be published in multiple prints and online journals, have their work put in front of literary agents as well as perform in multiple countries.

SEE MORE: AKO Caine Prize for Writing 2022


First Prize:

Runner-up Prizes:

  •  €750 (two prizes available)

All Shortlisted Writers:

  • Work will be published in a truly smashing, limited edition book published by ourselves truly and launched at the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize Salon, Madrid
  • Publication with one of host’s partner journals: Helter Skelter, The London Magazine, Open Pen,   Prototype, Hotel, Gorse, Kill Your Darlings, Minor Literature[s]
  • In addition, participation in Desperate Literature Prize Salons (Salons, no less) at Desperate Literature, Madrid; Burley Fisher, London; Typewronger Books, Edinburgh;

One Shortlisted Winner:

– Will be offered a spot at the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature, along with a 10-day residency at the Writers’ House of Georgia for a 10-day residency. Moreover, a travel stipend of €400 will be provided.

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Eligibility & Conditions

General Submission Requirement

  1. Entrants must be individuals and not a company or organization.
  2. Entrants must submit their work using their legal name, though pseudonyms are accepted for the purposes of promotion and publishing.
  3. In addition, entrants must be over 18 years of age at the time of submission.
  4. Moreover, employees of Desperate Literature, of any collaborative entity or members of the judging panel are not eligible.
  5. Also, family members of any of the aforementioned are also not eligible.

Short Fiction Requirement

  1. Submissions must be in English.
  2. Submissions must be made in pdf format when paying for your entry. Please do not email stories directly.
  3. Also, submissions that carry an author name will not be considered.
  4. Submissions may include images, but the maximum file upload size per entry is 10MB.
  5. Submissions must be previously unpublished works of up to 2000 words.
  6. In addition, submissions may be made simultaneously to other short fiction prizes.
  7. Entrants may submit more than one story.
  8. The entry fee is set at €20 for the first piece of short fiction and €10 for every further entry with a maximum of five entries per person.
  9. There is offer up to 30 reduced-fee entry places sponsored by Desperate Literature, offering 50% entry to underrepresented writers or writers suffering from financial hardship
  10. Recipients of a sponsored or reduced fee entry may submit a single entry.
  11. Entries that are unpaid, incomplete, corrupted, or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
  12. In submitting work, authors give permission to publicize, promote and to use author names and title of work in publicity.
  13. Entrants also give permission to Desperate Literature to share or publish this book with relevant parties.

How to Apply?

If you consider applying, please apply by emailing [email protected] with the subject heading ‘sponsored entry application’ or ‘reduced fee entry application’ and include your name, contact information, and a very brief summary of your eligibility and why you are applying.

Translated Work

Entrants may be the original author or the translator of the piece, but must have permission to submit and the rights for both pieces, and must be willing to provide proof of both if necessary. Neither the translation nor the original story may have been published previously. Cash prizes will be shared between translator and original author (where possible). Where prizes are for a single entrant (residencies, publication), the original author and translator must agree to organize prize distribution. Where disputes arise, Desperate Literature will award single recipient prizes to the original author.

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Prize Condition

  1. The week-long residency in the Civitella Ranieri Foundation includes two meals a day. However, it does not include travel to or from the Foundation, and the winner must arrive at the foundation on a weekday. Also, the winner has up to one year to claim their place.
  2. Winners of monetary prizes accept to receive transfers by PayPal, except in exceptional circumstances, in which case alternative arrangements can be made.
  3. The winner of the 10-day residency at The Writers’ House of Georgia will be selected by The Writers’ House of Georgia. The winner will be offered up to €400 travel stipend by the de Groot Foundation. Winners of this residency have up to one year to claim their place.
  4. The final say for publication in all associated journals and magazines falls to the editors
  5. Publication in one magazine does not exclude the possibility of having further stories published in the other journals.
  6. Prize participants are responsible for travel expenses to prize events.
  7. The prize winner will receive a manuscript assessment through The Literary Consultancy for a manuscript along with a one hour, one-to-one ‘Online Writer’s Surgery’ follow-up meeting with an editor via Zoom. Moreover, the winner will be given six months to submit their manuscript to The Literary Consultancy,

Review Process

  1. Anything with a strong sense of character, engagement, as well as tension.
  2. All submissions to the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize are read blind by reviewers.
  3. If a reader becomes aware of the writer’s identity, they will withdraw themselves from reviewing.
  4. All entries are read by at least two reviewers before the shortlist is selected.
  5. Long-listed and short-listed entrants will be notified by email once the lists have been finalised.
  6. Also, the shortlist will comprise eleven stories.
  7. Finally, the winners are chosen from shortlist by jury panel and their decision is final.
  8. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted individually.
  9. Moreover, no editorial feedback can be provided.



Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline01 April,2022
Fieldstories and poetry
Open toall
OrganizerDesperate Literature
Contact the organizer[email protected]



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