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World Tales Short Story Competition

World Tales Short Story Competition

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UNESCO with a joint partnership with Idries Shah Foundation launches “World Tales” Short Story Competition. The competition aims to foster imagination, resourcefulness and ingenuity, UNESCO and the Idries Shah Foundation (ISF) launch the World Tales Short Story Competition in close collaboration with the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities of UNESCO (ICCAR). Young teenagers from all over the globe will get an invitation to write about the challenges of today and tomorrow in the format of a short story, and share their perspectives.


Entries must be

  • Short stories of 250 to 500 words.
  • Typed in English or French using Arial 12-point Regular font.
  • Original unpublished works of fiction.
  • Stories on the potential for future societies to be fair, inclusive, peaceful, resilient, sustainable and/or tolerant.


  • Three Laureates — Gold, Silver, and Bronze — will be selected from each of the seven national and regional Coalitions forming ICCAR. All 21 names will be announced on December 2020.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will unfortunately not be possible to organize a high-level conference at UNESCO Headquarters, as initially planned, and to invite the laureates to attend.
  • All will get invitations to attend an online Award ceremony in December 2020 during which the names of the seven Gold winning laureates will be announced.
  • Each of these Gold winning laureates will receive an iPad.
  • The Idries Shah Foundation will publish the work of the 21 laureates in a special edition hardcover book. It will feature all winning short stories and honorable mentions and will be made available in ePub format.
  • All winning laureates will receive a copy of the book and a personalized certificate.


Participants must be between 12 and 18 years old (inclusive). The Competition is open to all regardless of their nationality or city of residence.

Evaluation Criteria

Selection Committee will evaluate short stories primarily on their degree of creativity and imagination. Participants will benefit from particular leniency for potential grammatical and linguistic mistakes.

Useful Links 


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline15 October,2020
Open toAll



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