like pigeons they fly

Attention short story writers! Got a story that needs to be set free?

A story you abandoned when it was messy and unfinished, that still has potential? One you could revise & turn into something whole?

A piece that’s been rejected once or twice, one you liked but never sent out again because those ‘no thanks’ emails made you lose faith?

Or, best of all, a brand new polished story you love? One that pinches your heart, makes you smirk or just fills you with joy?

Well, good! Because here are some places you can send those babies:



Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize, theme of travel (can be interpreted creatively), stories to 3000 words, due November 17.** deadline has been extended – now due December 2**

Alan Marshall Short Story Award, stories to 2500 words, due December 12.

Hal Porter Short Story Competition, stories to 2500 words, due December 13.

Literary journals or anthologies:

Thrill Me anthology. stories that thrill (don’t have to be ‘thrillers’), free submission, flash fiction welcome, to 3000 words and chosen blind, due Oct 31.

Griffith Review, ‘Getting on’ theme, free submission, due November 1.

Overland, no current deadline.



Commonwealth Short Story Prize, *free to enter*, for writers from anywhere in the  Commonwealth, stories 2000 to 5000 words, due November 1

Fish Short Story Prize, stories to 5000 words, due November 30.

Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest, stories to 6000 words, emerging writers only, due November 30.

Hamlin Garland Award, stories to 7000 words, due December 10.

Literary journals and anthologies:

Banshee Lit, for flash fiction to 1000 words, stories 1500-5000 words, due by Oct 31

Granta is open Oct 13 to Nov 13, submissions any length but 3000 – 6000 words preferred.

Clarkesworld, no deadline. For sci-fi and fantasy (no horror), 1000 – 22,000 words.

The Fiction Desk accepts submissions of general short fiction or ghost stories 1000 – 20,000 words, due January 31.

The New Yorker, no deadline, free submissions.

Good luck! x

9 thoughts on “like pigeons they fly

  1.   Hi, Fiona,Great list, thank you. I tried to reply on the post, but WordPress  often seems to have a mind of its own. It decided today that I don’t exist. Pity.Warm wishesMaureen


    • Hi Sonia, that’s great, yes, send that story!
      And of course, share the list with anyone you like. It’s by no means comprehensive but I think I’ve covered most of the upcoming Aussie comps (at least the ones I know of). There are lots more places to submit, especially overseas. Plenty more online journals too, both Aussie and overseas, but I’ve always liked the print ones. Which is kind of silly since I bet the online ones are read by many more people!
      Good luck with your story 😊

      • Hi FIona, Thanks for allowing me to share its on Armadale Writers group Facebook page witrh credit to you. Probably online is read more but like you I prefer the physicality of print. HAve a busy run up to the new year so will see what I can get done.Thanks once again.

  2. Thanks for this, Fiona! I do have a short story which I thought was “SO GOOD” but I read it again recently and I’m not surprised it’s been rejected a ton as it turns out, it’s actually “SO CRAP”. I do want to rework it though!

  3. Oh that happens to me all the time – I’m excited by a story and think it’s got potential, then read it later and go OH. Sometimes after it’s already been sent somewhere 😳
    Happy homing for your reworked story!

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