Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2019

First Prize: $1000. Highly Commended: $250
Theme: All Lit Up
Word limit: Up to 2500 words
Opening date: 00:01AM EST 1 August 2019
Closing date: 11:59PM EST 1 October 2019

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will be awarded for a previously unpublished story of up to 2500 words on the theme ‘All Lit Up’. The winning entry will receive $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. Highly commended will also receive publication in Mascara Literary Review, and $250.

The winning and highly commended stories will be announced at the festival launch on Friday evening, November 22, 2019.


Effie Carr is a Sydney lawyer and Australian writer of Greek- Australian heritage. Her first novel, Stamatia X, was published to acclaim in 2018, a novel about the migrant experience and the themes of cultural, historical and interpersonal trauma and the effect of these on self recognition and self identity. She is a fiction editor of Mascara Literary Review.

Helena Fox lives in Wollongong, where she mentors and runs writing workshops for young writers. Her debut novel, How it Feels to Float, was published in 2019 by Penguin Random House in North America and Pan Macmillan in Australia/NZ. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in the US.

Submission Guidelines

The theme of the 2019 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is ‘All Lit Up’.

Our aim is to bring marginalised issues into the spotlight; think taboo, grey areas, topics only ever spoken about in hushed voices. It’s about time we looked at these subjects in the light of day, don’t you think?

The theme can be interpreted as broadly and playfully as you like. Feel free to experiment with form and content, but please keep submissions within the word count. Entry fee is $15.

This competition is open to everyone except Wollongong Writers Festival staff, board members, and advisers. Festival volunteers may enter. This is an international competition and writers located outside Australia are encouraged to enter. Please ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions of the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize before entering.

You can read the winning and highly commended entries from the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2018 in ISSUE 23 of Mascara Literary Review.

Submission Instructions

1. Please pay the entrance fee of $15 through bank transfer, or by PayPal for international submissions. Download or screenshot your transaction receipt for proof of payment.
2. Send your entry and payment receipt in ONE email with the subject line ‘SSP Entry 2019’ to:

Your email must have the following:
1. Your name
2. Contact email
3. Phone number
4. The title of your story
5. Attached payment receipt and entry file
6. The state and city in which you live (Optional. This data will help us from a marketing and funding perspective but will not impact your entry in any way.)

Your entry file must:
1. Have only your story title in the file name
2. NOT have your name or other identifying details anywhere in or on the file
3. Be a Microsoft Word document or PDF

For Australian submissions: bank transfer
1. Log in to your online banking account
2. Make a payment of $15 to the bank details below
3. Add your full name to the “Description”
4. Take a screenshot of your transaction receipt

Account Name: Wollongong Writers Festival
BSB: 814282
Account Number: 50799088

For international submissions: Paypal payment
1. Log in to your PayPal account at
2. Select “Send” money
3. Enter the WWF PayPal account email below, then press “Next”
4. Enter $15, and “Add a note” of your full name
5. Take a screenshot of the confirmation

PayPal Account:

By entering the competition, you agree to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2019. For more information please contact

Terms and conditions

Please read the following Terms and Conditions carefully. If you’re still unsure, please send your enquiries to


  1. Stories must be no more than 2,500 words, not including the title.

  2. Submissions must be the original work of the applicant.

  3. Works currently under consideration by another competition or publication, or works that have previously won an award or been published, either online or in print (including personal websites and social media), are not eligible for this competition.

  4. All entries must be in English. Works translated by the author into English will be accepted.

  5. Submissions will only be accepted via the email

  6. The entry fee is $15 AUD per submission. Every submission must be accompanied by payment. There is no limit to the amount of entries.

  7. All entries will be judged anonymously. As such, the author’s name and identifying details must NOT appear on the submission file.

  8. Submissions should be double spaced, in a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman or Arial.

  9. Wollongong Writers Festival staff, board members, and advisers are not eligible to enter. Festival volunteers may enter.

  10. The winner and highly commended entry will be published online in Mascara Literary Review. Intellectual Property remains with the writer, but we ask that the winning and highly commended works not be published elsewhere until after December 2019. Any subsequent publications should acknowledge the Prize and Mascara Literary Review.

  11. The judges’ decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into and it is not possible to make changes to entries once they have been submitted.

  12. Wollongong Writers Festival reserves the right not to award the prize in the event that a suitable winner is not found.

  13. The closing date is 11.59pm EST, 1 October 2019. Late entries will not be accepted.

Please note that as part of the submission process you will be automatically subscribed to our newsletter, from which you may unsubscribe at any time. To stay up to date with competition announcements, visit our website, ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.