2012 Annual Short Story Award

This competition is to acknowledge excellence in creative writing in the Short Story genre. The contest is open to any emerging writer residing in New Zealand or Australia, who has had fewer than four stories/articles published in any format (print or digital).


  • First Prize: $1 000.00 plus entry into one of our short courses
  • Second Prize: $ 500.00
  • People’s Choice Award $ 250.00

Top three entries will be published on our college site and the top five winners will receive editorial comments on their submitted works.

THEME: Full Circle

DEADLINE: 30 September 2012


  • Entry is limited to New Zealand and Australian residents only.
  • Entrants must submit a story of maximum word count: 2000 words. Any entries exceeding the word count by 50 words will not be considered.
  • We aim to support and acknowledge beginner writers, so we only accept stories from writers who have been published fewer than four times in any genre, in any publication (for payment or otherwise). This does not include articles for community or work newsletters where the circulation is under 1000.
  • Stories must not have been previously published. Entrants must own full copyright to the story submitted.
  • Only one story per entrant is allowed.
  • Only e-mail submissions are acceptable, with stories attached as Word Documents. Mark your entry clearly with the subject line: NZWC Annual Short Story Competition, and submit according to rules below.
  • If you have not received an acknowledgement of your submission within three days, please re-send your entry.
  • All submissions must be sent to Nichola Meyer:


  • Your first page of your Word document must include the story title, your name, email address, and total number of words of the entry.
  • Do not include your name on any page of your story, except the title page. All entries will be judged blind.
  • Make sure your story has been edited and polished according to tips and guidelines provided on our college site under “Writing Resources”.

Competition-Archives3  View our Archived Competition Entries Here



The top five entries will be assessed by our panel of award-winning writers. The judges for the 2012 competition are as follows:

Ginny Swart has sold over 450 short stories to women’s magazines all over the world. On any day of every month she has at least 15 stories out there on editors’ desks. Her more serious work has appeared in literary publications in America, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and on the Web. She is also the author of three romance novels (Ulverscroft Press UK) a book of short stories ( and a book for teenagers: Nosipho and the King of Bones (MacMillan Boleswa SA).

In 2003 Ginny won the esteemed UK The Real Writers’ Prize from over 4000 entrants. Ginny tutors the Short Story Course at NZ Writers’ College.

Charlotte Randall is the author of six published novels. Her first novel, Dead Sea Fruit (1995), won the Reed Fiction Award for unpublished manuscripts and Best First Book, Southeast Asia/South Pacific, in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

Her second novel, The Curative (2000), was runner up in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and afterwards was made into a successful play and serialised for national radio. Her novels What Happen Then Mr Bones? (2004) and the Crocus Hour (2008) were also finalists in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Her latest novel is Hokitika Town.

She has been awarded two prestigious writers’ residencies, including the writer in residence at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University and The Ursula Bethell/Creative NZ Residency at Canterbury University.

Charlotte also writes short stories. She has been published in the literary journal Landfall and, out of four entries, has twice made the shortlist of stories receiving special comment from the judges in the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award.

Owen Bullock has published poetry, haiku, tanka, haibun, short stories, essays and reviews in over one hundred publications in eight countries. His books include a collection of poetry, sometimes the sky isn’t big enough, (Steele Roberts, New Zealand, 2010); haiku: wild camomile (Post Pressed, Australia, 2009), and the novella, A Cornish Story (Palores, UK, 2010). His poetry and haiku have won awards on numerous occasions, including 2nd Prize in the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition and Co-Winner of the Haiku International Association Competition, both 2009.

Owen gained an M.A. (Hons) from the University of Waikato. He has been an editor of a number of literary journals, including Poetry NZ, and was the inaugural poetry editor of Bravado. He is currently on the International Editorial Board for both Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Vol. 4, and the online journal, Axon: Creative Explorations (University of Canberra).

Owen tutors the Poetry Course at NZ Writers’ College.

Sonny Whitelaw has enjoyed a successful career as a writer for more than thirty years. Her work as a photojournalist has appeared in dozens of international magazines including National Geographic. She won a Draco Award for her first novel, The Rhesus Factor and all eight of her novels including five based on the television series, Stargate, have been international bestsellers.

A qualified adult educator with an MA in Creative Writing, Sonny taught writing courses to adults and teenagers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2008 she moved with her teenage son to a small lifestyle property in Oxford, Canterbury.

When she’s not having an enormous amount of fun exploring the South Island, Sonny divides her time between researching and writing scientific reports, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and working on a young adult science fantasy series, The Runes of Creation.

Sonny tutors the Write a Novel Course at NZ Writers’ College.

Paul Smith is a veteran journalist, author and former media commentator. He began his reporting career on the Auckand Star in 1964 and then went to London for three years to work on newspapers and magazines. He was a senior reporter for the New Zealand Herald, Dominion and the New Zealand Times.

Paul was New Zealand correspondent for the London Standard for 20 years, and the Sydney Morning Herald’s correspondent for five. As a freelancer his stories have appeared in magazines ranging from the Readers’ Digest to the Guardian and Asian Wall Street Journal.

Paul is a winner of the Sir David Beattie Award for best news reporter in the print media, and a runner up in the 2002 Peace Awards. In 1986 he was awarded a Press Fellowship to Wolfson College Cambridge.

A past President of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN), he has written six best-selling non-fiction books, ranging from social histories to a text on the social impacts of broadcasting de-regulation. Paul has also published short stories and a radio play. He tutors the Magazine Journalism Course at NZ Writers’ College.

CRITIQUES: We unfortunately do not have the time to supply a critique for each submission. If you wish to receive a professional one- to two-page report of your work, please state your requirement on your title page. We charge $45.00 per critique.


  • The competition is open to anyone residing in New Zealand and Australia over the age of 16.
  • The competition closes on 30 September 2012, and winners will be announced and displayed on our web site by 31 October 2012.
  • Prize-winners will be notified via email as well as on our website; please ensure you supply a valid email address with your entry.
  • Prize money will be paid via electronic transfer.
  • We only accept entries written in English.
  • Entrant must own full copyright of the piece.
  • Writers retain copyright, but give permission for their work to be displayed on our website.
  • The judges’ decision is final; no disputes will be entered into.
  • If your entry has not been acknowledged within 72 hours, please contact us. Your mail may have got lost in transit.
  • NZ Writers’ College reserves the right to extend the competition deadline, or cancel the competition should the entries not be of publishable quality or up to the required standard.


nichola2-lb Nichola Meyer at 09 550 4635 or email her.