My Writing Journey – International Short Story Competition

This competition is free, and open to writers from around the world.

Write us a 600-word piece on the theme. Make it funny, quirky or inspirational.

We’ll publish the best piece in our newsletter and on our blog – plus the winner receives $200 (R1 000 or £100).

THEME: The best writing tip I’ve ever received

CLOSING DATE: 30 June 2018

Send your story to



Here are the past winners for the ‘My Writing Journey’ competition:

‘My Movie Moment’ by Tracy Solea – winner January 2018

‘Weird, Minus One House-Point’ by Carmen Marcus – winner September 2017

My Big Fat Regret‘ by Leonie Fourie and ‘My Writing Journey‘ by Glenn McGoldrick – joint winners May 2017

My Journey as a Writer’ by Heinrich van der Walt and

 ‘Neuroses and Nirvana‘ by David Whitaker – joint winners January 2017

 ‘Full Circle’ by Natalie Swain – winner September 2016

‘The Hundredth Day’ by Do Hyun Kang – Winner July 2016

‘The Writing Lobe’ by Eileen Kennedy – Winner March 2016

‘Meeting the Potato Farmer on the Road to Publication’ by Gabriella Brand – Winner Dec 2015

‘Haymaker’ by Clinton Matos – Winner September 2015

‘African Dream’ by Olakunle Oladiran – Winner May 2015

‘Magic’ by Thorne Busakwe – Winner January 2015

‘My Writing Journey’ by Nkaela Mocumi – Winner September 2014

‘It Started with a Bang’ by Marianne Saddington – Winner June 2014

Read the March 2014 winning entry here.

Read the December 2013 winning entry here.

Read the September 2013 joint winning entry here.

Read the September 2013 joint winning entry here.

Read the May 2013 winning entry here.

Read the February 2013 winning entry here.

Read the December 2012 winning entry here.

Read the September 2012 winning entry here. 

Read the June 2012 winning entry here.

Read the February 2012 winning entry here.

Read the November 2011 winning entry here.

Read the September 2011 winning entry here.

Read the June 2011 winning entry here.

Read the April 2011 winning entry here.

Read the February 2011 winning entry here.

Competition Rules:


  • Only e-mail submissions are accepted, with stories attached as Word Documents.
  • Mark your entry clearly with the subject line: My Writing Journey Competition.
  • Each story must have a unique title. Do not use the theme as your title.
  • Use a font such as Arial or Times New Roman, size 12 or more. Use 1.5 or double spacing between lines. We prefer a clear break (i.e. open line) between paragraphs, rather than indenting.



(NZ Writers College, SA Writers College, UK Writers College)

Established in 2005, we are an online writing school with three country-specific branches offering over 35 specialist online writing courses run by multi-award-winning authors, journalists, scriptwriters, poets and copywriters.

From journalism to creative writing courses to writing for the web, for the past 12 years our courses have offered one-to-one tuition at an affordable cost. We have trained thousands of satisfied students worldwide.

Our tutors have collectively accumulated more than 40 international writing awards, including many Qantas Awards, several Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, four Emmy Awards, the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, ATKV Awards, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Pen/HSBC Awards, the Sir David Beatie Award, the George Foster Peabody Award and the Reed Fiction Award.

We offer no-nonsense, practical, challenging training for writers who are serious about getting published. We employ award-winning, professional writers as our tutors who provide expert feedback for every line you write. Read reviews of our writing courses here.

36 thoughts on “My Writing Journey – International Short Story Competition

  1. I just sent through my entry and am really hoping you enjoy it, the money would help tremendously towards my magazine journalism course at SA Writers College

  2. I’m absolutely ecstatic at being a part of SA Writers College. It’s a totally new world to me, and it’s just invigorating to experience so much activity in one compartment.Thanks to the founders of SA Writers College.

    To all aspirant writers – make your future as writers blossom.

    1. Hi Leona,

      The competition is open to any writer – beginner or not, and regardless of where you live.

      Look forward to hearing from you again.

      Best wishes,
      Nichola (Editor of The Writers’ College Times)

    1. Hi Arlette,

      You can usually be 50 words over or under a stipulated word count of 1500 or 2000 words, without being disqualified from a writing contest.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Kind regards,

  3. Hey, I just cant find any competition rules or a guide to what kind of format you would like the submission to be.
    Should I just send the story with the contact information in no specific format?

    Thanks 🙂 sorry for the bother

    1. Hi Arlette,

      Thanks for your message.

      We don’t have a specific format requirement. When submitting stories anywhere, what usually works well is to:

      – use a font size 11 or 12
      – use good-sized margins all around the text
      – 1.5 line spacing and
      – make sure your paragraphs are clearly separated, either using an open line between paragraphs (our preference), or indenting the first line using tab.

      The competition is open to any writer, anywhere.

      We look forward to receiving your submission!

      Best wishes

    1. Hi Daniel,

      That would be fine. However, the closer you can get the word count to 1000, the better.

      Best wishes,

  4. Hi, i just wanted to ask, what type of personal information are we supposed to put into the email we send you? I want to submit my story to you’re competition for 2015. I just want to know about the personal info… thanks

    1. Hi Gaurangi,

      Most entrants provide their name and surname, and email address. However, some writers prefer to use a pseudonym, and that is fine too. We don’t require any other personal information.

      Kind regards,

      1. Thanks so much, I am so excited to send my writing journey to your competition.
        When, and how, do the winners receive payment, should they win?
        Thanks Nichola

        1. Hi Gaurangi,

          We can either pay by Paypal, if you have a Paypal account, or directly into your bank account if you reside in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia.

          Best wishes,

    1. Hi Bryan,

      Yes, we don’t mind if you submit more than one entry. You might consider entering one story per competition, and then enter four times per year for the four different deadlines.

      Best wishes,

  5. Hi, I’ve just sent my story, very exciting times! Just wanted to make sure – the word count tool automatically includes commas. Is that alright?

    1. Hi Elana,

      That should be fine. You can be 17% over or under word count without being disqualified.

      We look forward to reading your story.

      Best wishes,

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