2011 Annual Short Story Competition


For Emerging Writers in New Zealand and Australia


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



First prize: $1000.00

Second Prize: $500.00

Top two entries will be published on our college site and the top five winners will receive individual editorial feedback on their submitted work.

DEADLINE: 30 September 2011; entries must be sent via e-mail to Nichola Meyer at Entry is free.

THEME: The Curveball


–        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 only accept stories from writers who have been published fewer than four times in any genre, in any publication (for payment or otherwise).

–        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”.


The top five entries will be assessed by a panel of award-winning international writers who tutor at NZ Writers’ College:  We are still waiting for final confirmation from our judges for 2011.

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 Her first novel, Dead Sea Fruit (1995), won the Reed Fiction Award for unpublished manuscripts and Best First Book, Southeast Asia/South Pacific, in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.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, Hokitika Town, was published in 2010.

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.

Henrietta Rose-Innes has written two novels, Shark’s Egg (Kwela, 2000) and The Rock Alphabet (Kwela, 2004), and has compiled a book of South African writing, Nice Times! A Book of South African Pleasures and Delights (Double Storey, 2006).  A number of her short stories and essays have appeared in local and international publications.

Most recently, Henrietta’s story “Poison” won the 2007 Southern African PEN / HSBC Writing Award. She won the 2008 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Ginny Swart has sold over 400 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.

Karen Jeynes studied English and Drama at UCT. Her plays include “Laying Blame”, “sky too big”, “Backwards in High Heels” (co-authored with the cast), “Don’t Mention Sex”, “Kiss Kiss” and the multi award-winning “Everybody Else (is Fucking Perfect)”. She has also directed “The Best Man”, “Pillow Talk” and “Txt Me”. Her adaptation of Thomas Rapakgadi’s “The Purse is Mine” aired on Bush Radio last year, and she is busy writing a radio drama series for Safm with Nkuli Sibeko, tentatively entitled “Office Hours”.

Her teenage novel, Jacques Attack (co-authored with Nkuli Sibeko) was published in 2004, and her new book, Flipside, co-authored with Eeshaam September, is due for release this year.

Alex Smith is the author of three novels. Algeria’s Way and Drinking from the Dragon’s Well were both published by Random House Umuzi. Drinking from the Dragon’s Well was long-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Four Drunk Beauties, her third novel, was published by Umuzi.

Alex has had many short stories published in anthologies and journals. Her short story ‘Buffalo Panting at the Moon’ was short-listed for the 2007 SA PEN Literary Awards.

Most recently her writing appeared in Touch, along with other writers, including Henrietta Rose-Innes, Damon Galgut, Andre Brink, and Nadine Gordimer. Alex was shortlisted for the 2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award. She came second in the 2009 Sanlam Youth Literature Prize and was a finalist for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing.

CRITIQUES: We 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 2011, and winners will be announced and displayed on our web site by 31 October 2011.

–        Prizewinners will be notified via email as well as on our web site; 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.

Enquiries: Speak to Nichola Meyer at 09 550 4635; visit the site for full details at or read the 2010 winning entries.