Short Story Prize

166 Brick Lane


E1 6RU


Every day

020 7247 0216

At Brick Lane Bookshop we’re excited to launch our first prize in 25 years!

Read more about our history here.

In 2019, we're sponsoring a short story competition, the inaugural Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize, which is now open for submissions.

We're offering:

£1000 First Prize

£200 Second Prize

£50 Third Prize

The winners and longlisted entrants' stories will be published in the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize anthology, in autumn 2019.

Our aim is to celebrate short stories and to give emerging writers encouragement and a little financial space to write.

We're looking for new, exciting and diverse voices.

The prize is open to all UK residents for original short stories between 1000 and 5000 words.

Longlisted stories will be read and judged by our panel: Zoe Gilbert, Kit Caless and Emma Paterson.

Zoe Gilbert is the author of Folk, currently longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and is a previous winner of the Costa Short Story Award.

She's a co-founder of London Lit Lab, where she teaches creative writing. She was also a previous attendee of the Brick Lane Bookshop writer's group.

Zoe says "I love stories that surprise me - be that with their form, language, imagery, plot or attitude."

Kit Caless is a publisher at Influx Press. He's spotted such short story greats as Eley Williams and Clare Fisher. Kit is also a writer and regularly contributes to magazines such Vice and The Quietus. Some of his favourite writers are ZZ Packer, JG Ballard, Nicola Barker and Michael Chabon.

Kit is after "Writing that plays with form, writing with a strong voice, a story that hasn't been told before."

Emma Paterson is a literary agent at Aitken Alexander Associates. Emma represents Chris Power, Sharlene Teo and Megan Hunter, among others. 

Emma is looking for "a story that pays attention to language, atmosphere and place, and a story that lands."

How to enter:

Please save your entry as a doc, odt or PDF file.

Use the title of your story as the file name.

The writer's name must not be anywhere on the document.

Use 12pt, black, double spaced in a clear font, each page should be numbered.

Deadline for receiving entries is midnight, 25/05/19

Pay the entry fee of £8.

Please use this Paypal button to pay your entry fee and paste your order number in the body of your email.

Send all entries to

Please use 'Prize Submission' as your email subject heading.

Terms and Conditions

Stories must be between 1000 and 5000 words (not including the title).

Stories must be for adults.

Stories must be written in English.

All submissions are blinded to judges.

Long-listed and short-listed writers will be notified when they have made the list.

No editorial feedback can be provided.

The judges' decision is final.

Entrants must be over eighteen.

Entrants must be residents of the UK. Proof of address will be required at the longlist stage.

Entries must be received before the deadline of midnight, 25/05/19

Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Entries must be an original work of fiction by the entrant. No non-fiction or poetry will not be accepted. 

Your story must be unpublished and not scheduled for publication. Please let us know if this changes.

The story must be the entrant's own original work.

Entries will not be accepted from members of the Brick Lane Bookshop team. 

The entrant may have had other work published.

The copyright remains the author's but Brick Lane Bookshop have the right to publish the story.

The story can not have won or have been short-listed for another prize.

Multiple entries from the same author are accepted, but each entry is £8.

We are sorry that unsuccessful entrants cannot be contacted.

Please email any queries to:

Congratulations to the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize 2019 winners!

First Prize: A Body Is an Empty Vessel, James Mitchell

Second Prize: Life with Animals, Rosanna Hildyard

Third Prize: Hot Butter on Repeat, Judith Wilson

And to the Short/Longlistees, all published in our anthology:

The Girls, Isha Karki

The Four Kind Women, Melody Razak

The Weight of Nothing, Toby Wallis

Black Gull Beach, Ellen Hardy

Lowenna's mother-in-law, Holly Barratt

Olive and Red, Kerry Hood

One for Sorrow or, In the Garden of

Wasted Things, T. Schroeder

Open House, Emily Bullock

The Littoral Zone, Sylvia Warren

The Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Longlist 2019 is now available to buy.

Free postage to the UK before Christmas.