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Short Story Award

The LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2021

LoveReading is thrilled to announce the launch of The LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2021.

Our Lead Judge and LoveReading Reviews Editor Liz Robinson shares her excitement about the 2021 Awards with all you wonderful writers out there: "With two really successful years behind us, I can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring to our LoveReading Very Short Story Award. Is Covid 19 going to make a difference to our entries? Are writers going to look for sunshine, empathy, and friendship or opt for more provocative themes? We have always had a real variety in our submissions list which appeals to my love of all genres. I also think we have a really interesting decision process, with the judges agreeing the shortlisted ten entries and winner, and then our members voting for their favourite from the shortlist on the site. It will be interesting to see if this year, for the first time, the two coincide. The judges read the entries numerous times, making notes, discussing and debating... while I think (though correct me if I'm wrong), that our members might have a more instinctive reaction to their favourite after a first read of the shortlist. Whether you are an established writer or new to the creative process, we would like to hear from you. So, let us see, help us feel, and encourage our imaginations to run riot, bring on the stories!"


Submissions for the Award will be accepted from 1st July 2020
The deadline for submissions is 5.30pm GMT on 31st October 2020.
The Shortlist will be announced in January 2021.
The Winning Stories will be announced in February 2021.


We invite submissions of stories between 600-1000 words in length, written in English, in any genre. We are accepting entries from overseas as well as the UK. This is an inclusive award. We ask for just one entry per author. We accept stories from both unpublished and published authors but only unpublished stories are eligible for entry.

We are looking for exciting, stimulating, original and beautifully written stories that leave a powerful impression on the reader.

Applicants are invited to enter their submissions via the online entry form below

Please note incomplete entry forms and short stories not submitted in accordance with the entry instructions will not be eligible for consideration.

If you have any questions about this submission process email

Submit Your Story


The entries will be judged blind by our panel. They will only see the title and the story itself when embarking on the judging process. From the entries submitted, the judges will draw up a shortlist of 10 short stories, from which they will select the winning entry.

LoveReading reserves the right to increase or reduce the number of entries selected for the longlist and shortlist at their discretion.

The judging will be fair and independent. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Our judges are: Liz Robinson (LoveReading Reviews Editor), Maxim Jakubowski (author, translator, editor), Joanne Owen (LoveReading Editorial Expert and author), Matt Bates (book industry aficionado) and Beth Morrey (debut author of Saving Missy, one of our LoveReading Star Books of 2020).

Our team of five expert judges will be complemented by a People’s Choice award - a unique opportunity for LoveReading members to vote for their favourite story from the shortlist.


The winning authors will be interviewed for the LoveReading website. See our last year’s winners here. They will also receive a trophy and a certificate. The Judges’ Choice receives £300 and The People’s Choice receives £200 in prize money.


These guidelines must be read thoroughly to check that the author’s work is eligible for submission. Any story submitted is done so on the basis that these Terms and Conditions are accepted.

“Award” means this competition to find the best short story which will be called The LoveReading Very Short Story Award 2021. We will also appoint The LoveReading Very Short Story Award – People’s Choice Awards 2021.

“Entrant” means all authors, publishers and / or agents submitting an entry either personally or on behalf of/ with the consent of an author.

The story must be original and entirely the author’s own work and be written for an adult audience.

The story must be submitted in the author’s own name.


Entries for this year's very short story award are now closed. Our judges will now review the entries and choose their winner and shortlist.