Victoria University Short Story Prize for New Writers | ($8000)

Open now. Closes Monday 10 June 2019.

About the prize

This annual competition encourages excellent and original short fiction by new writers of up to 3000 words in length. At a grand first prize of $6000, it is a coveted annual fiction award for new writers. There are also two runner-up prizes of $1000. All three winners will be published in the spring issue of Overland.

For the purposes of this competition, ‘new or emerging’ describes a writer who has published no more than one single-authored book with commercial distribution. (That is, writers who have no books, or who have published one book are eligible; writers with two books or more are ineligible).

For queries on eligibility, please email: overland@vu.edu.au.



Entry fee: $12 for subscribers and $20 for non-subscribers.

**Another option is to take out one of our special prize subscriptions: for $56, you get discounted entry to the competition and a one-year discounted subscription to Overland (includes four print issues and the daily online magazine, invitations to subscriber events, and other opportunities and giveaways).

You may also be interested to read the 2018 judges’ notes and the winning stories. Or the 2017 judges’ report and the winning stories.


The judges

Enza Gandolfo is the author of the novels, The Bridge (Scribe) and Swimming (Vanark Press). Enza is an Honorary Professor in Creative Writing at Victoria University.

Steven Amsterdam is the author of Things We Didn’t See Coming, which won The Age Book of the Year debut novel, as well as What The Family Needed and The Easy Way Out (Hachette).

Pip Adam has published a collection of short stories, Everything We Hoped For and the novels, I’m Working on a Building  and The New Animals (VUP).

Michelle Aung Thin was born in Rangoon the same year as the coup d’état and brought up in Canada; she now lives in Melbourne. The Monsoon Bride, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Unpublished Manuscript Fellowship of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2010.


First place: $6000. Two runner-up prizes of $1000 each.
The winning story will be published in Overland 236, spring 2019.
  1. This is a prize for original pieces of short fiction written in English, up to 3000 words in length.
  2. Entrants may be located anywhere in the world.
  3. Stories must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.
  4. Stories that have won or are under consideration in other competitions are not eligible.
  5. The prize is for new and emerging writers. Entrants are eligible only if they have not, by the close of the competition, published more than one single-authored print book (in any genre or form) via a commercial publisher with effective national distribution – that is, distribution in all states. Writers who have published one book, or in multi-authored works, in self-published books or in exclusively electronic form are still eligible.
  6. Submissions will be processed electronically. Stories should be formatted at 1.5 line spacing and a minimum of 12 point font size (unless formally experimental).
  7. The competition will be judged anonymously. The author’s name must not appear on the manuscript or else the story will be disqualified.
  8. Multiple entries are acceptable, although each must be entered into the submission system separately and accompanied by the relevant fee.
  9. Students currently enrolled in or staff who work at Victoria University may enter free of charge by including their student or staff number with their entry. Otherwise, each entry must be accompanied by a fee of $20 or $12 for Overland subscribers.
  10. The winning entries will be published in Overland. Other entries may be considered for publication.
  11. The closing date is 11.59 pm AEST, Monday 10 June 2019. Late entries will not be accepted.
  12. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  13. Overland staff and board members, and their families, are prohibited from entering. All previous, current and ongoing contributors and volunteer readers are eligible to enter.
  14. Winners will be announced early August 2019. Subscribe to the Overland email bulletin to receive announcements as to the results.


Enter the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize as a:

new subscriber – $56

(Includes $12 entry fee and $44 subscription)
Writers can subscribe to Overland for one year (four issues) at a discounted rate, and enter the competition at the special subscriber rate. Take out a new subscription and enter the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize.


current subscriber – $12

Current Overland subscribers enter the competition at the special subscriber rate of $12. Current subscribers enter the competition here.


non-subscriber – $20

Entry to the competition for non-subscribers is $20. Non-subscribers enter the competition here.


Victoria University student or staff member – free

For Victoria University students and staff, entry to the competition is free. VU students and staff enter the competition here.


The Victoria University Short Story Prize is supported by Victoria University, MelbourneVU logo