Short Story Award

In 2012, we launched the Costa Short Story Award for a single short story. This is run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system.

What is the Costa Short Story Award?

Costa Book Awards logoThe Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words written in English.

The competition is open to any writer, published or unpublished, aged 18 years or over and resident in the UK or Ireland who submit their stories anonymously via this website.

It's up to the public to read the top three stories shortlisted by the judges and vote for their favourite, with the winner and two runners-up being announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony in January.

Check below for more information on how to enter, voting and key dates.

Key dates for the 2019 Award

Entry opens

Early June 2019

Download and vote

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Shortlisted Writers Revealed

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Winner Announced

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Costa Short Story Award 2018 - Winner

Caroline Ward Vine, a former magazine publisher and now a strategic consultant to the creative industries and education, won the 2018 Costa Short Story Award for her work 'Breathing Water'.

Costa Short Story award winner Caroline Ward Vine

You don't need a publisher or an agent to enter the competition - just an idea and a talent for writing

Got a question?

We receive many enquiries about every aspect of the Costa Book Awards, so we've taken all the most frequently asked questions and answered them here.

Costa Book Award 2018 winners


Click here for full Costa Book Awards terms and click here for full Costa Short Story Award terms.