for writers and readers….

International writing competition on Sex and Gender

Till Death Us Do Part by Edward Leighton

For the past eleven years Stringybark Stories has run international short story competitions from their base in Australia.
David Vernon, Editor and Judge, wrote to tell me that this year they are running a competition focussing on sex and gender issues.

Over to David…

The Stringybark Sex and Gender Short Story Award 2021

We are looking for great short stories that address any issues relating to human relationships from a sex or gender perspective. Subjects that could be explored in a fictional context include: romance, sexual violence, love, lust, harassment, bullying, LGBTIQ+, equality, respect, disrespect, consent, care, empathy, empowerment, redemption, discrimination etc. We want stories that illuminate these issues but also that give us hope for a better future. The story must be: • 1500 words or fewer in length; • related to sex or gender issues; and • written for an audience aged 16 and above. We have an award pool of over $1000 in cash and books to encourage you in this endeavour, provided by our sponsor Stringybark Publishing. Entries close 18 July 2021.

  • romance
  • love
  • lust
  • equality
  • respect
  • redemption
  • consent
  • care
  • empathy
  • empowerment
  • sexual violence
  • harassment, bullying
  • disrespect
  • discrimination
  • etc etc

Stringybark Publishing want stories that “illuminate these issues but also that give us hope for a better future.”

Length Max 1500 words


One story – A$14.00

Two stories – A$26.00

Three stories – A$36.00

PRIZE Stringybark say: We have an award pool of over $1000 in cash and books to encourage you in this endeavour
DEADLINE 18 July 2021
Find out more HERE
And even more HERE on Stringybark’s FAQ page

Marginal drawing in a medieval manuscript British Library Stowe 17 f. 143

Something to bear in mind…

Read all the conditions carefully – they have a lot of rules about formatting for example. They like Times Roman. I don’t. Can’t stand it, but if I were entering Times Roman it would be…

Entering this particular competition means that you have also given permission for publication – like a lot of competitions they publish anthologies of the best entries.

If you win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place or your entry is highly commended publication is automatic. You get the prize money and an ebook copy of the anthology.

They make it clear that they can also ask to publish your entry even if you aren’t placed in the competition . If that happens, they will publish it without paying a fee or giving a free copy.

Something else to bear in mind

People sometimes write to me asking for more detailed information and the simple answer is that I don’t have it. All I can do is read the terms and conditions the same way you can. I publish the information in good faith and I try to flag up anything that seems unusual or I would want to think about if I were entering.

Scams do exist and it’s right to be wary – even about free to enter competitions.

There’s a really good blog post written on the subject in May 2019. It offers advice on how to avoid competitions that only exist to exploit writers and their love of writing. It is on an excellent American website run by Anne R Allen with Ruth Harris. I would encourage everyone to subscribe – it’s always interesting and always relevant.

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