Newsletters

NEWSLETTER #14 (18/5/2022)

Hi everyone,

In this newsletter you will find:

  • Info about our new winter short story competition (starting soon)
  • Details about our autumn poetry competition (on now)
  • Member shout out (Written a book? Hosting an event? Let us know)
  • The word of the week (it sounds quite painful)
  • The winners from our autumn short story comp (bravo)
  • Our 2022 competition dates (three down, five to go!)
  • Our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us!)

To steal a phrase from a well known television series, winter is coming! And to celebrate that fact, our winter themed short story competition will be opening in just under two weeks time. The contest will run from June 1st to July 31st, with results being announced mid-August.

Prize money will be $200, $100 and $50 for first, second and third, while any highly commended entries (we will be selecting up to six) will receive $20. All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

Stories must be 5000 words or less. Make them cold and wintry.

Entry will be $10, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this via email) may submit additional stories at the discounted rate of $5 per entry. But remember, this is for additional entries only and your first story will still require a $10 fee.

Please note, the payment links for this competition will not be available until June 1st.

All prizes and fees are listed in Australian dollars. International entries are most welcome. For all the details please visit www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Meanwhile our autumn themed poetry competition is open now and has a month to run. It will close June 15th. As our poetry competitions tend to be smaller entry wise than our short story comps, we will initially be selecting just one winner and two highly commended entries. This may be increased depending on the number of entries we receive.

First prize will be $50 while each highly commended entry will receive $25. Entry is only $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for $5. All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

All the details can be found at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

In this week’s member shout-out we would like to highlight the work of Jennifer Hetherington, a poet, author and illustrator from New South Wales. She is currently on the campaign trail promoting her poetry book Between Coastal Rocks & Softer Places. The blurb states –

This first poetry collection reflects on environments, physical and emotional, that traverse several decades of musings. From the wispy winds of ‘I Sail’, to the forlorn ‘Tick of the Clock’, to a black cat tour in an English cemetery ‘The Resting place at Highgate’.

Other works will take you to the water, a place of magic colours, and sacrament, a reverence…or loss…

Shifts in mood, voice and rhythm allow for short episodes, some with ironic humour. Intertwined narratives, for light or folly, are just that. Not so unique are stories of family, meant for thinking deeply.

To find out more about Jennifer and her work, or to purchase a copy of her book, please visit https://www.jenniferhetherington.com.au . She can also be found on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenniferhetherington.creative

If any of our members have published a book, won an award or are holding a writing event, please let us know and we can give you a shout out.

Today’s word of the week is one I stumbled across as a child while I was flicking through a dictionary (yes, I occasionally read dictionaries). I thought it was so cool that I used it ad nauseam at school, driving my teachers mad in the process. I’m sure at times I wasn’t even using it correctly, but it didn’t matter because I sounded so smart (cough, cough) when I dropped it into a conversation! The word is deracinated which means to be uprooted from one’s natural geographical, social, or cultural environment. I’m sure some of my teachers wanted to deracinate me!

_

For those who may have missed it, last weekend we announced the winners of our autumn themed short story competition. Here they are –

1st – Autumn in the Orchard by Stephen Smithyman

2nd – Dream Catcher by Alice Richardson

3rd – The Turning of the Leaves by Kirily McKellor

Highly commended – An Aunt in the Country by Janeen Samuel

Highly commended – Figures on Canvas (Autumn) by William Bean

Highly commended – When Autumn turns to Fall by Monique Hutchinson

Highly commended – Remembering Autumn by Karen Payne

Highly commended – Falling by Jay Creighton

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

All details are at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

If you are receiving this via email you are on the mailing list. The mailing list includes all previous entrants and those who have requested to be on it. If you would prefer to be taken off the mailing list, just send us an email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.

If you have any questions about our competitions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

2022 autumn themed short story competition results

Hi Everyone,

The judging of our autumn themed short story competition is complete. Once again we were blown away by not only the quality of the submissions, but the diversity of what we received. From the heart breaking to the uplifting, from nostalgic reminisces to comedic episodes, your stories contained it all!

The stories were assessed using a blind reading process. This allows us to judge the story as it is, without the added bias of knowing who wrote it. This is especially important for us as we are running multiple competitions with very little turn around time. Many writers are entering more than one competition – which is great, we love it – but we don’t want our familiarity with the names influencing our judging. So we believe that a blind reading process is the fairest way.

We were looking for stories well told that met the theme of the competition, and I think the work we have settled on definitely reflects that criteria.

So, without further ado, here are our esteemed autumn themed short story competition winners –

1stAutumn in the Orchard by Stephen Smithyman

2ndDream Catcher by Alice Richardson

3rdThe Turning of the Leaves by Kirily McKellor

Highly commended – An Aunt in the Country by Janeen Samuel

Highly commended – Figures on Canvas (Autumn) by William Bean

Highly commended – When Autumn turns to Fall by Monique Hutchinson

Highly commended – Remembering Autumn by Karen Payne

Highly commended – Falling by Jay Creighton

Congratulations to all our prize winners and thank you to all who entered. Those with an eagle eye will notice that William Bean and Janeen Samuel have now become multiple winners, with William also being judged highly commended in our summer comp and Janeen being highly commended in our summer poetry contest. Well done to them!

We will be in contact with the winners early next week to arrange payment.

Thank you

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

Newsletter #13 (8/5/22)

Hi everyone,

In this newsletter you will find:

  • An update on our latest competitions (one has closed, another has opened!)
  • Member shout out (Written a book? Hosting an event? Let us know!)
  • The word of the week (be quick, or you will miss out!)
  • Our 2022 competition dates (three down, five to go!)
  • Our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us!)

Well, the autumn short story competition closed last week and now we are busily reading through all the entries. All I can say is WOW! The quality is outstanding. We will have a complete summary of the competition ready for you next week, including, of course, the all important results announcement. We are on schedule (for once) so look out for it next Sunday 15th. Results will be announced via email and on our social media channels. Thank you to all those who entered.

Our autumn themed poetry competition is now on and a few entries are already trickling in. We need at least 20 entrants to make it a viable competition so please consider entering. Mailing list members (everyone receiving this newsletter via email) can submit three poems for just one $5 entry fee. Not only is that terrific value, it triples your chances of winning a prize and getting published. Prizes are as follows –

1st prize – $50 plus publication.

Highly commended – $25 plus publication.

At this stage we will be awarding two highly commended prizes but that could increase depending on the number of entries. All prize winners will be published in our Four Seasons anthology which will feature the very best writing submitted to our competitions throughout the year. It is due to be released mid December. All prize winners also receive a free copy.

There are no line limits and the only rule is that your poem must be autumn themed. The more autumnal the better.

The competition will close June 15th. All details are at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Mailing list member Kirily McKellor has published her first anthology of verse titled Truth and Other Lies. The blurb states – Her first anthology of verse, Truth and Other Lies showcases the wide range of Kirily McKellor’s poetry, from traditional to contemporary. She ranges from optimistic to bleak, with each poem offering a different look at the world around us.

Copies of the paperback and the ebook can be purchased from www.kirilymckellor.com

There will be a book launch in Ballarat (Victoria) on Wednesday, May 18th at 7pm. Details of the event can be found at https://fb.me/e/2o9irRRxQ

If any of our members have published a book, won an award or are holding a writing event, please let us know and we can give you a shout out.

The word of the week is fugacious. This one had me reaching for the dictionary. It means fleeting, transient, tending to disappear. I am hoping that our competitions here at Short Stories Unlimited don’t turn out to be fugacious.

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

All details are at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

If you are receiving this via email you are on the mailing list. The mailing list includes all previous entrants and those who have requested to be on it. If you would prefer to be taken off the mailing list, just send us an email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.

If you have any questions about our competitions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER #12 (1/5/22)

Hi Everyone,

In this newsletter you will find:

  • An update on our latest competitions (one has closed, another has opened!)
  • Member shout out (Written a book? Hosting an event? Let us know!)
  • The word of the week (increase your understanding!)
  • Our 2022 competition dates (three down, five to go!)
  • Our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us!)

Just a quick note to let you know that the autumn themed short story competition has now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered. Results will be announced on May 15th via our newsletter and social media channels. All winning and highly commended writers will be notified via email. A complete run down of the competition will appear in our next newsletter.

While our autumn short story competition may have ended, our autumn themed poetry competition is just getting started. It is open now and will run for six weeks, closing on June 15th. Entry is just $5.00, with mailing list members (eg. everyone receiving this email) being able to send in up to three poems per entry.

Prize money will be as it was for the summer poetry competition. $50 for the winner, and $25 for highly commended entries. Prize winning poems will also appear in our Four Seasons anthology which will be published late December.

For all the details please visit www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Our newsletter is usually all about what we are doing here at Short Stories Unlimited. But we are sick of writing about ourselves. We want to write about you instead! So, if any of you glorious mailing list members have a book out, or have had stories included in a publication somewhere, please let us know! Or perhaps you (or a group you are involved with) are hosting a writing event, well, tell us about that too! We’d love to give your book/event/achievement a shout out in our newsletter and on our social media. Drop us a line at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com and fill us in!

A word that had me reaching for my trusty dictionary this week was ‘grok’. Apparently it means to understand something quite profoundly. I guess it could be considered as slang seeing as it was first used by author Robert A. Heinlein in his 1961 sci-fi book Stranger in a Strange Land. The book’s main character was a human who grew up on Mars, and, yes, you guessed it, grok is a Martian word, providing yet another example of English stealing from other languages! It was adopted by the youth culture of the time and I grok that it still bobs up occasionally today.

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

All details are at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

If you are receiving this via email you are on the mailing list. The mailing list includes all previous entrants and those who have requested to be on it. If you would prefer to be taken off the mailing list, just send us an email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.

If you have any questions about our competitions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

Newsletter #11 (12/4/22)

Hi Everyone,

In this edition of the Short Stories Unlimited newsletter you will find:

  • An update on our autumn themed short story competition (closing soon!)
  • An update on our Four Seasons Project anthology (compiling now!)
  • The word of the week (it’s a very satisfactory word!)
  • Dates for all our 2022 competitions (two down, six to go!)
  • Our social media handles (follow us, like us, retweet us!)

Entries to our autumn themed short story competition are tracking in a similar fashion to our summer one. Numbers are almost identical five weeks in as they were at the same stage in the summer comp. This pleases us greatly as we were terrified of a drop off!

Also pleasing is that we are attracting new people to our competitions. 30% of the autumn submissions so far are first timers. To continue to offer a variety of competitions and prizes we need to both maintain and grow our contributor base, so the 30/70 split between new and returning entrants is very encouraging.

Every entry counts so please tell your friends about us. While our prize money might not be the most lucrative, our entry fees are among the lowest you’ll find for this type of competition, and we share the prize pool between more entrants than most. Nine writers shared the spoils in our summer competition. NINE! What other competition has nine winners?

Our autumn themed short story competition has less than three weeks to run (closing April 30th). It follows the same format as the summer competition, with prize money and publication in our Four Seasons anthology on offer to all winning and highly commended entries. The entry fee will remain at $10 and while card payments via Stripe will still be available, our preferred method of payment for Australian entrants is now via bank transfer. PayPal is also available. All the relevant details are on the payment portal. International entrants are most welcome. Visit our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com for more.

Prize money will be as follows: 1st – $200, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $50, highly commended – $20. We will be selecting up to six highly commended entries. The 5000 word limit remains and the story must have a connection to autumn. The more autumnal the better!

Now that our two summer competitions have been run and won, we have started to compile and edit the ‘summer’ section of our Four Seasons Project anthology. This involves working out the order the stories and poems will appear in, working with the writers on the final editing of their work, and formatting the stories and poems so that they can be published by the ebook platform.

The anthology will include all winning and highly commended entries from all eight of our 2022 short story and poetry competitions and is expected to be released mid December. Writers with work appearing in the anthology will receive a free copy, while mailing list members will be able to purchase discounted copies. The price for the ebook will be set closer to the release date.

Every now and then while reading your stories we come across words that we have never heard of before and we have to look them up! We like that our writers are smarter than us as it gives us an opportunity to expand our vocabulary. We’d like to include some of these words in our newsletters – a word of the week if you like.

Today’s word is ‘copacetic’. It popped up in one of the summer short stories. It means ‘in excellent order, very satisfactory’. We like it!

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – March 1 to April 30
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

All details are at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

If you are receiving this newsletter via email, you are on the mailing list. The mailing list includes all previous entrants and those who have requested to be on it. If you would prefer to be taken off the mailing list, just send us an email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.

If you have any questions about our competitions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER #10 (31/3/22)

Hi Everyone,

In this edition of the Short Stories Unlimited newsletter you will find:

  • The results of our summer themed poetry competition (woohoo!)
  • An update on our autumn themed short story competition (open now!)
  • Dates for all our 2022 competitions (two down, six to go!)
  • Our social media handles (follow us, like us, retweet us!)

We would like to declare our first ever poetry competition a success! We needed 20 entrants to cover our costs and run a viable contest, and that is exactly what we got. 20 talented poets sent us 42 poems, each of which was a pleasure to read. To continue to offer a poetry option we will need that number to grow, so please spread the word. Our autumn themed poetry competition will open May 1st.

Now, without further ado, here are the winners of our summer themed poetry competition:

1st prize – Gold by Karen Louise

Highly Commended – At the Dermatologist by Janeen Samuel

Highly Commended – On the Cusp in Summer by J. Marahuyo

Prize money will be distributed shortly and the three poems will be included in our end of year Four Seasons anthology. Congratulations to our winners.

As with our summer short story competition, narrowing down the entries to find just three winners was an almost impossible task. So many quality submissions missed out. Once again we used a ‘blind’ reading process to try and make things as fair as possible. Well done and thank you to all who entered.

Our autumn themed short story competition is open for submissions and has four weeks left to run (closing April 30th). It follows the same format as the summer competition, with prize money and publication in our Four Seasons anthology on offer to all winning and highly commended entries. The entry fee will remain at $10 and while card payments via Stripe will still be available, our preferred method of payment for Australian entrants is now via bank transfer. PayPal is also available. All the relevant details are on the payment portal. International entrants are most welcome. Visit our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com for more.

Prize money will be as follows: 1st – $200, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $50, highly commended – $20. We will be selecting up to six highly commended entries. The 5000 word limit remains and the story must have a connection to autumn. The more autumnal the better!

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – March 1 to April 30
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Above all else, keep writing!

Cheers

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

NEWSLETTER #9 (5/3/22)

Hi Everyone,

In this edition of the Short Stories Unlimited newsletter you will find information on:

  • Our autumn themed short story competition (it’s now open! Yay!)
  • Our summer themed poetry competition (it’s closing soon!)
  • Feedback requests (last call!)
  • Interesting things that have crossed our desk this week (relevant to all writers!)
  • Dates for all of our 2022 competitions (one down, seven to go!)
  • Our social media handles (follow us, like us, retweet us!)

Our autumn themed short story competition is now open for submissions. It follows the same format as the summer competition, with prize money and publication in our Four Seasons anthology on offer to all winning and highly commended entries. The entry fee will remain at $10 and while card payments via Stripe will still be available, our preferred method of payment for Australian entrants is now via bank transfer. PayPal is also available. All the relevant details are on the payment portal. Visit our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com for more.

Prize money will be as follows: 1st – $200, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $50, highly commended – $20. The 5000 word limit remains and the story must have a connection to autumn. The more autumnal the better!

Don’t forget that our summer themed poetry competition is still open! It closes at midnight (Melbourne/Sydney time) on March 15 th. Mailing list members may submit three poems for their $5 entry fee (if you are receiving this email, then you are on the mailing list). For the general public entry is $5 per poem.

Your poem(s) must have a summer theme. There are no other rules. There is no line or word limit, although if you want to endear yourself to the judges, 30 page epics would be best avoided.

We will be awarding a first prize of $50 and a number of $25 highly commended prizes. The number of highly commended prizes will depend on the number of entries we receive. The prize winning poems will appear alongside our short story competition winners in the Four Seasons anthology, due out at the end of the year.

As always, entry is via email. All the submission details are on our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com .

If anyone who entered our summer themed short story competition would like some brief feedback on their work, please drop us an email before March 11. Feedback will only be sent if requested. Allow up to four weeks for a response.

For those who have already requested feedback, you can expect to receive it within the next few days.

We recently received notification of an event that may be of interest to our South Australian members. The Mockingbird Writers and Adelaide Writers Workspace are holding an all day writing retreat at the Norton Summit Community Centre on Sunday, March 13, from 10am – 4pm. Cost for the day is $30. This includes a light lunch and morning and afternoon teas.

For more information please visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/272466303047

If you haven’t already visited the Australian Writers’ Resource at www.austwriters.com then I strongly recommend that you do. It contains listings of writing competitions, publishers and writing groups and is updated monthly by its tireless team.

They are also raising money for breast cancer research by pledging to do some absurd number of squats (in excess of 3000 I think), so there is a link to their fundraising page on there as well if you would like to donate.

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – February 1 to March 15
  • Autumn short story comp – March 1 to April 30
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Cheers

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

NEWSLETTER #8 (25/2/22)

Hi everyone,

In this edition of the Short Stories Unlimited newsletter you will find information on:

  • Our autumn themed short story competition (psst – it opens on Tuesday!)
  • Mistakes to avoid during the submission process
  • Our summer themed poetry competition (psst – it’s on now!)
  • Requests for feedback
  • 2022 competition dates
  • Our social media accounts

Our autumn themed short story competition starts this coming Tuesday (March 1st). It will follow the same format as the summer competition, with prize money and publication in our Four Seasons anthology on offer to all winning and highly commended entries. The entry fee will remain at $10 and while card payments via Stripe will still be available, our preferred method of payment for Australian entrants is now via bank transfer. PayPal is also available. All the relevant details are on the payment portal. Visit our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com for more.

Prize money will be as follows: 1st – $200, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $50, highly commended – $20. The 5000 word limit remains and the story must have a connection to autumn. The more autumnal the better!

If you want your submissions to be remembered by the judges for all the right reasons, then please take note of the following:

  • Do not use unusual fonts.
  • Double space your story.
  • Only use one space after your full stops and commas.
  • Do not use anything smaller than a 12 pt font size.
  • Make sure your story is related to the theme.
  • Edit your work.
  • Only include your name and address in the body of your submission email, not the story file.

While you won’t be penalised for poor formatting, making the judges grumpy by submitting difficult to read work is never a good idea. Remember, we are reading lots and lots of stories. Please make it as easy for us as possible.

Don’t forget that our summer themed poetry competition is on now! It closes at midnight (Melbourne/Sydney time) on March 15th. Mailing list members may submit three poems for their $5 entry fee (if you are receiving this email, then you are on the mailing list). For the general public entry is $5 per poem.

Your poem(s) must have a summer theme. There are no other rules. There is no line or word limit, although if you want to endear yourself to the judges, 30 page epics would be best avoided.

We will be awarding a first prize of $50 and a number of $25 highly commended prizes. The number of highly commended prizes will depend on the number of entries we receive. The prize winning poems will appear alongside our short story competition winners in the Four Seasons anthology, due out at the end of the year.

As always, entry is via email. All the submission details are on our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com .

If anyone who entered our summer themed short story competition would like some brief feedback on their work, please drop us an email. Due to time constraints we will only send feedback if it has been requested. Please allow up to four weeks for a response.

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – February 1 to March 15
  • Autumn short story comp – March 1 to April 30
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

We are active on social media. Our social media handles are:

  • Facebook @shortstoriesunlimited
  • Instagram @short_stories_unlimited
  • Twitter @SSUwriters

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Cheers

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

NEWSLETTER #7 (16/2/22)

Hi everyone,

In this edition of the Short Stories Unlimited newsletter you will find information on:

  • Our summer themed poetry competition
  • Minor changes to prize money for highly commended entries in our short story competitions
  • Changes to our preferred entry fee payment method
  • Autumn themed short story competition
  • Opening and closing dates for the remainder of our 2022 competitions

Our summer themed poetry competition is now on! It closes at midnight (Melbourne/Sydney time) on March 15th. Mailing list members may submit three poems for their $5 entry fee (if you are receiving this email, then you are on the mailing list). For the general public entry is $5 per poem.

Your poem(s) must have a summer theme. There are no other rules. There is no line or word limit, although if you want to endear yourself to the judges, 30 page epics would be best avoided.

We will be awarding a first prize of $50 and a number of $25 highly commended prizes. The number of highly commended prizes will depend on the number of entries we receive. The prize winning poems will appear alongside our short story competition winners in the Four Seasons anthology, due out at the end of the year.

As always, entry is via email. All the submission details are on our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com .

We are making a slight adjustment to the prize money for highly commended entries in our short story competitions. For our summer competition, highly commended entries were awarded one cent per word or $20, whichever was higher. We are changing that to a straight $20 payment for the remainder of our ‘Four Seasons’ story comps. This allows us to know in advance exactly how much prize money we will be paying out, which in turn helps with our planning.

Prize money for placegetters will remain the same at $200, $100 and $50 for first, second and third.

We would also like to note that our preferred entry fee payment method for Australian residents is now via bank transfer. Details will be added to the payment portal on the website shortly. Credit card payments via Stripe will still be available for those who prefer to pay that way (and for our international entrants). Paypal is also available.

Our autumn themed short story competition opens in just two weeks time (March 1st). It will run for two months and follow the same format as our summer competition. You know the drill. 5000 words or less, must have a link to autumn, prize money and publication in the Four Seasons anthology for all winning and highly commended entries, etc, etc. Details at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – February 1 to March 15
  • Autumn short story comp – March 1 to April 30
  • Autumn poetry comp – May 1 to June 15
  • Winter short story comp – June 1 to July 31
  • Winter poetry comp – August 1 to September 15
  • Spring short story comp – September 1 to October 31
  • Spring poetry comp – October 1 – November 15
  • Four Seasons anthology publication – Late December

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Cheers

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

NEWSLETTER #6 (7/2/22)

RESULTS – SUMMER SHORT STORY COMPETITION

Phew! What a hectic week.

Our frenzied little reading circle ploughed into your stories as if their lives depended on it. They read until their eyes bled; all because someone (who shall remain nameless) declared that the results of our summer themed short story contest would be announced just one week after the closing date. ONE WEEK!

That is not a long period of time. It is a mistake that I – I mean the person who shall remain nameless – will not make again!

But we got there. The lack of time was not the hardest part though. The hardest part was trying to narrow down our list to three winners and a handful of highly commended entries. We did that by coming up with three categories – yes, no and maybe.

If a story impressed us instantly, it was placed in the ‘yes’ column. If we really liked a story, but felt as if we needed to read it again, it was placed in the ‘maybe’ column. If we didn’t connect with a story, or it failed to address the theme of the competition, it was placed in the ‘no’ column. Let me tell you, the ‘no’ column was our least populated one, such was the quality of the work.

With every story read, and our columns full, we went back and re-read the ‘maybes’. From here they were either promoted to the ‘yes’ column or dropped back to the ‘no’ column. Some we left in the maybes, for yet another reading later on.

When the ‘maybes’ were finally all re-categorised, it was onto sorting through the ‘yes’ column. Lots of re-reading and lots of arguments followed as we narrowed down our selection to a short list, then a shorter list and finally three winners and six highly commended entries. Our initial plan was to have only two highly commended entries, but yeah, you writers are just too talented and we couldn’t decide.

It was agonising having to cut perfectly crafted tales (so many great stories missed out) but we feel the ones we have selected best reflect the summer theme of the competition. None of our winning stories could have been set in any other season but summer, and often it came down to this in deciding which story wriggled its way above another in the pecking order.

But enough of this waffle. It’s drum roll time. The winners of our summer themed short story competition are as follows:

1stLast Summer at Five Pines by Lisa Cortez

2ndGirl In Yellow by Anne Cleary

3rdI Hate Summer by Tom Eskdale

Highly Commended (in alphabetical order):

Cheap Trick on a Summer Night by Gina Dawson

Figures on Canvas by William Bean

Once Upon a Road Trip by Elizabeth g Arthur

Ouroboros by Josephine Sarvaas

Scrambled Not Fried by Deborah Henley

You Know, Cherries by Alida Galati

Congratulations to our winners. We will be in contact with you over the next few days to arrange prize money etc.

These stories will feature in our Four Seasons anthology which will also include the winning entries from our up and coming autumn, winter and spring short story and poetry competitions. We anticipate the ebook being released in late December.

We had 56 entries in all, a fair effort for our first competition.

The longest story we received was 4939 words (Liza Cortez’s winning Last Summer at Five Pines). The shortest was 457 words (William Bean’s highly commended Figures on Canvas). The average story length was 2343 words.

We had four international entries (including Anne Cleary’s second placed Girl in Yellow which made its way to us from New Zealand).

Topics were many and varied, but none were about surfing! (Very disappointing people). As expected the beach featured in quite a few stories, as well as bush fires, drought and extreme heat. Breasts were everywhere! Barely a story went by without some sort of reference to breasts. Surprisingly, illness and death were the main themes of many entries, something I wasn’t expecting. Betrayal, relationship issues and family disharmony were also quite common. Some stories were quite harrowing.

Just a reminder that our summer themed poetry competition is now on (closing March 15th). As mailing list members you get to submit three poems for your $5 entry.

And, of course, our autumn themed short story competition will begin March 1st.

Details of all our current and future competitions can be found on the website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Thank you for all your support,

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER #5 (1/2/22)

Our summer themed short story contest has closed. Thank you very much to everyone who entered. Being our first competition we were unsure of the support we would get. We shouldn’t have worried. The trickle of entries we received during the opening weeks of the competition became a flood as the closing date drew nearer.

Thank you also to those who offered us encouragement and kind words. Many of the entrants added short notes to their submission emails, thanking us for running the competition and providing them with an opportunity to write. It was our absolute pleasure.

Now, for us anyway, the fun part begins. We get to read your stories! It will be an intense week of reading. Announcing that the results would be released on February 7th was perhaps a tad ambitious, but we will do our best to get there!

The results will be published on the website, our social media pages and also our next newsletter (all hopefully on February 7th). Winners will also be contacted by email shortly afterwards to arrange prize money etc.

While our summer short story contest may have ended, our summer themed poetry competition has just begun! No rest for the wicked! All details are now on the website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

As mailing list members (anyone receiving this email) you may submit three poems for your $5 entry fee. The mailing list includes all previous entrants and those who have requested to be on it. If you would prefer to be taken off the mailing list, just send us an email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.

Dates for our upcoming competitions are as follows:

Feb 1st – Summer poetry

March 1st – Autumn short story

May 1st – Autumn poetry

June 1st – Winter short story

August 1st – Winter poetry

September 1st – Spring short story

October 1st – Spring poetry

Mid December – Publication of the Four Seasons anthology which will include all winning and highly commended pieces from each of the competitions.

Thanks once again for supporting us. We look forward to reading your stories.

Cheers

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Newsletter #4, 23/01/22

Hello everyone,

If you are in the southern hemisphere, I hope you are enjoying your summer. If you are in the northern hemisphere, I hope your winter is not too severe. And if you are in the tropics, well, I’m guessing you’re warm regardless of the season.

Right, we have a big announcement to make today. But first, some housekeeping.

Our summer themed short story competition has just over a week to run. It closes January 31st (midnight Australian time). International entries take note, as Australia is up to a day ahead of the rest of the world, your submissions should be made at least 24 hours earlier to avoid inadvertently missing out.

Once the closing date has been reached, the payment options for the competition will be removed from the webpage and you will no longer be able to enter.

Now, to our big announcement.

On February 1, we will be opening a summer themed poetry competition. Entry will be $5 per poem. That, however, is the fee for the general public. If you are on our mailing list you can submit up to three poems for your $5 entry fee. That’s right, three poems for a singular $5 entry. We don’t have any steak knives to throw in with this offer, but we do have some prize money and the winning entries will be published alongside our short story competition winners in the Four Seasons anthology.

To join our mailing list just click the menu link at the top of this page and follow the instructions. Easy!

The poem must have a summer connection or vibe. We are not imposing any line limits, although 30 page epics will probably not make the cut (unless they are of the exceptional, mind blowing variety).

There will be a $50 first prize and two $25 prizes for highly commended work. As stated, the three selected poems will appear in the Four Seasons anthology.

Our website will be updated to include all these details and more, over the next week. You can find us at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Looking even further ahead, our autumn themed short story competition will open March 1.

Important dates:

January 31st – Summer themed short story competition closes.

February 1st – Summer themed poetry competition opens.

March 1st – Autumn themed short story competition opens.

And if that is not enough writing for you, check out Stringybark Stories over at www.stringybarkstories.net . They have been running competitions and producing anthologies for many years. They are Australian based and extremely well run.

Cheers

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Newsletter #3 (7/1/22)

Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder that our summer themed short story competition closes in just over three weeks (January 31st). The excitement at Short Stories Unlimited HQ is building as we edge towards our ‘reading’ week – the week we put aside after the competition closes to read all the entries. We really hope that your entry will be among them.

To those who have already entered, a big thank you. To those who are considering entering, please do! The only way we can continue running our competitions is with your support.

Now, do you like statistics? We do. Of the entries we have received so far, the longest has been 4939 words and the shortest 1588 words. The average length sits at 3080 words. The most number of entries so far have come from South Australia. A big thumbs up to their magnificent writing community.

This week we had one writer ask if there were any sample stories on the website so that people know what is appropriate or expected of them. We are reluctant to do this as we want you – the writer – to interpret the topic as you see fit. Any genre or writing style is welcomed. The only constraints are a link to summer and the 5000 word limit. All we want is a story well told. How you tell that story is entirely up to you.

We would also like to point out that if you are having trouble with the payment portal (or you don’t have a credit card) PayPal is available. A direct bank transfer is also available for Australian residents. If you would like to use PayPal or make a bank transfer, just email us for details.

Don’t forget you can follow us on Facebook (@shortstoriesunlimited), Instagram (@short_stories_unlimited) and Twitter (@SSUwriters).

You can also email us at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

The website is where all the magic happens though! www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Keep writing!

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

Newsletter #2 (1/1/22)

Happy New Year!

2022 is here and I hope you haven’t broken any of your resolutions! But then again, what are resolutions for anyway?

Perhaps your most important resolution was to enter our summer themed short story competition! Surely everybody had that one high on their list? Yes? No? Maybe? Either way, there is still heaps of time to enter. The competition doesn’t close until January 31.

Today I’d like to talk about the judging process. As much as we’d love to read each story as it came in, we are resisting the urge. Instead, we take your story file and plop it in a folder with all the other stories that have been sent to us. Then, when the competition ends we will have a ‘reading week’.

During the reading week we will go through everyone’s stories. Because the files have been removed from your emails, all stories will be read ‘blind’ – eg. we won’t know who wrote what. We think this is the fairest way. It means everyone will be judged on their story, not reputation. So if Stephen King, J.K Rowling or John Grisham happen to enter, they will be judged just like everybody else.

We are also hoping to be able to provide feedback to each entrant. Obviously this will depend on time constraints and the number of entries. We are hoping to be able to send out feedback within a month or so of the results being announced. Feedback will be constructive, not critical. We want to be able to help our writers, not destroy them.

Short Stories Unlimited is also active on social media. If you would like to follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you can! All our social media handles are listed below, or you can just click on the icons near the top of our home page.

Instagram: @short_stories_unlimited

Facebook: @shortstoriesunlimited

Twitter: @SSUwriters

Our previous newsletter is published below this one and contains important information about word limits and formatting guidelines. Take a look if you are interested.

I hope everyone has a great 2022.

Sean Lee (editor, Short Stories Unlimited)

Newsletter #1 (21/12/21)

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all keeping well and the words are flowing freely in your creative endeavours.

Our summer themed short story competition has been open for three weeks and the interest being shown is promising. Hits on the website are coming in from all over the world, the top five countries being Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Great Britain and India, with Canada and South Africa not far behind.

Of course this doesn’t always translate into entries, but it is fascinating to see where the interest is coming from. If we do receive stories from a number of different countries it will make for an incredible reading experience. I’m sure the Canadian perspective of summer is completely different to an Australian one, or an Indian one. The contrasts will be amazing.

Now to some housekeeping.

If you do submit to our competition we ask you to take look at the submission guidelines which you will find about half way down the competitions page on our website.

While we would prefer you to follow the guidelines, please note it will not be catastrophic if you don’t. Your story will not be unfairly judged should you forget to double space your work, or can’t work out how to indent your paragraphs correctly. Just do your best. I know that formatting work is a real drag (it is my least favourite part of the submission process) so I’ll cut you some slack if need be. Please though, no silly fonts. Your work needs to be easily read.

We have had a few queries about the word limit, so let me stress that it is 5000 words OR LESS. The 5000 words are there if you need them, but shorter stories are absolutely acceptable. In fact we would prefer shorter stories. We don’t want you to pad out your work just to reach 5000 words. If you can tell your story in just 1000 words, then leave it at that. All we are after are stories well told. The number of words is irrelevant. Just don’t go over 5000!

Another thing we need to emphasise is that all prize money and entry fees listed on the website are in Australian dollars. International entries are most welcome of course. We use ‘Stripe’ to process our payments. It is safe, secure and easy to use.

Finally, if you know anyone who you think might be interested in our competition, please pass on our details. It will help us to run a viable competition.

Keep writing and have fun!

Sean Lee (on behalf of the Short Stories Unlimited team).

A WORD ON THE WORD LIMIT

We have had a couple of queries about the word limit for our ‘summer’ themed short story competition. At 5000 words, it is at the upper limit of what short story competitions usually set, but you are under no obligation to use all of those words. In fact, we would prefer you didn’t.

If you have a fantastic story that only needs 500 words, or 1000 words, or 3000 words, that’s fine. All we want is a story well told. The 5000 words are there if you need them, but please avoid padding out your work just to reach the limit. It is not necessary. Remember, quality over quantity.

Interest in our competition has been promising, but as it is our very first, we would appreciate if you could help us spread the word. Please let your writer fiends know about us. Our goal is to provide writers with opportunities to write, but we can only do that with your support.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A REASON TO WRITE

I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories. Sometimes, when I think I may have written something that’s half decent, I’ll enter it in a competition or send it off to a magazine. Most times that’s the end of it! I either never hear anything about it again, or I get some feedback saying ‘thanks, but no thanks!’

That’s fine! That’s the game. There are a lot of writers out there, and only so many prizes or places in magazines to go around. It keeps me striving to be better. But, when a story I have written does get accepted, then that is the best feeling in the world. Finally being rewarded financially for my hard work and effort is nice, but knowing that someone else is going to be reading my stuff is the really intoxicating part. It is actually quite addictive.

‘Short Stories Unlimited’ aims to provide you -the writer- with the opportunity to not only submit your work to our various competitions, but to see your work in print. We want to expand your audience and provide you with the motivation to keep writing, because if there is one thing I like better than writing a good short story, it is reading one!

I hope you enjoy the site.

Sean Lee (creator and editor of Short Stories Unlimited).

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