Newsletters

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER 30/9/2022

In this newsletter you will find:

  • our latest news (reminders, announcements, updates)
  • the results of our winter poetry competition (congrats to all)
  • this week’s featured writer
  • the word of the week
  • details on our latest competitions (our last two for the year, both on now)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

LATEST NEWS

Our spring themed poetry competition opens tomorrow (October 1st). This, along with our spring themed short story competition (open now), will be the last competitions we run this year. These comps will also be your last chance to get a story or poem published in our Four Seasons anthology. The short story comp will close October 31st, and the poetry comp two weeks later on November 15th. Further details can be found elsewhere in this newsletter (scroll down) or at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

WINTER POETRY COMPETITION RESULTS

Our winter themed poetry competition was our most successful yet with 65 poems received from 39 poets. This is a brilliant result, so thank you all for entering. For a comparison, our summer comp had 42 submissions, while our autumn comp had 49.

Now, drum roll please…..The winners are –

1stSchool Yard in August by Monique Hutchinson

Highly commended – Haiku Winter Sequence by Agi Dobson

Highly commended – Misery is Tepid Coffee by Kirily McKellor

Highly commended – Flu 2022 by J. Marahuyo

Highly commended – The Seasons that Call Us by Ibtisam Shahbaz

These poems will appear in our Four Seasons anthology, due out in December. All winners will be contacted via email over the coming days.

Our final short list consisted of ten poems. The others were – On a Cold Chicago Street by Monique Hutchinson, Winter in Melbourne by Stephen Smithyman, Rediscovering Early Morning Walks by Sandra James, Sonnet 81: Shall I Compare Thee to a Winter’s Night by Paris Rosemont and Winter Betrothal by Alanah Andrews.

FEATURED WRITER

This week’s featured writer is Jay Chesters. Jay is an award winning Perth based writer. He has two short stories appearing in the soon to be released Thrice Not Shy from Night Parrot Press. He is also the editor of the digital microfiction litmag, the 100 Word Project. You can find it here –

https://issuu.com/100wordproject

Jay’s recently released book Year of the Bear sounds intriguing. The blurb reads –

In a world where you can be anything, be a bear. Year of the Bear’s short stories weave together social commentary with folklore, fairy tale, fantasy, and science fiction to entertain, challenge, and sometimes frighten readers. A lawyer navigates a most unusual Tinder date; a gangster flees a deal gone bad; a young child is gifted with a magical hat; a group of campers meet a secretive stranger; a hitchhiker accepts a lift from a man and his ursine passenger. Year of the Bear is both engrossing and engaging, with the collection’s contemporary characters plunging readers into vivid atmospheric situations. Narratives of acceptance, diversity, and inclusion underscore the Year of the Bear’s unusual and inventive short stories, establishing Jay Chesters as one of Australia’s most fascinating emerging authors.”

Year of the Bear is available from Rabble Books at https://www.rabblebooksandgames.com.au/p/year-of-the-bear

If you would like to be one of our featured writers, please send us brief details of your book, an image of the cover, and a link to where the book can be purchased/obtained. We will make sure your book appears in our newsletter, on our website, and across our social media channels. Please be patient if your book doesn’t instantly appear. We will get to it.

If you have a book or event you would like featured, shoot an email with the details to shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

WORD OF THE WEEK

We came across this week’s word in one of the poems submitted to our winter poetry competition. Regular contributor, Kirily McKellor had us reaching for the dictionary when she dropped the word hiemal into one of her verses:

Winds do rattle and shake your abode

While your mug warms both your hands

Blessings that tea and hearth have bestowed

Transcend hiemal demands

Of course it all made sense after I looked it up. In fact it was quite obvious.

Hiemal; of winter, characteristic of winter, or occuring in winter. It originated in the mid 16th century and is from the Latin hiemalis. Well played Kirily!

COMPETITIONS

Our springthemed short story competition is now open (closing October 30th).

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 should be 5000 words or less. They must have a connection to the season of spring.

Entry will be $10, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter 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.

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

Our spring themed poetry competition opens tomorrow (October 1st)

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!), but they must have a connection to the season of spring.

Entry will be $5 per poem, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5). While the competition doesn’t officially open until tomorrow (Oct 1st), the payment portal is up and running so if anyone wants to get in early, they can.

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

MISCELLANEOUS

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Winter short story comp – CLOSED
  • Winter poetry comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow a few days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER 16/9/2022

In this newsletter you will find:

  • our latest news (reminders, announcements, updates)
  • details on our current competitions (the nitty gritty)
  • this week’s featured writer
  • the word of the week
  • the dates for our 2022 competitions (only two left)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

LATEST NEWS

Our winter themed poetry competition has now closed. Results will be announced September 30th. Our spring themed poetry competition will open on October 1st. This shorter than usual turnaround is to allow us enough time to collate and publish the Four Seasons anthology before Christmas.

Don’t forget, our spring themed short story competition is on now. The spring competitions are our last ones for the year and will be the last chance to get a piece published in the Four Seasons anthology. For more details see below or visit www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

We have a couple of new additions on the ‘Featured Writers’ section of our website. Over the next few weeks they will be featured in our newsletter and across our social media channels, but in the meantime why not check them out at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com/featured-writers/

COMPETITIONS

Our springthemed short story competition is now open (closing October 30th).

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 should be 5000 words or less. They must have a connection to the season of spring.

Entry will be $10, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter 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.

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

Our spring themed poetry competition is opening soon (October 1st).

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!), but they must have a connection to the season of spring.

Entry will be $5 per poem, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

FEATURED WRITER

This week’s featured writer is Alan Bryant. Alan won our winter short story competition with the highly entertaining Losing Sight of Christmas. He has also published a book called The Baby, The Bankrupt and the Millionaire. It is set during the financial meltdown of 2008/09. Here’s the blurb –

If you found a baby in a bag with your name on it, what would you do? Herbie is struggling to save his small coach business but he’s getting shafted by numbers as the bank is driving him to bankruptcy. His teenage daughter goes missing and soon after he finds a baby. But there’s a battle for custody. Will the child’s future be decided by love or big money? Because money always wins, right? Well, maybe, but it’s not always that simple. It’s all sex and drugs and adult language. And of course, money. Yeah baby, sex and money. Either you want it, or you have it. But if you have it, how much is enough?’

Alan’s book is available on Amazon. Click here for details.

If you would like to be one of our featured writers, please send us brief details of your book, an image of the cover, and a link to where the book can be purchased/obtained. We will make sure your book appears in our newsletter, on our website, and across our social media channels. Please be patient if your book doesn’t instantly appear. We will get to it.

If you have a book or event you would like featured, shoot an email with the details to shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

WORD OF THE WEEK

Years ago when I was living in the remote north west of Western Australia I would go out on weekend camping trips. On this particular day my mates and I set up camp next to a large dam that had once been used by a long departed mining company. During the night a fierce storm struck, flattening our camp. The lightning was so ferocious we had to absquatulate!

Absquatulate: to decamp, to leave quickly, to flee.

MISCELLANEOUS

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Winter short story comp – CLOSED
  • Winter poetry comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow a few days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER – 2/9/2022

Hi everyone,

In this newsletter you will find:

  • our latest news (reminders, announcements, updates)
  • details on our current competitions (the nitty gritty)
  • this week’s featured writer (inspired by a four legged muse)
  • the word of the week (the danger of Cupid’s arrow)
  • our plans for 2023 (a sneak peak)
  • the dates for our 2022 competitions (only three left)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

LATEST NEWS

We have two competitions going at the moment. Our spring themed short story competition opened yesterday, while our winter themed poetry competition still has two weeks to run. For our short story writers, this will be your last chance to get a story published in our end of year anthology. For our poetry writers, we need ten more entrants to ensure a viable competition. A summary of both competitions can be found below. Full details can be found on our website at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

COMPETITIONS

Our winter themed poetry competition is now open (closing Sept 15th).

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver while reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

Our springthemed short story competition is now open (closing October 30th).

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 should be 5000 words or less. They must have a connection to the season of spring.

Entry will be $10, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter 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.

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

FEATURED WRITER

This week’s featured writer is Sandra James. Two years ago Sandra adopted a deaf mini-Dachshund. On their daily walks, story ideas began to flow! Flash fiction, short stories, genres of all kinds, even some prize winners, all spouted from Sandra’s pen. The result of all this inspiration culminated in a book, a tribute to her little Dachshund mate titled My Muse Wears a Purple Collar.

My Muse wears a Purple Collar is available for $3.99 on Amazon, or free with Kindle Unlimited. You can find it here.

Sandra is also the prime mover behind Positive Words magazine, a much loved publication that is approaching its 20th year! Over the years hundreds of Australian writers have been published within its pages. It also features regular short story and poetry competitions. For submission and subscription information, please check out the Positive Words website at https://positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com/ You don’t need to be a subscriber to submit your work.

If you would like to be one of our featured writers, please send us brief details of your book, an image of the cover, and a link to where the book can be purchased/obtained. We will make sure your book appears in our newsletter, on our website, and across our social media channels. Please be patient if your book doesn’t instantly appear. We will get to it.

If you have a book or event you would like featured, shoot an email with the details to shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

WORD OF THE WEEK

Have you ever been struck by Cupid’s arrow? Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Have you ever been overcome by limerence? Defined as an involuntary state of intense desire, limerence is the overwhelming need to be with or receive similar feelings from another person. It is beyond infatuation or lust, and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies.

When Romeo first laid eyes on Juliet and declared, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night,” it was the limerence talking!

PLANS FOR 2023

Barring any absolute disasters with our competitions between now and the end of the year, we are happy to announce that we will be back in 2023. Our aim is to continue to offer writers opportunities to see their work in print, to be paid where possible for their hard work, and to spark their creativity with interesting themes and challenges.

While exact dates are yet to be locked in, we will be starting the year with an open themed short story and poetry competition. An anthology will be produced featuring our prize winning entries.

The middle of the year will be devoted to the launch of our e-magazine, Epic Unlimited. It will be a magazine of short stories with a focus on (but not restricted to) adventure, travel, exploration, action and wonder. We will be looking for page turning stories that capture the imagination. Fact or fiction, it doesn’t matter, but they must be entertaining. Submissions will be free with writers being paid for their work if selected. We hope that Epic Unlimited will become a quarterly publication. We expect to open submissions in April next year. Stay tuned!

The second half of 2023 will be busy. We will be running an urban themed short story and poetry competition, followed by a rural themed short story and poetry competition. Once again an anthology will be produced featuring our prize winning entries.

MISCELLANEOUS

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Winter short story comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow a few days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER 22/08/2022

Hi Everyone,

In this issue you will find –

  • our very latest news (announcements, reminders, updates)
  • full competition details (the nitty gritty)
  • a featured writer shout out (another debut novelist)
  • the word of the week (nothing to see here!)
  • the dates for our 2022 competitions (time is running out!)
  • our social media handles (follow us, like us, retweet us)

LATEST NEWS

Sadly, we were notified yesterday that one of our regular contributors, William Bean, has passed away. William had entered our summer, autumn and winter short story competitions and had been highly commended in each of them, the only writer to have placed in all of them. William was 80 years old. We did not know William personally, and our only contact with him was through our competitions, but we are deeply saddened. His wife, Joan, notified us via email yesterday. I’ll leave the last words to her – “Bill was an exceptional person, talented in so many ways and will be sadly missed.”

We are halfway through the submission period for our winter themed poetry competition. Early interest in the comp looks to be strong, so we hope to reach a viable number of entries within the next couple of weeks. The competition closes Sept 15th so there is still plenty of time if you are thinking of entering (go on, you know you want to!). You’ll find full details further down in this newsletter.

Our spring themed short story competition is opening very soon (Sept 1st). This will be our final short story competition for the year. It will also be the last chance to get a story published in our Four Seasons anthology. It will follow the same format as the summer, autumn and winter themed comps. You’ll find full details further down in this newsletter.

We have finalised our plans for 2023 and will make a full announcement in our next newsletter. We think we have come up with an exciting program of writing competitions and projects to keep you motivated. Our aim is to continue to offer writers opportunities to see their work in print, to be paid where possible for their hard work, and to hopefully spark their creativity with interesting themes and challenges.

COMPETITIONS

Our winter themed poetry competition is now open (closing Sept 15th).

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver while reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

Our springthemed short story competition is opening soon (Sept 1st). 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. They must have a connection to the season of spring.

Entry will be $10, payable by either bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter 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.

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

FEATURED WRITER

Our featured writer today is Kaleen Kar. Kaleen self published her first book ‘Neidra’s Lore’ back in November, 2019. Billed as sci-fi/fantasy for all ages, ‘Neidra’s Lore’ follows the timeless, yet tragic theme, of reaching for the stars with Icarus-like wings – but forgetting who we are in the process.

The author’s synopsis is as follows –

Destruction reigns down on a peaceful planet and now after everything else they need a new place to live. The search is on.

Myana is a multi-telepath about to embark on a quest! See what adventures await Myana and Purza. It must be difficult for her to leave the safety of her home, a cave far beneath the surface where she can block out all the noise, to seek out inhabitable lands, not knowing how long the journey will be or how far away it will take her. What lies ahead for our reluctant explorer?

Neidra’s Lore is available for purchase at https://bookshop.org/books/neidra-s-lore/9781796007695 and is also presented on the Featured Writers page of our website www.shortstoriesunlimited.com/featured-writers/

If you would like to be one of our featured writers, please send us brief details of your book, an image of the cover, and a link to where the book can be purchased/obtained. We will make sure your book appears in our newsletter, on our website, and across our social media channels. Please be patient if your book doesn’t instantly appear. We will get to it.

If you have a book or event you would like featured, shoot an email with the details to shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

WORD OF THE WEEK

The door to the bathroom of my childhood home had a wooden frame with a very pronounced grain pattern. In one section, the grain twisted and curved around what had been a knot in the timber. To my overactive imagination, the pattern formed by the grain lines resembled a man’s head sticking out of a pond, with ripples radiating out from where his neck emerged from the water!

It seems that this phenomenon, of perceiving images where none exist, has a name – pareidolia!It is a form of apophenia, which refers to the human tendency to seek patterns in random information. So, next time you see a cloud that looks like a rabbit, or even the man in the moon, you’ll have the vocabulary to at least put a name to this fascinating psychological trait.

MISCELLANEOUS

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Winter short story comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow a few days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER 15/8/2022

Hi Everyone,

In this newsletter you will find:

  • the winners of our winter themed short story comp (congrats everyone!)
  • details of our winter themed poetry comp (open now)
  • this edition’s featured writer (a debut novel)
  • the word of the week (scribble it down, quick!)
  • dates for our remaining competitions (only three left for 2022)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us!)

Our winter themed short story competition turned out to be our most diverse yet. Many of the stories we received were set in the northern hemisphere and revolved around Christmas. I don’t know about these cold weather Christmases; not a beach, a caravan, or a BBQ to be seen!

Mental health was a recurring theme throughout the competition, as was humanity’s seemingly inherent ability to inflict cruelty upon it’s own kind. My takeaway from the contest? Earthlings aren’t at their best during the long, cold, dark months of winter.

For those of you who like statistics, 15% of our entries came from outside Australia, thanks mainly to New Zealand (we love you!). The UK were also solid contributors.

60% of entrants were new to our competitions. This is extremely exciting as it means that word is spreading about us. Our future depends on being known as widely as possible, so please, tell your friends to check us out at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

As to the 40% who were returning entrants? – we love you too! Thank you for your continued support of our competitions. We couldn’t keep this little organisation going without you.

Judging this competition was hard. Some pieces were brilliantly written, but didn’t go anywhere. Others, while not perfect from a technical sense, told cracking stories. Some beautifully crafted tales ignored the theme altogether, and therefor could not even be considered. In the end, as we always do, we went for stories that were well told, stories that entertained us, and stories that evoked an emotional response. So, without further ado, our winners are

1st – Losing Sight of Christmas by Alan Bryant

2nd – An Alternate World by Georgie Waters

3rd – White by Peter Lingard

Highly commended – The Weatherman by Sev Romero

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

Highly commended – Mountainside by Deborah Huff-Horwood

Highly commended – No Christmas by Jan Mosler

Highly commended – The Cruellest Winter by Alice Richardson

Highly commended – The Old Black Kettle by Beverley Lello

Winners will all be contacted via email over the coming week.

We haven’t done this before, but we would like to make special mention of the following writers. They made the short list and culling them from the final list actually kept us awake at night.

Sean Crawley (A Winter Morning’s Mildly Manic Metamorphosis), Janeen Samuel (Have You Hugged Your Mummy?), Sandra James (Welcome Home), Monique Hutchinson (Winters), Jonny B (It’s Cold Outside), Rose Saltman (The Swimmer).

Also an extra special mention to Jalena Kaenkham for her story A Cold Tale of Cheek! Jalena is just 9 years old. Her wintry story featured two otters, a frozen breakfast and plenty of snot!

While our winter themed short story competition has been run and won, our winter themed poetry competition is now open (closing Sept 15th).

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

Our featured writer this week is Steve Hawe. His debut novel is called My Time of Eagles. It was released by Booralong Press in 2020, and is available from Dymocks, Booktopia or via Steve’s website at www.stevehawe.com .

From the blurb –

Remote Qld, circa ’70’s when wool is gold and wedgies are on the nose. Roxy Bolton, feisty defender of the wildlife enlists her father’s help to create an on-property sanctuary. At Savanna State High, she befriends Tina after a racial slur, and invites her home for a camp-over at the sanctuary. When a solitary, wizened eagle sets vigil nearby, Tina tells of ‘the watchers’, mysterious dreamtime guardian-spirits.

At the local wool-shed dance, Roxy confronts a grazier over a drunken boast of his tally of slaughtered eagles. A strange massing of eagles soon after, and their eventual disappearance leads Roxy to her new friend’s door, desperate for answers. But Tina’s mother remains tight-lipped. For Irene, indigenous elder; keeper of wedged-tail lore, Mother Nature’s curveball invokes disturbing echoes from the dreamtime.

We have now placed Steve’s book on the Featured Writers page of our website. View it now at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com/featured-writers/ . If you would like to be one of our featured writers, please send us brief details of your book, an image of the cover, and a link to where the book can be purchased/obtained. We will make sure your book appears in our newsletter, on our website, and across our social media channels. Please be patient if your book doesn’t instantly appear. We will get to it.

Our word of the week is griffonage. As with last week’s word (simulacrum) it came from Tim Richards’ travelogue, Heading South. My youngest son suffers from griffonage, as does every single doctor who has ever written me a prescription! It means careless handwriting: a crude or illegible scrawl.

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Winter short story comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow a few days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER 07/08/22

Hi Everyone,

In this newsletter, you will find:

  • our latest announcements (new stuff, old stuff, reminders)
  • this week’s featured writer (something to whet the appetite)
  • the word of the week (beware of imitations)
  • our current poetry competition (winter themed and on now!)
  • our 2022 competition dates (only three comps left)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

With just a little over a week away until we announce the winners of our winter short story competition we are busily reading, reading, reading…! We have made good progress and the ‘to be read’ pile is finally starting to dwindling. We should have them all read by the end of the weekend. Then the real fun (and arguments) will begin as our dedicated little reading circle starts sacrificing perfectly good stories in what has become known as the ‘Dreaded Cull’. It’s brutal! As always, the results will be published in our newsletter and across our social media channels. Winners will be contacted by email. As we are still on schedule, this should happen Monday 15th.

We have had a good response to the ‘Featured Writers’ page on the website. In fact, I have just updated the page to include a new batch of fabulous writers and their books, so click on over to www.shortstoriesunlimited.com/featured-writers/ and take a look! These writers will also be featured in our newsletters over the coming weeks. If you would like to be featured just shoot us an email at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com with all the details. Make sure you include a cover photo, a link or info on where your book can be purchased, and a short (and we mean really short) blurb. Check out the page for examples.

Please don’t forget that our winter themed poetry competition is on now. Entries are already appearing in our inbox, for which we are thankful. We would love to receive yours as well! Details regarding the competition can be found below (just keep on scrolling) or at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

This week’s featured writer is Rees Campbell. Rees has recently released a stunning book entitled Eat MORE Wild Tasmanian. It is available from Fuller’s bookshop (click here) and most other bookshops in Tasmania. So, what’s it about? I’ll hand you over to Rees –

“In a world challenged by food insecurity and climate change, eating local is a logical and positive step; eating wild and feral even more so. Discover which native plants are edible; which will suit your garden; when and how to harvest them; and how to cook from Tasmania’s botanical larder.”

Eat MORE Wild Tasmanian is having a celebratory launch at the Battery Point (Hobart) Community Hall, Friday, August 12th, 5:30pm. There will be a stunning array of exceptional Tasmanian displays and speakers, and a supper of wild and feral Tasmanian food. Bookings are essential through Fuller’s Bookshop. $10 per person, includes nibbles!

Sounds like a great night. If you are in Hobart, why not take a look?

This edition’s word of the week comes from Heading South by Tim Richards. It’s a great little travelogue documenting his journey by train from far north Queensland to Western Australia. Anyway, he had me reaching from my trusty dictionary with the word simulacrum. By using context and its similarity to other words, I had a fair idea of what it meant, but I had to check to be sure. So, simulacrum is a representation or an imitation of a person or thing. It is often used in a derogatory sense as in, the new restaurant was merely a simulacrum of what had come before. The plural of simulacrum is simulacra.

Winter themed poetry competition (open now, closing September 15th)

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Winter short story comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow a few days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

SHORT STORIES UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER 29/07/22

Hi Everyone,

In this newsletter, you will find:

  • a reminder of our latest competitions (one closing, one about to begin)
  • an addition to our webpage (an exciting new feature!)
  • a member shout-out (promote your book/writing event)
  • the word of the week (a bookmaker will know)
  • current and future competition details (the nitty gritty)
  • our 2022 competition dates (only three left to run)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

I hope this newsletter finds you in a productive mood! I’ve been wrestling with a story that just won’t quite come together. I’m at that point where my frustration is starting to quash my motivation! But I’m sure that never happens to any of you…….!

Our winter themed short story competition closes on Sunday (July 31st, midnight Melbourne/Sydney time) so hopefully the words are flowing for those of you who still plan to enter. And for those of you more into poetry than prose, our winter themed poetry competition will open August 1st. Details for both competitions can be found further down (just keep on scrolling) and also at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

In other news, we are excited to announced that we have added a ‘Featured Writers’ page to our website. This page contains links, cover art and brief descriptions of the books that our wonderful mailing list members have had published. If you have something that you would like included, just shoot us an email with the details and we will be more than happy to include it on the page. We will also give you a shout-out in the newsletter as well as sharing your work across our social media pages. We are also happy to promote any writing events/book launches you may be involved with. Check out the new page at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com/featured-writers/

And so, to this week’s member shout-out. Helen Bishop is a Christian author and artist who has just published her first book, ‘in His Words.’ The following is from the book’s blurb –

Have you ever been immersed in silence, yet heard an inner voice of peace that is different to your own?

Have you ever wondered whose voice it is?

Do you seek the deep peace and wisdom of God which resonate in you from His heart?

Whether you are searching for revelation, comfort or an acceptance of the invitation to life-changing salvation that Jesus Christ freely offers you, the words in this book may reveal what you seek.

in His words” is a collection of writings and poetry that have been given by God so that you may be reassured of the depth of His love for the whole of His creation.

in His Words’ is available from the author. Email besorahpress@gmail.com for more details.

If you have a book/event/webpage/achievement you’d like us to feature, please drop us an email at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com We’d love to hear from you!

Today’s word of the week is ‘quire’. A quire is 25 sheets of paper, which equals one twentieth of a ream. In medieval times a quire was four sheets of paper or parchment folded to form eight leaves. It can also mean any collection of leaves – one within another – in a manuscript or book.

Winter themed short story competition closing soon(July 31st)

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 newsletter 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.

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

Winter themed poetry competition (opening August 1st)

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow up to two days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

Short Stories Unlimited Newsletter (July 20th, 2022)

In this newsletter you will find:

  • how we judge your stories (yes, no, maybe)
  • information on our winter writing competitions (one closing, one about to open)
  • member shout out (writers and publications to look out for)
  • the word of the week (when the cupboard is bare)
  • all our competition dates (four down, four to go)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

With our winter themed short story competition fast approaching its closing date (less than two weeks left), I thought I would outline how we choose our winning entries. We don’t ‘score’ your stories. There is no judging matrix. No numerical value is given. We use a category system instead. And even then, we only use three categories – yes, no and maybe.

If a story impresses us instantly, it is placed in the ‘yes’ category. If we really like a story, but feel as if we need to read it again, it is placed in the ‘maybe’ category. If we don’t connect with a story, or it fails to address the theme of the competition, it is placed in the ‘no’ category. Let me tell you, the ‘no’ category is always our least populated one, such is the quality of the work we receive.

When every story is read and categorised, we go back and re-read the ‘maybes’. From here they are either promoted to the ‘yes’ category or dropped back to the ‘no’ category. Some we leave in the maybes, for yet another reading later on.

When the ‘maybes’ are finally all re-categorised, it is onto sorting through the ‘yes’ pile. Lots of re-reading and lots of arguments follow as we narrow down our selection to a short list, then a shorter list and finally three winners and a selection of highly commended entries.

We are looking for well written stories that strike an emotional chord with the readers. And of course they have to reflect the theme of the competition. This is what we take into account when deciding which story wriggles its way above another in the pecking order.

So many great submissions miss out. We agonise over the decisions and it actually hurts to cut perfectly crafted stories. And now, come July 31st, we will start the process again. Please scroll down for details on our current competitions (and much more) –

Winter themed short story competition closing soon (July 31st)

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 newsletter 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.

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

Winter themed poetry competition (opening August 1st)

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

This week’s member shout out goes to Valerie Derry. Valerie is a retired English teacher who spent 40 years teaching in comprehensive schools in Sydney. She has published a variety of poems in Australian magazines since the 1990s and is a member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. The death of her younger son in 2019 prompted her to write about that experience from a personal but pragmatic perspective. The result was ‘The Gallery of Loss’, a book that provides self-help options for people in grief.

The Gallery of Loss’ is a personal account of things that can happen, things that might happen and things that will happen in the fight for life that you undertake on behalf of a loved one who can’t battle for themselves. It is not aimed at helping people who lose someone suddenly – that terrible shock is an experience possibly needing some different tactics to these – but some of the processes here might be of help. The author hopes that the personal accounts here can help those who are struggling with events and people that may seem surreal.

The Gallery of Loss’ is available as a free download at www.vividpublishing.com.au/thegalleryofloss/

If you have a book/event/webpage/achievement you’d like us to feature, please drop us an email at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com We’d love to hear from you!

Other writers and works we have featured recently include –

Truth and Other Lies by Kirily McKellor www.kirilymckellor.com

Between Coastal Rocks & Softer Places by Jennifer Hetherington

https://www.jenniferhetherington.com.au

Harry’s War by Sean Lee https://smashwords.com/books/view/390313

What even are we? by J. Marahuyo http://cordite.org.au/poetry/notheme-11/what-even-are-we/

A Good Yarn by David Vernon www.stringybarkstories.net

Feelings by Agi Dobson (email author for more info)pandadobson@hotmail.com

The word of the week is penurious, which could be considered an apt description of those trying to earn a living writing! It means extremely poor; poverty-stricken as in: The penurious old writer, having just received yet another rejection notice, wondered where his next meal would come from. It can also mean giving or sharing as little as possible, for example: None of the company’s prosperity filtered down to its workers. Its penurious management team saw to that! I’m sure we all have a penurious mate. You know, the one that always seems to go missing when it’s their shout!

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow up to two days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

Short Stories Unlimited Newsletter (July 9th, 2022)

In this newsletter you will find:

  • a hint at what is to come (early plans for 2023)
  • information on our winter writing competitions (the writing never stops)
  • a brief note on our judging process (keeping it fair)
  • the word of the week (getting to the point of things)
  • member shout out (writers and publications to look out for)
  • all our competition dates (four down, four to go)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

Wow, how quickly is the year passing? I can’t believe we are at the halfway point of our Four Seasons writing competition already! It seems like only yesterday we were in the planning phase, trying to figure out how to cram eight creative writing comps into a twelve month period. It has certainly made for a busy year at our end.

We have learnt a bit about scheduling, and this will assist us greatly going into next year. We are already tossing around a few ideas for 2023 which we hope to be able to reveal to you over the next couple of months. As a bit of a teaser I can reveal that we are looking at a two part themed competition (with an anthology) in the back half of the year. We won’t tell you the topic yet, but we are pretty keen on it. And to start the year? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see, but it is quite exciting.

As always, the future of our group relies on your support, so please let your friends know about us and share our website if you can. We are easy to find at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

Meanwhile, you’ll find details of our winter competitions (and much more) below –

Winter themed short story competition open now (closing July 31st)

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 newsletter 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.

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

Winter themed poetry competition (opening August 1st)

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

Just a quick word on our judging process. We use a blind reading process when we go through your stories and poems which is why it is so important that when you attach your story or poetry file to your email, you don’t include any identifying elements such as your name or address. Save that for the body of the email. All your story/poetry file should contain is the title of your work and of course your story/poem! The name of the file should include the name of your piece plus the date eg. ‘Shivering through Winter July 7th

We feel that the blind reading process is the fairest way for us to judge your work. As we run multiple competitions which overlap, we are starting to become familiar with the names of our regular contributors. We don’t want this familiarity to influence our judging, so we read the stories ‘blind’, eg. without knowing who wrote what. By following our submission rules, you are helping us to run a fair competition. Submission rules can be found on our website at www.shortstoriesunlimited.com . Just click on one of the competition tabs and scroll down.

This edition’s word of the week came to light as I was helping organise a party to celebrate Madagascar’s independence day. My specific job was to push some newly purchased candles into some newly purchased candle holders. Each candle holder had a small spike onto which I jabbed each candle so that it wouldn’t fall over. Turns out that this spike has a name. It is called a pricket. I can’t wait to use it in general conversation!!

The next subscriber we would like to feature in our member shout-out is Agi Dobson. Agi arrived in Australia, aged 8, as a refugee of the Hungarian Revolution. In Year 7 she was introduced to the classic English poets by teacher and poet, Boyd Coutts who encouraged and mentored her burgeoning rather over-dramatic attempts. She’s been writing ever since.

Agi’s first collection of poetry – Feelings – was published by Stringybark Press in October 2021 and is now in its second printing. The poems are varied in subject and setting; unified by the theme of deep emotion. The language is visual and sensory, capturing feelings of love, loss, joy and regret. Copies are available from the author, $20 posted. Email Agi at pandadobson@hotmail.com

If you have a book/event/webpage/achievement you’d like us to feature, please drop us an email at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com We’d love to hear from you!

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow up to two days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER #16 (30/6/22)

In this newsletter you will find:

  • our autumn themed poetry competition winners (congrats all)
  • information on our winter writing competitions (no resting allowed)
  • the word of the week (a sparkling addition to your vocabulary)
  • member shout out (featuring two fantastic writers this time!)
  • all our competition dates (four down, four to go)
  • our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us)

Our autumn themed poetry competition was strongly supported with 32 poets contributing 48 poems. This compared favourably to our summer poetry competition which had 20 poets submitting 42 poems. While we love receiving heaps of submission, it does make the judging a nightmare! I want to give everyone a prize! But alas, that is not possible, so without further ado, here are autumn’s grand lyricists –

1st – His Autumn Years by Sandra James

Highly commended – Autumn in Canberrra by Beverley Lello

Highly commended – All the Best Paths by Beverley Lello

Highly commended – Autumn Blue by Jay Creighton

A big well done to everyone. The quality of the work submitted was superb. We will be in contact with the prize winning poets within the next few days.

Winter themed short story competition open now (closing July 31st)

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 newsletter 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.

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

Winter themed poetry competition (opening August 1st)

Prize money will be $50 for first place and $25 for any highly commended entries (at least two). All winning and highly commended entries will be published in our Four Seasons anthology, due to be released mid December.

There is no line or word limit (although 30 page epics may be pushing it!). Please make your poems cold and wintry. I want to shiver reading them!

Entry will be $5 per poem. Mailing list members (anyone receiving this newsletter via email) may submit up to three poems for their entry fee (eg. 3 poems for $5).

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

This week’s Word of the Week is ‘coruscating’. I came across it in Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and it had me reaching for my trusty dictionary (yes, I still use a physical dictionary). In Bradbury’s book, the context had it meaning flashing or sparkling, but it can also mean scathing or severely critical. It comes from the latin ‘coruscat’, to glitter or sparkle.

We have two writers to feature in our member shout-out this week, J. Marahuyo and David Vernon.

J. Marahuyo was highly commended in our summer poetry competition for her poem, On the Cusp in Summer. She has now had further success, with the Cordite Poetry Journal publishing her poem What even are we? Written with honesty and emotion, the piece explores addiction, culture and growing up. It can be found at http://cordite.org.au/poetry/notheme-11/what-even-are-we/ and is well worth a read.

David Vernon is an award-winning writer and editor of short stories, best known for his nationally renowned Stringybark Stories competitions – check them out at stringybarkstories.net – which have been running for more than ten years. He has published more than forty short story anthologies and his own writings have won many awards in competitions hosted by others.

David’s latest book, A Good Yarn, provides a fascinating insight into how popular myths are made and can wield influence not just at the time of their invention, but for years, even generations to come. A Good Yarn, shines a spotlight onto seven historical events that have grown into Australian legends. Ten years and many hundreds of hours of painstaking research in the making, the book explores how facts became blended with fiction to entertain and captivate audiences, disguising the true story as they went.

At 244 pages and fully illustrated, it is available from stringybarkstories.net or at all good bookstores. It retails for $19.95.

If you have a book/event/webpage/achievement you’d like us to feature, please drop us an email at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com We’d love to hear from you!

Dates for our 2022 competitions

  • Summer short story comp – CLOSED
  • Summer poetry comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn short story comp – CLOSED
  • Autumn poetry comp – CLOSED
  • 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. Allow up to two days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER #15 (5/6/2022)

Hi everyone,

In this newsletter you will find:

  • Info about our current competitions (there are two on now!)
  • The word of the week (something to shout about!)
  • Member shout out (written a book? Hosting an event? Let us know!)
  • Our 2022 competition dates (three down, five to go!)
  • Our social media handles (like us, follow us, retweet us!)

Our winter themed short story competition opened earlier this week and for those of us living in the south east of Australia, our Antarctic like weather has provided plenty of ‘inspiration’ over the past couple of days. Brrr, I can’t remember a colder start to winter – and I was born and bred in Ballarat!

If you are not ready to totally succumb to winter, our autumn themed poetry competition is still open and may provide some distraction from the cold. It has another week and a half to go (closing June 15th). We would love to see some last minute entries. Remember, all winners and highly commended entries from both competitions will be published in our end of year ‘Four Seasons’ anthology.

Competition details are as follows:

Winter short story competition (closing July 31st)

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.

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

Autumn themed poetry competition (closing 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 prizes and fees are listed in Australian dollars. International entries are most welcome. For all the details please visit www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

When submitting to our competitions please follow the entry instructions as closely as possible. It just makes things a little easier for us if everything is formatted the same way. Don’t stress too much though. Your work will not be unfairly judged if you are not sure how to indent your paragraphs or you forget to double space your work. We are not that mean. We just ask that you try your best.

Our word of the week is ‘lalochezia’. It refers to the emotional discharge that is felt when you utter (or shout) indecent or vulgar words! Those who have ever hit their thumb with a hammer will know exactly how that works! Personally I experience a fair dose of lalochezia every time I watch the Essendon footy club play. Not travelling so well, my beloved Bombers.

This week’s member shout out features our own Sean Lee. As we had no one else to feature this week we thought we would sneak him in. Sean’s book ‘Harry’s War – a story of Gallipoli’ was written for his sons but is aimed at all age groups, including adults. The blurb reads:

14 year old Harry likes nothing better than felling trees with his father and playing footy with his mates. But a tough school master, a loud mouthed acquaintance, and the arrival of World War One shatter Harry’s simple but peaceful existence. From promising school boy to Gallipoli veteran, this is the heart wrenching story of Harry’s War.

Harry’s War is available as an ebook from https://smashwords.com/books/view/390313 . The price is listed as $5.99 US, but trust me, for purchases made in Australia it is $5.99 AU.

If you have a book/event/webpage you’d like us to feature, please drop us an email at shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

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. Allow up to two days for a reply (it’ll probably be quicker though!).

Thank you and keep writing

Sean Lee (Short Stories Unlimited)

www.shortstoriesunlimited.com

shortstories.unlimited@gmail.com

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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