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AHWA Flash & Short Story Competition

The AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition 2014



I'd like to thank you all for your patience, I know this year it's taken a little longer than usual to do the judging, but the results are finally in, so here they are.  But first, to continue an annoying tradition I started last year, here are some statistics.  Because everyone loves statistics!  Well, actually, statistically speaking, only 37% of people love statistics, with 26% being indifferent, 41% who hate them, and 72% who realised that those numbers added up to 104%.  So here we go!

This year was certainly a bumper year.  We had the largest number of entries I've ever had to deal with as AHWA Competitions Manager, almost doubling from the eighty one entries we received last year to one hundred and fifty four this year (hence the late results!).

 Entries per year

Of those entries, fifty nine were flash fiction and ninety five were short stories, so clearly the longer form is still preferred by entrants in general.  Come on, flash writers, get your acts together!  You're letting the team down!

2014 flash and short story entries

Entries came from all over the country, including the Northern Territory this year.  Nice one, Territorians!  And a big chunk came from overseas as well, which is always awesome to see.

2014 entry locations

Most of the entries received were from non-AHWA members, almost three quarters of them in fact.  I'd definitely encourage any non-members to join, especially if you'll be entering the competition every year, then it costs virtually nothing extra!  And there are plenty of opportunities aimed just at AHWA members as well.  Join us... join us...

2014 members vs non-members

Another first this year was that more of the entries received were by female writers than male.  In a field as historically male dominated as horror, increased diversity has to be a good thing, and hopefully reflects the degree of gender equality in horror in this country today.  After all, good writers are good writers, and good scary stories are good scary stories, whoever happens to write them.

2014 male vs female

Okay, enough statistics.  Before I announce our winners, I'd like to thank our judges, Talie Helene, Paul Mannering and Zena Shapter.  Faced with an overwhelming number of entries this year, they've risen to the occasion and judged like crazed banshees, so my sincere gratitude to all their hard work and dedication to this most thankless of duties. 

The results this year were hearteningly unanimous, and so, without further ado, please allow me to announce the winners of the 2014 AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition!  They are:

Short Story Winner:
"Sundown" by Keith Williams

Short Story Honorable Mentions:
"A Simple Road Relocation" by Bruce Graham
"Glow" by Natalie J E Potts

Flash Fiction Winner:
"What Came Through" by Stuart Olver

Flash Fiction Honorable Mentions:
"The Heat of the Moment" by Pete Kempshall
"The AVM Initiative" by Rebecca Fraser
"Homecoming" by Anthony Ferguson

My heartiest (as well as liveriest, kidneyest and lungiest) congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentionees!  But, more than that, my congratulations to all entrants, you put up a fine field this year, and we hope to see you all entering again next year, fighting for the ultimate prize!  THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!  Uh, no, wait, there's two prizes.  Well, there can be only two?  Each year?  Not quite as dramatic.

On a somewhat sadder final note, I'd like to announce that this will be my last year running the AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition.  I've done it for three years now, and as much fun as it is, I think it's time I spent half of every year doing something more constructive.  Maybe even entering the competition myself, who knows?  So thanks again for all your entries and support over the years, and be kind to whoever replaces me.  But not TOO kind!


Martin Livings
AWHA Competitions Manager


Yes, it's come around again, the AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition is now open for 2014. Our judges are lined up and eager, so go ahead, do your worst!

(and by worst, of course, I mean best...)

Entries are open to all, not just Australians.  All are welcome!

What We're After: Horror stories, tales that frighten, yarns that unsettle us in our comfortable homes. All themes in this genre will be accepted, from the well-used (zombies, vampires, ghosts etc) to the highly original, so long as the story is professional and well written. No previously published entries will be accepted – all tales must be an original work by the author. Stories can be as violent or as bloody as the storyline dictates, but those containing gratuitous sex or violence will not be considered.

There are two categories for submission:

Stories up to 1000 words in length. The winning author will receive paid publication in Midnight Echo; The Magazine of the AHWA and an engraved plaque.

Stories with 1001 to 8000 words. The winning author will receive paid publication in Midnight Echo; The Magazine of the AHWA and an engraved plaque.


  • Entries Open: January 7th 2014
  • Entries Close: May 31st 2014

Writers may submit to one or both categories, but entry is limited to 1 story per author per category. No simultaneous submissions.

Any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Prizes: the authors of the winning Flash Fiction and Short Story entries will each receive paid publication in Midnight Echo; The Magazine of the AHWA and an engraved plaque. Plus the adulation of millions.

(Legal note: your value of “millions” may vary. And “adulation”.)

Entry Fee:

  • AHWA Members have free entry.
  • Non-AHWA Members: $5 for flash fiction, $10 for short story entries.

Secure payments can be made via PayPal using our PayPal ID (please note, this is different to the competitions email address!):

AHWA short story entry

Alternative payment options are available; please contact us at and we will provide appropriate details.

All entries should be submitted via the web form here:

Mail submissions will ONLY be accepted as a last resort (we would prefer electronic submissions to save the trees); please contact us before sending anything through.

Please edit your manuscripts carefully before sending them through to us; it’s amazing how much careless typos or grammatical errors can put a reader off, so don’t go shooting yourself in the foot, let the story come through unhindered!

Also, please ensure your manuscript is formatted in standard manuscript format. The best thing to do is use the RTF template provided here:

Stories not using this format may be discarded without being considered, so please do use this template. You’ll make our lives easier, and increase your own chances of being judged fairly.

Contact if you have any further questions.


2014 Judges

PAUL MANNERING is an award winning author based in Wellington, New Zealand. He has published dozens of short stories, and edited two themed anthologies. His Tankbread trilogy is published by Permuted Press and he has two more novels scheduled for publication in 2014.

TALIE HELENE is a writer and musician, from Melbourne, Australia. She has published fiction, poetry, and an extensive folio of music journalism. She is perhaps best well known as horror editor of The Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror series (Ticonderoga Publications). You can learn more about Talie's interdisciplinary adventures at

ZENA SHAPTER is a British-Australian author who’s won seven national fiction writing competitions (including this one!). She’s also represented by literary agent Alex Adsett, leads the widely attended Northern Beaches Writers' Group (whose collaborative writing has also won awards) and gives regular talks/tutorials on creative writing and social media (because, after all, she is part-cyber!).