Applications Open: 2012 Litro & IGGY International Short Story Award for Young Writers

This competition has now closed and we are no longer accepting entries. Best of luck to all those who entered. The shortlist has been announced and we will announce the winner on 15 October.

Inspiring, encouraging and acknowledging the creativity of young people is a common goal for London-based Litro magazine and the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY) at the University of Warwick. Litro & IGGY are pleased to announce that the International Short Story Award for Young People will be held again in 2012.

The Award is funded by alumni from the University of Warwick, and is open to young people from around the world aged 11-19. In addition to a cash prize of £2,500 the winner will also be published in Litro magazine and see excerpts of their work displayed on a poster in a London Underground station.

The illustrious panel of judges for the 2012 award include internationally acclaimed authors Chika Unigwe, Gemma Weekes, Will Eaves and Damian Barr.


  • You must be 11-19 years of age
  • Your entry must be no more than 3,000 words in length
  • This year we’re looking for a story with an “international” theme, a purposefully broad theme to allow writers to be creative. You can include aspects of your own culture or write about a character’s cross-cultural experience.
  • The deadline for entries is 24 July 2012
  • Submit your entry here


  • The long list of nominated writers will be announced on 5 September 2012
  • The shortlist of six writers will be announced on 14 September 2012
  • The winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony in London at the end of October 2012

Commenting on the announcement of the award, Litro founder Eric Akoto said:

“It is great news that the Award will be going ahead again in 2012 and is a mark of the success of the entrants from last year’s event. The Award is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring young writers to showcase their talent and to be recognised for their literary creativity. We are delighted to be partnering again with IGGY on this. The magazine has thrived because of the talent of its writers and it’s exciting to think of who and what we might discover through this Award.”


    • Annabelle Shannon Evans says:

      It doesn’t have to relate to everyone. ‘International’ is purposefully a broad theme to allow writers to be creative. You can include aspects of your own culture or write about a character’s cross-cultural experience.

  1. Georgie Smith says:

    Yes, as the comments above, could you elaborate on the ‘international theme’? Also if you were in the ‘long list’ in last years competition then can you still enter this years with the same story? Thanks once again

    • Annabelle Shannon Evans says:

      Hi Georgie,
      See above comment. Also, if you’ve been in the long list before, then you cannot enter this year’s competition with the same story.

  2. Patricia says:

    Hi I’m really excited about this opportunity but the problem is I’m turning 20 on June 26 this year. Will my essay be qualified as long as I send it before then? What are my other options if not? Thanks in advance.

  3. Tiger says:

    What’s the policy on ‘adult’ themes, like sex, sexuality, swearing, etcetera? Is it disallowed or allowed in small quantities/indirectly? Will including such themes disqualify my entry or perhaps disadvantage it?

  4. R says:

    The Terms and Conditions state that “The copyright of any story submitted to the Litro and IGGY International Short Story Competition will remain with Litro and IGGY.” If I was planning on expanding my short story into a novel later, would this cause problems for me when trying to get it published?

  5. Seven says:

    The entry form requires you to enter your school. What do you do if you are currently studying at university and fall under the age requirement(19)? Do you list your university?

  6. Sol says:

    Slightly along the lines of Seven’s comment – does it matter if you’re within the age limits, but not officially in education at an establishment? (I’m self-employed & was home-educated/my education is really self-directed). Also can your story be based off or incorporating something you’ve written (unpublished) before or does it have to be entirely new material?
    Thanks :)

  7. Don says:

    If I referred to prostitution indirectly would my entry be disqualified because of the adult theme? It is suggested throughout the story but never actually mentioned. Thanks :)

  8. Chach says:

    Is there a minimum word limit – if my entry is just under 1500 words is that okay? How is it going to be judged – on writing quality or content? What age group would the audience be (level of litricy and vacabluary etc.)? If one is writing from their own culture, can they include words from that culture? Is it allowed to be edited by a parent? Sorry for all the questions!

  9. michelle says:

    hi guys, i entered the competition and i was wondering how you find out if youre on the long list? the website said it would be announced on the 5th September 2012. can anybody help me? I’d really appreciate it. xxx

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