Sun Story Award

About the Award

Find out everything you need to know about the Sun Story Award

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The Rules

Give yourself and your story the best chance possible by checking up on the rules

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How to Enter

Read to enter your story? You can find ut how to here

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This Year's Judges

Find out a little more about the people behind the big decisions this year

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Twitter and Blog

Follow the award on social media for the most up-to-date annoucements

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Pick up a Previous Copy

Want to see what the judges of previous years have chosen? Pick up a copy now.

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About The Award

The University of Sunderland In Association With Waterstones Short Story Award, or the Sun Story Award for short, is a fantastic opportunity for writers of all experiences, ages, and locations. The award, which rewards the best in short fiction for both adults, writers aged 11 to 17,  is an annual award which opens late autumn/early winter, and closes mid summer. The submitted stories are then whittled down into a longlist, and then a shortlist, and then eventually a winner and runners-up in all categories.


The award is currently split into four categories:

  • 11-17 
  • 11-17 Regional*
  • Adult
  • Adult Regional*

Writers can enter as many stories as they wish (entry fee is per entry for Adult and Adult Regional categories).  Writers from the region can enter either the Adult or Adult Regional category, or both.


The prizes on offer this year are:

  • All 1st place winners will receive in the region of £350
  • Selected stories will be published in a collected anthology, with writers receiving a complimentary copy

In addition, previous awards have been supported by Iron Press and charities such as the Sunderland Literacy Aid, and have been able to offer books as additional prizes.


So please, start writing and preparing your entry, and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.


*Regional is defined as entries from those living, working, or studying in Country Durham, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear.

Important Dates

17th December 2018

Open for Entries

+ Event Details

17th December 2018

Open for Entries


1st July 2019

Closes for Entries

+ Event Details

1st July 2019

Closes for Entries


August 2019

Longlist Announced

August 2019

Longlist Announced

September 2019

Shortlist Announced

September 2019

Shortlist Announced

October Half Term 2019

Awards Night and Winners Announced

+ Event Details

October Half Term 2019

Awards Night and Winners Announced


The Rules

Adult and Adult Regional

  • Word Count - 2500 words or less
  • Entry Fee - £5 (payment information below)
  • Previously Published Stories - no, all stories must be previously unpublished
  • Simultaneous Submissions - yes, but if a story is accepted elsewhere, please let us know so it can be withdrawn from consideration
  • Theme - none

11-17 and 11-17 Regional

  •  Word Count - 1500 words or less
  • Entry Fee - none, these categories are free to enter
  • Previously Published Stories - no, all stories must be previously unpublished
  • Simultaneous Submissions - yes, but if a story is accepted elsewhere, please let us know so it can be withdrawn from consideration
  • Theme -none

How To Enter - The Adult Categories

Paying the Fee

Entries for the Adult or Adult Regional categories cost £5 per entry, and must be paid before submitting your story to the award. If you click the button below, this will take you directly to where you can make that payment. 


(The payment link will go live 17th December, when the award opens)

pay here

Submitting Your Story

Once you have paid the entry fee, you can submit your story by clicking the link below.

Before you submit, please make sure:

  • To attach your payment receipt to the email
  • That your attached story is in the .doc or .docx format
  • In your email title, please make sure to say which category (Adult or Adult Regional) you are entering 

enter now

How to Enter - The 11-17 Categories

Submitting Your Story

Unlike the other categories, entries for the 11-17 categories are free to enter.

As such, once you are happy with your story,  please submit your story by clicking the link below.

Before you submit, please make sure:

  • That your attached story is in the .doc or .docx format
  • In your email title, please make sure to say which category (11-17 or 11-17 Regional) you are entering 

This Year's Judges

Guy Mankowski

Guy Mankowski is the author of novels The Intimates and Letters From Yelena (Legend Press) which was researched in the world of Russian ballet and adapted for the stage as a dance production. His third novel, How I Left The National Grid, was written as part of a PhD at Northumbria University. His most recent novel, An Honest Deceit, was a New Writing North Read Regional Title. 

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Nicholas Royle

Nicholas Royle is the author of seven novels, two novellas and three volumes of short fiction​. He has edited twenty anthologies of short stories. Reader in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University and head judge of the Manchester Fiction Prize, he also runs Nightjar Press, publishing original short stories as signed, limited-edition chapbooks. He works as an editor for Salt Publishing

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Follow the award on Twitter - @SunStorySward

Sun Story Award Blog