Competition Guidelines

Accepting Entries Now through 30 April 2018
for the 15th Annual Short Story Competition

Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and offers the opportunity for winners to be published in the Momaya Short Story Review 2018.

The Prizes:
First Prize: £120 ($150) and one copy of the Momaya Short Story Review 2018
Second Prize: £60 ($75) and one copy of the Momaya Short Story Review 2018
Third Prize: £25 ($30) and one copy of the Momaya Short Story Review 2018

In addition, 7 honourable mentions will be chosen for publication, as well as any stories which placed in our top 30 and fit our chosen theme for the year. All winners will be published in the Momaya Short Story Review 2018.

(Stories received after 30 April 2018 will automatically be entered in the 2019 Competition)

Rules of Entry:

  • Entries may be up to 3,000 words long
  • Any subject or style is welcome
  • The competition is open to writers from all countries, but entries must be written in English
  • We expect entries to have been checked for proper spelling and grammar.

The Theme:

“Coming of Age” is the theme for the 15th annual Momaya Short Story Competition.  While entries for the Momaya Competition may be on any topic and are judged on their own merit, the judges will select additional stories for publication based on their treatment of the “Coming of Age” theme.

Some of the world’s greatest literature has considered the theme of coming of age – “Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger, “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld, “Less Than Zero” by Bret Easton Ellis, “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt, “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro, to name just a few.  Coming of Age can come at any age – childhood (perhaps from a negative event or series of events), the more usual teenage coming of age, or even well into adulthood if a protagonist has been adept at avoiding uncomfortable realities (or perhaps shielded from them). Coming of Age can be a positive, empowering, enlightening experience in which the protagonists discovers their true self.  But it can also present a loss of faith in the people who were protectors, caretakers, educators, or in other positions of trust and authority.  When faith is lost, what arises in its stead?

“There’s a point, around the age of twenty, when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life, or to make a virtue of your peculiarities.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

We look forward to reading your own, unique take on this theme. We hope for equal parts enlightenment to tragedy, and we’ll be routing for the protagonist to rise to the occasion. We are accepting entries now until the competition ends on 30 April 2018.

The Judges:

 Momaya Press Judge Meredith DePaoloMeredith DePaolo is an American screenwriter living in Kuala Lumpur. She’s worked as a television writer and producer for networks including CBS, HBO, Oxygen and Bloomberg Television reporting from New York, London and Dubai. A graduate of Yale University, Meredith was a winner of the  2016 Meryl Streep Writers Lab award.



Frances JessopFrances Jessop is an editor at Random House, dividing her time between Vintage paperbacks and literary sports books at Yellow Jersey Press. She started her career in academic publishing, where she worked at Blackwell Publishing in Oxford managing social sciences journals, before moving to trade publishing and London via a year in a literary agency at the William Morris Agency.



Gillian PinkGillian Pink is a Research Editor at the Voltaire Foundation (University of Oxford), where she works as part of a team to publish the first ever critical edition of Voltaire’s complete works. She has recently completed a doctorate on Voltaire’s marginalia, set to be published by CNRS Éditions (Paris). She has studied and taught literature from a wide range of styles and periods, in the UK, France and Canada.



Alice SheppardAlice Shepherd works as an investment writer. Before this, she was an assistant editor at Penguin, where she worked on a wide range of commercial fiction. Having started her publishing career at Abner Stein literary agency, she then went on to work at Headline Publishing Group.




Alyssa Warren

Alyssa Warren is the author of the novel Not the Only Sky. After growing up South Dakota, she studied English in Santa Barbara, California, and Sydney, Australia. She taught creative writing and modern British literature at the Universidad San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador, and served as contributing editor to Surface magazine, covering art, design and fashion. A printmaker and photographer, she lives in East London with her husband and three sons. Read more about Alyssa



How to Submit:

  • Your short story must be submitted via email and payment must be completed
  • Every short story must be accompanied by an entry fee of £12 via Paypal. Payment by cheque in British Pounds may be sent via mail to our UK mailing address, listed on the “About Momaya” page
  • You may submit more than one short story
  • You may submit stories that have been published before, as long as you retain the copyright

Additional conditions:

Copyright of published stories remains with the author. The judges’ verdict is final. No correspondence will be entered into once work has been submitted. Stories cannot be altered or changed after they have been entered. Any story submitted may be published in the Momaya Short Story Review 2018, whether or not they have won.

In the video below, Cally Taylor shares her experience of being published by Momaya Press.

Past Momaya Themes:
2017 Dystopia/Utopia
2016 Ambition
2015 Treasure
2014 Captivity
2013 Music
2012 Heat
2011 Greed
2010 Family
2009 Alienation
2008 Passion
2007 Transformation
2006 Escape
2005 Humour
2004 Food

Email your suggestions for future Momaya Themes