Kurious Short Story

Write a short story on the theme "curious" & you could win £500!

This Competition is now closed! We are currently working through all submissions and will announce the winner in February!


We welcome short stories in any fictional genre based on the theme “Curious”, which you may interpret in any way you wish.

The short story competition is open to writers over sixteen of any nationality from any country.

Word limit: 2,000 words maximum (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee: £5 for each short story submitted. You may enter more than one story.

There is a single prize of £500. The ten short-listed stories will be published on-line and as an anthology in which authors may include their own profile page. A special commendation will be given to each judge’s favourite story.

Meet our panel of three distinguished judges.

Emma Bolland is a writer, artist, and editor who works across  literatures, translations, screenwriting, performance, and film. Their most recent publication, Over, In, and Under (Dostoyevsky Wannabe 2019), moves between fiction, prose-poem, script, and essay. Of this book, Joanna Walsh says that ‘these hybrid-texts have carried me into some of the chasms of hilarity and terror over which the cultural artefacts they address are precariously suspended,’ and Peter Riley in the Fortnightly Review wrote that ‘I find the transformation that takes place and the tenor of the resulting text, remarkable’. They are the editor of the new Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities: Sheffield anthology, and have published widely across creative and academic publications. They were the 2019 artist-writer in residency for the University of Sheffield School of Arts and Humanities, and have presented lectures and papers nationally and internationally, most recently at the 12th International Screenwriting Research Network conference at the Universidade Católica in Porto, and have read and performed their work at events such as No Matter in Manchester and Writing  Photographs at Tate Modern. They are currently an Associate Lecturer on the MA/MFA and BA Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, specialising in narrative, writing art, and text based performance. See Emma's Publications / Papers / Texts

Julianne Pachico was born in 1985 in Cambridge, England. She grew up in Cali, Colombia, where her parents worked in international development as agricultural social scientists.

In 2004 she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she completed her B.A. at Reed College in Comparative Literature. In 2012 she returned to England in order to complete her M.A. in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where she was a recipient of UEA's Creative Writing International Scholarship.

She is currently completing her PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at UEA on a fully funded fellowship. She had a short story on the long list for the Sunday Times Prize, and is also the only writer to have two stories in the 2015 anthology of the Best British Short Stories. Her short stories have been published by The New Yorker, Lighthouse, Litro, Shooter Literary Magazine and Newwriting.net, among others. She holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K.

Niki Chang

Niki Chang
The Good Literary Agency

Niki Chang is a literary agent at The Good Literary Agency. She represents writers of fiction and non-fiction and poets from under-represented backgrounds. She started her career at Aitken Alexander Associates beore moving to TGLA. In 2019 she won the London Book Fair Trailblazer Award. 



Entry instructions for the Kurious Arts short story prize. Please ensure you read the entry instructions and rules carefully before entering the competition. Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and terms and conditions. Failure to comply may result in disqualification (though, in fact, you will be disqualified only if you exceed the word count or include any information which identifies you in your submission).

  • All entries for the prize should be submitted online. We know writers usually have multiple draft versions of their work. Please double check you have the correct version of your short story ready to upload. You won’t be able to substitute work once it has been submitted. Word limit 2,000 excluding title. You may submit more than one story, but separately with an entry fee for each one.
  • Entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed (as in 2nd, 3rd, runner up etc) in any other competition.
  • The deadline for entries is midnight (BST) on 12th December 2019 (good date for a short story competition, don’t you agree?).
  • Format instructions. Your story should be written in English (a translation of your own work into English is acceptable). Use any clear font, 12pt black. The lines should be double or 1.5 spaced. Number your pages at the bottom and submit as MS Word .doc or .docx. The file name should be the title of the story, typed exactly the same as on the document. Your entry will be disqualified if the file contains any information which identifies you.
  • Timeframe. Entries close midnight on 12th December 2019. Judging January/February 2020. Ten shortlisted authors will be contacted by e-mail in early March 2020. An event will be held later in March 2020 at The Writer’s Hub, Kommune in Sheffield to announce the winner. All shortlisted authors will be invited. Details of the shortlist will also appear on the Kurious website.
  • To enter online you need to open an account by clicking on the appropriate button on the website. Here you will record your personal contact details. You will be directed to the pay-wall. After successful receipt of your payment (only £5) the online submission form will become available. Receipt of payment and entries will be acknowledged by e-mail. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • Simultaneous submissions. We accept simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. You may withdraw your story up to the point when the short-list is announced. If shortlisted, we ask you to inform any other parties to whom you have submitted the story.
  • Copyright remains with the author, but Kurious Arts retains the right to publish short listed stories and to use submitted material for promotional activities.
  • Judging. The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into. A panel of published authors will help select the shortlist. Our three distinguished judges will then rank them and the story with the highest overall score declared the winner. Special commendation will be given to each judge’s favourite story. Kurious Art reserves the right to change the panel of judges.

Good luck.

Enter Competition

  • Entries Open
    Saturday, 12 October 2019
  • Entries Close
    Thursday, 12 December 2019