Flash Fiction & Short Story Competition

Robert N Stephenson Flash Fiction & Short Story Competition is OPEN

See a list of Past Winners here.

The AHWA Robert N Stephenson Flash Fiction & Short Story Competition has opened to submissions for 2022 and will remain open until midnight on October 31st 2022.

We want your best horror story, your very best. This is Australia’s leading unpublished horror fiction competition and our winning entries are always imaginative, engaging, well-written, and bloody scary. We need tales that frighten, yarns that unsettle us in our comfortable homes. All themes in horror will be accepted, from the supernatural classics (zombies, vampires, ghosts), to psychological roller-coaster rides, to the highly original. No previously published entries will be accepted – all tales must be an original work by the author.*

There are two categories for submission:

  • Flash Fiction: Stories up to 1000 words in length.
  • Short Story: Stories from 1001 to 7500 words.

The winner in each category will receive an engraved plaque and the winning stories will appear in Midnight Echo, and receive the pay rate commensurate with that edition.*

Entry details

Writers who are Australasian (Australia, New Zealand, etc.) citizens may submit to one or both categories, but entry is limited to one story per author per category. No simultaneous submissions. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please submit stories individually (i.e. one email for each category you are entering), with the subject line “AHWA Short:” or “AHWA Flash:” and the title of your story. Include author name, membership number (for members entries), contact details, and story word length in the body of the email. DO NOT include your name or any identifying details in the story file. The competition is judged blind.

Please edit your manuscripts thoroughly before sending them through to us. Spelling errors and poor grammar isn’t the kind of horror we’re after!

Submissions should be sent to ahwacompetition@gmail.com  

* Please note that winning entries must be original and must remain original until they are published in Midnight Echo. Publishing a winning story before it appears in Midnight Echo will make it ineligible for publication as an original, and it will therefore not be included in the magazine and no payment will be made.


Paul Sheldon (Coordinator)

Bernie Rutkay (Flash)

Claire Fitzpatrick (Flash)

Anthony Ferguson (Flash)

Emma Nayfie (Short)

Daniel Car (Short)

Peter Bowdidge (Short)

Entry fee
AHWA members enter free.

General public: $5 for flash fiction, $10 for short story entries.

Secure payments can be made via Paypal. In the message field, please write “Comp20” and the email address used to submit the story as a reference.

Contact the AHWA Competitions Coordinator at ahwacompetition@gmail.com if you have any further questions.

Entries close at midnight on October 31st 2022.