Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards

A short step to stardom

Entries for the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards 2017 are now open.

Now in their 34th year, these awards are among New Zealand's most prestigious and established writing prizes. The competition has helped launch the careers of many well-known writers including Eleanor Catton, Owen Marshall, Sarah Laing, Norman Bilbrough, Barbara Anderson, Linda Olsson, Sarah Quigley and Andre Ngapo.

In association with Penguin Random House and Michael King Writers' Centre, it's your chance to WIN up to $3000, critical feedback and have your winning story published in the Sunday Star-Times - it's time to get writing.


The divisions are:

• Open division - 3000 word limit, judged by Stephanie Johnson, author and winner of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards

• Secondary school division - 2000 word limit, judged by Paula Morris, author and University of Auckland creative writing convenor


Entries close Friday, 3 November 2017, at midnight. Winners will be announced in December, and the winning entries published in the Sunday Star-Times and on over summer.


If you have any questions please contact us by email:

Sunday Star-Times Short Story awards

First Name

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If entering the Secondary School Division please complete details below.

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Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards 2017

Terms and Conditions


Information on how to enter and the prize(s) that form part of the “Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards 2017” (the “Promotion”) are set out in these terms and conditions (“Terms”). By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Terms.



Employees and their immediate families of Fairfax New Zealand Limited (“Fairfax”) and the associated sponsors, and their immediate families are not eligible to enter. Entrants must be New Zealand resident.



The competition commences at 12.00am 1 October 2017 and closes 11.59pm 3 November 2017 (“the Competition period”). There will be one winner for the open division and another winner for the secondary school division. Finalists will be contacted by phone or email using the contact details provided. Winners will be announced in the Sunday Star-Times and on Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted. The judges’ decision regarding the winners’ is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


How to enter

Entrants must visit during the Competition period and complete the form, including the required details, and submit their short story within the word limit. The maximum length of the Open Division entries is 3000 words. There is no age restriction on entries. Your story may be published in the Sunday Star-Times or on The maximum length of Secondary School Division entries is 2000 words. The Secondary School Division is open only to secondary school students. Entrants must be enrolled and attending a secondary school in New Zealand up to December 1, 2017. Your story may be published in the Sunday Star-Times or on

An individual may submit no more than one entry per category. Once an entry is submitted, it is final. The entry cannot be withdrawn and no alterations can be made to it. Entries may not contain any photographs or illustrations. Stories must be the original work of the entrant alone, and no entry may be published or broadcast elsewhere, or submitted for publication or broadcast elsewhere, or entered into any other competition until after January 31, 2018. Once an entry is received no further publishing permission will be sought; the author is responsible for the legal implications of any work published. All entries submitted remain the property of the entrant. However, Fairfax Media and Penguin Random House New Zealand have the right to publish the winning and highly commended manuscripts of the Open Division and Secondary School Division entered without fee.



Open division prize is $3000 which is sponsored by Penguin Random House. Judged by author Stephanie Johnson, winner of the Montana NZ Book Awards. Secondary school division prize is $500 sponsored by Michael King Writers’ Centre.Judged by Paula Morris, author and University of Auckland creative writing convenor. The winning entries will also be published in Sunday Star-Times.


The Promoter

The promoter is Fairfax New Zealand Limited,  Level 7, Spark Central, 42-52 Willis Street, Wellington 6011


No Correspondence

The Promoter’s decision regarding the Winners is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


Not Redeemable

The prize is not transferable, exchangeable nor redeemable for cash.



By entering the Promotion, winners agree to their names, photos and entries being published in Fairfax publications and on online platforms.


Ownership of Entries

Promotion entries become the property of Fairfax and promotional partners, who will keep the personal information it holds about entrants confidential and will not disclose it to third parties.



By agreeing “yes” to receive promotional information on the entry form, entrants to the Promotion permit Fairfax, Penguin Random House and Michael King Writers’ Centre to enter their personal information into a database for the purpose of contacting them directly about any of other Fairfax publications or promotional partner’s special offers, samples and other promotions. Pursuant to the Privacy Act 1993, entrants have the right to access and correct any personal information.



The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of claims and determine the eligibility of entrants (including an entrant's identity) and to disqualify any entry or refuse to award a prize where false or misleading details have been given by an entrant, or where an entrant has behaved in a fraudulent or dishonest manner, or otherwise than in accordance with these terms and conditions or the spirit of the promotion.


No Liability

Fairfax and its associated agencies and companies shall not be liable in any way (including, without limitation, in negligence) for any loss or damage whatsoever suffered (including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss) or for any loss or damage or personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with promotion except any liability that cannot be excluded by law. The Promoter is not liable for any tax implications that may arise as a result of winning.