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“This was the beginning of the fairy tale, he thought…”

Assassination Scene, Jason Atkinson

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Houses Borders Ghosts
New Ghost Stories IV

It’s time to announce the latest winner of the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award.

This award is presented for the best story in each anthology we publish, and is judged by the contributors to that volume.

Time time we had a particularly challenging contest, with a three-way tie between Matt Plass, Jacqueline Gabbitas, and Jo Gatford. To break the tie, we invited our previous winner Zeph Auerbach to cast a deciding vote. He chose Jo Gatford’s story Yellow Rock as the winner, and here’s what he had to say about it:

‘Yellow Rock is superb at conjuring a sense of mystery and longing. Details – including those of the intriguing narrator – always seem just out of reach, and you’re left just with the pure drive and fear of someone working at a dangerous frontier of discovery. It’s a dark, uncanny tale that will stay with me for years to come.’

So thank you to Zeph for helping with the vote, to Jo for her excellent story, and to all of our contributors for the fantastically high standards they set. If you’ve not yet read New Ghost Stories IV, it’s out now and you can get your copy right here. (And watch out for our next anthology, featuring another new story from Jo.)

Here’s a quick guide to submission calls this autumn and winter here at The Fiction Desk.

We’ll have two submission calls open during this period:

  • Our general submission call is for stories on any theme, in any of the genres we usually feature in our pages. This is open now, with a deadline of 31 January 2024.
  • Our annual ghost story submission call, for all kinds of supernatural fiction. This call opens in October, and will also run until the end of January.

As always, don’t forget to read our submission guidelines, and please read at least one of our anthologies before sending in your work.

(You can get our anthologies directly from us here.)

Our summer short story submission call is now open.

There’s no particular theme for this call, so just take a look at one of our recent anthologies, and send us your best work.

If you’re interested in supernatural fiction, it’s work checking out our latest anthology, New Ghost Stories IV. For a more general selection of stories, take a look at Houses Borders Ghosts.

When you’re ready to submit, please read our short story submission guidelines, and then head over to the submission form.

The deadline for our summer submission call is Thursday, 31 August.

New Ghost Stories IV

Our latest anthology, New Ghost Stories IV, is out now.

You can find out more, or order your own copy, right here.

Our new anthology, New Ghost Stories IV, will be published at the end of April, and it’s available to pre-order now.

New Ghost Stories IV is part of our occasional series dedicated to supernatural fiction, and includes stories from Fiction Desk regulars Alastair Chisholm, Matt Plass, Jo Gatford, Mark Taylor, and Cindy George, as well as a host of new (and new-to-us) writers.

To find out more, or pre-order your own copy, just follow this link.

Our spring submission calls are now open.

This year, we’re running two calls:

  • Our themed call this spring is City Stories – for stories about cities and how they shape the lives of the people who live, work, and travel in them.
  • Our General Submission Call is our standard call for stories in any of the themes and styles we features in our anthologies.

Click above for more information about either of these calls. The deadline for both is 31 May, 2023. As ever, be sure to read our submission guidelines before sending in your work.

On Friday the BBC announced the shortlist for this year’s National Short Story Award.

There’s a total of five shortlistees, and we’re delighted to see that two of them are Fiction Desk contributors. That’s almost half the list!

The two writers whose work has appeared in our pages are Danny Rhodes and Richard Smyth.

You can find out more about the award over on the BBC’s website. The winners will be announced on 19 October.

Houses Borders Ghosts

Today we’re announcing the latest winner of The Fiction Desk’s Writer’s Award.

The Writer’s Award is presented to the author of the best story in each anthology we publish, as voted for by the contributors themselves. Because who could be better qualified than the people who write the stories?

This time around the award is for the best story in our latest anthology, Houses Borders Ghosts. With nine excellent stories to choose from, including one by a previous award-winner Alastair Chisholm, competition was tough, but in the end the votes gave us a winner.

So it’s congratulations to Zeph Auerbach, who takes home the £100 prize for his story ‘Desynchronisation at Seven Sisters’.

If you’ve not yet read his story, Houses Borders Ghosts is available now in paperback and Kindle editions.

Houses Borders Ghosts

We’re delighted to announce that our new anthology, Houses Borders Ghosts, is due for publication at the end of this month.

Houses Borders Ghosts contains nine new short stories in our usual variety of styles and themes from new and returning authors; our regular readers will be familiar with Alastair Chisholm, Jacki Donnellan, and Kate van der Borgh, and there are some fantastic talents making their first appearance in our pages.

Copies will be available soon in paperback and Kindle editions. You can find out more about the new anthology, or order your own copy, here.

Various Authors short story anthology

We’re so busy getting our new anthology ready for press that we nearly overlooked our own birthday! This week sees the tenth anniversary of the publication of our first anthology, Various Authors.

In the years since then, we’ve published fourteen volumes, including 149 stories from 108 different authors. And we’ve got plenty more lined up.

So thank you to all of you — readers, contributors, and potential contributors — who have been with us along the way.

(Speaking of our anthologies, watch out for news of our new volume in the next couple of weeks.)

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