‘Changing Natures’ – new short story competition launches

A new 1500-word short story competition has launched today.

The Changing Natures competition is looking for submissions on the theme of nature (including human nature), the environment or ‘taking notice’ of the world around you, with a maximum length of 1500 words. Winners will see their work published as part of The Great Read “Changing Natures” anthology in 2021, as well as receiving a cash prize of £500.

Winners across all categories will also be invited to take part in next year’s Liverpool Literary Festival.

Colm Tóibín, a celebrated writer and Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, has recorded the following video encouraging all those interested to take part, and explains why now is a good time to get creative:

Professor Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Professor of English Literature, said: “We’re hugely excited to give all of our students and staff the opportunity to showcase their creativity in this new short story competition.  I’m greatly looking forward to reading the entries!”

Prize categories

There are three categories with the following prizes on offer:

Undergraduate students – sponsored by Student Roost.

  • First prize: £500 and publication of your story in The Great Read anthology
  • Second prize: £250
  • Third prize: £100

Postgraduate students – sponsored by Student Roost.

  • First prize: £500 and publication of your story in The Great Read anthology
  • Second prize: £250
  • Third prize: £100


  • First prize: Publication of your story in The Great Read anthology
  • 1st-3rd prize: Prizes donated by the Senior Leadership Team include vouchers for Liverpool Philharmonic, the Gourmet Club, Gaucho and Mowgli Street Food.

All entrants will also receive a 10% discount for Blackwell’s book store on campus and a collection of the best submissions will be published online.

How to enter

To enter, send your short story submissions to studentsuccess@liverpool.ac.uk with the subject line Changing Natures by Friday, 26 March 2021.

Winners will be announced in late April 2021.

There is no entry fee, but each writer can only enter one story.

There is a 1500-word limit and all submissions must be written in English.

Find out more about the competition, and read the full Terms and Conditions.

Need help getting started?

To help you get started, you are invited to take part in a free creative writing programme. This is not a prerequisite for entry into the competition but aims to help those new to writing to get started on their journey, or those who are more confident to hone their skills further.

The four-part programme will be led by PhD student Bernadette McBride and will offer workshops with seasonal and ecological themes that will help you to nurture your stories. The workshops are available to all students and staff and you can find more details and joining instructions here.

Workshop 1 – Wintering through Writing takes place on Thursday, 10 December, 5-6pm. Register your place now.