Eligibility & Conditions


  1. The cash prizes and residency are funded by the de Groot Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, respectively.
  2. We have no other funding and, as such, all other costs – in-house labour, web-development, publishing, Madrid event launch, translations, publicity – have been or will be paid for by Desperate Literature and/or the proceeds raised by the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize.
  3. All profit from the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize will go to ensuring the continued viability of Desperate Literature bookshop and the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize.


  1. Entrants must be individuals and not a company or organization.
  2. Entrants must submit their work using their real name.
  3. Entrants must be over 18 years of age at the time of submission.
  4. The competition is not open to employees of Desperate Literature, The de Groot Foundation or members of the judging panel. Family members of any of the aforementioned are also not eligible.


  1. Submissions must be in English.
  2. Submissions must be made in .pdf format (carrying no mention of the author name) + a brief biography of the author (250 characters max. to be submitted in the appropriate entry field in the submission page) when paying for your entry.  Please do not email stories directly.
  3. Submissions may include images, but the maximum file upload size per entry is 10MB.
  4. Submission must be previously unpublished works of up to 2000 words.
  5. Entrants may submit more than one story.
  6. The entry fee is set at €20 for the first piece of short fiction and €10 for every further entry with a maximum of five entries per person.
  7. We do accept translations, but the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is awarded for the original work and to the original author, not to the translation or the translator.
  8. Only submissions received and paid for by midnight (Madrid time)  February 14th 2018 will be accepted.
  9. Entries that are not paid for, incomplete, are corrupted or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
  10. Long-listed and short-listed entrants will be notified by email when they have made the list.
  11. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.
  12. No editorial feedback will be provided.
  13. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.
  14. Prizes are not transferable.
  15. Entrants will retain copyright of their work. However, in submitting your work, you give permission to Desperate Literature to publicize and promote your work if appropriate (and use your names, title of work and photographs of you in such publicity).
  16. Entrants also give permission to Desperate Literature to publish your work in a one-off booklet of the winning stories.


  1. The week-long residency in the Civitella Ranieri Foundation must take place in October 2018 and includes two meals a day.  It does not include travel to or from the Foundation, and the winner must arrive at the foundation on a week day.
  2. Only female winners may be accepted for publication in ‘A Women’s Thing’.
  3. The final say for publication in ‘3:AM’, ‘A Women’s Thing’, ‘Joyland’ and ‘Structo’ falls to the editors and is not guaranteed by Desperate Literature.
  4. Publication in one magazine does not exclude the possibility of having further stories published in the other titles. The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is to promote the works of the winners as widely as possible.
  5. Literary agent Adriann Ranta Zurhellen of Foundry Literary + Media offers a 30 minute consultation either by phone or Skype.  The consultation is not an offer of representation.
  6. We aim to translate the winning pieces into Spanish for inclusion in both our booklet and the Rizoma Film Festival, dependent upon funding from entries.
  7. Our booklet will be free to all participants in the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize Salon to be held at Desperate Literature, Madrid, dependent upon proceeds (45 places max.).
  8. All shortlisted winners will receive two contributor copies of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize booklet.
  9. All events dates are to be confirmed, dependent upon availability.
  10. Neither travel expenses nor accommodation are covered by Desperate Literature or any prize participant.