The minimum word length has been reduced to 1000 words. See the reason for this here

  • Overview
  • Nova 2022
  • Previous winners
  • FAQ


    The Nova Short Story Competition is our annual competition for budding writers of science fiction and fantasy short stories. The competition is open for entry from April until 30 September annually. Winning entries, finalists and selected entries are published in Probe

    As a popular service to our entrants, critiques of entries may be requested. They cost R25 each, are completely optional, and comprise an intelligently collated paragraph or two of comments made by our provisional judges.

    The competition is co-sponsored by Arthur Goldstuck of WorldWideWorx

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    NOVA 2022 Short Story Competition

    Entries must be posted or emailed. Full details will be found in the rules.

    In a nutshell

  • entry details must be submitted using the 2022 entry form;
  • only fully-paid entries, including the admin fee, are eligible for a prize;
  • entries and proof of payments may be emailed to: nova.sffsa@gmail.com;
  • see the rules for postal entries;
  • genres of science fiction or fantasy only;
  • 1000-8000 words;
  • Only entries less than 5000 words are eligible for Mondi Incantati

  • Please read all the 2022 rules before submitting entries.

    Entry Form, Rules, and Guidelines

    Download a zipfile of rules and entry forms.

    Alternatively, download separate copies of
  • Entry Form
  • Rules
  • Guidelines
  • Membership Application Form

  • Minimum Word length

    Historically (up to Nova 2021), the minimum word length for entries submitted to Nova has been 2000 words. However, we have had requests to change this to 1000 words, because some authors felt that their story was a complete short story, even if the number of words was less than 2000. As a result, they would be forced to pad the story with fluff to qualify for Nova. We now accept a minimum length of 1000 words. The rules have been amended accordingly. Please note that an entry must still, essentially, be a complete short story, and must not seem like a chapter in a novel, or a scene from a movie script.

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    Previous Winners

    The winners of previous Nova Competitions can be found here. A complete list of all winners since 1971 can be downloaded as well.

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    The Nova Short Story Competition FAQ can be found here.

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    Did you know?

    The first short story competition was held in 1971. First prize was an awesome R15! The winning entry, as judged by Arthur Bleksley, was Man Proposes by WG Lipsett.

    For more details, you are welcome to email the convenor of the Short Story Competition.

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