Shakespeare on the river presents:

The Sheila Malady Short Story Competition


Light seeking light doth light of light beguile.
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.

Shakespeare is renowned for his inventive use of language, creation of new words and blatant use of time honoured tales of love, hope, murder and revenge. He has created some of the world's most beloved tales, characters and gifted the English language with words we still use everyday. His works have been adapted, reinterpreted and extended as writers have wondered what if, what now and what next. Now it's your turn.

At its heart, this competition is about celebrating and breathing new life into the works of Shakespeare by inviting writers to send us their own creations. In 2017, the theme is Light/Dark. So sharpen your quills and send us your best original short story of 2000 words.

Winners will be announced at the opening night of the Festival on Saturday 22 April, 2017.  The opening of the Stratford on Avon Shakespeare Festival will be celebrated at The Courthouse Theatre, Stratford (66 Princes Highway) with the 2017 Arts Exhibition Opening at 6pm and the official Festival Opening to follow at 6.30pm. 

The first prize is:

  •  $300 cash
  • 2x tickets to the Community Play performances (two one act plays on one night)
  • Handcrafted timber quill

A local prize for a writer residing in Gippsland will also be offered:

  • Collins Bookstore voucher
  • 2x tickets to the Community Play performances (two one act plays on one night)

A prize for a young writer under the age of 18 years will be awarded:

  • Collins Bookstore voucher
  • 2x tickets to the Community Play performances (two one act plays on one night)

Entry is $5 per story. 

Closing date for entries is Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11.59pm AEDT.

Entries should be emailed ONLY to

Click here to download the entry form.

Good without evil is like light with out darkness which in turn is like righteousness with out hope.


[UPDATED] Submission Guidelines and Conditions of Entry

  • An original short story not exceeding 2,000 words.  Entries should be unpublished and not awarded a prize in another competition
  • The theme for our 2017 competition is Light/Dark, reflecting the 2017 Shakespeare on the River Festival theme 'Illuminate'
  • The competition is open to all ages and nationalities. Entries must be in English.  
  • Entries should be 12 pt font size, Times New Roman font, 1.5 line spacing, and accompanied by an entry form. Only the title and not the author's name should appear on the manuscript.  Pages should be numbered
  • Entries will be judged anonymously and on merit.  
  • Only online entries will be accepted (Please note the change from previous years). Please submit in doc, docx or pdf format.  Entries can be emailed to        
  • Multiple entries are acceptable. All entries attract a $5 entry fee and should be accompanied by an entry form. These can be downloaded from the website
  • The entry fee is to be paid via direct deposit to the Shakespeare on Avon Shakespeare Association (SOASA) 
  • Please identify deposits using "surname" and “writing comp”.  The direct debit details are as follows:

         Stratford on Avon Shakespeare Association
         BSB: 633000 ACC: 148093784

  • Closing date for entries is Thursday 23 March 2017 11.59 pm AEDT.  Late entries will not be accepted.
  • Copyright remains with the author.  We reserve the right to publish the winning entries on our website and promote them during the festival.
  • The judge’s decision is final. Prizes are not transferable into cash. We reserve the right to not award a prize if the entries are not of a high standard or fail to address the theme or guidelines.
  • Previous winning entries can be found on our website,
  • First prize includes $300 cash and 2 tickets to a performance of the community play. 
  • The local prize for a writer residing in Gippsland is also offered and includes a Collins Book voucher plus 2 tickets to a performance of the community play. A prize is also being offered for a young writer aged under 18, also sponsored by Collins Booksellers, Sale.
  • Good luck and we hope to read your story!


Click here to download a copy of these updated submission deadlines AND conditions of entry

Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires