Fabula Press

Fabula Press - towards a literary world

Update on Aestas 2021 Shost Sotry Competition: Submissions have now closed for the contest. We are in the process of longlisting stories, and are reaching out to the authors as we progress. Final results are expected to come in by mid-October 2021, so keep watching this space!

We at Fabula Press are delighted to announce our return after a fairly long hiatus, with our first short story contest of 2021! We thank all our readers and writers for their patience – it has been a very long couple of years for us, starting with our website getting hijacked (hence the new address), forcing us to sit on the sidelines for a while. In the meantime, we took delight in watching some of our authors going on to achieve higher things, being signed on for representation by reputed agents. Extremely pleasing as it was, though, it only made our hunger to return more intense, to live our mission statement of ‘Towards a Literary World’.

And to celebrate our return, we have a host of exciting announcements to make over the coming months. As before, Fabula Press will continue to host two competitions every year; the summer submission window running from May to July and the winter edition from November to February (apologies to the friends in the southern hemisphere for the naming of the seasons – we do welcome your submissions!). And the first bit of exciting news is the increase in the prize purse, with the first prize winner to take home a cash amount of US$500. The second and third prize awards have also been increased, and all authors published in our contest anthology will be paid a minimum of US$75. There are more plans on the anvil, and we are really excited to think of the future. But first things first, so read on below to learn about the key guidelines of Fabula Press Aestas 2021 Short Story Contest. For the detailed guidelines and to submit, please click here.  

Word Count: Minimum 2000, maximum 6000 words. Slightly longer stories may be considered on merit. 

Format: Stories must be in English, in a readable (Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond, etc.), 12 point font. Format should be as .doc, .docx, or .pdf document. The contest will be blind judged, so the submitted document should only contain the name of the story, and no other information about the author.

Key Dates: The summer contest window opens on 01May21, and will close on 31Jul21. Reading period will will be between 01Aug21 to 31Oct21, with final results announced in November ’21.

Simultaneous submission: Allowed, but authors must let us know if the story is accepted elsewhere before our results are announced.   

Prior publishing: Submitted stories must not have been previously published either online or offline. However, stories published in published in local journals, book club publications etc. with circulation of no more than 1000 will be exempted from this requirement.

Entry fee: US$ 10. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may submit, but every entry must be accompanied by the entry fee.

Please read the detailed terms and conditions in the submissions page before submitting.

For any queries please reach out to editors@pressfabula.com


I first came across Fabula Press a few years ago when I started writing short stories, and when I found out I'd made the short list of one of their competitions it was the first external validation that my writing might be taken seriously. My interactions with Anirban/Fabula Press were professional and courteous and the anthology that my story appeared in was a beautiful thing! A few years on and I've had many stories published and have written enough for a collection (a future dream) - and my debut novel The Codes of Love was published by Muswell Press last year. I'll always be grateful to Fabula Press for giving me the confidence to believe in my writing.

I have had the privilege of having stories published with Fabula Press in two anthologies. Apart from being very attractive publications, with striking cover designs, I was treated in a professional, friendly and efficient manner. They were genuinely interested in promoting me and my work, as they were with all those writers included in the anthologies. This was evidenced in the way they included a photo and potted biography with each story. Added to this, each story had a comment by one of the competition judges. But Fabula Press went even further than this to help promote those writers included in their publications. On a couple of occasions, I requested Anirban to personally endorse my work. One time when I wished him to back my story ‘The Hanging Tree’ to a Short Story of the Year Award competition, and another when I was seeking an agent for a children’s novel. Anirban complied with his usual interest and courtesy.

A participant in Fabula Press' Nivalis 2015 contest, Jim was impressed by, yes, our rejection mail! So much so that he penned a blog post titled "Turned down by Fabula Press" and went on to say that it was the nicest turn down letter he had ever received.

Our Judges

Brett Alan Sanders Short Story Contest Judge

Brett Alan Sanders

Brett Alan Sanders is a writer, translator, and recently retired teacher living in Tell City, Indiana. He holds a BA in Spanish (with an English minor) and an MALS. He has been a contributing writer at Tertulia Magazine, a columnist for the Perry County (IN) News, and the managing editor at New Works Review. He has published original essays, fiction, and literary translations in a variety of journals, and has also authored a YA novella (A Bride Called Freedom) and two book-length translations from the works of Buenos Aires writer María Rosa Lojo. He can be reached through his website / blog www.brettalansanders.wordpress.com

Clare Wallace Fabula Press Short Story Contest Judge

Clare Wallace

Graduating with a first from a BA in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies at Bath Spa University, Clare went on to gain a distinction on the MA in Creative Writing. She has proof-listened to hundreds of adults and children’s audio books for AudioGO and worked for Cardiff University as a research assistant and coach to international students. She joined the Darley Anderson Agency in January 2011. Among others, Clare represents Deirdre Sullivan whose collection of short stories is slated to be published in May21 Clare tweets @LitAgentClare

Sandra Sawicka Short Story Contest Judge

Sandra Sawicka

Sandra Sawicka joined the agency in 2014.  Her main interests are genre fiction (SFF, speculative, crime, horror) and YA. She also handles translation rights for all authors represented by Marjacq. She would love to see: action-packed adventure, accessible SF, crime with a speculative edge, Southern Gothic, campus novels, road novels, spooky mysteries, ghost stories, high concept, atmospheric historical fiction, YA adventure, anti-heroes, popular science non fiction (especially linguistics, cybernetics, and astronomy).

Anisha Bhaduri Fabula Press Short Story Contest Judge

Anisha Bhaduri

A journalist for over two decades, Anisha had a decade long stint at The Statesman in India, and is currently the Web Editor of China Daily, Hong Kong. In 2012, her first published work of fiction featured in the Random House title ‘She Writes: A collection of Short Stories’. The first Indian woman to become a Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow, Anisha won the first prize in a national literary contest for women writers organized by the British Council in India in 2009, and was conferred the Pradyot Bhadra Young Journalist Award for Excellence in 2011. Her crime novella, Murders in Kolkata 26, has recently been published by Juggernaut Press.

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