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Aestas 2016 – The Short Story Competition


Aestas 2016, our summer short story competition is now open. For guidelines, please visit our guidelines page here. To submit, visit our submissions page, here.


Nivalis 2016 –  Short Story Competition results


Submission window for Nivalis 2016 closed on 31Mar16, and after two months’ of reading and grading stories, we are now ready with the short list of winning entries!

The judging panel comprised the Fabula Press Team and Literary Agents Clare Wallace and Sandra Sawicka, and Authors Brett Alan Sanders and Anisha Bhaduri.

Judging is subjective; more so when it involves works of fiction as we realised yet again while grading the entries to the Nivalis Short Story Competition 2016. Since the average quality of submissions was very good, we found it difficult to restrict our recognition to the handful of long-listed entries and felt the need to come out with a list of stories deserving a special mention – these are the stories that were great reads but narrowly missed out on being selected for the final long-list. The competition was stiff indeed, with our cut-off score for the initial round of screening at eight on a scale of ten. To put this in perspective, the maximum score notched up was nine, and that story went on to be adjudged one of the top three winning entries.

So without further ado, the Special Mention stories list:

Ethen Alan and the Tall Man ~ Celeste Nist

The Anastasia Caper ~ Bruce Graham

The Saving of Little Miss M. ~ Peter Lynch

Before the Drought Broke ~ Nancy Dinan

Mr / Carcassone ~ Christopher Bunyan

Head Shrink ~ Alun Evans

A Host Rising – Nina Oram

H-i-d-i-n-g ~ Jennifer Shaefer

Golden Stone Territory ~ Niamh MacCabe

Crazy Cat ~ Aoife Wan

Heaven ~ Jonathan deBurca Butler

Moonshine ~ Robert Grossmith

Elephants of the Cosmos ~ Ken Morlich

Blonde Heads of Hair ~ Radhe Iswari

It’ll Do You Some Good ~ Kim Sharp

The Gardener ~ Caroline McCLain

The final fifteen stories that were long-listed comprise a mix of genres ranging from literary fiction to horror to comedy. Apart from the winning entries and the Editors’ Pick awardees, there were nine honourable mention stories which will be published in the Nivalis 2016 anthology and will be paid US$50 each. These are:


Cassie’s Chair by Diane Thomas-Plunk 

The Shot from Robin Bailes

Louise Mangos with My Sister’s Island

Timothy O’Leary’s One Star

Sam Calcutt’s Artichokes

When We Forget by Daniel Franklin

Thomas Ang with Puke in the Snow

Where Shall I Find Refuge by Peter Newall

Patrick Weldon’s  Letting Go

Editor’s Pick Awards of US$100 are given to tales that finished in the top ten and had a perfect score from at least one of the judges. The Editor’s Picks for Nivalis 2016 are:


English Afternoons by Peter Higgins

Christopher Howard’s The Little Red Lego Boat


And finally, the Grand Prizes:

At joint third place, winning US$100 are

Helen de Burca‘s The Ghost Child”  and Linda Maclennan’s “Fox Fur”,

The second prize of US$150 goes to Michelle Elvy, for Lost and Found in Berlin

And the winner of the Nivalis 2016 Short Story Contest with a prize of US$250 is Richard Buxton for “The Bread Man”


Congratulations to the winners and a heartfelt thanks from Fabula Press to all who participated, and to the judges. We hope to see you again with our summer edition in July 2016.

Stay well!



Aestas 2015 – The Contest Results


It has been a long two months of judging and finally, we are ready with the results of the Aestas 2015 Short Story Contest. With the overall quality of submissions going up with every edition of the competition, we found it especially challenging this time around to pick the final few. It will not be surprising, therefore, that we ultimately decided to longlist fourteen stories instead of our usual dozen. Even while shortlisting for the top entries, the judges’ dilemma was evident – we had six stories tying for the top three spots! So instead of the three prizes originally promised, we have now decided to give away seven, with the top three chosen by the judges and four in the editors’ pick category.


The longlisted “Honourable Mention” stories that will go on to be featured in the anthology are:


Andrew Stiggers’ tale of cultural and sexual diversity “Flower Behind Her Ear”

“How Do You Know”, a satirical take on life, death, and everything in between by Fred McGavran

The surrealistic “Long John of Babylon”, from Bruce Campbell

Mark Patton‘s historical fiction”White Wings” 

Siobhan O’Tierney’s “The Loudest Laugh of All”, a story of love and helplessness

“Dragon Bird of Liaoning”, speculative fiction from Wilson F Engel III

Hannah Persaud’s dark tale of “Last Prayers at the Chapel”


Also to feature in the anthology, and recipients of the “Editors’ Pick” award with a cash prize of USD50 are:


Caroline Mbaya‘s chilling narrative on the aftermath  of “Saint Kizito”

“Summer Skin” by Richard Larson, a semi-speculative tale with a Chekhovesque finale

“The Mart”, Lela Tredwell‘s take on these despairing times

and Kristen Falso-Capaldi’s study of loss, memories, and pain, in “Something Else Happened”


And finally, the top three entries of Aestas 2015:


“Dear Violet” by Lucy Brown, securing third place and a cash award of USD100

Winning the second prize, and a cash award of USD100 is Peter Newall‘s “The Luft Mensch”

“First Kill” by Tim O’Leary takes the first prize and a cash award of USD150


Once again, a heartfelt thanks from the Fabula Press to all who participated, and to the judges. A very Happy New Year 2016 in advance to all, and we hope to see you again with our winter edition in January 2016.

PS: In other news, we have nominated Zanda Pilate‘s “Renewed Faith in Snow” from the Nivalis 2015 anthology for the Pushcart Prize this season. You can read an excerpt from the story here.


Nivalis 2015 – The Short Story Contest Anthology


The Fabula Press Anthology Nivalis 2015 is now available on Amazon! To get your copy or to leave your feedback, click here:

 Nivalis 2015

Fabula Press Nivalis 2015


Featured in the pages of the anthology are:

The longlist …

“The Hearth of Christmas” by Steve Wade

Ron Hayes‘ “A Soft and Fading White”

“The Lemon Season” by Joanna Vandenbring

Andrew Maynes‘ “Allure”

“Candied Chestnuts” by Meltem Kaso

Lauren D’Ambra‘s “Sleigh Ride”


The ‘honourable mention’ list ….

“Full of Grace” by Grainne Murphy 

Donald Roberts‘ “Ice Totem”

“Drunk House” by Anne Foster 


And, the final shortlist …..

Zanda Pilate‘s Renewed Faith in Snow as the top finalist

A very close second, Erica Eisen‘s True North

Too Brief, the Cricket’s Winter Song by Arthur Carey, our third prize winner


We thank our patrons and our judges yet again for the tremendous support extended to this short story competition. Well done, authors, for making our work so hard yet so tremendously fulfilling.  Thank you, all who helped spread the word!

Stay tuned to learn more about the authors, the stories, and about the anthology! Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and twitter handle @FabulaPress for updates, and for any queries, contact us at editors@fabulapress.com.

To receive news / updates / queries on future short story contests / publications, drop a mail to editors@fabulapress.com with “Subscribe” in the subject line.

The Nivalis Short Shory Contest 2015 was judged by

Clare Wallace

Brett Alan Sanders

Anisha Bhaduri

Joanna Ezekiel


Aestas 2014 – The Short Story Contest Anthology


The maiden Fabula Press Anthology Aestas 2014 is now available on Amazon! To get your copy or to leave your feedback, click here:

 Aestas 2014

Aestas Short Story Contest 2014


Featured in the pages of the anthology are:

The shortlist …..

First place winner Wilson F. Engel, III for The Wasps 

Oliver Snelgrove with The Picture on The News in second place

and the third prize finalist Sofia Mostaghimi, for the Sun-Gazer

Special mention candidate Alison Miller  graces these pages with “The Reckoning” – based purely on scores it was tied at the third place with “Sun-Gazer”, though a greater number of judges showed preference for the latter.


The longlist….

Heatwave by Marina Marinopoulos

The Letter by Anne Foster

Inferno by Dawne Gowrie Zetterstrom

The Hanging Tree by Stephen Wade

Stalker by Rena Robinett 

The Pied Pipers’ Song by Katie Avagliano


 Plus, a bonus story from Brett Alan Sanders, contest judge.

 Given the high quality of submissions in this creative writing contest, selecting the winners proved to be a tough task indeed, with almost all stories finding favour with one judge or another. Well done, everyone, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your creation. It has been a fantastic reading experience. Our thanks go out to all who submitted, and to everyone who helped spread the word. Stay tuned to learn more about the authors, the stories, and about the anthology! Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for updates, and for any queries, contact us at editors@fabulapress.com.

The inaugural short story contest was judged by

Brett Alan Sanders

Anisha Bhaduri

Sam Tranum

Leela Devi Paniker

The Aestas short story contest 2014 opened on May 20, 2014, and closed on June 20,2014.