The Reader Berlin is pleased to announce their second ever short story competition. Fresh from publishing the competition winners from 2012 (buy the book at Another Country or get the ebook here), we’re now ready to do it all again. Our judges will be Laura Hassan of Guardian Faber, Florian Duijsens (SAND, Asymptote) and author Brittani Sonnenberg (HOME LEAVE, Grand Central Publishing).

The competition aims to recognize and support original work by emerging writers, so your entry must not have been published anywhere else, either in print or on the internet. Entry is 7 euros. This time, we are honouring our home – Berlin. You may interpret this theme as broadly or as narrowly as you like. The upper word limit is 3500, and the deadline is midnight, December 31st 2014. There is no lower word limit.

First Prize

Our winner will receive 250 euros and a pair of weekend tickets to our Summer 2015 Reader Berlin Fort Gorgast Festival as well as the below (see finalists)

Kristen Harrison of The Curved House is kindly donating a one-to-one session to the winning author in which she will give detailed, individually-tailored web and social media training. Furthermore, the winning story will be published in print by SAND literary journal in addition to the ebook anthology.


9 finalists will have their stories published as part of an ebook anthology along with the winning story.

Victoria Gosling, founder of The Reader, will give each finalist professional editorial feedback on their work.

Finalists will also receive 1-day tickets to our Summer 2015 Reader Berlin Fort Gorgast Festival.

In addition, they will win free entry to an epubli workshop, either in Berlin or in London, and receive a goody-bag from our sponsor, Berlin stationers RSVP.


Stories should be a maximum of 3500 words long and previously unpublished. This time we are only accepting entries in English. They should be submitted as an email attachment to by the closing date. The title of the short story, the author’s name and contact details should all be typed in the message field. You may submit more than one entry.

Only the title should appear on the work itself. Pages should be numbered and the text should be 12 point and double spaced. No weird fonts, Comic Sans, for example, equalling immediate disqualification.

Please cut and paste your PayPal reference number (having paid your 7 euro entry fee) into the subject line (please pay the entry fee before you send us your story, stories received without this reference number will be disqualified).

You can pay your entry fee by Paypal to For this you need to open a PayPal account if you don’t already have one (very easy) and then you simply make the payment to the above email address. Make a note of your reference number as you will need it.

Alternatively, submissions can be handed in to Another Country bookshop in Berlin in a sealed envelope and the entry fee paid in cash. In this instance, the author’s name and contact details and the title of the work should be included in the envelope on a separate sheet of paper.

Closing date: Midnight, 31st December 2014

Winners will be notified in March and the results announced shortly thereafter. The judges’ decision is final.

Entrants do not have to reside in Berlin. Winning entries will be published both online and in an ebook but copyright remains with the author.

A fabulous party will be held in spring 2014 at which winning writers will be invited to read their work.


LAURA HASSAN is editorial director of Guardian Faber, a partnership between the prestigious publisher and the world-class newspaper. She studied English Literature at Oxford University. She started working in publishing in 2001 as a publicity assistant for Virago Her main duties  included serving warm chardonnay at book parties, carrying Maya Angelou’s fur coat and trying to prevent Beryl Bainbridge from smoking in black cabs. Since then she has worked at Penguin, Jonathan Cape and most recently she ran Vintage Classics. Her favourite books include Stoner, So Long, See You Tomorrow  and Wise Chidren. She lives in London. @LauraIsReading

FLORIAN DUIJSENS is senior editor of Asymptote Journal and fiction editor at SAND, teaches at Bard College Berlin, an editor and translator at Frisch & Co, and a contributor to Stil in Berlin, AskMen, and other publications. He’s lived in Berlin for almost seven years now and has amassed so many books that it’s nigh impossible for him to ever leave. Follow him on Twitter here:

BRITTANI SONNENBERG has an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in Berlin, where she is a frequent contributor to Berlin Stories on NPR.  In June 2014, her first novel HOME LEAVE was published in hardback by Grand Central Publishing (German translation in April 2014, by Arche Verlag). She studied English literature with a citation in Mandarin Chinese at Harvard University and was a European Journalism Fellow at Berlin’s Freie Universität from 2009-2010.She is currently a visiting lecturer at the MFA program of the University of Hong Kong. Her award-winning fiction has been widely published in magazines such as Ploughshares, anthologized in the O’Henry Short Story Prize Series, and received distinguished story recognition by Best American Short Stories. Her non-fiction has been published by Time Magazine, the Associated Press, NPR, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and elsewhere.


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