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The DWL Short Story Contest 2016

The DWL Short Story Contest 2016

The DWL Short Story Contest 2016 is now open for submissions. Please visit the contest guidelines page for more details on how you can participate in the contest.

Desi Writers’ Lounge (DWL) is always on the look-out for talented writers to encourage and promote. Our annual short story competition, which began in 2012, aims to unearth new talent in fiction from all around the world.

The idea of organising writing contests under DWL’s banner had always existed in some form or the other since the online community got its own web space in 2006. The DWL Forums administrators conducted several in-house challenges including story contests. But it wasn’t until six years later that the DWL team decided to go ahead with its first-ever public short story competition. The competition was meant to bolster DWL’s support for new writing.

With little preparation, the team announced the 2012 competition. Any writer from anywhere in the world could participate. We had little or no expectations about the response from writers. One of the limitations of running a voluntary organisation is that we are always in need of financial support ourselves. At that time, naturally we couldn’t offer a monetary prize that could compete with prestigious global writing contests. We offered books as prizes, instead.

The first competition entries started arriving in the summer of 2012 and we have not looked back since. The jury for the contest is composed of DWL and Papercuts magazine staff members.


Any short story


Desi Writers’ Lounge (DWL)


Just like 2015, this year again we have a total of nearly $800 in prize money, including the PKR 50,000 Dastaan Award (read more about the annual award). The top 3 entries for the contest will win $100 each and one of the top 3 stories will also receive the Dastaan Award.


31 August 2016


  • The contest has no entry fee and is open to writers worldwide.
  • The stories may follow any theme, but should not be more than 5,000 words.
  • Only one entry per person will be accepted.
  • Entries should be in English.
  • Please only submit original and unpublished stories.
  • Please do not submit previously published material. Previously published stories will be disqualified from the contest.
  • Please send your entries to info (at) desiwriterslounge dot net only as Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) attachments. Each story must have a title.
  • Each document should be named clearly with the title of the story plus the name of the author. No page numbering, headers or footers, please.
  • Text must be received in the following format: a single-spaced, left-aligned document with Georgia size-12 font.
  • Winners will be announced during the first week of October.
  • Note: Writers retain the rights to the stories they submit for the short story contest. The three winning stories are published on DWL’s website and considered for Papercuts magazine’s print edition. For the three winning stories, first publication rights are with DWL and/or Papercuts magazine. After that, the winning authors are free to publish anywhere, as long as due credit is given to the DWL short story contest and/or Papercuts magazine. DWL staff and Papercuts editorial team members are not eligible to participate in the contest.
  • You can email your entry to info (at) desiwriterslounge dot net by 11:59 PM (Pakistan Standard Time) on 31 August 2016. Results will be announced during the first week of October.
  • Read the winning entries from previous DWL Short Story Competitions.


For inquiries, please contact info (at) desiwriterslounge dot net


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Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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