Ngaio Marsh Short Story Competition 2021

Competition Information

           How to submit your work

Submit your work in a word or google doc, double spaced, Times New Roman font, font size 12. Send entry to Include in the body of the email, your full name, word count and notice that you have paid your entry fee. Send work as an attachment. Send your entry fee to: Bank Account details are - 03-0855-0421417-00. With reference to your surname on the online deposit. The story must start with the selected Ngaio Marsh sentence - “On a pouring wet Sunday night in December of last year a special meeting was held at the House of the Sacred Flame in Knocklatchers Row.”

What genres are accepted?

Any genres of fiction are eligible for the contest, so long as the submission is a complete story. Non-fiction, poetry and song lyrics are not eligible for this contest.

What rights will you retain?

We make no claim to the rights of any work entered into the contest. However, we do retain the rights to publish the winning and two commended entries on our website and social media, with due credit to the authors. We also request a photo of the winners, that we can use for publicity purposes.

Can entries be published?

In order to ensure that our judging process remains fair and unbiased, we request that authors refrain from publishing their work or posting it online during the course of the contest. We also request that authors refrain from submitting their work to publishers, agents or other contests until the contest has concluded and the winners have been announced.

What is the judging criteria?

Literature is intensely subjective, and each of our three judges will be looking for different things. However, the aspects we will be giving the most weight to are your ability to tell a complete and satisfying story within the word limit, the uniqueness of your concept, the clarity of your prose and the strength of your voice.

Will you give feedback?

Due to time constraints, the judges will not be able to give feedback on entries received, nor will we be entering into conversation with entrants as to why they were unsuccessful. When announcing our winners, we will share why we felt this particular piece stood out, but that will be the extent of feedback offered.

Who can enter?

The contest is open to all current residents of New Zealand, aged twelve years and above. If the entrant is younger than eighteen, then a note from a parent or guardian, giving their permission for entry into the contest, is required.

As entries will be judged anonymously, members of the Friends of Ngaio Marsh and the Board of Trustees are welcome to enter. Judges cannot enter.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes. As long as each entry meets the entry requirements and you have paid the entry fee for each entry, you may enter as many times as you like.

Where will the funds raised by this contest go?

All funds raised for by this contest will go to the continuance of this contest, and to the continued maintenance of the Ngaio Marsh House.

Can I visit the Ngaio Marsh house?

Yes! Visit our Facebook page for details

Who are the Friends of Ngaio Marsh?

The Friends of Ngaio Marsh is a Incorporated Society that was formed in 1996, and is devoted to maintaining the house lived in by Dame Ngaio Marsh from [ ] until her death. The house is currently needing improvements to the driveway and paths to make it safer to visit, and your support in helping us keep Ngaio Marsh’s house and her legacy alive is very much appreciated.

I still have questions!

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