The Aurora Prize for Writing 2020


The Aurora Prize for Writing is a national competition run by Writing East Midlands, in partnership with the Society of Authors. The prize was first awarded in 2016 and seeks outstanding new writing in short fiction (of up to 2,000 words) and poetry (of up to 60 lines). With its heart firmly in the East Midlands, there are also prizes for the best writing from the region, in both categories.

The prize is now open for submissions, and the deadline for entries is Monday 8th June 2020 at midnight. 

You can read the winners from the 2019 prize, by clicking here.


The Judges 

We are delighted to announce our judges for the 2020 prize.

For Short Fiction

Mahsuda Snaith is winner of the SI Leeds Literary Prize and Bristol Short Story Prize. Her debut novel ‘The Things We Thought We Knew’ was chosen as a World Book Night Book and her second novel ‘How to Find Home’ was read on BBC Radio 4. She was named an ‘Observer New Face of Fiction’ and is a judge for the Costa Book Awards 2019. Find out more at

For Poetry

Helen Mort is a writer based in Sheffield. She has published two poetry collections with Chatto & Windus, ‘Division Street’ (2013) and ‘No Map Could Show Them’ (2016). Her first novel is ‘Black Car Burning’ (2019), longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Helen teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University.



The Prizes

The winners, in each category, will receive a cash prize of £500, feedback on a piece of work of their choice from a leading literary agent (or Editor as appropriate) and a year’s free membership to the Society of Authors, which includes access to advice and resources on all aspects of the business of writing.

Winners will also receive a session with Society of Authors staff including an introduction to how the Society can support them in their careers as professional authors and covering essential advice on copyright, payment terms and contracts.

Second Prize £150 cash.

Third Prize A one-day course of your choice from Writing School East Midlands.

As a champion of writers from the East Midlands, we will also offer a regional prize of £100 to the best work in each category from the region.

This is an national prize open to everyone.

Entry fee: £9 for first entries, £7 for each additional entry.

All entries must be made online.

For full Terms and Conditions, please click here.



The Society of Authors is the UK trade union for more than 10,500 writers, scriptwriters, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. We’ve been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession since 1884. For more information and to sign up, visit