Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2024

Submissions Closed

Submissions for the Dinesh Allirajah Prize 2024 are now closed.

The Dinesh Prize was set up following the death in 2014 of Comma’s much-loved director and founding board member, writer Dinesh Allirajah. The prize aims to create a lasting legacy out of Dinesh’s love for writing short story fiction during his lifetime.

Now in its seventh year, submissions for the 2024 prize opened on 11th July 2023 and closed on 22nd September 2023.

In honour of Dinesh Allirajah, this prize is open to both published and unpublished writers and aims to seek out the best established and up-and-coming voices in the form. The prize is held in association with the University of Central Lancashire

The theme for this year is ‘The Uncanny’
First coined by Sigmund Freud in his paper ‘The Uncanny’, the term refers to a psychological experience that unsettles and feels frightening in a way that is “strangely familiar”. Freud explains the etymology of the ‘Uncanny’ as steaming from the German word ‘unheimlich’, meaning ‘un-home’. 

Some things that are deemed ‘Uncanny’ include:

  • Inanimate objects coming to life
  • Thoughts appearing to have an effect in the real world
  • Seeing you double/ doppelganger
  • Repetitions
  • Representations of death
  • Mimicry
  • Dolls
  • Mirrors
  • Dreams blurring the line of reality

Submission and prizes

The prize is open to anyone 18 years or over who is a resident of the UK, and the story submitted must not have been previously published anywhere else, online or in print.

It is free to submit your entry and the winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an eBook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online.  

Word Count: 2,000-7,500 words 

Please keep your submission document anonymous and erase your name.

Buy The New Uncanny HERE