EXIT EARTH: Short Story Competition



 From Trumpocalypse to Brexit Britain, brick by brick the walls are closing in.

But don’t despair.
Pick up your pen.
Bulldoze the borders.
Break free.

The STORGY Short Story Competition is here! We need you!


“Everything is man versus this and man versus that. It’s so simple,” he explains. “It’s man versus everything. It’s me. It’s you. It’s us.”
Man vs. Nature, Diane Cook

For the first time in STORGY history the Short Story Competition will focus on fiction inspired by the theme:


The STORGY ‘EXIT EARTH’ Short Story Competition is open to all. Final embraces beneath a sky of flames. Tears of joy aboard a sinking ship. Laughter in a lonely land. We are looking for fiction that explores life – be it past, present, or future – on, or off – this beautiful, yet fragile, world of ours. Dystopian or utopian, realist or fantasy, horror or sci-fi, comedy or romance, we explicitly welcome entries in all genres.

We are thrilled to announce that the STORGY Short Story Competition will be judged by critically acclaimed author 

Diane Cook


Diane Cook is the author of the story collection Man V. Nature, and was formerly a producer for the radio show, This American LifeMan V. Nature was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, Believer Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and received Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Granta, and elsewhere and anthologized in Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

The Period for Submissions opens on 24th February 2017

1st Prize – £1,000

2nd Prize – £500

3rd Prize – £250

Finalists will be published in The STORGY Short Story Competition Anthology

£10 Entry Fee

Entry Dates

  • Submissions for the 2017 STORGY Short Story Competition will be accepted from 24th February 2017
  • The deadline for receipt of entries is 11.00pm 31st May 2017

How to Enter

Applicants are encouraged to submit online to submit@storgy.com as early as possible before the deadline.

Instructions for Entering by Email

1) Type and format the short story as per the following instructions:  Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) with the story title and author identity in the file name.

  • One entry per author
  • Written in English
  • A maximum of 5,000 words
  • Typed
  • Font: Garamond, 12pt, black
  • Double spaced
  • Front page with title of the story, author name, and word count

2) Save as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) with story title and author name in the file.

3) Attach the file to an email and state the following in the subject field ‘EXIT EARTH – TITLE OF STORY’.

4) Complete payment of £10 entry fee via Paypal and include the billing reference number within submission email.


5) Send submissions for the 2017 STORGY Short Story Competition to submit@storgy.com

5) Please ‘like‘ our Facebook page, follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts, and share details of the competition with friends and family.


Please Note

Entries not submitted in accordance with the Entry Instructions and Entry terms and Conditions will not be eligible for consideration.

Entry Terms and Conditions

The Awards

1) All entries will be read by at least two (2) STORGY contributors and a shortlist of exceptional short stories will be presented to Diane Cook from which a winner and two runners up will be selected.

2) 1st place award is worth £1,000.

3) 2nd place award is worth £500.

4) 3rd place award is worth £250.


1) The Award is open to all.

2) The story must not contain more than 5,000 words.

3) The entry must be submitted by the author or his/her representative.

4) Only one entry per author permitted.

5) Authors can only enter individually and not as part of a writing team.

6) The story entered must be unpublished.

7) The story submitted must be original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work.

8) Entries are limited to stories written in English.

Copyright and Terms of Use

By submitting a story for the award the entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that the winning or any other shortlisted story will be published free of any fees or royalty payments.


The STORGY Short Story Award will be looking for the best new writing and will consider all entries on the basis of quality and originality of prose and narrative voice. The Award aims to support excellence in the short story genre.

Judging of the Award will be as follows:

1) All entries will be read by STORGY contributors against the Award criterion and a shortlist presented to Diane Cook for judging.

2) Shortlisted and winning writers will be contacted personally by email.

3) The voting outcome is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

To celebrate the announcement of this year’s STORGY Short Story Competition, you can now purchase our anthologies for only 99p each.



We look forward to reading your Short Stories and wish you the best of luck for the STORGY Short Story Competition.



Submission Email:


Entry Fee Payment:




Perfectly pitched and gorgeously penned, this astonishingly bold collection of stories explores the boundary between the wild and the civilized. Pitting human beings against the extremes of nature, Diane Cook surgically peels back the layers of civilization to lay bare our vulnerabilities and the ease with which our darker, primal urges emerge.

These exhilarating and terrifying tales are set in worlds that are distorted versions of our own, where an alpha male is pursued through city streets by murderous rivals, a marooned woman defends her house against the rising flood and hordes of desperate refugees, and a pack of not-needed boys take refuge in a murky forest and compete against one another for food. Wry, transgressive and utterly unique, Cook’s wildly inventive debut collection illuminates, with surreal humour and heart­break, humankind’s struggle not only to thrive, but survive.








Praise for Man vs. Nature:

‘Sharply written and imaginative…Cook is an accomplished writer with a darkly comic touch…As with the short fiction of Stephen King and Miranda July, many of the bizarre tales in Man V. Nature would make for excellent viewing…brilliant…echoes of Margaret Atwood’.
– Irish Times

‘These are grimly funny stories; dark but dizzyingly alive.’
– Sunday Express

‘Makes for compulsive reading…these tales dizzy and trick…chilling and darkly comic’.
– New Statesman

‘A deeply original collection…deliciously unsettling…downright chilling…uncomfortably resonant.’
– Independent

‘Exhilarating… quirky, often edged with menace… understated dystopia… Cook’s is a fresh and vivid voice; it’s unsurprising the likes of Miranda July and Roxane Gay are fans’.
– Observer

‘Cook’s stories gleefully tip a familiar-seeming world into something dark, dangerous and funny’.
– Psychologies

‘A knockout … every single story could make a great movie.’
– New York Times Book Review, Miranda July

‘As close to experiencing a Picasso as literature can get.’
– Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

‘Quirkiness abounds, with several fairy-tale tropes thrown in for good measure … Some stories jump off the page … all are oddly charming.’
– Publishers Weekly

– Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

‘I couldn’t pry myself away from Man v. Nature … The stories are grim, violent, and darkly funny, but never so far removed from our most human urges to seem TOTALLY implausible.’
– Buzzfeed

‘Potent and unnerving … stark spookiness in the vein of Shirley Jackson and William Golding … [and] a lonely weirdness like that of Aimee Bender and George Saunders … Cook writes assuredly of archetypal terror and even more insightfully of hunger-for food, friendship, love and above all, survival. A canny, refined, and reverberating debut.’
– Booklist

‘Hunger, despair, and perpetual awe for the collapsing natural world and the vulnerability of existence therein. Apply liberally before exposure to the elements. Contents include truth and other known allergens.’
– Flavorwire

‘This past month I discovered Diane Cook and had many moments of story-delight, really just too many to count, because Diane Cook is that good … Cook’s writing is lively and frank.’
– Impose Magazine

‘Seethes with heat, rejection and twisted perception … I found myself enthralled by all of the stories in this collection. Not only are they surprising, but also fresh, funny, sad, often surreal and oddly true.’
– Omnivoracious

‘Irresistible reading … The author probes her characters’ psychological depths in weird and wonderful ways … With Man v. Nature Cook makes a bold, original debut.’
– San Jose Mercury News

‘Lively, apocalypse-tinged tales … Cook mines the moments that precede the losses – when the battles are truly raging – and it’s in them that she finds great beauty and strangeness … And, in the end, this collection suggests, meaning might be worth the battle.’
– New York Times Book Review

Man V. Nature could also be called Diane Cook V. The Challenges of Writing Fresh, Invigorating Fiction in Our Age. In the latter contest, Cook crushes. Here is a bold debut.’
– Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land

Man v. Nature may be Diane Cook’s first book, but the former “This American Life” producer’s work is impressively precocious – making it our favourite short-story collection of October.’
– GQ

‘Here’s a good rule: If Diane Cook wrote it, read it … Safety is tenuous, if not an illusion, in her thoughtful, unsettling, and darkly funny collection.’
– Boston Globe

‘This debut story collection takes the familiar narrative conflict and applies it to contemporary characters. The capriciousness of the natural world in Cook’s stories colours them with a Romantic, almost surreal light that fans of Megan Mayhew Bergman are sure to appreciate.’

– Huffington Post

‘[Cook] puts forth idiosyncratic and twisted conceits, but delivers the narrative goods when it comes to depicting the tragic, emotional lives of her characters … Like the best kind of fiction, the reader is left with much to think about within the broad realms of sex, death, love and friendship.’
– San Francisco Chronicle

‘Diane Cook’s writing is sharp, bawdy, bold and often hilarious. Her stories are refreshingly crude and her imagination is unbounded. Like her characters, Cook does what she wants. Her world is another universe, where people are wilder.’
– Rebecca Curtis, author of Twenty Grand

‘What I like most about these stories is that many of them are dispatches from the end of the world, and it turns out to be a surprisingly familiar place.’
– Ira Glass, Host, This American Life

‘Diane Cook’s stories are like high-wattage bulbs strung across a sinister, dark land. Man V. Nature is equal parts dazzle and depth.’
– Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us

‘Masterful … Each darkly comic modern fable reveals our societal preoccupations – with status, sex, motherhood, belonging – for what they really are: thin veneers over our ever-present animal selves, ready to crack at the merest provocation. A book that’ll grab your attention and keep you thinking.’
– Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and The Jinni

‘A dark pleasure … In ‘Meteorologist Dave Santana’ sex happens less often than the desperate, older woman (the meteorologist’s neighbour) would like. Cook is a young woman imagining an older woman’s need, and not charitably. But if Cook is anything like me, that desperate neighbour is herself. I’ve never really felt young.’
– Miranda July, Goodreads

You can purchase a copy of Man vs. Nature below:



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