The William Taylor Memorial Heartland Short Story Competition

The Heartland Short Story Competition started in 2004. It has since been renamed The William Taylor Memorial (Heartland) Short Story Competition in memory of William (Bill) Taylor, who gave freely of his time and advice to help establish Taumarunui Writers’ Group and this competition.


We are pleased to advise that we will be holding the competition again in 2018.

There will be a first prize of $300, a second prize of $75 and a third prize of $50.  There will also be a prize for the local winner from the Ruapehu Region

Entries should be fiction in any genre and be up to 1,000 words in length.

Entries cost only $10 per story and close on 30 September 2018

This year we are pleased to announce that the competition is supported by sponsorship by Taumarunui Cosmopolitan Club – please give them your support.


For more information see the HEARTLAND SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2018 conditions

Entries may be emailed or posted as you prefer.  Download the entry form in your preferred format being:

 Heartland 2018 entry form in pdf format

Heartland 2018 entry form in rtf format

Quick check:

  1. Have you attached or included your entry form and story or stories?
  2. If payment of your entry is from an account not in your name have you stated the name of the account

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to Helen Reynolds 07 896 6096 or email us using the simple form below 

We look forward to receiving your entry.

Happy writing!

The 2017 Competition

The William Taylor Heartland Memorial Short Story Competition 2017 competition attracted 109 entries from  various parts of New Zealand.

The judge assessed the entries “blind” without knowing their names or where they came from.

Judge’s Report

This year there were 109 entries, all of which were worthy pieces of writing in their own right. I have read all the stories once, then about 60 again, and finally my top 20 a third time. At this point I consulted fellow writer, friend and past winner, Antony Millen. He agreed with me that there were 4-5 stories that stood out above the rest on my short-list, however the order of merit for those top few varied slightly.

I took notes identifying the good and the bad in every story, but those which were put aside after just one reading I did so usually because the narratives, while often brilliantly written, did not seem appropriate for either the short story genre, or for a short story competition. Poems, parables, laments, confessions and essays all fell into this category. What I was looking for was ‘literary merit’, a sometimes elusive thing, but usually found in more experienced writers, or those who are generally well-read. Certainly there were many entries that ‘told a good story’, yet there were a dozen or more that I would consider as ‘Literature’ in that they shared the qualities of other great short story writers such as Steinbeck, Forster, Ihimaera or Sargeson.

With regards, A.D.Thomas.

To read the winning entries  see here

Our warmest congratulations to these winners

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all participants for their entries. It is their participation which makes this competition a success.