The 2024 Katherine Mansfield Sparkling Prose competition is open

The 2024 competition

This year’s competition is for works of fiction up to 1888 words – a reference to the year of Mansfield’s birth. All submissions must follow the theme, however loosely, of ‘haunted’.

You can write your work in any form – short story or hybrid or another imaginative form, but please note this is not a competition for flash fiction (go here to submit your flash to the National Flash Fiction Day competition).

Submissions need not be directly related to Katherine Mansfield. We encourage experimentation and outside-the-box thinking! Send your stories of quiet, strange, beautiful, oddball or wild hauntings – we look forward!

Only one entry per person

Entry fee: $10 per story


$500 for first prize, proudly sponsored by Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature

Book bundles in the value of $150 and $100 for the second and third prizes, respectively.

All shortlisted stories will be published online. Winners will be invited to read at the KM celebration on Sunday, October 13, 2024, in the Katherine Mansfield House, Wellington.

Timetable for the 2024 competition


  • June 1: submissions open
  • July 31: submissions close
  • Early September: shortlist announced
  • October 13: prize-giving in Wellington


The 2024 judges are Michelle Elvy and Harry Ricketts.

Michelle ElvyMichelle Elvy is a writer, editor and creative writing teacher in Ōtepoti Dunedin. Her books include the everrumble (2019) and the other side of better (2021). Her anthology editing work includes, most recently, A Kind of Shelter: Whakaruru-taha (with Witi Ihimaera; MUP 2023), Breach of All Size: Small stories on Ulysses, love and Venice (with Marco Sonzogni; The Cuba Press 2022) and Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand (with Paula Morris and James Norcliffe; OUP 2020). Forthcoming are Te Moana Reo | The Language Ocean, edited with Vaughan Rapatahana (The Cuba Press 2024), and a dual-language collection of small stories in te reo Māori and English, edited with Kiri Piahana-Wong (MUP 2025). In 2024, she is judging the international Fish Flash Fiction Prize and the Bath Flash Fiction Award.

Harry RickettsBorn in London, Harry Ricketts moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1981. He is a poet, reviewer, editor, and retired academic. His more than 30 books include 12 collections of poems – most recently, Selected Poems (Victoria University Press, 2021); literary biographies – The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (Chatto & Windus, 1999) and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (Chatto & Windus, 2010); several anthologies of New Zealand poetry; personal essays; and (co-written with Paula Green) 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry (Vintage, 2010). His memoir, First Things, will appear from Te Herenga Waka Press in May. For the last three years, he has been a co-judge of the Radio New Zealand Short Story competition.



  1. Make your online payment here: ANZ / ATB |ITK / Acct No. 06-0350-0849733-00 – include ‘Surname, KM 2024 submission’ as a reference
  2. Once you’ve transferred your entry fee, send proof of payment (a phone capture or screen shot will do – see the link provided) along with your story to Attn: Rachel Smith, competition secretary
  3. You will receive confirmation of your entry within 72 hours. If you do not hear from us, please email again.
  4. All entries must be received electronically. If you are not online and wish to submit, please have a friend submit via email.
  5. 2024 submission fee: $10.00 per story (1 story per entrant)




    • Submissions open 1 June – 31 July 2024
    • Competition is open to all NZ citizens and residents
    • Submissions must adhere to the given word count and prompt; please note word count on the top of the page with the title
    • Only previously unpublished work will be considered (see General Rules)
    • Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2024 (midnight)
    • Word limit for all submissions (all categories): 1888 excluding title
    • 1.5 or double spaced, please
    • Maximum 1 story per entrant
    • Electronic submissions only, emailed to
    • Submissions must be sent as attachments (not in the body of the email)
    • Send one of the following formats: doc, docx, rtf, pdf
    • Submissions must be received no later than midnight, 31 July 2024
    • Your name may be in the email and any enquiries made to AT THE BAY | I TE KOKORU in the email account, but do not include your name or contact info on the attachments. Any submissions with author name on the attachment with the story text will be disqualified.
    • Judges read without knowledge of entrant names and their decisions are final. No feedback will be offered on an individual basis.
    • A short list will be announced in early September.
    • Winners will be announced on 13 October 2024 in Wellington and posted online.
    • Winners and short-listed work will be published in the story section of AT THE BAY | I TE KOKORU.



  1. ATB | ITK reserves the right at its total discretion to reject any entry in the Competition and to verify the validity of any entry or vote. All decisions of the organisation shall be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  2. Entries must be original, previously unpublished pieces of work written by the person who submits the piece of work. Published means anything that has already appeared anywhere in print or online, including personal websites or blogs.
  3. Entries cannot be altered or changed after they have been submitted.
  4. ATB | ITK accepts no responsibility for late, lost or misdirected entries.
  5. ATB | ITK is unable to return submitted entries. Entrants are advised to keep a copy of their entry for their records.
  6. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  7. The judges reserve the right to not award prizes, based on their judgment of the quality of submissions.
  8. Partners, parents and children of the ATB | ITK editing team and current judges are not eligible to enter the competition
  9. Winners will be announced on 13 October 2024 at the ATB | ITK award event in Wellington.
  10. Winners will be published online at ATB | ITK. Writers retain the copyright to their submitted short story regardless of whether or not it is chosen for publication. ATB | ITK retains unlimited use of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Short Story (all categories) for an unlimited period of time for any promotion or publication.
  11. The winners’ names, entry details, biographical information and photographs may be required by ATB | ITK and will be used for publicity/promotional purposes without compensation. Entrants consent to this use of their details by entering the competition.
  12. The ATB | ITK association, its committee members and its related agencies shall not be liable for any loss, damage or injury suffered or sustained (including but not limited to direct or consequential loss or loss arising from negligence) arising directly out of or in connection with the competition or any prize.

Entry constitutes acceptance of all ATB | ITK Katherine Mansfield Sparkling Prose Competition Rules and Guidelines.