Bet Tuppi Press Prize

Short Story Competition

Ancient Near Eastern Historical Fiction Prize

Competition Deadline: April 4th 2021 23:59 (GMT)


New competition will be coming later in the year.

At Bet Tuppi, we want to encourage more people to learn about the fascinating world of the ancient Near East by picking up a pen and writing fictional stories! Therefore, we are excited to announce our inaugural short story prize!

Submissions should be no greater than 1500 words and you should draw on your creativity to bring this awesome time period to life by writing a compelling piece of historical fiction.

The vast and exciting period of history is marked by its rich literature and fascinating texts covering a myriad of topics.

From the Southern Iraqi marshes to the bustling cities of the Neo-Assyrian empire, there is so much material to draw from!

See these resources for further inspiration:

Ancient Mesopotamia –

Letters from the Neo-Assyrian Empire:

Sumerian Literature:

More extensive list of ancient Near Eastern resources:

Check out our blog for fascinating information on real-life episodes of ancient history to inspire your own creations.

Follow our Instagram account for daily updates from the ancient Near East.

We want to read stories that truly capture any part of Egyptian, Levantine, Mesopotamian, Anatolian, or Persian ancient life. Get creative!

So if you have never heard of the ancient Near East or are a world famous scholar – pick up a stylus and a clay tablet and get writing!

The winner will be awarded a £50 cash prize and be published on this website.

Entry fee is £1 which will go towards admin fees and prize money, any profits made will be donated to the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (BISI). Read more about their work here.

The deadline for submissions is April 4th 2021 at 23:59 (GMT).

The shortlisted stories will be published on this website on the 30th April 2021 before a winner is announced on the 14th May 2021.

Rules and Guidelines:

  • The stories should be substantively set in the ancient Near East.
  • Word count should not exceed 1500 words 
  • Submissions are welcomed from any country but should be written in the English language  
  • Submissions must be your original work. 
  • Submissions must not have been published before.                                   
  • Any submissions which do not meet the above criteria will not be accepted and their entry fee will be refunded.                                                                               
  • The winners will retain all rights to their work following the initial publication of the short story on this website

Please contact us on this email if you have any questions or concerns:

Submission instructions

Before submitting your story, please pay your £1 entry fee here. (It would be useful if you put the title of your story as a note).

Please send your submissions (along with PayPal transaction ID’s) to this email address:

Please attach your story as either a Word or PDF document and DO NOT put your name on the document as we would like to judge the submissions anonymously.

Matthew Parkes
MPhil Assyriology, University of Cambridge

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