The Gift of Returning Award

This award about the magic of gifting is due Sunday 17 December 2017



Two authors show down in our first shortlist for 2018. We welcome Nicola Messer to the award as she takes on last week’s winner, Sophie L Macdonald.

The Party | Nicola Messer

Mama | Sophie L Macdonald

Writing Prompt

In an era of on demand commercialism, it’s getting harder and harder to delight when we give and receive during the holidays.

Let’s spice things up a bit by adding a bit or magic. Compose a story that includes magical moments and involves an act of returning. Be it returning a gift or the act of returning (coming home, teleporting, etc) as a gift.

Make sure you include the requisite holiday cheer…

… Or not.

Also include:

  • A slippery surface
  • An unexpected shade of blue
  • 5 Golden Ring


Fantasy of any kind.

Word Count

575 words max. No minimum word count.

Due Date

This story is due Sunday 17 December 2017


All authors are eligible for this award.


  • First prize receives 5000 words feedback from NiTH team on a story or manuscript of your choosing.
  • All entries receive feedback from judges by request.

Entry Format

A cover image is no longer a prerequisite, but we still love them. All cover images must be in 4:3 format landscape (not portrait). Most photo editing programs give you that option. If you’re using your phone, try the Snapseed app, it has lots of cool features as well. Another recommendation is Pixlr.

If including a cover image, ensure that you own the rights to that image or that you have permission, or that the image carries a free license. Make the filename of the image the name of your story and include a backlink to the source in the body text at the bottom of your story.

Also include:

In the body text:

  • Title
  • Author name
  • Award name

(Optional) Intro – 150 characters

You can submit your story here

Having problems submitting? Contact Us!

The Gift of Returning Award