A Tale Of Two Rebeccas 

It’s with much excitement and and without further ado that we announce the winner and second placing for the MYSTERY OF THE CELLAR DOOR Award.

In first place, a story that was described by one judge as ‘the most fluid, most enjoyable to read’ and another as ‘Weirdly excellent!!!’ Congratulations to the author of ‘Birdcage’, Rebecca McDowell. Rebecca wins $1000 AUD as first placing in the competition.

In second place, another first timer to NITH, please congratulate Rebecca Hadland (Sylphien) for her awesome, thoroughly original story ‘You Cannot Open The Cellar Door.’

The MYSTERY OF THE CELLAR DOOR award was NITH’s first major award and we were pleased with the quality of the entries. We’ll be announcing our next major award in the near future.

If you featured on the MYSTERY OF THE CELLAR DOOR short list and would like judges feedback, please contact us via email.


This month saw the start of our Folklore and Fairy Tales Workshop. While there’s not much to report just yet, as we’re still in the first draft stage, it’s a pleasure to welcome Lea Zane, Gemma Morrish-Williams, Mark Fitzpatrick and Emily Okros and Menna Ali to NITH. Look forward to more updates to this and our other collaborations through the second half of 2014/

Climate Fiction Short Story Compilation

As a special sneak peak for NITH regulars, we’re pleased to announce an upcoming PAID short story compilation along the themes of CLIMATE FICTION. Needle In The Hay will be offering pro rates per word to authors of short fiction centred around the emerging genre of ‘Cli Fi’

stay tuned for more details on the Awards and Collaborations Page.


We have four currently available!

CLARISSA’s HEMINGWAY Award ends in less then a week. Fortunately it’s a short one, so get writing.

The LORD GRIMDARK Award is sponsored by Grimdark Magazine. We’re looking for your grittiest, darkest fiction here, so the squeamish among you need not apply.

SANDRA’s WHAT’s SWIMMING DOWN THERE Award is another Hemingway focused award. Don’t ask us why we’ve got a thing for Papa at the moment, we just do.

Lastly, the I/O M/F Award, scheduled for early 2015, is something a little more left field. We’re looking for a bit of fictocriticism and gaming. Are you ready, Player one?

That’s it for our September update. Congratulations to our winners for the MYSTERY Award and best of luck for all of you writing for future competitions.