The Peter Wells Writing Award is a pivotal part of our festival. The award celebrates the life and work of Samesame but Different founder Peter Wells, a writer, filmmaker and historian. It gives New Zealand LGBTQI+ writers the opportunity to prove their creative skills and to promote their work to a wider audience in a safe and supportive environment.

First prize is $1000 for the winning story, $500 for the runner-up and $500 for the best writing by a promising young writer aged under 25. This makes it one of the leading short fiction competitions in Aotearoa. To read more about the awards, click here, and to read the winning entries from previous awards, click here.

previous winners previous Winners

The Crunch of an Apple

by Lisa Williams Runner up, 2020. The crunch of an apple. Yup. That’s the sound. Melody let the Nissan Tiida’s footbrake out and mashed it in again with her bare […]

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Hi Honey

by Isabelle McNeur . Runner-up prize, 2021. I’ve found a clearing. The sun barely gets through the branches, but here on the ground there’s a patch of uneven grass. […]

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Urban Foraging

by Joy Holley WINNER: Under 25 Youth Award, 2021 First it’s just seaweed. Wallace is doing their honours project on foraging at Wellington beaches, and I have come along […]

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Entry criteria

We welcome entries to our annual short fiction award, named for our late founder, the writer, filmmaker and historian Peter Wells. Keep an eye on our social media feeds for details on when entries close for each year’s competition. You can read previous winning entries to the award at the links below. Keep scrolling for the rules of entry to the award.

The maximum word limit of 2000 words must not be exceeded, with a minimum requirement of 1200 words. Entrants must state in their covering email if they are eligible for the promising young writer award. All entries will be judged for the overall contest winner. ]Please watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds for details on entering our next awards.

Entrants to the Peter Wells Short Fiction Award must also comply with the following rules:

  1. Stories must be your own work, and not previously published.
  2. Stories must be original works of fiction.
  3. You must identify as LGBTQI, and your story should have relevance to the broader New Zealand LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) community.
  4. Stories should be at least 1200 words in length but must not exceed 2000 words. Any entry over this limit will be disallowed automatically. Please include your word count at the end of your story.
  5. Stories must be emailed as attachments in Word to: [email protected]
  6. Be sure to include your full name, email address and contact phone number in your submission email.
  7. Please state in your covering email if you are entering your story in the promising young writer category. If you are, please confirm that you are aged under 25. You will still be eligible to win the Peter Wells Short Fiction Award.
  8. Your name must not appear in headers or footers or anywhere in your story – our judges read all stories in blissful ignorance of the writer’s identity.
  9. Please give your work a title. This helps us identify each piece.
  10. If you submit a story to the competition, you are also giving us permission to publish it, which may be online or in a printed publication.
  11. The winner may be invited to read their work at our winners’ event during the samesame but different Festival.
  12. You may submit more than one story
  13. We only accept stories from writers resident or normally resident in New Zealand.