Join us live on Thursday, 8 July for the thrilling finale to our international short story competition, organised in association with UNESCO. 


Each of our finalists will be joining us from around the world – from Ethiopia, the Netherlands, Ecuador, Mexico, Bahrain, India, South Africa, Australia, potentially even Palestine! 


After the finalists have read their award-winning stories, we’ll announce who has won an ISF-UNESCO bronze, silver and gold bespoke medal.  And they’ll get to find out which iPad they’ll receive – along with a bundle of Idries Shah children’s books for their school libraries and a copy of World Tales.


Saira Shah and Safia Shah will be co-hosting the event – so please join them this Thursday at 1200 GMT, 1300 UK, 1400 Paris.


Just follow this link:


You can now read all the finalists’ stories below by simply clicking on the PDF icons for each category.


  • Once upon a time in my future by Nina Kotze (South Africa)
  • We the Children Won! by Khitam al-Hissi (Palestine)
  • Heat by Benjamin Se (Australia)



  • Letter to the future by Adonna Woldeyes (Ethiopia)
  • Dear Young Me by Tannistha Nandi (India)
  • 76 Years at Sea by Lara Colville (Netherlands)
  • No fear for the future by Martha Davey (United Kingdom)
  • L'échange by Amalia Elisa Vallejo Tobar (Ecuador)
  • After the tragedy by Gabriela Flores Guzmán (Ecuador)



  • Virtual Reality by Minseo Kim (Australia)
  • Dream Me A World by Yarden Harel (Israel)
  • Is it scary? by Zoe García Narbaitz (Argentina)



  • Human Not Strangers by Alexander E. Shu (Bahrain)
  • Colours of Misfortune by Zarya Usman (United Arab Emirates)
  • If You Were Here by Paola Méndez Sordia (Mexico)

Huge congratulations to the following writers, who have all earned an HONOURABLE MENTION for the exceptional quality of their stories!

  • Full Circle by Kuseh Esther Ayarati (Ghana)
  • Fire and Oranges by Marvellous Adelaja (Nigeria)
  • Blackfidence by Nawal Sheikh (Kenya)
  • Lily by Vanshika Chauhan (India)
  • A Garden like Babylon by Kevin Leandro Hernandez Cerqueira (El Salvador)
  • Awaiting an awakening by Chloe Olufunmilayo Ejisun (Nigeria)
  • Survivors by Inyeneobong Vivian Priso (Nigeria)
  • Once upon a time in my future by Tanaka Chapfunga (Zimbabwe)
  • The Doomsday Clock by Mariel Julienne (United Arab Emirates)
  • A Traveller’s Journey by Bao Tran Huy Duc (Vietnam)
  • Sophia and the bears by Anastasia Sukhoverkhova (Ukraine)
  • A Necessary Impossible by Chloe Uzoukwu (Switzerland)
  • Just another Refugee by Khadija Qazi (United Kingdom)
  • The Answer by Geraldine Scarlett Rodríguez Coronado (Ecuador)
  • Once upon a world through my eyes by Mishkat Zaheer (United Arab Emirates)
  • Evaporated by Oshadha Perera (New Zealand)
  • The road to restoration by Shrabasti Chakraborty (India)
  • A transition into the past by Zoe To (Canada)
  • The Pizza Craving by Ayushi Mittal (India)
  • The Price of Change by Katia Clement (Australia)
  • Joy by Maya Elle Russell (South Africa)

We are pleased to grant a SPECIAL COMMENDATION to Women of Ireland by Alice O’Mahony (Ireland) which, despite being a poem instead of a short story, moved the Jury unanimously by its beautiful prose.

Read Women of Ireland by Alice O’Mahony (Ireland)

Published on: Jul 06, 2021