Skip navigation


This months TGBC Challenge is to write a short story.

By 31 October 2022, you need to write the draft of a short story (between 2,000 and 5,000 words) and send it to us. It just needs to be a first draft mind you, you’ll have more time to fix it up later, so go for speed over precision. The best of these stories as chosen by our judges and will be published in the first annual Tough Guy Book Club short story collection.

This collection will be officially launched in March at the Clunes Booktown Festival 2023. Your story must include these two elements - a key and an offer. Other than that, your story can be as wild as you like.

Keep reading for the full terms and conditions and details on how to submit your story.


  1. Entrants must have attended one Tough Guy Book Club chapter meeting between July 2022 and October 2022. If an entrant has not been able to attend a chapter meet during the time frame, entrants may be accepted from Goons with an enduring connection to club,
  2. Entries may be accepted from those Goons unable to attend a recent chapter meeting, but have an enduring connection to Tough Guy Book Club, subject to the discretion of the judges.
  3. Entrants must be 18 years or more at the closing date of the competition.
  4. All works must be in English, typed in 12-point sized font, 1.5 spaced using Arial or Calibri.
  5. Entries must be original work and the entrant’s own work.
  6. There is a limit of two entries per person (including anyone writing under a pseudonym).
  7. Entries submitted to this competition cannot also be entered into any other competitions or awards at the same time.
  8. Entries must not have won a previous award or competition.
  9. Entries must be unpublished at the time of submission and remain unpublished (in print or any online publication, including self-publication) until after the shortlist and winner is announced in March 2023.
  10. Entries are submitted unencumbered and without restrictions, with full first publication rights available to Tough Guy Book Club and/or a nominated publisher. Copyright for all work will remain with the author.
  11. The author’s name, biography and image may be used in marketing and publicity materials associated with the Tough Guy Book Club.
  12. In order to preserve anonymity and the ‘blind’ judging process, uploaded manuscripts must only contain the title of the story. Any personal identification (e.g. author’s name) relating to the entrant must not appear anywhere on the manuscript, including in the header or footer.
  13. All decisions about entries and creating a shortlist for the competition are final and we will not enter into correspondence about them. All decisions about judging for the competition winner are final and we will not enter into correspondence about them either.
  14. The judges will not be required to make an award if they do not consider the entries to be of sufficient standard.
  15. Any entries that are considered by the Tough Guy Book Club Short Story Competition - in its absolute discretion - to be of an offensive nature, will be rejected.
  16. Only those writers shortlisted for publication will be notified.
  17. Writing must be works of fiction.
  18. Length must be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
  19. Stories must include the following elements within the body of the work: a key and an offer.
  20. Closing date for entries:
    • First drafts must be submitted via email to [email protected], or as otherwise directed, by 11:59pm Monday, October 31 2022
    • Final manuscripts for must be submitted via email to [email protected], or as otherwise directed, by 11:59pm Saturday AEDT , January 7 2023.
  21. The winner of the 2022 Tough Guy Book Club Short Story Competition will be announced in March 2023 and published on


Your final manuscript must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for publication:

  1. Manuscripts must be delivered as a PDF document. No other formats will be accepted.
  2. All works must be in English, typed in 12-point sized font, 1.5 spaced using Arial or Calibri.
  3. The completed manuscript must be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
  4. Your manuscript must not feature the name of the author or any information that could reasonably identify the author on any page, including the header and footer.
  5. Your completed manuscript must be a version of the same story submitted for your first draft (as received by the judges on 31 October 2022).
  6. The subject line of your email submission must include the following: “TGBC Short Story - Completed Manuscript, Author’s Name”
  7. The body of your email submission must include:
    • The Author’s name (and chosen pen name, if applicable)
    • The name of your story
    • The name of the Tough Guy Book Club chapter you attended and the date of your most recent attendance
    • The author’s mobile phone number or best contact phone number
  8. Submissions that meet the above criteria must be delivered to [email protected] or as otherwise directed, by 11:59pm Saturday AEDT , January 7 2023.

Continue Reading

Read More


May 29, 2024

Back in July 2022, Tough Guy Book Club set a monthly challenge to give blood under the hashtag #newbloods. Monthly challenges are a thing we do. As well as reading the book (technically we're still a book club) our goons are given homework -...

Read more

TGBC Monthly Challenge - #GetCooked

May 02, 2024

Tough Guy Book Club #GetCooked challenge recipe Ingredients One Goon. A challenging recipe (see cooking tip). A dollop of enthusiasm. Photographic evidence. No BBQs. No comfort zones. Cooking Tip “Challenging recipe” is relative. This challenge isn’t about being a good cook, it’s about being...

Read more

Goon Profile - Dylan McCarthy

April 11, 2024

Name: Dylan McCarthy Chapter: Broome Who are you? I'm a Gooniyandi, Kija and Bardi Man from the Kimberley region, a family man, a husband and soon to be a father, of which I'm both excited and nervous about. I love my books and gaming...

Read more