Stiff Competition - the novel

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Writing Comps

Current UK Writing Competitions

Stiff Competition - the novel

Details


 
 

     Despite having had hundreds of poems published I’ve never won a poetry competition, but that’s probably because I’ve only entered four.  However, I did once win a cash prize for a short story, and then I won the Peter Pook Humorous Novel Contest with Stiff Competition, a story that had previously been rejected by a top publisher for being too funny (see Comps Novel).  I therefore speak from experience when I say that winning literary competitions doesn’t always lead to fame.  But having a few such wins to boast about does you no harm when approaching editors or agents, so if you have dreams of a writing career, this could be the place to begin. Or maybe you just want to win some money.  Whatever your motives, the best advice I can offer is that you emulate my old friend Percy Vere, who reads, writes, reads, writes ad infinitum.

     Below is a list of the most interesting UK writing competitions I’ve seen recently.  I’ve done my best to vet them and eliminate the dodgy ones, but I can offer no guarantees.  Bear in mind that contests with smaller prizes attract fewer entries and are therefore easier to win.

 
  

UK Writing Competitions (currently 73)

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition.  There is a new contest in each issue of this glossy writers’ mag.  All types of stories are accepted, from horror to romance, with a length of between 1,000 and 3,000 words.
    Closing: Monthly.  Entries arriving too late for one comp automatically go into the next.
    Prizes: £300, £150, £100.
    Entry Fee: £6, or £3 for subscribers to the magazine.  Critique - £5 (enclose sae if entering by post).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  29.6.17

 

Writers’ Forum Poetry Competition.  This monthly contest from the glossy magazine Writers’ Forum is for poems of up to 40 lines on any thme.
    Closing: Monthly.  Entries arriving too late for one month automatically go forward to the next.
    Prize: £100 and a Chambers dictionary.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, or £6 if you want a short critique (enclose sae for the critique if entering by post).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

Telegraph ‘Just Back’ Travel writing Competition.  If you are just back from somewhere a shade more interesting than the local park, the Telegraph Online would like the gripping details in up to 500 words.  You can read previous winners on the website.  A ‘voyage’ across the Mersey is one of them - proving that you don’t have to write about anywhere exotic to scoop the prize.
    Closing: Monthly.
    Prize : £200 in your choice of currency.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
27.1.15

 

Hour of Writes Competition.  To enter this new weekly peer-reviewed contest from Manchester you submit a piece of writing of any type you choose running to no more than 2,000 words. There is a different theme every week.
    Closing: 11pm every Friday.
    Prize: £50 (usually the minimum, they say; prize increases if more entries are received).
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.6.16

 

Hello again!
     Thanks for all you've done. I've had another two wins recently - Concrete Cow and UPLI - and I've actually had my book How to Win Writing Competitions accepted by a publisher! Your website gets a mention in it, of course.
     Best wishes,  Cathy Bryant

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

NAWG 100 Words CompetitionThis ongoing contest from the National Association of  Wig Growers - or possibly Writers’ Groups - is for tales of exactly 100 words.  Now, it will almost certainly turn out that some of you don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘exactly’, so let me explain that it is not 99 words or fewer, nor is it 101 words or more.  It’s bang on 100.
    Closing: Ongoing.  Each round ends when 100 entries have been accepted. Surplus entries automatically go into the next round.
    Prizes (in each round): £75, £25.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £5.50 for two, £8 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

Scribble Quarterly Short Story Competition.  This quarterly contest from Scribble magazine is for stories in any genre and on any subject, running to no more than 3,000 words.  Winners are chosen by the magazine’s readers.
    Closing: Quarterly.
    Prizes: £75, £25, £15.
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
13.6.17

 

Dark Tales Short Story Competition.  As you may gather from the name of the competition, this is not for the sort of jolly happy-ending story that leaves you with a warm glow inside.  It is for horror and speculative fiction, the sort that leaves you afraid to turn out the lights in case something other than a tiny moth is hiding in the wardrobe.  Your entry must be limited to 5,000 words.
    Closing: Monthly.
    Prize: £100 and publication.
    Entry Fee: £4.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
22.1.18

 

Flash 500 Competition.  This quarterly flash fiction contest, which offers higher prize money than many similar competitions, is for stories of up to 500 words on any theme.
    Closing: 30.6.18, 30.9.18, 31.12.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £300.  2nd - £200.  3rd - £100.  Highly Commended - A copy of Bad Moon Rising.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £8 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 
    
  

                         The Rules, the T&Cs, the Fine Print
When you submit a story or poem to a competition, you are entering into a contract with the promoter.  Make sure you know the terms.  It may be, for instance, that you are granting the promoter the right to publish your work without payment even if you don’t win.  This is often the price you pay for entering a contest with no entry fee.  If it bothers you, don’t participate.  But before you get sniffy about that 450-word story set in the sedate world of turnip farming, ask yourself this: Would I really be able to sell it to anyone else?  Publication, even without payment, might not be a bad thing if it gets you a healthy crop of readers.  And if it’s in a newspaper or magazine that carries some prestige ... well, there are plenty of struggling writers who would gift wrap and hand over their very souls for the privilege of being able to put that in their cv.  Only you can decide if it’s worth it.

 


Added
16.1.18

 

Secret Attic Competitions.  Here are two free monthly contests from Secret Attic Press, one for short stories of up to 1,200 words, the other for poems running to no more than 28 lines.
    Closing: End of each month.
    Prizes (in each category): £10.  Best entries will be published in the monthly magazine.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Dear Michael
     I won this year's Cinnamon Press Short Story competition. I wouldn't have known about this excellent small publishing press without your listings site. I just wanted to share with you my success (but not the prize money, obvs).
     Best wishes,                                                         - Kerry Hood

 


Added
15.4.18

 

Dream Quest One Writing Contest.  The requirement for this U.S. based contest is for poems of up to 30 lines and short stories of up to five pages, any subject or genre (fiction, non-fiction, essay, diary, blog, journal, short screenplay).  Entry is open worldwide.
    Closing: 23.4.18 (11.59pm PST).
    Prizes: Stories - $500, $250, $100.   Poetry - $250, $125, $50.  Winners will be published on the website unless the writers opt out.
    Entry Fee: Stories - $10 postal, $12 electronic.  Poetry - $5 postal, $7 electronic.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.2.18

 

Bath Short Story Award.  Now in its sixth year, this international contest from Bath is for stories running to no more than 2,200 words on any subject.  The judge this year is Euan Thornycroft from literary agents A M Heath.
    Closing: 23.4.18.
    Prizes: £1,200, £300, £100.  Local Prize - £50 in book vouchers.  Acorn Award for an unpublished writer - £100 worth of acorns.  Ah, I now see that it’s cash.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.1.18

 

James White Award.  This annual freebie is for science fiction stories of between 1,000 and 6,000 words.  It is supported by the publishers of Interzone, the UK’s leading science fiction magazine.
    Closing: 27.4.18.
    Prize: £200 and publication in Interzone.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.2.18

 

Red Shed Open Poetry Competition .  This contest from Currock Press of Wakefield is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.
    Closing: 28.4.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £100.  2nd - £50.  Shortlisted - £10.  Wakefield Postcode: £25.  There will be an awards event at the Mocca Moocho cafe in Wakefield.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 6.3.18

 

101 Writing Competition.   This contest from Brentwood Writers’ Circle requires you to write about something you’d like to consigned to Room 101  Your entry must be exactly 101 words.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: In accordance with the theme, the prize fund is £101, shared as follow: £51, £30, £20. 
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Hi Michael,
     Thank you for continuing to provide so much information on your blog. It’d be a good read just for some of your coments even if I hadn’t found it extremely helpful. I’ve had luck with a few of the competitions you’ve mentioned, including getting my first novel 'Escape to the Country' published a while back and more recently being placed in last month’s Spinetinglers competition.
                                                                                      -  Patsy Collins

 


Added
12.2.18

 

Ware Poets Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from Ware Poets of Hertfordshire is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.  There is a separate category for sonnets.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: £600, £300, £150.  Ware Sonnet Prize - £150.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £12 for four, £3 each thereafter.
    Entry Form and Details (pdf):
Click Here.

 


Added
26.10.17

 

Creative Writing for All Competition.  This contest in aid of the RSPCA animal rescue and rehoming centre in Kempsey, Worcestershire, has two categories: short story and poetry.  In both cases the theme is Cats and/or Dogs.  Stories should be (pun alert!) curtailed at 2,000 words, while poems can run fur as many as 40 lines.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes (in each category): £60, £30, £15.
    Entry Fee: £5 for one, £3 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.2.18

 

Grey Hen Poetry Competition.  This contest from Grey Hen Press is for poems of up to 40 lines by woman who are prepared to admit to being over 60.  There is no theme.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £10 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.1.18

 

Write Space Short Story Competition.  Stories of up to 2,000 words are required for this recurring contest from Linda ’n’ Vanda’s Write Space.  The theme this time is open.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: £250, £100.  There are in addition some runners-up prizes of an unspecified number and nature. Winners may be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £6.  Optional critique - £4.
    Comp Page:
Click Here (and scroll down to Open Theme Competition).

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

Momaya Short Story Competition.  Entries of up to 3,000 words are required for this annual international contest from Momaya Press of London.  Stories may be on any subject, although additional stories will be selected for publication in the Momaya Short Story Review if they fit the ‘Coming of Age’ theme.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: £110, £55, £25.  Winners along with seven Honourable Mentions will be published in the Momaya Short Story Review 2018.  Other entries placed in the top 30 may also be published if they fit the theme of the Review.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
25.3.18

 

Bath Novel Award.  This contest is for unpublished or self-published novels in any genre, aimed at adults or young adults.  To enter you submit the first 5,000 words plus a one-page synopsis.  If longlisted you will be expected to submit the full manuscript in May.  The judge is Felicity Blunt from Curtis Brown Literary Agency.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £2,500.  Shortlisted entrants will receive manuscript feedback and literary agent introductions.  The most promising longlisted entrant will receive an online professional editing course from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.
    Entry Fee: £25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.4.18

 

Southport Writers’ Circle International Poetry Competition.  As a child I lived for a while just up the road from Southport.  It was a cultural backwater then, often referred to as the poor man’s Blackpool.  Not any more.  These days, in addition to its renowned flower show (‘a horticultural hotbed’) it has a writers’ circle and not one but two international literary contests.  Some are now calling Blackpool the poor man’s Southport, although admittedly not many.  The latest contest is for poetry of up to 40 lines on any theme.  The judge is Alison Chisholm.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prizes: £150, £75, £25.  Humour Prize - £25.  Winners will be published online.
    Entry Fee: Electronc - £3.40 each, £10.50 for four.  Postal - £3 each, £10 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.4.18

 

Scottish Arts Club Flash Fiction Award.  This international contest from Edinburgh is for stories of up to 250 words.  There is no set theme.
    Closing: 30.4.18.
    Prize: £500 and a trophy.  The winner will also receive ‘an invitation to participate’ in the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards Dinner in Edinburgh on September 29.  That word ‘participate’ could mean more than just eating and drinking.  You might be required to do a sword dance or, worse, read your story.  If the latter, don’t drink anything alcoholic beforehand, especially not ‘to settle your nerves’.  It’s amazing how fast you can become incoherent at these events.  I speak from experience.
    Entry Fee : £3.  All funds will be used to support the arts in Scotland.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  1.4.18

 

TXTLit Micro Story Competition.  For this contest you need a mobile phone.  Well, everyone’s got one, haven’t they?  No.  There’s still one person in the UK who hasn’t.  Me.  I don’t like phones of any sort.  I have one that plugs into the wall but I never answer it when it rings.  I think: ‘They’ll ring again if it’s important.’  They seldom do, and if they do I never answer it and they never ring again - which proves they were just time-wasters.  Now, I may seem to be rambling a bit here, but hey, what do you know, this turns out to be relevant because you mustn’t ramble in this competition.  Limit your stories to 154 characters (letters and spaces, not people), and while you’re about it, refrain from using abbreviated TXT gibberish, as this is not welcome.  At last - someone is fighting back on behalf of the English language!  There is a different theme each month.
    Closing: 1.5.18.
    Prize: Just the satisfaction of being the winner.
    Entry Fee: None.
    Website:
Click Here.

 


Added
26.1.18

 

Belfast Book Festival Martin Crawford Awards.  This contest from the Belfast Book Festival is for poems and stories by writers who have not yet had a full collection published.  In the poetry category each submission should consist of between 6 and 10 poems, the poems to be no more than 60 lines each.  Stories (one per submission) should not exceed 2,000 words.
    Closing: 1.5.18.
    Prizes: The winners in each category will receive a six-month professional mentorship with editorial advice, plus help to achieve significant breakthroughs both creative and professional.  In addition the winners will receive other prizes which, at the time of writing, had yet to be announced.  Winners will also be invited to read live at the awards celebration one evening during the Festival.
    Entry Fee: £5 for each submission of one story or 6 to 10 poems.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Hi Michael
     I spent a year or so reading all those comments on your website from people who, since consulting your list, seem have won just about every competition going. I read it and thought it must be too good to be true – but worth a try. Then, on my third submission, I have actually gone and won the Yeovil Literary Prize for Poetry. I am absolutely over the moon, unable to believe it, etc.  Thank you so much.
                                                                                   -   Andy Miller

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

Poetry London Clore Prize.  Poetry London, a magazine with nationwide and international scope despite its title, is seeking poems of up to 80 lines on any subject and in any style.  This year’s judge is award-winning poet Kwame Dawes.
    Closing: 1.5.18.
    Prizes : £5,000, £2,000, £1,000 and 4 x £500.
    Entry Fee: £7.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.17

 

Bristol Short Story Prize.  I once spent a whole day exploring Bristol in connection with a treasure hunt but the only thing I can remember about the place now (aside from the fact that the treasure was somewhere else) is that explorer and navigator John Cabot sailed from there, discovered Newfoundland and explored parts of North America before amy other European.  Alas, he failed to update his blog with the details, and now, hundreds of years later, academics are still arguing about it.  You see, what matters in the end is not the going there but the writing about it - and he could have done that without going there, using just his imagination.  Anyway, this competition - it’s for stories of up to 4,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: 1.5.18.
    Prizes: £1,000, £700, £400.  Runners-up (17) - £100.  Twenty stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 11.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.4.18

 

The Page is Printed Creative Writing Competition.  This contest from Tacchi Morris Arts Centre in Taunton, Somerset, is for creative writing in any genre.  Your entry could be prose or poetry, a love letter, a list, etc.  Be bold, they say.  They also say confine your entry to one side of an A4 sheet, so along with being bold you will need to be brief.  The judges will be looking for something that ‘dares to be different’ and ‘comes alive when read aloud’.  A poem with farmyard noises, maybe (‘Moo ... cluck, cluck’, etc).
    Closing: 4.5.17 (10am).
    Prizes : Adult - 3 x £100.  Under 18 - 3 x £25.  Best on the Night - £50.
    Entry Fee: £5 for one, £10 for three.  Free if you are under 18.  The entry fee includes a free ticket to The Page is Printed Celebration Evening in Taunton on 15.6.18 at 7.30pm.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.4.18

 

The Nick Darke Award.  This old favourite from Falmouth University is devoted to stage plays with a minimum duration of 45 minutes.  There is no maximum, but bear in mind that over-long plays have been known to turn even the most patient audience into a lynch mob.  Along with your script you will need to submit a one-page synopsis.
    Closing: 21.5.18 (5pm).
    Prize: £6,000.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.4.18

 

Welsh Poetry Prize.  This is the twelfth of these poetry competitions from Wales, and as usual, despite the contest name, entries must be in English (all those years learning Welsh, eh?  You’d have done better studying Klingon).  There is a line limit of 50 but no limit on style and subject.  A word of caution before you enter: the rules state that the author must be living.  Are you sure you qualify?  Do people ignore you when you walk down the street?  Look in the mirror.  Be honest with yourself.  Is there really any sign of life there?  You may need to get a note from your doctor.
    Closing: 27.5.18.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.  Winners will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5 postal, £6 online.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

Pint-sized Plays Writing Competition.  Now in its eleventh year, this contest, as the name implies, is for compact plays, that is to say plays with a running time of between five and ten minutes and featuring just 2 or 3 characters and only the furniture you’d normally find in a pub (so forget that three-in-a-bed scene you’ve always yearned to write).  Plays needn’t be set in a pub, but that’s where they will initially be performed.
    Closing : 31.5.18.
    Prizes: The six winning plays will be performed in pubs in Pembrokshire during Tenby Festival week, and, along with four runners-up, at a script slam.  Here the audience can vote for their favourite.  The performances will also be judged by a professional theatre director.  The winner will receive the coveted Pint Pot while the runner-up gets the Half Pint Pot.  No coin is indicated, so this contest is all about the fame rather than the fortune.  Winning scripts may be considered for inclusion in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.12.17

 

Frogmore Poetry Prize 2018.  This annual contest is run by Frogmore Press which was founded in 1983 in the Frogmore tearooms in Folkestone.  Well, what else can you do in Folkestone?  I’ll tell you what: you can fall in the sea - a feat I managed at the age of 8.  Will I ever forget that day?  Unlikely, for I had the misfortune to be rescued by my two sisters.  ‘No, no - let me drown!’ I cried.  ‘I’ll never be able to face my mates again.’  But I had the ice cream money in my pocket and so my pleas were ignored.  I later wrote a poem about the shame of it all but it would have been too long for this contest because it ran to 360 lines.  The line limit here is 40.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prize: 1st - 250 guineas.  Classy.  You also get a two-year subscription to The Frogmore Papers.  2nd - 75 guineas and a year’s sub to the Papers.  3rd - 50 guineas and a year’s sub.
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 11.10.17

 

Cinnamon Press Short Story Prize .  This is for stories of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prize: 1st - One year’s mentoring/free place on a Ty’n y coed course. 2nd Pack of short story collections. 3rd - A year’s subscription to the book club. Winners and runners-up will be published in the Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction.
    Entry Fee: £12 (includes a free copy of the winners’ anthology).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Hi Michael
     Just to let you know I was a runner up in last year’s Eyelands short story competition. I entered it mainly because entries were accepted by email. The main prizes were very generous, as I remember they included video cameras and computers and “a notebook” which I took to mean a notebook computer. I didn’t win any of these but I was “awarded with distinction” and sent a certificate to prove it. I also received a copy of the Eyelands anthology which included my story. Only one problem – it’s in Greek. I recognised my story because it had my name at the top in English. I advise anyone entering this year's comp to look for the automatic translation feature in google - unless of course they understand Greek!
     Many thanks for your website. Always interesting even if I don't enter one of the comps.
                                                                               -  Mary Hodges

 


Added
1.2.18

 

First Novel Prize.  This contest from Daniel Goldsmith Associates of London is for first novels of over 50,000 words in any adult genre.  To enter you send in the full manuscript plus a synopsis.  Self-published or independently published novels are admissable.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes : £1,000, £250, £100.
    Entry Fee: £25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.2.18

 

Bridport Prize.  This international competition from the Bridport Arts Centre is one of the most prestigious writing contests in the British literary calendar.  Everyone in the trade whose mind is not addled by drugs has heard of it, and they will be impressed if you can claim to have won it.  The good news is that winning it is easy.  All you have to do is submit the best poem or short story, the former having no more than 42 lines, the latter running to no more than 5,000 words.  For those who find 5,000 words too tiring to write there is now a flash fiction category for stories of up to 250 words (if that’s too much, consider becoming a poet).  There is also a First Chapter Award (see separate listing below) for a novel opening of between 5,000 and 8,000 words, plus a 300-word synopsis.  Writers from beyond the veil should note that the Bridport rules forbid posthumous entries.  Shame: the awards ceremony would be so much more interesting with a couple of ghosts in attendance.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: In each of the main categories (Short Stories, Poems Flash Fiction) - £5,000, £1,000, £500.  There are also ten runners-up prizes of £100.   The Peggy Chapman Andrews First Novel Award: 1st - £1,000.  2nd - £500. Runners-up (3) £100.  There will be an awards ceremony at the Bridport Arts Centre on Sunday October 20.  Winning entries are usually published in an anthology.
    Entry Fees: Poems - £9.  Short Stories - £10.  Novel - £20.  Flash Fiction - £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.2.18

 

The Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award.  This annual contest, which honours one of the founders of the Bridport Prize, is for novels by writers over 16 who are resident in the UK or R.o.I and who have not had a novel published (self-published excepted).  To enter, you submit the first chapters of your story (5,000 to 8,000 words), plus a synopsis of up to 300 words.  Three hundred words?  That’s more a blurb than a synopsis.  Deciding if you’ve got what it takes to be a winner will be author Nathan Filer in conjunction with the Literary Consultancy and A.M. Heath.  Warning: You need to have 15,000 words of the novel available at the longlist stage and 30,000 for the shortlist.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 plus mentoring from the Literary Consultancy and possible representation by top literary agents A.M. Heath.  2nd - £500 plus feedback from The Literary Consultancy and a place on one of their Industry Days.  Runners-up (3) - £100 plus manuscript assessment and a place on an Industry Day.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 6.3.18

 

Solution Loans Short Story Competition.  Lend me your ears for a moment while I tell you about this freebie from Solution Loans.  It is for stories of between 1,500 and 2,500 words with the theme or title of ‘The Wedding Gift’.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £200.  Runners-up (3) - £50.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.4.18

 

Frome Festival Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from Froooom (as the eccentric locals like to pronounce it) is for stories of between 1,000 and 2,200 words on any subject.  Author Margaret Graham will be judging.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: £400, £200, £100.  There is in addition prizes for local authors, defined as those living within 25 miles of the local library.  Damn - missed out by only 95 miles.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Hi
   
Before I discovered your website I’d never even thought of trying my luck in a writing competition. My stories were a very private part of my life, I was (and for the most of the time still am) very convinced that they are not good enough for the ‘outside world’.
     I don’t know what made me try - call it a crazy moment of self-confidence - but here I am the October winner of the Cazart short story competition. I haven’t felt so good about myself in months. It might not seem like a big deal to the world but for me it means everything. And it would not have happened if it wasn’t for your wonderful website.
     Thank You very much.                                         -  Dorota Nocun

 


Added
 1.4.18

 

Fiction Desk Newcomer Prize.  This contest from London-based publisher The Fiction Desk is for stories of between 1,000 and 7,000 words from writers who have not yet been published by The Fiction Desk and who have not yet had a novel or short story collection published in hard copy.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: £500, £250.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
13.2.18

 

Wundor Short Fiction Competition .  This contest from Wunder Editions of London is for flash fiction, short stories and novellas.  There is a word limit of 45,000, so if you start with the intention of writing a piece of flash fiction and it overruns a little, and then a little more, and then a lot more so that you end up with a novella, well, no problem ... although I can’t help thinking you need to work on your discipline.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: £500 and ‘strong consideration for publication’
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.18

 

Yeovil Literary Prize.  This is the 14th of these international contests from Yeovil, the literary capital of the West Country where even the sheep appreciate poetry.  There are four categories: Short Story, Poetry, Novel and Unrestricted.  The stories can run to 2,000 words, while the poems should be no more than 40 lines.  Novels have a limit of 15,000 words for the opening chapters and synopsis.  The final category is unusual in that it’s for anything you have written - as long as it has ‘the Wow! factor’ (they mean ‘Wow - that’s brilliant!’ rather than, ‘Wow - you’ve really plumbed the depths with that one!’).  Your entry could be a particularly creative tax return, a witty note to the milkman, or that hilariously scathing critique of your former best friend’s new novel, etc.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: Short Story - £500, £200, £100.  Poetry - £500, £200, £100.  Novel - £1,000, £250, £100.  Writing Without Restrictions - £200, £100, £50.  In addition there is the Western Gazette Best Local Writer Award for someone living in Dorset or Somerset.  It isn’t worth moving down there however as the prize is only £100.
    Entry Fee: Short Story - £7.  Poetry - £7 each, £10 for two, £12 for three.  Novel - £12 each.  Writing Without Restrictions - £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 8.2.18

 

Battered Moons Poetry Competition.  Part of the Poetry Swindon Festival and supported by Arts Council England, this contest is for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject and in any style.
    Closing: 31.5.18.
    Prizes: £700, £200, £100, and 4 @ £25.  Winners will be published in the Battered Moons pamphlet.  Losers will simply be battered (metaphorically speaking).  In addition, all prize-winners will be invited to read their poems at the above-mentioned Festival.
    Entry Fee : £5 for the first, £3.50 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.4.18

 

Farnham Flash Fiction Competition.  This contest from the Farnham Flash Festival in Surrey is for stories of up to 500 words on any subject.
    Closing: 10.6.18.
    Prizes: Over 18 - £100.  14-18 - £50.  12-14 - £25.  7 -11 - £25.  Ten shortlisted stories will be read aloud at the Festival.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 4.3.18

 

Words With Jam First Page Competition.  This contest from the Words With Jam website is for the first page (up to 400 words) of a novel.  Now hang on, this is not a novel you have bought from a shop or borrowed from the library, but one you have written yourself.  Yes, I know, there’s always a catch.  Still, how hard can it be?  You’ve only got to write one page of it, and you’ve got plenty of time, so get busy.
    Closing: 15.6.18.
    Prizes: £500, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee: £6 for the first, £4 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 8.2.18

 

Segora Writing Competition.  This is the twelfth of these contests from Poetry Prose and Plays, which is based in France.  It is for short stories of between 1,500 and 3,000 words, poems of up to 50 lines, one-act plays with a running time of up to 35 minutes, and vignettes of up to 300 words.  Not many vignette contests about these days.  This is because hardly anyone knows what a vignette is.  You do of course, and in fact you probably have a dozen or so already written.  For the rest, I’ll give by way of enlightenment a definition from Collins: ‘A short piece of writing that clearly expresses the typical characteristics of something or someone.’  You can read last year’s winners for all categories on the website.
    Closing: 15.6.18.
    Prizes: Short Stories and Poetry - £300, £50, £30.  Vignettes - £100.  Plays - £100.  Wnners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fees: Short Stories - £7 each, £13 for two, £19 for three.  Vignettes and Poems - £5 each for the first, £2.50 each thereafter.  Plays - £12.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Dear Mr Michael
    I discovered your website back in November, then, in January, finally had the guts to enter the Whidbey Writers’ Competition, with the 'lazy' way of judging entries: stopping reading once they found 'the one'. The January theme was Villains, and, guess what, I won.
    Thank goody-goody gumdrops for Prizemagic.
    Keep Smiling
                                                  
- Hannie Duncombe (The youngest ever Student Choice winner, at 13, thanks to you.)

 


Added
10.4.18

 

Cybi Festival Poetry Competition.  This contest in celebration of the works of R. S. Thomas is for poems of up to 30 lines inspired by the R. S. Thomas quotes on the comp page.
    Closing: 15.6.18.
    Prizes: £300, £30.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £5 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
13.2.18

 

Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition.  Poems of up to 60 lines are required for this annual offering from the Canterbury Festival.  The contest is refreshingly different thanks to the broad spectrum of verse forms it invites: limerick, ballad, hiaku, ode - and in case your favourite is not actually specified, it is covered by the word ‘whatever!’
    Closing: 18.6.18.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50.  There are also prizes for People’s Choice (£25) and Best Read Poem (bottle of sparkling wine).  Longlisted entries will be published in an anthology.  Shortlisted poets will be invited to read at the adjudication event on October 4.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.3.18

 

Eyelands International Short Story Competition.  This is the eighth of these contest from Strange Days Books in Greece.  This year the theme is Luggage, and as usual there is a word limit of 2,500.
    Closing: 20.6.18.
    Prize: A week’s holiday for two on the island of Crete (flights not icluded).  The Shortlisted stories will be published in an English language anthology available on Amazon.  The top three entries will also be published in Greek.  Not many writers can say they’ve been published in Greek, so this would be something of a feather in your literary cap and good to mention on your cv.  With a bit of imagination you could make it seem as if you’re halfway to being an international literary giant.  The top three entrants will also received a free copy of the anthology, a winners’ certificate and a Greek handmade ceramic from the collection of Omodamos Clayart.
    Entry Fee: 10 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 6.3.18

 

McLellan Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust on the Isle of Arran is part of the McLellan Arts Festival.  It is for poems of up to 80 lines on any subject.  Award-winning poet Sinéad Morrissey will be judging.
    Closing: 21.6.18.
    Prizes: £1500, £300, £150, and 6 @ £25.
    Entry Fee: £6 for the first. £5 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
18.3.18

 

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize.  This annual contest from the Royal Society of Literature aims to preserve V.S. Pritchett’s warmth of feeling and mastery of narrative.  It is for stories of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.  To enter you must be over 18 and reside in the UK, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland.  Further, you must be available to attend a prize-giving event in Autumn this year.
    Closing: 29.6.18.
    Prize: £1,000 and publication is RSL Review and Prospect Magazine online.
    Entry Fee: £7.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.18

 

Commonword Diversity Prize.  There is apparently a lack of ethnic diversity in children’s fiction, and this contest from Commonword, a writers’ development agency in the north of England, aims to redress the balance.  To enter, you send in the first 4,000 words of a completed novel (middle grade 8-12 years, and YA 12+), plus a 500-word synopsis and a biography of your esteemed self, this last running (rather than rambling) to no more than 200 words and featuring a list of any previous published work.  Include in your synopsis a statement of your story’s target age group.  To be eligible you must not have had a middle grade or YA novel published before, nor a collection of short stories.
    Closing: 29.6.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000, professional mentoring from Marjacq Scripts Ltd, and an Arvon writing course of your choice.  2nd - £500.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

MTP Short Story Competition.  This international contest from Michael Terence Publishing is for fiction, science-fiction and non-fiction of up to 3,000 words.  To be eligible to enter you must not have had a full-length work published.
    Closing: 30.6.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £300 and a trophy.  2nd - £200.  3rd - £100.  Winners will be published in an anthology (print and ebook) and on the website.  The title of top winning story will be the title of the anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.4.18

 

Audiojam Monologue Competition.  This contest from Audiojam (formerly Soundwork) is for monologues of up to 20 minutes suitable for audio broadcast.  All genres are welcome and work may have been previously published.
    Closing: 30.6.18.
    Prize: The winning script will be produced and recorded in a studio with a professional actor.  The recording will be made available to an existing listener base and the world via the Audiojam website and SoundCloud.  The winner’s professional bio will be included on the website.
    Entry Fee: £1.99.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.4.18

 

BFS Short Story Competition.  This contest from the British Fantasy Society is for stories of up to 5,000 words that fit within the broad fantasy genre.  This covers fantasy, science fantasy, horror, supernatural, fabulation, magic realism and others I’ve never even heard of (see comp page).  The judge is award-winning editor Allen Ashley.
    Closing: 30.6.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £100 plus BFS membership.  2nd - £50 plus BFS membership.  3rd - £20.  Winners will be published in BFS Horizons.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 

 

 

Hi Michael
     Love, love, love your site! But it should come with a word of warning to other would-be comp winners. Go straight to terms and condition page first. Just spent the last hour and a half crafting (skillfully obviously) a poem about bingo for one of the contests on your site, only to find that (unlucky for some, or rather - me) when I went to email it, it was for UK residents only! I went to dramatically raise my hand to my forehead saying `oh s**t!` when I knocked over my glass of wine on the desk. As I went to quickly mop up everything, I knocked my phone off the table where it now lies wet and immobilised.
     So, to re-evaluate: 1. Check terms and conditions. 2. Don`t make any sudden, dramatic hand movements. 3. Don`t place wine on same surface as computer. 4. Don`t place mobile phone on same surface as wine glass.  And finally, 5. Make sure there`s a spare bottle of wine in fridge when you go to drown your sorrows on your time-wasted, expensive, quiet sunday evening in.
                                                                            -  Susan from Dublin

 


Added
 1.4.18

 

Wells Festival of Literature Competitions.  Here we have a return of  the famous Wells Litfest and its various competitions - Poetry, Short Story, Book for Children and Young Poets.  I should mention before we go any further that we are talking about Wells in Somerset, not Wells in Norfolk which also has an annual litfest (I wouldn’t want you turning up at the wrong event to receive your prize or to berate the judges for not awarding you anything).  Anyway, back to business.  For the Poetry you are allowed up to 40 lines, while the Short Stories should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.  For the Book for Children, which must be suitable for children aged 9+, you need to submit the first three chapters plus a synopsis brief enough to fit two sides of a page (and don’t use that microscopic font that’s only suitable for the small print in dodgy contracts).  If shortlisted, you will be asked to submit the rest of your story.  The Young Poets category (for budding bards aged between 16 and 22) requires poems of no more than 35 lines.
    Closing: 30.6.18.
   Prizes: Poetry, Short Story, Children’s (in each category) - £750, £300, £200.  Additional prizes: Wyvern Prize for a local short story entrant - £100.  Hilly Cansdale Local Prize (for poetry) - £100.  Book for Children Local Prize - £100.  Young Poets - £150, £75, £50.
    Entry Fee: Aduls categories - £6.  Young Poets - £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 3.3.18

 

Prole Books Pamphlet Competition.  This poetry competiton from Prole Books of Abergele in Wales is for pamphlet collections of betwee 15 and 35 A5 pages.
    Closing: 30.6.18.
    Prize : £100 and 15 copies of the pamphlet.
    Entry Fee: £12 for one, £20 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

The Moth International Short Story Prize.  Here’s another annual contest, this time from The Moth magazine in County Cavan, Ireland.  They learned their lesson a couple of years ago about having no word limit, so now you’re limited to 5,000.
    Closing : 30.6.18.
    Prizes: 1st - 3,000 euros.  2nd - a week’s writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France with 250 euros.  3rd - 1,000 euros.  The winning stories will be published in the mag.
    Entry Fee: 12 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.4.18

 

Pennine Ink Flash Fiction Competition.  This contest from the Pennine Ink Writers Workshop of  Burnley in Lancashire is for stories of up to 500 words on the theme of Mine.  You can interpret the theme in any way you wish.
    Closing: 7.7.18.
    Prize: £50 plus publication in Pennine Ink and on the website.
    Entry Fee: £3 for one, £5 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Michael,
     I have been a follower of your excellent site for a few years, finally with some success.  I usually submit poetry but I have won 2nd Prize in the Eyelands Short Story competition - a piece of Greek pottery and copy of the Anthology containing my story.
     I hope the Anthology copy which I receive is not all GREEK TO ME like Mary Hodges copy last Year!
                                                                          -  Regards Fred McIlmoyle

 


Added
16.4.18

 

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from Ledbury in Wales is for poems of up to 40 lines.  It has three age categories: Adult (18 and over), Young People (12 to 17), and Children (11 and under).  The judge is Nia Davies, editor of Poetry Wales.
    Closing: 12.7.18 (5pm).
    Prizes: Adults: 1st - £1,000 plus a residential writing course at Ty Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre for Wales.  2nd - £500.  3rd - £250.   12-17 category - £100, £50, £25.  11 and under category - £25, £15, £10 (all in book tokens).
    Entry Fees: Adults - £5.75 for the first, £3.50 thereafter.  Young People and Children get the first entry free and pay £1.75 each for any subsequent entries.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.4.18

 

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition.  Here’s another annual contest, this time from Wrekin Writers of Shropshire.  Stories can be on any subject but must not exceed 1,200 words.  50% of profits will be dontated to Severn Hospice.
    Closing: 12.7.18.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2018.  ‘Wasafiri’, according to the website, ‘is a literary magazine at the forefront of mapping new landscapes in international literature.’  Try saying that in Kiswahili, the language from which the magazine’s title comes.  Now, you are probably thinking that the magazine itself must hail from Africa, but this is not so.  It was born at the University of Kent in 1984, and as far as I know it has no African connection at all.  Nor, I might add, has the contest.  This has three categories (Poetry, Fiction, Life Writing) and is open to anyone anywhere in the world who has not published a complete book in their chosen category.  The word limit for the Fiction and Life Writing is 3,000.  In the poetry category, you can submit up to five poems for the same entry fee (use separate pages).  You can enter more than one category, but only once each.  Incidentally, ‘wasafiri’, in case your Kiswahili is a bit rusty, means ‘cultural traveller’
    Closing: 13.7.18 (5pm).
    Prize (in each category): £300 and publication in the mag.
    Entry Fee: £6.  If you enter two separate categories it’s £10 and for three it’s £15.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.18

 

Stroud Book Festival Writing Competition.  This contest from the Stroud Book Festival has two categories: flash fiction of up to 500 words and poetry of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 31.7.18.
    Prizes (in each category): £500, £250, £100.
    Entry Fee: Flash Fiction - £5.  Poetry - £5 for the first, £3 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
11.10.17

 

Cinnamon Press Debut Novel/Novella Prize.  To enter this you submit the first 10,000 words of your novel or novella.
    Closing: 31.7.18.
    Prize: A publishing contract and 100 copies of the novel.
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.4.18

 

STERTS One-Act Playwriting Competition.  Now in its seventh year, this international contest from STERTS Theatre in Cornwall is for one-act plays with a performance time of between 25 and 35 minutes.  Your play can have up to four  actors, all of whom should be adults.  The performance venue has a low ceiling, so no flying witches, cars, etc, and no trampolines.  I should avoid the jujitsu throws as well, as the victim’s feet might get tangled in the light fittings (mind you, if you’re aiming at comedy, this could work).
    Closing: 31.7.18 (noon).
    Prizes: 1st - £100 and your play produced on Novemeber 17 in Sterts Studio.  Runners-up will also receive prizes and their plays will be given a public performance.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Snapshot Press Chapbook Awards 2018.  This contest from Snapshot press of Ormskirk is for chapbook-length collections of between 8 and 24 haiku, tanka and other short poetry up to 25 lines including any blank lines (prose poems and haibun up to 200 words).  Poems must not have been previously published in a collection.
    Closing: 31.7.18.
    Prizes: Online publication by Snapshot Press.
    Entry Fee: £12 per collection.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Dear Michael,
     I love your website and its pertinent personal comments re the comps.
     I entered the Alexander Cordell one some months ago, the mini saga, and was short-listed to win. It was a 600 mile round trip with two toddlers but we had a really wonderful weekend. My husband is self employed and works really long hours so it was great to drag him away and out into the countryside. The people were lovely, the whole event was fascinating, and I was thrilled to get two books and a book token. My little girl age 3 gets excited every time Wales is mentioned on the news now! The greatest thrill was hearing the Director of Visit Wales read out my story so reverently, and with evident enjoyment. The organisers were delighted with the world-wide entries.  I don’t write for money - just as well - but for the love of the medium and the message.
     Keep up the good work!                                         -  Julie Noble

 


Added
10.4.18

 

SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition.  This contest from Sentinel Poetry Movement Publications is for full-length collections of poetry in any style and on any subject.  For the first stage of the competition you send in 20 pages of poetry from your full collection.  Note that for this initial stage you must submit your entry under a pen name (one you’ve made up for yourself, not Bic, etc).
    Closing: 31.7.18.
    Prizes: £300, £200, £100.  The three winners will also receive publishing contracts for their collections and 20 copies of their published book.
    Entry Fee: £25 per collection.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 1.3.18

 

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.  This annual contest from Asthetica magazine is for Short fiction running to no more than 2,000 words and poetry of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 31.8.18.
    Prize (in each category): £1,000 plus other writing related prizes.  Finalists will be published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual.
    Entry Fee: £18 for fiction, £12 for poetry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.18

 

ACW Journalism Competition.  This contest from the Association of Christian Writers is for topical articles of up to 1,000 words.  Your aricle doesn’t necessarily have to have a Christian slant (see the advice on the comp page). 
    Closing: 31.8.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £25 book token.  2nd - £10 book token.  Winners will be published in Christian Writer, a magazine distrbuted to 800 ACW members.
    Entry Fee : £3 each, £5 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.18

 

New Voices Novel Competition.  This international contest from London-based mentoring service Adventures in Fiction requires you to submit the first page of your novel and a one-page synopsis.
    Closing: 14.9.18.
    Prizes: A start-up mentoring package (nomally costing £550) which includes manuscript appraisal, a consultation and a development strategy.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

Dear Michael, 
     Thank you for maintaining your informative and witty list of writing competitions.
     I entered loads of them last year and got precisely nowhere, but I ploughed on regardless and have just won second prize (£100) in the Flash 500 Humour Verse contest, which would suggest that your friend Percy Vere might be onto something.
                                                                             -  Melanie Branton

 


Added
22.1.18

 

Novel Opening Competition.  For this annual contest from the Flash 500 website you submit the first chapter of your novel, or just the first 3,000 words if the chapter is longer.  Add to this a one-page synopsis outlining the rest of the story.
    Closing: 31.10.18.
    Prizes: £500, £200.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
10.4.18

 

NUHA Blogging Prize. Back for the eighth year running is this international blogging competition from the NUHA foundation, a registered charity based in England.  The contest was established ‘as a platform to debate issues of education and development, and to provide an opportunity for authors to be published and to develop their self-confidence’.  It doesn’t matter if English is your first, second or third language - you will be judged on the quality of your argument and the originality of your ideas.  There are three age categories: Adult, Youth and Young Writer.  Each category has a different writing task.  Entries will be posted on the website, and you can get your family and friends to vote for your entry and comment on it.  Well, you can try.
    Closing: 13.10.18 (midnight PST.  In the UK, assume this to be 4pm BST). 
    Prizes: The prizes depend on sufficient entries being received.  Adult - (up to) $2,400, $1,200, $400.  Youth Prize - (up to) $900, $400, £150.  Young Writers - (up to) $250, $100, $50.  There is a possibility of matched prizes for teachers and schools.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.6.04

 

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Competition.  This US contest is open worldwide and is for short stories of up to 17,000 words.  They should be science fiction, fantasy or horror with fantastic elements.
    Closing: Quarterly.
    Prizes: $1,000, $750, $500.
    Entry Fee: None.
    Website:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.9.11

 

Dear Michael
     Just to say a big ‘Thank You’ for your work on the website. I have been selected for publication in the Mirador competition which ran last year and have been awarded 3rd place in the Stringybark Speculative Fiction competition. To be published twice is like a dream for me, which the information found on your site made possible. Thanks again.
                                                                                    -   Pat Davies

 
  

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*********************************************************************************
Notes: Unless otherwise stated in the rules, all poetry should be single-spaced.  The rest should be double-spaced (which is to say, double spacing between the lines, not the words!).  It is sometimes the case that your name shouldn’t appear on the manuscript.  Again, check the rules.  If you put your name on there after being told not to, you’re out.  Don’t use coloured paper or fancy fonts, and don’t send your manuscript done up like the Queen’s dinner menu with a fancy gold-tooled leather cover.  These things merely announce that you have no confidence in your submission or, worse, that you think the judges are shallow enough to judge on appearance rather than content.  Plain white A4 80gsm paper is the stuff to use, with plain black typing or print.  Write on one side of the sheet only (unless asked to put your address on the back).

 
    
  

            Before you start writing, allow me to introduce you to an old friend

                                       The Typo Goblin

           
I am the Typo Goblin, my heart is made of flint,
            My role in life is simply this: to keep you out of print.
            I sneak into your manuscript and do my fiendish work,
           Adding errors guaranteed to make you look a berk.
           And then I cast the ‘Careless’ spell: you say, ‘Ah, what the heck!’
           And pop your script into the post without that final check.
           At length some hapless editor receives your golden wit,
           And after reading fifty words he writes it off as ... unpublishable.

                                                                           
- Michael Shenton

 
  

Finally, as you sift through the remnants of your shattered dreams and wonder if it’s worth going on ... www.samaritans.co.uk/

 
       


Disclaimer

                                    
My Humorous             This is the Prizemagic website                   Poem:
      
Verse                Email comps@prizemagic.co.uk                Being a
    & Songs            Copyright:  Michael Shenton  2018             Writer

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