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 63)

 


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

 

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: 31.3.19, 30.6.19.
    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
7.11.18

 

Nine Dots Prize.  This annual contest, sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation with support from Cambridge University Press, CRASH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social sciences and Humanities) and the University of Cambridge, is for creative thinking about issues in contemporary society.  To enter, submit a 3,000 word response to this year’s question: ‘Is there still no place like home?’  Fiction is acceptable, but see the FAQs.  As the prize is a commission to write a short book on this theme, you should include an outline structure for the book, and a statement justifying your ability to write it in seven months.
    Closing: 21.1.19.
    Prize: $100,000 to write a book of between 25,000 and 40,000 words expanding your ideas.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
13.11.18

 

Edward Thomas Poetry Competition 2019.  This contest from the Edward Thomas Fellowship is for poems of any length.  They can be in any style and on any subject.  Prize-winning poet Jane Draycott will be judging.
    Closing: 28.1.19.
    Prizes: £150, £50, £50.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £10 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.10.18

 

Writers Retreat Short Story Competition.  This is the first short story contest from Writer’s Retreat in Goole, East Yorkshire.  It is for stories of between 250 and 1,000 words on any subject.
    Closing: 30.1.19.   Early-bird entries (reduced fee): 17.12.18.
    Prizes: 1st - £200 and a free place on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat.  2nd - £100 and a 50% discount on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat.  3rd - £50 and 50% on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat.  Runners-up (6) - £15.  The writers of a further 15 stories will be offered  a 50% discount on a Lake District retreat.  Winners and shortlistees will be published on the website and will included in the first Writer’s Retreat UK short story anthology.
    Entry Fee: £15.  Early-bird entries - £10 (up to 17.12.18).
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 11.11.18

 

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition.  This annual contest from Kent & Sussex Poetry Society is for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject and in any style.  The judge, poet Ruth O’Callaghan, will read all submissions.
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 4 x £50.  Winners will be published in the society’s Poetry Folio.
    Entry Fee: £5 each.  Three or more £4 each.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.1.18

 

Writing Writers Drabble Competition.  This free monthly contest from Writing Writers is for stories running to exactly 100 words excluding the title.  Entries will be published on the website and vistors be invited to vote for the winner.
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prize: £35.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.  Only one entry per person per monthly contest.
    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
 1.12.18

 

Lancashire Authors’ Association Open Competition.  This contest from Lancashire where I spent two happy years as a child  (I was there for three, but let’s not go into that) is for stories running to exactly 100 words excluding the title.  For those of you who adopt a flexible approach to our lagnuage allow me to warn you that in Lancashire they don’t.  Therefore the word ‘exactly’ will not be interpreted by the judges as meaning ‘give or take one or two’.
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prize: £100.
    Entry Fee: £2 each or £5 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.12.18

 

Teignmouth Poetry Festival Open Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from Devon is for poems of up to 35 lines on any subject.  Poet John Greening will be judging the national competition, while Julie-ann Rowell will select winners for the local prize.
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.  Local prizes (for TQ12, TQ14 and EX7 postcodes) - £100, £50, £25.
    Entry Fee (online): £4.50 for the first, £3.50 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Fish Short Memoir Competition . This annual contest from Fish Publishing in Ireland is for memoirs of up to 4,000 words.
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros.  2nd - A week on a writers’ retreat at Casa Ana at La Alpujarra in Spain, plus 300 euros.  The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.
    Entry Fee : 17 euros for the first, 11 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.18

 

Prole Laureate Competition.  This annual contest from Prole, a print magazine that publishes engaging, accessible, entertaining and challenging poetry and prose, is for poems on any subject and in any style.  There are no restrictions on length, although you might like to consider how far it is reasonable to expect the judge to wade through that 5,000-line epic of yours before letting out an anguished cry and writing something obscene on it.  As an occasional poetry judge, the most I have ever managed before turning nasty is 100 lines.
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prizes: £200, £50, £50.  Winners will be published on the website and in Prole 28.
    Entry Fee : £3 for the first, £2 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.10.18

 

Drip Action Theatre Playwriting Competition.  This contest is for short plays suitable for the Arundel Festival Theatre Trail.  A play will be performed at a different venue in Arundel on each of the eight days of the Festival.  In the past, venues have included a restaurant, a jailhouse, a football club and a community hall.  Plays should have a performance time of 30 to 40 minutes, and the casting, props and effects should be practicable.  So no howling mob of thousands, no stampeding horses, no flying objects, people or animals ... unless these are seen only by one of the characters through a window, whereupon he or she says, ‘Blimey, there goes a flying shed/witch/camel!’
    Closing: 31.1.19.  Open for entries from November 2018.
    Prize: Each of the eight selected playwrights will receive a writer’s fee of £150.  The best play takes the top prize of £250.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Salariya Picture Book Prize.  This contest from the Stratford Literary Festival and the Salariya Book Company Ltd aims to find the next big children’s author/illustrator.  Just to clarify, you don't have to be physically big to enter this.  You do however have to be over the age of 16, unagented and unpublished (self-published doesn’t count), and you must be based in the UK or Eire.  Can’t draw?  Not to worry.  Text only entries are acceptable, although you could if you wish team up with someone who can illustrate (must also be unagented and unpublished).  The book should run to no more than 28 pages and be suitable for children in the 0 to 5 age range.
    Closing : 31.1.19 (5.30pm).
    Prize: £1,000 plus career advice from a leading children’s book agent and publicity through the Stratford Literary Festival.  In the case of a collaborative entry, the prize is shared.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry (one entry per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
18.11.18

 

The Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize 2018.  To enter this contest from Indigo Dreams Publishing in Devon you submit 15 poems of up to 36 lines each (incuding line breaks)
    Closing: 31.1.19.
    Prizes: Two winners will each have a 50-page poetry collection published and will receive 20 copies.
    Entry Fee: £15 per block of poems.
    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
13.12.18

 

Spread the Word Life Writing Prize.  This contest from Spread the Word in association with Goldsmith’s Writing Centre is open to emerging writers aged 18 or over who are resident in the UK.  As the name indicates, it is for life writing, which is defined for this contest as non-fiction writing about someone’s own life journey or experiences (see further explanations on the website).  Your entry can be entirely prose, or it could be like a graphic novel with illustrations.  In all cases there is a word limit of 5,000.  Your entry may be a self-contained item or an extract from a longer work.  The writing must be unpublished.  The definition of ‘emerging writer’ for this contest is given in the Rules/T&Cs.  Read them.
    Closing: 1.2.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,500, an Arvon course, a 2-year membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a meeting with an agent or editor.  Runners-up (2) - £500 and a meeting with an agent or editor
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.12.18

 

Baen Memorial Short Story Award.  This annual freebie from American science fiction publisher Baen Books is for realistic science-based near-future space exploration stories soaring to no more than 8,000 words.  There are Do and Don’t lists that you would do well to peruse before entering if you want your chances to lift off (no fantastical elements, no galactic empires, UFO abductions, etc).
    Closing: 1.2.19 (12.01am U.S. Pacific Time).
    Prizes: 1st - Publication on the Baen Books website at industry standard rates, an engraved award thingy, free entry into the 2019 International Space Development Conference in Arlington, USA, a year’s membership of the (American) National Space Society and a bundle of books and space merchandise.  Runners-up will receive books and merchandise as well as free entry into the aforementioned Space Development Conference.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.10.18

 

Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize.  This is the ninth of these contests from the Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.  Sponsored by top London literary agents Peters Fraser Dunlop, it is open only to women over 21 who have not had a full-length novel published.  It is for novels which combine literary merit with ‘unputdownability’.  These can be literary or genre fiction, or novels for young adults or children.  To enter, you submit 40 to 50 consecutive pages of your story’s opening, plus a synopsis of the remainder (5 to 10 pages), as specified in the T&Cs.
    Closing: 8.2.19 (noon).
    Prize: £1,500. The shortlisted entrants will receive a half-hour one-to-one consultation with an agent at Peters Fraser Dunlop.  They will also be invited to the prize-giving dinner at the College along with a bunch of book trade freeloaders such as editors, agents, publishers and journalists.  Each shortlistee will be able to bring a guest (I’d suggest a teetotaller with a car, as there will be free drinks and if my experience is anything to go by you will be consuming this in unwise quantities when that gormless individual sitting opposite you is named as the winner).
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.11.18

 

Bath Flash Fiction Award.  This recurring international contest from Bristol is for short fiction of up to 300 words.  There is no set theme.  You are probably wondering about the contest’s name: why Bath?  Well, it’s like this: I have no idea.
    Closing : 10.2.18.
    Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 2 x £30.
    Entry Fee: £9 for one, £15 for two, £18 for three (early bird entries up to 16.12.18 - £7.50 for one, £12 for two).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.7.18

 

W&A Yearbook Short Story Competition 2019.  This annual freebie from the venerable writers’ handbook Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, is for stories of up to 2,000 words aimed at adults.  There is no theme.  Take note that before emailing your entry, you have to register with the website.  Your entry will not be valid otherwise.
    Closing: 13.2.19.
    Prize: A place on one of Arvon’s Clockhouse writing retreats, plus your story published on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    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
17.9.18

 

Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.  I used to think hippocrates were wooden containers used at the zoo for transporting large herbivores.  Of course I now know that Hippocrates was in fact a great medical poet, and this international contest is obviously being run in his honour.  Poems of up to 50 lines on a medical subject are required.  There are two categories, Open, and Health Professional.  Actually there’s a third category - Young Poets - but as it has a later closing date I’m listing it separately. 
    Closing: 14.2.19.
    Prizes (in each category): £1,000, £500, £250.  Winning poems will be published online and in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £7 online, £10 postal.
    Comp Page :
Click Here.

 


Added
3.12.18

 

New Writers Short Story Competition. This contest from Michael Terence Publishing is for stories running to no more than 3,000 words by writers who have never had a full length work published.  Genres covered by the competition are: Fiction, Science-Fiction, and Non-Fiction (biography, memoir, true story).
    Closing: 17.2.19.
    Prizes: £300, £200, £100.  Winners will be published in an anthology (print book and ebook).  
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
22.11.18

 

Spotlight Books Writing Competition.  Creative Future, Myriad Editions and New Writing South are seeking poets and fiction writers from under-represented backgrounds, i.e. those who face barriers due to mental health, disability, identity or social circumstances (you might for instance be a carer).  See the entry page for a comprehensive list.  If you fit the bill, submit a work of fiction of 8,000 to 10,000 words, or poetry of 40 to 45 pages (20 lines per page).  All genres welcome except explicit erotica and writing for children.
    Closing: 24.2.19.
    Prizes: Six selected writers will be supported to polish their manuscripts and further their careers.  In addition, each will be published in an individual short book.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter (one manuscript per category per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Open House 2019.  This poetry contest from the long-running literary magazine The Interpreter’s House is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.
    Closing : 28.2.19.  Not open for entries until 2.1.19
    Prizes: £500, £150, £75.
    Entry Fee: £1.75 each, £5 for three, £10 for six.  Winners will be published in the mag and in an Open House Competition pamphlet.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Fish Flash Fiction Competition.  This annual Fish competition is for stories running to no more than 300 words.
    Closing: 28.2.19.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros.  2nd - 300 euros.  3nd - An online writing course with Fish.  The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.
    Entry Fee: 14 euros for the first, 8 thereafter.
    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
13.1.18

 

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 2,000 words with the theme or title of ‘A New Home’.
    Closing: 28.2.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £200.  Runners-up (3) - £50.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
1.10.18

 

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition.  If you are an unpublished and unagented children’s novelist aged 18 or over and have an original idea, a fresh voice and a story children will love, you could be in luck because that’s just what the organisers of this annual international contest are looking for.  They’re also looking for eighteen quid from your pocket, but grit your teeth and think of the prize.  Your story should be suitable for a worldwide audience of children/young adults somewhere between the ages of 7 and 18 years.  Your manuscript can run to a maximum of 80,000 words, and there is a suggested minimum of 30,000.  You have to include a one-page synopsis (as described in the T&Cs) and a letter containing some info about yourself and explaining the book’s appeal to children (e.g. ‘It’s about fluffy bunnies and adorable kittens - the hero likes to eat them.’).
    Closing: 28.2.19.
    Prize: 1st - A publishing contract with an advance of £10,000, plus representation by a top children’s literary agent.  Chairman’s Choice -  A publishing contract with a £7,500 advance.
    Entry Fee: £18.  Luckily you no longer have to send your manuscript by post at colossal expense.  You can now enter online.  However, if you do happen to be the sort of writer  who likes to hear the sound of a printer gulping down gallons of overpriced ink, by all means print out your 350-page manuscript and heave it onto the scales at your local post office (UK entrants only for postal).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
7.10.18

 

Soundwork Short Story Competition.  This freebie from Soundwork-uk is for short stories of up to 2,500 words suitable for audio recording.  There is no set theme.  Stories that have been published elsewhere are eligible as are new creations.
    Closing: 28.2.19.
    Prize: The winning story will be recorded by a professional actor and placed on Soundcloud and the Soundwork-uk.co.uk website along with a photo of the author.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
18.11.18

 

Flash 500 Short Story Competition.  Stories in any genre running to between 1,000 and 3,000 words are required for this annual contest from the Flash 500 website.  Those of you who think no story is complete without a decent (or indecent) bedroom scene will be pleased to learn that adult material is acceptable here ‘providing the content fits the story and is not gratuitous’.  The rest of you will be relieved to learn that adult content is not compulsory.
    Closing: 28.2.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £500 and a 2-year Duotrope gift certificate.  2nd - £200.  3rd -  £100.
    Entry Fee: £7 for one, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four.
    Comp Page :
Click Here

 


Added
30.11.18

 

Slipstream Poets Open Poetry Competition.  Here we have one from Slipstream Poets of West Sussex.  The contest has a line limit of 60 but no theme.  Creative writing teacher and poet Mandy Pannet will be judging.
    Closing: 28.2.19.
    Prizes: £150, £100, £50.  There is also £25 for the best West Sussex entry.
    Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £3.50 thereafter.
    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
1.12.18

 

Margery Allingham Short Story Competition.  Open to published and unpublished writers, this contest from the Crime Writers’ Association celebrates the author of the Albert Campion detective novels.  It is for stories of up to 3,500 words.  These must comply with Margery Allingham’s own definition of a mystery, which is basically as follows: a crime, a mystery, an enquiry and a conclusion, the conclusion providing reader satisfaction (so your investigator can’t end up thumping his/ her desk in frustration and muttering, ‘Damn - the bastard’s got away with it!’).
    Closing: 28.2.19 (6pm).
    Prize: £500 plus two weekend passes to Crimefest 2020 and a selection of Margery Allingham books.
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page :
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.11.18

 

Search for a Star Writing Competition.  This annual contest from Choc Lit Publishing and audiobook publisher Soundings is this year sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, and so you won’t be surprised to learn that entries must feature a creature of the feline variety.  The contest is for completed novels of between 60,000 and 100,000 words suitable for a female adult audience.  Your story could be a heart-stopping romance, thriller,  romcom, fantasy, historical, Christmas story, etc.  To be eligible to enter you have to be unpublished and not represented by an agent.  Manuscripts must be assessed by a professional assessment or editing service before submission.  A bit harsh that, not to say costly, but the contest has no entry fee as such.
    Closing: 28.2.10.
    Prize: A three-book deal for publication (ebook, paperback, audio CD) by Choc Lit Publishng and Soundings.  The winner and runners-up will be featured in Your Cat Magazine.
    Entry Fee: None.  Only one entty per person.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.12.18

 

Christopher Tower Poetry Prize 2019.  This annual contest from Christ Church, Oxford, is open to full- or part-time UK students between the ages of 16 and 18.  It is for poems of up to 48 lines.  This year’s theme has sunk without trace.  It’s ‘Underwater’
    Closing: 1.3.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £3,000.  2nd - £1,500.  3rd - £500.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.  One per preson.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.12.18

 

Snapshot Press Book Awards 2019.  This poetry contest from Snapshot Press of Ormskirk is for  book-length collections of between 60 and 100 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: 1.3.19.
    Prizes: Publication by Snapshot Press.
    Entry Fee: £20 per collection.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
1.12.18

 

Bridgend Writers’ Circle Open Competition.  This annual open contest from Bridgend Writers’ Circle in Wales is for stories of between 1,500 and 1,800 words on any theme.
    Closing: 1.3.19.
    Prizes : £100, £50, £30.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £7.50 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
3.12.18

 

The Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition.  To enter this annual international contest from The Poetry Business you submit 20 to 24 pages of your poetry.
    Closing: 1.3.19.
    Prizes (4): Publication of a pamphlet by smith/doorstop Books, a share of £2,000, a launch reading at The Wordsworth Trust and a £10 gift voucher from Inpress Books, plus publication of at least one poem in The North magazine.  There will also be an opportunity to submit an extended manuscript (a further 30-plus pages) at no extra charge for possible publication in book form (instead of the pamphlet).
    Entry Fee: £28.  Yike.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
3.12.18

 

The Poetry Business New Poets Prize.  If you can arrange to be between 17 and 24, you will be eligible to enter this competition from publisher and writer development agency The Poetry Business.  The contest is for collections of poems (12 pages).
    Closing: 1.3.19.
    Prizes: Four outstanding collections will be published in pamphlet form, and the writers will receive  a year of support and mentoring led by Ann and Peter Sanson of The Poetry Business.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    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
17.9.18

 

Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine.  This international contest is open to young poets of between 14 and 18.  Poems of up to 50 lines on a medical subject are required.
    Closing: 1.3.19.
    Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250.  Winning poems will be published online and in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £2 each,  £15 for ten.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.1.19

 

Brotherton Poetry Prize.  This new international contest from the University of Leeds Poetry Centre is for poets who have not yet had a full collection published.  To enter, you submit up to five poems with a combined line count of up to 200.  Winners and shortlisted poems will be published in an anthology.  Amongst the judges are Simon Armitage and Melvin Bragg.
    Closing: 4.3.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 and the opportunity to develop your creative practice with the University of Leeds Poetry Centre.  Runners-up (4) - £200.  All shortlisted poets will receive £150 for travel expenses to attend the competition announcement.
    Entry Fee: £10 per five poems.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.1.19

 

Glimmer Train Very short Fiction Award.  The American short story magazine Glimmer Train, which publishes new and emerging writers as well as more established ones, will unfortunately be steaming into the sunset in the second half of this year, but before then there are some useful competitions you can enter.  This one is for stories of between 300 and 3,000 words.
    Closing: 5.3.19  (28.2.19 plus a 7-day grace period).
    Prizes: 1st - $2,000 plus publication in Glimmer Stories and 10 free copies.  2nd - $500.  3rd - $300.  Prizes for 2nd and 3rd places increase if the stories are published in the anthology ($700 plus 10 free copies).
    Entry Fee: $16.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
7.11.18

 

Neil Gunn Writing Competition.  This annual international contest from The Neil Gunn Trust and  High Life Highland Libraries has two categories for adults: Poetry and Short Story.  For the former there is a 40-line limit, while the latter has an allowance of up to 2,500 words.  Entries should be inspired by one of the following quotes from the works of Neil Gunn.  ‘Suddenly something came out of the land, some cool shiver of Spring.’ Or:  ‘... at last, all the pieces, the whole pattern.’  Entries, they say, can be in any variety of English or Scots, or a combination of both.  Any variety?  I think they’re asking for trouble there.  The contest also has categories exclusively for Highland Council schools, as detailed on the website.
    Closing: 8.3.19.
    Prizes (in each adult category): £500, £300, £200.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £8.  Only one entry per person per category.
    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
5.1.19

 

Poets & Players Poetry Competition.  This contest from Poets & Players, one of Manchester’s leading organisers of poetry and music events, is for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject.  The judge is poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist Kei Miller.  He will be reading all the entries, although possibly not those with 41 lines or more as these will have been pounced upon by a cold-hearted sifter and consigned to oblivion (and serves you right too - I told you it was 40 lines max, but you thought they wouldn’t mind an extra bit in view of the brilliance of the writing).
    Closing: 13.3.19.
    Prizes: £600, £200, £100.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.1.19

 

Eyelands International Flash Fiction Competition.  This flash fiction contest from Strange Days Books in Greece is for stories of up to 500 words on the theme of Spring.
    Closing: 20.3.19.
    Prizes: 1st - A week’s holiday on the island of Crete for two people (flights not included).  Three prizewinners will receive a ceramic specially designed for the contest, a certificate and a complimentary copy of the contest anthology.  All shortlisted stories will be included in the anthology.
    Entry Fee: 10 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.12.18

 

Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition.  This year’s contest for short stories on any subject has three categories, one for adults, two for juniors.  Adults (16+) have a word limit of 2,500, while Juniors are restricted to a maximum of 500.  The junior age categories are 8-11 and 12-15.
    Closing: 22.3.19.
    Prizes: Adult - £150 plus an engraved trophy.  Junior (in each category) - £30 plus an engraved trophy.  In addition a trophy will be awarded to the school of each junior winner.
    Entry Fee: Adult - £5.  Juniors - Free.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.12.18

 

The Binstead Prize.  This contest from Binstead Arts and the South Downs Poetry Festival is for  poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.  Award winning poet James Simpson will be judging.
    Closing: 29.3.19.
    Prizes: £250, £150, £50.  Prizewinners will be invited to read their poems in Binstead Church during the poetry evening, one of the events in the 2019 Binstead Art Festival.
    Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £4 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 9.1.18

 

Limnisa Short Story Competition.  Limnisa, a creative writing centre on the idyllic Greek Island of Methana, seems like a great place to get your creative juices flowing - and you could be there if you win this free annual contest, although you will have to stump up for the travel costs unless you use your thumb or opt for the alternative online writing tuition.  The competition, which is open worldwide, is for stories of up to 1,500 words.  Your story this year must be inspired by the photo on the comp page (‘You’re Next’).
    Closing: 30.3.19.
    Prizes: 1st - A one-week Writers’ Retreat in 2019 or 2020, with full-board accommodation in single room, at Limnisa in Greece with optional daily yoga sessions, literary evening, use of all Limnisa facilities (beach, bikes, library, etc).  Alternatively you can have five online sessions of personal tutoring.  2nd and 3rd - 50% discount on the Writers’ Retreat or Workshop.  Alternatively you can have an online session of personal turtoring or feedback on written work.  Runners-up - 25% discount for writer’s retreat or Workshop.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter (one entry per person).  Optional evaluation of story: £35.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 9.1.18

 

WB Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from Writers Bureau is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: 31.3.19.
    Prizes : £200, £100, £50.  Winners also receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Poetry on the Lake Festival Competition.  This annual international contest from Italy, now in its eighteenth year, has two categories: Silver Wyvern, for poems of up to 42 lines, and Formal for traditional forms (sonnet, sestina, villanelle, etc) up to 42 lines).  There is no compulsory theme, but there is a separate prize for the best poem in either category that has the theme of ‘Spirit’ (interpret this as you wish).
    Closing: 31.3.19.
    Prizes: Silver Wyvern: 500 euros, 200 euros.  Formal category: 100 euros.  Best ‘spirit’ themed poem in any category - 100 euros.
    Entry Fee (online): £10 for the first, £8 thereafter.  Early bird entries (by 31.12.18) - £6 each.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.18

 

Fish Poetry Competition.  Poems of up to 300 words are invited for this contest from Fish Publishing based in southern Ireland.  Billy Collins will be judging.
    Closing: 31.3.19.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros.  2nd - A week’s residency at Anam Cara Writers’ retreat.  3rd - 200 euros.  The top 10 poems will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.
    Entry Fee: 14 euros, for the first, 8 euros thereafter.
    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
11.9.18

 

Rubery Book Award.  This annual award is for books published by independent publishers or self-published.  There are various categories (see website).  To enter, send a hardcopy of your book by post or submit an ebook electronically.
    Closing: 31.3.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,500, and the book will be read by a top London literary agent.  Category winners - £150.
    Entry Fee: £37.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
5.1.19

 

The Henshaw Short Story Competition.  This regular contest from Henshaw Press of Northampton is for stories running to no more than 2,000 words on any subject.
    Closing: 31.3.19.
    Prizes: £200, £75, £25.
    Entry Fee: £6.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.18

 

Wergle Flomp Humour Poetry Competition.  This contest from Winning Writers in the USA is for published or unpublished humorous poems of up to 250 lines.  Before entering, it is advisable to check some of the past winners and judge’s comments (in the Contest Archives), as here you will find information about things the judges frown upon.
    Closing: 1.4.19.
    Prizes: 1st - $1,000 plus gift certificate.  2nd - $250.  Runners-up (10) - $100.  The top 12 entries will be published online.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.  One entry per person.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.18

 

Ver Poets Open Competition.  This annual contest from Ver Poets of St Albans in Hertfordshire is for poems of up to 30 lines on any subject.  Kathryn Maris, creative writing tutor and poet, will be judging.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prizes: £600, £300, £100.  Winning and selected poems will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three, £3 each thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.12.18

 

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.  Poet Maggie Butt will be judging.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    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
18.11.18

 

Bristol Short Story Prize.  I once spent a whole day exploring Bristol while on 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, back to this competition: it’s for stories of up to 4,000 words on any theme.  These can be in any style, including graphic, verse or genre-based (crime, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, romance, children’s, etc).
    Closing: 1.5.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 and publication in the print edition of Bristol 24/7 magazine.  2nd - £500. 3rd - £250.  Runners-up (17) - £100.  There will be an additional prize of £100 for the highest placed story from a Bristol writer.  The twenty shortlisted stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 12 (print and ebook).
    Entry Fee : £9.
    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
1.12.18

 

London Independent Story Prize.  This contest is for stories of up to 300 words aimed at adults or young adults over 13 years of age.  There is no theme.
    Closing: 6.5.19.
    Prize: £200.
    Entry Fee: £7.  Early bird entry fee £5 (up to 13.1.19).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.1.19

 

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.  Novelist, screenwriter and university lecturer Tyler Keevil will be judging.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: £400, £200, £100.  There are 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.

 


Added
5.1.19

 

Sustainable Societies Radio Play Competition.  This contest from the University of Southampton is for radio plays with a performance time of between 75 minutes and 2 hours.  These should in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society.  All genres are welcome.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes:  £500, £100, £50.  Best student submission (18-25) - £50.
    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  2019             Writer

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