Stiff Competition - the novel

Details

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 75)

 


Updated
  4.5.16

 

Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition.  There is a new contest in each issue of this 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 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
  4.5.16

 

Writers’ Forum Poetry Competition.  This monthly contest from the glossy magazine Writers’ Forum is for poems of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: Monthly.  Entries arriving too late for one month 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.

 
  

Books to Improve Your Writing Skills  

 


Addad
30.4.16

 

Cinnamon Press Debut Collection Prize.  This annual contest from Welsh publisher Cinnamon Press is for poems of up to 40 lines.  Your entry should consist of 10 poems.
    Closing: Annually - end of November.
    Prizes: £300 plus a publishing contract.
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 30.4.16

 

Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet Prizes.  Entries for ths one should comprise 15 to 25 poems of up to 50 lines each.
    Closing: Annually (end of March).
    Prizes: A publishing contract plus 30 copies of the pamphlet.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  29.4.16

 

Cinnamon Press Short Story Award.  This is for stories of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
    Closing: annually (end of May).
    Prize: £500, £100, £50, plus publication.
    Entry Fee: £12 (includes a free copy of the winners’ anthology).
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Updated
 29.4.16

 

Cinnamon Press Debut Novel/Novella Prize.  To enter this you submit the first 10,000 words of your novel or novella.
    Closing: Anually (end of July).
    Prize : £500 and a pulishing contract.
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 
 
 


Added
12.7.09

 

WriteOnSite Writing Competition .  This, they say, could be described as literary open mic.  The competition opens at 5.30pm GMT every Saturday, at which point three themes are given.  You choose your theme, pay your entry fee and then write.  You have just 20 minutes to complete your story.  Three entries are then chosen to be read and judged by all the other entrants during the following week.  Only for the brave.
    Closing: Every Saturday.
    Prize: £40.
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 6.7.09

 

Telegraph ‘Just Back’ Travel writing Competition.  If you are just back from somewhere a little 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 the currency of your choice.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  27.6.10

 

The Write Place Novel Competition.  This contest has now been cancelled by the promoters (The Write Place Creative Writing School) following my comments about the alleged value of the prize (publication) and the nature of the publishing firm (Pneuma Springs Publishing) supplying it.  Although the promoters are blaming me for ruining a worthwhile competition, I consider the cancellation to be their acceptance that my comments were spot on.
    Pneuma Springs Publishing offers services which are deemed by the book trade to be vanity publishing.  If anyone is unclear about the meaning and implications of this term, they should read the
free Occasional Paper on Vanity Publishing by the Society of Authors: 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.

 


Updated
15.12.15

 

Daggerville Games Writing Competition.  This monthly contest from Daggerville Games is for short pieces of writing (up to 250 words) on a different theme each month.  The theme for April - and I apologise if it is no longer April and I’ve not updated this - is ‘The Perfect Murder’. You have to ‘Like’ the firm on Facebook to enter, but other than this requirement to be free and easy with your affections, there is no cost.
    Closing: End of each month.
    Prize: $50 Amazon voucher.
    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
21.5.12

 

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

 


Updated
  1.4.16

 

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: 31.3.17, 30.6.17, 30.9.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £300 and publication in Words With Jam.  2nd - £200.  3rd - £100.  Highly Commended - A copy of The Writer’s ABC Checklist.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £8 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 31.3.15

 

Cultured Vultures Poem of the Week.  This one from American website Cultured Vultures (‘We eat your words’) is open to all comers and is for poems of any type.  To enter you submit three plus a short bio.
    Closing: Weekly.
    Prize: Publication on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
18.4.15

 

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.
    Prizes (in each round): £75, £25.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £5.50 for two, £8 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.9.15

 

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.

 

 

 

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
17.1.17

 

BBC 500 Words 2017.  This annual contest from the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 is open to children aged between 5 and 13.  If you are one of these, go for it, but be aware that it could start you on the road to a lifetime of rejection, heartbreak and poverty.  Your story, which must be your own original work, should run to no more than 500 words.  It should not contain any naughty words, not even if you heard Mummy and Daddy using them when they got the gas bill.  If you are planning to include any real people as characters, you should first ask your solicitor to explain the laws of libel.  Good luck.
    Closing: 23.2.17 (7pm).
    Prizes (in each of two age categories): 1st - Chris Evans’ height in books.  2nd - honorary judge The Dutchess of Cornwall’s height in books.  3rd - your own height in books.  The top 50 shortlisted entries will earn for their writers 2 tickets to the final at the Tower of London.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry (only one entry per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.17

 

The  Felix Dennis Creative Writing Competition.  This contest from the Stratford Literary Festival is for stories of up to 2,000 words or poems of up to 600 words on the theme of ‘Sharing Stories’.  It has three age categories: 17+, 12-16, 7-11.
    Closing : 24.2.17.
    Prizes: 17+ - £1,000, £300.  12-16 - £250, £50.  7-11 - £100 including a year’s subscription to The Week Junior (a current affairs mag for children).  In this category there is also a runner-up prize of £50.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry (one entry per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.1.17

 

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 Michael Symmons Roberts.  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: 27.2.17.
    Prizes: £500, £200, £100.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.9.16

 

Fish Flash Fiction Competition.  This annual Fish competition is for stories running to no more than 300 words.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros.  2nd - An online writing course with Fish.  The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology.  The writers will each receive five copies.
    Entry Fee: 14 euros.
    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
1.12.16

 

Christopher Tower Poetry Prize 2017.  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 is ‘Stone’.
    Closing: 27.2.17.
    Prizes: £3,000, £1,000, £500.  The school/college of each winner will also receive a cash prize of £150.  The school/college of each winner will also receive a cash prize of £150.  The three winners will be eligible for a place on the Tower Poetry Summer School, and they will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Oxford.  Three or four commended entrants will each receive £250.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.2.17

 

SLQ Poetry Competition.  This regular contest from Sentinel Literary Quarterly is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject and in any style.  Mandy Pannett is the judge this time round.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50.  Runners-up - £20, £10.
    Entry Fee: £4 for one, £7 for two, £9 for three and so on.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
13.11.16

 

NWC Short Story Competition .  This national contest from the Nottingham Writers’ Club is for stories of up to 2,000 words on the theme of Food and/or Drink.  It is aimed at new and less experienced writers, defined on the website as those who have earned under £300 from short stories in 2016.  I can think of some very experienced ones who haven’t earned that much.  All entrants will receive a few lines of feedback.
    Closing: 28.2.17.  Not open for submissions until 1.2.17.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee (online): £6 for one, £12 for two, £5 each thereafter.  Postal entry fees are a bit lower but probably not worth bothering with once you’ve factored in the cost of the stamp, sheet of A4 and envelope, and then considered the hassle of finding a postbox and ascertaining if it’s still in use (spiders’ webs across the letter slot/bird flying in with worm - not good signs).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.10.16

 

Wundor Short Fiction Competition.  This inaugural contest from Wundor Editions, a new independent publisher based in London, is for novellas, short stories and flash fiction.  To enter, you submit a single piece of work or a collection of pieces, or a novella.  In all cases the total word count should fall between 5,000 and 45,000.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prize: £500.  The winner and two runners-up will have their work published in full or as an extract on the website, and will be ‘strongly considered’ for publication in print.  For any print publication a publishing contract will be offered.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.16

 

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from Exeter Writers in Devon is for stores of up to 3,000 words on any theme.  Entry is open worldwide.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.  Plus £100 for a weiter from Devon.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £6.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.1.17

 

Jane Austen Short Story Competition.  This contest, which is part of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, has two categories: Adults and Children.  Adults (16 and over) are required to write a story of up to 2017 words based on the following quote from Mansfield Park: ‘Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.’  Children in the age brackets 7-11 and 12-16 have the task of writing a letter of 400 words or fewer on any subject addressed to ‘Dear friend’.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: Adults - £1,000, £500.  Children (in each age bracket) - £50 book token, £25 book token.
    Entry Fee: Adults - £5.  Children - Free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
29.3.14

 

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
 1.2.17

 

Yorkmix Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from the York Literature Festival is for poems of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: £500, £125, £75.  York Prize (for an entrant with a York postcode): £50.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £10 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
24.3.16

 

Flash 500 Short Story Competition.  Stories in any genre running to between 1,000 and 3,000 words are required for this one 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: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: £500, £200, £100.
    Entry Fee: £7 each, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.11.16

 

Artificium Writing Competition.  This one from Artificium, a journal of new fiction and poetry, is for stories of between 2,000 and 8,000 words in any genre.  There is also a category called In Brief, for any writing of between 500 and 1,500 words.  For this you can submit poetry, and here there is no minimum word limit, but the maximum of 1,500 words still applies.
    Closing: 28.2.17.
    Prizes: Short Story: 1st - £300.  Runners-up (1 - 4) - a share of £100.  Winners will be published on the website.  In Brief - the winner gets £150 while runners-up (1 - 4) share £100.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £9 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 1.2.17

 

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: 28.2.17.
    Prize: £50.
    Entry Fee: £1 plus the normal cost of sending a text message (no use asking me what that is).
    Website:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.1.17

 

The White Review Short Fiction Competition.  This contest from literary magazine The White Review is for stories of between 2,000 and 7,000 words.  It is open to writers in Britain and Ireland who have yet to secure a publishing deal.  The promoters are looking for stories that ‘explore and expand the possibilities of the short story form’.
    Closing: 1.3.17.
    Prize: £2,500.
    Entry Fee: £15.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.16

 

The Poetry Business New Poets Prize.  If you can arrange to be between 16 and 22, you will be eligible to enter this contest for collections of poems (12 pages).
    Closing: 1.3.17.
    Prizes: 1st and runner-up - a place on an Arvon residential course of your choice in 2017.   Four outstanding poets will receive mentoring, readings and publication in the North magazine.  One of these will receive pamphlet publication by smith/doorstop Books.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.11.16

 

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: 1.3.17.
    Prize: £1,000.
    Entry Fee: £12.
    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
 30.1.16

 

Tethered by Letters Writing Competition.  This international contest from Tethered by Letters, an American literary publication and resource organisation, has three categories: short story, poetry and flash fiction.  The stories should be between 1,000 and 7.500 words, while the poems can run to three pages.  Flash fiction has a word limit of 750.  The promoters are looking for work that pushes the boundaries and takes risks in genre, plot and style.  Their motto is ‘Publish Weird’.  I don’t know how that goes in latin.
    Closing: 1.3.17 (midnight PST).
    Prizes: Stories - $1,000.  Poetry - $300.  Flash Fiction - $300.  Winners will be published in F(r)iction, a triannually-printed collection of literature and art.
    Entry Fee : Stories - $15.  Poems and flash fiction - $8 each, three for $12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.11.16

 

Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition.  This contest from poetry magazine The Rialto in conjunction with BirdLife International, the RSBP and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, is for poems concerning Nature and Place.  A broad interpretation of the themes is acceptable.
    Closing: 1.3.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000, 2nd - £500, 3rd - A place on a Ty Newydd writing course.  Additional prizes comprise a tour of wildlife places in East Anglia with nature writer Mark Cocker, and a tour of Wicken Fen with naturalist Nick Davies.  The winning poems will be published in the mag.
    Entry Fee: £6 for the first, £3.50 thereafter (up to a total of 6 poems in a batch).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.16

 

Bridgend Writers’ Circle Open Competition.  This one from Bridgend Writers is for stories of between 1,500 and 1,800 words on any theme.
    Closing: 1.3.17.
    Prizes: £200 and two at £50.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £7.50 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.16

 

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: 1.3.17.
    Prizes (4): Publication by smith/doorstop Books, a share of £2,000, a launch reading at The Wordsworth Trust and gift vouchers from Inpress Books.  There will also be an opportunity to submit a full collection for possible publication in book form.
    Entry Fee: £28.  Yike.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.2.17

 

Thresholds International Feature Writing Competition .  This contest from the short story forum Thresholds at the University of Chichester is for feature essays of between 750 and 2,000 words.  There are two categories: Author Profile and We Recommend.  For full details of these, see the competition page.
    Closing: 5.3.17.
    Prizes: £500, £100, £100.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.2.17

 

Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing.  This contest for amateur playwrights from the Windsor Fringe Festival is for one-act plays with a performance time of no more than 30 minutes.  Forget the cast of thousands - you are limited to six.
    Closing: 5.3.17.
    Prize: £500.  Three scripts will be selected for performance during the Fringe Festival.  One of these will be chosen as the cash prize winner, judged on the writing only.
    Entry Fee: £10 (only one entry per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.12.16

 

Wicked Young Writer Awards.  Launched by the long-running West End musical Wicked, this annual contest for young writers between the ages of 5 and 25 is for stories, poems, and drama scripts on any subject running to no more than 750 words.  There are six age categories, as detailed  below.  If you are 15 to 25 you can also enter a separate non-fiction category for essays and articles that celebrate the positive impact people can have on each another, their community and the world.  For details of this, follow the link at the top of the main page.  Michael Morpurgo is an honorary judge of the Awards, and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is a patron - so there is a certain amount of prestige attached to this.
    Closing: 13.3.17.
    Prizes: I know most of you will be too young and pure to be motivated by avarice, but bear with me while I list the prizes for the benefit of the rest.  Winners in the 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14 categories will receive a £50 book token and £100 in books for the winner’s school.  Winners in the 15-17, 18-25 categories will receive a £50 book token and ‘an exclusive writing experience’.  Winners will also get four tickets to see the London production of Wicked, and they will be able to meet cast members after the show.  The 120 finalists will be invited to attend the awards ceremony at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London.  The finalists will see their work publishing in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.2.17

 

Dundee Book Prize.  For this well-known contest for unublished authors, you submit the full manuscript of a novel for adults, together with a synopsis of up to 500 words.  Your novel can be any length but don’t take that as an invitation to waffle and digress.  Note that the rules state you must be living, so if you are in any doubt, you should check your pulse.  If you draw a blank there, don’t panic, you may just be bady run down.  Get a second opinion from a friend.
    Closing: 13.3.17.
    Prize: £5,000 and a publishing contract with Freight Books.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.14

 

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
 1.2.17

 

Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize.  This contest, which is supported by the Arts Council, is for the best proposal for a book-length essay (over 25,000 words) by a writer living in the UK or Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal.  Proposals should run to no more than 5,000 words.  The judges will be looking for proposals that explore and expand the possibilities of the essay form.  Well, you didn’t expect it to be easy with such a big prize at stake, did you?
    Closing: 15.3.17.
    Prize: A £3,000, publication and a three-month writer’s residency at the Mahler and Lee Witt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, to work on the book.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
28.11.16

 

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 contest, although you will have to stump up for the travel costs unless you use your thumb.  The competition, which is open worldwide, is for stories of up to 3,000 words.
    Closing: 15.3.17.
    Prizes: 1st - One week Writers’ Retreat or Workshop in 2017 or 2018, with full-board accommondation 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.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
28.11.16

 

Binsted Arts Poetry Competition.  This is the second year for this contest from Binsted Arts in West Sussex.  It is for poems of up to 40 lines on the theme of ‘Harvest’.  The judge is Clare Best, a creative writing tutor for the Open University.
    Closing: 20.3.17.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.  Winners will have the option of anthology publication.
    Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £3 each thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.1.17

 

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 1,000.  The junior age categories are 8-11 and 12-16.
    Closing: 24.3.17.
    Prizes: Adult - £150 plus an engraved trophy.  Junior (in each category) - £30 plus an engraved trophy.  Shortlisted entries will appear in an anthology.
    Entry Fee : Adults - £5.  Juniors - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
24.1.17

 

Writers Bureau Short Story Competition.  This annual contest is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes: £300, £200, £100, £50.  In addition all winners receive a Writers Bureau Course of their choice.  Winning stories will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


 2.2.17

 

Print Express Children’s Short Story Competition.  This freebie requires children aged between 5 and 13 to write an original story of up to 500 words on any subject.  There are two age categories: 5 to 9, and 10 to 13.  A parent must submit the entry on the child’s behalf.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes (in each category): £50 in book tokens for the winner and £175 in book tokens for the winner’s school.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry (only one per child).
    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
19.2.17

 

RH Cunningham Memorial Short Story Competition .  This contest from Willowdown Books is  for stories of betweem 1,000 and 2,000 words which aim to open the reader’s eyes to the world we live in, or give a new perspective to past or present events, or reflect on personal or social journeys.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prize: $100.  The winners and six runners-up will be published in a paperback anthology which will be available on Amazon by the end of the year.
    Entry Fee: £10 each, £15 for two, £17 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.9.16

 

Fish Poetry Competition.  Poems of up to 300 words are invited for this contest from Fish Publishing based in southern Ireland.  Jo Shapcott will be judging.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros.  2nd - A week’s residency at Anam Cara Writers’ retreat.
    Entry Fee: 14 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 6.9.16

 

RuberyBook Award.  This worthy international award is for self-published and independently published books of any type.  I emphasise that we are not talking about mere manuscripts here, but the actual end product book published at some point prior to submission.  Haven’t got a published book?  Well, you’ve got plenty of time to write one, get it published and send it in, because if you miss the deadline this time round, your entry will be put forward for the next award.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,500 and your book read by a top London literary agent.  At least three category winners will each receive £150.
    Entry Fee: £35.  Nurse!  Someone just fainted.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.16

 

The Short Fiction Prize.  This one from Short Fiction, a literary journal from Plymouth University, is for stories running to no more than 6,000 words.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes: £500, £100.  The 1st prize winner will be published in the journal.
    Entry Fee: £6.  Submit two for £10 and receive a free opy of the next issue of the journal.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.17

 

The Oh Zoe! Rising Talent Award.  This freebie from new children’s book publisher Oh Zoe! is for children’s picture books.  Your task is to supply the text.  The story should be suitable for personalisation, so it must make no assumptions about gender, age or ethnicity in the main (child) character.  The age range to aim for is 0-8.  The word limit is 1,500, although they say 1,000 words would be more typical for the 4-8 range, and 500 for 0-4.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prize: £500.  Shortlisted entrants will be given the opportunity to publish their work through the Oh Zoe! website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
25.1.17

 

Henshaw Short Story Competition.  This regular contest from Henshaw Press of Northampton is for stores of up to 2,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.14

 

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
19.2.17

 

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 uplifting stories of between 1,500 and 2,500 words in which someone gets a loan/fiance for a very specific purpose.
    Closing: 31.3.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £200.  Runners-up (3) - £50.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.17

 

Baen Fantasy Adventure Award.  This freebie from America is for fantasy stories running to no more than 8,000 words.  Any fantasy genre is welcome, but there are Do and Don’t lists that you would do well to peruse before entering (no angst-ridden teens pining over vampire lovers, but you will be relieved to learn that they have nothing against elves).
    Closing: 1.4.17 (12.01am EDT).
    Prizes: 1st - $500 worth of books, an engraved award thingy and publication on the website at industry standard rates.  2nd - $500 worth of books.  3rd - $300 worth of books.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 12.1.17

 

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: 1.4.17.
    Prizes: 1st - $1,000.  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
 2.2.13

 

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
 1.2.17

 

Tethered by Letters Non-fiction Competition.  This contest from the American literary publication and resource organisation Tethered by Letters is for non-fiction running to between 1,000 and 7,500 words in any genre.
    Closing: 1.4.17.
    Prize: $500 and publication in F(r)iction, the TBL triannual print collection.  Note that they reserve the right not to award the prize if no entries are received which they consider worthy of publication.  Entry fees will not be refunded in this case (but this has not happened so far in their four-year publishing history).  They claim they must maintain the quality of the work they publish, but I don’t see how this is a valid excuse not awarding just the cash to the best entry received.
    Entry Fee: $10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.17

 

Pets Aplenty Writing Competition.  This freebie from Erewash Writers is for stories of between 500 and 600 words based on a pet or wild animal.  The tale is not to be told from the anmial’s viewpoint.  The judge is retired vet Malcolm Welshman who has been writing features and novels about animals and vets for many years.  In fact he is a vet-eran.
    Closing: 20.4.17.
    Prize: A signed copy of Malcolm Welshman’s novel Pets Aplenty, and publication on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.1.17

 

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.  The judge is literary agent Laura Williams from Peters, Fraser & Dunlop.
    Closing: 24.4.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £2,000. Runner-up - A £500 voucher from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.
    Entry Fee: £25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.1.17

 

Hourglass Writing Competition .  This international contest from Hourglass Literary Magazine is for short stories, poems and essays on any subject.  These can be written in English, Latin or Cyrillic script.  Well, that’s different.  I think I’ll have a go at the Latin.  It’s been a long time since my school days but I never forget.  Veni, vedi, veci (I came, I saw, I played conkers).  See?  But enough of my linguistic expertise - back to the contest.  For the short stories there’s a word limit of 7,000 (minimum 700).  Poems can be up to 3,500 words but take my advice and don’t go all the way - it’s a long and dusty road littered with skeletons.  Essays must be between 1,000 and 9,000 words. 
    Closing: 30.4.16 (11.59pm US Central time).
    Prizes (in each category): $1,000 and a clepsydra (a device used for measuring time before the advent of the smartphone).  Other prizes - see website.  Winning entries will be published in the mag.  The writers of these will receive a free copy.
    Entry Fee: $15 (in the poetry category you can submit up to three poems for this).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.1.17

 

Ver Poets Open Competition .  Here is another familiar face in the competitions crowd.  It comes from a poetry group in St Albans.  Anything goes as far as the subject is concerned, but confine your efforts to 30 lines or fewer.
    Closing: 30.4.16.
    Prizes: £600, £300, £100.  Selected poems will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three, £2 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.1.17

 

Soundwork Audio Play Competition.  Here’s another contest from Soundwork and this time it’s for audio plays of up to 45 minutes duration on any theme.  The contest is open worldwide.
    Closing: 30.4.17.
    Prize: The winning play will be recorded and posted on the Soundwork-uk website along with a photo and details of the writer.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.1.17

 

Crediton Short Story Competition.  This contest from Crediton in Devon has two categories: Adult (18+) and Young Adult (11-18).  The requirement is for stories on the subject of Echoes.  Adults have a 3,000 word limit while Young Adults are restricted to 1,000.
    Closing: 30.4.17.
    Prizes: Adult - £75, publication in Riptide (‘short stories with an undercurrent’) and a night at the Lamb Inn, Sandford, Devon.  Runner-up - £30.   Young Adult - £30 and a copy of Riptide vol. 6.  Runner-up - £10 and Riptide vol. 6.
    Entry Fee: Adult - £5.  Young Adult - £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.17

 

Luna Press Flash Fiction Competition.  This contest from Luna Press in Edinburgh is for stories of up to 500 words in the science fiction, fantasy, and dark fantasy genres (and their sub-genres).
    Closing: 30.4.16.
    Prizes: Up to five winners will receive a share of the cash pot made up of the entry fees.  Winning stories will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £1.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.2.17

 

Poetry on the Lake Festival Competition.  This annual international contest from Italy, now in its seventeenth year, has three categories: Silver Wyvern, for poems of up to 40 lines on the theme of Metal (precious, base, metaphoric, etc).  Short (up to 10 lines, no theme), and Formal (up to 40 lines, no theme).  Carol Ann Duffy will be judging the Silver Wyvern category, while Kevin Bailey will be dealing with the others.
    Closing: 30.4.17.
    Prizes: Silver Wyvern: 1st - Trophy and 500 euros.  2nd - 200 euros.  3rd - 100 euros.  Formal and Short category winners each receive 100 euros.
    Entry Fee: Online - £10 for the first, £8 thereafter.  Postal - £8 for the first, £6 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
22.1.17

 

Bath Short Story Award.  Now in its fifth 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: 1.5.17.
    Prizes: £1,000, £200, £100.  Local Prize - £50.  Acorn Award for an unpublished writer - £50 worth of acorns.  Ah, I now see that it’s cash.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.16

 

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: 3.5.17.
    Prizes: £1,000, £700, £400.  Runners-up (17) - £100.  Twenty stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 10.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.16

 

Montreal International Poetry Prize.  This contest, which many of you will have guessed is from the land of the Mounties, is for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject.
    Closing : 15.5.17.  Early entry deadline (for lower entry fee): 31.3.17.
    Prize: $20,000 (Canadian). There will be anthology publication for shortlisted entries, with a free copy going to each contributor.
    Entry Fee: $25 (Canadian) for the first, $15 thereafter.  Early entry fee: $20 for the first, $15 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 8.2.17

 

PDSA Animal Heroes Writing Competition.  This contest from the PDSA is open to under 16s only.  It is for stories of about 1,000 words based on the lines and notes supplied by Children’s writer Hilary Robinson.
    Closing: 25.5.16.
    Prizes: 1st - An Amazon Kindle, a set of signed books by Hilary Robinson and a VIP tour of one of the pet hospitals where the winner will meet Hilary, the vets, the nurses and the pet patients.  Runners-up (3) - A signed copy of Hilary’s latest book and a Pet Protectors goody bag.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 8.2.17

 

Pint-sized Plays Writing Competition.  Now in its tenth 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: 31.5.17.
    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 received 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.

 

 

 

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
 1.2.17

 

Yeovil Literary Prize.  This is the 13th 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: 31.5.17.
    Prizes: Short Story - £500, £200, £100.  Poetry - £500, £200, £100.  Novel - £1,000, £250, £100.  Writing Without Restrictions - £100, £50, £30.  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
 1.2.17

 

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: 31.5.17.
    Prizes: In each of the main categories (Short Stories, Poems) - £5,000, £1,000, £500.  There are also ten runners-up prizes of £100.  These are called ‘supplementary prizes’ to make you feel less like an also-ran.  The Peggy Chapman Andrews First Novel Award: 1st - £1,000.  2nd - £500. Runners-up (3) £100.  Prizes in the Flash Fiction category are £1,000, £500, £250, plus three supplementary awards of £100.  There is in addition £100 for the highest placed writer from Dorset.  All winners will be invited to an awards ceremony in October at the Bridport Open Book Festival.  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
 1.2.17

 

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 Nathan Filer in conjunction with the Literary Consultancy.
    Closing: 31.5.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 plus mentoring from the Literary Consultancy (Chapter and Verse Scheme) and possible publication of the completed novel.  2nd - £500.  Runners-up (3) - £100.  The first and second prize winners will be expected to attend the prizegiving.  Others on the shortlist will receive non-compulsory invitations.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    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
 1.2.17

 

Segora Writing Competition.  This is the tenth 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 20 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: 15.6.17.
    Prizes: Short Stories and Poetry - £300, £50, £30.  Vignettes - £100, £10.  Play - £100.  Wnners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fees: Short Stories - £6 each, £11 for two, £15 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.

 


Added
 12.1.17

 

Pennine Ink Short Story Competition .  This year’s contest from the Pennine Ink Writers’ Workshop in Burnley is for short stories of up to 500 words on the theme of  Chemistry.  You have to be 18 or over to enter, but you can be located anywhere in the world.
    Closing: 7.7.17.
    Prize: £50.  The winning entry will be published in Pennine Ink and on the website.
    Entry Fee: £3 for one, £5 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here:

 


Added
 7.1.17

 

Cheshire Prize for Literature.  This contest from the University of Chester is for a piece of writing for children (age range 7 to 14), either in prose or verse, the former having a word limit of 1,500, the latter a line limit of 100.  To be eligible to enter you need to have lived, studied or worked at some point in Cheshire, Wirral, Warrington or Halton.  Documentary evidence may be requested, they say.  So if nobody made a documentary about you while you were there, I’m afraid you’ve had it ... although it’s possible I’ve misunderstood this requirement.
    Closing: 1.9.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £2,000.  Additional prize money of £750 will be awarded, but the precise details were not revealed to me at the time of writing.  The best entries will be published.
    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  2017             Writer

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