Stiff Competition - the novel

Details

Writing Comps

Current UK Writing Competitions

Stiff Competition - the novel

Details


 
 

     I’ve never won a poetry competition, mainly, I like to think, because I haven’t entered many (4), but I did once win a cash prize for a short story, and then of course I won the Peter Pook Humorous Novel Contest with Stiff Competition, a novel 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 small, lesser-known competitions doesn’t lead to overnight fame.  But having a few such successes to boast about does you no harm when approaching editors or agents, so if you do 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 only advice I can offer is to suggest 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 found recently (entry is not necessarily limited to UK residents).

=> Bear in mind that contests with smaller prizes, and those where you have to write for details, attract fewer entries.  Such competitions are easier to win. 

 
  

UK Writing Competitions (currently 76)

 


Updated
  3.1.12

 

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 in each issue.
    Entry Fee: £6, or £3 for subscribers to the magazine.  Critique - £5 (enclose sae if entering by post).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  3.1.12

 

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.
    Prizes: 1st - £100.  Runners-up - A Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £3 each thereafter.  Includes a free critique (sae required if entering by post).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 
  

Books to Improve Your Writing Skills  

 


Added
3.11.10

 

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

 


Updated
  17.9.14

 

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: 4 x £150 plus publishing contract.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 17.9.14

 

Cinnamon Press Short Story Award.  This is for stories of between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
    Closing: annually (end of May).
    Prize: £700, £150, £50, plus publication.
    Entry Fee: £12 (includes a free copy of the winners’ anthology).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  17.9.14

 

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 : £1,000 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
  1.1.13

 

Camp Trip Writing Contest.  This recurring US contest is for camping related articles (minimum 200 words) in which you share your tips, tricks, advice, infomative experience, etc.  Note that your entry may appear on the website, so leave out the illegal stuff (such as what you were smoking round the campfire).
    Closing: Each time 100 entries have been received.  Then a new contest begins.  See website for latest count.
    Prizes: $100, $75, $25 - all in Visa Gift Cards.
    Entry Fee : None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.09

Updated
  12.4.11

 

Dear Michael,
     I just wanted to tell you
that I won first prize in the Charnwood Arts' miniWords Poetry Competition (£250), so thank you very much for that!
                                                                               -  Mary Whitsell
Hello Michael
     I've just won the Telegraph's 'Just Back' Travel Writing Competition, which I heard about on your site. Thank you yet again for providing this service to writers.
     It's a good thing I don't have to tell you about all the competitions I entered but didn't win, isn't it?  But all the rejections only make the wins that much sweeter!
                                                                                                  -   Mary Whitsell

 


Added
 7.4.13

 

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 forgotten to update 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
5.12.12

 

Dear Michael
     I regularly look at your website which is very helpful. I entered my novella 'Living Doll' in the Pageturner competition run by Contact Publlshing which you listed and it made the 10 shortlisted entries, being rated 6th overall. Not a big success but something! Many thanks for your website.
     Best wishes
                                                                            -  Suzanne Thorpe

 


Updated
 1.6.14

 

Dark Tales Short Story Competition.  As you may gather from the name of the competition, this is not for the sort of cheerful 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 the lights out in case something is hiding in the wardrobe.  Your entry must be limited to 5,000 words.
    Closing: Monthly.
    Prize: £100.  Winner and shortlisted stories will be published in Dark Tales.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.4.13

 

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
 1.3.14

 

Spinetinglers Short Story Competition.  This international contest from Spinetinglers Publishing is for stories of up to 5,000 words suitable for making the reader’s spine ... well, I’m sure you can fill in the missing word.
    Closing: Monthly.
    Prizes : £100, £50 and 3 x £25.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
20.4.14

 

The Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition.  Here’s another Corker from ireland.  Sorry couldn’t resist that.  I’ll start again.  This one from Cork in Ireland is for poems of up to 50 lines (including line breaks) which feature the five words given on the website for that week.  At the time of writing, the five words were: compass, apple, Jasmine, onions, oblique.  A shortlist of 12 will be selected after the final closing date next January, and the winner will be chosen from that.  Ó Bhéal, incidentally, is a weekly poetry event in Cork (as you probably know, the word itself is Irish for ‘word of mouth’).
    Closing: Every Tuesday at noon until the last week of January 2015.
    Prize: 500 euros and an invitation to read at the Ó Bhéal’s event in Ireland, with travel expenses of 100 euro and B&B accommodation.
    Entry Fee: 5 euro.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.5.14

 

Templar Quarterly Pamphlet Awards.  This is for short poetry collections of between 10 and 12 pages.
    Closing: 1.3.15, 1.6.15.
    Prize: Your collection publsihed as a Templar Pamphlet with a page on the website dedicated to same.  You get 25 free copies of the pamphlet and an offer of further copes at a discount price.  You also get a Templar Poetry publishing agreement with the option to submit a full collection for possible publication.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    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

 


Updated
 23.7.14

 

Flash 500 Humorous Verse Competition.  This quarterly contest from the Flash 500 website is having the last laugh as it’s now in its fourth year.  Any kind of humorous verse is required, up to 32 lines.
    Closing: 31.3.15, 30.6.15.
    Prizes: 1st £150 and publication in Words with Jam.  2nd - £100.  3rd - £50.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2.50 thereafter.
    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
 23.7.14

 

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: 31.3.15, 30.6.15.
    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
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
17.12.14

 

British Banking Awards Review Competition.  Here’s a useful little freebie from  SmartMoneyPeople.com.  To enter you write an online review that says something interesting about your experience with a bank.  A word of warning: I think they’re looking for something positive - so put your knife back in its sheath.  The judges’ favourite review wins the money, and the banks get awards based on the reviews (Best Overall Bank, Most Recommended Bank, Best Customer Service, Best Credit Card).
    Closing: 29.1.15.
    Prize: £200.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.14

 

Erewash Writers’ Flash Fiction Competition.  This latest flash fiction comp from Erewash Writers is for stories of up to 500 words.
    Closing: 29.1.15.
    Prize: A copy of Shirley Harber’s paperback The Snake Princess, plus free entry into the Open Short Story competition  and online publication one comp website and Facebook.
    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
1.10.14

 

Amnesty International Young Human Rights Reporter Award.  Look away now if you are not between 7 and 18 and a UK resident.  The rest of you get working on an article of up to 500 words on any human rights issue.  The contest has four journalism categories based on school years.  The aim is to ‘unearth and encourage the journalists and writers of tomrrow to find compelling human rights stories.’  However, you are advised not to take any risks, so if you plan to interview Mr Big, take a couple of armed relatives with you (Aunt Doris and her sawn-off, Uncle Joe and his ferret, etc).
    Closing: 30.1.15 (5pm).
    Prizes (in each category): 1st - The Amnesty Youth Awards trophy plus a certificate and a goody bag.  Runners-up (2) - A certificate and a goody bag.  All winners will be invited to London for a ceremony at AIUK’s offices.
There is a possibilty of publication in the Times Educational Supplement.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.12.14

 

Amnesty International Young Human Rights Songwriter Award.  This contest is for younger students and older students (upper primary, lower secondary, upper secondary).  The category we are interested in is the Lyrics Awards (the other category is for performers).  To enter you write a song lyric or a spoken word piece that will inspire people to take action on a human rights issue you care about.  No musical expertise is needed, they say.  So no tune is needed. You just need to have something to say.  The more they explain this the less it sounds like a songwriter award.  ‘The judges will be looking for a good sense of rhythm, rhyme and language ...’  Aw, come on, it’s a poetry competition.
    Closing: 30.1.15 (5pm).
    Prizes (in each category):  Top winners will receive a 2015 Amnesty Youth Awards trophy, a certificate and a goody bag.  Runners-up receive a certificate and a goody bag.  All winners will be invited to a day trip to London for a ceremony at AIUK’s offices.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
25.12.14

 

The Cassandra Jardine Memorial Prize.  This contest from the Telegraph in Memory of journalist Cassandra Jardine is for women aged between 18 and 25.  To enter, you submit a feature article of between 1,500 and 2,000 words on any subject. The judges will be looking for, amongst other things, evidence of your intelligence, so they have set you the task of submitting your entry by post.  This is a method of communication we used to use in the old days.  It involves writing an address (a postal address, not one ending in .co.uk, .com, etc) on a piece of stationary called an envelope and buying something called a stamp to stick in the top right-hand corner.  You then go out and put it in one of those red boxes you thought were for litter.  For further information ask your parents.  Tip: Do not write a subject line on the envelope.
    Closing: 30.1.15.
    Prizes: £1,000, £500 £250.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
10.1.15

 

Four Counties Poets Competition.  This contest from Rottingdean Writers Group is open to poets over the age of 16 who are connected to (born in, resident in, working in or studying in) Greater London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex (any one, not all four).  Poems can be on any subject and in any style but they must not exceed 40 lines.
    Closing: 30.1.15.
    Prizes: £750, £250, £100.  There are also discretionary honorary awards, so if you don’t get one of these you won’t be able to kid yourself that you missed out on the money prizes by a gnat’s whisker.  Personally I prefer to leave entrants in the dark on that score.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £12 for three, £4 each thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.12

 

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
 1.1.15

 

Earlyworks Press Flash Fiction Competition.  This one from Earlyworks Press of Hastings, Sussex, is for stories of no more than 100 words.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prize: £100.  Illustrated book publication for the best entries.
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
23.9.14

 

Prole Laureate Competition.  This annual contest from Prole Books is for poems in any style that epitomise the editorial values of their poetry and prose magazine Prole.  These values are summed up with the following words: engaging, accessible, entertaining and challenging.  Quality, they say, is all.  They don’t say anything about a line limit so you can if you wish really let yourself go and submit something long enough to test the judge’s endurance.  But don’t blame me if she hunts you down with a sawn-off shotgun.  The judge in question is Helen Ivory.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £200 and publication in the magazine.  Runners-up (2) - £50 and possible publication.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.14

 

Fish Short Memoir Competition.  Memoirs of up to 4,000 words are required for this international contest from Fish Publishing of Cork, Ireland.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prize: 1,000 euros.  The winner and nine runners-up will be published in the anthology.
    Entry Fee: 16 euros for the first, 10 euros thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.14

 

British Haiku Awards 2014.  By rights this contest should be called the British Haiku, Haibun & Tanka Awards, for it embraces all three forms.  The haiku and tanka need no explanation, I hope, but as I’ve never come across anyone who knows what a haibun is, I feel I should mention that it is not a ladies’ hairdo but a combination of prose and haiku.  It is therefore ideal for writers who can’t make up their minds whether they want to write poetry or prose.  In this contest the haibun must contain at least 100 words of prose and at least one haiku, and it should run to no more than 2,500 words.  The haibun can be submitted on A4 sheets, but for the haiku and tanka you are commanded to use bits of paper or card measuring 5”x3”.  They don’t say if they intend to check the entries with a ruler.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prizes: Haiku - £125, £125, £50, £50.  Tanka - £125, £50.  Haibun - £100.
    Entry Fee: £5 for up to three haiku or tanka, then £1 thereafter.  Haibun - £5 each.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
2.11.14

 

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
 2.9.14

 

The James White Award.  This international contest is for science fiction stories of under 6,000 words written by non-professional writers.  ‘Professional’ and ‘science fiction’ are defined on the website - which also contains a list of science fiction cliches you would be wise to avoid (e.g. robots that turn on their creators ... so no politicians).
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prize: £200.  The winning story will be published in the science fiction magazine Interzone.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry (although a donation would be appreciated). One entry per person.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.12.14

 

Readers’ Digest 100 Words Competition.  Back again for its fifth visit is this free contest from the well-known magazine Readers’ Digest.  At the risk of stating the obvious, it is for stories of 100 words.  You will note, I trust, that I didn’t include the words ‘up to’ in that statement.  Stories must be exactly 100 words.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘My story is so good the judges will overlook a few extra words.’  Oh, you deluded fool.  As a competition judge myself I can assure you that this ‘few extra words’ sin is the very thing judges pounce on in the first instance to reduce a daunting mountain of entries to a manageable mound.  And there will be a mountain of entries for this one, I’m afraid, due to the good cash prize plus publication in a famous magazine and that magic word ‘free’.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prizes £500 and your story published in the mag.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
26.12.14

 

Word of Mouth Prize.  If you think you have written a novel that will get talked about for all the right reasons, this contest could be for you.  It comes from London Literary agents Conville & Walsh and is for unpublished novels in any genre by unpublished or published authors.  Your entry should be a completed or almost-completed novel.  You submit the full manuscript (or at least the first 30,000 words) plus a synopsis of up to two pages.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prize : £1,000 and representation by the agency (‘if mutually agreeable’).
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.11.14

 

Slipstream Poets Open Poetry Competition 2015.  Following close on the heels of their last contest, this one from Slipstream Poets of West Sussex is for poems of up to 60 lines on any subject.  Roger Elkin will be judging.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prizes: £275, £100, £75, 2 x £10.  There is a separate prize of £25 and a trophy for the best poem by a West Sussex entrant, to qualify for which you must submit two copies of each poem entered.
    Entry Fee: £3.50 each, £12 for four, £15 for six.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added  23.10.14

 

Nottingham Writer’s Club Short Story Competition.  This national contest from the Nottingham Writers’ Club is for stories of up to 2,000 words on the theme of Water.  It is aimed at new and less experienced writers, defined on the website as those who have earned under £300 from short stories in 2014.  I can think of some very experienced ones who haven’t earned that much.
    Closing: 31.1.15.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee (postal): £5 each.  Three or more, £4 each.  Online entries cost £1 extra.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  1.1.15

 

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: 31.1.15.
    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
9.10.11

 

Dear Michael
     Many thanks for your witty and informative listings. In 2012 I've won the Swanezine Poetry Prize, The Sampad 'Inspired by Tagore' Poetry Prize, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize and one of the Malahat Review Monostich Poetry Prizes. Feel free to hate me. I will still love you.
     Best wishes and thanks again.
                                                                                    -  Cathy Bryant

 


Added
16.10.14

 

Myriad Editions First Drafts Competition.  For this one from Myriad Editions and West Dean College you submit up to 5,000 words plus a one-page synopsis of a work in progress.  This could be a novel or a short story collection - but not the disjointed and interminable ramblings from your diary (save those for your blog).
    Closing: 1.2.15.
    Prize: A one-week writing retreat at West Dean College near Chichester, with full board.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.14

 

Homestart Bridgewater Short Story Prize 2014.  This contest in aid of the Homesart Bridgewater charity is for stories of up to 2,200 words on any theme.  The judge is Tracy Chevalier, author of The Girl With a Pearl Earring.
    Closing: 1.2.15.
    Prizes: £500, £200, £100, £100.
    Entry Fee: £7.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.14

 

Keats-Shelley Prize 2014.  This annual international contest from the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association is for poems of up to 40 lines on the theme of ‘Watcher of the Skies’, and essays of up to 3,000 words on any aspect of the lives of the Romatics and their circle.  There is a new category this year for the 16-18 age group, and for this essays should be no more than 1,500 words.  Matthew Sweeny and Jo Shapcott will be judging the poetry, while the essay judges are professors Simon Bainbridge and Sharon Rushton.
    Closing: 1.2.15.
    Prizes: There is a total of £4,000 to be divided in unspecified ways amongst an unspecified number of winners.  The winning poems and essays will be published in the Keates-Shelley Review.
    Entry Fee: Nothing vague about this.  It's £5 a go.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
7.11.14

 

PWG Short Story Competition.  This contest from Plymouth Writers Group is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: 1.2.15.
    Prizes: £250, £50.  The top five entries will be included in the Plymouth Writers Group Anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
25.12.14

 

Malahat Review Long Poem Prize.  Here’s one from Canada for those who moan about being restricted to a meagre 40 lines in a poetry competition.  ‘I’ve barely got into my stride by then,’ they say.  Of course, having barely got into their stride by the 40th line they have barely any readers left, but that’s beside the point.  For this contest you submit between 10 and 20 pages, each page having up to 36 lines (including stanza breaks).  So for those not good at arithmetic that’s a maximum of 750 lines.  Having once judged a contest with a 100-line limit I can only pity the judges of this one.  They will need therapy.  There is, incidentally, a merciful alternative to the LONG poem.  You can submit a cycle of poems, but your entry must still comprise 10 to 20 pages and each poem must begin on a new page.
    Closing: 1.2.15.
    Prizes: 2 x $1,000 (Canadian).
    Entry Fee: $45 Canadian (that’s for entries from outside North America - it’s $40 from the US and $35 from Canada).  You’re probably waiting for me to tell you how much a Canadian dollar is worth.  Well, why don’t you Google it or something.  I mean hell, it’s Christmas Day.  Give me a break.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.14

 

Spotlight First Novel Competition.  For this one from Adventures in Fiction you submit the first page of your novel and a one-page synopsis.
    Closing: 14.2.15.
    Prize: A Stage One mentoring package said to be worth £850, a spotlight on you and your novel, and your sysnopsis, before and after, posted online.
    Entry Fee : £16.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.10.14

 

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
 2.9.14

 

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition.  This annual freebee from Bloomsbury’s venerable Yearbook is for stories of up to 2,000 words on the theme of ‘Joy’.
    Closing: 15.2.15.
    Prize: £500 plus a place on a residential Arvon writing course of your choice.  The winning story will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.1.15

 

Tartan Treasures Dear Diary Competition.  In view of the subtle clue in the name, it shouldn’t surprise you greatly to learn that this contest comes from Scotland.  Open to all, it has two age categories: Under 16, and 16 and Over.  Your task, regardless of age, is to write a diary entry about a treasured memory, real or imagined, from Scotland.  ‘It could be about a place, a time, an occasion or a person,’ say the promoters.  Under 16s have a word limit of between 400 and 600 while adults can reminisce/fabricate for between 600 and 800.
    Closing: 20.2.15.
    Prizes: Under 16 - A Kindle Fire tablet.  Adult - A Dinner Bed & Breakfast voucher for the Carnoustie Golf Hotel & Spa.  Winners will be featured on the Tartan Day website and Facebook page, and may be published in the press.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.1.15

 

BBC 500 Words 2015.  This annual contest from the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 is open to children aged 13 or under.  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: 26.2.15 (7pm).
    Prizes (in each of two age categories): 1st - Chris Evans’ height in books.  2nd - Alex Jones’ height in books.  3rd - your own height in books.  Prizes will be awarded at the Hay Festival in May.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry (only one entry per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
23.10.14

 

Christopher Tower Poetry Prize 2014.  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 on the theme of ‘Cells’.
    Closing: 27.2.15.
    Prizes: £3,000, £1,000, £500.  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.  Longlisted entries will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee : None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.14

 

Fish Flash Fiction Competition.  This one from Irish publisher Fish is for stories of up to 300 words on any subject.
    Closing: 28.2.15.
    Prize: 1,000 euros.  Ten stories will be published in the anthology.
    Entry Fee: 14 euros for the first, 8 euros thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.14

 

Grace Dieu Writing Competition .   This annual offering from the Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle is for short stories of up to 2,000 words and poems of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 28.2.15.
    Prizes (in each category): £500, £200, £100, £75, £50.
    Entry Fees: Stories - £6 for the first, £4 thereafter.  Poems - £5 each, £12 for thre £3 each thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.14

 

Nivalis Short Story Contest 2014.  Nivalis, they say, represents the winter season, and who am I to argue?  It is the theme of this contest from Fabula Press based in Hong Kong and India, and you may interpret it as you see fit.  Your interpretation can be in any genre except children’s, young adult, science fiction/fantasy and chick-lit, but should run to no more than 6,000 words and no fewer than 2,500.
    Closing: 28.2.15 (11.59pm US Central Time).
    Prizes: 1st - $150 and 2 copies of the contest anthology.  2nd - $100 and 2 copies of the anthology.  3rd - $100.  Longlisted authors will have the opportunity to appear in the anthology with one free copy as payment.
    Entry Fee: $10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.8.13

 

Hello Michael
     Just writing to let you know that my poem was "Highly Commended" in a Poem Pigeon contest I found on your site. This was pleasing to me, but what was even better was to become part of such a friendly, hospitable group. Every one is so supportive of and kind to each other. They put up some pretty good poems too.
     Best wishes
                                                                                  -  Penny Turner

 


Added
23.10.14

 

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition.  This annual international contest from Devon is for stories of up to 3,000 words in any genre except children’s.
    Closing: 28.2.15.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.  In addition there is a £100 prize for a writer living in Devon.
    Entry Fee: £6.  Payment is by cheque or postal order only.  If you are under 25 you may need to Google these.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.1.15

 

The Word Hut Short Story Competition.  This is the 17th of these contests from the Word Hut website.  Open worldwide, it is for stories of up to 1,000 words on any theme and in any genre.
    Closing: 1.3.15.
    Prizes: £70, £35, £15.  Winners published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £4.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


2.11.14

 

Neil Gunn Writing Competition.  This contest from Scotland, which is organised by High Life Highland and the Neil Gunn Trust, is open worldwide and is for short stories of up to 2,500 words and poetry of up to 40 lnes on any of the set themes taken from works by Scottish writer Neil Gunn.  The themes, which you may interpret in any way you choose, are as follows: 1. ‘For love is the creator and cruelty that which destroys.’  2. ‘The secret loveliness and laughter in things.’ 3. ‘The extra magic of distance.’  A fourth theme, ‘For goldtop holds the secret of creation ...’ from his note to the milkman has unfortunately been dropped.  The contest also has free-to-enter categories for children attending Highland schools.  The details and themes for these can be found on the website.
    Closing: 2.3.15.
    Prizes: Adults - £500, £250, £100 in each of the two categories (short story and poetry).
    Entry Fee: Adults - £7.
    Comp Page:
Click Here (links to entry rules and forms at foot of page).

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing.  This one 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: 5.3.15.
    Prize: £500.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.1.15

 

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 : 16.3.15 (6pm).
    Prize: £1,000.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    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
1.10.14

 

Erewash New Writer Competition 2015.  Here’s another one from Erewash Writers.  It is for stories of up to 3,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: 26.3.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £40.  Runners-up receive a critique and a free entry to the Open Short Story contest.  All winners will be published online.
    Entry Fee: £3 for one; more than one - £2.50 each.
    Comp Page:.
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.14

 

Fish Poetry Competition.  This international contest is for poems of up to 300 words on any subject and in any style.
    Closing: 30.3.15.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros.  2nd - A week’s residence at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat in Cork, Ireland.  Ten poems will be published in the anthology.
    Entry Fee: 14 euros for the first, 8 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.7.14

 

Bath Novel Award.  Don’t worry - you don’t have to write a story about someone having a bath.  The contest, which is open worldwide, takes its name from the town of Bath in Somerset and it is for novels on any subject.  To enter you submit the first 5,000 words and a synopsis.
    Closing: 31.3.15.
    Prize: £1,000.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition.  This contest is for stories of up to 1,500 words on any subject.  They do not need to be associated with Scotland.  Chair of the judges is well-known novelist Alexander McCall Smith.
    Closing: 31.3.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £800.  All finalists will receive a signed copy of a novel by Alexander McCall Smith.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
21.9.13

 

Dear Michael
     I wanted to let you know that I was awarded second prize, and publication in an anthology, for my entry into the Cwrtnewydd Scribblers Short Story Comp 2013.
     Without your wonderful website, I would never have found out about this prize!
     Thanks so much!
                                                                                     - Russell Clegg

 


Added
22.1.15

 

The Henshaw Competition.  This short story contest from Henshaw Press of Northampton is for fictional stories of up to 2,000 words on any subject.
    Closing: 31.3.14.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
10.12.14

 

Omega’s Summer Holiday Writing Competition.  If you have recently had a holiday in the land of the kiwi you might be interested in entering this contest from New Zealand car rental company Omega.  You might be interested even if you haven’t had a holiday there but it will be a bit difficult because you have to write 400 to 600 words about your favourite places to swim, surf, eat, fish, kayak, etc, and you must also supply a couple of your holiday snaps.  I went there on a working holiday in Christchurch once but I didn’t have time to swim, surf, fish or kayak.  I did eat however, albeit only in the guest house I was living in on Columbo Street.  Fish pie on Friday nights, left in the oven for me to enjoy when I got home from working late.  Crust like a paving slab.  Unforgettable.
    Closing: 31.3.15.
    Prizes: 1st - $500 NZD.  In addition there are $50 spot prizes along the way.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
25.1.15

 

Writing Times Short Story Competition.  This contest from online magazine Writing Times is for stories of between 1,500 and 2,000 words on the theme of Animals.
    Closing: 31.3.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £50 plus publication in the mag.  Runner-up - £25 plus publication in the mag.
    Entry Fee: £4.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
22.1.15

 

SPM Publication Poetry Book Competition.  For this international contest from Sentinel Poetry Movement you submit a collection of poems running to 20 pages.
    Closing: 31.3.15.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £125.  In addition the three winners receive publishing contracts and 20 free copies of their book.
    Entry Fee: £25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.14

 

Bath Short Story Award.  The task in this annual contest from the famous Roman spa town of Bath is simply to write a story for adults or young adults on any theme.  There is a word limit of 2,200.  Entries exceeding this will be going down the plughole, rejected before the first reading.
    Closing: 27.4.15.
    Prizes: £1,000, £200, £100.  Local Prize: £50.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.11

 

                                  One less Pedestrian ...
Hi
     Just to let you know rather belatedly that I entered a number of prose competitions last year – all from your web site and had great fun trying a varied menu of different word lengths and genres. I won $500 in an essay writing competition in the Pedestrian magazine - entering despite your scathing comments. I got the money and bought a lovely new bike. The magazine then went bust so my entry wasn’t published - so yet to see my name in print but I have the bike so hey ho
.
                                                                                                      
-  Rosemary Barry

 


Added
1.12.14

 

Senior Travel Expert writing Competition.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not a senior travel expert, for as long as you are 16 or over and have been to an interesting city, town or village, you can enter this contest.  The city, town or village could even be the one where you live.  Whatever the case,  you have to describe it’s virtues, its excitement, its downright irresistability, in such as way as to make people want to flock there en masse.  You are allowed 750 words for this.  Fortunately for those who live in a dismal, crime-infested hellhole entries can be fiction as well as fact.
    Closing: 30.4.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £100.  Runners-up (10) - a £10 firstwriter.com subscription voucher.  Winners will be published on the website,
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

Ver Poets Open Poetry 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: 30.4.15.
    Prizes: £600, £300, £100.  Winning and selected poems will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three, £2 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.14

 

Tom Howard/John H Reid Fiction & Essay Contest.  This annual contest from American website Winning Writers is for stories and essays running to no more than 6,000 words on any theme.  Previously published works are acceptable.
    Closing: 30.4.15.
    Prizes: Best Short Fiction - $1,500.  Best Essay - $1,500.  In addition there will be ten Honourable Mentions with prizes of $100 each.  The twelve winning entries will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: $16.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.11.14

 

Bristol Short Story Prize 2014.  This annual international contest, bristoling with prizes as usual, is for stories of up to 4,000 words on any subject.  It is open to published and unpublished writers.  I went to Bristol on a treasure hunt once in search of a whalebone associated with the explorer John Cabot who was based there in the late 1400s.  The whalebone wasn’t the prize.  It was a clue, or rather it would have been if I hadn’t misinterpreted earlier clues and gone hopelessly wrong (the irrelevant Cabot whalebone was in the western entrance to St Mary Redcliffe church, a fact I’m confident you will one day find useful).  You have probably twigged by now that this is in no way relevant to the competition.  It’s just that I can’t think of anything else to say about Bristol, nice though it may be.  One of the contest judges, incidentally, is literary agent Sarah Davis.
    Closing : 30.4.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 plus a £150 Waterstone’s gift card.  2nd - £700 plus a £100 Waterstone’s gift card.  3rd - £400 plus a £100 Waterstone’s gift card.  Runners-up (17) - £100.  All 20 winners will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8.   The 20 shortlisted writers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Bristol where the winners will be announced.
    Entry Fee : £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.10.13

 

Hi Michael
      I love your website, and am completely indebted to it! I began writing poetry when I was 12, but it would appear I've become a lot better at it now at 16, since I’ve had a pretty good year thanks to your website - coming highly commended in a Poem Pigeon contest, runner-up in a Red Cross competition, and commended in the Foyle Poet’s Award (which made me jump up and down for...hmm...three weeks straight). None of which I would’ve ever known about without your website.
     Thank you so much.  You’ve made this young writer very happy!
                                                                               -  Daniella Cugini x

 


Added
1.12.14

 

Rubery Book Award.  This international contest is for published fiction and non-fiction books of most types.  These can be submitted by a publisher, or an author published by an independent publisher.  They can be self-published books and they can be ebooks.
    Closing: 30.4.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000, plus the wnning book will be read by a top London literary agent.  At least three category winners will each receive £100.
    Entry Fee: £35.  For struggling authors this will mean turning off the heating for a month, but they can always wait until April before entering as then it will be spring.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
31.12.14

 

Luna Press Short Story Competition.  This new contest from Luna Press in Edinburgh is for science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy or, if you are one of those story chefs who like to throw in a dash of everything before bringing it to the boil and serving it up with a flourish, a mixture of these.  Your entry should run to no more than 8,000 words.
    Closing: 30.4.15 and 30.9.15.
    Prizes: £50 for the winner from each of the two rounds.  All shortlisted entries (10 from each round) will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

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.  The final judge is Evan Boland, poet and Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, California.
    Closing: 15.5.15.  Early entry deadline (for lower entry fee): 31.3.15.
    Prize: $20,000 (Canadian). There will be anthology publication for longlisted and shortlisted entries (two separate books), 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
 1.1.15

 

Sandalle Five ’n’ Ten Competition.  This one from Wales is for four-minute monologues on the theme of The Phone Call or The Letter, and six-minute duologues on any theme.
    Closing: 30.5.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £500.  Further prizes: Performance at the prestigious Gwyn Hall in Neath, and Mentoring by a Senior BBC Scriptwriter.
    Entry Fee: £7 for the first, £6 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.10.14

 

WritersReign Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from Essex writers’ group WritersReign is for stories of between 1,000 and 1,500 words on any theme.  They want stories that are well written, they say ... so that plotless shambles you dashed off in your coffee break probably won’t do.
    Closing: 31.5.15.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25, plus runners-up 3x£10.
    Entry Fee : £3.50 each, £6 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

     Thank you, Michael, for bothering to put your website together. Encouraged by your words I sent off a piece to the Daily Telegraph Travel Writing Competition but didn't win. Third time lucky, and after considerable honing and editing, I have just been informed by the deputy editor that my piece will be published this Saturday (17th July) and I have won £200.
     I am now inspired to go on to bigger things.
     Thanks again.                                                      -  Liz Cleere

 


Added
6.12.14

 

Frogmore Poetry Prize 2015.  This annual contest is run by Frogmore Press which was founded in 1983 in the Frogmore tearooms in Folkestone, Kent.  Well, what else can you do in Folkestone?  I’ll tell you what: you can fall in the sea - a feat I managed at the age of 8.  Will I ever forget that day?  Unlikely, for I had the misfortune to be rescued by my two sisters.  ‘No, no - let me drown!’ I cried.  ‘I’ll never be able to face my mates again.’  But I had the ice cream money in my pocket and my pleas were ignored.  I later wrote a poem about the shame of it all but it would have been too long for this contest because it ran to 360 lines.  The line limit here is 40.
    Closing: 31.5.15.
    Prize: 1st - 250 guineas.  Classy.  You also get a two-year subscription to The Frogmore Papers.  2nd - 75 guineas and a year’s sub to the Papers .  3rd - 50 guineas and a year’s sub.  Shortlisted poets will receive selected Frogmore Press publications (FrogsMore FrogsFrog Recipes.  Stop.  Come back.  I’m joking.  They publish poetry - and none of it as far as I know is about frogs).
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Website:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

David Burland Poetry Prize 2015.  This international contest, now in its ninth year, is for poems of any length in free style.
    Closing: 31.5.15.
    Prizes: £500, £200, £100.  The winning writers will have their work published in the Second Volume of Poetic Art.  The winning poem will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £8 for the first, £4 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.1.15

 

Yeovil Literary Prize .  This is the eleventh 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 ex-best-friend’s new novel, etc.
    Closing: 31.5.15.
    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 plus a trophy.
    Entry Fee: Short Story - £6.  Poetry - £6 each, £9 for two, £11 for three.  Novel - £11 each.  Writing Without Restrictions - £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

Wirral Festival of Firsts Poetry Competition.  This is the fifth of these contests from the Wirral Festival of Firsts, an arts festival held on Hoylake’s mile-long promenade in July.  Entries should stretch to no more than 40 lines.
    Closing: 1.6.15.
    Prizes: £250, £50, £50.
    Entry Fee : £4 each, £10 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.15

 

Curry Mallet Short Story Competition.  For this one you can write about curry or you can write about a mallet - but you probably won’t win any prizes, for Curry Mallet is a place in England, not the theme of the competition.  The town is holding a history festival, and this contest is part of it.  I don’t know where the place is.  In the middle of the Somerset Levels, probably.  But who cares?  This literary foray will put it on the map, and then it will be as famous as Bridport.  There are three categories: Adults, Children 11-and-under, and Children 12-to-16).  Adults are limited to 2,500 words, while children are allowed up to 500.  Adults and Children 12-16 have to use the theme of ‘Rebellion’.  You could of course rebel against this restriction and write something else, but it is not recommended as the judges may miss the irony.  Children 11 and under have to write a story about a wonder horse and/or a wonder cat.
    Closing: 15.6.15.
    Prizes: Adult 1st - £100.  Runner-up £10 book token.  Children (in each age category) 1st - £35.  Runner-up - £5 book token.
    Entry Fees: Adult - £5 each, £10 for three.  Children - £3 each.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.1.15

 

The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature.  This annual contest, which is open only to writers with some connection to Cheshire, is for short stories of up to 1,500 words.  It is supported by the University of Chester’s Department of English.  To be eligible you must have been born, work or have worked, live or have lived, study or have studied, in Cheshire.  If you lived there for just a fortnight while on holiday in Stockport, I’m afraid this doesn’t count, although you might be in line for a medal of some sort.
    Closing: 1.9.15.
    Prizes: 1st - £2,000.  Additional prize money of £750 will be awarded at the judges’ discretion and 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.

 


 

 

 

EARN CASHBACK at 1,500 + STORES
               NO ACCOUNT FEES
    HOP OVER THERE AND SAVE!

 


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  2015             Writer

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