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 77)

 


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.

 

 

 

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
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.

 


Added
17.6.15

 

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

 


Added
14.10.16

 

IGGY and Litro Young Writers Prize.  Here’s a short story contest for youngsters between the ages of 13 and 18.  It comes courtesy of academic and social network platform IGGY, and Litro Magazine.  There is a word limit of 2,500, and a theme of Memory.  Don’t forget to read the T&Cs.
    Closing: 20.1.17 (9am).
    Prize: £1,000.  All shortlisted entrants will be invited to attend the awards ceremony at the Shard in London.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.17

 

James White Award.  This annual freebie is for science fiction stories of between 1,000 and 6,000 words.  It is supported by the publishers of Interzone, the UK’s leading science fiction magazine.
    Closing: 20.1.16.
    Prize : £200 and publication in Interzone.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
13.9.16

 

National Memory Day Creative Writing Competition.  This charitable contest from Literature Works is for poems of up to 100 lines and short stories running to no more than 1,500 words on the theme of Memories.  Winners will be announced on National Memory Day, May 18, 2017.
    Closing: 20.1.17 (5pm).
    Prizes: Best Poem - £4,000.  Best Short Story - £4,000.  Best Primary Carer Voice - £2,000.   Plymouth University Best Young Writer (15 - 18) - £2,000.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2 thereafter.  Proceeds go to the Memory Cafe Poetry Project which helps people with memory loss.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.16

 

Wilbur Smith Adventure Prize.  This international contest from the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation has two categories, one for adventure novels published by a recognised trade publisher in the previous calendar year, and one for unpublished adventure novels.  Here I will give details only for the latter.  If you’re interested in the former, see the website.  The rest must submit an unpublished adventure novel running to over 50,000 words, along with a synopsis and a cv, plus a letter explaining why the story qualifies as an adventure yarn.  Self-published e-books do not count as published, so if you have one of those and someone other than your mother/husband/wife/parrot has proclaimed its brilliance, you could send that in.
    Closing: 23.1.17.
    Prizes: Published category - £10,000.  Unpublished category - The opportunity to complete a creative writing residency at a prestigious university, plus career guidance from Wilbur Smith’s literary agents.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.16

 

Wilbur Smith Author of Tomorrow Award.  Here’s another international contest from the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation.  Open only to writers aged 12 to 21, it is for short adventure stories of between 1,500 and 5,000 words.  To enter, you send in your story along with a synopsis and a scanned copy of your birth certificate.
    Closing: 23.1.17.
    Prize: £1,000 and a framed certificate.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 8.8.16

 

The Plough Poetry Prize.  Arr, it be that time again.  The Plough Prize is back for its umpteenth annual appearance.  It comes from the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington, Devon.  It is for poems of up to 40 lines in any style and on any subject.  The judge this year is Philip Gross.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: I’m tempted to say ploughs, but I think I’ve done that one before.  The prizes are actually quite useful amounts of money: £1,000, £500, £250.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    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
 1.9.16

 

Fish Short Memoir Competition. This annual contest from Fish Publishing in Ireland is for memoirs of up to 4,000 words.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: 1,000 euros.  The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology.
    Entry Fee: 16 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.16

 

Novella-in-Flash Award.  This unusual contest from Bristol is for novellas of between 7,000 and 18,000 words made up of individual flash fiction stories of about 1,000 words each.  Further details are of course to be found on the website.  I did start to go through them but I ran out of time and ended up no wiser.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £300, £100, £100.
    Entry Fee: £16.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.16

 

Teignmouth Poetry Festival Open Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from Devon is for poems of up to 35 lines on any subject.  Award-winning poet Maro Petrucci will be judging.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.
    Entry Fee: £4 for the first, £3 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.8.13

 

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
1.12.16

 

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition .  This annual contest from Kent & Sussex Poetry Society is for poems of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 4 x £50.  Winners will be published in the society’s Poetry Folio.
    Entry Fee: £5 each.  Three or more £4 each.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.10.16

 

Prole Laureate Competition .  This annual contest from Prole, a print magazine that publishes high quality, accessible poetry and prose, is for poems on any subject and in any style.  There are no restrictions on length, although you might like to consider how far it is reasonable to expect the judge to wade through that 5,000-line epic of yours before letting out an anguished groan and writing something obscene on it.  As an occasional poetry judge, the most I have ever managed before turning nasty is 100 lines.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £200, £50, £50.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.16

 

PWG International Short Story Competition.  This contest from Plymouth Writers’ Group and the English and Creative Writing Department at the University of Plymouth is for stories of up to 1,500 words on any theme.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £250, £50.  The best entries will be included in the PWG Anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.1.17

 

Drip Action Theatre Playwriting Competition .  This contest is for short plays suitable for the Arundel Festival Theatre Trail.  A play will be performed at a different venue in Arundel on each of the eight days of the Festival.  In the past, venues have included a restaurant, a jailhouse, a football club and a community hall.  Plays should have a performance time of 30 to 40 minutes, and the casting, props and effects should be practicable.  So no howling mob of thousands, no stampeding horses, no flying objects, people or animals ... unless these are seen only by one of the characters through a window, whereupon he or she says, ‘Blimey, there goes a flying shed/witch/camel!’
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prize: Each of the eight selected playwrights will receive a writer’s fee of £150.  The best play takes the top prize of £250.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page :
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.1.17

 

Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition.  This contest from London-based publisher The Fiction Desk is for spooky stories of between 1,000 and 7,000 words.  It is hinted with a commendable lack of subtlety on the website that the judges are more likely to favour psychological stories than skeletons jumping out of closets and hacking people to death (or as they put it, ‘in your face gore’).   Damn, that’s my entry down the pan.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 1.1.17

 

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: 31.1.17.
    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
16.1.17

 

Open House 2017.  This poetry contest from the long-running literary magazine The Interpreter’s House is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.  The judge is poet Niall Campbell.
    Closing: 31.1.17.
    Prizes: £500, £150, £100.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three.  Winners will be published in the mag (print issue).
    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
 2.1.17

 

Baen Memorial Short Story Award.  This freebie from American science fiction publisher Baen Books is for realistic science-based near-future space exploration stories soaring to no more than 8,000 words.  There are Do and Don’t lists that you would do well to peruse before entering if you want your chances to lift off (no fantastical elements, no galactic empires, UFO abductions, etc).
    Closing: 1.2.17 (12.01am U.S. Pacific Time).
    Prizes: 1st - Publication as the feature story on the Baen Books website at industry standard rates, an engraved award thingy, free entry into the 2017 International Space Development Conference in St. Louis, a year’s membership of the (American) National Space Society and a bundle of books and space merchandise.  Runners-up will receive books and merchandise as well as free entry into the aforementioned Space Development Conference.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.1.16

 

Spread the Word Life Writing Prize.  This contest from Spread the Word in association with Goldsmith’s Writing Centre is open to new and emerging writers aged 18 or over.  As the name indicates, it is for life writing, which is defined for this contest as non-fiction writing about someone’s own life journey or experiences (see further explanations on the website).  Your entry doesn’t have to be entirely prose.  It can contain poetry, or it could be like a graphic novel with illustrations.  In all cases there is a word limit of 5,000.  Your entry may be a self-contained item or an extract from a longer work.  The writing must be unpublished.  You however can have up to six professional publishing credits in fiction, life writing or poetry.
    Closing: 5.2.17.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,500, an Arvon course, a 2-year membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a meeting with an agent or editor.  Runners-up (2) - £500 and a meeting with an agent or editor
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.17

 

Stringybark Short Story Award .  This one from Australia, the home of the bird with the world’s most irritaing call (no, not Dame Edna - the kookaburra), is for stories on any theme aimed at adults.  Curtail your tale at 1,500 words or fewer and you could soon be clutching a handful of unfamiliar currency.
    Closing: 5.2.17.
    Prizes (in Oz dollars): 1st - $450 + publication + ebook + paperback + choice of any two Stringybark anthologies.  2nd -  $250 + publication + ebook + paperback + any two Stringybark anthologies.  3rd - $100 + publication + ebook + paperback + any two Stringybark anthologies. Highly Commended (27) - $5 plus publication plus ebook.
    Entry Fee: $12 each, $22 for two, $30 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.12.16

 

The Next Great Travel Writer.  This competition from Travelex and Penguin Books is for stories about a travel experience like no other.  I’ve had a few of those, I can tell you, but thankfully the scars have healed and I no longer wake up sweating.  The judges will be looking for ‘style, flair and true travel panache.’  Your literary wanderings should go no farther than 1,000 words.  You have to be over 18 and a UK resident to enter.
    Closing: 5.2.17.
    Prize: £1,500 and a one-on-one session with a Penguin editor.  There is also a prize for the best piece by a student.  They don’t say what this is ... could be a year’s supply of baked beans.  A further prize of a set of Penguin books goes to the shortlisted writer who gets the most tweets supporting their entry.  That’s something to do with Twitter, isn’t it?  I’ve got an account but, as with Facebook, I never get around to using it.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
2.11.16

 

Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize.  This is the seventh of these contests from the Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.  Open only to women over 21 who have not had a full-length novel published (self-published doesn’t count), it is for novels which combine literary merit with ‘unputdownability’.  These can be literary or genre fiction, or novels for young adults or children.  To enter you submit 40 to 50 consecutive pages of your story’s opening, plus a synopsis of the remainder (5 to 10 pages), as specified in the T&Cs.
    Closing: 10.2.17 (noon).
    Prize: £1,500.  The shortlisted entrants will receive a consultation with one of the judges, literary agent Nelle Andrew.  They will also be invited to the prize-giving dinner at the College along with a bunch of book trade freeloaders such as editors, agents, publishers and journalists.  Each shortlistee will be able to bring a guest (I’d suggest a teetotaller with a car, as there will be free drinks and if my experience is anything to go by you will be consuming this in unwise quantities when that gormless individual sitting opposite you is named as the winner).
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.1.17

 

Edward Thomas Centenary Poetry Competition.  Poems of any length, in any syle and on any subject are required for this postal-only contest from the Edward Thomas Fellowship.  The judge is Jenny Lewis who teaches poetry at Oxford University.
    Closing: 12.2.17.
    Prizes: £100, £20.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £10 for four.  Make cheques out to: Edward Thomas Fellowship.
    Entry Address: Margaret Keeping, 66 Fairacres Road, Oxford, OX4 1TG.
    Website (Comp info on News page, but only same as above):
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.16

 

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition.  This annual international freebie from Bloomsbury’s venerable W&A Yearbook is for stories of under 2,000 words on any theme.  Take not that before emailing your entry, you have to register with the website.  Your entry will not be valid otherwise.
    Closing: 13.2.17.
    Prize: A residential writing course of your choice with Arvon worth £1,000, and your story published on the Writers’ & Artists’ website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Website:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.10.16

 

Sceptre Loves Short Story Competition.  This contest from mainstream publisher Hodder & Stoughton opens on November 3 to coincide with the launch of How Much The Heart Can Hold, a volume of 7 short stories published under the Sceptre imprint.  To enter you submit a tale of between 5,000 and 10,000 words.  The theme, if you haven’t already guessed, is the thing that is alleged to make the world go round. No, not lust.  Love.
    Closing: 14.2.17.  Not open for entries until 3.11.16.
    Prize: Editorial advice on your entry, plus a 2-hour editorial meeting with Emma Herdman of Sceptre to discuss your work and the publishing industry in general.  You will also be offered the opportunity to have your entry published at the back of the paperback and ebook editions of How Much the Heart Can Hold.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page (pdf):
Click Here.

 


Added
2.11.16

 

International Bath Flash Fiction Award.  This recurring contest from Bristol is for short fiction of up to 300 words.  There is no set theme.  You are probably wondering about the contest’s name: why Bath?  Well, it’s like this: I don’t know.
    Closing: 14.2.17.
    Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100.
    Entry Fee: £9 (early bird entries up to 11.12.15 - £7.50).
    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

 


Updated
19.11.16

 

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: 15.2.17 (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
14.10.16

 

Chiplitfest Short Story Competition.  This contest from Penny Shorts (a publisher, not a person or a cheap item of clothing) is part of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival.  It is for stories on any theme running to no more than 5,000 words.  If your story is close to the maximum and you want to save yourself some money on the two-tier entry fee, just snip out the waffle and digression until the tale is down to 2,500 words or fewer.  Yes, they charge by the yard for this one.
    Closing: 20.2.17.
    Prizes: £500, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee: £5 for stories no longer than 2,500 words.  £8 for up to 5,000 words.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.16

 

Readers’ Digest 100 Words Competition.  Here’s an old friend that’s been visiting us annually for seven years.  If you win, you will be paid a handsome £20 a word for your work - that’s almost as much as JK Rowling.  And best of all, it’s free.  But before you set your fingers flying across the keyboard, you must rid yourself of the notion that if your story ends up with a word or two more than 100, or a word or two less, the judges will accept it due to its unrivalled brilliance.  They won’t.  Your story must be exactly 100 words (excluding the title).  There are three age categories: Adult, 12 to 18, and Under 12.
    Closing: 20.2.17.
    Prizes: Adult - £2,000, £200, £200.  12 to 18 - A Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and a Gear S2 watch, plus £150 for the winner’s school.  Two runners-up in this category will each receive £100.  Under 12 - A Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and £100 for the school.  Two runners up will each receive £75.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


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
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
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
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 .

 


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
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
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
 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
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
 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
 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
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
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
 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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