Stiff Competition - the novel

Details

Writing Comps

Current UK Writing Competitions

Stiff Competition - the novel

Details


 
 

Below is a list of the most interesting (and genuine!) writing competitions currently available.  The majority are from the UK, but I do list a few from overseas.  I do my best to vet all competitions and eliminate the dodgy ones, but I can offer no cast-iron guarantees.

     Bear in mind that contests with smaller prizes attract fewer entries and are therefore easier to win.

 
  

UK Writing Competitions (currently 72)

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

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

 


Updated
  29.6.17

 

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

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

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

 


Added
27.1.15

 

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

 


Added
17.6.16

 

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

 


Updated
 29.6.17

 

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

 


Added
13.6.17

 

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

 


Added
22.1.18

 

Flash 500 Competition.  This quarterly flash fiction contest, which offers higher prize money than many similar competitions, is for stories of up to 500 words on any theme.
    Closing: 30.6.19, 30.9.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £300.  2nd - £200.  3rd - £100.  Highly Commended - A copy of Bad Moon Rising.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee : £5 each, £8 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 
    
  

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

 


Added
 3.4.19

 

Live Canon Pamphlet Competition.  For this annual contest from Live Canon you submit between 18 and 35 poems ... although they say if your poems are much longer or shorter than average you are free to use your own judgement.  The average, in my humble opinion (formed after over 20 years of listing and judging competitions of all kinds) is 40 lines.
    Closing: 29.4.19.
    Prizes: Four pamphlets will be selected for publication by Live Canon Press.
    Entry Fee: £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  1.4.19

 

Writing Writers Drabble Competition.  This free monthly contest from Writing Writers is for stories running to exactly 100 words excluding the title.  Entries will be published on the website and vistors will be invited to vote for the winner.
    Closing: 30.4.19 (8.30pm).
    Prize: £35.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.  Only one entry per person per monthly contest.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.3.19

 

Glimmer Train Family Matters Award.  The American short story magazine Glimmer Train, which publishes new and emerging writers as well as more established ones, will unfortunately be steaming into the sunset in the second half of this year, but before then there are some useful competitions you can enter.  This one is for stories about families ‘of all configurations’.  Your entry should be between 500 and 12,000 words.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prizes: 1st - $2,500 plus publication in Glimmer Stories and 10 free copies.  2nd - $500.  3rd - $300.  Prizes for 2nd and 3rd places increase if the stories are published in the anthology ($700 plus 10 free copies).
    Entry Fee: $18.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
1.12.18

 

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

 


Added
16.12.18

 

Ware Poets Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from Ware Poets of Hertfordshire is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.  There is a separate category for sonnets.  Poet Maggie Butt will be judging.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prizes: £600, £300, £150.  Ware Sonnet Prize - £150.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £12 for four, £3 each thereafter.
    Entry Form and Details (pdf):
Click Here.

 

 

 

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
22.4.19

 

Tamworth Litfest Writing Competition.  This contest from Tamworth in Staffordshire is for stories and poems on any subject.  There are three age categories, each having a different word limit as follows: 16+ (above school age and beyond) - 1,500 words, Secondary School (years 7 to 11) - 1,000 words, Primary School (up to and including year six) - 500 words.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prizes: Age 16+ - £100, £50, £25.  Secondary school - £50, £25, £15.  Primary school - £20, £15, £10.  Best entries could appear in an anthology.  Proof of age will be required prior to awarding of the prizes.
    Entry Fee: Age category 16+ - £4.  Other age categories - free entry.
    Comp Page
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.19

 

Scottish Arts Club Flash Fiction Award .  This international contest from Edinburgh is for stories of up to 250 words.  There is no set theme.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prize: £500 and a trophy.  The winner will also receive ‘an invitation to participate’ in the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards Dinner in Edinburgh on October 5.  That word ‘participate’ could mean more than just eating and drinking.  You might be required to do a sword dance or, worse, read your story.  If the latter, don’t drink anything alcoholic beforehand, especially not ‘to settle your nerves’.  It’s amazing how fast you can become incoherent at these events.  I speak from experience.
    Entry Fee: £5.  All funds will be used to support the arts in Scotland.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.19

 

Grey Hen Poetry Competition.  This contest from Grey Hen Press is for poems of up to 40 lines by woman who are prepared to admit to being over 60.  There is no theme.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £10 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.3.19

 

Glimmer Train New Writers Short Story Award.  The American short story magazine Glimmer Train is due to cease publication in the second half of this year, but before then there are still competitions you can enter.  This one is for stories of between 300 and 12,000 words by emerging writers whose work has not appeared in any print publication with a circulation of over 5,000.
    Closing: 30.4.19.
    Prizes: 1st - $2,500 plus publication in Glimmer Stories and 10 free copies.  2nd - $500.  3rd - $300.  Prizes for 2nd and 3rd places increase if the stories are published in the anthology ($700 plus 10 free copies).
    Entry Fee: $18.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
18.11.18

 

Bristol Short Story Prize.  I once spent a whole day exploring Bristol while on a treasure hunt but the only thing I can remember about the place now (aside from the fact that the treasure was somewhere else) is that explorer and navigator John Cabot sailed from there, discovered Newfoundland and explored parts of North America before amy other European.  Alas, he failed to update his blog with the details, and now, hundreds of years later, academics are still arguing about it.  You see, what matters in the end is not the going there but the writing about it - and he could have done that without going there, using just his imagination.  Anyway, back to this competition: it’s for stories of up to 4,000 words on any theme.  These can be in any style, including graphic, verse or genre-based (crime, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, romance, children’s, etc).
    Closing: 1.5.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 and publication in the print edition of Bristol 24/7 magazine.  2nd - £500. 3rd - £250.  Runners-up (17) - £100.  There will be an additional prize of £100 for the highest placed story from a Bristol writer.  The twenty shortlisted stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 12 (print and ebook).
    Entry Fee: £9.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.3.19

 

The Mairtin Crawford Awards.  This contest from the Belfast Book Festival is for poems and stories by writers who have not yet had a full collection or novel published.  In the poetry category, each submission should consist of between 3 and 5 poems of no more than 60 lines each.  Stories (one per submission) should not exceed 2,500 words.
    Closing: 1.5.19.
    Prizes: The winners in each category will receive £500 and a three-night stay at Co. Down Writing Retreat, The River Mill.  Winners will also receive advice from the editors of The Tangerine, to work towards publication in the magazine.  In addition, winners will be invited to read at the awards ceremony at the Belfast Book Festival in 2019.
    Entry Fee: £6 for each submission of one story or 6 to 10 poems.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

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

 


Added
17.2.19

 

AQB Fiction Writing Competition.  This international contest from Arts Quarter Books in Devon is for short fiction of up to 5,000 words on any theme.  The winner and runners-up will be featured in a professionally produced paperback book, as detailed below.
    Closing: 1.5.19.
    Prizes : 1st - £222 plus inclusion in the book Writers’ Calling Card, due for publication in June/July this year.  Runners-up (7) - Inclusion in the aforementioned book.  All entrants receive feedback on their work.
    Entry Fee: £7.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
1.3.19

 

Poetry London Clore PrizePoetry London, a magazine with nationwide and international scope despite its title, is seeking poems of up to 80 lines on any subject and in any style.  This year’s judge is award-winning poet Sasha Dugdale.
    Closing: 1.5.19.
    Prizes: £5,000, £2,000, £1,000 and 4 x £500.  Winner will be published in the magazine.
    Entry Fee: £7.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
22.3.19

 

Explore Learning Writers’ Awards.  Here is a chance for children aged 4 to 14 to change the world with their imagination in a story of up to 500 words.  The judge is Alesha Dixon.  Sounds familiar.
    Closing: 5.5.19.
    Prize: A four-day break for two adults and two children to Disneyland Paris, including travel and accommodation.  In addition, the winner’s school gets £500 worth of books.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
1.12.18

 

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

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Welsh Poetry Competition.  This is the 13th of these poetry contests from Wales, and as usual, despite the contest name, entries must be in English (all those years learning Welsh, eh?  You’d have done better studying Klingon).  There is a line limit of 50 but no limit on style and subject.  A word of caution before you enter: the rules state that the author must be living.  Are you sure you qualify?  Do people ignore you when you walk down the street?  Look in the mirror.  Be honest with yourself.  Is there really any sign of life there?  You may need to get proof from your doctor.
    Closing: 26.5.19.
    Prizes: £500, £250, £100.  Winners will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5 postal, £6 online.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 18.4.19

 

Momaya Short Story Competition.  Entries of up to 3,000 words are required for this annual international contest from Momaya Press.  Stories may be on any subject, although additional stories will be selected for publication in the Momaya Short Story Review if they fit the ‘Trading Places’ theme.
    Closing: 30.5.19 (extended from April 30).
    Prizes: £110, £55, £25.  Winners along with seven Honourable Mentions will be published in the Momaya Short Story Review 2019.  Other entries placed in the top 30 may also be published if they fit the theme of the Review.
    Entry Fee: £11.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.1.19

 

Frome Festival Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from Froooom (as the eccentric locals like to pronounce it) is for stories of between 1,000 and 2,200 words on any subject.  Novelist, screenwriter and university lecturer Tyler Keevil will be judging.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: £400, £200, £100.  There are in addition prizes for local authors, defined as those living within 25 miles of the local library.  Damn - missed out by only 95 miles.
    Entry Fee: £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 8.2.19

 

Bridport Prize.  This international competition from the Bridport Arts Centre is one of the most prestigious writing contests in the British literary calendar.  Everyone in the trade whose mind is not addled by drugs has heard of it, and they will be impressed if you can claim to have won it.  The good news is that winning it is easy.  All you have to do is submit the best poem or short story, the former having no more than 42 lines, the latter running to no more than 5,000 words.  For those who find 5,000 words too tiring to write there is now a flash fiction category for stories of up to 250 words (if that’s too much, consider becoming a poet).  There is also a First Chapter Award (see separate listing below) for a novel opening of between 5,000 and 8,000 words, plus a 300-word synopsis.  Writers from beyond the veil should note that the Bridport rules forbid posthumous entries.  Shame: the awards ceremony would be so much more interesting with a couple of ghosts in attendance.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: In each of the main categories (Short Stories, Poems Flash Fiction) - £5,000, £1,000, £500.  There are also ten runners-up prizes of £100.   The Peggy Chapman Andrews First Novel Award: 1st - £1,000.  2nd - £500. Runners-up (10) £100.  There will be an awards ceremony at the Bridport Arts Centre in October.  Winning entries will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fees: Poems - £10.  Short Stories - £12.  Novel - £20.  Flash Fiction - £9.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
18.4.19

 

The Big Issue Crime Novel Competition.  Here’s an opportunity to get a foothold on that crime-writing-career mountain you’re hoping to climb.  It comes from The Big Issue magazine and Avon Books.  To enter, you submit your completed crime novel plus something the promoters refer to as a synopsis, this having a word limit of 100.  One hundred words is of course a blurb rather than a synopsis, suitable only for the most basic of stories, but you’ll just have to make the best of it.  You are not eligible for the competition if you have previously been published by a publishing house, but self-published authors may enter (although not with a story that’s been in print or online).
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prize: A two-book deal with Avon Books (an imprint of HarperCollins).
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    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
 8.2.19

 

The Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award.  This annual contest, which honours one of the founders of the Bridport Prize, is for novels by writers over 16 who are resident in the UK or R.o.I and who have not had a novel published (self-published excepted).  To enter, you submit the first chapters of your story (5,000 to 8,000 words), plus a synopsis of up to 300 words.  Three hundred words?  That’s more a blurb than a synopsis.  Warning: You need to have 15,000 words of the novel available at the longlist stage and 30,000 for the shortlist.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 plus mentoring from The Literary Consultancy.  2nd - £500 plus manuscript assessment.  Runners-up (3) - £100.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 9.2.19

 

Wilbur Smith Author of Tomorrow Award.  Here’s another international contest from the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation.  Open only to writers aged 21 and under in three age categories, it is for short adventure stories with lengths as follows: Aged 16 to 21 -  1,500 to 5,000 words.  Aged 12 to 15 - 1,500 to 5,000 words.  Aged 11 and under - up to 500 words.
    Closing: 31.5.19.  Not open for submissions until March 4, 2019.
    Prizes: 16 - 21 - £1,000.  12 to 15 - £100 plus £150 for your school, library or charity of choice.  11 and under - £100 plus £150 for your school, library or charity of choice.  In addition, the three winners and seven others will receive a personal certificate and have their work digitally published in an anthology available in Worldreader’s open library.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.19

 

First Novel Prize.  This contest from Daniel Goldsmith Associates of London is for first novels of over 50,000 words in any adult genre.  To enter you send in the full manuscript plus a synopsis.  Self-published or independently published novels are admissable.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: £1,000, £500, £100.
    Entry Fee: £25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Yeovil Literary Prize.  This is the 15th of these international contests from Yeovil, the literary capital of the West Country where even the sheep appreciate poetry.  There are four categories: Short Story, Poetry, Novel and Unrestricted.  The stories can run to 2,000 words, while the poems should be no more than 40 lines.  Novels have a limit of 15,000 words for the opening chapters and synopsis.  The final category is unusual in that it’s for anything you have written - as long as it has ‘the Wow! factor’ (they mean ‘Wow - that’s brilliant!’ rather than, ‘Wow - you’ve really plumbed the depths with that one!’).  Your entry could be a particularly creative tax return, a witty note to the milkman, or that hilariously scathing critique of your former best friend’s new novel, etc.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: Short Story - £500, £200, £100.  Poetry - £500, £200, £100.  Novel - £1,000, £250, £100.  Writing Without Restrictions - £200, £100, £50.  In addition there is the Western Gazette Best Local Writer Award for someone living in the Western Gazette distribution area (mainly Dorset and Somerset).  It isn’t worth moving down there however as the prize is only £100.
    Entry Fee: Short Story - £7.  Poetry - £7 each, £10 for two, £12 for three.  Novel - £12 each.  Writing Without Restrictions - £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.4.19

 

The Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund Poetry Competition.  I’ll bet you didn’t know there was such a place as a sanctuary for whisky.  Well, amazingly ... there isn’t, although having seen someone mix cola with whisky, I think there should be.  But this contest ia all about raising funds for an animal sanctuary in Kent.  It is for poems of up to 40 lines on the theme of - well, who’d have guessed it? - Sanctuary.  You may interpret the theme in any way you wish.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: 1st - A 30% share of the prize fund.  2nd - 10%.  3rd - 5%.  There are two further prizes of 2.5% of the prize fund, one being for a previously unpublished poet.
    Entry Fee: £5.  Fifty per cent of the proceeds will be used for the care of animals.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

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

 


Added
 4.4.19

 

MJ Meads Short story Competition.  Here we have a free short story contest on the theme of Messages.  You may interpret this theme in any way you choose, but the length must be between 1,500 and 2,500 words.  The contest is open worldwide.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: 1st - A pair of Cashmere Writing Gloves worth over $50 from LiteraryBookGifts.com, plus a one-hour session with the ‘plot doctor’, the MJ Meads manuscript troubleshooting service.  The winner will be published on the website and on social media.  All shortlisted entrants will receive an ebook.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
14.2.19

 

Pint-sized Plays Writing Competition .  Now in its twelfth year, this contest, as the name implies, is for compact plays, that is to say plays with a running time of between five and ten minutes and featuring just 2 or 3 characters and only the furniture you’d normally find in a pub (so forget that three-in-a-bed scene you’ve always yearned to write).  Plays needn’t be set in a pub, but that’s where they will initially be performed.
    Closing: 31.5.19.
    Prizes: The six winning plays will be performed in pubs in Pembrokshire during Tenby Festival week, and, along with four runners-up, at a script slam.  Here the audience can vote for their favourite.  The performances will also be judged by a professional theatre director.  The winner will receive the coveted Pint Pot while the runner-up gets the Half Pint Pot.  No coin is indicated, so this contest is all about the fame rather than the fortune.  Winning scripts may be considered for inclusion in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £5.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.2.19

 

Creative Future Writing Awards.  Creative Future is seeking poets and fiction writers from under-represented backgrounds, i.e. those who face barriers due to mental health, disability, identity or social circumstances (you might for instance be a carer).  See the entry page for a comprehensive list.  You also need to be over 18, resident in the UK and not published in book form, etc, by an established press/publisher.  If you fit the bill, submit a work of fiction of up to 2,000 words, or poetry of up to 300 words, on the theme of Home.
    Closing: 2.6.19.
    Prizes (in each category): 1st - £100, a Chapter and Verse Mentorship, manuscript assessment and a chance to attend a TLC industry day, plus meet the professionals, plus a copy the Creative Future guide Pitching to Agents.  2nd - £75, a manuscript assessment, a five-day writing retreat with full board, a copy of Pitching to Agents (prose) or Social Media Guide (poetry).  3rd - £50, partial manuscript assessment and coaching, a year’s subscription to Writing Magazine , and a copy of the guide shown above.  4th - £25, a poetry tutorial or story critique, a year’s sub to Mslexia Magazine and a copy of the guide mentioned above.  There are also prizes for Highly Commended and Commended, and then there are ‘Joint prizes’, presumably so you can smoke away the blues after not winning the top prize ... oh, hang on, I think I’ve misunderstood that one.  It seems these prizes are something extra that all winners get jointly.  Well, that’s a disappointment.
    Entry Fee: Entry is free, although there is an optional suggested donation of £3 (either way, it’s one entry per category per person).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.  This lucrative biennial competition from property company Bruntwood and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is open to anyone aged 16 or over, resident in the UK, Ireland or the British Territories.
    Closing: 5.6.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £16,000.  Judges’ Award - £8,000.  Original New Voice Award - £8,000.   International Award £8,000.  Late Entry Award - £0 (they don’t notify the winners of this one).  All winning scripts except for the Late Entry Awards are automatically under option to the Royal Exchange Theatre for 24 months.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.  Only one entry per person.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.2.19

 

Segora International Writing Competition.  This is the thirteenth of these contests from Poetry Prose and Plays, which is based in France.  It is for short stories of between 1,500 and 3,000 words, poems of up to 50 lines, one-act plays with a running time of up to 35 minutes, and vignettes of up to 300 words.  Not many vignette contests about these days.  This is because hardly anyone knows what a vignette is. You do of course, and in fact you probably have a dozen or so already written.  For the rest, I’ll give by way of enlightenment a definition from Collins: ‘A short piece of writing that clearly expresses the typical characteristics of something or someone.’  You can read last year’s winners for all categories on the website.
    Closing: 15.6.19.
    Prizes: Short Stories and Poetry - £300, £50, £30.  Vignettes - £100.  Plays - £150, £50.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fees: Short Stories - £8 each, £14 for two, £20 for three.  Vignettes and Poems - £5 each for the first, £2.50 each thereafter.  Plays - £12.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.3.19

 

Stringybark Times Past 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 historical fiction aimed at adults.  Your story must have some link to Australia however tenuous.  Curtail your tale at 1,500 words or fewer and you could soon be clutching a handful of unfamiliar currency.  You also have a  100-word allowance to explain the historical facts.  Your story, they say, could relate to some international even that was of historical significance.  Which reminds me, did you know that one of the names Australia considered for its decimal currency was the Royal?  When I lived in Melbourne, there was a radio DJ called Don Lunn who used to introduce himself with the words: ‘This is Don dig the dollar, rubbish the royal, call it a quid Lunn.’  Day after day he’d say that, over and over.  He was worse than a kookaburra.  Somebody shot him in the end (or in some other part of his anatomy) ... or was that just one of my idle fantasies?
    Closing: 16.6.19  (not open for entries until 13.3.19).
    Prizes (in Oz dollars): 1st - $350 + publication + ebook + paperback + choice of any two Stringybark anthologies.  2nd -  $250 + publication + ebook + paperback + any two Stringybark anthologies.  3rd - $125 + publication + ebook + paperback + any two Stringybark anthologies. Highly Commended (30) - $5 plus publication plus ebook.
    Entry Fee: $14 for one, $26 for two, $36 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

Eyelands International Short Story Competition.  This is the nineth of these international contests from Strange Days Books in Greece.  This year the theme is Round Midnight, and as usual there is a word limit of 2,500.
    Closing: 20.6.19.
    Prize: A week’s holiday on the island of Crete (flights not included) in a studio for 2 people at Triopetra Beach, with beds for 2 children available if required.  The Shortlisted stories will be published in an English language anthology available on Amazon.  The top three entries will also be published in Greek.  Not many writers can say they’ve been published in Greek, so this would be something of a feather in your literary cap and good to mention on your cv.  With a bit of imagination you could make it seem as if you’re halfway to being an international literary giant.  The top three entrants will also received a free copy of the anthology, a winners’ certificate and a Greek handmade ceramic.  The 1st prize winner will be the judge of next year’s contest.
    Entry Fee: 10 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

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

 


Added
14.3.19

 

McLellan Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust on the Isle of Arran is part of the McLellan Arts Festival.  It is for poems of up to 80 lines on any subject.  Award-winning poet Sean O’Brien will be judging.
    Closing: 21.6.19.
    Prizes : £1500, £300, £150, and 6 @ £25.
    Entry Fee: £6 for the first. £5 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019.  ‘Wasafiri’, according to the website, ‘is a literary magazine at the forefront of mapping new landscapes in international literature.’  Try saying that in Kiswahili, the language from which the magazine’s title comes.  Now, you are probably thinking that the magazine itself must hail from Africa, but this is not so.  It was born at the University of Kent in 1984, and as far as I know it has no African connection at all.  Nor, I might add, has the contest.  This has three categories (Poetry, Fiction, Life Writing) and is open to anyone anywhere in the world who has not published a complete book in their chosen category.  The word limit for the Fiction and Life Writing is 3,000.  In the poetry category, you can submit up to five poems for the same entry fee (use separate pages).  You can enter more than one category, but only once each.  Incidentally, ‘wasafiri’, in case your Kiswahili is a bit rusty, means ‘cultural traveller’.
    Closing: 28.6.19 (5pm).
    Prize (in each category): £300 and publication in the mag.
    Entry Fee: £6.  If you enter two separate categories it’s £10 and for three it’s £15.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize.  This annual contest from the Royal Society of Literature aims to preserve V.S. Pritchett’s warmth of feeling and mastery of narrative.  It is for stories of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.  To enter you must be over 18 and reside in the UK, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland.  Further, you must be available to attend a prize-giving event in Autumn this year.
    Closing: 28.6.19.
    Prize: £1,000 and publication is RSL Review and Prospect Magazine online.
    Entry Fee: £7.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

James White Award.  This annual freebie is for science fiction stories of between 2,000 and 6,000 words by non-professional writers.  It is supported by the publishers of Interzone, the UK’s leading science fiction magazine.
    Closing: 28.6.19.
    Prize: £200 and publication in Interzone.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.2.19

 

George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition.  This contest from the Suffolk Poetry Society, a registered charity, is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.  To enter you need to have been born in Suffolk, or work or reside there, or have been educated there.  Alternatively you can buy eligibility by joining the Society (details on entry form).
    Closing: 29.6.19.
    Prizes: £600, £300, £150.  Runners-up (2) - £75.
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 6.3.19

 

BCSA Writing Competition.  This annual contest from the British Czech and Slovac Association is for fact or fiction writing of between 1,500 and 2,000 words on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics, or describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989.  Topics can include history, politics, the sciences, economics or the arts.  ‘1989’ (the year of the Velvet Revolution) is suggested as this year’s theme but it is not compulsory.  The contest is open to all.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes: £400 plus free meal, £150.  The winner will be presented with his or her prize at the BCSA’s annual dinner in London.  The winning entries will be published in the British Czech and Slovak Review.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
10.3.19

 

Wells Festival of Literature Competitions.  Here we have a return of  the famous Wells Litfest and its various competitions: Poetry, Short Story, Book for Children, Young Poets.  I should mention before we go any further that we are talking about Wells in Somerset, not Wells in Norfolk which also has an annual litfest (I wouldn’t want you turning up at the wrong event to receive your prize or to berate the judges for not awarding you anything).  Anyway, back to business.  For the Poetry you are allowed up to 35 lines, while the Short Stories should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.  For the Book for Children, which must be suitable for children aged 9+, you need to submit the first three chapters plus a synopsis brief enough to fit two sides of a page (and don’t use that microscopic font that’s only suitable for the small print in dodgy contracts).  If shortlisted, you will be asked to submit the rest of your story.  The Young Poets category (for budding bards aged between 16 and 22) requires poems of no more than 35 lines.  The Open Poetry judge is Simon Armitage.  Miriam Nash will be judging the Young Poets category, while Gill Lewis will choose the winning Book for Children.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
   Prizes: Open Poetry, Short Story, Book for Children (in each category) - £750, £300, £200.  Additional prizes: Wyvern Prize for a local short story entrant - £100.  Hilly Cansdale Local Prize (for poetry) - £100.  Book for Children Local Prize - £100.  Young Poets - £150, £75, £50.
    Entry Fee : Aduls categories - £6.  Young Poets - £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
20.3.19

 

Battered Moons Poetry Competition.  Part of the Poetry Swindon Festival and supported by Arts Council England, this contest is for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject and in any style. The two judges, Zoe Brigley Thonpson and Cristina Navazo-Eguia Newton, will read all the entries.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes: £700, £200, £100, 4 x £25.  Winners will be published in the Battered Moons pamphlet.  Losers will simply be battered (metaphorically speaking).  In addition, all prize-winners will be invited to read their poems at the above-mentioned Festival.
    Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £4 each thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 

 

 

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

 


Added
11.4.19

 

Henshaw Short Story Competition.  This regular contest from Henshaw Press of Northampton is for stories running to no more than 2,000 words on any subject.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes: £200, £75, £25.
    Entry Fee: £6.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.4.19

 

Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition.  For this international contest from the Munster Literature centre in Ireland you submit 16 to 23 pages of poetry.  The contest is open to published and unpublished poets but at least one of the winners will be unpublished (no chapbook or book published previously).  Poems can be in verse or prose.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes: 1st - 1,000 euros and your manuscript published as a chapbook, with 25 free copies.  2nd - 500 euros and your manuscript published as above, with 25 free copies.  Winners will also be offered a reading and three nights’ accommodation at the 2020 Cork International Poetry Festival.
    Entry Fee: 25 euros.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 9.2.19

 

Hastings Litfest Writing Competition s.  This one from the Hastings Literary Festival is for short stories of up to 1,500 words, poems of up to 40 lines and flash fiction of up to 500 words.  The theme is In Other Words (see Rules for a measure of enlightenment).
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes (in each category): £100, £50, £25.  Winners and highly commended entrants get a Litfest Trophy (which you can be casually polishing when the vistors arrive).  There will be an anthology featuring the top three entries from each cetegory.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
5.1.19

 

Sustainable Societies Stage Play Competition.  This contest from the University of Southampton is for stage plays with a performance time of between 75 minutes and 2 hours.  These should in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society.  All genres are welcome.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes:  £500, £100, £50.  Best student submission (18-25) - £50.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
14.4.19

 

BFS Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from the British Fantasy Society is for previously unpublished stories running to no more than 5,000 words.  Entries should fit within the broad fantasy genre, defined for this contest as fantasy, SF, horror, supernatural, magic, fabulation, slipstream, etc, or any combination of these.
    Closing: 30.6.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £100 plus one year’s BFS membership,  2nd - £50 plus one year’s BFS membership.  3rd -£20.  The top three stories will be published in print in the magazine BFS Horizons.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

PENFro Short Radio Drama Competition.  This contest from the PENfro Book Festival in Pembrokeshire is for radio dramas with a running time of between five and ten minutes.  Before you get started on a yarn with a cast of thousands, see the notes on the website re the number of characters.
    Closing: 1.7.19.
    Prizes: The top three dramas will be edited, performed live on stage at the festival, then recorded with music and FX and put on the website.  The winners will receive a CD of the final piece.  The top six dramas will receive a professional critique.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.2.19

 

Cheshire Prize for Literature Scriptwriting Competition.  This contest from the University of Chester is for plays for theatre, radio or TV.  These should have a running time of no more than 15 minutes and be set in one location, with no more than three actors, while ‘exploring the use of virtual social networking characters’ (whatever they are).  To enter the first stage, you submit a one-page treatment of 500 to 800 words - and if you don’t know what a treatment is, there are links on the site to useful guides.  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: 1.7.19.
    Prizes: The writers of the best 12 submissions will each receive £50 and be commissioned to produce a full playscript.  Four of these scripts will be chosen to be performed and judged at a live performance on 29.11.19 at Storyhouse.  The writers of the four will each receive a further £50
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 

 

 

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

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

PENfro Open Poetry Competition.  This contest from the PENfro Book Festival in Pembrokeshire is for poems of up to 40 lines on any theme.  The judge is poet Dr. Rhiannon Hooson.
    Closing: 1.7.19.
    Prizes (20): £25 plus publication in the anthology.
    Entry Fee : £4.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

PENfro Short Story Competition.  Here’s another contest from the PENfro Book Festival in Wales.  It is for stories of up to 2,500 words on any theme.
    Closing: 1.7.19.
    Prizes (12): £25 plus inclusion in an anthology published by Welsh publisher Parthian.
    Entry Fee : £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
22.3.19

 

Pennine Ink Flash Fiction Competition.  This contest from the Pennine Ink Writers Workshop of  Burnley in Lancashire is for stories of up to 500 words inspired by the photo on the comp page (a derelict single-decker bus with other junk that appears to have been dumped at a beauty spot).
   Closing: 7.7.19.
    Prize: 1st - £50 plus publication in the Pennine Ink magazine and a free copy.  Two runners-up will get a mention on the website.
    Entry Fee: £3 for one, £5 for two.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 5.4.19

 

Live Canon International Poetry Competition.  Have a shot at this one and you could soon be having a ball with a thousand pounds to spend.  All right, those are last year’s puns, but the competition is bang up to date (and that’s a new one, boom, boom).  Your poem can be any length, say the promoters, but frankly I don’t think they really mean that.  I reckon that after the first 10,000 words you’re going to be struggling to keep even the most battle-hardened judge interested.
    Closing: 8.7.19.
    Prize: £1,000.  There is also £100 for the highest placed poet living, studying or working in the London Borough of Greenwich.  Fifty poems will be published in the 2019 anthology and 20 will be performed by the Live Canon Ensemble during the prize-giving event at Greenwich Theatre.
    Entry Fee: £6.50 for one, £12 for two, £15 for three, £20 for five, £35 for ten.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

HG Wells Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from the H.G.Wells Festival in Folkestone is for stories of between 1,500 and 5,000 words in any genre.  The stated theme is ‘TIME in its broadest interpretation’.  I know some of you find the rules of these contests too tiresome to read, so I won’t try to badger you into looking at them in this instance.  However, I will just mention that there is something in there about double quotes.  Ooh, I wonder what that could be?  Finally, if you can arrange to be 21 or under it will be to your advantage, as you can then qualify for a much bigger prize while at the same time entering for free.
    Closing: 8.7.19.
    Prizes: Adult (22 or over) - £250.  Junior (21 or under) - £1,000.  All shortlisted entries will be published in a  paperback anthology.
    Entry Fee: £10 if you are over 21.  Free if you are 21 or under.  If you are a student who is over 21 (with ID to prove it), it’s £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.2.19

 

Sustainable Societies Radio Play Competition.  This contest from the University of Southampton is for radio plays (drama/comedy series) with a performance time of 45 minutes or six x 30 minutes or 5 x 15 minutes.  These should in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society.
    Closing : 12.7.19 (submissions accepted from April).
    Prizes:  £500, £100, £50.  Best student submission (18-25) - £50.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition.  Here’s another annual contest, this time from Wrekin Writers of Shropshire.  Stories can be on any subject but must not exceed 1,200 words.
    Closing: 12.7.19.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50.
    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
 8.2.19

 

Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize.  This contest, which is supported by the Arts Council, is for unpublished novels of over 30,000 words by writers living in the UK or Ireland.  To enter you submit the complete novel plus a brief outline and a biographical note.  The judges will be looking for stories that ‘explore and expand the possibilities of the novel form, are innovative and imaginative in style and tackle subjects and themes relevant to the world we live in.’  Well, you didn’t expect it to be easy with such a big prize at stake, did you?
    Closing: 15.7.19.
    Prize: Publication with a £3,000 advance.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from Ledbury in Wales is for poems of up to 40 lines.  It has three age categories: Adult (18 and over), Young People (12 to 17), and Children (11 and under).  The judge is Daljit Nagra.
    Closing: 18.7.19 (5pm).
    Prizes: Adults: 1st - £1,000 plus a residential writing course at Ty Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre for Wales.  2nd - £500.  3rd - £250.  The prizes for younger entrants were not given on the website when I checked, but last year they were as follows: 12-17 category - £100, £50, £25.  11 and under category - book tokens for £25, £15, £10.
    Entry Fees: Adults - £5.75 for the first, £3.50 thereafter.  Young People and Children get the first entry free, then pay £1.75 each for any additional entries.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Winchester Poetry Prize.  This annual contest from the Winchester Poetry Festival aims to ‘surprise and delight,’ they say.  However, don’t try to surprise and delight them with a short story or a photo of your cat dancing in a tutu.  Stick to a poem of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 31.7.19.
    Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250.  Winners will be invited to read their entries at a special prize-giving event at Winchester Poetry Day on October 12.  Winning and commended poems will appear in an anthology.  There is also a prize for the best poem written by a Hampshire-based poet.
    Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £4 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.3.19

 

The Betjeman Poetry Prize.  This contest in honour of one of Britain’s most popular poets aims to foster creativity in young people.  Young people are apparently aged up to 13, this being the limit for the competition.  Old at 14, eh?  Too many crafty cigarettes behind the bike sheds, I reckon.  Entries should be on the theme of Place.  The place, say the promoters, could be your bedroom, the local park, a spooky building, somewhere imagined, etc.  They want to know what it means to you.  ‘It’s where I chill, innit?’ will not be sufficient.  There is no line or word limit.  The judges are accomplished poets Wendy Cope and her husband Lachlan Mackinnon.
    Closing: 31.7.19.
    Prizes: 1st - £500 for the winner and £5,000 for the English Department at the winner’s school, or the winner’s local library.  The winner and two runners-up will each receive four Eurostar tickets to Paris, Brussels or Lisle.  The runners-up also get £200.  There will be £50 each for Highly Commended entrants.  There is in addition a prize draw for teachers who manage to bully their classes into entering.  The top 50 poems will be printed in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019.  This one from the Poetry Society is said to be the UK’s largest poetry competition for writers between the ages of 11 and 17.  It certainly attracts a lot of entries.  Over 6,000 young people from across the world submitted their work last year.  Poems can be any length and on any subject, but they must be in English.  You can enter in British Sign Language if required, but you have to email the promoters for submission details.  Perhaps my brain is running on empty this morning but if you can put your request in an email, why can’t you put your poem in one?
    Closing: 31.7.19.
    Prizes: The top 15 winners will be invited to attend a week-long residential writing course at a prestigious Arvon Centre, or they will receive mentoring from a professional poet.  The top 15 poems will be published in a print anthology which is sent out to over 20,000 school libraries and poetry enthusiasts.  The 85 commended poets will have their entries published in an online anthology.  There will be an awards ceremony in London on National Poetry Day to which all 100 winners will be invited.  I’ve been to some of these events and there’s generally free booze, plus fellow poets can usually be relied upon to supply some weed (best not mention this to your parents).
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.  You can enter more than one poem but they make it clear they don’t want you bunging in any old rubbish to make up the numbers (they put it more subtly than that, but that’s what they mean).
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 2.2.19

 

Sustainable Societies Novel Competition .  This contest from the University of Southampton is for full-length novels in any genre including children’s.  These should in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society.  The top entries will be read by a literary agent from Curtis Brown.
    Closing: 31.8.19 (submissions details available from April).
    Prizes :  £500, £100, £50.  Best student submission (18-25) - £50.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 

 

 

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

 


Added
 2.3.19

 

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.  This annual contest from Aesthetica Magazine is for Short fiction running to no more than 2,000 words and poetry of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 31.8.19.
    Prize (in each category): £1,000 plus other writing related prizes.  Finalists will be published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual.
    Entry Fee: £18 for fiction, £12 for poetry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.19

 

New Voices Competition.  This international contest from London-based mentoring service Adventures in Fiction requires you to submit the first page of your novel and a one-page synopsis.
    Closing: 14.9.19.
    Prizes: A start-up mentoring package (nomally costing £550) which includes manuscript appraisal, a consultation and a development strategy.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.3.19

 

Soundwork-uk Monologue Competition .  This contest from Soundwork-uk is for monologues of up to 10 minutes suitable for audio broadcast.  The monologue may have been previously published.
    Closing: 30.9.19.
    Prize: The winning script will be produced and recorded in a studio with a professional actor.  The recording will be made available to an existing listener base and the world via the Soundwork-uk website and SoundCloud.  The winner’s photo will be included on the website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 1.4.19

 

Troubadour International Poetry Competition.  For this annual international contest, you submit a poem of no more than 45 lines on one A4 or US-Letter size page.  They don’t say so, but the usual form is to use only one side of the page ... so if your lines consist of, say 250 words each, you will have to have a rethink, you weird person.
    Closing: 21.10.19.
    Prizes: £2,000, £1,000, £500.
    Entry Fee: £6 (at the time of writing, the fees shown in the Rules did not tally with those in the payment boxes at the foot of the page, so I think the Rules were, and maybe still are, in need of an update - a fact I mention in case you are thinking of going retro and paying by cheque).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 5.3.19

 

Momaya Poetry Competition. This is the second poetry contest from Momaya Press of Bonn in Germany and Roxbury in the USA.  Open worldwide, it is intended to be an annual event.  The theme this year is Masks, and there is a word limit of 1,500.
    Closing: 30.10.19.
    Prizes: £70, £35, £20.  Winners along with up to 50 Honourable Mentions will be published in the Momaya Poetry Review 2019 .  The three winners will receive a free copy.
    Entry Fee: £7.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.6.04

 

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

 


Added
 1.9.11

 

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

 
  

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

 
    
  

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

                                       The Typo Goblin

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

                                                                           
- Michael Shenton

 
  

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

 
       


Disclaimer

                                    
My Humorous             This is the Prizemagic website                   Poem:
      
Verse                Email comps@prizemagic.co.uk                Being a
    & Songs            Copyright:  Michael Shenton  2019             Writer

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