Stiff Competition - the novel

Details

Writing Comps

Current UK Writing Competitions

Stiff Competition - the novel

Details


 
 

     I’ve never won a poetry competition, mainly, I like to think, because I haven’t entered many (4), but I did once win a cash prize for a short story, and then of course I won the Peter Pook Humorous Novel Contest with Stiff Competition, a novel that had previously been rejected by a top publisher for being too funny (see Comps Novel).  I therefore speak from experience when I say that winning small, lesser-known competitions doesn’t lead to overnight fame.  But having a few such successes to boast about does you no harm when approaching editors or agents, so if you do have dreams of a writing career, this could be the place to begin. Or maybe you just want to win some money.  Whatever your motives, the only advice I can offer is to suggest you emulate my old friend Percy Vere, who reads, writes, reads, writes ad infinitum.

     Below is a list of the most interesting UK writing competitions I’ve found recently (entry is not necessarily limited to UK residents).

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

 
  

UK Writing Competitions (currently 80)

 


Updated
  3.1.12

 

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

 


Updated
  3.1.12

 

Writers’ Forum Poetry Competition.  This monthly contest from the glossy magazine Writers’ Forum is for poems of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: Monthly.  Entries arriving too late for one month go forward to the next.
    Prizes: 1st - £100.  Runners-up - A Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £3 each thereafter.  Includes a free critique (sae required if entering by post).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 
  

Books to Improve Your Writing Skills  

 


Added
 9.1.12

 

Five Stop Story Competition.  This is for stories of up to 3,000 words on any subject or theme.
    Closing: End of each month.
    Prizes: Monthly - £50.  Top author in league table at end of year - £150.  Winners and runners-up will be published on the website.  They will also be published as an iPad and iPhone ap, whatever that means.
    Entry Fee : £4 each, £7 for two, £8 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
3.11.10

 

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

 


Updated
  1.1.13

 

Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award.  Entries for ths one should comprise 10 poems of up to 40 lines.
    Closing: Bi-annually (end of June and November).
    Prize: £150 and your collection published.
    Entry Fee: £16 per batch of ten (includes a free copy of the winners’ anthology).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  1.1.13

 

Cinnamon Press Short Story Award.  This is for stories of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
    Closing: Bi-annually (end of June and November).
    Prize: £150 and publication.
    Entry Fee: £16 (includes a free copy of the winners’ anthology).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  1.1.13

 

Cinnamon Press Novel/Novella Award.  To enter this you submit the first 10,000 words of your novel or novella.
    Closing: Bi-annually (end of June and November).
    Prize: £400 and your novella published.
    Entry Fee: £16.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
12.7.09

 

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

 


Added
 6.7.09

 

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

 


Added
17.7.10

 

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

 


Added
10.7.10

 

Bloomsbury 247tales Competition.  Here is a contest from the publishers of Harry Potter for tales of up to 247 words written by children between the ages of 8 and 16.
    Closing: Monthly.
    Prize: £75 worth of Bloomsbury children’s books, publication on the website and a framed copy of your story.
    Entry Fee : None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.10

 

Hi Michael,
     Just wanted to say thanks for working so hard on your fantastic site. It must take up loads of your time and energy to keep updating it with such enthusiasm and humour! I found it last year, and entered the Global Short Story competition. Although I didn't win, I was shortlisted for the August comp.  I then submitted a short story to the Bridge House Anthology which aimed to raise money for the Born Free Foundation. I remember you saying something like there is no prize money, but it will help your CV if you can say you are published in a book with Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, and a foreword by Virginia McKenna.
     Well guess what - I am! Well, in June anyway. The anthology is a collection of animal stories and is called Gentle Footprints.
     So thanks again, and a plug for charity - all readers of your site are kindly invited to buy a copy!                                             -  Mandy James

 


Updated
  27.6.10

 

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

 
     
  

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

 


Updated
  1.2.12

 

Global Short Story Competition.  This contest, which is supported by the Darlington Arts Centre in County Durham and renowned author Bill Bryson, is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme.
    Closing: End of each month.
    Prize: 1st - £100.  Runner-up £25.  After a year the monthly winners will be considered for an annual cash prize.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Website:
Click Here.

 


Added
 9.1.11

 

Hi there,
     I just want to say a BIG thank you from South Africa for your incredible website. It is so informative and detailed -- and this morning (on Christmas!) I just discovered that I’ve won First Prize for the Mona Schreiber competition - the details of which I found on your BRILLIANT website!  $500!  Thank you again!!
     Sincerely,  Sharon Rina de Villiers

 


Updated
  1.1.13

 

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

 


Added
1.11.09

Updated
  12.4.11

 

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

 


Added
11.4.13

 

Phil Williams often promotes competitions through the blog of the Poetry Society’s Stoke Stanza website.  If you would like to check this out, Click Here.

 


Added
10.3.12

 

Hi Michael
     Back in autumn 2007, I took up writing, and your excellent site was a great help in finding competitions to enter. In 2008, my short story came second in the Yeovil Literary Prize and was read on BBC Radio Somerset. In 2010, I won the Words with Jam short story competition. I was also a runner up in nine other competitions along the way. As well as £500 in prize money, I also gained the encouragement I needed to keep writing, and now my debut novel, Earth Girl , will be published by HarperCollins Voyager imprint in August 2012. This is the first book in a trilogy, so I'm taking a break from competitions now, but I wanted to thank you for the help you've given me and other writers.
                                                                              -   Janet Edwards

 


Added
 7.4.13

 

Daggerville Games Writing Competition.  This monthly contest from Daggerville Games is for short pieces of writing (up to 250 words) on a different theme each month.  The theme for April - and I apologise if it is no longer April and I’ve forgotten to update this - is ‘The Perfect Murder’. You have to ‘Like’ the firm on Facebook to enter, but other than this requirement to be free and easy with your affections, there is no cost.
    Closing: End of each month.
    Prize: $50 Amazon voucher.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
25.4.13

 

The Poetry Competition.  This charitable contest in aid of Iain Rennie Hospice at Home is for poems of any length.  There is currently no theme but some weeks there will be.  Entries are displayed on the website and rated by the site’s visitors who will thereby decide the winners.  Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, as the name implies, helps people with terminal illness who wish to be cared for in their own homes.
    Closing: Weekly.
    Prizes: £25, £10.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £5 for two, £7 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
5.12.12

 

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

 


Updated
 1.6.14

 

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

 


Added
21.4.13

 

Hi Michael
     Love, love, love your site! But it should come with a word of warning to other would-be comp winners. Go straight to terms and condition page first. Just spent the last hour and a half crafting (skillfully obviously) a poem about bingo for one of the contests on your site, only to find that (unlucky for some, or rather - me) when I went to email it, it was for UK residents only! I went to dramatically raise my hand to my forehead saying `oh s**t!` when I knocked over my glass of wine on the desk. As I went to quickly mop up everything, I knocked my phone off the table where it now lies wet and immobilised.
     So, to re-evaluate: 1. Check terms and conditions. 2. Don`t make any sudden, dramatic hand movements. 3. Don`t place wine on same surface as computer. 4. Don`t place mobile phone on same surface as wine glass.  And finally, 5. Make sure there`s a spare bottle of wine in fridge when you go to drown your sorrows on your time-wasted, expensive, quiet sunday evening in.
                                                                            -  Susan from Dublin

 


Added
 1.3.14

 

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

 


Added
 1.3.14

 

Dark Places Story Competition.  This one from the online magazine Dark Places is for stories of between 1,000 and 5,000 words.  The magazine specialises in sci-fi and fantasy, a fact I mention in case you are wondering what sort of yarn to submit.  Stories must be error-free with correct grammar and punctuation.  Oh dear, if only you’d paid more attention in school.
    Closing:  15.10.14, 15.2.15.
    Prize: 1st - £50.  2nd - a 3-month subscription to the automated editing service Grammarly, worth about £40.
    Entry Fee: £1.25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.4.14

 

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

 


Added
 2.5.14

 

Templar Quarterly Pamphlet Awards.  This is for short poetry collections of between 10 and 12 pages.
    Closing: 8.9.14, 1.12.14.
    Prize: Your collection publsihed as a Templar Pamphlet with a page on the website dedicated to same.  You get 25 free copies of the pamphlet and an offer of further copes at a discount price.  You also get a Templar Poetry publishing agreement with the option to submit a full collection for possible publication.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
29.3.14

 

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

 


Added
  1.5.14

 

Writers’ Village Bursary Competition.  This quarterly contest from the Writers’s Village website offers an interesting opportunity for debut novelists.  If that’s you and you have a completed but unpublished novel ready to go, submit it together with a synopsis and covering letter as if sending it to an agent or publisher.
    Closing: 30.9.14, 31.12.14.
    Prize: £500 and your novel assessed by literary agency A M Heath.  The eight shortlisted entrants will receive a brief commentary on their submission from Award judge Michelle Spring.
    Entry Fee: £14.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.3.12

 

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

 


Updated
 23.7.14

 

Flash 500 Humorous Verse Competition.  This quarterly contest from the Flash 500 website is having the last laugh as it’s now in its fourth year.  Any kind of humorous verse is required, up to 32 lines.  I once wrote a humorous sonnet about my girlfriend’s nose.  She never spoke to me again.  Still, the sonnet was published and that was all that mattered, although these days I do sometimes regret missing out on the wedding, the kids, the divorce, etc.
   
News Flash: This quarter’s contest will be judged by yours truly.
    Closing: 30.9.14, 31.12.14.
    Prizes: 1st £150 and publication in Words with Jam.  2nd - £100.  3rd - £50.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2.50 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
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

 


Added
 12.7.14

 

South Wales Short Story Competition.  This contest from Candy Jar Books, which is open to all UK residents, is for stories of up to 3,000 words on any subject.  You can hand your entry in to any of the listed Cardiff libraries or, if you live in say Aberdeen, you might prefer to enter online or by post.  Then again, think of the fresh air and exercise you’ll get on that walk south.
    Closing: 16.8.14 (5pm).
    Prize: A Kindle Fire.  Shotlisted entries will be published in an anthology.
    Entry Fee: £2.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
  1.6.14

 

Buzzwords Poetry Competition.  This one from Buzzwords Poetry, Cheltenham, is for poems up to 70 lines.
    Closing: 17.8.14.
    Prizes: £600, £300, 5 x £50.  Gloucestershire Prize: £200.
    Entry Fees: Postal - £4 each, three for £10.  Email - £4.35 each, three for £11.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
21.6.14

 

Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month Prize.  This contest from the Guardian and Legend Times is for self-published fictional stories of at least 40,000 words published after December 31, 2011.  To enter you submit by email the full text of your book, as published plus a synopsis.  A panel of industry judges will select the winner each month.
    Closing: Entries must be submitted between August 1st and 18th.
    Prize:  Your book reviewed in the Guardian.
    Entry Fee : None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
  1.6.14

 

SaveAs Writers The Bigger Picture Competition.  This one from Canterbury’s SaveAs Writers is for prose and poetry inspired by any work of art associated with World War One.  The ‘Work of art’ could be a painting, a song, a poem, a film or a soundtrack.  Poems should be confined to a maximum of 50 lines, while prose may extend to 3,000 words.
    Closing: 23.8.14.
    Prizes: £50, £30, £20.  Shortlisted entries will be published in a pamplet.
    Entry Fee: Postal - Poetry £2, prose £3.  Electronic entries - £2.50, £.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.2.14

 

Manchester Writing Competition.  This international contest from Manchester Writing School at the Manchester Metropolitan University celebrates ‘the substantial cultural and literary achievements of Manchester’ of which I am unable to give an example at this time.  My childhood memories of Manchester are centred around Moss Side where my father ran a fast-food business (chip shop, as we called it back then).  I was kept locked in the cellar peeling spuds, with a 15-watt incandescent light bulb for company.  It was there in that creepy dungeon, while peering into the dark corners, that I developed my vivid imagination - not to mention my nervous twitches.  Culture?  Literature?  Be serious.  But times, I suppose, have changed.  So let us return to the competition, which is for poems and short stories.  To enter the Poetry Prize you submit a portfolio of three to five poems, these to consist of no more than 120 lines in total.  For the Fiction Prize the requirement is for a story running to no more than 2,500 words in any genre.
    Closing: 29.8.14.
    Prize (in each category): £10,000.
    Entry Fee: £17.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 11.8.13

 

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

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Havant Literary Festival Poetry Competition.  This annual contest has the theme of ... er.   Hang on, I’ll get it in a minute.  Oh yes, Memory.  Remember to confine your musings on this subject to the limit of 40 lines, and you might like to note that they say ‘but shorter entries are most welcome’.  What do they mean by most welcome?  The most of all?  Or have they just inserted a redundant ‘most’ for no particular reason?  Tricky.  I probably came to some conclusion on this but it’s slipped my mind.
    Closing: 29.8.14.
    Prizees £400, £200, £100.
    Entry Fee: £4.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
11.7.14

 

SLQ Short Story Competition .  This return visitor from Sentinel Literary Quarterly is for short stories of up to 1,500 words.  There is no theme.
    Closing: 31.8.14.
    Prizes: £200, £75, £50, 3 x £20.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £8 for two, £10 for three, £12 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.7.14

 

Sherborne Literary Festival Competitions .  Here are two contests from the Sherborne Literary Society, one for poetry, one for short stories.  For the open short story category there is a word limit of 1,500.  The open poetry category is limited to 40 lines.
    Closing: 31.8.14.
    Prizes: Open Short Story - £200, £100, £50.  Open Poetry - £100, £50, £25.
    Entry Fees: Open Short Story - £10.  Open Poetry - £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.6.14

 

Torbay Open Poetry Competition.  This annual contest is for poems of up to 50 lines.  The judge is R. V. Bailey.
    Closing: 31.8.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £700 plus a weekend at the poetry festival with accommodation and Festival Pass.  2nd - £400 plus Festival Pass.  3rd - £200 plus ticket for the Festival supper for two.  Shortlisted poets will be invited to read their entries at the Prizegiving Party at the Livermead Cliff Hotel in Torquay.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £15 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 4.6.14

 

Portico Brotherton Poetry Prize.  This annual contest from the Portico Liberary in Manchester and the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds has two categories: Open (over 16) and Young (under 18).  It is for poems up up to 40 lines on the theme of ‘Conflict and Community’.  There are some suggestions about this on the entry form.
    Closing: 31.8.14.
    Prizes: Open category - £250, £150, £100, plus publication in an anthology (winner will also be published in the Portico Quarterly newsletter and Stand magazine).  Young category - three prizes of book tokens.
    Entry Fee : Open - £5 for the first, £2.50 thereafter.  Young - free.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.1.12

 

Hi Michael
     Just another Thank You. I have just had notification that my story got selected for the anthology following The Sheriff’s Prize for Literature competition. I went along to the awards night and had fun watching Tony Robinson reading out some of the best entries. To be asked to put my story into the anthology was the icing on the cake!
     Thanks again for the great site.
                                                                                      - Pat Davies

 


Added
11.7.14

 

SLQ Poetry Competition.  This regular contest from Sentinel Literary Quarterly is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.
    Closing: 31.8.14.
    Prizes: £200, £75, £50, 3 x £20.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £7 for two, £9 for three, £11 for four, £12 for five.  For orders of one gross or more: P.O.A.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  1.8.14

 

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: 31.8.14.
    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
 1.7.14

 

Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize.  This is for children’s authors ‘whose writing embraces ethnic diversity either in their own ethnicity and culture and/or in their writing.’  To be eligible you must be over 16 and resident in the UK.  You must not have had a children’s novel or collection of short stories published, but other types of published writing, such as articles and picture books, will not disqualify you (see website).  To enter, submit the first 4,000 words of your story along with a synopsis of up to 500 words, plus a bio (up to 200 words) with details of any items published.
    Closing: 1.9.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £500 and professional mentoring, plus £100 in children’s books.  Runners-up will receive detailed feedback on their work.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updatrd
15.7.14

 

Westhope College Open Poetry Competition.   This new contest from the Westhope Craft College is for well-crafted poems of up to 40 lines.  The judge is one-time BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year Chris Kinsey.
    Closing: 1.9.14.
    Prizes: £200, £100, £50, £25.
    Entry Fee: £4 for the first £2 each thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 3.8.14

 

BAFTA Rocliffe Children’s Film and TV Scriptwriting Competition.  This one from the British Academy of  Film and Television Arts in partnership with Rocliffe and supported by The London Book Fair, is for scripts written by emerging writers focused on children’s film and television.  To enter you submit a ten-page TV or film script extract.
    Closing: 1.9.14.
    Prizes: Three writers will have their work performed by professional actors and discussed by a high profile guest in front of an industry audience at BAFTA’s in London.  In addition, one writer from the three, selected by The London Book Fair, will be awarded an expenses-paid trip and full delegate pass to the MIP Junior international children’s programming market at Cannes in October where they will receive extensive industry introductions and networking opportunities.
    Entry Fee: £11 for hard copies (it’s an additional £10 for electronic entries).
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
12.12.04

 

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
 1.2.14

 

The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature .  This annual contest, which is open only to writers with some connection to Cheshire, is for prose of up to 1.500 words and poems of up to 100 lines aimed at children aged between seven and fourteen.  It is administered by the University of Chester’s Department of English and funded by Bank of America.  To be eligible you must have been born, work or have worked, live or have lived, study or have studied, in Cheshire.  If you lived there for just a fortnight while on holiday in Stockport, I’m afraid this doesn’t count, although you might be in line for a medal of some sort.
    Closing: 1.9.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £2,000.  Additional prize money of £750 will be awarded at the judges’ discretion and the best entries will be published.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.6.14

 

RAC Short Story Competition.  The theme for this freebie from the Royal Automobile Club is Driving Abroad (within the Eurpean Union), so fuel up and hit the rosd (but put the brakes on when you reach 1,000 words as this is the official limit).  Note that you must be over 18 to enter.
    Closing: 11.9.14 (9am).
    Prizes: 1st - £500 plus RAC European Breakdown Cover for a year, plus publication in the RAC mag.  Runners-up (2) - £100 in M&S vouchers.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.4.14

 

Salopian Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition.  Here’s another annual contest from a poetry group in Shropshire. It is for poems of up to 42 lines.  The judge is poet Alison Chisholm.
    Closing: 12.9.14.
    Prizes: £200 £100, £50.  Runners-up (6) - £25.  All nine winners received a free copy of the magazine Salopeot, which will contain the winning entries.
    Entry Fee: £3 each, £10 for four.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 6.1.14

 

Erewash Writers’ Group Open Short Story Competition.  This annual contest from Erewash Writers of Long Eaton in Derbyshire has two categories: Open and New Writer.  It is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme.  As usual, a charitable donation will be made from entry fees, the recipient being chosen by entrants.
    Closing: 18.9.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £100.  2nd - £50.  3rd - £25.  4th - £25.  Highly Commended (2) - Free entry to 2015 comp.
    Entry Fee : £3 each, £5 for two, £2.50 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.3.14

 

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

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Glass Woman Prize.  This American contest is for short fiction or creative non-fiction of between 50 and 5,000 words written by women.  Entries must be ‘of significance to women’.  No football or cars, then.  No shopping either by the sound of it, as this is serious stuff.  A glass woman is described as having a blood system and a gut system visible inside her, and in these there are bits of poetry, newspapers, roses, baby’s teeth, birds, ice-picks, wedding cake ... and so on.  A glass woman, then, has an eating disorder which compels her to consume inappropriate things.  But this gives her an insight and a literary talent beyond the grasp of mere men.  Hence men are excluded from the competition.
    Closing: 21.9.14.
    Prizes: $500, $50, $50.  Anonymous Angel Prize -  $100 (an additional prize for this year donated by an anonymous person).
    Entry Fee: Non - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Comica Graphic Short Story Prize.   This one from The Observer, Jonathan Cape and Comica is for graphic short stories in black and white or colour, fact or fiction, with or without words.  You can collaborate with an artist if you wish.  Your story must be complete and consist of four pages, each page to be 214mm x 280mm.  You can have a number of frames/panels per page (last year’s winner had 45 frames/panels in all).  The story must be suitable for printing across a double-page spread in the Observer New Review.  See website for further details, layout example and previous winning entries.
    Closing: 26.9.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 and your story published in the Observer New Review.  Runners-up - £250 and online publication
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 24.7.14

 

Flash 500 Humorous Verse Competition.  This quarterly contest from the Flash 500 website is having the last laugh as it’s now in its fourth year.  Any kind of humorous verse is required, up to 32 lines.  I once wrote a humorous sonnet about my girlfriend’s nose.  She never spoke to me again.  Still, the sonnet was published and that was all that mattered  ... although these days I do sometimes regret missing out on the wedding, the kids, the divorce, etc.
   
News Flash: : I will be judging the contest this time round.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: 1st £150 and publication in Words with Jam.  2nd - £100.  3rd - £50.
    Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2.50 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.12.11

 

Hello Michael
     Thanks to your wonderful website I entered two short stories for the recent 'Writefrance' competition which (to my great surprise) I won!  £100 prize money and publication in a collection of winners’ stories in the new year.  Furthermore my second story was also chosen for a publication prize.  What a boost!  I'm now scribbling away and trawling through the other competitions in the hopes of repeating my success!
     Many Thanks
                                                                       -  Kerry Chiron. France

 


Added
11.5.14

 

Bedford Writing Competition.  This new international contest from Bedford, a town famous for the Shuttleworth Collection, is for stories running to no more than 3,000 words on any theme.  Proceeds will be donated to charity.  Go on, admit it, you’re wondering what the Shuttleworth Collection is, right?  I’ll give you a clue: flying machines!  Hang on, that’s the answer.  The clue is: ‘Those magnificent men ...’
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: £100, £70, £30.
    Entry Fee: £5 each, £10 for three.  Students can enter at the reduced rate of £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
23.7.14

 

Literature Works First Page Writing Prize.  To enter this contest from Literature Works, a registered charity operating in South West England, you submit the first page of your unpublished novel plus a 350-word synoopsis.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,500 plus a reading from a literary agent.  2nd - £350.  3rd - £150.
    Entry Fee: £6 for the first, £3 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

New Children’s Author Prize 2015.  This one from the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Books is for stories of between 20,000 and 40,000 words aimed at children aged beteen 8 and 12.  To enter you must be over 18, unpublished and resident in the UK.  You have to submit the entire story by email, using a template that will be provided only after you have coughed up the entry fee.  You must include a 350-word synopsis and a 1,000-word passage highlighted for use in the early judging stages.
    Closing: 30.9.14 (5pm).
    Prize: A Bloomsbury publishing contract with a £5,000 advance against royalties.
    Entry Fee: £30.  So they’re not so much looking for a new author as a wealthy one.  The talented but poor needn’t apply.  Still, you could go on one of those fasting diets for two or three weeks or default on the rent.  Then again, who needs two kidneys?  Sell one.  Sell two, because then you can enter additional stories for £15 each.
   Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.7.14

 

The Henshaw Competition.  This short story contest from Henshaw Press of Northampton is for fictional stories of up to 2,000 words on any subject.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.  Winners will be published on the website.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Updated
 23.7.14

 

Flash 500 Competition.  This quarterly flash fiction contest, which offers higher prize money than many similar competitions, is for stories of up to 500 words on any theme.
    Closing: 30.9.14, 31.12.14.
    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
 21.9.13

 

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

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

The Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize.  This one from poetry publisher Indigo Dreams is for blocks of 10 poems running to no more than 36 lines each.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: Two winners will have a poetry collection published with up to 52 perfect bound pages.  Each winner will receive 25 free copies and a standard royalty contract.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
10.8.14

 

Curry Mallet Short Story Competition.  For this one you can write about curry or you can write about a mallet - but you probably won’t win any prizes, for Curry Mallet is a village in England, not the theme of the competition.  I don’t know exactly where the place is.  In the middle of the Somerset Levels, probably.  But who cares?  This literary foray will put it on the map and then it will be as famous as Bridport.  There are two categories: Adults and Children (up to 16 years old).  The former are allowed up to 2,500 words, while the latter are limited to 500.  Stories from adults and children over 11 must have a WW1 theme.  Children up to 11 are required to write a story with the title: There are Dragons Everywhere.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: Adult - 1st - £100, 2nd £10 book token.  Children - 1st -  £35, 2nd - £5 book token.
    Entry Fees: Adult - £5 each, £10 for three.  Children - £3 each.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Crewe & District Writers’ Circle Poetry Competition .  Crewe and District Writers’ Circle has reached its 50th year in existence, and this contest has been launched to celebrate.  It is for poems of up to 40 lines.  The judge is former Cheshire Poet Lauriate John Lindley.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: £100, £50, £25.
    Entry Fee: £4 each, £10 for three.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.4.14

 

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Prize.  This regular visitor from the USA has now become two competitions in one - the Tom Howard Prize and the Margaret Reid Prize.  The former is for poems in any style, while the latter is for traditional verse as defined on the competition page.  There is no limit on length in either competition.
    Closing: 30.9.14.
    Prizes: Tom Howard Prize (any style) - $1,000.  Margaret Reid Prize (traditional verse) - $1,000.  In addition there will be some Honourable Mention awards of $100.  The Dishonourable Mention awards have been dropped this year following several suicides.  I wrote that last bit on April 1st.
    Entry Fee: $16 for each entry of 1-2 poems.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
20.4.14

 

The Prolitzer Prize 2014.  Okay, so once again you failed ot win the Pulitzer Prize, but do not despair.  You might do better in this one from Prole Books of Abergele in Wales, as there will be fewer entries.  It is for fiction and creative non-fiction that challenges, engages and entertains.  There is a 2,500 word limit for entries.
    Closing: 1.10.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £150 and publication in the anthology.  Runners-up (2) - £50 and possible publication.
    Entry Fee: £4 for the first, £3 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Mere Literary Festival Timed Flash Fiction Competition.  This contest from Mere in Wiltshire is for flash fiction of up to 350 words which you must write it in a limited number of days.  The story has to include a phrase that will be given on the Festival website on Thursday September 25.  You then have to post your entry to arrive by October 3.  Or , they say, you can deliver it by hand.
    Closing: 3.10.14.
    Prizes: £50, £25, £15.  Juniors - four prizes of £5.
    Entry Fee: £2 for the first, £1 thereafter.  Juniors free.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.5.14

 

Homeless Writing Competition.  This national contest from the Yorkshire charity SASH aims to raise awareness of the issues around youth homelessness.  It is for stories of up to 3,000 words in any genre.  The theme is, not surprisingly, ‘Homeless’.  Award-winning author Ross Raisin will be judging.
    Closing: 10.10.14 (5pm).
    Prize: A five-day residential Arvon writing course.  The winner and runners-up will be published on the SASH website.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added 9.10.11

 

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

 


Added
 4.6.14

 

NUHA Foundation Blogging Prizes 2014.  The NUHA Foundation has established this annual contest as an international platform to debate issues of education and development.  It has three categories: Adult, Youth, Young Writers.  Your task is to write a response to one of the three statements on the relevant category page.  Here’s an example from the Young Writers category: ‘To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.’  Sounds like a quote from one of the Turner Prize winners, but it’s actually Thomas A Edison.  You’ve never heard of him because he hasn’t been on the telly.  He invented various gadgets, among them a symbol used in cartoons to indicate that someone has just has an idea.  And let’s not forget the phonograph - a device similar to an iPod but a bit bigger.  Look him up on Wikiwhatsit.  You have to say whether or not you agree with the quote and explain by writing a short story.  In other categories you write an article.
    Closing: 12.10.14.
    Prizes: Adult - £150.  Youth - £100.  Young writers - £50.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Troubadour International Poetry Prize.  This potentially lucrative annual contest from Coffee House Poetry is for poems of up to 45 lines which fit on to one side of an A4 page.  The judges this year are Neil Astley, editor of Bloodaxe Books, and poetry editor Amy Wack who has a BA in Eng.Lit.
    Closing: 20.10.14.
    Prizes: £5,000, £1,000, £500.  Runners-up (20) - £25.
    Entry Fee : £5 (or $8 or 6 euros).  Wot a bargain.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
18.5.14

 

Poetry Society National Poetry Competition.  In 1983 Carol Ann Duffy won this contest and 26 years later she became the Poet Lauriate.  So if you’re hoping to become an overnight sensation, this is probably not the ideal starting point.  But there are compensations.  The top cash award is one of the best in the business, and the second prize isn’t bad either.  The thing that makes me uneasy about this one is that the entry form always asks for your age and ethnic background.  They say this is for statistical purposes only, but I still don’t think it belongs on a competition entry form.  However, I have no complaints about the line limit which is 40.
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prizes: £5,000, £2,000, £1,000.  Runners-up (7) - £100.  The top three winners will be published in Poetry Review.
    Entry Fee: £6 for the first, £3.50 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.  This annual contest is for a new and exciting piece of writing on arts and cultural subjects, running to no more than 1,500 words.  Entries this year can be reviews of books, concerts, ballet, plays, films or TV shows.
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prize: £2,000 plus publication in the Observer.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.8.14

 

Bare Fiction Prize.  This new contest from the magazine Bare Fiction has three categories: Short Stories (running to no more than 3,000 words), Poetry (up to 40 lines), and Flash Fiction (500 words or fewer).   When writing bare fiction of course you do have to be naked - so make sure your webcam is turned off.
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prizes (in each category): £500, £200, £100.  There are in addition four Hightly Commended awards of £25.
    Entry Fee : Poetry £5, Flash Fiction £6, Short Story £8.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
10.8.14

 

The London Magazine Short Story Competition.  This annual international contest from the venerable London Magzine (first published 1732) is for stories of up to 4,000 words.
    Closing: 31.10.14.  The contest is open for submissions from 1.9.14.
    Prizes : £500, £300, £200.  The winner will be published in the mag, and the runners-up on the website.
    Entry Fee: £10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here .

 


Added
 1.8.14

 

NAWG Open Writing Competitions.  This offering from the National Association of Writers’ Groups is for stories of between 500 and 2,000 words, and poems of up to 40 lines.  Stories will be judged by Tim Wilson, poems by James Nash.
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prizes (in each category): £250, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee: Stories - £5 each.  Poetry - £5 each, £10 for three.  Optional critique - £5 plus sae.
    Comp Page:
Click Here (scroll down the page for the NAWG comps).

 


Added
15.10.13

 

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

 


Added
17.6.14

 

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition.  If you have an original idea, a fresh voice and a story children will love, you could be in luck because that’s just what the organisers of this contest are looking for.  They’re also looking for fifteen quid from your pocket, but grit your teeth and think of the prize.  Your story should be suitable for a worldwide audience of youngsters between the ages of 7 and 18.  Your manuscript can run to 80,000 words, and there is a suggested minimum of 30,000.  You have to include a brief synopsis, a plot plan (as described on the website) and a letter explaining the book’s appeal to children (e.g. ‘It’s about fluffy bunnies - the hero likes to eat them.’).
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prize: A publishing contract with an advance of £10,000, plus representation by a top children’s literary agent.
    Entry Fee: £15.  And as if that isn’t bad enough, you have to send your entire manuscript by post. Imagine what that’s going to cost.  Yike.  Still, you’ve got plenty of time - send it second class.  Ah, but then you’ll be worried the promoters will think you’ve got no confidence/pride in your work.  There’s no escape.  Have a stiff drink before you go into the post office, then march boldly up the counter, heave your MS onto the scales and light up the shop with your nonchalant grin as you utter those ruinous words: ‘First class, please.’
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
16.5.14

 

The Rubery Short Story Competition.  This international contest from the people who brought us the Rubery Book Award is for short stories of up to 3,000 words.  The word ‘rubery’ is, incidentally, a corruption of ‘rubbery’ and was applied to books that bounced back from the remainder bin to become bestsellers, thus qualifying for the Rubbery Book Award which later fell victim to a typo as yet uncorrected.  Rubery is also a village on the edge of Birmingham - or so Wikipedia would have us believe.
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prizes: £500, £150, £50.
    Entry Fee: £7.50.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 2.7.14

 

Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize.  This contest, which is for fiction or non-fiction of between 1,000 and 1,500 words, is for young writers aged between 18 and 25.  Entries should interpret the following Benjamin Franklin quote for its significance today: ‘When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.’
    Closing : 31.10.14.
    Prizes: £750, £500.  Winners will be published on The Telegraph website.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
 23.7.14

 

Flash 500 Novel Opening Competition.  You are probably thinking: ‘I can open a novel better than anyone - I’ve opened thousands in the library.’  Alas, this contest is a little more complicated than that.  It requires you to write a novel opening.  And that’s the easy bit, as any novelist will tell you.  You then have to write a one-page synopsis of the rest of the story.  Aggghhhh!  The more you think about that story, the more you’ll want to put in the synopsis.  Fifty pages won’t be enough.  And when it’s done and you’ve sent it off, you’ll be haunted by the belief that you left out the best bits.  Sweet dreams.  Your entry should run to no more than 3,000 words plus the synopsis.
    Closing: 31.10.14.
    Prizes: £500, £200.
    Entry Fee: £10.  Optional critique: £25.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
15.8.14

 

Words on the Waves Competition.  You can heave two at this one as it’s for poems as well as short stories.  It comes from Wordsonthestreet, a Galway-based publishing company.  Stories should be no more than 3,000 words while poems can run to a very generous 100 lines.  It is not apparently necessary for your entry to have an ocean-going theme.
    Closing: 31.10.14.  The contest is open for submissions from 1.9.14.
    Prizes
(in each category: 750 euros, 250 euros, plus publication in the anthology.  Five shortlisted writers will also see their work in the anthology and they will receive a publication fee of 30 euros.
    Entry Fee (in euros): Stories - 15 for the first, 12 thereafter.  Poems - 10 for the first, 8 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.8.14

 

New Welsh Writing Awards 2015: People, Place & Planet.  This one from New Welsh Review in association with the World Wildlife Fund Cmyru is for non-fiction writing in what they say is the increasingly popular short form of between 8,000 and 30,000 words.  This writing should concern nature, the outdoors and the environment.  And it should be in English - so all those years you spent learning to write in Welsh have once again proved pointless.  You may structure your entry as an essay, or as a book (i.e with chapters, but not with a racy cover and breathless blurb).
    Closing: 1.11.14.
    Prizes: 1st - £1,000 plus e-publication of the entry and a critique by literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes and lunch with her in London.  You also get a weekend at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire.  If you’re thinking that sleeping with a load of old books doesn’t sound like much of a prize, wait till you see the place.  It resembles a stately home and is in fact the national memorial to William Gladstone who served as Prime Minister four times in the 1800s and never smiled once.  2nd - A week’s residential writing course at Ty Newydd.  Runners-up: possible ebook publication.
    Entry Fee: None - free to enter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.8.14

 

Dystopian Fiction Prize.  This contest from the Orwell Society commemorates the 65th anniversary of the publication of Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four.  It is open only to BA and MA level students at British universities.  To enter you write a dystopian story running to no more than 3,000 words in the narritive tradition set by Orwell in the aforementioned novel.
    Closing: 1.11.14.
    Prize: £500 and a bust of George Orwell.  The winner will be published in the Orwell Society’s newsletter and on the website.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here

 


Added
 5.8.14

 

Caledonia Novel Award.  To enter this new international contest from Scotland you submit the first 20 pages of a novel together with a 200-word sysnopsis and a separate cover sheet.  The cover sheet should bear the novel’s title, your name and your contact details.  You submit all this by email as two attachments, the first to contain the novel extract and synopsis (without your name), the second to hold the cover sheet with the aforementioned details.  I tell you all this in case you are one of those misguided souls who don’t read all the entry instructions on the contest website.  Usually I keep quiet and let you get yourselves disqualified, but today I’m in a good mood.  Hellie Ogden from top literary agents Janklow & Nesbit will be judging.
    Closing: 2.11.14.
    Prize: £1,000.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

RHS Photographic Competition.  All right, it isn’t strictly a literary contest, but you know what they say: a picture paints a thousand ships (never did understand that one).  I include this because every writer needs a way of making money, and this seems easy.  Just drag yourself away from your computer and stumble blinking into the great outdoors, then take a photo of some flower or other, or perhaps a garden on which someone else has done all the work, or maybe that snail you were thinking of throwing over the fence (Wildlife category), and send it in.  There are five categories for adults and two for children, all connected of course with gardens.
    Closing: 2.11.14.
    Prizes: RHS Photographer of the Year - £2,000.  RHS Young Photographer of the Year - £500 in Wex photographic vouchers.  Amongst the also-rans we have: Adult - £500, £250, £150.  Children - £150, £75, £50 in Wex photographic vouchers.
    Entry Fee: £6.  Under 18s free.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
23.7.14

 

Charles Causley Poetry Competition.  This annual contest in memory of one of our finest poets aims to raise funds to support the develpment the great man’s house for poetry residencies and other literary activities.  The competiton is for poems of up to 40 lines.  Entries are accepted by post only, and I would advise you to take care on your way to the post box, as the rules state that the organisers will not be responsible for any injury you may sustain as a result of entering the contest.  You’re not covered for disappointment either, they say.  Damn.  They’ve thought of everything.  Incidentally, you have to send three copies of each entry.
    Closing: 6.11.14 (noon).
    Prizes: £2,000, £250, £100.  Highly Commended (5) - £30.
    Entry Fee: £7 for the first, £4 thereafter.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
1.11.11

 

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

 


Added
 1.8.14

 

Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition.  This one from across the pond is, as the title indicates, for stories that are short short.  By short short they mean up to 1,500 words.  That’s stretching the definition of short short, if you ask me me.  Hemmingway wrote a story in six words.  I wonder what they’d call that?  The description would probably contain more words than the story.
    Closing: 17.11.14 (11.59pm EST).
    Prizes: 1st - $3,000.  2nd - $1,500.  3rd - $500.  4th to 10th - $100.  11th to 25th - $50 gift certificate for Writer’s Digest books.  The top 10 winners will be published in Writer’s Digest.
    Entry Fee: $20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 15.8.14

 

Museum of Words International Flash Fiction Contest.  This is the sixth of these annual competitions from the César Egido Serrano Foundation in Spain, an organisation whose interest lies in the promotion of words and dialogue as a means of uniting peoples.  It is for 100-word stories on any subject.  These may be entered in English, Spanish, Arabic or Hebrew.  See, I told you it was a waste of time learning Welsh. There wasn’t much point learning French either, but at least you can read a posh menu.
    Closing: 23.11.14.
    Prizes: 1st - $20,000.  Runners-up (3) - $2,000.  A runner-up winner will be selected from each of the three languages left after the overall winner has been chosen.
    Entry Fee: None - free entry.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 12.7.14

 

Magic Oxygen Literary Competition.  Here is a poetry and short story contest with a difference.  For every entry received, Magic Oxygen Publishing of Dorset will plant a tree in Kenya to create a ‘tropical word forest’.  And when the contest closes each entrant will receive the GPS co-ordinates of their tree.  It is not clear if you will have visiting rights or if you will be able to send your tree a card on its birthday, but you will certainly be able to feel good about helping to restore some of our plant’s lost greenery.  Poems should be limited to 50 lines while short stories can, if required, extend to 4,000 words.
    Closing: 30.11.14.
    Prizes (in each category): £1,000, £500, £100, and two of £50.
    Entry Fee: £5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.6.14

 

Atlantis Short Story Competition.  This contest from the USA is for stories of up to 2,500 words on any theme.  Every participant gets a brief comment and something called an evaluation table.
    Closing: 30.11.14.
    Prizes: $300, $100, $50.  Plus in-depth feedback for the top 15 entries and the option to have the story published on the website.
    Entry Fee: $10.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 1.7.14

 

The Plough Poetry Prize.  Arr, it be that time again.  The Plough Prize, which if I’m not mistaken was formerly known as The Hayseeds Award, 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 is Liz Lochhead, the Scots Makar (national poet).
    Closing: 30.11.14.
    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.

 


Added
 1.8.14

 

The Mona Schreiber Prize.  This American contest is for humorous fiction and non-fiction running to no more than 750 words.  Comic essays, poetry, short stories, scripts and humorous shopping lists are all acceptable.
    Closing: 1.12.14.
    Prizes: $500, $250, $100.
    Entry Fee: $5.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
17.7.14

 

Bath Novel Award.  To enter this international contest you submit the first 5,000 words and a synopsis of your novel.  This can be in any genre.
    Closing: 31.3.15.
    Prize: £1,000.
    Entry Fee: £20.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Added
 7.6.11

 

Hi Michael
     Just to say thanks to your website. I have won, not one, but two prizes! Having never entered a travel writing competition in my life before, I entered the Justback competition with the Telegraph, and won after a few attempts - working out what the travel editors liked.  I then came second in the British Guild of Travel Writers competition. Great site - keep up the good work.
                                                                                      -  Helen Moat

 


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.

 

 

 

Scribble Quarterly Short Story Competitions. This is run by short story magazine Scribble.  It is for stories on any subject, up to 3,000 words.
    Closing: Ongoing.
    Prizes: £75, £25, £15.
    Entry Fee: £3.
    Comp Page:
Click Here.

 


Updated
  3.1.12

 

Envoi International Poetry Competition.  This one, from the well-known though small magazine Envoi , is for poems up to 40 lines.
    Closing: 20th February each year.
    Prize: Poetry books to the value of £150, £100, £50.
    Entry Fee: £3.00 per poem or 5 for £12.00.
    Comp Page:
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  2014             Writer

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