5a.m. Flash 120812 – August deadline writing competitions

Every now and then at 5a.m. (probably posted by my clone) I will be bringing you a newsflash, update on what I’m doing, invited guest piece, or whatever takes my fancy, and today I’m talking about writing competitions…

It’s been a while since I mentioned the competitions listed on my blog and I’ve been adding loads in the past few weeks. The page is laid out in a calendar format with the current month at the top, and I know we’re already half-way through the month but you may have something already written with nowhere to go and one of these might just be the perfect place…

NB. I may well not have tried these competitions myself so please take a good look at the websites before parting with money and submitting your hard work!  ALSO please note that not all the competitions run each year so please check their validity before entering (and their guidelines do change from year to year).

Colour Key: blue = external websites, purple = emails, green = pages on this blog

Details of the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition (deadline end October) that one of my writing groups runs is here. This year we have a theme (and new judge: Stephen Booth): ‘A walk at midnight’.


and then not forgetting those that aren’t date-specific…

  • Flash FictionIndies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Co-run by interviewee Kat ‘K.S.’ Brooks. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
  • Poetry: Buxton’s Word Wizards slam poetry competition runs in the coffee lounge at the Grove Hotel, Buxton, Derbyshire, UK at 7:30pm on the last Tuesday of every month. Entry is £2.50. More info can be obtained by e-mailing Rob at: poetryslamUK@aol.com.
  • PoetryWell Versed is the weekly poetry column of daily UK newspaper the Morning Star, published every Thursday, in print and online. Poetry editor Jody Porter. Under the stewardship of the late and esteemed John Rety, Well Versed developed into a widely-read forum for new and established writers. Send submissions, with biographical information, to: wveditor@gmail.com. Poems need not be overtly political, but space is limited so they must be short to medium in length.
  • Short storiesFlash Fiction Online are currently closed to submissions (I guess because they’re overwhelmed), but it’ll be worth checking their website every now and then.
  • MixedMixedPockets and Creative Print Publishing (both have different themes each month), Opening Editions (free).
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • Short storiesBrighton COW (currently on hiatus), Coast to CoastWriting / Writers’ News magazines and Opening Editions.
  • Short storiesBound Off now take submissions via Submishmash.
  • Short storiesHayley Sherman runs a monthly short story competition for submissions on any subject up to 2,000 words. The winners are published on the website, promoted online and receive a £10 First Writer voucher. All entrants are also considered for publication in The New Short Story Annual at the end of the year. Deadline 25th of the month.
  • Short storieshttp://www.fivestopstory.com/write: 2012 competitions cost £4 per entry (2 for £7, 3 for £8, optional feedback £5) and have monthly prizes of £50. There is also a £150 prize for the overall winner of their 2012 league table and you can become a member for £25 which entitles you to 3 free entries per month (2012).

If you discover any broken links, closed competitions or know of ones that I haven’t listed here, please do email me with details.


You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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