5a.m. Flash 061212 – December 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 writing competitions.

I have a Competitions Calendar on my blog and below are some competitions that have December deadlines.

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).

  • Children’sThe Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices and www.theredtelephone.co.uk.
  • Flash FictionIndies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
  • Flash Fiction: Writer Austin Briggs runs a monthly 55-word competition (different theme each month). It’s free to enter and you can win $55 (of his own money!).
  • Mixed: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month.
  • Mixed (novels & short story collections): iWriteReadRate and Cornerstones Literary Consultancy (http://www.voteformyebook.com) are offering a monthly social competition to members of the community – see ‘Monthly’ towards the end of this page.
  • Playwriting: New Perspectives has a £1000 prize fund for their Dream Up script competition which ends 21st December. Open to any writer living in the East Midlands area of England, the theme is ‘Starting out in the East Midlands’ and should last no longer than 10-15 minutes with a maximum of four characters. See http://newperspectives.co.uk/STEPUP for more details.
  • Poetry: Print Express are running their first poetry competition and this is free to enter, with the winner will receive £100 worth of Amazon vouchers. The theme is ‘Winter’ and poems must be no longer than 45 lines. The deadline for this is the 28th December 2012.  You can view further details here: http://www.printexpress.co.uk/blog/2011/10/17/the-print-express-poetry-competition
  • Poetry: Other poetry competitions include Anthony HechtHolland Park Presswww.le.ac.uk/engassoc and Writing Magazine (WM: subscriber-only theme: waiting for the post).
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • Screenwritingwww.screenplay-competition.com.
  • 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. Heather Marie Schuldt runs a similar contest, although 500-750 words max., but with the same deadline.
  • Short storiesWriters’ Village runs a quarterly short story competition which attracts entrants worldwide. Click here for the rules… and every entrant receives invaluable critique! Their winter deadline is 31st December.
  • Short stories: The Bath Short Story Award opened October 2012 for entries – see ‘March’.
  • Short storiesFive Stop StoryGlimmer Train (different category each month), Willesden Heraldwww.westcountrywriters.comWords MagazineWriting Magazine (WM: open to all theme: first line ‘This won’t be as much fun, Jessica thought.’ / subscriber-only theme: moving on).


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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and 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 posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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