Every month, I post the next month’s writing competitions (taken from this blog’s competitions calendar page) and below are those with January deadlines (relevant as at the date of this blog post). Good luck if you enter and let me know how you get on.
- Children’s: Frances Lincoln.
- Flash Fiction: Fiction Desk, Indies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
- Flash Fiction: The Fiction Desk Annual Flash Fiction Competition has a deadline of 31 January. The first prize is £200, with four runner-up prizes of £25. Stories 250 to 1,000 words. The entry fee is £3 for one story, or £7.50 for three stories submitted together. Full details and online entry forms can be found at http://www.thefictiondesk.com/submissions/flash-fiction-competition.php.
- 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!).
- Flash Fiction: Each week on theironwriter.com, four writers agree to compose a five hundred word story involving the same four elements. Please remember to give your story a title. The stories can be in any genre except erotica. The writers will not know what the four elements are prior to committing to the challenge. There is a four-day time limit to complete the story. I email the elements early Thursday morning, my time. The story is due at midnight, Sunday, your time. Each author retains full and complete copyright of their story submitted to The Iron Writer for this competition. However, it is understood each story will remain on this website indefinitely. The Iron Writer will not publish any submission outside this website without express permission from the author. So, if you are up to the challenge, please email me at HERE and we can schedule when you are willing to participate. Please include your main blog or website. I will link your story to your site. You may participate as often as you want.
- Flash Fiction: Each month the Scottish Book Trust provides a prompt to get you started, but where the <50-word story goes from there is entirely up to you. Their favourite story will be published on their page and the writer will receive a lovely Novel Poster from The Literary Gift Company. You can submit your story in the body of an email or as an attachment and remember to include your full name with your entry. They also welcome entries in Gaelic or Scots.
- Mixed: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month.
- Mixed: The Pen Cove Award (formerly the Whidbey Writing Competition). This contest from Whidbey Writers Workshop in the USA is open worldwide and is for fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and writing for children or young adults. Up to 1,000 words. I’m told they have a rather strange way of selecting a winner for this one. The judge reads submissions until he or she finds one that ‘knocks his/her socks off’. Never mind that the next one might have divested the judge of his/her pants and woolly vest, the remaining entries are tossed aside without so much as a glance. However, you can submit you entry again if it isn’t selected (try to get it in early, as entries are read in order of submission). Closing: Monthly. Prize: $50. Entry Fee: Free to enter. Comp Page: whidbeystudents.com/student-choice-contest.
- Mixed (novels & short story collections): iWriteReadRate and Cornerstones Literary Consultancy (voteformyebook.com) are offering a monthly social competition to members of the community – see ‘Monthly’ towards the end of this page.
- Mixed: Bronte Society Creative Competition invites you to write a poem, short story or illustrate a scene from a Brontë novel. Judges Margaret Drabble, Simon Armitage, Victoria Brookland. 3 x £500 first prizes, deadline 31 January. See bronte.org.uk/bronte-society/creative-competition.
- Non-fiction: Nature writing essays welcomed for the Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. The deadline is early January.
- Novel: Lightship First Novel Prize: Have you written a literary or genre novel? Enter the beginning of it into Lightship’s First Novel Prize for a chance to win a publishing contract with Alma Books 1st prize £1,000 closing date 31st January 2014
- Novels: Novel Rocket runs an annual Launch Pad Contest: Boosting You Out of the Slush Pile. Entries will be accepted in all genres beginning mid-January. The deadline for submission is different for genre categories according to the following schedule. In each case, entries must be received by 11:59 PM EST on the 10th day of the month (April to September) listed on novelrocket.com/p/launch-pad-contest.html. They also post a new writing-related article seven days a week, from author interviews to marketing discussions to articles about the craft of writing.
- Novels: Other novel competitions closing in January include booklinethinker.com/hookline.
- Plays: Bruntwood (OPENS 31st January).
- Poetry: Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition has a First Prize: £1000, 2nd: £300, 3rd: £100, 4th: 4 x £50. Entry fee: £5 per poem. 3 or more poems: £4 each. Closing date: 31st January. Entries to: The Competition Organiser, 26 Courtlands, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5AS. Put name and address on separate sheet – not on poem or enter online and pay by Paypal. For more details, go to: kentandsussexpoetry.com.
- Poetry: other poetry competitions include Haiku Calendar, Hippocrates, Leaf Press, Strokestown, Writing / Writers’ News magazines (monthly), haikusoc.ndo.co.uk, slipstream-poets.co.uk, bevlit.org.
- Poetry: The Writers’ Forum Poetry Competition is a monthly contest for poems of up to 40 lines. Closing: Monthly. Entries arriving too late (after the 15th) 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 critique (sae required if entering by post). Comp Page: writers-forum.com/poetrycomp.html.
- Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
- Short stories: Home-Start Bridgwater Short Story Prize has a January deadline and this year’s judge is Dame Margaret Drabble.
- Short stories: The Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition is a monthly no-theme contest for stories between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Closing: Monthly. Entries arriving too late (after the 15th) for one month go forward to the next. Prizes: £350, £150, £100 and publication in Writers’ Forum magazine (and possible anthology). Entry Fee: £3 per story for subscribers, £6 each non-subscribers. £5 extra for a critique (sae required if entering by post). Comp Page: http://writers-forum.com/storycomp.html.
- Short stories: Hayley 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 stories: The Bath Short Story Award opened October for entries – see ‘March’.
- Short stories: Writer Selection has a 31st January deadline and 200-2000 word count. Prizes £150, £50, £25. Entry is free and all entrants receive a year’s membership (normally £10).
- Short stories: The James White Award seeks science fiction stories from non-professional authors. Writers have the opportunity to win cash and publication in a leading UK sci-fi magazine. Open to non-professional authors only (see the website for what classifies a professional author). Stories up to 6,000 words. For science fiction stories. Broad interpretations of the genre are welcome. One entry per author. No fan fiction. International writers welcome. Original and unpublished works only. Stories cannot have been previously entered into the James White Award in any other year. Deadline: 31st January. Free entry. Prize: £200 and publication in Interzone, the UK’s leading science fiction magazine. See http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/rules for details.
- Short stories: Other competitions include Bury St Edmunds, Chudleigh, Fiction Desk, Glimmer Train (different category each month), Home-Start Bridgewater, Mslexia, National Galleries Scotland, Nottingham Writers’ Club, Writing / Writers’ News magazines (monthly), flair4words.co.uk/news.
Related articles (tips on entering writing competitions)
- advice from yours truly: http://www.dellagalton.co.uk/?p=1661
- and from this blog, posts by Ben Skinner, Dal Burns, John Yeoman.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options (including author spotlights, interview, poetry, flash fiction, short story reviews etc.) listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
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I welcome items for critique directly (see Editing & Critique) or for posting on the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.