April-deadline writing competitions

Every month I post the next month’s writing competitions (taken from this blog’s competitions calendar page) and below are those with April deadlines (relevant as at the date of this blog post). Good luck if you enter and do let me know how you get on.

I will be adding more so keep an eye out for the latest info. on the competitions calendar page which also lists regular competitions (weekly, monthly, quarterly) and competition websites (scroll down to December and keep going).

  • Children’s: puffindigitalprize.co.uk.
  • Flash FictionIndies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
  • Flash Fiction: Weekly challenge on theironwriter.com.
  • 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.
  • Flash Fiction: The NLG Flash Fiction Competition (that I am Head Judge of) is now open – see ‘June’ for full details.
  • Flash Fiction: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • Mixed: Winchester Writers’ Conference has opened their mixed writing competitions (deadline late May). Details in their competitions brochure. £7 per entry if attending, £9 if not.
  • Mixed: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month.
  • 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.
  • NovelsNovel 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. NB. The entry fee is $45 so give this very careful consideration.
  • NovelsRubery Book Award First Prize is £1,000 and the winning book is guaranteed to be read by a top London literary agent from MBA Lit. Second and third prizes are £200 and £75 respectively. The books should either be published by an independent press or self-published. All genres welcome. Visit ruberybookaward.com for more details. Deadline 30th April.
  • Playwriting: The King’s Cross Award For New Writing. Up to two full-length plays may be entered per writer, unpublished and unperformed scripts only. £5,000 prize. Closing date 30 Aprilthecourtyard.org.uk/content/25/writers-group.
  • Poetry: Poetry-Next-The-Sea Open Competition. Judge Heidi Williamson, max 40 lines, £100 first prize, closing date 6 Aprilpoetry-next-the-sea.com/index.html.
  • Poetry: UK’S First Bug Poetry Competition marking Buglife’s tenth year as the only conservation charity in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, closing date 8 April.
  • Poetry: Buxton Poetry Competition History and Heritage theme, all ages, judge Philip Wells, 40 lines max, closing date 8 Aprilderby.ac.uk/buxtonpoetrycompetition.
  • 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.
  • Poetry: other poetry competitions include Nonsense Poetry & Flash FictionVerWriting Magazine (WM: open to all theme: horror), poetrypf.co.uk, swconline.co.uk.
  • Poetry & Short stories: Deddington Writers’ Group Open Writing Competition Short Story or Poem. Competition information and entry forms available from website end January or send SAE to: 7, The Daedings, Deddington, OX15 ORT. 1st prize: £100, 2nd: £50,  3rd: £25, awarded in both categories. Closing date 13 April. See deddington.org.uk/community/arts/writing or deddingtonfestival.org.uk.
  • Poetry: The Royal Berkshire Poetry Competition open to all, 40 lines max, 1st prize £200, closing date 14 Aprilglowmagazine.me/poetry-competition.
  • Poetry: Poetry on the Lake International Poetry Competition has a theme of ‘metal’. Top prizes of €200, judges include Anne-Marie Fyfe, closing date 22 April. See poetryonthelake.org.
  • Poetry: Ver Poets Open Competition. 1st prize £600. 30 lines max, closing date 30 April. See verpoets.org.uk/news/competitions.
  • Poetry: Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition. Prizes: £600, £250, £100. £100: The Ware Sonnet Prize. Anthology publication for winners and shortlisted poets (£3.50 pre-ordered). Closing date 30 April. Informal prize-giving ceremony at Ware Arts Centre in July. Fee: £4;  4 poems for £12, then £3 per poem (in the same submission). Length:  up to 50 lines. Sole judge: Susan Utting. Include contact sheet with usual details. Download flyer from website, or send SAE: The Competition Secretary, Ware Poets Competition, 21 Trinity Road, Ware, Herts. SG12 7DB or email: warepoets_competition@hotmail.co.uk and see poetrypf.co.uk/images/compware13.pdf.
  • Poetry: Southport Writers’ Circle International Poetry Competition. First Prize £150, Second Prize £75, Third Prize £25 A maximum of 40 lines per poem is allowed. Closing date 30 April. See swconline.co.uk/n1/?cat=5.
  • Poetry: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • Screenwritingoscars.org/awards/nicholl/apply.html is a screenwriting competition with a late April deadline.
  • ScriptRoyal Court Theatre’s 100-word plays and ‘Ticket to Write’: competition for stage plays about The Beatles lasting 15 minutes, closing date 5 Aprilacedrama.co.uk/index.html
  • Scriptwriting: The Nick Darke Award is open to all writers – stage play screenplay or radio play – prize fund £6,000. Closing date 29 Aprilfalmouth.ac.uk/nickdarkeaward.
  • Short stories: William Trevor / Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 1st prize €3,000, closing date 5 Aprilmitchelstownlit.com/index.html.
  • Short stories & Poetry: Deddington Writers’ Group Open Writing Competition, Short Story or Poem. Competition information and entry forms available from website end January or send SAE to: 7, The Daedings, Deddington, OX15 ORT. 1st prize: £100, 2nd: £50,  3rd: £25, awarded in both categories. Closing date 13 April. See deddington.org.uk/community/arts/writing or deddingtonfestival.org.uk.
  • 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: The Fowey Festival of Words and Music (formerly the Daphne du Maurier Festival) has announced the launch of the Short Story Competition. First Prize is £100 and Runner-up £75. Entry is £6.00 and entry form and full details at foweyfestival.com/the-du-maurier-festival-society-short-story-competition. The closing date is 19th April.
  • Short storiesGlimmer Train (different category each month), The Moth-Altun Short Story PrizeNonsense Poetry & Flash FictionNottingham Writing Magazine (WM: open to all theme: horror / subscriber-only theme: food), francobritishcouncil.org.uk, west-linton.org.uk/content/pentlands-writers-group. Also see Deddington in ‘Poetry…’ above.
  • 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 stories: Young Writers’ Competition. The annual Young Writers’ Competition at Jane Austen’s House Museum is entering its fourth year and is now open for entries. Annalie Talent, Education Officer said ‘Next year is the 200th anniversary of publication of Pride and Prejudice and so we have made the theme of the competition First Impressions which was the original title of Jane’s best-loved novel.’ Entries should be short stories of 300-400 words and entrants can interpret the theme in any way they want. Entry is open to all UK school pupils in school years 7-11. There are two categories: years 7 and 8 and years 9, 10 & 11. The competition will be judged by Professor Kathryn Sutherland of St Anne’s College Oxford and the Museum’s previous Writer-in-Residence, Rebecca Smith.
Closing date 26 April. See jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk for details.
  • Short stories: first Annual Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition. Theme Journeying, max 2000 words, closing date 30 Aprilredsquirrelpress.com/SquirrelCOMP.html.
  • Short stories: The James Plunkett Short Story Award for new and emerging writing talent, open to all writing in English who have not had a short story collection published. 1st prize €2,000, max 3000 words. Next closing date 30 April. See ireland-writers.com/index.htm.
  • Short stories: The Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all writers internationally over 16 years of age. Stories can be on any theme or subject and entry can be made online via the website or by post. Entries must be previously unpublished with a maximum length of 4,000 words (There is no minimum). Entry fee £8 per story. Closing date 30 April. 1st prize £1,000 plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card. 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology. See bristolprize.co.uk.
  • Short storiesMassacre Magazine runs a quarterly horror 250-word max short story competition. Deadlines end April, July, October, January. “We will pick one winner who will receive a £15/$20 Amazon voucher and have their story published in the summer issue of Massacre Magazine. Our decision is final, any moaners will be mangled.” 🙂
  • Short stories: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • NB. Don’t forget to check out the competitions calendar page for regular competitions and comp websites.


Related articles (tips on entering writing competitions)


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