Writing competitions: April 2016 deadlines

27 Mar

Hello everyone. If you’re looking to enter a writing competition (or even if you weren’t), there are some listed below, taken from this blog’s Competitions page. There are also regular (weekly, monthly etc) competition on that page so do take a look at those.

And if you’d like some advice on entering competitions, take a look at my online creative writing courses page for my ‘Entering Writing Competitions’… just £1 (using a coupon code) until 3rd April!

Now, here are the competitions that finish next month. Most competitions roll over from year to year but if you find any aren’t running this year, please leave a comment in the box below. Thank you.

  • Children’
  • Children’sSmall but Mighty Writers runs free-to-enter writing competitions for authors aged 7-11 and 12-15, as well as being a ‘creative writing community for young writers’. Competitions currently close 1st January, 1st April, 1st July, and 1st October. The results will be released on the 14th of each of those months. 1st prize: A bundle of writing goodies and their entry published on their website. Two runners up: £5 book vouchers.
  • Flash Fiction: I now run a free monthly 100-word competition (different theme each month – month-end deadline – you could win my up to three of my Online Courses each month) and 500-word challenge (where you challenge me to write a story, giving me the prompts – you could win up to 5,000-word free editing – deadline 15th of the month).
  • Flash FictionIndies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
  • Flash Fiction: Weekly challenge on
  • 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 New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • Flash Fiction / Short StoriesThe Writer’s Notebook is a monthly, free to enter short story competition. Each month has a set theme, and each writer can submit up to 2 stories per month. A new theme opens on the 1st of each month, and the deadline for entries is the 28th of each month. Future themes are available to view on our webpage. The prize is publication of the short story in our Anthology at the end of the year, and an equal share of sale profits of said Anthology. It is an experimental idea for a free to enter writing competition, relying on social media to drive sales of the Anthology and increase the prize. Stories should be 400-1500 words. A short list of three stories will be published on our blog for our readers to vote for a winner. For more information please see
  • Flash fiction: An ongoing competition is the NAWG’s ‘100’ competition. The task is to write a 100-word story exactly (usually excluding the title) and when they have 100 stories in, the judge picks his / her favourite and awards £75 to the winner and £25 to the runner-up. Entry is £3 for the first story, £5.50 for two or £8 for three. Details on
  • Mixed: The Pen Cove Award (see ‘January’).
  • 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 ( are offering a monthly social competition to members of the community – see ‘Monthly’ towards the end of this page.
  • Non-fictionWriter’s Drawer is running a travel-writing competition ending mid April.
  • 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 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.
  • Novels / Non-FictionRubery Book Award First Prize is £1,000 (approx US$1,590 / €1,277) and the winning book is guaranteed to be read by a top London literary agent, plus a minimum of the three category winners each winning £100 (approx $159 / €127). Entry fee details and entry form all on the website: 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
  • Poetry: Poetry-Next-The-Sea Open Competition. Judge Heidi Williamson, max 40 lines, £100 first prize, closing date 6
  • 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
  • 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:
  • Poetry: other poetry competitions include Nonsense Poetry & Flash FictionVerWriting Magazine (WM: open to all theme: horror),
  • 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 or
  • Poetry: The Royal Berkshire Poetry Competition open to all, 40 lines max, 1st prize £200, closing date 14
  • 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
  • Poetry: Ver Poets Open Competition. 1st prize £600. 30 lines max, closing date 30 April. See
  • 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: and see
  • 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
  • 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.
  • is a screenwriting competition with a late Aprildeadline.
  • Script: The Ticket to Write Beatles-themed Festival playwriting contest is now open for entries for the fourth year. “We are currently exploring several venues and slots in Liverpool to perform the selected plays.
    As usual the plays can be about the people, stories inspired by songs and song-titles or any genuine connection with The Beatles. The script should be 40 – 45 minutes long and able to be performed by a maximum of four actors. More characters are allowed if it is practical to multi-role. The winner gets a tasty £150 and it costs only £10 to enter. Entries must be in by early April. All plays will be assessed anonymously by a theatre professional and three will go forward to be performed. Professional judges and the audience vote will count towards the final result. All entries will receive a considered written critique from the assessor who will receive all of the £10 entry fee. A windfall has enabled us to fund the prize money.
    Full details are under ‘How To Enter’ on our website”
  • Scriptwriting: The Nick Darke Award is open to all writers – stage play screenplay or radio play – prize fund £6,000. Closing date 29
  • Short stories: William Trevor / Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 1st prize €3,000, closing date 5
  • 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 or
  • Short stories: The Limnisa Short Story Competition 2016 is an international contest open worldwide and is for short stories on any subject up to 3,000 words. Closing: April 15, 2016. 1st Prize: One week Writers’ Retreat or Workshop in 2016 or 2017 at Limnisa, our seaside location near Agios Georgios, Methana, Greece: All inclusive: Full board, 7 nights accommodation in single room, optional daily yoga sessions, literary evening, use of all Limnisa facilities: beach, bikes, international library etc. OR five online sessions of personal tutoring. 2nd and 3rd Prize: 50 % discount on the Writers’ Retreat or Workshop (see above). OR a free online session of personal tutoring or feedback on written work. 2 Runners up: 25% discount on the Writers’ Retreat or Workshop (see above). Questions regarding entries should be directed to: Entry Fee: FREE. Please like and share our Facebook page. Competition Page:!competitions/mw0t7.
  • 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:
  • 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 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), 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 for details.
  • Short stories: first Annual Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition. Theme Journeying, max 2000 words, closing date 30
  • 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
  • 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. Second placed £700. Third £400. The next 17 runners up will receive £100 each. All 20 shortlisted will have their stories published in the next Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology and be invited to the prize-giving (in Bristol, South West England) in October. See
  • 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 ongoing competition websites listed at the end of the Competitions page.



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