Writing competitions: May 2016 deadlines

03 May

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’… currently half price (using a coupon code)!

Now, here are the competitions that finish this 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’
  • 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 – also see Indies Unlimited and ‘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 Fiction16th May is National Flash Fiction day and you can find some competitions (various dates) on
  • Flash Fiction: The Writing Competition is a short story competition hosted by Jeni Durlston-Powell. This writing contest offers writers the chance to win cash and publication, and is currently run quarterly (late Feb, late May, late Aug, late Nov). Short Stories up to 500 words. Titles to be limited to 10 words. Open theme and genre. Entry fee: £4. Prizes: £100, £75, £50. See and for details.
  • Flash Fiction: The Bridport Prize. Poems 42 lines max, short stories 5,000 words max, flash 250 words max. £15,000+ prize fund, closing date 31 May. See
  • Flash Fiction: Tethered by Letters’ Spring Flash Fiction Contest is “currently accepting flash fiction submissions of 55, 250, or 500 words in length. The flash fiction contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: May 31st. Prize: $150 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $7 per entry OR $15 for three entries. URL Info: Joe Reinis,
  • 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 24th May). Details in their competitions brochure. £7 per entry if attending, £9 if not.
  • Mixed: The Hourglass Literary Magazine Writing Contest has a 31st Maydeadline and runs three competitions: Best Short Story, Best Essay, and Best Poem. Awards: The winning entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. The jury, comprising highly respected authors Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox has the right to give a special prize (US$ 500 for entry in each category). Ten Finalists in each category will be published in the first issue of the literary magazine. All published works will be financially compensated and finalists will be provided with one copy of the printed edition of the Hourglass Literary Magazine.  Deadline: 11:59, 31st May 2016 (US Central time). Entry Fee: $13.59, $20 for up to three pieces (except for poetry where up to three submissions are accepted for $13.59). Winning Entry Published? Yes. Accepts Simultaneous Submissions: Multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous submissions). Theme: There are no theme, or genre limitations and boundaries. Helpful Hints: “Manifesto” of the literary magazine can be found here – . Participants at any time may contact the editorial office via email: contest {at} Names of finalists will be published on the Internet at: and/or the Hourglass Monthly Newsletter and also through our media sponsor (ELTA TV) at the official press conference scheduled for July 2016. Works can be sent in .doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt and .pdf format, with font size not exceeding 12 points. Contest is anonymous and will be blind judged. The submission page is
  • Mixed: The International Yeovil Literary Prize has a closing date of 31st May and there are three categories: THE NOVEL – Please send the synopsis with opening chapters (up to 15,000 words in total) : Prizes: 1st = £1,000; 2nd = £250; 3rd = £100. Fee £11. THE SHORT STORY – Up to a maximum of 2,000 words. Prizes: 1st = £500; 2nd = £200; 3rd = £100. Fee £6. POETRY – A poem with a maximum of 40 lines. Prizes: 1st = £500; 2nd = £200; 3rd = £100. Fee £6, two for £9, three for £11. The Yeovil Literary Prize can be entered online or by post. The judges are all professional writers and publishers. For details see the website ( or write to: Yeovil Literary Prize, The Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil, BA20 1UX.
  • (opens May, closes 30th September – see ‘September’ for full details).
  • 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-fiction: another non-fiction competition is FBFT Sports Writing.
  • Novels: Legend Press, the leading independent publisher in the UK has an annual bursary prize for writers called the Luke Bitmead Bursary. “The prize was set up in honour of Luke Bitmead. His debut novel was the first novel Legend Press published but sadly, after struggling with depression, Luke committed suicide. The award has been set up by his mother in partnership with us to support and encourage the work of struggling writers, and is the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished authors. This is an award that we are very proud to run and I am emailing you today to let you know about it in case any of your writers would be interested in entering. Submissions must be adult fiction, and only completed novels will be considered. Full guidelines can be found on our websiteClosing: Submissions open 1st May until 1st AugustPrizes: A publishing contract with Legend Press and a £2,500 cash bursary. Entry Fee: £10 per entry to support the prize.”
  • 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: Words With JAM is running a ‘First Page Competition’ where you can enter the first page of a finished novel, work in progress or page specifically written for the competition. Closing date 31st May. Prizes £500 / £100 / £50 with fee of £6 first entry, £4 per entry thereafter. See for details.
  • Playwriting: RealDeal Theatre is looking for 10-15 minute scripts for its new event, Popcorn Saturday!, short plays inspired by the movies, to be held late June to be held at Westminster Reference Library, off London’s Leicester Square. Entries to A link straight to the entry details
  • Playwriting: Lightship First Act Competition. Judges: Micheline Steinberg, Dave Whybrow, Anthony McCarten. Maximum 6,000 words, closing date 31 May. See
  • Playwriting: Pint-sized Plays. Scripts should be capable of being staged in a pub with a running time of 5-10 mins, closing date 31 May. See
  • Poetry: You are invited to enter the Annual Artists Embassy International Poetry Contest. Deadline: mid May. Cash Awards: First, Second & Thirds Prizes. For information and rules…
  • PoetryTemplar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection Awards closes for submissions on 7th May.
  • Poetry: The Montreal International Poetry Prize has a top prize $20,000 CDN, single poem, max 40 lines. Closing date 15th May. See
  • PoetryThe Welsh Poetry Competition. £4 entry per poem. Prizes: £400, £200, £100. The deadline is 26th May. Poems in English, 50 lines, unpublished. See for entry forms and rules.
  • Poetry: The second ‘Poems Please Me’ Poetry Competition has a deadline of 31st May. Entry is by subscription to the site and the example given is a ‘single’ at £12 which entitles you to three entries to the competition. See for more details.
  • Poetry: The fourth Battered Moons Poetry Competition is now open to all UK residents aged 18 or over and accepts poems on any topic and style of up to 40 lines. Main judge Alice Oswald and Cristina Newton will read all the poems. The 3 winners and 4 commended poets will be invited to read their poems at the Swindon Festival of Poetry early October. Winning and commended poems will appear in the Battered Moons pamphlet and website. First prize, £300; second, £150; third, £75. Entry fee: £3 each poem or £10 for 4. Closing date for entries is 31st May. Online and postal entries accepted. For further information and to enter, visit Queries to Cristina Newton on Supported by Swindon Artswords, the Swindon Festival of Poetry, and Arts Council England.
  • Poetry: David Burland International Poetry Prize – in either French or English – closing date 31st May, 1st prize £200 + website publication. See
  • Poetry: The Bridport Prize. Poems 42 lines max, short stories 5,000 words max, flash 250 words max. £15,000+ prize fund, closing date 31st May. See
  • Poetry: The Frogmore Poetry Prize has been annual since 1987. You can win 200 guineas and 2-year sub to The Frogmore Papers. Max 40 lines, closing date 31st May. See
  • Poetry: Tethered by Letters’ Spring Poetry Contest is “currently accepting poetry submissions of all genres and styles—from traditional form to free verse. Length requirements are no more than three pages per poem, single-spaced with double spacing between stanzas. The poetry contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL online monthly poetry feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: May 31st. Prize: $150 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $7 per entry OR $15 for three entries. URL: Contact Info: Joe Reinis,
  • Poetry: The Wigtown Poetry Competition has a 29th May deadline. First Prize: Main Prize £1,500. Runner-up £400. Gaelic Prize £250. Scots Prize £250*. Eight additional prizes of £25 each. See the website for fee structure (first poem £6.50, less per poem for multiple entries). Winners will be invited to read their poems at the Wigtown Book Festival (late September to early October).  Winning poems will be published on the Festival website. For further details, rules and entry form, visit: Also or telephone 01988 402036. * “Scotland’s International Poetry Prize, Open to All”
  • 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 Bridport Prize (also shorts / flash), PartnersTemplar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection AwardsWriting Magazine (WM: subscriber-only theme: poetry for children), Stephen Spender.
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • ScriptwritingMini Operas scriptwriting competition opens March closes May.
  • ScriptwritingThe 10th Annual Screenwriting Challenge is a competition open to screenwriters around the world. There are 3 rounds of competition. In the 1st Round (June), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment (see examples of past assignments here). Writers have 8 days to write an original short screenplay no longer than 12 pages. The judges choose a top 5 in each heat to advance to the 2nd Round (July) where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write an 8 page (maximum) short screenplay. Judges choose a top 25 from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 5 page (maximum) screenplay in just 24 hours (August). It’s easy to register.  First, download and read the Official Rules and Participation Agreement.  Once you have read, understood, and agree to the terms, you are ready to register by clicking here.  The entry fee is USD $39* until the Early Entry Deadline of mid-May and USD $49* until the Final Entry Deadline of mid-June.
  • Short Stories: Tethered by Letters’ Spring Short Story Contest is “currently accepting short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words. The short story contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Five finalists will be considered for subsequent journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: May 31st. Prize: $500 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $15 per entry. URL: Info: Joe Reinis,
  • 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: Curry Mallet History Festival Short Story Competition judge is novelist Amelia Carr, max 2500 words with the title The Reunion or The Journey or The Letter, 1st prize £100, closing date 17 May. See
  • Short stories: The Bridport Prize. Poems 42 lines max, short stories 5,000 words max, flash 250 words max. £15,000+ prize fund, closing date 31 May. See
  • Short stories: The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition welcomes ghost stories from 2,000 – 5,000 words. Closing date: 31st May. (Annual competition). Prizes: First prize £500, second prize £100. Entry fee:  £6 for one story; £9 for two stories submitted together. For more details, see:
  • Short storiesGlimmer Train (different category each month), The Lorian HemingwayWriting MagazineBiscuit Publishing.
  • Short storiesHayley Sherman also 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 storiesSaga is running a ghost short story competition. Max 3,000 words. Deadline: 31st May.
  • 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 this blog’s Competitions page.

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