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Guest post: Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing by Jane Hertenstein

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of the delightful short short, is brought to you by Jane Hertenstein.

Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing

My writing was languishing. After a number of brilliant early successes, I suddenly found myself remaindered. Hot dogs seemed to have a longer shelf life than the novel I had just slaved over for five years. I couldn’t face another long slog. Let alone the money—the deal I got was negligible. Smaller than the poo I scooped up on the sidewalk after the dog.

Back to the beginning.

I’d sit in front of the keyboard and daydream, or play Solitaire, my latest obsession. I needed some positive reinforcement and fast. But what did I know outside of my own existence. With that, I hit upon the idea of memoir, or at least using autobiographical details to enhance my fiction. I was also at the same time experimenting with flash.

I quickly typed up a flash inspired simply by a friend who likes to keep her cell phone handy, as in tucked inside her bra. My brain flashed back to my grandmother. Thus, I wrote “Granny’s Pockets.” After lunch I came back and edited it down to 100 words and submitted it to Friday Flash Fiction, (http://www.fridayflashfiction.com/100-word-stories/grannys-pockets-by-jane-hertenstein) where it was accepted and posted by the end of the afternoon.

Well, that was instant gratification!

At my blog Memoirous (http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com), which I use as a platform to publicize my I started a column called Hot Flash, hoping to spark memories with my readers/writers. After compiling the best of these, I am launching an eBook, Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing (available shamelessly EVERYWHERE!).

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to get the engine of memory to turn over. Once started memories, whether invited or not, continue to roll over us. What one needs to do is create a habit of acting upon these flashes by quickly jotting them down before they disappear. Using a process I call Write Right Now, I encourage readers to do just this: build a portfolio of small flash memories that will eventually be expanded upon or become the foundation for a scene. Memories are the building blocks to most everything we write.

For some of us sitting down to transcribe or pen a memoir can be an overwhelming task. I recommend approaching it in bite-size pieces or rather applying flash. By freeze framing a moment, a memory, like a camera snapshot, and dwelling there you are creating the foundation for longer memoir, a jumping off place to expand upon later. (see my other eBook, Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir)

The nice thing about flash is that it can be unresolved. There often isn’t enough space/word count to fully explore the memory. And, like so many of our memories, there is an undercurrent of lose threads, fuzzy blurred beginnings and endings with little or no significance. They simply are.

So set yourself the task to sit down and set down these memories. Perhaps, begin with a prompts from my book, Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing.

Taste is a huge trigger—recall Proust in In Search of Lost Time or also known as Remembrance of Things Past where he writes about involuntary memory instigated by a simple cookie. Dunking a tea biscuit can easily lead one on a journey into the past. Some call this nostalgia or déjà vu.

Write Right Now: Think about some unforgettable taste that still lingers in your mouth. I once wrote about my mother’s fruitcake, archival and unforgettable, also useful as a door stopper. Write right now.

Thank you, Jane. That was fascinating.

Jane Hertenstein’s current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 40 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre both micro and macro. Her latest book Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir is available through Amazon. Jane is a 2-time recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She can be found blogging about Flash Memoir at http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com.

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Related articles:

and from this blog, my guests who have written on this topic are… Alberta Ross, Helen M Hunt, Morgen Bailey, Roger Hurn, Sarah Grace Logan, and Warren Bull.

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 listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

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October-deadline writing competitions

The following are October-deadline writing competitions taken from this blog’s Competitions page. Do let me know if you find any are incorrect or out of date, and do let me know how you get on if you enter any of them.

  • Children’sThe Times/Chicken House.
  • Children’s: The charity the National y Trust has launched with Bloomsbury Books, The New Children’s Author Prize, set to unearth brilliant new talent in writing for children. The deadline is 31st October and the details are on http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/authorprize.
  • Flash Fiction: I now run a free monthly 100-word competition with the chance to win my online writing courses – details here.
  • 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: The SSCHQ Crime and Mystery Flash Fiction Competition is a writing competition hosted right here at Short Story Competition HQ. Members of SSCHQ are invited to submit crime and mystery stories for the chance to win publication and promotion. Join for free here. Short stories up to 800 words maximum. Closing Date: 7 October. Free entry. Prize = publication. Details on http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/sschq-crime-and-mystery-flash-fiction-competition. Their Sci-Fi competitionFantasy competitionHorror competitionRomance competition, and Literary competition have the same rules.
  • 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 FictionWords with JAM‘s ‘Shorter Story’ and ‘Shortest Story‘ competitions have a deadline of end October. Details on http://jdsmith.moonfruit.com (directed from http://www.wordswithjam.co.uk/p/competitions.html)
  • 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: Bare Fiction Prize welcomes entries for their inaugural Poetry, Flash Fiction & Short Story Awards. You can find more details, enter or download a postal entry form here: http://www.barefictionmagazine.co.uk/competitions.
  • 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 http://thewritersnotebookgroup.blogspot.com.
  • 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 http://www.nawg.co.uk/3805.
  • Graphic novelmyriadeditions.com.
  • Mixed: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month, Caketrain and mkweb.co.uk (poetry & shorts).
  • MixedThe Prolitzer Prize for Prose writing 1st prize £130 + publication, max 2000 words fiction or non-fiction. Closing date usually 1st October. Thanks again to The New Writer magazine for the info.
  • Non-fiction: Vivid Scribe is about one thing – writing about popular culture in thoughtful and meaningful ways. And that’s what we want you to do. Write an essay in Vivid Scribe style and submit it to the Vivid Scribe Pop Culture Essay competition for your chance to win cash and publication. Closing date: October 1st. Essays 1200 – 3000 words on popular culture. Topics can be broad but must fit into one of the following categories: movies, TV, music, comics, books. Fee: $7.50 per essay. Prize: $50 plus publication. See http://www.vividscribe.com/vivid-scribe-pop-culture-essay-competition for details.
  • Novels: The Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition, established 2013, is an annual competition, opening for entries on 1st May and closing on 31st October.  The judges for this competition will be the senior editors at Crooked Cat Publishing. Entry fee: £10. Prizes: £500 first prize, plus a runner’s up prize of £200.
  • Novelshttp://www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk is the home of the Exeter Novel Prize, closing 31st October. The direct link is http://www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk/the-2014-exeter-novel-prize.html.
  • Novels: 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.
  • Novelssocietyofauthors.org/mckitterick.
  • PlaywritingAlmost Random Theatre is running two competitions – 1. Wellbeing Playwriting Competition: We are seeking one outstanding 20 minute play to be put on in Oxford, England. The play must be no more than 20 minutes long and require no more than three actors. Closing date: 10th October. 2. Retreats Playwriting Competition: We are seeking one outstanding 10 minute play to be put on in Oxford, England in January. The play must be no more than 10 minutes long and require no more than three actors. Closing date: 10th November. See http://www.almostrandomtheatre.co.uk/competitions. My thanks go to Margaret Taylor for the info.
  • PoetryMilton Keynes Writers’ Group runs a Speakeasy poetry and short story competition with a 31st October deadline. Click here for the entry form (submissions via post only).
  • 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: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • Poetry: Bare Fiction Prize welcomes entries for their inaugural Poetry, Flash Fiction & Short Story Awards. You can find more details, enter or download a postal entry form here: http://www.barefictionmagazine.co.uk/competitions.
  • Poetry: other October-deadline poetry competitions include Balsall WritersHastings InternationalSentinelTRYangleWriting Magazine (WM: subscriber-only theme: sunrise), National Poetry Competitionsocietyofauthors.org/eric-gregoryraggedraven.co.uk and NAWG (see below).
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • ScriptwritingThe Channel 4/Òran Mór Comedy Drama Award carries a prize of £5000 and is open to all writers resident in the UK. Submit script in one act and no more than 50 minutes in length and using no more than 3 actors. The winning entry will be selected by a panel of judges drawn from Òran Mór and Channel 4 and will be given its stage premier in March at A Play A Pie and A Pint during the Glasgow International Comedy Festival. The winning entry will also be produced as a 2-minute viral video. Closing date usually 1st October. Thanks again to The New Writer magazine for the info.
  • Scriptwriting: Norwich Film Festival has a short script competition – up to 30 pages. Note that the submission fee is quite high (£25 pre June 30th, £35 pre August 31st, £45 pre October 31st) and the top prize is relatively low (£250) but high entry fee may mean less competition? http://www.norwichfilmfestival.co.uk/submit-your-film.
  • Short stories: Foyles runs a short story competition – full details here. Closing date usually early / mid October.
  • Short storiesSammythebookworm.com has a short story contest (<5,000 words) with a deadline of October 31st. Details on http://mikecoville.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/rewarding-reads-short-story-contest-2013. Entry fee is $5 with a guaranteed $200 cash prize for first place. Contest sponsor IndieReader.com.
  • 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: Bare Fiction Prize welcomes entries for their inaugural Poetry, Flash Fiction & Short Story Awards. You can find more details, enter or download a postal entry form here: http://www.barefictionmagazine.co.uk/competitions.
  • 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 storiesMilton Keynes Writers’ Group runs a Speakeasy poetry and short story competition with a 31st October deadline. Click here for the entry form (submissions via post only).
  • Short storiesRubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self published books and the details of their short story competition are here. The deadline is also 31st October.
  • Short stories: Launched in 2012, the London Magazine short story competition is now open for entries. Writers are offered the chance to win cash prizes as well as publication in the magazine and online. Short stories up to 4000 words. Flash Fiction is not allowed (so I’d say 1,000 words+). Multiple entries per author are welcome. Open to international authors. Competition opens 1st September and closes 1st October. The winning story will be published in an issue of The London Magazine, both in print and online. The 2 runners up will be featured on the website. Entry fee: £10 per story. See http://thelondonmagazine.org/tlm-competition/the-london-magazine-short-story-competition-2013 and http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/the-london-magazine-short-story-competition for details.
  • Short stories: The SSCHQ Crime and Mystery Flash Fiction Competition is a writing competition hosted right here at Short Story Competition HQ. Members of SSCHQ are invited to submit crime and mystery stories for the chance to win publication and promotion. Join for free here. Short stories up to 800 words maximum. Closing Date: 7 October. Free entry. Prize = publication. Details on http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/sschq-crime-and-mystery-flash-fiction-competition. Their Sci-Fi competitionFantasy competitionHorror competitionRomance competition, and Literary competition have the same rules.
  • Short storiesAvogelBalsall WritersChorleywood Literature FestivalSpilling InkTRYangleWriting Magazine (WM: open to all theme: adult fairy tale / subscriber-only theme: marriage / anniversary), RrofiheRaspberry & VineA Vogel DormeasanRuth RendellEarlyworksAphrodite’s Dreamfiction-garden.co.uksocietyofauthors.org/tom-gallon-trust-and-olive-cook-awardSunpenny Open Short StoryWords with JAM.
  • 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: The H.E. Bates Short Story Competition (run by Northampton Writers Group opened in June and has a 30th November deadline and for 2015 has me as Head Judge. 🙂 Prizes: £500, £100, £50. Entry Fee: £6 for the first story, £10 for two and £5 per story thereafter. Full details on http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk.
  • Short stories: Writing East Midlands / Lincolnshire Echo competition (only open to writers currently living in the East Midlands – Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire) with a ‘winner’ each month (submitted by 25th) with an October deadline and the overall winner wins £300. See here for more details.
  • Short storiesGlimmer Train (different category each month).
  • Short stories: The NAWG Open Writing Competitions have a closing date of 31st OctoberShort Stories can be any length from 500 to 2000 words. Poems can be any style, maximum 40 lines. Prizes for each category First: £250 Second: £100 Third: £50. Fourth and Fifth: A signed copy of The Writer’s Treasury of Ideas by Linda Lewis. Entry fee for each category £5 or three poems for £10. (Cheques to NAWG, or pay on the website by PayPal). But NO EMAIL entries please ALL manuscripts must be received by post. An optional critique from both Linda and James is available for a further £3. * Important Note* When requesting a critique, please enclose an s.a.e. with the correct postage. Competition rules, full details and a downloadable entry form can be found on the National Association of Writers’ Groups website: nawg.co.uk or request full details by email: pamfish@ntlworld.com or by post: NAWG Competition Administrator, Maria O’Sullivan, 14 Lagoon Lodge, Tallington Lakes Leisure Park, Barholm Road, Tallington, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 4RJ Copyright remains with the author. Closing Date: 31st October. Details from http://www.nawg.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Open-Comp-entry-form20131.pdf.
  • Short stories: The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for ages 18-25, interpret a Franklin quote in max 1500 words. 1st prize £750, closing date 31 October. See benjaminfranklinhouse.org/site/sections/news/literary_prize.html.
  • Short stories: Another 31st October deadline is the ‘Bloody Parchment Horror Short Story Competition. Free to enter, max 3,500 words. See http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/bloody-parchment-horror-short-story-competition and http://bloodyparchment.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/2013-bloody-parchment-submission.html for details.
  • 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.
  • Short stories: The Bath Short Story Award opens in October for entries – see ‘March’.
  • 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.
  • Short stories: Two October deadline short story competitions: http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/aura-estrada-short-story-contest-boston-review (1st Oct @ $20 per story!) and http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/vwf-short-story-competition (27th Oct @ $15 per story)

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July-deadline writing competitions

On my blog’s Competitions page is a list of some writing competitions by closing date (month by month) then by regularity, followed by competition websites.

If you would like your competition listed please email me the details as per the format below (i.e. one line per competition) ensuring that it starts with the type of competition it is and highlighting the month it closes. Thank you.

As we’re over halfway through June already, below are the July deadlines (by format). If you find any information out of date, please do let me know (or leave a comment below). Thank you.

JULY
  • Children’sSociety of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Undiscovered Voices is a competition for unpublished and un-agented writers and illustrators living in the EU. The anthology will include twelve fiction extracts – from early readers up through young adult novels – and twelve black-and-white illustrations. The anthology will be published the following February and sent free of charge to editors, art directors and agents whose focus is children’s literature. Open for entries from 1 July to 15 August.
  • 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 July.
  • 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: 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: 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 FictionTethered by Letters’ Fall 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 as the featured flash fiction in the Fall Quarterly Journal. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: July 15. Prize: $50 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $4 per entry OR $10 for three entries URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission.
  • 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 http://thewritersnotebookgroup.blogspot.com.
  • 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 http://www.nawg.co.uk/3805.
  • Mixed: Submission to the non-fiction and fiction Shirley You Jest Book Awards opens 20th May 2015 (closes 22nd July 2015). I’m one of the sponsors!
  • Mixed: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month, Matrix Magazine (poetry & fiction), Tenby Arts Festival (shorts & poetry), Arthritis Care (shorts & poetry), Wasafiri (poetry, fiction, life writing), Poundbury Voices (shorts & poetry with Dorset connection), Leaf Books (book reviews), Wells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories), Slingink (shorts & poetry), Dream Questone.
  • 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.
  • Mixedglobalfeelgoodcompany.com/competition (opens May, closes 30th September – see ‘September’ for full details).
  • Non-fiction: another non-fiction competition is Sportswriters.org.
  • NovelsFirst Chapter Writing Competition: Prizes: £250, £200, £150, £100, £75. Closing date: 12th July. £4 per submission. Professional feedback is available for an additional £5.00 per submission. This competition is perfect if you have an unpublished novel and would like to enter the first chapter into our fantastic new competition. You can also have your submissions evaluated professionally for an additional £5.00 each. All we ask is that your first chapter has a maximum of 6000 words and that you are the author. Full details online.
  • Novels: The Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition, established 2013, is an annual competition, opening for entries on 1st May and closing on 31st October.  The judges for this competition will be the senior editors at Crooked Cat Publishing. Entry fee: £10. Prizes: £500 first prize, plus a runner’s up prize of £200.
  • 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: Free to enter.”
  • 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.
  • NovelsWells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories) – Poetry and Short Story: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100.  In addition there is the Wyvern Prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA postcodes. Crime Novel: The winning entry will be read by a major publisher and by a leading agent.  In addition there will be a cash prize of £100.  The judge may also arrange for an exceptional runner-up entry to be read by an agent or a publisher. Entry fees: Poetry and Short Story: £5 for each entry, Crime Novel: £10 for each entry. For an additional fee of £20, entrants may request comments from the judge. Deadline 31st July. For full rules see wellslitfest.org.uk/competitionrules.php.
  • Novels: other July deadline competitions include The Greenhouse Funny Prize (in association with The University of York’s Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing), Aurora Metro‘s The Virginia Prize.
  • PlaysSussex Playwrights.
  • Plays: The 1st Liverpool International Open Short Story, Poetry and Playwriting Competition – see ‘Mixed’ above.
  • Poetry: Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition has a closing date of: 9th July.
 First Prize: £1000 and a residential writing course at Tŷ Newydd

. Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competitions opens March with a great first prize of £1000 cash and a residential course at
 Tŷ Newydd.

 Adults: First Prize  £1000 and a week at Tŷ Newyd
 Second Prize £500
. Third Prize £250. 

See website poetry-festival.co.uk for details of Young People and Children’s competition section. 

Winners have the opportunity to read their poems at next year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival.
 Go to poetry-festival.co.uk for further details of our poetry competition and to download an entry form, or telephone 0845 458 1743 and we will put a leaflet in the post for you. Entry fees: first poem £5, for each subsequent poem £3.
 Children and Young People enter free for first poem.

 Ledbury Poetry Festival runs early July. If you wish to join our email list and receive a programme in May email: boxoffice@poetry-festival.co.uk.
  • Poetrywww.manechancesanctuary.org/writing has a poetry and short story competition, both with a 10 July closing date. Proceeds go to the horse sanctuary so you’re supporting a good cause, even if you don’t win.
  • Poetry: Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival Competitions. Deadline: 30 July. Videopoetry or digital moving poetry amongst other names is, according to Tom Konyves: the poetic juxtaposition of images with text and sound. See poetrycan.co.uk for details.
  • Poetry: The Portico Prizes. Deadline: 31 July. Manchester’s famous Portico Library is accepting poems on the theme of letters. Your poem could mention letters, be about sending letters, an extract of a letter, or actually about letters. There are two categories: One for under 18s (free to enter, judged by young writers James Mullard and Richy Campbell) and over 16s (£5 per entry plus £2.50 per extra) judged by published poets Mandy Coe and Sarah McLennan). See theportico.org.uk for details.
  • Poetry: The 1st Liverpool International Open Short Story, Poetry and Playwriting Competition – see ‘Mixed’ above.
  • PoetryTethered by Letters’ Fall Poetry Contest. We are 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 as the featured poem in the Fall Quarterly Journal. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly poetry feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome. Deadline: July 15. Prize: $100 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $5 per entry OR $12 for three entries. URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission.
  • 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: The Mere Literary Festival’s Biennial Open Poetry Competition has a deadline of July 12th. See merelitfest.co.uk or send an sae to MLF, Lawrences, Old Hollow, Mere, Wilts. BA12 6EG. Proceeds to Mere & District Linkscheme (Re.Charity No: 1062328)
  • PoetryWells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories) – Poetry and Short Story: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100.  In addition there is the Wyvern Prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA postcodes. Crime Novel: The winning entry will be read by a major publisher and by a leading agent.  In addition there will be a cash prize of £100.  The judge may also arrange for an exceptional runner-up entry to be read by an agent or a publisher. Entry fees: Poetry and Short Story: £5 for each entry, Crime Novel: £10 for each entry. For an additional fee of £20, entrants may request comments from the judge. Deadline 31st July. For full rules see wellslitfest.org.uk/competitionrules.php.
  • 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.
  • Poetry: other poetry competitions include Aldeburgh First Collection PrizeBuzzwordsLIPPTenby Arts FestThynks PostcardVallum MagWriters BureauWriting Magazine (monthly), Essex Poetry FestivalMslexiaBuzzwords Open Poetry CompetitionFoyle Young Poets.
  • Science-fiction: Literary science magazine Cosmos is looking for short stories by end July.
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • Scriptwriting: The First Liverpool Writers Poetry, Script and Short Story Competition has a deadline of 31st July. See liverpoolwriters.wix.com/liverpool-writers#!competition/c1vm7 for details.
  • Short storieswww.manechancesanctuary.org/writing has a poetry and short story competition, both with a 10 July closing date. Proceeds go to the horse sanctuary so you’re supporting a good cause, even if you don’t win.
  • Short stories: The Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition from Wrekin Writers – maximum 1200 words, 1st prize £150, entry fee £3 per story, all profit (Entry Fees less Prize Money) to Severn Hospice, closing date 15th July. See sites.google.com/site/wrekinwriters/Home/competitions-1/doris-gooderson-2013-competition.
  • Short stories: Tethered by Letters’ Fall Literary Contests. We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre). TBL strives to publish writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. All winners will be published in Tethered by Letters’ Quarterly Journal. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. The prize is $250 (USDA) for the short story winner. Winner announced publicly on August 1st. Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. Good luck to all our authors! Deadline: July 15th. Fee: $10 per story. URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission.
  • 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 storiesH G Wells Festival Short Story Anthology. Stories must be between 1500 and 5000 words long. Entry fees are free for entrants aged 25 or under, and £5 per story for entrants aged 26 or older. Shortlisted stories will be published in the Anthology, at the judges’ discretion, and extracts may also be used online to publicise the competition. Closing date 20th July.
  • 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: The H.E. Bates Short Story Competition (run by Northampton Writers Group opened in June and has a 30th November deadline and for 2015 has me as Head Judge🙂 Prizes: £500, £100, £50. Entry Fee: £6 for the first story, £10 for two and £5 per story thereafter. Full details on http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk.
  • Short stories: Scotland’s International Crime Festival Bloody Scotland (which runs mid-September) has a short story competition opens 19th June, closes 28th July.
  • Short stories3-into-1 story competition has a 3,000 word limit, £1,000 top prize (then £500, £300, £200 and top 20 stories will be published in an anthology. Fee £7. Judges Michael Dobbs and Adèle Geras. No genre limit but you have to include a black queen chess piece, bunch of fresh flowers and a £10 note in the story. 🙂 A portion of the entry proceeds goes to The Arthrogryposis Group charity and the deadline is 31st July.
  • Short stories: The Sean O Faolain Short Story Competition is run by the Munster Literature Center and is offering writers the chance to win cash, publication and a writer’s residency.Stories up to 3000 words. All themes and genres. Writers of any age and any nationality are welcome. Multiple entries are welcome. All stories to be original and unpublished. Closing date: July 31st. Entry fee: €15, US $20 or £15. See http://www.munsterlit.ie/SOF%20Page.html for details.
  • Short stories: Another 31st July deadline is The Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award, a short story competition run by Spineless Wonders. In this writing competition, authors have the chance to win cash and publication in anthology. Short stories up to 4000 words. Entry fee: AS$10. 1st Prize – $500. Winning and shortlisted stories will be published in the Spineless Wonders annual anthology along with stories by invited authors. See http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/submissions/the-carmel-bird-award for details.
  • Short Stories: The First Liverpool Writers Poetry, Script and Short Story Competition has a deadline of 31st July. See liverpoolwriters.wix.com/liverpool-writers#!competition/c1vm7 for details.
  • 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 storiesWells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories) – Poetry and Short Story: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100.  In addition there is the Wyvern Prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA postcodes. Crime Novel: The winning entry will be read by a major publisher and by a leading agent.  In addition there will be a cash prize of £100.  The judge may also arrange for an exceptional runner-up entry to be read by an agent or a publisher. Entry fees: Poetry and Short Story: £5 for each entry, Crime Novel: £10 for each entry. For an additional fee of £20, entrants may request comments from the judge. Deadline 31st July. For full rules see wellslitfest.org.uk/competitionrules.php.
  • 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.
  • Short stories: Other July deadline competitions include Glimmer Train (different category each month), HISSACLaurel HouseMonologue With A TwistTenby Arts FestWriting MagazineWrekin WritersLiterature WalesHay Short StoryMunsterNarrative MagazineHelene JamesWriters of the Future (<17,000 words), Writers’ ClinicLaurel House Creative WorkshopsAlibi.
  • SoundtracksMini Operas soundtrack competition opens 4th June closes late July.
  • NB. Don’t forget to check out the ongoing competition websites listed at the end of the competitions page.

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