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 If you find any information out of date, please do let me know (or leave a comment below).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.
- Children’s: Society 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 Undiscovered Voices is a competition for unpublished and un-agented writers and illustrators living in the EU.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’s: Small 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 Fiction: Indies 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 Fiction: Tethered 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 Stories: The 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.
- Mixed: globalfeelgoodcompany.com/competition (opens May, closes 30th September – see ‘September’ for full details).
- Non-fiction: another non-fiction competition is Sportswriters.org.
- Novels: First 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 website. Closing: Submissions open 1st May until 1st August. Prizes: A publishing contract with Legend Press and a £2,500 cash bursary. Entry Fee: Free to enter.”
- 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. NB. The entry fee is $45 so give this very careful consideration.
- Novels: Wells 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.
- Plays: Sussex 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Poetry: Tethered 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)
- Poetry: Wells 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 Prize, Buzzwords, LIPP, Tenby Arts Fest, Thynks Postcard, Vallum Mag, Writers Bureau, Writing Magazine (monthly), Essex Poetry Festival, Mslexia, Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition, Foyle 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 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 stories: H 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 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 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 stories: 3-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 stories: Massacre 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: Wells 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), HISSAC, Laurel House, Monologue With A Twist, Tenby Arts Fest, Writing Magazine, Wrekin Writers, Literature Wales, Hay Short Story, Munster, Narrative Magazine, Helene James, Writers of the Future (<17,000 words), Writers’ Clinic, Laurel House Creative Workshops, Alibi.
- Soundtracks: Mini 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.