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 May already, below are the June 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 If you find any information out of date, please do let me know (or leave a comment below).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: The Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize has a 30th June deadline. See ihaveadream.org.uk and / or email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 161 832 3777.
- Flash Fiction: Weekly challenge on theironwriter.com.
- Flash Fiction: The Flash 500 Fiction Competition, established 2009, is a quarterly open-themed competition for fiction up to 500 words has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories. Prizes: £300 plus publication in Words with JAM, £100 and £50.
- 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: Northampton Literature Group usually runs a yearly poetry competition with a mid-May deadline but it is currently on hold and the group is running a flash fiction competition instead! The deadline is 30th June (midnight, UK time) and their Head Judge is… me! :)
- Flash Fiction: Indies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
- Flash Fiction: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email email@example.com for more information.
- 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 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.
- Memoir: Commonword Memoir Writing Competition. Deadline: 30th June. The search is on to find the best budding memoir or autobiography writer in the North of England in our latest competition for writers. Win £150 & have your fledgling Memoir or Autobiography ‘hothoused’ by Crocus Books. See cultureword.org.uk/commonword-memoir-writing-competition.
- Mixed: 7 Day Creative Writing Challenge: Prizes: £250, £200, £100, £75, £50. Closing date: 5th July. £5 for one entry, or £7.50 including feedback. If you would like a chance of winning £250, all you have to do is to sign up for our 7 Day Creative Writing Challenge which goes live on the 5th July.
- 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: Segora International Writing Competitions. Vignette Competition, max 300 words. Short Story Competition, from 1,500 to 3,000 words. Poetry Competition, max 40 lines. Deadline for all competitions 8 June. Prizes: Short Story and Poetry £150, £50 and £30; Vignette £30 and £10 for commended or equivalent prize money in euro.
- Mixed: The Creative Future Literary Awards showcasing the work of marginalised and disabled writers, theme The Spark in Flash Fiction (maximum 300 words) or Poetry (maximum 200 words), closing date 16th June. Entry fee: £5 per piece, £15 if critique required.
- Mixed: Marple (shorts & poetry), Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month, Cinnamon Press Writing Awards (for novellas, poetry and short stories).
- Mixed: The Cowley Literary Award is a global short story competition, fiction and non-fiction, $5,000AUD prizes, max 4000 words, closing date 30th June. See australianartsales.com.au/cowley-award.
- 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: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Mixed: globalfeelgoodcompany.com/competition (opens May, closes 30th September – see ‘September’ for full details).
- Non-fiction: another non-fiction competition is greberwritingaward.com/submissions.htm
- 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: 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!
- Novels: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email email@example.com for more information.
- 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: Opportunity for non-published mystery / suspense writers aged 50+. http://www.greatstorieswithheart.com/the-write-time. The Write Time: a unique writing competition for previously unpublished authors aged 50+. If you have always dreamed of being a published author, here is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss. We have launched a writing competition for the over 50s, exclusively for Mature Times readers. “The Write Time” competition offers the winner a two-year digital publishing contract, with full editorial and marketing support, and a generous royalty on all sales. We are looking for compelling fiction for adults from a previously unpublished author. “Previously unpublished” is defined as a writer who has never had a publishing contract for a short story collection, novella or full-length novel, which offered royalties and did not require any payment from the writer. So, even if you have self-published your writing, you are still eligible to enter. Here at Corazon Books, our motto is “great stories with heart”, so we are looking for writing with engaging characters and an involving plot. We know that there is a wealth of talent out there, particularly among the over 50s. If you have written a novel and are seeking a publishing contract, now is “the write time” to submit your work! Work can be submitted in the genres of family saga, historical, medical, mystery and suspense, and romance (contemporary or historical). Entries should not contain descriptions of excessive violence or erotica/graphic sex scenes. The accepted word-length for entries is novellas of 20,000 – 50,000 words and novels of 50,000 to 100,000 words. For the first round of the competition, entrants should send a 200-500 word synopsis and the first three chapters of their novel/novella. Entrants who pass this first round of submissions will be asked to send the complete novel in September this year. The winner will be announced in November. Andrew Young, editor of Mature Times, says: “We know many of our readers are budding writers, as we’ve had some excellent pieces submitted for publication in Mature Times. This is a great opportunity to become a published author in your own right.”
- Novels: other June deadline competitions include Impress Prize, and Lightship International First Chapter.
- Plays: Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has a 1st prize of £16,000. Open to anyone resident in the UK and Ireland. The play must an original, unperformed and unproduced piece of work, an hour long or more in playing time. Closing date 3rd June. See writeaplay.co.uk/about.
- Plays: Adrienne Benham Award: £2,000 prize now accepting applications: Theatre Centre offers the Adrienne Benham Award, a £2,000 seed commission, to support the work of a promising playwright interested in exploring the Theatre for Young Audiences sector, but who has little experience in the field. The award is intended to steer gifted writers towards young audiences by giving them a seed commission and attachment to Theatre Centre as they develop an original idea for young audiences. Prize: £2,000 seed commission and attachment. Deadline: 7 June at 12 noon. Further information (including the full criteria and application form) available from the Theatre Centre website.
- Plays: Write Lines: New Writing for Young Audiences Conference: Do you write plays for young audiences, or do you want to? Celebrating 60 years of working with writers to produce outstanding theatre for young audiences, Theatre Centre hosts a day-long conference for writers and theatre professionals on 20th June. The keynote speech will be delivered by playwright Bryony Lavery. Other guest speakers include playwrights Amanda Dalton, Rob Evans, Philip Osment and Evan Placey; and industry professionals Anthony Banks (NT), Jonathan Lloyd (Polka Theatre) and Purni Morell (Unicorn Theatre). Reserve your place today!
- Plays: Ace Drama have a Beatles-themed ‘Ticket to Write’ contest ending 25th June.
- Plays: angletheatre.co.uk/discovered.html.
- Plays: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Poetry: Wirral Festival of Firsts Open Poetry Competition has a closing date of 1st June. First Prize: £200, Second Prize: £75, 3 runner-up prizes of £25. For poems on any subject, of no more than 40 lines. Submissions can be made online or by post. Postal submissions should include a separate sheet with the entrant’s name, address and the titles of the poem(s) and a cheque or postal order for £3 per poem or £10 for 4 poems payable to: “Festival of Firsts”. Postal submissions to: FOF Poetry Competition, 71 Alderley Road, Hoylake, Wirral CH47 2AU. See website festivaloffirsts.com for all the competition rules and online entries.
- Poetry: Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition. International, max 60 lines. Closing date 14th June. The festival itself runs mid-October to early-November.
- Poetry: Sticky Bun Writers Poetry Competition. First prize £50. Two other cash prizes. Prize-giving in Sheffield. Judge: Helen Mort. Closing date June 15th. Poems up to 40 lines without name on. No entry form but include cover sheet with name, address, email or phone no. and poem titles. £3 a poem or 4 for £10. Cheques, made out to Sticky Bun Writers, to The Competition Organiser, 84 Knowle Lane, Sheffield S11 9SJ
- Poetry: Mslexia (for women poets – sorry, guys): Poetry Competition and Pamphlet Competition.
The deadline for both competitions is mid-June. Full details of how to enter both competitions are on our website at mslexia.co.uk/poetrycompetition and mslexia.co.uk/pamphletcompetition respectively.
- Poetry and Short Stories: WildWords runs two competitions a year to a theme and a maximum of 1,000 words (poetry and prose). The deadlines are 21st June and 21st December.
- Poetry: Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women is judged by Moniza Alvi, £300 first prize, closes 25th June. See secondlightlive.co.uk/news.shtml#Comp13.
- Poetry: The sixth Battered Moons Poetry Competition will be open from 16th March 2015 to all UK residents aged 18 or over and accepts poems on any topic and style of up to 40 lines. Guest judge Pascale Petit and Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton will both read all the poems. The 3 winners and 4 commended poets will be invited to read their poems at the Poetry Swindon Festival on Saturday 3rd October 2015, when Pascale Petit will present the prizes and read from her own work. Winning and commended poems will appear in the Battered Moons pamphlet and website. First prize, £700; second, £200; third, £100, plus four commendations of £25 each. Entry fee: £5 for the first poem and £3.5 thereafter. Closing date for entries is 30th June 2015. On-line and postal entries accepted. For further information and to enter online, visit http://batteredmoons.com. Part of Poetry Swindon Festival. Supported by Arts Council England.
- Poetry: The Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition, established in 2010, welcomes any form of humour verse will be accepted, from a limerick to a poem of 32 lines. This is also a quarterly competition with closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. Entry fee: £3 for the first poem, £2.50 for each poem thereafter. Prizes: £150 plus publication in Words with JAM, £100 and £50.
- Poetry: Poetry Space Competition. Max 40 lines. 1st prize £250 + anthology, closing date 30th June. See poetryspace.co.uk/2013/01/poetry-space-competition-2013.
- Poetry: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email email@example.com for more information.
- Poetry: The Keats-Shelley Prize for Essays and Poems on Romantic Themes – open to all. Prize Chair: acclaimed novelist Salley Vickers. £3,000 prize money. Winning poems and essays will be published in The Keats-Shelley Review. Essays are invited on any aspect of the work and lives of the Romantics and their circle. Closing date 30th June.
- 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: Other poetry competitions include: Creative Competitor, Earth Words, Edwin Morgan, Keats-Shelley Prize, Margaret Reid, Ted Walters, United Press, Writing Magazine.
- Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
- Scriptwriting: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Scriptwriting: Ted Walters.
- Scriptwriting: The 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 May 16th and USD $49* until the Final Entry Deadlline of June 13th.
- 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 and Poetry: WildWords runs two competitions a year to a theme and a maximum of 1,000 words (prose and poetry). The deadlines are 21st June and 21st December.
- Short stories: Fall Writing Contest: Dream of getting published but just can’t get your foot in the door? This contest is for you. Metamorphose is preparing for the Fall 2015 first issue, and your story could be published in it! How? Just enter the writing contest in the appropriate category. We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (3,001 to 7,500 words, fantasy / science fiction), and flash fiction contest (500-3000 words). We are looking for engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. The top 5 entries in each category will be published in the Fall 2015 first issue. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission. Winners will be announced publicly after August 1st. One entry per category. Eligible for one win only. Judging is anonymous. International submissions welcome. Good luck to all authors! Deadline: June 30, 2015. Prize: $25 per category (short fiction fantasy, short science fiction, flash fiction fantasy, flash science fiction). Entry Fee: Free. URL: http://metamorphoselit.com/writing-contest. Contact Info: Tammy Davies, email@example.com.
- Short stories: The V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for best unpublished short story of the year. The winning author will be awarded a prize of £1,000, and the short story will be published in Prospect online and in our annual magazine, the RSL Review. The closing date for entries is 13th June, and all submissions should be posted with the £5 administrative fee to: V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, Royal Society of Literature, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA For further information, please email Molly Rosenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) and / or see website rslit.org/v-s-pritchett. Stories must be 2,000 to 5,000 words long, printed on one side of an A4 in double-spaces and sent to the London address above.
- 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: 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: Scotland’s International Crime Festival Bloody Scotland (which runs mid-September) has a short story competition opens 19th June, closes 28th July.
- Short stories: Fantasy Faction have a fantasy short story competition which ends June 30th. Thanks to Sophie E Tallis for that one! :)
- Short stories: Lightship Publishing runs eight competitions; flash fiction, first chapter, one-page, memoir, poetry, poetry book, first act, short stories, all with a 30th June deadline. See lightshippublishing.co.uk and/or email email@example.com for more information.
- Short stories: Writers’ Village runs a quarterly short story competition which attracts entrants worldwide. Click here for the rules… and every entrant receives invaluable critique! Their summer deadline is 30th June.
- Short stories: Words Magazine runs two Short Story Competitions a year which are free to enter, open to writers internationally, and have closing dates of 30th June and 31st December. See wordsmag.com/compcal14.htm. (this will probably change to …15 in 2015)
- Short stories: British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. 5000 words max, 1st prize £100 + year’s BFS membership + publication. Judge Allen Ashley, closing date 30th June.
- Short stories: Five Stop Story runs a quarterly short story competition (end March / June / September / December). Membership to the site is £25 but you get to enter up to five stories in each competition. Further details at fivestopstory.com/write.
- Short stories: GKBC (Giving Kudos to Brilliant Content) is running a free crime-writing competition with a deadline of 30th June. See gkbcinc.com/the-gkbcinc-short-story-competition.
- Short stories: The Booktown Writers’ Annual Short Story Competition invites 1000-3000 words, cash prizes + anthology. Closes 30th June. See booktownwriters.co.uk/competition.html.
- Short stories: The Writers Reign Short Story Competition is hosted by the Writers Reign website and offers authors the chance to win cash prizes as well as online publication. Stories in this competition are in response to a theme. All writers must respond to the theme “I have a dream.” This cannot be used as the story title. Stories to be between 1000 – 1500 words. Stories to have a positive ending. No strong sex, violence or swearing. Open to all writers. Stories must be original and not previously published. Closing date: June 30th. Prizes: £100, £50, £25 and 3 x £10. Fees: £3.50 one entry, £6 two entries. See http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/writers-reign-short-story-competition or http://www.writersreign.co.uk/WritersReign-Competition-2013.html for details.
- 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 June deadline competitions include Aeon Award (quarterly), Countryside Tales, Creative Competitor, Cwrtnewydd Scribblers, Earlyworks, Erewash, Glimmer Train (different category each month), Lightship Publishing, sandralit, Ted Walters, Words Magazine, Writing Magazine (WM: open to all theme: writing for children – dog tales / subscriber-only theme: passport, glove, tuba), Writers Bureau, and Calderdale.
- Soundtracks: Mini Operas soundtrack competition opens early June closes late July.
- NB. Don’t forget to check out the ongoing competition websites listed at the end of this page.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. The links are on the right-hand vertical strip.
You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.
For anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.
If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.