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Writing prizes and opportunities

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There are many awards and development schemes available for authors at all stages of their careers. Below is a list of monetary awards, sponsored retreats, mentorships and training opportunities.

If you're looking for help both in development or funding from organisations near you, find information about local support here.

Take a look through the opportunities for new writers:

- Opportunities from Penguin - From other organisations - For published writers - Writing retreats

For new writers

From Penguin

WriteNow is run by Penguin Random House and aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves. It offers workshops and feedback, and includes the chance to join a year-long programme.

#Merky New Writers' Prize

#Merky Books is a home for underrepresented voices and provides a platform where their stories can be told, heard and uplifted. The winner of the New Writers’ Prize receives a publishing contract. All longlisted writers are invited to our Writers’ Camp, where they participate in writing workshops, panel talks, editorial one-to-ones, and meet the #Merky Books team.

Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize

The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers and to encourage and support the next generation of literary translators. It focuses on a different language each prize year and is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no more than one full-length translation published.

From other organisations

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Awarded for the best piece of writing on an annual theme. The winner of the Writing Prize receives a cash prize, and the runners-up receive travel expense support that must be used to attend their annual symposium which is hosted in a European country. All genres of writing are permitted, including fiction, non-fiction and non-academic essays. Open to unpublished writers only.

Anthology Poetry Competition

Established to recognise and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing and to provide a platform for publication, the Anthology Poetry Competition is open to original and previously unpublished poems in the English language.

Anthology Short Story Competition

Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, the Anthology Short Story Competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. 

Aurora Prize For Writing

The Aurora Prize for Writing is a national competition run by Writing East Midlands, in partnership with the Society of Authors. It seeks outstanding new writing in short fiction and poetry.

The Bracken Prize

The Financial Times and McKinsey want to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes and ask entrants to submit a business book proposal. The prize aims to encourage a new generation of business writers and has already seen a number of shortlisted and longlisted proposals emerge as published books. 

The Bath Novel Awards

The Bath Novel Award and The Bath Children’s Novel Award spotlight emerging writers, and are open to unpublished and independently published novelists worldwide.

Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award

The First Novel Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors for a novel in any adult fiction genre.

Breakthrough Writers' Programme

Curtis Brown Creative, supported by the Curtis Brown and C&W agencies, run a programme of creative writing courses, mentoring opportunities and scholarships for under-represented writers – with all opportunities fully funded for the writers taking part.

Breakthrough scholarships

Curtis Brown Creative, supported by the Curtis Brown and C&W agencies, regularly offer funded places on their courses to talented writers facing barriers to entry.

Breakthrough Mentoring Programme

This mentoring programme is for talented writers who fulfil the eligibility criteria and are seeking targeted, detailed one-to-one feedback on a work-in-progress, plus industry advice. You can apply to be mentored for a project at any writing stage.

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize

Entries of original short fiction between 1000 and 5000 words can be entered into the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize. The winner will receive £1,000 and 12 shortlisted writers will be included in an anthology. 

The Bridport Prize

The Bridport Prize has a number of categories: novel, poetry, short story and flash fiction. All the awards are for work which has not previously been published, while the novel award is only open to writers who are not represented by a literary agent.

The Bristol Short Story Prize

This is an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK-based writers.

The Caledonia Novel Award

An Edinburgh-based, international writing competition for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize

The prize is open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 18 and over entering a story of between 2,500 and 5,000 words. The regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives a total of £5,000. The winning stories are published online by  Granta  and in a special print collection by Paper + Ink.

Creators of Justice Literary Awards

The Creators of Justice Literary Awards is an annual, international contest featuring works which highlight the struggle for human rights and social justice across the world. Writers can submit one poem, essay, or short story on an annual theme.

The Creative Future Writers’ Award

The Creative Future Writers’ Award (CFWA) is a national writing development programme which celebrates talented, underrepresented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance. Prizes include £20,000 of cash and top writing development prizes supplied by prominent publishers and development agencies.

Criptic x Spread The Word

CRIPtic Arts x Spread the Word collaboratively produce a range of activities including salons, a retreat and research for deaf and disabled writers. Their work together aims to offer a range of activities to support, develop and empower deaf and disabled writers.


The Women’s Prize Trust, NatWest, Curtis Brown Literary Agency and Curtis Brown Creative Writing School have partnered to create Discoveries, a unique initiative searching for the most talented and original new female writing voices in the UK and Ireland. The winner will be offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000.

Footnote x Counterpoints Writing Prize

Footnote Press and Counterpoints Arts have partnered to launch the Footnote x Counterpoints Writing Prize for writers from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The £15,000 award, which includes an advance of £5,000 and a publication agreement with Footnote Press, is for narrative non-fiction centred around themes of displacement, identity and/or resistance. Writers can be published or unpublished.

Green Stories Writing Competitions

Green Stories writing competitions are a series of free writing competitions open to all across various formats to solicit stories that showcase what a sustainable society might look like. 

Grindstone Literary International Novel Prize

The 2023 Novel Prize is open to authors from all countries, provided their submissions are in English. To be eligible to enter, authors must be unrepresented .  Entrants are asked to submit the first 5,000 words of their manuscript.

The London Library Emerging Writers Programme

Geared towards supporting writers at the start of their careers, the programme includes writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the Library’s resources. With its extensive open-access book collection, dedicated writing spaces and diverse community of established writers, the benefits of Library membership are very valuable. 

The London Writers’ Awards

This is a development programme run by Spread the Word which aims to increase the number of writers from under-represented communities being taken up by agents and publishers. The awards support  30  London-based writers of  colour  and working class, LGBTQ+ and disabled writers  each year, and bursaries are available for writers in need. There is also an Access Fund for disabled writers. Writers on the awards scheme take part in group feedback sessions on their work and also attend one-to-one professional development sessions.

Mairtín Crawford   Awards

The Mairtín Crawford   Awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers are invited to submit between 3-5 poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.

The Malorie Blackman Scholarships for Unheard Voices

City Lit’s Malorie Blackman Scholarships for Unheard Voices provide three annual awards worth up to £1000 each, to fund one year’s study within the Creative Writing department at City Lit. 

The Manchester Writing Competition

The Manchester Writing Competition for poetry and fiction, offers the UK’s biggest literary awards for unpublished work, with each category awarding £10,000.

Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing

The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing is an annual short story competition open to writers across the globe. The prize awards £10,000 to the best short story that has food and drink at its heart.

Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour

Jointly run by Morley College London and the Rachel Mills Literary Agency, the prize is awarded to unpublished aspiring authors of colour. There are two prizes – one for works of fiction and one for Life Writing and Creative Non-fiction.

The Moth Prizes

The Moth Magazine runs an annual short story prize, nature writing prize and poetry prize open to anyone from anywhere in the world, as long as their writing is original and previously unpublished.

The National Poetry Competition

The National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines, open to anyone 18 or over.

New Writers Poetry Competition

Open to poets from around the world, the winner receives £1,000, with a second prize of £300 and a third prize of £200. 

The Nine Dots Prize

The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. Entrants are asked to respond to a question in 3,000 words, with the winner receiving $100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas. The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. Its name references the nine dots puzzle – a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box.

The Oxford Poetry Prize

The winner of the Oxford Poetry Prize receives £1,000, the runner-up £200, and third place £100. The winning poets are also offered publication in Oxford Poetry.

Poetry London Prize

The Poetry London Prize is a major, internationally renowned award for a single outstanding poem. The first prize is £5,000.

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Run by Wasifiri , the magazine of international literature, in conjunction with Queen Mary University, this prize supports new writers.

Rhys Davies Short Story Competition

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition is a distinguished national writing competition for writers born or living in Wales. The first prize is £1,000 and publication in a short story anthology to be published by Parthian Books.

The Royal Society of Literature V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of the year. The winning entry is also published in  Prospect  magazine and the  RSL Review.

Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards

The New Writers Awards is an annual awards programme supporting individuals committed to developing their writing. The award includes a cash award, a week-long retreat, training and mentoring.

Scottish Book Trust Next Chapter Award

The Next Chapter Award is an annual award supporting an emerging writer over the age of 40. The Award includes a cash reward, 2-week writing retreat, training and mentoring.

The Society of Authors' Awards

The Society of Authors runs annual awards, which are open to writers at all stages of their careers. Among them is The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award for a short story (applicants need to have had at least one short story accepted for publication); and The McKitterick Prize, which is given annually to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel, published or unpublished.

Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The first prize is €2,000 and a one-week residency at Anam Cara Retreat.

Searchlight Awards

Searchlight Writing for Children Awards is an international competition for aspiring authors writing for children or young adults. Categories are 'Best Children’s Picture Book Text' and 'Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults'.

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

Chicken House are looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, and a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love! They'd particularly like to encourage entry from writers from underrepresented backgrounds. The first prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus an offer of representation from an agent.

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an international prize that supports and celebrates the best adventure writing today. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. Awards are presented in three categories: Best Published Novel, New Voices and Author of Tomorrow.

W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize

Writers & Artists run the W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize – a celebration of stories as a mode of communication, and a reminder of how vital it is that everyone can share their ideas and experiences via the written word. The prize includes a cash prize and mentoring sessions with an acclaimed author.

The Writers Award

Run by The Deborah Rogers Found - set up in memory of a late literary agent - The Writers Award gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book. It is run biannually.

For published writers

These awards are for published writers only, and in order to be considered books must be nominated by their publisher or agent - authors cannot usually enter themselves (with the exception of the fellowships). However, as a writer looking to get published, it's always worth taking stock of the titles being longlisted and shortlisted for some of the top literary awards to give you a sense of which types of books are receiving critical acclaim. We've included prizes for fiction and non-fiction titles here. 

Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction

The Baillie Gifford Prize rewards excellence in non-fiction writing across current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

BBC National Short Story Award

An annual prize, entrants must have a prior record of publishing creative work in the UK. Stories up to 8,000 words are accepted and may be submitted by the author or by their agent. Shortlisted stories are awarded a prize of £600.

The Booker Prize

The leading literary award in the English-speaking world, which has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over 50 years. Awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. Although you have to be nominated by your publisher, many debut novels have been longlisted and shortlisted in the past.

The Desmond Elliot Prize

The Desmond Elliott Prize encourages publishers from across the UK and Ireland to submit literary fiction debuts for consideration, awarding one winning author £10,000 to shape their developing career.

Forward Prizes for Poetry

The Forward Prizes for Poetry honour excellence in contemporary poetry published in UK and Ireland.

FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year

This prestigious £30,000 prize goes to the book that is judged to have provided the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, with £10,000 awarded to each runner-up.

Nero Book Awards

Celebrating outstanding writing by great authors living in the UK and Ireland, these awards list the best books of the year for their quality of writing and readability. There are four categories: Children’s Fiction, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction. An overall winner, given the Nero Gold Prize for the “Book of the Year”, is also be named.

Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize

Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama. The winner receives a prize of £30,000.

The Royal Society of Literature Christopher Bland Prize

The RSL Christopher Bland Prize is an annual award of £10,000 to a debut novelist or non-fiction writer first published aged 50 or over.

The Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize

The annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place.

Scottish Book Trust Ignite Fellowship

The Ignite Fellowship supports established writers who are embarking on or working through a significant project. You can apply whether the project is in its very earliest stages or already a work in progress.

Women's Prize for Fiction

The Women's Prize for Fiction is the UK's most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women.

Writing retreats

Arvon runs an annual programme of creative writing courses and retreats for schools, groups and individuals. Their courses, tutored by leading authors, are held at three rural centres and include a mix of workshops and individual tutorials, with time and space to write, free from distractions of everyday life. Arvon courses are in a range of genres and they have different styles of courses. Grants are available to help with course fees.

The Garsdale Retreat

The Garsdale Retreat is a creative writing centre in the Yorkshire Dales. It provides inspirational courses tutored by professional writers, enabling participants to develop their individual creativity in a place of peace and tranquillity, away from the distractions and stresses of everyday life.

Gladstone's Library

Gladstone's Library is a residential library and meeting place which is dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research. They offer a programme of courses and events that keep them connected with a wide range of writers and thinkers.

Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre

Moniack Mhor is Scotland’s National Writing Centre. Based in the Scottish Highlands, they run courses in a range of genres tutored by some of the finest authors in the UK and beyond. They also sponsor awards, bursaries, and professional residencies to develop works in progress and a programme for young writers.

The River Mill

This former flour mill in South Down, Northern Ireland is now a boutique reading and writing retreat. They offer individual residencies and workshops. 

Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre

Tŷ Newydd is the National Writing Centre of Wales, run by Literature Wales specialising in residential creative writing courses.

Urban Writers Retreat

Providing residential retreats in Devon and one-day courses in London, they offer guidance and space away from everyday life.

We will keep this page updated with new opportunities as and when they become available. If you want to let us know about a new opportunity, please email us: [email protected]

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The Big List Of UK Writing Competitions - Writing competitions and writing prizes based in the UK

The Big List of UK Writing Competitions

When it comes to getting your work noticed, there’s little better than winning or being shortlisted for a writing competition… and the odds of that happening aren’t as long as you think. Every competition listed here produces one or more winners every year, as well as numerous honourable mentions and shortlisted writers.

But in order to be selected, your first have to pick a competition to enter. Thus we present our list of excellent writing competitions based in the UK. To appear here a competition must run at least every year , and must have a prize that justifies the entry fee .

If you want to suggest an addition or correction for this list, you can do so using the Big List Update Form .

The IGAS Ghostly Commission

[ IGAS Website ]

A commission administered by the International Ghost Appreciation Society, with a prize of £100 awarded for the most original idea. Work in any format is welcome, with a slight preference for short stories. The winning artist or writer has their work presented at an IGAS event and stored in the IGAS archive.

Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

[ Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize Website ]

Awarded for the best piece of previously-unpublished writing on the topic of “Forgiveness and Retribution” – the theme of the 2020 Alpine Fellowship Annual Symposium. In addition to the main prize, the winner and two runners up will be invited to attend the symposum in Venice.

Anansi Archive Writing Awards

[ Anansi Archive Website ]

Anansi Archive is a new website dedicated to supporting writers with their endeavours. It runs three quarterly competitions in Flash Fiction, Poetry (no more than 500 words) and Short Story (no more than 3000 words). It offers free entry for a chance to win some small, yet worthwhile cash prizes.

The Annual Wenlock Olympian Society Short Story Competition

[ Wenlock Olympian Website ]

The Wenlock Olympian Society, in collaboration with Much Wenlock and District U3A ‘Writers on the Edge’, has arranged this creative writing competition. Stories can be on any theme, and no more than 2500 words.

Anthology Poetry Prize

[ Anthology Magazine Website ]

Established to recognise and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing and to provide a platform for publication, this competition is open to original and previously-unpublished poems in the English language. Entries are invited from poets of all nationalities, living anywhere in the world. Each competition has a theme to which entries must conform.

Anthology Short Story Competition

Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, this competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Stories submitted must conform to a specific theme, which changes each year.

Aurora Prize for Writing

[ Aurora Prize for Writing Website ]

The winners, in each category, will receive a cash prize of £500, feedback on a piece of work of their choice from a leading literary agent (or Editor as appropriate) and a year’s free membership to the Society of Authors, which includes access to advice and resources on all aspects of the business of writing.

Bare Fiction Competitions

[ Bare Fiction Website ]

* CURRENTLY SUSPENDED* A yearly set of competitions administered by the literary magazine Bare Fiction . There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in each category, and the winners are published in an issue of the magazine. Different guest judges are bought in each year to select the winners. *CURRENTLY SUSPENDED*

Bath Flash Fiction Award

[ Bath Flash Fiction Award Website ]

The goal of this contest is to promote flash fiction for both writers and readers, and to bring the genre to a wider audience. Running three times a year, it has substantial prizes and the chance of publication for winning writers. There is also a novella-in-flash award.

Bath Novel Award

[ Bath Novel Award Website ]

An award for unpublished or independently-published novelists. Send along the first 5,000 words of a manuscript of a minimum of 50,000 words in length. A large percentage of shortlisted novelists have gone on to secure a publishing deal. There is a separate competition strand for children’s novels .

Bath Short Story Award

[ Bath Short Story Award Website ]

An international competition that welcomes stories of up to 2,200 words on any theme or subject. Stories must be previously unpublished. The prizes available are £1,200 for 1st place, £300 for 2nd place, and £100 for 3rd place, as well as a special award for the best story by a writer who does not yet have any publications.

BBC National Short Story Award

[ BBC Short Story Award Website ]

One of the most significant short story competitions in the UK, this prize is awarded yearly by the BBC. Entrants must have a prior record of publishing creative work in the UK. Stories up to 8,000 words are accepted, and may be submitted by the author or by their agent. Shortlisted stories are awarded a prize of £600.

Beechmore Books Annual Writing Competition

[ Beechmore Books Website ]

A free writing competition from London-based stationary brand, Beechmore Books. It has a different theme each year and this year (2021), the theme is PERSPECTIVE. It is open to writing of any form. Monetary awards and (some beautiful) writing journals are given to the top two placed entries.

Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award

[ Blue Pencil Agency Website ]

The Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors for a novel in any adult fiction genre. The competition was founded in 2017, and is overseen by the Blue Pencil Agency. The winning writer receives a cash prize and an introduction to an agent.

Bridport Prize

[ Bridport Prize Website ]

A prestigious annual competition with different strands for novels, short stories, memoirs, flash fiction and poetry. As well as the prize money there are several supplementary awards, including one for young writers. Selected entries are published in an anthology. They have a bursary scheme for under represented writers.

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize

[ Brick Lane Bookshop Website ]

This prize, run by Brick Lane Bookshop , is open to all UK residents for original short stories between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Its aim is to celebrate short stories and to give emerging writers encouragement and a little financial space to write. Winners are published in an anthology in addition to receiving prize money.

Bristol Short Story Prize

[ Bristol Short Story Prize Website ]

 An international short story competition opened to published and unpublished writers anywhere in the world. In addition to the main prize, all shortlisted writers are published in an anthology distrubuted by Tangent Books, and receive £100 in prize money. Stories must be under 4,000 words in length.

Caledonia Novel Award

[ Caledonia Novel Award Website ]

Now in its ninth year, this competition is for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. They are Edinburgh-based but open to international submissions. As well as the cash prize, the winner of the best novel in the UK & Ireland, will receive a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

CAS Short Story Competition

[ CAS Short Story Website ]

This bi-annual competition is to celebrate the best short stories from across the world. It is open to published and unpublished authors, and entries must be between 2000-4000 words. Each of ten shortlisted stories will be published on this site, and there are three cash prizes of £800, £400 and £200.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize

[ Commonwealth Short Story Prize Website ]

A competition run by Commonwealth Writers, designed to reward and promote the best new writing from across the Commonwealth. Prizes are awarded for the best stories overall, as well as the best stories from a given region. Stories must be 2,000 – 5,000 words in length and previously unpublished.

Costa Awards

[ Costa Awards Website ]

A series of book and short story awards for authors from the UK and Ireland (previously known as the Whitbread Book Awards). One of the only UK awards open to children’s books as well as adult. The short story strand is narrowed down by judges and then decided by a popular vote.

Cranked Anvil Flash Fiction Competition

[ Cranked Anvil Website ]

A quarterly flash fiction competition open to any theme or genre. There is a maximum word limit of 500 words. Monetary prizes for the top two placed flash fictions as well as (online) publication.

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

A quarterly short story competition that is open to any theme or genre. There is a maximum of 1,500 words and you can enter three stories each quarter. Monetary prizes and (online) publication for the top three placed stories.

Creative Future Writers’ Award

[ Creative Future Writers’ Award Website ]

The Creative Futures Writers’ Award is a national writing competition and development programme which celebrates talented, underrepresented writers – including those who lack opportunities due to mental health, disability, health, and from working class, LGBTQIA+, and Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. This year the theme is ‘How It Started’.

Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition

[ Creative Writing Ink Website ]

Creative Writing Ink’s short story competition is looking for stories on any topis of no more than 3000 words; prizes include the £1000 top prize but also publication on Creative Writing Ink’s website and a free creative writing course of the winner’s choice. Submissions must be made through Submittable

Edinburgh Award for Flash Fiction

[ Story Awards Website ]

Open to writers worldwide and stories on any topic up to 250 words. Top 20 stories offered publication in an annual anthology. Top 20 writers awarded free ticket to the annual Flash Bash awards event at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh. Managed by the Scottish Arts Trust. All proceeds used to support the arts in Scotland.

Elmbridge Literary Competition

[ Elmbridge Literary Comp. Website ]

Jointly run by the R. C. Sherriff Trust and Elmbridge Borough Council, Elmbridge Literary Competition is now in its 17th year. This year, they are looking for short stories and poems on the them of ‘Enigma’ from people of all ages. There are a wide range of age categories and prizes of cash and publication.

Encore Award

[ Encore Award Website ]

This prize is awarded annually for the best second novel published in the UK. The organisers say, “The award fills a niche in the catalogue of literary prizes by celebrating the achievement of outstanding second novels, often neglected in comparison to the attention given to promising first books.”

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition

[ Exeter Writers Website ]

Exeter Writers runs an annual short story competition. The competition began in 2009 and is very popular, receiving entries from all over the world. You can consult anthologies from previous competitions to get a sense of what judges are looking for, and to read winning entries.

Fiction Factory Short Story Competition

[ Fiction Factory Website ]

Fiction Factory are welcoming stories of all genres (excluding Children’s and Young Adult Fiction) for their short story competition. The maximum word limit is 3000 words; entries should be on a Word document, and there is the optional critique of your work for an additional £20.

First Drafts

[ First Drafts Website ]

Previously unpublished writers are invited to submit entries of up to 5,000 words from a novel, narrative nonfiction or short story collection in progress. The prize is a week-long writing retreat at West Dean College, a centre of creativity and tranquillity near Chichester in West Sussex, plus detailed editorial feedback from the judges and six months’ mentoring from a Myriad author.

Forward Poetry Prize

[ Forward Poetry Prize Website ]

The largest annual poetry competition in the UK, this prize rewards the best collection, best first collection, and best single poem in the UK each year. All works put forward for the prize will also be considered for publication in  The Forward Book Of Poetry , a yearly anthology. Entries must be published works, and individual poets cannot enter their own work.

Frogmore Poetry Prize

[ Frogmore Press Website ]

The Frogmore Poetry Prize (sponsored by the Frogmore Foundation) was founded in 1987 and has been awarded annually since then. The Prize is set at 250 guineas… but the true Prize is the kudos of joining a select band of winners which includes many notable poets.

Frome Festival Short Story Competition

[ Frome Festival Website ]

The Frome Festival Short Story Competition is an annual, international short story competition looking for the best unpublished stories between 1,000 and 2,200 words. There are cash prizes for the top three stories and an additional prize for the best story by a local writer under the age of 21. For an additional fee, the competition also offers a critique service for your short story.

Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize

[ Galley Beggar Press Website ]

Galley Beggar Press is an independent publisher committed to publishing daring, innovative fiction creative non-fiction. Their annual prize has a top award of £2,000, along with several other smaller prizes, including cash, books and book vouchers.

Globe Soup Poetry Competition

[ Globe Soup Website ]

Globe Soup are looking for the best poem of up to 50 lines. The theme for Globe Soup Poetry Competitions is always, “Poetry with a Sense of Place”. They accept all forms and styles of poetry.

Globe Soup Short Story Competition

Globe Soup are looking for the best short story of no more than 5,000 words. Every Globe Soup short story competition features a different country which all participants must set their story in. Entrants only find out which country after they enter!

Globe Soup 7 Day Story Writing Challenges

Globe Soup are running a programme of 7-day writing challenges to which writers sign up. At an unspecified time, the registered writer receives a secret theme, a randomly assigned genre and just 7 days to write a story of no more than 2000 words.

Green Stories Writing Competitions

[ Gree n Stories Website ]

Organised by the University of Southampton, Green Stories is a ‘free’ writing competition project with a range of categories for novelists and short story writers. Entries should conform with positive visions of more sustainable futures and/or the inclusion of green solutions but needn’t have an explicitly green theme.

Grindstone International Novel Prize

[ Grindstone Literary Website ]

This competition is open to writers from anywhere in the world, writing in any genre other than children’s literature. Entries are judged by a literary agent, and all longlisted and shortlisted entries are packaged in a chapbook and sent to a selection of literary agencies. Feedback is available on entries for an extra fee.

Hastings Literary Festival Competition

[ Hastings Literary Festival Competition Website ]

This competition is a little different: yes, a monetary prize (£100) but up to 12 competition winners will be invited to an all-day workshop in Hastings on September 23 to work with editors to complete their pieces ready for the printers. The resulting anthology will then be launched at a special event less than two days after the workshop.

Hysteria Writing Competition

[ Hysteria Writing Competition Website ]

This competition offers 3 x £300 cash prizes for each of the overall category winners, with this year’s theme being ‘peace’. Any genre is accepted (except erotica or horror), and there are word limits in place: short story – 1000 words / flash fiction – 250 words / poetry – 12 lines. Winners are published in Hysteria 9 alongside 9 runners-up from each category.

Impress Prize for New Writers

[ Impress Prize Website ]

Impress Prize is an annual literary prize run by Impress Books for writers who have not been traditionally published before. They are looking for manuscript samples from a variety of genres within fiction and non-fiction (but no poetry please!).

Indigo International Wild Nature Poetry Award

[ Indigo Int. Wild Nature Poetry Awar d Website ]

Indigo Dreams Publishing are running a competition in conjunction with the League Against Cruel Sports to find the best poetry on the themes of: Cruel Sports (Hunting/Shooting/Animal Fighting); Wildlife; the Natural World and the Environment. A top prize of £200 and anthology publication. League Against Cruel Sports members are also eligible for the League Prize, £75 and a goodie bag!

Ironbridge Festival of Imagination Open Poetry Award

[ Ironbridge Poetry Competition Website ]

Ironbridge Festival of the Imagination is holding its first ever poetry competition to poets from across the globe, welcoming poems on any and every subject. First prize in our competition will win £300, with a second prize of £125, and three third prizes of £25 each. In addition, poems sent in by people living in a TF postcode will also be eligible for our local prize of £50. Poems will be read, and winners chosen, by our judge Simon Fletcher.

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition

[ Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Website ]

Run each year by the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society, this competition offers a top prize of £1,000 and several runner-up prizes. Poems can be in any form or style, but must be previously-unpublished and under forty lines in length. Postal and online entries are accepted.

La Piccioletta Barca Competition

[ La Piccioletta Barca Website ]

La Piccioletta Barca is an independent arts magazine pursuing the essence of human thought. Their goal is to embrace and promote substantive creative work produced by both emerging and established artists. They run an annual competition which seeks work in response to a given theme or stimulus.

Ledbury Poetry Competition

[ Ledbury Poetry Festival Website ]

The Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition has been an important first step in many poets’ careers. The Competition is increasingly international with several international winners. The Festival prides itself on a lasting relationship with its competition entrants and winners: many are asked back for performances, residencies and workshops.

Letter Review Prize for Short Stories

[ Letter Review Prize Website ]

The Letter Review Prize is a short story competition seeking 200-4000 word entries. It is open to writers from across the world and there are no genre or theme restrictions; three winners receive publication within the Letter Review as well as cash prizes.

Live Canon Poetry Competition(s)

[ Live Canon Website ]

Live Canon are an ensemble performing poetry (from memory) at theatres, festivals and events throughout the UK, recording poetry for radio and CDs, and creating poetry installations and digital projects. They have three poetry competitions across April and May: a poetry collection (35+ poems) competition where three winners are selected for publication and promotion; a single poem competition where first prize is £1,000 and a pamphlet (18-35 poems) competition where three winners are offered a publication contract.

London Magazine Competitions

[ London Magazine Website ]

The London Magazine ‘s annual competitions seek to recognise new talent, and promote unpublished poems and stories from around the world. Winning entries appear in the magazine, and authors and poets are invited to a London-based networking drinks reception.

Mairtín Crawford Award

[ The Mairtín Crawford Award Website ]

These Awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers are invited to submit between 3-5 poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.

Manchester Cathedral 600 Poetry Competition

[ Manchester Cathedral Website ]

This year’s (2021) competition celebrates the 600 year anniversary of the founding of the Collegiate Church, the precursor to the Manchester Cathedral. Poems must reflect, express or connect to the cathedral in some way and be broadly religious or spiritual in nature; poetry from all faiths is encouraged. There is a maximum line length of 15 lines. There will be 10 winners awarded £100 and publication in a booklet of the winning poems.

Manchester Writing Competition

[ Manchester Writing Competition Website ]

Each year this competition awards a prize of £10,000 for the best short story and best short portfolio of poems submitted. It is run by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. The compeition is open to anyone over the age of sixteen.

Mogford Food And Drink Short Story Prize

[ Mogford Food and Drink Website ]

This annual prize is open worldwide. Sponsored by the Mogford Hotels And Restaurants Group, it seeks to reward the writer of an unpublished short story not longer than 2,500 words which revolves in some way around food. The winner is announced at an annual prize-giving event and as well as the monetary reward, will receive online and (mini) print publication and their story professionally recorded by The Story Player.

Moth Prizes

[ Moth Prizes Website ]

These international prizes are open to everyone over the age of sixteen, and awards a top prize of €10,000 for the best poem and €3,000 for the best short story submitted. It is run by The Moth Magazine , with winners published in the magazine and invited to special prize-giving events.

National Poetry Competition

[ National Poetry Competition Website ]

One of the biggest single poem competitions in the world, the National Poetry Competition is open to anyone aged 17 or older. The competition is for previously unpublished poems of up to 40 lines in length. As well as the top prize, there are nine other small prizes for second place, third place, and commended entries.

New Writers Flash Fiction Competition

[ New Writers Website ]

The inaugural New Writers Flash Fiction Competition is seeking entries of imaginative and thought-provoking flash fiction of up to 300 words. Entries must be in English but can be on any subject. The competition is open to writers from anywhere in the world. £1 from each entry will be donated to First Story, England’s leading creative writing charity for young people.

Outsideleft Short Story Competition

[ Outsideleft Short Story Competition Website ]

This is the first annual short story writing competition from Outsideleft – an online midland’s based magazine where pop culture writing matters. This year’s theme is ‘Concrete’; it is free to submit and the upper word limit is 1000 words.

Ovacome Writing Competition

[ Ovacome Writing Competiton Website ]

Ovacome – the UK’s national ovarian cancer support charity – are running a short story competition on the theme of ‘Connected’ with a word limit of 2000 words. They can’t wait to read inspiring and creative stories from writers whatever their previous experience.

Oxford Poetry Prize

[ Oxford Poetry Prize Website ]

This is the inaugural Oxford Poetry Prize, and will be awarded to the best single poem in the English language. The guest judge for 2022 is Emily Berry and first place will receive £700, second place, £200, and third place, £100. All winning poets will be offered publication in Oxford Poetry. The competition closes at midnight GMT on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022. Submissions are welcome from poets worldwide.

Parracombe Prize

[ Parracombe Prize Website ]

The Parracombe Prize is in its second year and looking for the best short stories that weigh in at under 2022 words. Winners are awarded cash prizes and will feature in their second anthology of short stories.

Patricia Eschen Prize for Poetry

[ Patricia Eschen Prize Website ]

The inaugural Patricia Eschen Prize for Poetry 2022 is sponsored by the Dennis Myner Trust in collaboration with Cornwall’s only independent library, the Morrab Library in Penzance.

The competition will open for entries from Friday 1st July 2022. Both the adult’s and children’s categories will be judged by Katrina Naomi and Penelope Shuttle, two multi-award winning poets based in Cornwall.

The 2022 competition does not have a theme; poems can be on any subject to a maximum line length of 40 lines for each poem. The competition is open to international entries, entry is free and limited to one poem per individual. Poems must be written in the English language.

PBS/Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition

[ PBS Website ]

The Poetry Book Society and Mslexia have teamed up for two competitions for women poets. The Women’s Poetry Competition offers a £2,000 prize, a mentorship with PBS Book Selector Sandeep Parmar and a Cove Park writing retreat. The winner of the Women’s Pamphlet Competition will receive publication by independent UK publisher Seren.

Perito Prize

[ Perito Website ]

This annual competition is run by an inclusive environment consultancy, and seeks stories that touch on the theme of accessibility. Entry is free, and there’s a top prize of £500. More specific information on what they’re seeking – and the wider work of Perito – can be found on the website.

Poetry Book Awards

[ Poetry Book Awards ]

The series of awards is looking to recognise the best independently published and self-published poetry books from across the globe. The winner also receives a year-long subscription with PN Review and some promotion from the team behind the awards.

Poetry London Prize

[ Poetry London Website ]

The Poetry London Prize is a major international award for a single outstanding poem. The total prize fund is £8,000, with all prize-winning entries published in Poetry London magazing. The organisers provide a number of free entries for people on low incomes, and discounted entries for subscribers to Poetry London .

Prole Laureate Competition

[ Prole Website ]

This competition welcomes entries of previously-unpublished poems, with a particular focus on poems that are engaging, accessible, challenging and entertaining. Guidelines are open regarding length, style and content. Winners and runners-up are published online.

Prole Poetry Pamphlet Prize

This competition seeks a poetry collection that epitomises the values of Prole : writing that engages, challenges and entertains the reader. The winning entry will receive publication as well as the prize money. Collections should be less than 35 pages in length.

Reader’s Digest 100-Word Story Competition

[ Reader’s Digest Website ]

The Reader’s Digest 100-Word-Story Competition is a chance to show the world your story-telling talents. There are three categories—one for adults and two for schools: one for children aged 12–18 and one for children under 12. Stories should be original, unpublished, and exactly 100 words.

RSL Christopher Bland Prize

[ RSL Christopher Bland Prize Website ]

The RSL Christopher Bland Prize is an annual award of £10,000 to a debut novelist or non-fiction writer first published aged 50 or over. The Prize was launched in 2018 by the Bland family and friends, with the RSL, in memory of Sir Christopher Bland who died in 2017.

RSL Literature Matters Awards

[ RSL Literature Matters Awards Website ]

The RSL’s Literature Matters Awards aim to reward and enable literary excellence and innovation. Each year, after an open call for proposals, the Awards are given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. A total of £20,000 is available. Priority will be given to proposals which (a) will help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or (b) will help generate public discussion about why literature matters

RSL Ondaatjee Prize

[ RSL Ondaatjee Prize Website ]

An annual award administered by the Royal Society for Literature which goes to the work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry that judges feel best evokes the spirit of a place. All prize winners also receive a paperweight clock, which they are awarded at a celebratory dinner.

Rhys Davies Short Story Competition

[ Rhys Davies Competition Website ]

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition recognises the very best unpublished short stories in English in any style and on any subject up to a maximum of 5,000 words by writers in/from Wales. Entrants must have been born in Wales, have lived in Wales for two years or more, or currently be living in Wales.

Saveas Writers’ International Writing Competition

[ Saveas Writers Website ]

To celebrate the centenary of TS Eliot’s visit to Margate, Saveas Writers are looking for the poems (60 lines maximum) and short stories (3500 words maximum) on the theme of “horizons”. There are three prizes available in both categories and a reduced entry fee for three pieces in either category.

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition

Open to writers worldwide and stories on any topic up to 2,000 words. Chief judge Ian Rankin. Top 20 stories offered publication in an annual anthology. Top six writers awarded free ticket to the annual Story Awards Dinner at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh. Managed by the Scottish Arts Trust. All proceeds used to support the arts in Scotland.

Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition

[ Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition Website ]

Winners are published in Southword . Previous prizes have also included a week-long residency and an expenses-paid trip to the Cork International Short Fiction Festival. The organisers say, “The Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition […] is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists, sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre.”

Searchlight Awards

[ Searchlight Awards Website ]

Searchlight Writing for Children Awards 2022 is open for entries. There are two competition categories: Best Picture Book (text only) and Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults. Winners will be chosen by BBC Children’s Writer and Director Kayleigh Keam and Literary Agent Amber Caravéo. The top ten stories in both categories will feature in an agent/publisher pitch book, as well as published in an annual anthology.

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition

[ Sentinel Literary Quarterly ]

This quarterly poetry competition seeks out original, previously unpublished English-language poems on any subject. Prizes of £250, £125 & £75 for the top-three placed poems, and 3 x £30, 3 x £20 and 3 x £10 for Highly Commended, Commended and Special Mentioned poems, respectively.

Southport Writers’ Circle Annual Short Story Competition

[ Southport Writers’ Circle Website ]

With an upper limit of 2000 words, SWC are looking for original, unpublished short stories on any theme. They encourage online entries and winners will be published on SWC’s website.

Stroud Book Festival Writing Competition

[ Stroud Book Festival Website ]

In addition to the main strands of poetry and flash fiction, this competition also has a mainstream fiction category, which seeks a synopsis and extract from a longer work of mainstream fiction. The prize for this category includes a five-day writing retreat.

Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award

[ Sunday Times EFG Award Website ]

One of the most valuable short story prizes in the UK. “The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Award honours the finest writers of short stories in the UK and Ireland. Worth £30,000 to the winning author, it is open to anyone with a previous record of publication in creative writing in the UK or Ireland.”

Sussex Poetry Competition

[ Brighton + Hove Arts Council Website ]

Split between its ‘main’ competition and student competition, the Sussex Poetry Competition is held in conjunction with the Sussex Poetry Festival. Its organisers are looking for poems on any subject that are not more than 40 lines in length. Entrants must have a link to Sussex – either having lived, studied, worked or been born in the county.

The Bedford Competition

[ The Bedford Competition Website ]

The Bedford Competition is looking for poems (of 40 lines) and short stories (up to 3000 words) on any theme; they are a non-profit group with all net proceeds from the competition going to charities that support and promote literacy/literary skills.

The Bi-monthly Free Flash Fiction Competition

[ The Free Flash Fiction Website ]

The Bi-monthly Free Flash Fiction Competition promotes the work of flash fiction authors, offers a cash prize to one winner, gives book prizes to two highly commended, and publishes all the stories that make the shortlist on its website. In a novel twist, the winner of the current competition is then be invited to be the judge for the next competition.

The Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour

[ The Morley Prize Website ]

The Morley Prize is looking for unpublished writers of colour, and intends to nurture and provide opportunities for aspiring novelists of colour and promote diverse fiction across the broader literary landscape of Britain. They want 30 pages of the book’s opening, an overview summary of the book and writing samples.

Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

[ Chicken House Website ]

The main prize in this competition is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a £10,000 advance. The winner will also receive an offer of representation from a top literary agent. The winning entry will be the novel that, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates the greatest entertainment value, quality, originality and suitability for children.

Troubadour International Poetry Prize

[ Troubadour International Poetry Prize Website ]

The Troubadour International Poetry Prize is an international competition, with entrants from all over the world. Judges read every poem submitted. This competition has been running since 2007, during which time it has recognised the work of hundreds of poets. Administered by Coffee House Poetry.

TS Eliot Prize

[ TS Eliot Prize Website ]

Awarded annually for the best collection of verse published in the UK or Ireland that year. One of the most prestigious British poetry prizes. This prize is administered by the Poetry Book Society and supported by the estate of reknowned poet TS Eliot, after whom it is named.

Val Wood Prize

[ Val Wood Prize Website ]

Free international competition open to anyone over the age of 16. Welcoming previously unpublished stories on the theme of Now and Then; they want uplifting and feel-good short stories. The Prizes available are 1st place, £100, £50 for 2nd place and two special commendations of £25. There is also a special ‘Yorkshire Prize’ for residents of Yorkshire. Winning entries are published on Val Wood’s website and across social media.

Virginia Prize for Fiction Competition

[ Virginia Prize Website ]

Administered by Aurora Metro Books, this competition is open to women of any nationality from any country, aged 18 and over. They are looking for entries of completed, unpublished novels for adults or YA readers, of at least 45,000 words in length.

VS Pritchett Memorial Prize

[ VS Pritchett Memorial Prize Website ]

An annual prize administered by The Royal Society of Literature for the best unpublished short story of the year. Winners are published in Prospect online and the RSL Review . The prize was founded to commemorate writer and critic Sir Victor Sawden Pritchett.

Wasifiri Queen Mary New Writing Prize

[ Wasifiri Website ]

This prize (first run in 2009) is administered by British literary magazine Wasifiri . Winners of each category and fifteen short-listed writers will be published and mentoring opportunities made available. The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book in their chosen category.

Wells Festival of Literature Competitions

[ Wells Festival of Literature Website ]

The Wells Festival of Literature has administered competitions for almost three decades, and attracts entries of an extremely high calibre. The poetry prize is awarded after a reading at the Festival in October each year, and there is a supplementary prize for young writers with a lower entry fee.

Welsh Poetry Competition

[ Welsh Poetry Competition Website ]

The first Welsh Poetry Competition was set up by poet & writer Dave Lewis in 2007. Officially launched on St David’s Day, the aim was to encourage and foster the wealth of creative writing talent that existed in Wales but at the time languished in the doldrums. The aim remains to inspire people to capture life in the present day and to give a voice to a new generation of poets and writers. Poems should be no more than 50 lines in length.

White Review Short Story Prize

[ White Review Website ]

This annual short story competition is aimed at emerging writers. It awards £2,500 to the best piece of short fiction by a writer resident in the UK and Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. “The judges will be looking for short stories that explore and expand the possibilities of the form. We encourage submissions from all literary genres, and there are no restrictions on theme or subject matter . “

Wigtown Poetry Prize

[ Wigtown Poetry Prize Website ]

Refreshed and rebranded in 2019, the Wigtown Poetry Prize welcomes entries from poets writing in English wherever they may live. Separate categories celebrate the best of Scottish Gaelic and Scots language poetry, a special category acknowledges a rising talent in Dumfries & Galloway, and a pamphlet prize is named in memory of Alastair Reid – local poet and one of Scotland’s foremost literary figures.

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

[ Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize Website ]

A competition for fictional adventure writing. The prize is split into two separate categories – an award for the best published adventure novel and a award for the best unpublished manuscript by a debut author. Consult the website for details of exactly what adventure writing is, past winners, and information concerning fees, feedback supplements and concessions.

William Soutar Writing Prize

[ Culture Perth & Kinross Website ]

Culture Perth and Kinross invite individuals to take part in the William Soutar Writing Prize. This highly-regarded writing competition attracts writers from across the globe to take part, as well as many local Perth and Kinross entrants.

Wolverhampton Literature Festival Poetry Competition

[ Wolv. Lit. Fes t Website ]

WoLF Poetry Competition 2023 is open until December 31st for poetry submissions on any theme. Judged by Jane Commane of Nine Arches Press, there are cash prizes and a special prize for people who live in the WV postcode.

Women’s Prize for Fiction: Discoveries

[ Women’s Prize for Fiction Website ]

Discoveries invites unpublished women writers from the UK or Ireland to submit the opening of a novel in English, of up to 10,000 words. Unlike most initiatives of this kind, writers are not required to have finished their novel, and Discoveries is completely free to enter.

In partnership with Audible, Curtis Brown Literary Agency, and the Curtis Brown Creative writing school, Discoveries is more than a traditional prize whereby the winner receives an offer of representation and a cash prize; it is a pioneering development initiative which offers practical support and encouragement to aspiring female novelists of all ages and backgrounds, from across the UK and Ireland.

Writers’ & Artists’ Working Class Writer’s Prize

[ Writers’ & Artists’ Website ]

A free-to-enter opportunity for writers who identify as working-class; submit the beginning of your unpublished work in progress and a one-page synopsis of the full manuscript for the chance to received a cash prize, mentoring and membership to The Society of Authors.

Writing Magazine Grand Prize

[ Writing Magazine Website ]

This popular magazine for writers administers a number of competitions throughout the year – this is their biggest. Entries in any genre are accepted up to 2000 words, and there are reduced entry rates for subscribers to the magazine.

37 thoughts on “ The Big List of UK Writing Competitions ”

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Other than Costa, are there any other competitions for children’s writers?

I don’t know of any specifically, but if you find any do let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

Catapillar children’s mag has an annual comp. also, Wells’ festival and maybe Winchester Festival have writing for children camps. Bath novel prize… Something in Bath is for children’s writing! Could be the organiser is also an agent? Mslexia has big comes that alternate between poetry, novels, memoir and writing for children. The commenting person above seemed to miss Chickenhouse, who you do list here. Oh, and Write Mentor who give mentor ships from published writers to unpublished. There is a fee for some but also no fee if you explain poor or under-represented circumstances.

There is the Bath Children’s Novel Award. Closing date 2019 is November 17th. This is for unpublished Authors. There is also Times Chicken House. Closed for 2019 but usually opens Aug to Feb.

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I am COMPLETELY new to writing and want to enter a fiction competition BUT my book is a trilogy of approx 80,000 words per part. Even if I just enter part 1 I am struggling to find anything but “short story” competitions ? Any help would be appreciated 🙂

Hi Eddie. I don’t know of any competitions for trilogies, but you could enter just one part in First Drafts or the Bath Novel Award – you’ll find links to both in the list above!

Hello, Thanks for the list. I am never sure if short story competitions will accept experimental short stories. Do you know of any that specifically do?

Hi, Mo. While not many competitions specify that they’re seeking experimental stories, many of those on the List are thrilled to receive them. Take a look at the individual competition sites to get an idea of the judges and their tastes. Good luck!

The Desperate Literature Prize for short fiction does! Check it out here: https://desperateliterature.com/prize/

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I’m just someone who enjoys writing , is there any for first timers

Many of these competitions welcome first time writers. You might also want to try publishing your work in literary magazines – that can be a great way to get started.

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Several of your rubrics refer to ‘published’ work not being permitted. Does his include having been in the (local) newspaper?

Hi John. You’d have to consult the websites of individual competitions to find out how strict their terms are about previous publication – in most cases, though, publication in a newspaper will probably count.

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Hello, thank you for the information. What about competition for short stories written in Spanish language?

Thanks for this list. I have a short story that was published as part of a free ezine in the states in December. The rights have returned to me. Are my chances of entering affected in any way? Thank you!

Your listing for The London Magazine’s short story award says entries are accepted “July/November each year.” However, their website says 31st March (although it was extended this year to 9th April).

Hi James. My name is June and I have written my first and most definitely last book. I am going to enter it into every competition that I am eligible for. If just one person enjoys it then I will be a happy little bunny. Thank you for all of the advice you have given above.

Warm Regards,

June Pritchard.

We are a publisher of literary fiction (J,New Books) and a literary journal. (Sterling Clack Clack) We would like to list out open calls for submissions. https://jnewbooks.submittable.com/submit

Thanks for your time!

Would be delighted to – please do send along the info for a listing (frequency, format, brief description, etc) and I’ll get that added during the next update!

Best Wishes,

Thank you, Lee. Requested information below. All the best, Sophie

Fiction Factory Short Story Competition. This bi-annual competition is open to short story writers world-wide but entries must be written in English. All genres (excluding children’s and Young Adults fiction) are accepted. Maximum word-count: 3000 Deadline: 31 Oct, 2021 Entry fee: £6 (£11 for 2, £15 for 3) Optional Critique: £14 Prizes: £300, £100 and £50 Winning stories will be published on our website and in a later planned anthology. Read more on: http://www.fiction-factory.biz

Terms and Conditions The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over International entries are welcome but novels must be written in English. Novels must be previously unpublished Deadline 31st October, 2021 All genres will be accepted except Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Entrants may enter as many stories as they wish

Fiction Factory Flash Fiction Competition This bi-annual competition is open to short story writers world-wide but entries must be written in English. All genres (excluding children’s and Young Adults fiction) are accepted. Maximum word-count: 1000 Deadline: 30 November, 2021 Entry fee: £5 (£9 for 2, £13 for 3 stories) Prizes: £200, £50 and £25 Winning stories will be published on our website and in a later planned anthology. Read more on: http://www.fiction-factory.biz

Terms and Conditions The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over International entries are welcome but novels must be written in English. Novels must be previously unpublished Deadline 30th November, 2021 All genres will be accepted except Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Entrants may enter as many stories as they wish

Sterling Clack Clack is a literary journal http://www.sterlingclackclack.com . We publish online and in print. Our October Fiction Contest is now open for submissions. The October prize is a 1965 leather-bound collectors edition of Fifty Best American Short Stories, one hundred dollars, publication on our website, and consideration for our print magazine. Submissions should be between 500 and 10,000 words. Please do not include your name or contact information on the manuscript. This contest will close after 100 submissions have been received. Congratulations to our August winner David Canning. https://jnewbooks.submittable.com/submit/203778/sterling-clack-clack-september-october-fiction-contest

Hello Neon Books, My name is Patrick Juhl, and I was looking to pitch a writing contest to your website! I am starting a new fiction podcast featuring submissions from listeners (or work scouted from magazines, contests, writing coalitions, etc., in the case of not receiving enough submissions, such as I am having to do for the pilot episode). I would love to have my contest listed on your writing competitions page. It would be a wonderful help for getting the show more attention, as well as providing me with content to feature on the show.

Pitch: “The Rain is a new fiction podcast arriving in December of 2021. We feature short stories, poems, and music submitted by our listeners, combined with top-notch recording, sound design, and atmosphere to create a one-of a-kind audio experience to bring to life the vision of our writers. Our monthly writing contests all have a $50 (£36.69) first place prize and no entry fee, though each and every submission has the potential to be featured on the show. Monthly prizes may increase as the show gains attention and funds, but entry will always be free. Visit our website and RainFictionPodcast.com to read this month’s prompt, and join our newsletter to be the first to hear about new contests (monthly, or otherwise), blog posts, and new episodes.

Fiction, poetry, and music to water the soul. Sit and listen to the rain.”

I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing back from you, Patrick Juhl

The Barbellion Prize?


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Writing Competitions – Weekly Updates

Opportunities for aspiring and experienced writers..

Welcome to the most comprehensive list of writing competitions available online. Our list includes short story , poetry , and flash fiction competitions, as well as some events for essay writers, screenwriting , and even entire novel manuscripts. Each item on our list includes basic information about max word count , entry fees , submission deadlines , and the first place prize .

Please do your own research before deciding to enter any event. In case of questions about a particular event, please reach out to the event organizer .

Use our online form to submit a new event to our list.

We are keen to encourage quality submissions, so suggest writers to check their stories before submitting using Prowritingaid . They have free and paid versions and are the best writing software we know to help improve grammar, readability and check for repetition, ‘sticky’ sentences and suggest alternatives. We also suggest checking out our article about the Best Apps for Creative Writing .

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mon 30 oct All Day Diode Editions Book Contest Category Full Manuscript International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 55-95 pages Top Prize $1,500.00, 10 author copies, publication by Diode Editions

mon 30 oct All Day Diode Editions Chapbook Contest Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $18 Max word count 25-50 pages Top Prize $750.00, publication by Diode Editions, and 10 author copies

tue 31 oct All Day Inspiring Fiction's Fantasy Short Story Contest Category Short Story International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 2,500 Top Prize £100

tue 31 oct All Day The Bedford Competition Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee £9 Max word count 3000 (short story); 40 lines (poetry) Top Prize £1500

tue 31 oct All Day WOW! Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest Category Essay International Entry Fee $12 Max word count 1000 Top Prize $500

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Poetry Category Poetry International Entry Fee $15 Max word count 70 Lines Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Books Category Full Manuscript International Entry Fee $25 Max word count No limit Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 5000 Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Short Fiction Category Short Fiction International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 5000 Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day Anthology Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee €18 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize €1000

tue 31 oct All Day The National Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £8 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £5,000

wed 01 nov All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Category Short Story International Entry Fee Free Max word count 5,000 Top Prize £5,000

wed 01 nov All Day THE SCRIBBLE ANNUAL SHORT STORY COMPETITION Category Short Story International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 3000 Top Prize £100 and publication

fri 03 nov All Day F(r)iction Flash Fiction Writing Contest - Fall 2023 Category Flash Fiction International Entry Fee $10 Max word count 1,000 Top Prize $300

fri 03 nov All Day F(r)iction Short Story Writing Contest - Fall 2023 Category Short Story International Entry Fee $15 Max word count 7,500 Top Prize $1000

sun 05 nov All Day Blue Pencil Agency Pitch Prize Category Novel International Entry Fee £12 Max word count 500 Top Prize Agent introduction for up to 10 winners

fri 10 nov All Day The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition Category Flash Fiction USA Entry Fee $13 Max word count 400 Top Prize $1500

sun 12 nov All Day The Wonderland Short Fiction Competition Category Short Fiction UK Entry Fee £5 Max word count 2500 Top Prize Publication

sun 12 nov All Day The Masters Review Novel Excerpt Contest 2023 Category Novel International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 6000 Top Prize $3,000

wed 15 nov All Day The Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize Category Poetry International Entry Fee $10 Max word count No limit Top Prize $750

wed 15 nov 12:00 pm wed 12:00 pm Curious Curls Fiction Contest 2023 Category Short Fiction USA Entry Fee $2.50 Max word count 10,000 Top Prize $250

thu 16 nov All Day Ironclad Creative Short Story Competition - Winter 23 Category Short Story UK Entry Fee £6 Max word count 6000 Top Prize £150

fri 17 nov All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! InkWellness Writing Competition Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee Free Max word count 5,000 Top Prize Publication

sun 19 nov All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Wild Words: Eco-Poetry Callout for Young People Category Poetry UK Entry Fee Free Max word count one side of A4, size 12 font Top Prize Publication

thu 30 nov All Day Ink 2 Screen One-Act Script Challenge Category Script International Entry Fee $45 Max word count 60 pages Top Prize $480

thu 30 nov All Day McNally Robinson Booksellers and Prairie Fire Writing Contests Category Multiple categories Canada Entry Fee $34 Max word count 5000 (fiction and non fiction); 150 (poetry) Top Prize $750

thu 30 nov All Day Anthology Travel Writing Competition Category Non-fiction International Entry Fee €10 Max word count 1000 Top Prize €500 and publication

thu 30 nov 1:00 am thu 1:00 am This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Discourse Literary Journal Monthly Writing Competition: January Category Multiple categories USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 5000 Top Prize Publication

thu 30 nov All Day WOW! Women on Writing Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Category Flash Fiction International Entry Fee $10 Max word count 750 Top Prize $400

thu 30 nov All Day Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee €7 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize €2,000

thu 30 nov All Day Narratively 2023 Memoir Prize Category memoir International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 7,000 Top Prize $3,000

thu 30 nov All Day Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest Category Short Story International Entry Fee $15 Max word count 100 Top Prize $2000

thu 30 nov All Day Café Writers Open Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £4 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £1,000

mon 04 dec All Day Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £10 Max word count No limit? (confirm with organizer) Top Prize £2,000 and publication

fri 15 dec All Day Artificial Intelligence Competition Category Multiple categories Canada Entry Fee $5 Max word count 300 Top Prize $100

fri 15 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition Category Novel Sponsored by Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America (MWA) International Entry Fee Free Max word count No less than approximately 65,000 words Top Prize $10,000

sun 17 dec All Day The Masters Review Chapbook Open 2023 Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 45 pages Top Prize $3000, manuscript publication, and 75 contributor copies

sun 31 dec All Day Valorious Awards Category Novel International Entry Fee $35 Max word count No limit Top Prize $500 (US), Valorious Award trophy

sun 31 dec All Day The Moth Poetry Prize 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee €15 Max word count No limit Top Prize €6,000

sun 31 dec All Day The 2023 Society of Classical Poets Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 108 lines Top Prize $2,000

sun 31 dec All Day The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 100 pages Top Prize $2,000 and book publication

sun 14 jan All Day The 2024 Colorado Prize for Poetry Category Poetry International Entry Fee $28 Max word count 100 pages Top Prize $2,500 honorarium and publication

mon 15 jan All Day Winter Anthology Contest: Compelling First Chapters Category Novel USA Entry Fee $20 Max word count 3,000 Top Prize $1000 and anthology publication. All finalists will receive $50 and anthology publication.

mon 15 jan All Day Rattle Chapbook Prize Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 30 pages Top Prize $5,000 and 500 author copies of their chapbook

wed 31 jan All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Story Unlikely's Annual Short Story Contest Category Multiple categories USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 4500 Top Prize $750

wed 31 jan All Day New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024 Category Flash Fiction UK Entry Fee £10 (£8 early bird price until 30th November 2023) Max word count 300 Top Prize £1,000

wed 31 jan All Day Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition 2024 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £1,000

thu 29 feb All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! THE CANTERBURY TALES WRITING COMPETITION Category Poetry International Entry Fee Free Max word count 500 Top Prize £300

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The Best Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

  • Children's

Flash Fiction


  • Science Fiction
  • Science Writing
  • Script Writing
  • Short Story
  • Young Adult

Manage a competition? Submit it here

writing competitions 2022 uk

Join our short story competition

Submit a short story based on 1 of 5 weekly prompts. Winners get $250.

Showing 631 contests

The reedsy prompts contest.

Every Friday, Reedsy sends out five writing prompts. Enter your response within a week for a chance at $250. Winners may also be included in a future issue of Reedsy’s literary magazine, Prompted.

Additional prizes

$25 credit toward Reedsy editorial services

Entry requirements

Deadline: December 31, 2023

Fiction, Short Story

Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (WAWA)

Ireland Writing Retreat

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life” - and he was right. And change comes in many shapes and forms, some planned but some unplanned and totally unexpected. Events happen, often beyond our control, leading us to change our views. Of ourselves, of life, of others, irrevocably. Sometimes for the better. Sadly, sometimes for the worse. So, ‘change’ is a key word in everyday life. Perhaps even more so in the fast-paced, modern, post-Covid world in which we all live. As such, ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ is delighted to announce ‘change’ as the buzzword for our latest ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards.’ Our competition has two categories - flash fiction and creative non-creative.

Deadline: November 30, 2023

Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

World Historian Student Essay Competition

World History Association

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international competition open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs. Membership in the World History Association is not a requirement for submission. Past winners may not compete in the same category again.

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 01, 2023 (Expired)

Children's, Essay

Put Your Heart in a Book Contest

New Jersey Romance Writers

Submissions will consist of a FIRST chapter, not to exceed 30 pages, and a PROJECTED WORD COUNT of the completed manuscript. A prologue may be included as part of the first chapter, if within page total guidelines. An UNJUDGED SYNOPSIS must be included at the end of the submission, clearly defined with a page break and titled "SYNOPSIS". The synopsis will not count toward the page count.

Social media promotion, feedback from 2 published authors

Deadline: August 01, 2021 (Expired)

African Diaspora Award

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc.

Submissions are open for Kinsman Quarterly’s African Diaspora Award. Top winners receive prizes up to $500 USD and publication within the Black Diaspora anthology. No entry fee required. Those eligible should submit an original, unpublished work in English that features themes of the African diaspora by July 15, 2023.

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $100 + Publication

Deadline: July 15, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Script Writing, Short Story, Young Adult

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

Killer Nashville

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award is committed to discovering new writers, as well as superlative books by established authors and, upon discovery, sharing those writers and their works with new readers. There are a large number of both fiction and non-fiction categories you can enter.

Deadline: June 15, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller

7 Day Story Writing Challenge

Register now for our next 7-day story writing challenge. A secret theme, a randomly assigned genre, and just 7 days to write a story of no more than 2,000 words. Our 7-day story writing challenges take place throughout the year. The challenges are free and you can even get feedback on your story. Take part in one challenge or take part in all of them!

Publication on website

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Maggie Award for Prepublished Writers

Georgia Romance Writers

The purpose of the Prepublished Maggie Award for Excellence is to encourage, recognize, and reward the mastery of romance writing by Prepublished authors of romantic fiction. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) to bring special attention to these writers. Opens February 14th.

Silver Medallion

Deadline: April 30, 2022 (Expired)

Passionate Plume

Passionate Ink

Contest is open to all erotic fiction works published the previous year. Erotic romance stories have HEA and the romantic relationship grows through sexual interaction. Erotic fiction entries do not require an HEA/HFN.

Engraved award

Newsletter/Social Media promotion

Deadline: March 21, 2022 (Expired)

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, Short Story

Annual Flash Fiction Competition

This quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. The results will be announced about six weeks after each closing date and the three winning entries each quarter will be published on the website.

Story Unlikely's Short Story Contest

Story Unlikely

Story Unlikely's Annual Short Story contest is simply looking for great stories, judged both by the technical and literary quality as well as the author's ability to tell a story. We are not genre specific, and judging is blind, not based on the author's credentials, background, or pedigree. This is merit only. May the best story win.

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $250 | Publication and illustration for top 3 stories

Deadline: January 31, 2024

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Mark Lynton History Prize

Columbia Journalism School

The Mark Lynton History Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is awarded to a book­-length work of history on any topic that best combines intellectual distinction with felicity of expression. Books must have been published in the United States between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.

Deadline: December 07, 2023

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards

Two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards, in the amount of $25,000, are given annually to aid in the completion of significant works of nonfiction on topics of American political or social concern. Recognizing that a nonfiction book based on extensive research often overtaxes the resources available to its author, the project envisions the Awards as a way of closing the gap between the time and money an author has and the time and money that finishing a book requires.

J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is given annually to a book­-length work of narrative nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern that exemplifies the literary grace, commitment to serious research and original reporting that characterized the distinguished work of the award’s namesake.

Elegant Literature's Award For New Writers

Elegant Literature

One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers, and the only one closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, putting over $100k into the hands of emerging talent around the globe. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. October's guest judge is multi-award nominated author Shiv Ramdas.

Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD | Free entry to Novelist Accelerator | Now Novel Package

Deadline: October 31, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult, Flash Fiction, Science Writing

Best Stories on Human Impact of Climate Change

Secant Publishing

We are seeking the year's best original short stories (fiction) devoted to the theme of global climate change and its human impact. We are interested in literary interpretations of how individuals and families, cities and nations are bearing the brunt of a world dominated by new extremes of weather, seasons, and eco-disasters. All genres welcome.

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $250 | Publication in anthology

Deadline: March 01, 2024

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

International Essay Contest

Institute for Youth in Policy

You've been elected leader of your country. What would you say during your inaugural address to inspire the citizens of your country, including those of every race, religion, political party, and creed?

Publication in YIP Magazine

Deadline: December 11, 2023

The Saroyan Prize

Stanford University Libraries

Submissions are now being accepted for the 11th William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Two prizes of $5,000 each are given for works of fiction and nonfiction. The awards, co-sponsored by Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, are intended to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan legacy of originality, vitality, and stylistic innovation. Submit five copies of your work published between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023 with a $50 entry fee by January 31, 2024. Writers who have published four or more books are ineligible.

Fiction, Non-fiction

The Moth Poetry Prize

The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

3x runners up: €1,000 | 8x further prizes of €250 | Publication online in Irish Times

The National Poetry Competition

The Poetry Society

Run by The Poetry Society since 1978, The National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines, open to all poets worldwide aged 18 or over.

2nd: £2000 | 3rd: £1000 | Commended: £200 | Top three poems published in The Poetry Review

Ghost Novellas for the "Presence" Collection

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

Ghost novellas wanted from (but not limited to) underrepresented authors by April 31, 2024. Entries must be between 15,000-25,000 words, incorporating BIPOC cultures, traditions, and histories. Selected submissions receive $1000 USD and publication within Kinsman Quarterly’s journal and the “Presence” collection. $25 submission fee required.

Publication in the Kinsman Quarterly and the "Presence" collection

Deadline: March 31, 2024

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Novella, Thriller

Iridescence Award

Kinsman Quarterly seeks fiction and poetry submissions from BIPOC authors for the Iridescence Award by December 31. Themes should include the supernatural, extraterrestrial, paranormal--urban fantasy, magical realism, science fiction, Afro-futurism, etc. Winners receive cash prizes up to $500 USD and publication in our literary magazine and E-book. No fees required.

Publication in Kinsman Quarterly and the Iridescence anthology

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction

Genre Smash Short Story Challenge

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a genre pairing. As soon as you receive your ‘smashed’ genres you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of any length up to 5,000 words, that perfectly and seamlessly combines both genres into one amazing short story.


Deadline: October 23, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Teams Challenge

The Writer's Workout

Teams is a cowriting challenge designed to encourage writers to work together. You and your team (4-6) will develop a single entry to be judged and critiqued. Create a team on your own or use our Discord to find a perfect match. This challenge is public domain mash-ups. We'll supply a list of available works on Oct 20.

Winners published | Feedback on each team's entry

Deadline: October 27, 2023 (Expired)

Fiction Potluck

Each quarter, we'll host a guest judge who picks a challenge. WW staff will read the entries blind and choose ten finalists to feature, then the guest judge picks three winners to be published on our blog at the end of the quarter for Fiction Potluck Friday!

10 finalists spotlighted on website | 3 winners published on blog

Artificial Intelligence Competition

New Beginnings

There is no topic relating to technology that brings more discussion than artificial intelligence. Some people think it does wonders. Others see it as trouble. Let us know your opinion about AI in this competition. Include experiences you have had with AI. 300-word limit. Winners will be selected January 1, 2024. Open to anyone, anywhere.

Deadline: December 15, 2023

Essay, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

Happiful Poetry Prize 2024

We’re looking for poems that explore the topic of mental health and wellbeing in relatable, original, and empowering ways. The competition is free to enter, and welcomes new and seasoned writers alike. No prior experience is necessary, the only thing we require is a passion for writing!

Publication in Happiful Magazine

Deadline: November 20, 2023

Poetry Open

Gemini Magazine

Our 14th annual Poetry Open! Any form of poetry, any topic or length. The top six poems will be published online in our Spring 2024 issue. Any poet writing in English is eligible. Entries must be previously unpublished. Submit up to three poems for $9 entry fee.

2nd: $100 | 4x honorable mentions: $25

Deadline: January 02, 2024

Narratively 2023 Memoir Prize


Narratively is currently accepting submissions for their 2023 Memoir Prize. They are looking for revealing and emotional first-person nonfiction narratives from unique and overlooked points of view. The guest judge is New York Times bestselling memoirist Stephanie Land.

$1,000 and publication

Essay, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction

Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest

Weird Christmas

Genre or humor based stories around "weird" Christmas/solstice/winter-holiday themes. Winners read aloud on Weird Christmas podcast and published on site. (Honorable mentions read/published, as well.)

3 runners up: $50 and publication

Deadline: November 06, 2023

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Poetry, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

Can you write a story using 100 words or less? Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. The first-place prize has doubled to $2,000 USD.

2nd: writing coach package

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Children's, Poetry, Romance, Short Story, Suspense, Travel

SNHU 2022 Fall Fiction Contest

Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU is hosting its 9th annual Fall Fiction Contest, where you can showcase your talents and creativity by submitting an original short story. This contest is open to any writer, based in the continental U.S., and submissions will be accepted from Oct. 2-31. By entering, you'll have the opportunity to win up to $3,000 in SNHU scholarships, have your short story featured in The Penmen Review and more.

$3000 scholarship

WOW! Women on Writing Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest

WOW! Women on Writing

Seeking short fiction of any genre between 250 - 750 words. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, great writing, and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants.

2nd: $300 | 3rd: $200 | 7 runner-ups: $25 Amazon Gift Cards

WOW! Women On Writing Quarterly Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

WOW! Women On Writing

Seeking creative nonfiction essays on any topic (1000 words or less) and in any style--from personal essay and memoir to lyric essay and hybrid, and more! The mission of this contest is to reward bravery in real-life storytelling and create an understanding of our world through thoughtful, engaging narratives. Electronic submissions via e-mail only; reprints/previously published okay; simultaneous submissions okay; multiple submissions are okay as long as they are submitted in their own individual e-mail. Open internationally.

Non-fiction, Essay

New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024

New Writers

The New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024 is open to writers from around the world, and offers a top prize of £1,000, a second prize of £300 and a third prize of £200. The deadline is midnight (UK time) on Wednesday 31st January 2024 and £1.00 from each entry will be donated to the First Story charity.

2nd: £300 | 3rd: £200

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

Discover the finest writing contests of 2023 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2023 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2023

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether. 

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses

On Writing:

How to Craft a Killer Short Story

The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction

How to Write a Novel

Understanding Point of View

Developing Characters That Your Readers Will Love

Writing Dialogue That Develops Plot and Character

Stop Procrastinating! Build a Solid Writing Routine

On Editing:

Story Editing for Authors

How to Self-Edit Like a Pro

Novel Revision: Practical Tips for Rewrites

How to Write a Short Story in 7 Steps

How to Write a Novel in 15 Steps

Literary Devices and Terms — 35+ Definitions With Examples

10 Essential Fiction Writing Tips to Improve Your Craft

How to Write Dialogue: 8 Simple Rules and Exercises

8 Character Development Exercises to Help You Nail Your Character

Bonus resources

200+ Short Story Ideas

600+ Writing Prompts to Inspire You

100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors

Story Title Generator

Pen Name Generator

Character Name Generator

After you submit to a writing competition in 2023

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

Many writing competitions don’t have time to respond to each entrant with feedback on their story. However, it never hurts to ask! Feel free to politely reach out requesting feedback — but wait until after the selection period is over.

If you’ve submitted the same work to more than one writing competition or literary magazine, remember to withdraw your submission if it ends up winning elsewhere.

After you send a submission, don’t follow it up with a rewritten or revised version. Instead, ensure that your first version is thoroughly proofread and edited. If not, wait until the next edition of the contest or submit the revised version to other writing contests.

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writing competitions 2022 uk

  • The 2024 Prize
  • About the Prize
  • The Borders Book Festival

The Young Walter Scott Prize

  • The 2023 Prize


News archive.

  • August 2023
  • February 2023

6th April, 2022

The ultimate guide to competitions for young writers 2022

writing competitions 2022 uk

Getting words down onto the page isn’t the hard part for many keen young writers, but making the time to polish a story or poem can be hard. That’s especially true if you’re in school and juggling other demands like exams or extracurricular activities. But entering a writing competition is a motivation to do the editing that will turn your inspired draft into a shining example of your craft. Here’s a list of competitions aimed at young writers and poets; why not give one a go? We’re starting with our own, of course, which opens next month.  Good luck!

Organised by ourselves, the Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only creative writing prize for budding historical fiction authors. You can enter if you’re between 11 and 19 and live in the UK.  You could win a £500 travel grant, an invitation to one of the UK’s best book festivals, and a chance to see your own work in print. Stories must be between 800 and 2,000 words, set in a time before you were born. For details of the next competition, opening in May 2022, and copies of previous winning entries go to this  website page or follow the YWSP on TikTok www.tiktok.com/@walterscottprizes  and YouTube www.youtube.com/c/walterscottprizes

Orwell Youth Prize

The Orwell Foundation’s Orwell Youth Prize is open to you if you’re between 8 and 13 years old. You’ll need to write a story, essay or write your own game, and the themes they’re looking for vary from year to year. This year you’ll also need to answer a question about what you think should be done about the climate crisis. Find out more at  https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-youth-prize/

War Through Children’s Eyes

Organised by the Azerbaijani Community in the United Kingdom, this is a new art and creative writing competition set up as part of the 30th anniversary commemoration of the Khojaly massacre in Azerbaijan in 1992. If you are a UK resident aged between 7 and 17, you can enter with an artwork or a written piece inspired by the themes of war and peace; written work should be no more than 1,000 words. The deadline is 10 May 2022 and entry is free, although participants are encouraged to make a donation to War Child. For more information, see https://www.warthroughchildrenseyes.org.uk/

Green Stories Writing Competitions

This short story competition is run by the University of Southampton and aims to inspire green behaviour; stories need to be between 2,000 and 5,000 words and include a synopsis. You’ll also need to show that you’ve read previous published work from the Green Stories project. Entry is free and the winner will take home £200. The 2022 deadline has passed, but keep an eye on the website for future competitions.  https://www.greenstories.org.uk/upcoming-competitions/short-stories-competition-for-under-18s-deadline-march-2022/

Young Poets’ Competition

Organised by the Wells Festival of Literature, which celebrates its 30 th anniversary in 2022, this competition looks for poems on any subjects but not more than 35 lines long. First second and third places all win cash awards, plus a year’s subscription to the Poetry Society. You must be between 16 and 22 years old and you can only submit one entry. Find out more https://www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk/2022-young-poets-competition/

Wenlock Olympian Society Writing Competition

This competition welcomes stories and poems and is open to young writers from around the world. There are awards in three medal categories – gold, silver and bronze – and all medallists receive their own Wenlock Olympian Society medal. Find copies of winning stories on their website, where details of the next competition will also be published later in 2022. http://www.wenlock-olympian-society.org.uk/creative/

Author of Tomorrow

The Author of Tomorrow prize, founded by the writer Wilbur Smith, is open to young writers in a range of age categories, from 11 and under, up to 21 years. The competition aims to find the adventure writers of the future and offers a cash award, book tokens, and digital publication in an anthology. Find out more at https://www.wilbur-niso-smithfoundation.org/awards/author-of-tomorrow-2019

Solstice Prize

Organised by Writing East Midlands, the Solstice Prize is open to writers aged 11 to 17; you can submit stories or poems and the prizes on offer include a cash award and a book voucher for your school. Watch the website, which has copies of previous winning entries, for details of the next competition at https://writingeastmidlands.co.uk/young-writers/solstice-prize/

Write on Art

If you’ve ever been moved by a work of art, then Write on Art is a wonderful opportunity to put your thoughts into words. The prize is organised by Art UK and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. To enter, you should be aged 15 to 18 and residing in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland; choose one artwork from artuk.org that fascinates you. For details and guidelines see https://artuk.org/discover/stories/how-to-write-about-art-and-how-to-enter-the-write-on-art-competition

BBC Young Writers’ Award with Cambridge University

This writing prize, run by the BBC along with Cambridge University, could be for you if you’re aged 14 to 18 and live in the UK. You’ll need to write a story of up to 1,000 words; the shortlist will be announced on BBC Radio 1 and the winner will be announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. Learn more at http://bbc.co.uk/ywa

The John Byrne Award

Another opportunity here for writers both young and old, but you must be living or studying in Scotland and be aged over 16. The John Byrne Award is reorganising in 2022; see its website for details at  https://www.johnbyrneaward.org.uk/enter-now/

You’ll never know how you’ll fare in a competition unless you enter, so give it a try! Whether you’ve ambitions to become an author or just enjoy working with words, it’s fun to take part. Why not take a look at our YouTube channel to meet past winners?

You’ll also find inspiration on our TikTok , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , and our website .

  • Terms & Conditions
  • Accessibility
  • Borders Book Festival

writing competitions 2022 uk

Bridport Prize - International Writing Competition

Short Story

Poetry short story flash fiction novel.

30th September 2023 23:59 BST


Distill, build, end well

Gail Honeyman was shortlisted in our competition and went on to write Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, winning the Costa debut novel award. Our winning and highly commended UK based writers are entered into the BBC short story competition. That’s not all, literary agent A.M. Heath reads all the shortlist and considers representation. Long story short? You are 5,000 words away from success.

First prize: £5,000

One of the largest short story prizes, the winning story features in our anthology, so you will see your words in print, maybe for the first time. That’s not all. It opens up further opportunities where your story needs to have been published. You will be invited to our awards celebration and get insightful feedback from the judges and our professional partners. Finally, we will champion you not only as our winner but always as part of the Bridport Prize family.

Second prize: £1,000

Your story features in the Bridport Prize anthology, so you will see your words on the page forever more. It also means you are officially published and can pursue other opportunities. We hope you’ll join us for the awards celebration and recognition of your success.

Third prize: £500

Your short story is included in our anthology where you’ll see your words finally within the pages of a book. Being published now gives you access to other opportunities. Join our awards celebration and breathe in how your hard work is out there for all to see.

Highly Commended 10 x £100


The Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English aged 16 and over at the time of the closing date (the novel award has different criteria. See the novel page for details).

Entries must be entirely your own work. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, have won or been placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up etc) in any other competition.

If your entry has been long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, it is eligible.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed but will become ineligible should they win a prize elsewhere, be published or scheduled for future publication prior to the date of prize giving. Entry fees will not be refunded.

You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

Entries submitted posthumously are not eligible.

Rules of Entry

Please ensure you read the rules carefully before entering the competition.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification. IMPORTANT: All entries are judged anonymously. Please do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle etc on the document or in the file name as this will result in disqualification.


We disqualify entries if they are named or over the word limit. If you forget to add details – title or word count – your entry will NOT be disqualified.

Entries can be on any subject in any style or form. We do not recommend stories written for children. You can enter any number of short stories but please check you are submitting the correct version of your work before uploading as mistakes cannot be rectified later. If you find you have submitted the wrong version or have made a mistake in the work, you can withdraw it and resubmit a corrected version. Please note a further fee would be payable. Entries can be withdrawn by logging into your account. To see how to withdraw, please click here . Entry fees will not be refunded.

The deadline date for entries is 12 midnight (UK time) on 31st May 2023. Postal entries postmarked 31st May but received later will be accepted.

Short story: 5000 words max. No minimum. Title not included in the word count.

  • Add the word count to the top right of the first page. The title is not included in the word count but if you include a Glossary of terms or expressions, this is included
  • Do not add cover or title pages
  • Use any font, 12pt, black
  • Double line spaced (ie: a blank line space between each line)
  • Number the pages in the centre at the bottom of the page
  • Save the file as a Microsoft Word document – .doc or .docx. We also accept file types .rtf, .pdf, .txt. Maximum allowed file size is 2Mb
  • The file name should be the title of the story only, typed exactly the same as on the document, for example: Pride and Prejudice
  • Do not include your name in the file title or it will be disqualified
  • Do not put Bridport entry / Bridport story entry etc in the file title
  • For untitled pieces, save the document with the first line of the story instead
  • For postal entries, staple or securely fasten the pages together with a strong paperclip

£14 per short story. There is no limit to the number of submissions.

The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. Judging is fair and unbiased. The Bridport Prize reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author but the Bridport Prize has unrestricted rights to publish the winning and highly commended poems, short stories, flash fiction stories and extracts from the opening chapters of the long-listed novels in the annual winners’ anthologies and any relevant promotional material.

Results & Awards

Winners and highly commended writers will be notified by email in September. A prize-giving event will be held for the winners at Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset on Saturday 21st October 2023.

Postal entries: enclose a stamped, self addressed postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT if you require receipt of entry. Online entries are confirmed by email to your Submittable account on receipt of payment. Please check your spam folder as emails can land there. It is NOT possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.


  • Carefully read the rules, entry requirements and eligibility before submission
  • Check you’re submitting the correct version of your piece
  • Check spam as our emails might land there
  • Get in touch with any questions well before the 31 May deadline. For all enquiries please email [email protected]


  • Worry if you omit the line count. You won’t be disqualified
  • Be alarmed if your entry confirmation email isn’t immediate. Log in and check your order history. All submitted entries are listed in date order
  • Get concerned if your postal entry fee hasn’t been taken. We open entries in batches and a delay is not unusual

Q: Can I make changes after submission? A: No. If you want to submit a more recent version you have to enter again and pay the fee. You can withdraw your original entry by logging into your Submittable account. To see how to withdraw, please click here . To withdraw postal entries, please email [email protected]

Q: Do you accept email attachments? A: No. You can only submit online or by post.

Q: An earlier version of my work was shortlisted in another competition but I’ve changed it. Can I submit it? A: If the work was not published, you did not receive a cash prize and it has been altered, then yes it is eligible.

Q: My work was long listed in another competition and published in an online anthology. Can I submit it? A: No. Previously published work is not eligible.

Q: My work was previously shortlisted in this competition. Can I re-submit it? A: Yes.

Q: Are simultaneous submissions to other competitions allowed? A: Yes, though if you submit your entry at the same time, it’s on the understanding you will immediately withdraw from the Bridport Prize if it wins elsewhere. Equally, if you win with us you should withdraw from any other competitions.

Q: How many pieces can I enter? A: You can enter any number of pieces in each category.

Q: What about copyright? A: Worldwide copyright remains with the author but we have unrestricted rights to first publish winning and highly commended poems, short stories and flash fiction in the Winners’ Anthology and extracts from the long listed novels in the Novel Long-list Anthology. Plus we may use extracts for promotional material.

Q: Must entries be unpublished? A: Entries to categories – except the novel – are not eligible if published. Novels that have been self-published are eligible.

Q: Does a short story on my blog count as publication? A: Yes.

Q: Are translations allowed?

A: An author’s translation of their work into English is eligible but someone else’s translation of the work is not.

Q: My piece was previously published in another language. Can I submit it in translation?

A: Yes, providing substantial amendments have been made to the original work and it was not published in the UK.

Q: How do you sort entries if they’re anonymous?

A: Postal entries are coded then matched to an entry form once the judges have made their decision. Online entries are automatically tagged with a number connected to personal details.

Q: Can I use a pen name?

A: Yes. But please submit your piece in your real name. When winners are selected we check what name you want to use.

Q: Can I send the same piece I entered in last year’s competition?

Q: I accidentally included my details on the piece. Will it be disqualified?

A: Yes. You need to start over.

Q: Are entries returned after judging?

A: No. They are deleted or shredded.

Q: When are winners notified?

A: During September. The full results will be posted on the website and social media on Saturday 21st October 2023. The shortlists, novel long list and Judges’ Report with a list of the winners are available as downloads. All winning and shortlisted poetry, short story and flash fiction writers will be contacted during September.

Q: How do I get an entry form?

A: Download and print it from our website or email [email protected] to get one emailed or posted.

Q: What happens if I send my postal entry close to the deadline?

A: Entries postmarked on 31 May deadline date but arriving later will be accepted. Late entries are not.

Q: What if I forget to add a word count?

A: Don’t worry. We check if the work is shortlisted.

Ready to submit your entry?

Or send your entry via post

The best short stories make the back of your neck tingle. They make you feel newly alive to the world. They suck you in fast.

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Flash Fiction

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Novel Award

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Memoir Award

writing competitions 2022 uk

Writing Competitions

Writing competitions : unleash your potential and gain recognition.

Writing is a beautiful art form that allows individuals to express their thoughts, emotions, and ideas to the world. It is a medium through which we can communicate, inspire, and evoke powerful emotions in others. If you’re an aspiring writer looking to enhance your skills and gain recognition, one fantastic avenue to explore is entering writing competitions. This blog post will delve into the incredible benefits that await you when you take part in these literary contests.

Sharpen Your Skills

Writing competitions provide a unique opportunity to sharpen your writing skills. Each contest has specific guidelines and prompts, forcing you to think creatively and approach your craft from different angles. The challenges presented by these competitions push you to experiment with new writing styles, themes, and genres. Through regular participation, you’ll develop a versatile writing voice and expand your literary repertoire.

Feedback and Critique

One of the most valuable aspects of entering writing competitions is the feedback you receive from judges and fellow writers. Receiving constructive criticism and detailed feedback on your work can be immensely beneficial in improving your writing abilities. Judges’ comments can shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of your writing, helping you identify areas that require improvement. This valuable feedback is instrumental in your development as a writer, allowing you to refine your craft and develop your unique writing voice.

Building Confidence

Entering writing competitions can be a powerful confidence booster. Submitting your work for evaluation and putting it out into the world takes courage. The validation that comes from being recognised, winning awards, or even making it to the shortlist can instil a sense of accomplishment and belief in your abilities. This confidence is invaluable as you continue to pursue your writing dreams, motivating you to keep honing your skills and striving for excellence.

Exposure and Recognition

Writing competitions offer a platform for exposure and recognition. Winning or being shortlisted in a prestigious contest can push your writing career to new heights. It increases your visibility among publishers, literary agents, and editors and provides a valuable addition to your writing portfolio. Many competitions offer publication opportunities, showcasing winning entries in anthologies or literary magazines, allowing you to reach a wider audience and gain credibility as a writer.

Networking and Community

Participating in writing competitions opens doors to connect with fellow writers, judges, and industry professionals. The writing community is a vibrant and supportive network of individuals passionate about words. Engaging with other writers, both online and offline, provides opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and lifelong friendships. The connections you make through writing competitions can open doors to new writing opportunities, workshops, and invaluable advice from seasoned authors.

Deadlines and Discipline

Writing competitions often come with strict deadlines, forcing you to manage your time effectively and develop discipline in your writing routine. This discipline is an essential skill for any writer, as it fosters productivity and consistency in your creative process. By adhering to deadlines, you train yourself to produce quality work within a specified timeframe, an invaluable skill in professional writing.

Entering writing competitions is a fantastic way to enhance your writing skills, gain feedback and recognition, build confidence, and connect with the writing community. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, these contests provide a platform for growth and an opportunity to showcase your talent to the world. So, embrace the challenges, polish your work, and get started on your exciting journey of self-discovery and literary success. Happy writing!

Take a look at our competition listings here!

writing competitions 2022 uk

The National Geographic Traveller Travel Writing Competition 2022 is open for entries

Are you an aspiring travel writer submit your 500-word entry before 24 july to be in the running to win an 11-day cruise to greenland, courtesy of national geographic expeditions — plus, the chance to kick-start your travel writing career..

For your chance to win, write up to 500 words on an inspiring travel experience, which could ...

For your chance to win, write up to 500 words on an inspiring travel experience, which could be anything from hiking in Hawaii to horse-riding in Herefordshire.

Do you have a way with words? Are you forever regaling your friends and family with tales from your travels? If the answer’s yes, then our annual Travel Writing Competition is just the thing for you.

Submit your 500-word entry before 24 July to be in the running to win the Grand Prize — a luxury expedition cruise to Greenland for two people courtesy of National Geographic Expeditions .

The judges at National Geographic Traveller (UK) want to see flair and finesse with your words — and a written style that captures the essence of the magazine: a strong sense of place, immersive experiences and authentic storytelling.

Every year, the competition receives hundreds of entries, and the aim is simple: to recognise and reward the UK and Ireland’s best new writers. Past winners have gone on to write for the title, often reporting on their winning trip and kick-starting their media careers.

So, what are you waiting for? Enter before 23:59 on  Sunday 24 July 2022 . Terms and conditions apply

National Geographic Expeditions is offering one grand prize winner and a guest the opportunity to discover ...

National Geographic Expeditions is offering one grand prize winner and a guest the opportunity to discover the spectacular east coast of Greenland.

The grand prize

National Geographic Expeditions is offering one grand prize winner and a guest the opportunity to discover the spectacular east coast of Greenland on board Le Commandant Charcot , Ponant’s luxury expedition ship. The 11-day voyage through fjords, icebergs and glaciers offers the chance to spot seals, Arctic foxes and even polar bears. Travellers can also learn about the traditions of the Greenlandic Inuit, too, whose lives follow the rhythm of the changing seasons. The prize includes return flights from London to Iceland for fixed departure dates (5-15 May 2023), and is non-transferable.

See the world through the eyes of National Geographic and Ponant as you embark on an unforgettable ...

See the world through the eyes of National Geographic and Ponant cruises as you embark on an unforgettable expedition alongside National Geographic Experts, photographers and researchers to some of the world’s most remote destinations. Learn more about National Geographic Expeditions at nationalgeographicexpeditions.co.uk

How to enter

For your chance to win, write up to 500 words on an inspiring travel experience, which could be anything from hiking in Hawaii to horseriding in Herefordshire. The editors of National Geographic Traveller (UK) want to see flair and finesse in your entry. This should be a well-crafted ‘snapshot’ narrative with an original, impactful beginning, middle and ending. Don’t forget to capture the essence of great travel storytelling: a strong sense of the destination, an emphasis on local voices and a focus on authentic and immersive experiences. Submit your entry via the entry form linked to on this page. Entries submitted by post or email cannot be counted.

During each shore landing, depending on the ecological resilience of the biome encountered, hikes for different ...

During each shore landing, depending on the ecological resilience of the biome encountered, hikes for different levels will be proposed, in the company of your experienced naturalist guides. Supervised by licenced expert guides, you can also try your hand at kayaking, a method of sailing favoured by the Inuits for at least 4,000 years.

Le Commandant Charcot , Ponant’s luxury expedition ship, is fitted with the most modern oceanographic equipment and all the facilities necessary to accompany a scientific team in its research.

*External link. This competition is organised by APL Media Limited, publishers of National Geographic Traveller (UK). Any personal data submitted will be processed in accordance with APL Media Limited's privacy policy, available here.


By participating in any promotion, you are deemed to accept these rules and the specific directions/terms and conditions applicable to the relevant promotion as well as any terms and conditions of any relevant third party.

The Promoter The Promoter is APL Media Limited, Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL.

The Prize There is one prize consisting of two places aboard Ponant’s Encounters with the Inuit and Spring Traditions cruise (CC050523), departing 05/05/2023, including flights.

One winner will receive the following:

2 x Adults over the age of 18 to share one cabin to join the 11-day expedition cruise (CC050523) from Reykjavik on 05 May 2023 and arriving back in Reykjavik on 15 May 2023. The prize includes all food and drinks on the expedition cruise, along with return flights from a London airport. The prize is offered by Compagnie du Ponant (Ponant), National Geographic Expeditions cruise brand licensee. The prize may not operate as a National Geographic Expeditions branded sailing.

The prize excludes: travel insurance; the cost of any passports, visas, or travel documentation required for the prize winner to travel to Iceland or Greenland; airport transfers between the prize winner’s home and the departure airport; personal spending money; tips; laundry; or any food, drink or activities not mentioned in the prize description. Any additional taxes, costs and expenses incurred during the trip will be the responsibility of the prize winner.

The winner is expected to comply with all health requirements as provided to them. This may include (but not limited to) COVID vaccination or testing requirements. Any charges need to be covered by the prize winner. If the winner fails to comply with health requirements, the prize will be cancelled with no alternative or refund given.

A full set itinerary is already pre-set, where further details can be found online. Changes cannot be made to this itinerary by the winner. However, the cruise itinerary itself is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

The prize will not be bonded by ATOL or ABTA.

Full prize details can be found here: Cruise Encounters with the Inuit and spring traditions From Reykjavík To Reykjavík - May 2023 | Ponant

It is the winner’s responsibility to check all visa, passport, travel insurance and health requirements are fulfilled.

All winners must have a valid passport within 6 months’ validation, beyond the completion of your return to the UK.  Scanned copies of passports will need to be provided from the winner to Global on the day of winning.

Winners must be able to travel on the set dates for the cruise from Reykjavik 05 May 2023 – 15 May 2023. There are no alternative dates available. In case of cancellation of this cruise by Ponant, an alternative will be offered. This is at its absolute discretion and may include a different itinerary, a different ship or both. This may include a cruise of lower value.

Flight times and details will be provided to the winner at the time of confirmation by Ponant.

The flight will depart from a UK London Airport to Reykjavik, prior to the cruise date.

The prize is subject to availability, non-exchangeable, non-transferable and non-refundable. The prize for this Prize Promotion will be given to the winner as set out in these terms and conditions. The winner must accept the prize in that form. There is no cash alternative. No alternative will be offered.

In the event of cancellation by the winner, for whatever reason, no alternative prize will be given.

Ponant reserves the right to substitute the prize with another prize at its absolute discretion.

The Promoter will not be held liable for a prize if it does not reach the winner for reasons beyond its reasonable control.

The winner uses the prize at their own risk.

The Promoter shall not be liable in any way for any failure, liability or breach by any third party in connection with this Prize Promotion or prize and accepts no responsibility for any loss, property damage or personal injury suffered by the winner relating to this Prize Promotion or the prize, except in the case of death or personal injury caused by Promoter’s negligence or fraudulent misrepresentation and, so far as permitted by law, the Promoter its associated companies and agents exclude responsibility and all liabilities arising for reasons beyond its control including any act or default of any third party supplier.

Entrants Entrants must reside in the UK or Ireland and be aged 18 or over. Entrants must be amateur writers and must not receive regular paid writing commissions for UK media outlets.

Employees and agents of APL Media Limited (APL) or any company connected with the production or distribution of a promotion or any of their associated companies are not eligible to take part in the applicable promotion, nor are their relatives or members of their families or households.

Entrants can enter the Prize Promotion only as specified in these terms and conditions.

The winner may be required to provide the Promoter with the form of proof of identity as Promoter in its sole discretion requests before receipt of any prize. Failure to produce sufficient evidence as to identity may result in disqualification.

No entries from agents, third parties, organised groups or entries automatically generated by computer will be accepted. No incomplete, illegible or corrupted entries will be accepted.  Failure to comply with any of these terms and conditions (including instructions) will disqualify any entrant from taking part in the Prize Promotion and the entry will be invalid. The Promoter retains sole discretion to refuse entrants the right to enter if it feels that these terms and conditions are not being complied with or for any valid and justifiable reason.

The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and/or winner and/or amend these terms and conditions at any time in its absolute discretion.

Entries and judging To enter the competition, entrants must submit a 500-word travel piece using the entry form available at: https://natgeotraveller.typeform.com/to/FKOmjUQR

The competition closes at 11.59pm BST on Sunday 24 July 2022. All entries must be received before this time. Only one entry per named entrant and email address will be accepted.

Entries submitted must be original work and must not have been entered into any other writing competition or been published in any other publication or website. Entrants must own the copyright to any work entered. Entrants will retain copyright to their work. The winner will be revealed in the November 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK), published on 6 October 2022.

The competition will be judged by National Geographic Traveller (UK) editorial director, Maria Pieri, and editor, Pat Riddell. The judges' decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

The winner will be notified by email before 6 October 2022 The winner will be contacted using the email address provided at the time of entry. Once notified, the winner must reply within 10 days.

If the selected winner is unreachable, ineligible, disqualified or fails to claim the prize within 10 days of notification being sent by the Promoter, that winner automatically forfeits the prize.

The Promoter’s decision in this Prize Promotion is final and legally binding and no correspondence will be entered into.

Prize Promotion No purchase is necessary for entry in the Prize Promotion.

Any entry made giving another person’s (or a false) name or other dishonest information will be disqualified.

Publicity and Personal Data All personal data submitted by an entrant in connection with this Prize Promotion is submitted voluntarily. All personal data collected from entrants will be used by the Promoter for the purpose of administering the Prize Promotion and by entering this Prize Promotion, entrants’ consent to Promoter using this information to contact them in respect of the prize.

Entrants may consent to receiving National Geographic Traveller (UK) email newsletters containing the latest travel features, events, competitions and offers, by ticking the relevant box on the entry form.

If at a later stage you wish to withdraw your consent to receive such materials please select the “unsubscribe” link which can be found on the National Geographic Traveller (UK) newsletters. Further information about how the information gathered will be held is available from the Promoter’s privacy policy.

Entrants may also consent to receiving direct marketing communications from National Geographic Partners and/or the prize providers by ticking the relevant boxes on the entry form. If you consent to such marketing your information will be processed in accordance with the privacy policies specified with the relevant tick box on the entry form.

You are under no obligation to consent to emails or direct marketing material and this in no way affects your eligibility to still enter the Prize Promotion.

By entering into this Prize Promotion you consent to your personal data being passed outside the EU for the purposes of processing and storing on the Promoter’s servers for the purpose of administering the Prize Promotion.

By entering this Prize Promotion, each of the entrants agree to the use of their name and/or likeness without compensation, for the Promoter’s promotional and marketing purposes.

If selected as a winner or runner up, entrants agree to permit National Geographic Traveller (UK) to publish their entry in the magazine, on the National Geographic Traveller (UK) website and on the National Geographic Traveller (UK) social media channels. The winning and runner-up entries may also be used by National Geographic Traveller (UK) and the competition sponsors in promotional material relating to the competition.

The winner will receive a 500-word paid commission at current N ational Geographic Traveller (UK) rates, following the winner’s trip that would be sent for consideration by the editors for publication in the magazine and online and used for promotion of future Travel Writing competitions.

Winners must co-operate fully for publicity purposes if so required.

Miscellaneous Entrants indemnify the Promoter, its agents, employees, representatives, associates, affiliates, parent and subsidiary companies against any and all claim, losses, costs, damages, liability and expenses arising out of the entrant’s breach of any of these terms and conditions.

Each entrant by entering this Prize Promotion expressly releases the Promoter, its affiliates, agents, employees and directors from any claim, action or demand arising out of or in connection with the Prize Promotion or their prize, if any.

The Promoter reserves the right to modify these rules, suspend or discontinue the Prize Promotion at any time, including without limitation where it is necessary to do so due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control or if it cannot be guaranteed that the Prize Promotion can be carried out correctly for technical or legal reasons or if the Promoter suspects that any person has been manipulating the administration of the Prize Promotion or has acted unethically in any other way.

The determination and decision of the Promoter on all matters shall be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The laws of England and Wales govern these terms and conditions.

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Bafta rocliffe new writing competition.

The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition is a platform for aspiring screenwriters to have their work showcased and a fantastic opportunity to take their writing career to the next level. 

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The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition, which runs twice a year, calls submissions for Film, Television Drama, Children, Family & YA Media, and Television Comedy scripts. In 2023, we will be running Children, Family & YA Media and Television Drama.

Following a blind judging process, selected script extracts are performed by a professional cast to an audience of producers, development executives, directors, actors and literary agents, aiming to give a platform to emerging writing talent from across the country.

The benefits for a writer include: hearing their work read by professional actors, a development-focused discussion generated by the readings, feedback and advice from experienced industry members and an invaluable method to test out new concepts and material on an audience. 

Find out more and how to enter in FAQs below.

How to enter and FAQs Terms and Conditions

Dates and Deadlines:

TV Comedy  

Returns in 2024.

Children, Family & YA Media

Returns in 2025.

Applications for TV Drama are now closed. 

See the 2023 panel and jury here


Children, Family and YA Media

Event: BAFTA Rocliffe New Drama Writing Showcase with Greg Brenman and Rebecca De SouzaDate: 6 April 2016Venue: BAFTA, 195 PiccadillyModerator: Farah Abuswesha-Featuring performances of the following extracts: Exiles by Andreas HadjivassiliouWe Ar

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The Golden Script Competition

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The Golden Script Competition is a yearly international competition for short, feature and TV pilot screenplays from all around the world. It is recognized by MovieBytes as one of the  TOP SCREENPLAY CONTESTS for 2022 & 2023 .

You will be submitting to the 2024 edition , and the best scripts of this edition will be read by  some of the most renowned production companies & literary agencies  (including some that have won several OSCARS and BAFTAS), giving you the chance to have your script produced or represented! 2024 mentors include BAFTA-nominee John J. McLaughlin and three-time EMMY-nominee Jessica Sharzer (TBC).

Who's reading our top scripts:

-  Killer Films  (Still Alice, Carol)

-  Amblin Partners  (Green Book, The Girl on the Train)

-  Benaroya Pictures  (Lawless, Margin Call)

-  21 Laps Entertainment  (Stranger Things, Arrival)

-  Davis Entertainment  (The Blacklist, I, Robot)

-  Broken Road Productions  (The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Next)

-  Shoreline Entertainment  (The Man from Earth, The Signal)

-  Simon West Productions  (The Expendables 2, Tomb Raider)

-  West Coast Film Partners  (Olympus Has Fallen, Donnie Darko)

-  MadRiver Pictures  (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Ad Astra)

-  Lit Entertainment Group  (Prisoners, Free Guy)

-  Fremantle  (American Gods, The Young Pope)

-  Stone Village Productions  (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner)

-  Knight Hall Agency  (repr. writers of In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

-  Signature Entertainment  (Predestination, The Guilty)

-  Perfect World Pictures  (50/50, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)

-  Bully Pictures  (Milk, Defending Jacob)

-  Salon Pictures  (McQueen, Churchill)

-  Affirm Films  (Hachi: A Dog's Tale, Soul Surfer)

-  Bellevue Productions  (repr. writers of Mr. Robot, The Man in the High Castle)

-  Julia Tyrrell Management  (repr. writers of Downtown Abbey, The Musketeers)

-  Hurricane Films  (A Prayer Before Dawn, Sometimes Always Never)

-  Curzon  (Enemy, Son of Saul)

+40 more...



Each July, we unveil our top 30 scripts in the competition with a list called the  GOLDEN LIST ​. This list is shared with many of our partners and industry professionals such as creative executives, producers, and directors, who can access more information about the scripts and request them. However, access to the scripts is limited and requires the writer's permission for anyone outside of our partners and direct contacts.


There will be quarter-finalists, semifinalists and finalists out of which a second runner up, a runner up and a WINNER will be designated. Only one script from each category can win THE GOLDEN SCRIPT award. Note that our mentors and partners are subject to change without notice.


THE GOLDEN SCRIPT WINNER (1st PLACE)  - 1on1 MASTERCLASS with BAFTA-nominee JOHN J. MCLAUGHLIN + Trophy + Award Certificate + one 4 month InkTip Pro Membership worth $130 + 1yr ISAConnect Membership worth $120 + Unlimited Subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub's International Database + 1yr Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $130 + 1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth $468 + 10 Pitches on Virtual Pitch Fest (VPF) + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

2nd PLACE  - Trophy + Award Certificate + one 4 month InkTip Pro Membership worth $130 + Unlimited Subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub's International Database + 6mo Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $80 +  1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth  $468 + 5 Pitches on Virtual Pitch Fest (VPF)  + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

3rd PLACE  - Trophy + Award Certificate + one 4 month InkTip Pro Membership worth $130 + Unlimited Subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub's International Database + 6mo Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $80 +   1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth  $468 + 5 Pitches on Virtual Pitch Fest (VPF)  + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

FINALISTS  - Award Certificate + 20% off discount @ Filmarket Hub (upcoming call for entries) + 50% off discount @ FILMUSTAGE +    1 Pitch on Virtual Pitch Fest (VPF) +   Golden List Inclusion (if placed on the 4th to 15th place)

THE GOLDEN TV SCRIPT WINNER (1st PLACE)  - 1on1 MASTERCLASS with three-time EMMY-nominee JESSICA SHARZER + Trophy + Award Certificate + 1yr ISAConnect Membership worth $120 + one 4 month InkTip Pro Membership worth $130 + Unlimited Subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub's International Database + 1yr Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $130 +   1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth  $468  + 10 Pitches on Virtual  Pitch Fest (VPF)    + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

2nd PLACE  - Trophy + Award Certificate + one 4 month InkTip Pro Membership worth $130 + Unlimited Subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub's International Database + 6mo Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $80 +   1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth $468  + 5 Pitches on Virtual  Pitch Fest (VPF)  + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

3rd PLACE  - Trophy + Award Certificate + one 4 month InkTip Pro Membership worth $130 + Unlimited Subscription @ Filmarket Hub & Spotlight Mailing to Filmarket Hub's International Database + 6mo Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $80 +   1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth  $468  + 5 Pitches on Virtual  Pitch Fest (VPF)  + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

FINALISTS  - Award Certificate +   50% off discount @ FILMUSTAGE  +  1 Pitch on Virtual  Pitch Fest (VPF) +  Golden List Inclusion (if placed on the 4th to 9th place)


THE GOLDEN SCRIPT WINNER (1st PLACE)  - Trophy + Award Certificate + 1yr ISAConnect Membership worth $120 + 1yr Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $130 +   1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth  $468 + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

2nd PLACE  - Trophy + Award Certificate + 6mo Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $80 +   1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth  $468 + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion​

3rd PLACE  - Trophy + Award Certificate + 6mo Screenwriting Staffing Membership worth $80 + 1yr FILMUSTAGE subscription worth $468 + GUARANTEED Golden List Inclusion

FINALISTS   - Award Certificate +  50% off discount @ FILMUSTAGE  + Golden List Inclusion (if placed on the 4th, 5th or 6th place)

2023 Winners on Coverfly

At the program's request, Coverfly will automatically remove your title page for you if you include one when submitting to this program.

1) Submitted scripts must be original screenplays, and the sole property of the applicant(s). Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced. Adapted or based on screenplays are also accepted. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to register their screenplay and secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted screenplay.  All entrants, including the nominees and winners, retain complete and exclusive rights to their work . 

2) All ages are eligible, and you can submit from  any country .

3) All entries must be in  English .

4) We accept screenplays between  1-140 pages  in length. For scripts over 140 pages, you would need to pay an additional fee. 

5) There is no limit to the number of screenplays you may submit.

6) All entries must be uploaded in  PDF/FDX  format. Contact details or names   are allowed   to be on the title page, but not recommended.

7) All screenplays should be written in industry standard format (Courier 12 pt font).

8)  Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entry screenplay(s) are accepted . However,  you would need to pay an additional fee .

9)  Competition judges, readers and employees of our competition, past and present, and their immediate friends and families, are NOT eligible to enter . Previous winning and finalist scripts are also NOT eligible. 

10) Entries must be received on or before the deadlines and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission.  Entry fees (including services fees) are non-refundable and we do not provide any feedback (except for paid feedback).

11)   By entering The Golden Script Competition you agree to all the rules listed . Regardless of your status (winner or nominee), please note that your script may be shared with our partners and sponsors, and by submitting you agree with that. You also agree to release and hold harmless The Golden Script Competition and its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s entry, participation in the contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of the prize.

The Golden Script 2024 Edition NOMINEES will be announced on the 20th of June, 2024.

For terms & privacy policy, go here:  https://goldenscript.net/terms-privacy

Christopher Fielden

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Short story competitions.

Quick links on this page:

  • featured short story competitions
  • regular short story competitions
  • prestigious short story competitions with BIG prizes
  • annual short story competitions
  • writing competitions for young writers and children
  • one-off short story competitions
  • other short story competition lists
  • other short story publishing opportunities
  • closed competitions - a history for reference

Last updated 1st November 2023

Below are tables listing various short story competitions. Some are based in the UK, some are global. Some contests are of high renown (like the BBC Short Story Award or the Bridport Prize), offering huge prizes, and some are lesser known, but offer great opportunities for new writers to become published authors. I will try and keep this list up to date, but please read and make sure you fully understand the rules and the terms & conditions of each competition listed before entering.

PLEASE NOTE: Most of the competitions listed on this page accept entries from writers living anywhere in the world . The country each competition is run from is listed so you know which global market you are submitting to.

I’ve kept the information on the writing competition calendar brief, only detailing the important bits, like genre, approximate opening dates, approximate closing dates, word count and, of course, the amount of prize money you can win. You can learn lots more about the rules for each individual competition by visiting the different websites. I have provided links to make this resource as easy to use as possible :)

If you run a short story competition and would like me to add it to the lists below, please contact me and provide the following information:

  • How often you will be running the competition (eg, annually, quarterly, one-off)
  • The name of your competition
  • A link to your website
  • The country you run the competition from
  • Closing date
  • Date you announce winners
  • Maximum word count of stories
  • Any other details, including how winning writers' stories will be published and any theme or limitation on style/genre of stories accepted

A note from Henshaw Press, about their listing on this page:

Three months ago, we did a review of our publicity, part of which was asking entrants how they found our competition. About a third of them found us through your website.

So thanks again for your support.

I will also try and add to this list regularly as I hear about more competitions.

Please contact me if there is any other information you would like to see on this page, or for any ideas on improvements. Not long after its launch, I updated the page into sections as detailed in the quick links at the top of the page, and put the competitions in alphabetical order. Discontinued competitions now appear in their own list at the bottom of the page for reference only. I hope this makes the lists easier to use.

Also, as the page is getting larger and the lists are getting longer, it is becoming harder for me to maintain. I'll do my best to check all the links regularly, but if you spot any mistakes, outdated information or broken links, please let me know.

I'm fortunate enough to have been published through some of the competitions in the lists below. In these instances, there will be links to the published stories and more detailed information about my direct experiences with the competition in question. See Devil's Crush as an example. There are also similar posts written by other competition winning short story writers.

If you have been published through a short story competition and would be willing to write about your experiences for my website, please see my submission guidelines .

UPDATE: Very short story (flash fiction) competitions previously listed on this page have been moved here onto a dedicated page to improve usability.

UPDATE 2: The list of competitions for young writers has also been moved onto its own dedicated page, again to aid usability.

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Featured Short Story Competitions

Do you run a short story competition? Do you want it featured at the top of this page? If so, get in touch .

Featured Competition 1: Elegant Literature Short Fiction Contest

Elegant Literature is a digital fiction magazine whose mission is to help new talent go pro, award life-changing prize money, and promote fiction writers worldwide. Our short story contest offers thousands of dollars of prizes every month. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. You can learn how it works here .

Instead of paying per submission, you pay a $10 monthly membership which gives you unlimited entries to the contest and includes over $400 in exclusive discounts from our partners like Scrivener, ProWritingAid, Novel Factory, and more. The prize value rises as our membership grows, as does our ability to buy more work from talented new authors. We will also be opening genre-specific competitions based on feedback from the community, so you have a direct say in next month's contest!

In addition to monthly competitions, our members can access the Community Workshop, a private critique group to receive feedback on your work from fellow writers.

This is (we think) one of the best fiction competitions for aspiring writers out there! Head on over to ElegantLiterature.com for your chance to win the thousands of dollars. Learn how to register here .

Featured Competition 2: FanStory

At FanStory new writing contests with cash prizes are announced weekly .

You'll Enjoy

  • Contests.  FanStory run competitions for short stories, flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction and much more. Enter all contests with cash prizes for free with upgraded membership. Contests with cash prizes are announced every week.  Click here  to view the current listing.
  • Feedback.  Get detailed feedback for every poem, short story and book chapter that you write including your contest entries. All skill levels welcomed.
  • Community.   Make connections and friends. Enjoy sharing your writing.  Click here  for more info.

Contest Highlights:

  • Dialogue Only Writing Contest : Write a story using only dialogue. That's right - just dialogue. Have fun with it. This contest has a cash prize .
  • Fantasy Writing Contest : Can you write a fantasy story. Let your imagination go. The winner takes away a cash prize .
  • Horror Writing Contest : Put your readers on edge or terrorize them for this horror writing contest. Cash Prize !
  • Science Fiction or Fantasy Writing : Write a science fiction or fantasy story. All topics welcomed - just stick with sci fi. Cash prize to the winner.
  • Share Your Story : Share a story about your life. Tell about an event that stands out. Cash prize to the winner.
  • This Sentence Starts The Story : Write a story that starts with this sentence: You need to calm down. This contest has a cash prize .
  • True Story Contest : Share a memory from your life. Share a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. This contest has a cash prize .
  • Western Writing Contest : Share a western story. Share your version of the western you'd want to read. Enter for your chance at the cash prize .

These are just a few of the contests. View the full listing here .

Featured Competition 3: To Hull And Back

To Hull And Back is a biennial humorous short story competition that offers 'the greatest literary prize in the known macrocosm'. You can decide for yourself whether that's true or not...

There are 20 prizes (the top prize is £1,000 - total prize pot is £2,000 ) and all the shortlisted entrants are published in an anthology. In addition to this, the winner's face is featured on the front cover of the book, which is created by a different artist each year. The book is then strapped to the handlebars of a Harley Davidson FLSTFi Fatboy and filmed being ridden to Hull and back.

To my knowledge, To Hull And Back is the only regular short story competition that celebrates humorous writing. If I'm wrong and you know of another contest specifically for comedy writing, please let me know.

I bang on about the To Hull And Back humorous short story competition a lot. That's because it's awesome. (Admittedly, I am biased, but it is – ask anyone.) The top prize is the greatest literary accolade ever offered in the field of literature. (See previous note regarding bias.)

Original. Unusual. Crazy. But lots of fun. You can find out how to enter here .

From 2014 to 2019, the competition was run annually. Since 2021 it has been run biennially (every other year): 2023, 2025, 2027 etc.

The To Hull And Back Competition is currently closed. The 9th competition will open for submissions on 1st July 2024 .

You can see the most recent winner's video here:

To Hull And Back was listed by Reedsy as one of their best writing contests of 2021 and 2022.

Regular Short Story Competitions

The first table lists weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly and bi-annual short story competitions.

As mentioned above, details of very short story (flash fiction) competitions have now been moved to a dedicated resource. I mention it again here because there were a lot listed in the regular competition lists.

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Prestigious &/or Big Prize Short Story Competitions

The second table lists well renowned and prestigious competitions which offer big cash prizes. Any short story competition with a prize of more than £1,000 ($, € or other currency) is listed here. There are a couple of other big prize awards listed in the Regular Short Story Competitions (it seems pointless to list them twice).

Annual Short Story Competitions

The third table lists yearly competitions of different genres offering a wide variety of prizes, some cash, some not. The majority offer publication to the winning writers and runners up.

Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children

The fourth table on this page used to list writing contests for young writers and children. This list has now been moved to its own dedicated page to improve usability. You can see the new young writer competitions page here .

There are sometimes other opportunities for young writers listed in the one-off competitions lists , or on the Flash Fiction competitions page . You can also find details of scholarships on my non-fiction contest page .

One-Off Short Story Competitions

The fifth table lists one-off short story competitions, which are usually held to commemorate or celebrate a landmark event. As the list grows, I will add current competitions alphabetically at the top.

Contests that have already taken place will be moved to the History of Closed Short Story Competitions below - I think it's nice to keep a history, so I won't delete them.

Other Short Story Competition Lists

There are a few other websites that offer useful short story competition information. They are listed below:

  • Almond Press
  • Arts Deadline List
  • Australian Writers' Competition Resource
  • Cathy's Comps & Calls
  • Commonwealth Writers
  • Creative Writing Ink
  • DL Shirey's The Short List
  • First Writer
  • Jerry Jenkins
  • Maura Yzmore
  • Poets and Writers - look in the 'Publish Your Writing' section of their site
  • Plymouth Writers Group
  • Prize Magic
  • Published to Death - focusses on free contests and links to other list providers
  • Query Letter
  • ShortStops - they list competitions and literary magazines
  • Stuart Aken's Writing Contest List
  • Swagbag Stories Writers and Artists Group
  • TCK Publishing
  • The Grinder - list of thousands of markets with filters
  • UK Writers College
  • Writers' HQ - look in the 'Writing Resources' section of their website

If you run a list on your website and would like it included here, please get in touch .

Other Short Story Publishing Opportunities

I've launched pages listing many other publishing opportunities for short stories, flash fiction, poetry, novels and more.

You can find them here:

  • Short Story Magazines lists - details of various printed and online magazines around the globe that publish fiction regularly
  • Short Story Collection Competitions - a list of contests and awards specifically for short story collections and anthologies
  • Flash Fiction Competitions lists - as the short story competitions page was getting so long, I decided to develop a separate resource for flash fiction competitions (awards with a word count limit below 1,000 words) to make the site easier to use
  • Book / Novel Writing Competitions lists - details of prizes available for completed books - often, these can lead to decent publishing opportunities for collections of short stories and novels
  • Essay Contests and Non-Fiction Writing Competitions lists - this resource includes details of memoir competitions
  • Poetry Competitions lists - I started this resource because I receive a lot of enquiries about having poems published

Inkitt's Writing Contest

Inkitt's Writing Contest offers a fantastic opportunity for stories that are 20,000 words or more in length. So it's perfect for longer short stories, novellas, novelettes and novels.

It's free to sign up to Inkitt. You can then submit your stories, making them available to their extensive readership.

The winning stories are selected based on their popularity with Inkitt's readers. You can learn more on my novel and book competition lists .

Non-Fiction Writing Competitions

This section has now moved to the Essay Contest and Non-Fiction Writing Competitions page .

A History of Closed Short Story Competitions

For reference, when you're spending hours trying to find a competition doesn't exist anymore, I thought I'd keep this handy history of short story competitions that have closed and writing websites that no longer exist. I hope it's useful.

By Christopher Fielden

This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy .

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Gary D The Ruth Rendell short story comp actually closed in 2011 – this is not entirely clear from their website, even the ‘terms and conditions’ just said closing Oct 29th and (as I discovered) the online form still lets you submit a story and send them £10 – they returned the entry fee and sent an apologetic email, but it might be worth noting so no-one else makes the same mistake I did. Thanks for your website, I very much enjoyed your short stories and find your competitions listings page to be very useful … now I’m just looking for a good market for my 1,000 word story that I’d oh-so-carefully crafted for the Ruth Rendell comp!

Chris Fielden Thanks for the info Gary, I've updated the Ruth Rendell competition details, listing it as closed. Best of luck getting the story placed!

Tim Thanks for doing this, very nicely laid out and easy to follow salient facts, it is much appreciated. I'm pretty new to short story writing and was looking for comps for a short I've just written. I didn't realise the problems I'd face with it being around 7,500 words though! 

Chris Fielden Thanks Tim, yes, there are very few competitions which accept over 5,000 words. You can try the magazines page as a lot of the US publications take submissions around the 7,000 word mark.

F Venn Greetings, I've noticed the 'Dark Lane Quarterly Collaborative' magazine, is not an addition to any of the listings. As well as short stories, this non-profitable [and micro compact] fiction publication, also welcomes submissions - such as proses, poetry and black & white artwork..  Perhaps, it could be added to the 'Other short Story Publishing' list.

Chris Fielden Thanks F, I've added the DLCQ mag to the magazines page (see link in comment above yours)!

Brenda Thank you for compiling all these contests. The first time I was on this site I thought I saw a contest pertaining to anything to do with horses, but now can't find it. Is it here?

Chris Fielden Hi Brenda, it's called Equestrian Fiction Finder and is in the regular short story competition list :-)

John W Hi. I have written 18 short stories for children (say 4 to 8 years) about a young bear and a hedgehog and their adventures. Perhaps you could recommend suitable competitions I could enter? Regards, John

Chris Fielden Hi John. Your best bet is to try the Write a Story for Children competition, which is in the Prestigious &/or Big Prize Short Story Competitions list on this page, although they get a lot of entries, so competition is tough!

Jo B This is a brilliant resource.  Thank you.

Harshita N Thanx for providing so many opportunities on a single page. But it would be absolutely fantastic if u would also list competitions outside the UK, USA. etc. and include Asian countries.

Chris Fielden Thanks Jo :-)

Harshita, I will list any short story competitions from any country (there is one Egyptian one listed) but I need to know about them! If there are any you know of that you'd like listed here, please tell me.

Richard B I just wanted to say thanks. Yours is the best competition list I've found. Cheers, Richard

Chris Fielden Thanking you Captain Rich

Jan e B Hi Chris - your list is most useful, thank you. Bristol Prize has a word max of 4,000 rather than 3,ooo according to the website. J 

Chris Fielden Thanking you Jane, much appreciated - I have updated the details accordingly :-)

Pamela A Wonderful, comprehensive listings - thank you very much. I've wasted too much time compiling lists instead of focusing on writing - procrastinating and getting too tidy! Cheers and good health, Pamela

Russell S Your site is an excellent resource for someone such as myself looking to get on that tricky first rung of the publishing ladder. Can I recommend adding details of a new short story/poetry journal called Sixfold which I have recently submitted to? They have had to postpone their first issue in order to allow more submissions. It is to be writer voted i.e. everyone who submits gets involved with the reading/rating process to pick a winner. I think it's a great concept and would be grateful if you could help spread the word by adding it to your list. Thanks

Chris Fielden Thanks Pamela.

Russell, thanks for the information. I've added Sixfold to the prestigious, big prize competition list . Best of luck - I hope you do well in the competition :-)

Honor W I was searching for the annual competition for a book of Scottish Short Stories, which used to have the closing date of 31st Jan - but I can't find it. Does it no longer exist do you know or am I using the wrong search terms? Thanks for this list - it's very useful. .

Chris Fielden Hi Honor, the only one I'm aware of is the HISSAC competition. That closes in July, but the organisers might have changed the entry dates.

K I Thank you sooo much for putting this up! Honestly, it has been of a great help to me. KI

Anne Thank you so much for compiling this list! It's saved loads of time for me, and it's given me a lot of motivation too!

Julie C Hi Chris,

Love your competition website!  Incredibly useful to me. 

I've written a collection of short stories and have decided to enter them in various competitions this year, since publishing them as a whole collection is proving to be quite difficult (as a previously unpublished author). 

However, there is one thought that is concerning me and I can't find the answer to it anywhere. Hence my asking you! 

If I win a competition, or am a runner-up, can I then use the story again in a collection at a later date?  I don't want to enter and possibly win competitions if that means I then can't use the story again, as part of a complete collection.  My purpose for trying to get a mention in competitions is to make publishers more likely to consider taking my collection as a whole. 

Any knowledge or advice you have in this area will be most welcome. 

Thanks! Julie

Chris Fielden

Thanks for getting in touch.

What you're talking about is exactly what I'm planning to do with my short stories long term - put a collection together, ALL of which will have been previously published. So I think it's a fantastic idea, but I am slightly biased :-) 

However, I'm afraid I can't give you a definitive answer to your question, as I don't actually know. I'd assume it would vary from publisher to publisher.

I believe that having stories in your collection that are previously published would make your work far more saleable as the stories are of a proven quality - an editor or competition judge has already thought they were good enough to publish. And if you have work published, it means you already have an audience, so a publisher is more likely to consider you seriously. It also gives you some great experience in dealing with editors so it's fabulous for your writing CV.

The only time you might run into issues is with the contracts you enter into when your work is published through competitions. The vast majority of competitions and short story magazines ask for previously unpublished works and ask for first publishing rights in their Ts & Cs. The copyright generally remains with the author, meaning that after the magazine or competition have published your work, you are then free to resell it. That is certainly the case for all of the stories I've published, including one which is due to be in the Chapter One promotions anthology 'Primed' this year. For this particular story, I've had to sign quite a lengthy contract, but the copyright remains with me and, once their book is published, I'm free to do what I want with the story.

So  I really can't see it being a problem (in most cases) if some or all of the stories in a collection have been published previously.

To back this theory up, 'The Golden Apples of the Sun' and 'The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl' are examples of 2 very famous books that contain stories that have been previously published in a wide variety of magazines. Admittedly, these are old books from established authors, but the fact that the stories were previously published didn't stop a publisher releasing them as a collection. The books actually say where and when they were first published - maybe because they are obliged to, but probably because the reader will find it interesting.

In the end, I'd advise you to try and get as many stories published as you can through competitions, always aiming to WIN! Even if it turns out that you can't use them in a collection, they might get a publisher's interest. Then you can write more stories for the collection once you have a publishing contract!

I hope that's useful.

Julie C Hi Chris, Thanks for such a swift and helpful reply. 

Your answer is very encouraging, and pretty much what I suspected myself.  It means that I can go ahead and enter loads of competitions in the meantime.  I will be super-aware of the contracts aspect, though, and try to ensure that the copyright remains with me. 

My husband suggested I 'just write more' if I can't re-use the stories, but you know how precious they become - I want to see them belong together, since I deliberately wrote them with similar themes to fit together neatly into a collection. 

It would be annoying if I can only use them once. Many thanks again, and best of luck with your own collection.  It sounds as if you're well on the way to putting one together! 

Chris Fielden Hi Julie

No problem, I'm glad you found it helpful :-)

I know what you mean about stories becoming precious. I must admit though, over time, I've become less precious about them - I just like to see them in print!

Best of luck with the competitions. If you have any joy, please get in touch and let me know.

Cheers, Chris 

Roger S Christopher, I plan to enter one of the short story contests you mentioned. But I do have a 7,000-word short story set in England -- where we have often travelled to from here in the Colonies -- and wondered if you might be able to suggest a contest in the UK that accepts entries of that length. All help appreciated. Roger

Chris Fielden Hi Roger

The only one I'm aware of in the UK is the Earlyworks Press Competition. The BBC Short Story Award also takes stories of this length, but you have to be from the UK and previously published to enter it.

There are a couple of UK magazines that take longer stories - you can see them here .

Best of luck with getting your story placed! Chris

Sarita Really useful list. Thank you for sharing :)

Christopher O This is a brilliant resource. Thanks. I wish I knew of it earlier.

Anne K Thanks for such a useful web site, just thinking of starting out again decades after having some small success with short story writing with HE Bates. Feel very inspired now!

Samantha D This is so useful.  I have a short story that I would like to try and get published but have found that most sites/competitions are for stories around the 2,000 words mark (mine is just under 5,000).  I have seen a couple of possible sites/competitions here, so THANKs. Sam

Alison C I run the Frome Festival Short Story Competition - can you add the fee please?  It\'s £5 plus £47 for in depth critique. Thanks, Alison

Chris Fielden Hi Alison - updated for you :-)

And thanks Sarita, Chris, Anne and Sam - all good to hear!!

Dave P Thanks for this Chris, kind of you to share it. Very useful. Dave

Monica G Hi !! I'm sixteen years old and I'm an Indian. I would love to register in a competition but  really don't know which category to look under. My story is about adventure and little bit of detective work. I would really like your suggestions. Thank you so much ! :)

Chris Fielden Thanks Dave :-)

Monica, try the list of Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children . It contains competitions aimed at younger writers around your age. Best of luck!

Pierre F You missed the Writers Type competition. They offer Amazon Gift Coupons as prizes. It's a monthly affair, and winners qualify for re-entry in the Annual Competition, where the Coupon prize is more substantial.

Chris Fielden Thanks Pierre - added!

Dee J What about the monthly short story comps in Writing Magazine and Writers' News? I had a quick look at your regulars listing but didn't see these mentioned. The magazines come together these days, one inside the other. Available at newsagents in the UK and probably elsewhere. They have a website.

Thanks for compiling these lists. Very useful.

Chris Fielden Thanks Dee, added!

Cathy M There's also the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story prize - it actually closed today (sorry!) but seems to be an annual thing, open to writers of any nationality.

Chris Fielden Thank you Kathy, added :-)

Judith W Fascinating - the entire site - shall get weaving at once - thank you very much. Judith

Moody C Hi Chris, I live in Australia (originally from Yorkshire).  This site is fanbloodytastic!  Thank you so much for taking time to create it.  My teeny worry is you mention Brit Writers.  I was short listed in their 2011 Awards and travelled from Australia to England for the ceremony (which was no hardship whatsoever!). However, I have serious concerns about this lot - they will not reveal anything about themselves and wouldn't even say who the judges were apart from 'famous authors, members of book clubs, editors ...'. See Harry Bingham's Writers' Workshop blog about them ( post 1 here and post 2 here ).  Dodgy as.  Thanks again, MC

Chris Fielden Thanks for the heads up Moody :-) If you have any other info about this, please let me know! Chris

Moody C I felt really deflated by Brit Writers - in fact, I even wondered if I'd been chosen because I live in Australia and it looked good on their fancy programme. A lad at our table on the evening had been shortlisted in the song writing category. He said that when he received the phone call (re the shortlist) he was told that if he didn't travel to London for the ceremony then he couldn't win!

Another lady was there with her two young daughters.  One daughter (12) had been shortlisted in the children's category. The other daughter was 9 and they travelled from Cornwall. They charged the mum £100 for the 9 year old's ticket! A few months later I got an email saying the CEO of the company wanted one-to-one meetings with all finalists 'to see what he could do to help...' I was, coincidentally, coming over to England in the Dec/Jan, so wrote back immediately, saying I would be available for 6 weeks and would be delighted to travel from Yorkshire to London to meet him. I never heard another word. Perhaps I'm being harsh but you know when you just have a bit of a funny old feeling?

Chris Fielden Certainly do Moody! Thanks for sharing this, it's really useful for users of my website to be able to see this kind of information. Anyone else got any info on Brit Writers they'd like to share?

Jackie P This is a great resource and wonderful of you to have put so much of your time and effort into putting this together. Tired of writing "legalese", I'd like to try and return to a more creative format and was wondering where to look for short story contests. Look no further! Thank you!

Stella S Hello, first time visitor to your site, I'll definitely bookmark it! Thank you.

Carol W Hello,

 Are you familiar with the Manchester Writing School with its B-I-G prize money? ( closely linked with the poet laureate C.A. Duffy, to boot). Am I having a dim moment, or does merely entering a story to them mean that it will never be free of them again? My 'copyright' as author merely assures my right to have my name linked with my work and any quotation from the same, doesn't it? £17 seems a high price to pay to lose control of one's story for ever and ever. Regards, and thanks for your helpful page. Carol

Thanks Jackie & Stella! Carol,

I am familiar with the Manchester writing competition - I've entered it before, but not got anywhere. If you enter, you retain all rights to your story. You just grant the Manchester Writing Competition first publication rights. This is standard stuff and very fair, especially given the 10K prize. This means, once the they have published your story, you can do what you want with it. At least, that's how I understand it.

Hope that's helpful, and best of luck with the competition! Chris

Venu G Hi there, thanks so much for this super-helpful list. Just to help you keep it updated I'd like to let you know that one link is broken. It's in the notes of the Bridgewater competition, where it says you can get way more info by clicking 'here'. I'm in India now so there's a chance it just doesn't work here. Thanks again! Venu

Chris Fielden Thanks Venu, it was broken! I've updated it :-) Cheers, Chris

Petrina F I am an EL school teacher from Malaysia. I'd like to get my students interested in writing so I thought participating in writing competitions would be a good start. Unfortunately, due to the dearth of such competitions in Malaysia, I'm forced to search the international scene. I came across your fantastic website. I need to know: Do they accept international entries? Thank you.

Chris Fielden Hi Petrina, most of the competitions listed on the site accept entries from residents in any country as long as the stores are written in English. There are a few which only accept entries from specific countries, so you’ll have to check each competition website to see the exact rules, but most are happy to accept entrants from anywhere.

Lynn L Hi Chris, a writer friend put me onto your site and it's great. It's well organised, honest whilst remaining encouraging and it's great to see that you update so regularly as some sites allow their info to become out of date quickly. Thanks for your hard work.

Chioma C Hello Chris, thank you for such a comprehensive list! I'm a budding poet, and wondered if you could point me in the direction of poetry competitions please? Many thanks!

Chris Fielden Hi Chioma, you could try getting a copy of Writers Forum magazine as they list poetry competitions regularly and also run a poetry competition every month. Or try the Poetry Library . They list many competitions and it looks like it's kept quite up to date :-)

Chioma C Hello Chris, I looked it up, many thanks! Followed you on Twitter too... Looked at your activity there and I see you list competitions there as well. Chioma

Chris Fielden No probs, thanks Chioma :-)

Tim K I received a mail recently to say the Ruth Rendell Interact comp is running.

Here is an extract from the mail: Entries can be submitted online or by post. Please find more details and terms and conditions of entry on the InterAct Reading Service website.

Fionnuala K Hi Christopher, I wanted to say " Thank you" for your tremendous  chart of all the competition possibilities - great to see it all in one place and a smashing research job.

I just wanted to add some things - although the Frank O Connor is only for published writers, there is another competition through MunsterLit, which is the Sean O Faoilain short story which is (I think) open to all, needing just an unpublished story. There are other great opportunities in Ireland, including the fantastic Listowel Writers week where there are both short story,  and playwriting opportunities thanks to Bryan Mac Mahon (short story) and Eamon Keane (full length play). Listowel writers week staff are also a tremendous group of people to work with - very supportive and helpful.

Chris Fielden Many thanks Tim & Fionnuala! I've updated the page accordingly :-)

Fionnuala K You are welcome, Chris. Thank you again for a great resource and good luck with the writing, Fionnuala

Bree W This is a great list, thanks Chris for putting it together. Just a quick question, I'm very new to this and was wondering if you could enter the same story in multiple competitions? Just wondering.  Thanks in advance.

Hi Bree, it depends on each individual competition's rules. Some are happy for you to enter your work elsewhere, like the Bristol Prize for example, but many prefer you not to enter your work for consideration elsewhere until they have announced their winners. Personally, I think you should be able to enter stories into as many competitions as you like as you will sometimes be waiting for months to hear about results and it can seriously slow up your publishing rate. However, I can see why competition administrators ask you not to enter your work elsewhere, as it can cause them problems if your work is placed and they select you as a winner.

I'd just use your common sense, but bear in mind that the probability of being placed in more than one competition at once is unlikely, no matter how good your writing is! If you do enter more than one competition at once, I'd just let any other competitions know when your work has been accepted elsewhere so it causes them minimum inconvenience.

Hope that's helpful, and best of luck with your writing.

Bree W Thanks for the reply :-) Now to filter through the competitions and pick a couple. Thanks again :-)

Anthea C Thank you so much for all the work you have put into your website. So helpful. Do you have any ideas of a competition that I could enter my lower sixth A level English students into? They have just returned to school after taking their AS levels and I want them to study narratology and am going to get them to write a short story. It would be great if they knew it was being entered for a competition, because then it would make it feel more important to them. Any ideas? Many thanks. Anthea (Head of English, Kent College, Pembury)

Chris Fielden Anthea, you could try one or two of the competitions from the list I have for young writers and children on this page.

Aside from that, maybe one of regular competitions, like Writers' Forum, as you can enter that at anytime during the year. But you'd have to check they don't have an age limit.

Hope that's helpful :-)

Edmund W Just wanted to say thanks very much for collating all this information - extremely useful to aspiring novelists!

Maureen O Thanks so much for this list and for all the effort that you obviously put into it. I may have missed it but I did not see the Glimmer Train Stories. They run different competitions year long. Cheers, Maureen

Chris Fielden Thanks Edmund!

Glimmer Train added Maureen - thanks for the heads up :-)

Palash P Thank you so much, Christopher. It's quite an exhaustive list. I belong to the Writers' family in India. Of late I felt the hunger to put my thoughts into words and it resulted in immense gratification. I do not know if I have the X factor in me to become a writer and create a niche in someone's heart, but I can try!

Chris Fielden Welcome, Palash - best of luck with your writing :-)

Bill C First time I saw all the comps listed. Very helpful!

Mandy T Just wanted to thank you for such an excellent website. I found out about Myslexia and Scribble magazines here and now subscribe to both - waiting to hear back from Scribble re a short story I recently sent them as I write this ... I've also entered several competitions this year from your extensive listings, and have just found four more I'd like to try my hand at. Happy writing!

Chris Fielden Thanks Bill!

Mandy - glad you found this resource so useful. It would be great to hear how you get on with the competitions :-)

Marlene P Hi Chris, this is excellent. I write a lot of short stories. What you have done here is very helpful . Can you let me know what Writing Course you did? Thanks a lot.

Chris Fielden Hi Marlene, I did the Writers Bureau course. I found it very comprehensive and did the non-fiction and fiction modules. Let me know if you have any questions about it .

Marlene P Thanks Chris... I've been reading your stories....:-):-):-)

Emma W Hi Chris, thank you very much for this resource. 

My question - In your experience do successful short stories usually approximate the maximum word limit? In other words, would a 2,000 word short story be considered an acceptable entry in a competition with a 5,000 word limit? Thanks

Chris Fielden Hi Emma, in my experience, it doesn't matter how long the story is, it's the quality of the story that counts. For example, I've had 2,500 word story published through a 5,000 word limit competition before.

The only exception to this is if a contest stipulates a minimum and a maximum, which some magazines do to fit their print requirements. But if no minimum is stated, you should be fine entering any length of story. Hope that's helpful :-)

Helen M Was wondering why the Hennessy New Irish Writing in conjunction with the Irish Indo is not listed? It can be entered throughout the year and is free. Fiction, non published and free.  Regards, H

Chris Fielden Hi Helen, to list the comp, I need the details and I can't find any entry rules or anything online. Are you familiar with the rules (how to enter, entry dates, prizes offered, dates, word limit, frequency of the comp etc)? I'd need all these to list the comp. If you could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated :-)

Ruth Thank you for this information, it was helpful...

Helen M Hi Chris, thanks for reply. It's a noted competition in Ireland. I've added a link. I've been shortlisted for the 43rd Hennessy  in 2013 and like yourself found it difficult to find any info on it. I was sent a link by a friend which is how I ended up entering. Hope this helps and if not please feel free to email me back. Well done on the comp list you have provided. Regards, H

Chris Fielden Thanks Ruth!

And thanks very much Helen :-) I've contacted www.writing.ie to see if they can give me more details, or point at the right website to find out all the entry details. I'll let you know if they get back to me.

Tanya V Hi. I'm looking for competitions in Canada and only see 2 on your list. CBC Books has a competition underway shortly. I wonder if you could look up more from Canada. Thanks.

Chris Fielden H i Tanya, I've added the CBC Books short story competition to the lists - thanks for the heads up :-)

I'm not very familiar with the Canadian writing market, so if you know of any other short story competitions based in Canada, please let me know and I'll be happy to list them. Thanks, Chris

Tanya V Will do – I’ve been researching them so I’ll send you links to the ones I’ve found. Thanks for replying.

Another question – if a competition is set in, say, England, does that mean it’s only open to English citizens?

Chris Fielden That would be great, thank you Tanya :-)

In my experience, most competitions will accept entries from anywhere in the world as long as they are written in English. But it's best to check the rules and submission guidelines for each competition carefully to make sure, as there are some exceptions to this rule.

Iris A This site looks good, but you should have a section for younger writers; I'm 13 and none of these competitions are what I'm looking for.

Chris Fielden Iris, try the Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children list on this page ;-)

Will H I'm far from the first to say this, but what an excellent site! It's been most helpful to me as I've written a couple of shorts recently and have decided to put them into a few competitions to test the water.

I have a small conundrum, which is probably as much me getting ideas above my station as anything else, but I've entered them into a couple of the more prestigious competitions (omitting the ones that demand exclusivity of submission) and a couple from the regular short competitions, including a monthly one whose submission deadline is very near. While it would be amazing to receive any acknowledgement to help give me a platform, I'm considering withdrawing from this one as if it was published it appears it would mean needing to withdraw from Glimmer Train which has a much later deadline for submission. It's unlikely that I'll find out if GT will be interested in my submission before the less prestigious competition publishes its winner, and though my odds of success are considerably less on GT, I'm quite confident about the piece. Or do you think it would be best to get over myself and just cross that bridge when I get there? Thanks very much.

Chris Fielden Will, I'd definitely leave the story in both competitions. Glimmer Train is brilliant but incredibly competitive. From what I've read, they have thousands of submissions and the chance of being published is slim, even for an amazing story. That's not to say we shouldn't submit to them, but I feel it would be shortsighted to withdraw from a regular competition given the small chance of success with GT. Even the regular competitions can have hundreds of entries, so it's pretty tough to get published through them too. The likelihood of success in both competitions is probably akin to winning the lottery! OK, maybe a little melodramatic, but it really isn't likely. If you are placed in either, be happy. For that reason I'd leave your story in both and deal with the 'problem' (and it's a nice problem to have) should it arise :-)

Will H Thanks so much for the advice. That's incredibly helpful and I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly!

Paul A I just wanted to say thank you for the list of various competitions available for short story writing. 

I must say the more comps that appear, thanks to you updating, the more encouraging it is to keep writing and trying new things. Paul

Chris Fielden Thanks very much Paul :-)

Rochelle P Hello, firstly I would like to thank you for compiling together this list............... Boy,  does it save a lot of time. Secondly I appreciate the effort at unfailingly ensuring your response to each comment. I mean it's quite encouraging for beginning writers like me. I am trying my best to pen stories written from my heart.... of course it may take a while to see them published anywhere but for now, the mere fact of writing is rewarding enough for me......

Chris Fielden Thanks Rochelle :-) 

I'm glad you find the site useful and encouraging. Best of luck with your writing!

Ben S Hi Chris, thank you so much for the list! This is a great resource and has enabled me to quickly find and enter a number of competitions, and hopefully many more in the future. You've done a great service putting these lists together. So again, thank you! Ben

Chris Fielden Thanks very much Ben :-) Glad you find it useful!

Carla D Thank you very much for doing this, all the time that you went through to gather this information and to put it nicely here... thanks!

Archie D Hi Chris, very useful website, thank you.

Just thought I should let you know that the Meridian Competition is no longer running. Neither, it seems, is PinkPen or Friends of Dickens.

Plenty left though!

Chris Fielden Thanks very much Archie, I've updated the listings accordingly :-)

Oke I Nice work Chris. So helpful. I did list you as a source in one of the competitions.

Chris Fielden Great, thanks Oke!

Seana S Hi, thanks for all your hard work... invaluable stuff, for sure.

I reckon I am probably too late for this year, but have recently written a short story which has surprised me a lot. It has a Christmas theme, some family/aging angles as well,  but I seem to have avoided any kind of  shlocky sentimental quality. It has had a very good response from my usual readers, all agreeing it MUST be sent off in time for  Holiday publication. All well and good, but I am having trouble finding any competitions in this area, or even publications looking for submissions with a Christmas theme. Any suggestions?? Again, many thanks, Seana

Chris Fielden Seana, I'm not familiar with any competitions with a Christmas theme, but I'd consider submitting to some of the more regular competitions (see the regular comps list ). Writers' Forum might be good, probably between now and the end of October, ready for the magazine released closest to Christmas. And maybe some of the quarterly competitions, like Writers' Village. While these competitions don't specifically ask for a Christmas theme, your story might appeal to them more at this time of year. It's worth a go!

Hope that's helpful :)

Gerelyn D J Many thanks for your very comprehensive listing of writing opportunities. The search was a pleasure which has indeed provided me with options. I'm encouraged too, to  press ahead for the five figure prizes!

Chris Fielden Great, thanks Gerelyn :-)

Laura J Hi Chris! Thanks for creating this website! Extremely helpful and organised!

Do you know of any free, early teen English competitions? Thanks.

Chris Fielden Hi Laura, the only competitions I know of that are for younger writers are in the Competitions for Young Writers and Children list . There are a few free ones listed there, so you could try those :-)

Lawrence C Thank you so much for all your alerts on the time schedules of writing contests. I wish to know if you're allowed to submit a story to two different competitions that fall within the same time, date and month? Thank you.

Chris Fielden Lawrence, different competitions have different rules about this. Some will let you submit while submitting elsewhere and some won't. You will have to look at the rules for each individual competition to see what they say.

However, I tend to enter multiple competitions at once where possible or if a competition has long turnaround times (4 months or more). It's very rare that you will have a story accepted by two competitions at once, so I wouldn't worry too much about it, and that speeds up how quickly your stories are likely to be published. But with competitions that have quick turnarounds, I tend to wait, as it doesn't hinder your submissions too much. I hope that's helpful :-)

Gale B I now have too many competitions that I want to enter! Thank you for listing them all like this,  I have been trolling the net for ages looking for a list like this. I'm new to this writing lark so really appreciate this site. Can we have some updated one off competitions now as some in your list have now expired. Cheers.

Chris Fielden Thanks Gale :-)

I will add more one-off competitions as I hear about them - if you know of any, please let me know!

Betty H Thanks for such and excellent resource.

Nigel H Thank you for your site. It is the most useful tool I have ever come across. Fantastic. Thanks for all the work you must have put in in order to tabulate all that information. Wonderful.

Chris Fielden Thanks Nigel!

Simon M Just to say that the "My Daily Story" link above now leads to a dead webpage.

Also Apostrophe Books at the very top, while still active, don't now appear to be running any competitions - the link above goes to a "page not found" notice.

This is, nevertheless, a very useful resource - having just won a writing competition (for scripts) I'm keen to enter more, especially for prose as it's not something I've done before, and a site like this is very helpful.

Chris Fielden Thanks very much Simon. I've updated the links accordingly :-)

Stefani H Mr. Fielden, I was checking out the list of writing contests on your website. When I checked out the Glimmer Train contest there is a $15.00 "Reading Fee" for each entry. On your site it is listed as a free contest. Just letting you know.

Thank you very much for the list!

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know, Stephani!

I’ve had a look and Glimmer Train run a couple of free competitions throughout the year, but, like you say, the rest do have a reading fee, so I’ve updated the information accordingly :-)

Miranda N Do you know of any international writing competitions? Or are they mentioned in the notes, 'cause I only checked the country...? Especially contests in Northern Europe :)

Chris Fielden I'm afraid I'm not familiar with many writing competitions based in Northern Europe, Miranda, so can't really help there.

However, most of the competitions listed are international, accepting entries from writers residing anywhere in the world, providing their stories are written in English. There are a few exceptions, but around 95% are international. You'll just have to check the rules of each competition to be sure.

Jennifer M Dear Chris, congratulations on an absolutely brilliant resource for budding writers.  You deserve serious kudos for the time and effort you must have put in to this web-site.  Also loved your story on Ninjas and zombies. Not a word wasted.  Perfect.

Keep up the good work,

one grateful reader...

Chris Fielden Thanks very much Jennifer :-)

Deb T I enjoy your site very much - thank you for keeping it so well-stocked!

I was wondering if you have heard any news about the Ruth Rendell short story competition - is it actually being judged at all, for instance? Strange question, but I entered a story last autumn (£15, fairly expensive) and apart from the acknowledgement I've heard nothing more and can find nothing out. There appears to be nothing about it on the website (Interact Reading Service). Just wondered...

Chris Fielden Deb, you're welcome - I'm glad you like the site :-)

I don't know about the Ruth Rendell competition - I couldn't find anything about it on their site either. I've tweeted them asking if they're judging and will let you know if they get back to me. Have you tried emailing them to ask?

Deb T Hi Chris, I finally got round to asking them today - why I didn't before now I don't know!

Apparently the entries have been judged and there is a date next week when Ruth Rendell presents the prize. I do think it odd that there is no indication on the site as to when this would happen. I had a very nice email from the organiser, who said that because the competition begins and ends in May of consecutive years it would be too confusing, and they have to work around Ruth Rendell's busy schedule. Hopefully they've taken my comments on board, as I also think it's a bit confusing not to mention the "end" at all!

I appreciate your website very much - thank you for all the hard work. Deb

Chris Fielden Great, thanks for letting me know, Deb.

They also responded to my tweet today and said: Hi Chris, the awards ceremony is being held next Tues 20th, where Ruth Rendell will announce the winner.

Best of luck with your entry!

Kay Hey, this is a really good list! I'm 14 and really struggling to find a competition to enter my 400 word short story into! Do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

Chris Fielden Kay, there are a few suitable competitions aimed specifically at your age group in the Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children list on this page.

Hope that's helpful and best of luck with your writing :)

Preeti Do you know about any short story writing competitions held in India?

Chris Fielden Preeti, I'm afraid I don't know of any competitions in India. If you hear of any, please let me know and I'll list them :-)

Nira M Hi, I wanted to say thank you so much. I'm from Iran and I was very disappointed about how to publish my stories and through your site I realized that there are competitions for writing short stories. So you encouraged me to write more and translate my stories into English and try my best.

I wish you the best.

Chris Fielden Thank you so much, Nira. I wish you the best of luck with getting your stories published.

Ruby S Thank you for this - this list and your comments are such a help. Seeing all these competitions gives hope to aspiring writers!

Chris Fielden Thanks Ruby :-)

Arta S I'm a writer from Iran. I have to win a big prize, so that I can live, support myself and my profession. I have no problems with  writing,  I can write in any genre. Can you please guide me - which one is the right one for me.

Chris Fielden Arta, you'll have to some research and see which competitions would be most suitable for your style of writing. The lists I provide will help you to do that. I would say that the competitions that offer large prizes are hard to win, as so many people enter them and the standards are extremely high. If you're new to writing, it might be more sensible to start with some of the smaller competitions that offer feedback so you can improve your work and get a feel for the right markets to submit your stories to.

I hope that's helpful and best of luck with your writing.

Kevin C Chris, I have just stumbled across your website while looking for information on outlets for short stories. I just wanted to say what a terrific job you've done in putting this together. It's really a one-stop shop for anyone getting started in writing short stories and looking for places to submit them and other relevant advice. It's amazing how much there is out there and great to have some kind of a guide as to where to start.

I have just had a short piece of 'flash fiction' published on the Mashstories website and I don't think they are included in your list of competitions, unless I missed it, so you might want to consider adding them. Maybe you don't include 'flash-fiction' (?). I have had a good experience in submitting my piece to them: prompt response, prompt sensible and helpful feedback from the judges, and they put all short-listed stories into the form of a podcast.

Your own short story pieces on the site are very good, I especially enjoyed Mr Kill - well done.

Unfortunately, I also wasted a lot of precious time when I should have been writing, thanks to your ' Stuff what makes I laugh ' section, so thanks a lot for that. I'll put it down as 'research'.

Keep up the good work.

Chris Fielden Kevin, thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you find the site useful.

I do list flash fiction competitions, so I’ve added the Mash competition to the lists. Thanks for making me aware of it.

Sorry if the Stuff What Makes I Laugh page distracted you from your work, but I think having a giggle once in a while helps the brain to work more efficiently and makes your writing better. I’m no doctor, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Best of luck with your writing and congratulations on having your work published by Mash Stories.

Claire R Hi Chris, what a helpful site and great advice! One to add to your short story competition list: Bloody Scotland do a crime fiction based competition, 3000 words with a £1000 prize. It is closed for this year but it looks like an annual competition.

Thanks, Claire

Chris Fielden Thanks very much, Claire. I've added Bloody Scotland to the lists :-)

Cleo N Thanks for the helpful list. I want to know if these competitions are open to anyone, no matter country they live in?

Chris Fielden Cleo, you will have to read the submissions criteria on the different websites to check their rules. Most of the competitions listed are open to entries from writers living anywhere in the world, but there are a few that are country and / or area specific.

Frank W Chris: I am an unpublished writer of fiction, both short stories and a recently completed novel.  After accumulating a collection over many years, I have never had the opportunity to focus on finalizing and publishing any of my works until recently reaching retirement from my other pursuits.  I am seriously considering competition in writing contests as a means to achieve recognition.  Your very helpful website is very impressive indeed, and I commend your diligence in updating it, which cannot be an easy task.  Thank you very much for providing this wonderful resource to us.   Whether I win or not, your efforts are very much appreciated.

Chris Fielden Thanks Frank, glad you're finding the site useful.

Best of luck with publishing your stories :-)

Billy F Hiya - I don't know if anyone else has had the same (lack of) response, but I've been trying to contact Talent River re: Shortz and it seems as though the site's been deserted. Several e-mails (+1 submission), nil response.

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know, Billy. I've emailed my contact there to ask him if he's still running the website / competition. I'll let you know if I hear back.

John M First, thank you for your efforts in maintaining this list. It's a great resource and I plan to enter several of the competitions.

My view is that you can't guarantee winning a competition, but you can certainly guarantee not winning. Plucking numbers out of the air, I guess that 50% of entries would be ruled out right away for bad spelling/grammar, breaking the submission rules or clearly bad stories. Another 30% would be competent but undistinguished. 10% would be good, but not quite top rate, leaving 10% to be considered for the prizes. 5% would be great stories, but with some flaw, or just outweighed by someone else's brilliance. Only 5% would really be in the running as possible winners. Then it comes down to the individual taste of the judges.

I'd appreciate your view on whether my general idea is correct, and, if it's possible to say, if my numbers are in the right ballpark.

Chris Fielden John, I can only talk about my direct experience with running competitions.

The first competition I was involved with was free to enter. The first time it ran, there were over 200 entries and 46% were disqualified. Writers submitted stories way over the word count limit and with terrible formatting. It was obvious they hadn't read the rules. So there was a high disqualification rate. Of the remaining 54%, between 10% and 15% were considered for prizes.

In contrast, the competition I run on my site had 94 entries this year and a 0% disqualification rate. There were a few entrants that made errors, but these were minor mistakes and did not warrant disqualification, they just scored lower to make it fair for the writers who had obeyed all the rules and made no mistakes. Around 45% of entries were considered for prizes - the quality of entry was very high and it was hard to select a winner as so many of the stories were good.

The difference between the two competitions - the entry fee. In my experience, if there's an entry fee, the quality of entry is much higher. It seems to put off the lower quality entrants.

So, as you can see from these 2 examples, the percentages you're talking about vary massively. So it's impossible to say as it will be different for every competition.

Judge's opinions do differ greatly. The writers in my writing group (all published authors) are currently helping me select winners from the shortlist I compiled. With a couple of exceptions, they are all selecting different stories as favourites to win. I think having a panel makes it fairer, because you have a variety of opinions so the strongest stories win through. My advice to any writer is to never give up. What one judge dislikes, another might love. Keep on submitting.

John M Thanks Christopher, that's great. Appreciate your help.

Sarah SK Thank you for somehow or other reticular(ly) activating my brain system to Inktears and Writers' Forum. Am not entirely sure from which technological mechanism or social media community these tentacles reached me; suffice to say I know you formed the foundation for them so this email is to serve as an ether message of appreciation. Regards and humble cursatives (as I sit in the hellhole of a soft play area, awaiting my son to finish his climbing class).

Chris Fielden Welcome John :)

Sarah, they both run excellent competitions, and if you don’t succeed first time (especially with Writers’ Forum) keep trying. They are both fine publishers.

Best of luck with your entries.

Dave S Hi Chris, nice site and to find information on what publishing outlets are out there!

I have a couple of questions.

Tenses:- When, in your experience, do you think it is correct to use the past and the present tenses in a manuscript, or can you alternate between the two depending on the context? I've noticed, when skimming through other short stories that have been published, that a great deal of them seem to be in the present rather than the past. I've sent a story off to a competition found on your site but then realize to my horror that I should have written 'belongs' rather than 'belonged' in one small area. If this omission jeopardizes my entry, better luck next time.

I find, when correcting a manuscript, that it's a bit like a puzzle or a minefield; finding omissions or ways to improve my writing. In your experience, do you hire editors to do your correcting, or do you rely on your own intuition? If you have editing intuition, do you need to employ an editor?

I'm finishing a book; not sure whether to use kdp select or some other publishing source to get it published.

Look forward to your reply.

Chris Fielden Dave, I don't think it really matters which tense you use - whichever suits your story best. I think the reason that short stories often use the present tense is because many readers find it more immediate and engaging, so it works well for shorter works where it's important to suck the reader in quickly. So there is no right or wrong way of doing it, you simply have to pick which tense works best for you.

You can switch between tenses, but I would recommend making clear breaks in the story, like you would when switching character viewpoint. That way the reader understands the need for the switch and doesn't become confused.

Editing is something you get better at as you write more and learn from your mistakes. When I first started out, I paid professionals to critique my work. It helps you learn and improve your writing. This is particularly important with novels or longer stories as they need more editing. With shorter works, I ask family, friends, and the members of the writing group I belong to, to proofread my work and find typos and mistakes. The other thing to do is read your story many times, preferably with a break of 2 or 3 days between reads. That way, you edit with a clear head and mistakes are easier to spot.

KDP Select is good, as is Create Space and Lulu. All are worth investigating, but if you intend to sell online, Amazon is probably your best bet as it is most widely known.

I hope that's helpful and best of luck with your writing!

Dave S Hi Chris, many thanks for your comments. I'll certainly bear them in mind as I continue to do more writing. Thanks once again for your list. It is proving useful.

Adi B Hey Chris. First of all thanks a lot for all you're work! I think you've made the question of how to get read a lot less scary and open. Secondly, and sorry if I'm being a bother - where are the international competitions - if say I'm neither British, American, Canadian etc?

Is there such a thing?

Thanks a lot!

Chris Fielden Adi, you're welcome - I'm glad you find the site useful :)

The vast majority of these competitions are international and will accept entries from writers residing anywhere in the world. The countries are just listed for information.

Best of luck with your writing!

James W Chris, I thought you might be interested in adding the Poetic Republic short story competition to your very useful list of competitions on your website. It works a bit like Scribble, with the readers of the competition reading and scoring other entrants' stories. The first prize is a very decent £2,000. You also receive comments from readers on your stories. I entered last year (the first year they ran a short story competition) and had about 20 different comments back. It's well worth taking part, though you do have to commit to reading quite a lot of stories in order to enter.

Chris Fielden James, thanks very much for letting me know about this.

I’ve added details of the competition to the list :-)

Chris G Hello Chris, I am hoping to enter a story in a Christmas short story competition for 2015. I am wondering if you can recommend any please?

The story is set in 2114 but I am not really looking for something specifically Science Fiction, just one that will take stories of 2,500 words without being too specific about criteria.

I am hoping you can help.

Great website by the way. I expect most people say that, they should.

Chris Fielden Chris, I don’t know of any specific Christmas short story competitions I’m afraid. That kind of competition is often launched as a one-off nearer the time, so I’d search for one later this year and see if any are running.

There are plenty of open competitions you could enter, so I’d try that too. I often recommend Writers’ Forum as a good place to start as they publish a wide variety of genres and run a monthly competition, so you can enter at any time of year. It has a 3,000 word limit, so fine for your story.

I hope that’s helpful.

Chris G Chris, I really appreciate your help. Thanks so much.

Lani N Hi there, thanks for this very comprehensive list!! I live in South Africa and there are a number of these competitions I'd like to enter. Am I allowed to enter a competition in Scotland, for example, if I don't live there? Kind regards, Lani.

Chris Fielden Lani, you will have to check the submission rules for each competition, but the majority of short story contests accept entries from writers living anywhere in the world :-)

Lani N Hi there, awesome, thank you for letting me know. I appreciate it. Kind regards, Lani

Simon H Hi Chris, I love your web site - thought you may like to know Askance Publishing are back with a 2015 short story competition after a year off. Cheers.

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know Simon - I've added the Askance competition to the lists!

Ashley W Hi! Thanks for your very valuable resource here!

I have a question about entering short story competitions. Should I enter my stories in one competition at a time?  Or is it OK to submit the same short story to multiple contests?  I am a little concerned that if I win in one then it becomes a published story and that means if it also wins in another then it is actually no longer eligible.

What do you think?

Chris Fielden Ashley, there are some competitions that welcome simultaneous submissions, and some that accept previously published work too. So with those, it's fine to submit elsewhere.

It's also highly unlikely that you'll win two competitions, even if you're some sort of literary genius as competition judges and magazine editors' tastes and requirements vary so much. If you did have a story accepted whilst it was under consideration elsewhere, you would simply have to withdraw it. You'd probably lose any submission fee and run the risk of being blacklisted for that particular competition, if they specifically requested previously unpublished work that was not under consideration elsewhere. But the likelihood of that happening is slim.

I do submit simultaneously as it results in more publishing success far more quickly. But I think very carefully about where I simultaneously submit. For example, I do not do this with prestigious competitions and publications that I submit to every year as it's not worth the risk of potentially being blacklisted if Fate were to work His magic :-)

I hope that's helpful and I wish you best of luck with seeing your stories in print!

James K Great writing website.

Can you recommend a good crime short story competition? Not sure which to enter from your website.

Chris Fielden James, the Bloody Scotland competition is the only one I'm aware of that is currently running and just about crime. It's featured in the lists above.

Best of luck with getting your story published!

Sara P Thank you very much for all this information! I'd like to ask if you know about any Spanish speaking competitions based in England. Thanks a lot!

Chris Fielden Sara, I'm afraid not. The only competition I'm aware of that asks for entries in Spanish or English is based in South America. It's called the Southern Pacific Review and is featured in the lists above.

I hope that's helpful :-)

Sara P Christopher, thank you very much for your information. I'll have a look at the competition you mentioned. Have a lovely day!

Ashley W Hi Chris! Just a note re: NEEDLE IN THE HAY, the readers don't vote. They have a panel of judges which they rotate. Thanks for your advice in answer to my previous mail in March, your site is truly very useful. Thanks to you I have been able to be shortlisted 7 times in the last two months, 4 times at NEEDLE, twice at Writers Notebook and once at Chaptercheckers. I am currently shortlisted at NEEDLE and Writers Notebook if you want to take a look (and you can vote for my current tale at Writers Notebook until May 13th, that would be appreciated). I haven't won a comp yet, but hope springs eternal.

I got a mail from Chaptercheckers regarding them going monthly rather than weekly and apologising for their slow feedback. Glacial might be more apt. Let's hope they get their act together.

Cheers mate!

Chris Fielden Ash, that’s great news! Congratulations on all the short-listings. I’ve voted for you on Writers’ Notebook. And have updated Needle in the Hay info too.

I recently heard from Chapter Checkers and they said they were overwhelmed with entries so had to go monthly. I’m not surprised – running a weekly competition is pretty ambitious. Must be a nightmare to keep up with comms. I find it hard enough with my yearly comp!

Anyways. Hope you win something soon – sounds like you’re on the right path so keep at it!

Frank WM Hey Mr. Fielden, I'm somebody who writes and submits short-stories, and I have used your lists many times. Thanks to your meticulous index, I've discovered so many journals that I otherwise would never have known about! And I've had two stories accepted now, so that feels great. Anyway, I owe you a big thanks. Thank you, and know that your work is exploited and appreciated :=)

Chris Fielden Frank, that’s great to know! I’m really glad to hear about your success – it's always nice to receive feedback like that.

May you see many more of your stories in print!!

Deshraj Sir, how can I participate in these competitions and submit my stories because all my stories are written in Hindi. Please give me suggestions about my problem.

Chris Fielden Deshraj, I'd suggest trying to find competitions that are run in countries that speak Hindi and therefore request stories in that language. I'm afraid I am not aware of any competitions like this, so you'd have to research and see if you can find any.

Failing that, you could have your stories translated into English and then submit to competitions in English speaking countries. You would have to have them translated professionally, preferably by a native speaker, or they would be unlikely to be published.

I hope that's helpful and wish you the best of luck with your writing.

Darrell B You might like to add the Wimbledon Bookfest Short  Story Competition to your list of annual competitions.

Chris Fielden Thanks for the heads up Darrell. I've added the short story competition and children's writing contest.

Shirley M Dear Chris, I know you can't do everything, but can you insert a 'search' option that will allow me to find, for example, sci-fi? (my most recent endeavour)

Can you sort your competitions additionally according to date of deadline?

Even if you can't do these additional things, I believe yours is one of the most comprehensive target opportunities for writers and I commend you for that.

Chris Fielden Hi Shirley, thanks for your suggestions. I’d love to make the lists interactive and sortable by the user. At the moment I don’t have the money to pay a developer for the work unfortunately. The reason I don’t put the competitions in date order is because they often change and become out of date and it’s too much admin work to stay on top of it all, hence the listings are alphabetical.

However, you can use your browser’s search function to do what you're asking (assuming you have an up to date one). So, when you’re on a webpage, press the Ctrl key and F key at the same time. A search box will appear (top right in Chrome, but may vary on other browsers like Firefox, IE, Safari etc). If you type ‘sci-fi’ (for example) into the box, the search function will then allow you to click arrows that take you straight to those words on the page. I hope that makes sense and is useful!

Linda T I wondered if you had any information on WriteStars. Their website shows they are running two themed flash fiction competitions, but one has a different word count depending on the webpage, and I've been unable to contact them. My email of six days ago hasn't been answered and the connection dropped when I tried to ring them. Given there's an entry fee for the competitions, this is worrying..

Chris Fielden Hi Linda, I haven’t heard of WriteStars competition before I’m afraid. It looks like they only just launched this year’s competition, so I would assume it’s still running.

Have you tried contacting them on Twitter or Facebook? That sometimes forces a response as it’s more public.

Ted I Hey Christopher, thank you so much for collating such extensive lists! A fellow writer passed this along to me when I was looking for contests to enter & I didn't dream there'd be so many. I really appreciate the effort you put/are putting into this.

I have some updated information, if you would like to add it to your Regular Short Story Competitions list:  Entry fee for Writing Maps Short Story Contest is $5 (approx £3) per submission.

All the best, Ted

Chris Fielden Thanks very much, Ted! Have updated the Writing Maps listing accordingly :-)

Ted I My pleasure and cheers.

I noticed another couple of glitches as I've been making my way through the list so I thought I'd also send them to you, just in case:

Prestigious and/or Big Shorts

  • The link to the Aeon Award comes up with an error message. I tried to locate is myself through google>wikipedia but still no luck so maybe this lead is dead.

Other Competition Lists

  • The Stuart Aitken link takes us to his old blog

Lastly the Etherbooks page seems a little silent on the comps front—none for over two years—so I'm not sure whether that is soon to be a dead end.

Once again, thanks a lot. I have just this minute finished my ploughing through the list (and others that they led on to) and need to give my eyes and mind rest. A few days reading pulled up some 40 or so competitions that suit me well so I'm excited to now gun for them.

All the best.

Chris Fielden Hi Ted, thanks so much for this.

The Aeon Award website is now back, so I presume that was a temporary blip.

I’ve updated the link to Stuart Aken’s website.

I’ve also changed the Ether books link – it seems they have a new site!

Ted I No problem.

I've just tried the Aeon Award link through your site and have once again found no luck with either safari or firefox. Should the link take me to this site: albedo1.com? Because that's where I end up, with the error message.

Moreover, the Etherbooks link takes me to a page which looks the same as the old one to me, with no comps listed under the headings.

I apologize if I am missing something very obvious here or doing something wrong but I'd rather risk ridicule and mention it again, just in case.

Chris Fielden Hi Ted, nope, no ridicule at all, your input is very helpful :-)

It looks like Albedo 1 are having some technical issues with website updates – details on their Facebook page . Judging by the latest comment, it looks like they will have 2 sites up and running at some point (a .com and .net), but they both seem to be broken at the moment.

As the Ether Books site has recently undergone an overhaul, I’m assuming details of comps will be added soon so have left the link live.

I do a big update on all links over the Xmas period, and if no details are added or if sites seem to be dead, I’ll remove them then. I guess a lot of sites are run by hobbyists or companies with small budgets, meaning updates can a tad on the slow side!

Thanks for your continued support - muchos appreciated.

Ted I Ah, I see. No worries and thanks for the info! I'm sure most people are as grateful and patient as I am for the fruits of your 'hobbying' labour. I'm just glad to return the favour, in whatever small way. So if I spot anything when looking through the whole list again next year, I'll just pop it this ol' mailbox here, for whenever you're ready. Ted

PS I entered my first ever comp at NiTH last week and got short listed , so a nice start and a good spring board towards other sites' comps with deadlines this week. It's all a go go!

Chris Fielden Thanks Ted, yes, please keep me updated with any issues you spot – your help is very much appreciated :-)

And congratulations on being shortlisted – that’s awesome, especially for your first competition entry!

Ted I Hey Chris, stumbled upon a short story comp and entered it last week. It's a monthly contest that's been going a while and doesn't appear to be stopping. I just saw it wasn't in your list so thought I'd share it, in case you deemed it worthy - it's called The Cult Of Me. Not sure how blogspot works but the link seems to have added the .is, yet I presume he's not in Iceland like me.

Just found you on Twitter. And thanks, the piece ended up winning!

I just finished that mad week of deadlines (six!) and have another seven coming up before the month is out. This is a lot of fun (and a bit cray cray). Ted

PS If it happens you aren't open to suggestions of comp finds such, or if you are but have specific criteria, feel free to let me know so I don't bombard you unnecessarily (:

Chris Fielden Hi Ted, congratulations on the win – that’s awesome!

And thanks for sharing. I’ve added the competition details to the lists. I’m always open to suggestions, so feel free to send more through as you spot them.

Best of luck with your other submissions.

Maggie D Ninevoices Short Story Competition:

Just to let you know that although the Ninevoices Short Story Competition we held this spring was a great success - we raised £500 for charity - we do not intend to repeat this in 2016.

We MAY have another competition in 2017, though. If, as they say, we\'re spared, and will let you know if we do so.

Just thought you'd like to know for your competitions listings.

Congratulations on your own To Hull & Back. Am still preening myself on getting a commended...

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know, Maggie.

That's great news about raising so much money - always nice to hear about things like that!

And congrats on the special mention - much deserved :-)

Tristan M Thank you for these links, Christopher.

Sam C Hi Chris, I'm sure I came across, on your site a year ago, a competition run by a publishing house where on some forum web-portal thingy budding authors submit a chapter of their work, and then it gets pier reviewed by other participants, and they do the same... and then the best ones go forward for the prize or publishing. Do you have any idea what I might be on about? I can't find it anymore.

I see your competition is now closed. Shame, I would have made you laugh ;) OK, next year.

PS Great site, thanks.

PPS Just put some of my own writing up on a website. It's a thrill going public for the first time :)

Chris Fielden Hi Sam, was it the World’s Greatest Writing Competition? If so, they have a new website called Publisher Free.

My competition is open for entries all the time – next closing date is 31st July 2016.

Congrats on getting your writing out there – it’s a great feeling. I wish you the best of luck with it.

Carmen W Thanks - very helpful

Simon M You may like to know that the "e-Literate-World Cut A Long Story Short Competition" link is dead - the domain appears to have been closed down, suggesting they no longer exist at all (a quick Google search didn't bring them up anywhere else).

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know, Simon.

I've updated the lists accordingly :-)

Brian O When a competition in your table is classified as 'England'do you mean 'England' or do you mean 'Britain'? Not a trivial difference. Thanks. I enjoyed your informative material.

Chris Fielden Hi Brian. It means England, not Britain. This is because I try and list Scotland and Wales separately - it's just so writers know the locality of the market they are submitting to.

I hope that clarifies things :-)

Peter N Christopher, thank you for this site. It is an act of great generosity on your part. In the interests of keeping the site up to date - without leaving it all to you to do - can I mention to you that Writers' Village have as of 2016 suspended indefinitely their short fiction contest? They explain why on the website.

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know, Peter - much appreciated. I've updated the lists accordingly and (sadly) moved Writers' Village into the history of closed competitions.

Jill O Hi Chris, your very extensive list of competitions is excellent. However, I have a memoir of approx 2,300 words which I would like to submit. Most competitions request fiction. Do you know where I can find a non-fiction/memoir competition.

Chris Fielden Hi Gill. I list some non-fiction competitions on this page , which might be appropriate.

Fish Publishing run an annual memoir contest, so it might be worth checking out their site.

I hope that's helpful. If you find any other memoir competitions, please let me know as I do get asked about them from time to time - it seems there aren't that many out there.

Lyn T Just a quick thank you for putting together these lists, most helpful.

Chris Fielden Thanks, Lyn. Glad you find them useful :-)

Ayo O You are doing a good job for writers of various genres and interests. This is really appreciated. Please could you add the REGION or Location that can participate in the competitions? For instance: are Africans expected to be a part of this or would an application from India or China be welcomed and rewarded accordingly without prejudice or bias? Thanks.

Chris Fielden Hi Ayo. Glad you find the lists useful. And thanks for the suggestion.

Unfortunately I can't add these details to the lists as they change frequently and the amount of admin involved makes it impossible to maintain. Most competitions accept entries from writers located anywhere in the world. Some have limitations. Please check the websites of any competition you plan to enter to see what the current details are prior to entering.

Ayo O Thanks Chris, I appreciate your contributions to the Arts. I work with a group of indigent young people whom I am encouraging to write and earn some money.We shall keep trying. Thanks...

Chris Fielden Hi Ayo. Excellent stuff, good luck with it all – I hope some of them see their stories in print soon :-)

Chris H Dear Chris,

I've been reading your website and find it very useful. I'm just starting out in the short story business and have been having a look at what's out there. I found a competition not on your website with a prize for $10,000 Australian dollars and wondered if you think it is legitimate or not. I'm planning on entering tomorrow night just before the deadline. The details are below, what do you think? I guess I'm just suspicious as the prize is so big and it's free to enter:

Success Tax Professionals - Twisted Tax Tales Short Story Competition

Chris Fielden Hi Chris, glad to hear you are finding the site useful.

I haven’t heard of that one before. It’s a bit odd that a tax website is running a short story competition (doesn’t seem all that relevant to what they do, but asking for a character to be an accountant kind of ties it in I guess…). I suspect they have a decent marketing budget and therefore are able to offer a good prize with no entry fee. Many of the big prizes out there (BBC, Sunday Times etc.) are free to enter. Looking at the amount of physical locations they have on their contact page, they must be a pretty big business. Also, the level of engagement looks good – there are quite a few entries. And they are supporting a very worthy charity through the competition, so it looks legitimate to me.

The thing that would worry me is the license in clause 11 of their T&Cs. While it looks like the copyright remains with the author, Success Tax Professionals can edit your work and publish it (with a different title if they want) without crediting you as the author. That’s an unusual condition – I’ve certainly never seen it before. But then I’ve never been published in Australia and it might be standard there. Still, personally I wouldn’t be happy with that – if I write a story, I expect to be credited as the author.

I’m not trying to put you off entering. The competition looks legitimate and there’s a really decent prize on offer. And the legal gumf might mean nothing – it’s only if they chose to do something with your story that it would matter. Given the company’s niche, it’s unlikely they’d be using an entry outside the competition, except for promotional purposes. Still, it is worth thinking about prior to entering as in my experience it’s a very unusual (and unfair) condition for a license agreement.

Michael W Hi Chris. Most/all comps state that the material submitted must not have been published anywhere before.

Do blogs count in this respect? Just checking.

Chris Fielden Hi Mike. It varies from competition to competition - some say that if you've self-published on your blog it's fine, others say it's not. I'm afraid you'll have to review the guidelines for each competition and see which are OK with it. Some comps accept previously published stories too, so it's always worth looking.

Auriel R Hi Christopher, I just wanted to thank you for putting together the detailed list of short story contests because I had no idea what to do with the rather good little story I wrote last year which ended up being selected for the HG Wells story anthology. That boost led to me spinning this story into an entire novel which is published this year with Unbound.

Chris Fielden Hi Auriel. That’s fantastic news – congratulations :-)

It’s so nice to hear success stories, especially when my site has played a small part in an author’s journey.

Rex G Dear Chris, your site is fascinating and informative. Thank you.

Audio Arcadia Short Story Competition claim on their website that the closing date for submissions is 30th September 2016 and that the winners will be published on 10th October 2016. How can this be? They must receive hundreds of manuscripts in the week before closing date, or I’m a Dutchman. Which I’m not, having lived in Bristol on and off since I took a job there in 1948 - the last stretch from 1957 to 1995 where I raised a family until I retired to the South Coast.

I am now an old man, fairly new to this writing business, looking for a home for a cracking good 5,000 word story (fiction) of mine but in a hurry as I’m well passed my expiry date. Audio Arcadia might well pass judgment on my work in my allotted time frame but can their timetable be true? Sounds fishy to me - what do you think?

Chris Fielden Hi Rex, I suspect they read the entries as they come in (I do with the competition I run). And they may not receive that many entries. As they run the competition regularly, that is quite possible. I run an annual contest and received 284 entries this year (its 3rd year of running, so becoming established). So, if a contest is run more regularly, they probably receive fewer entries than that.

They may also have a team of readers, which speeds up the judging process considerably. I'm a one-man-band and had read all the entries 3 weeks after my contest closed, even though I received around 60% of entries in the final month. So it is doable. Admittedly, it took a bit longer than that to decide on the longlist and shortlist, but like I said, I am but one man. A team can do things much more quickly.

I've also liaised with the people that run Audio Arcadia and they seem like genuine people.

I hope that helps :-)

Jayne J This is a brilliant site.

I have just started a Creative Writing course in university and I have been looking on sites for competitions but it gets  time consuming as you get onto another link then another. I am going to make a competition diary so I don't miss out on any and always have something to enter. Thank you once again.

Chris Fielden Thanks very much Jayne.

Great to hear you find the site useful :-)

Dominika S Hi Chris, guess I won't be original by congratulating you on the research and data presentation - that's really helpful to all young writers out there! My problem is that I'm based in Poland but write in English. Are you aware of any short story competitions I could take part in? You mentioned there are some with global reach but in the country secrion it's usually UK or US and I guess I'm not elibible to enter these. Thanks in advance for your help!

Chris Fielden Hi Dominika. Thank you - glad to hear you find the lists useful :-)

Most of the short story competitions listed (around 80%) will accept entries from writers residing anywhere in the world. There are some that are aimed at local audiences, but most are open to anyone.

The countries mentioned in the listings just show you where the competitions are based (many users like to know what market they are submitting to). This doesn't mean you have to live there to enter. The best bet is to look at the different websites listed and read their submission guidelines.

I hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck with your writing.

Brendan M The Bridport  Competition entry fee is now £10 rather than £9 as you stated. I just entered it!

Chris Fielden Thanks for letting me know, Brendan - much appreciated. I've updated the details accordingly :-)

Moshe P Thank you so much for such a useful list. Very much appreciated.

Where are literary magazines such as Granta, Tin House, Ploughshares, The Masters Review, Paris Review?

I myself am looking for kids magazines written by ... the KIDS themselves (9-12 years old). Any clue about? Thank you very much.

Chris Fielden Hi Moshe. Glad you are finding the list useful :-)

Many of the publications you mentioned are listed on my short story magazines page .

I'm afraid I'm not aware of any magazines written by children. Sorry I can't be of more help with that. Please let me know if you find any.

Moshe P Thanks Chris, for your message. I have another question, please.

A short story of mine recently received an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train and I need now to re-submit it to the world.

My question is, am I 'allowed' to make some changes, to expand a paragraph or two after it won this really exciting mention? Is it 'normal'? Is it OK, or I should leave it untouched, as it is?

Thank you very much.

Chris Fielden Hi Moshe. Congratulations on the honourable mention from Glimmer Train – that’s great news.

If the story hasn’t been previously published, you can do what you want with it. If Glimmer Train are going to publish it, then you will have to ask them if you can make changes prior to publication.

The story is yours so you can do whatever you want. Some magazines and competitions won’t accept previously published stories. A small handful won’t accept stories that have been shortlisted, longlisted or received honourable mentions, but that’s rare. Rules usually apply to published stories only. Still, if you do submit to a competition or magazine that does accept previously published work after your story has been published, you could make changes prior to submitting. I’ve never seen any submission guidelines state that as a problem.

Andy C Hi Chris, just wanted to say thank you for the information you provide on here. It's really helpful!

Chris Fielden No problem, Andy - glad to hear you find it useful :-)

Jeff D Currently, I am writing a full novel. But, this is a list of exciting opportunities for new writers. Competition motivates you to become a better writer.

Chris Fielden Thanks, Jeff :)

Good luck with your novel.

Mitchell T Hi, Chris F and commenter Julie C. I have entered several short story collection competitions this year and will enter more. My experience in a small sample of fiction contests is that most allow 'some' previously published stories. (One stipulated no more than 50%.) As always, the definition of 'previously published' varies.

Some competitions read blind; some require credits for previously published work; some stipulate that you shall NOT list credits (because it would break the blind). Some offer critiques of your submission.

Some will DQ your entry if it is submitted in anything but Courier. Wow, eh? Does the Church of TNR know about this? The Garamondites? Anyway - Julie, good luck on climbing Everest, in the dark, in winter, without oxygen. Just like me! :-)

Chris Fielden Thanks for sharing your experiences, Mitchell - very useful and appreciated :-)

HS C Thank you for such a fantastic resource! This is really well put together and incredibly helpful (Excel may hate me now, but oh well). I've been busy checking out the finer details of some of the competitions and choosing which to submit to. It's taking a long while to compile so I cannot begin to imagine how long this must have taken you!

Chris Fielden No problem, HS, glad to hear you find the lists useful. They do take a long time to put together and keep updated, but I think it's worth the effort :-)

Donna W This is my first time on this site and its overwhelming.  Some of the contests have closed and they should be removed from the site.

I'm happy that I visited the site.

Chris Fielden Hi Donna. There is a lot of information and it can be overwhelming at first :-)

I undertake a clean-up of the competition pages once a year (usually in January).

If you've spotted some that have closed, please let me know which ones and I'll amend the listings accordingly - any help is much appreciated. Many of the contests run annually, so those listings remain active continuously, even if they have closed this year. Please bear that in mind when using the lists :-)

Donna W OK, thank you.

Simon C Hi Chris. Just wanted to say a big thanks for the lists of short story competitions you maintain. I finally decided to try my hand at writing, entered the Audio Arcadia short story competition, pointed to by your web site, and was lucky enough to be one of the winners! It's answered for me (finally!) whether its worth having a go, and indeed I will. Thanks again for putting up the list on your web site. Best regards.

Chris Fielden Hi Simon. Congratulations – that’s awesome news!

And thanks for letting me know the lists helped you find the competition – that kind of feedback makes it all worthwhile :-)

Michael H Dear Mr. Fielden, I have previously found your schedules very helpful but currently I appear to have struck a blank. Last year I submitted a story of 4,892 words to Costa but without success and decided that this year I would send it off again – this time to the Kingston Writing School where you indicated that submissions would be between June and November this year. In view of the fact that the relevant entry form was not online I wrote to the organisers who have now told me that the competition will not be taking place.

I have researched your lists but cannot find an alternative suitable competition which I can now enter of up to 5,000 words.

I should be grateful if you would kindly point me in the right direction.

Chris Fielden Hi Michael. Thanks for letting me know about the Kingston Writing School competition – I’ve removed the listing from the active lists and put in the history section.

I’m afraid that all the competitions I’m aware of are listed on my site, so if you haven’t found anything there, I don’t know of any more. You could try getting Writers’ Forum – they have listings in the back of the magazine every month. And Writing Magazine also run competition lists, but I think they only do that every 6 months or so. Or try the other sites I link to on my competition lists page, that also run lists like mine. You might find some other opportunities there.

Sorry I can’t be of more help. I hope you find a home for your story.

Shirley M Hi Chris, I just clicked on the Writing Times Senior's competition and it says 'website disabled'. Just wondered if they had closed up shop.

Chris Fielden Hi Shirley. Thanks for letting me know about this. I've contacted Sue, who runs it, to see if it's a glitch, or if it has actually closed.

Chris Fielden Hi Shirley. Further to previous, the email I sent Sue bounced with a 'this email doesn't exist anymore' message, so I guess the site has closed.

I've updated the page accordingly.

Shirley M Hi Chris, what a shame.

Thanks for your quick response.

John N Wish you would update your website regularly. Have been waiting for a nature based competition to open based upon what you have written on your site - turns out it ended 2 years ago.

Chris Fielden Hi John. Sorry about that. I assume you're referring to the New Welsh Review? I have updated that listing accordingly.

I update this page around once a week. Unfortunately, it's impossible to check every listing that regularly. I do a full update every January. Even then, if a website I link to is out of date at that time (still referring to the previous year's competition), or the administrators of the competitions don't inform me when they make updates, it's impossible to make every entry 100% accurate all the time. This is why I always recommend going to the websites I list and contacting them directly if you have any queries about the competition they run (EG, when they are going to run next, what the current theme is etc.).

I appreciate it when people, like you, let me know if any of the information I list is incorrect as it helps keep everything up to date. So thanks for letting me know. I hope the above explains the situation. I do my best to stay on top of it, but due to the amount of websites I'm dealing with, it's not easy!

Sarah H Such a useful list, thank you so much!

Chris Fielden No problem, Sarah - glad you find it useful :-)

James A Great website and loads of useful information here as well as in Chris's book. I found the list of competitions very useful as well as the explanation about why this is a good route to follow. One listed is the UK Short Story Competition but I can only find info on-line referring to 2016 and a website which won't accept my email/password. Anyone know if this competition is still running and how to enter?

Chris Fielden Hi James. Thanks for letting me know about this. The UK site seems to have disappeared, but there is a US one now. See usissc.com.

I've retired the UK listing and emailed the US site. I'll add full details to the lists when/if I hear back from them.

Dai L Cool site, but I thought I'd make you aware of a competition you seem to have overlooked.

The Scottish Arts Club here in Edinburgh runs an internationally open competition with, as of next year, a £1,000 first prize, with a special extra award for unpublisehd writers with a Scottish connection. I administer the entries and distribution to the judges (so I can't enter, shucks).

If you want to know more and maybe add us to your list, do have a look at our site and if you have any questions, do let me know.

I'm currently trying to streamline the entry process and make the entry form a purely online affair, if I can get it to attach the story files and send the punters to the Charities Aid Foundation to pay their ten pound entry fees.

Chris Fielden Hi Dai. Thanks for letting me know about your competition.

I'd be happy to list it for you. Please send me all of the information requested at the top of this page.

Re the online entry, you could try submittable? A lot of competitions and magazines seem to use that, so I guess it must be good.

Chris M Just want to say a huge thank you for providing such an invaluable resource list. It is through this site that I started to enter my work into various competitions after years of self-doubt about the value of my writing. I have had some success already, which has buoyed me to keep going.

Chris Fielden That's great to hear, Chris, thanks for letting me know. Congratulations on your successes - let's hope there are many more to come in the future.

Brendan M Chris can you advise me please.

I submitted ashort story to a site you have included under the 'Prestigious prizes' category in your listings. It was the Long Short Story contest by Freeditorial.  I received the reply, 'The Contest is in Spanish. Thank you.' There was no name provided.

I checked the rules again and rule B under terms and conditions of competition clearly states, 'Long-Short Stories must be fiction or historical and written in English.'

I feel I have been treated unfairly. Can you help me please? 

Chris Fielden Hi Brendan. Sorry to hear about your experience with Freeditorial. I see it's a free competition, so I assume you didn't lose any money with your submission? Please let me know if I have that wrong.

I can try contacting them, if you like, and see what they say? That approach has sometimes helped in the past.

If you want me to do that, please forward me all the correspondence you have had with them so I can take a look through it and then see who I need to contact.

Brendan M Hi Chris. I queried their email and they replied as follows:

You are reading an old contest. The 2018 contest is only in Spanish as you can see on the web freeditoral.com/es

I have checked it out and it seems this is the case so the entry in your list appears to be the 'old contest' and now out of date, sadly, so would need altering.The contest is free.

Chris, I should have said that I am interpreting the site as written in Spanish as best I can, but I could be wrong. In other words it may not specifically say the submissions must be made in Spanish. The other issue is that if in fact it does say this in Spanish what is the logic behind such a change? To be totally certain would require a person fluent in Spanish translation.

Chris Fielden Hi Brendan. OK, thanks for the information.

I can’t find a link to the competition on their homepage, so will retire the listing for now. Websites that change their competition URL every year rarely let me know, so unless I link to homepages, it’s nigh on impossible to keep the lists up to date.

I have some old correspondence with them from 2016, when they first requested a listing, so will get in touch and ask them what’s going on.

Thanks for highlighting this – much appreciated.

Charlie T Any chance of listing free to enter competitions under their own category?

Chris Fielden Hi Charlie, thanks for the suggestion.

It's a possibility, but would mean a lot of work to restructure the page. I'll consider it when I next do the next major update.

For now, the best bet is do Ctrl F (hold down the control key and the F key) and type 'free' into the search box. That will allow you to find all the free competitions easily.

Ray D The Solutions Loan Comp seems to have mysteriously vanished. I've tried to check the status on their site and the page won't load. At ALL.

Chris Fielden Hi Ray. The Solutions Loan page loads fine for me. Looks like the spring contest is closed (did so on 31st May) and the winter one will open later in the year.

You used a fake email address when you left your comment so I couldn't reply. Hopefully you'll see this comment. Cheers, Chris

Katie DG This evening I was told about the way the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award came to be. If you would like to know more about that and perhaps be in touch with the Irishman who proposed the idea, please let me know.

Chris Fielden Hi Katie. That sounds interesting - please do tell me more :-)

Katie DG Hi Chris. My Dubliner friend, Paul Jacob, was relaxing with a coffee at at Davy Byrnes, discussing Bloomsday with the staff. He suggested they celebrate by hosting a short story competition in honor of James Joyce’s connection to the pub. They loved the idea and ran with it! The rest is literary history - LOL!

Once or twice, the staff has recalled  it while he was there. If you ask, they will know Paul and acknowledge his creative contribution. Paul told me that years ago he was mentioned in the newspaper - it would be fun to find that article.

Because the founding of the Davy Byrnes Short Story competition can be traced to a specific conversation, it would be nice to preserve that memory for posterity.

Paul, originally of Ranelagh, Dublin, now lives in Drogheda. I imagine he could recount the incident in an entertaining way if you were to ask him. He just mentioned it to me as a friend in passing and isn’t looking for attention. It might be a fun anecdote for the record, though, since 2019 - 5 years since the last competition -  is fast approaching.

Paul lived here in Colorado Springs for awhile and instigated other projects/ commemorations (one being a celebration of the San Patricios who defected from the U.S. Army to Mexico in protest for their mistreatment as Irish immigrants.) He loves and is very conversant with history. You would undoubtedly enjoy talking to him.

Thanks for your interest, Chris!

Chris Fielden Thanks for sharing that, Katie - that's really interesting :)

Well, if nothing else, the story is now recorded in the comments here!

David B Just had a story (max 4,000 words) rejected without giving a reason from the editors. Replied answering what is it about the story that doesn't meet your editorial criteria? Yet to receive another reply. It is quite hard to find somewhere that'll take stories that fit your theme and word count. I don't agree with asking for reading fees. You pay someone to read your story only to have it rejected and you've wasted money.

Chris Fielden Hi David. Thanks for your message.

I think it's unlikely you'll receive a reply. Having been on the other end of this, I understand why. Most magazines and competitions will receive hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions. It's just not possible to give writers feedback without payment. This is why some comps and mags offer critiques for a fee.

There are various reasons for charging reading fees. A fee can put off time wasters. I've been involved with free competitions before. They attract a lot of entries and the standard is often poor. Having a fee tends to result in higher quality submissions from writers who at least adhere to the submission guidelines. Charging a fee also encourages writers to undertake their research properly before submitting - reading back issues and studying the publication thoroughly, before writing a story and submitting. The fees also help cover staffing costs. Considering submission takes time and staff have to be paid.

If you submit to a magazine and aren't prepared to pay a fee, then you're essentially asking the editors to do their dayjob for free. Most magazines and comps operate with very low budgets and can't afford to pay staff to give feedback to every writer who submits. By paying a reading fee, or a competition entry fee, you're supporting small publishers, non profits and independent press. I certainly wouldn't regard it as wasting money.

But that's just my opinion. Having been on the receiving end of people expecting me to work for nothing and offer free advice, as a writer, I am now a lot more sympathetic towards mags and comps that charge fees.

It's also worth bearing in mind that you might have been rejected because they simply received too many excellent stories. Every year, I reject fabulous stories simply because I only have 20 places in the anthology. It isn't because I don't like them, it's because I can't publish them all. I just chose the ones that are best suited to my publication.

The best advice I can give you is to move on and keep submitting your work elsewhere. And, if you haven't already, get your work critiqued and see if you can make any improvements. I'm in a writing group and every short story I write is critiqued and then edited to improve it, before it is submitted anywhere. That process has helped me see most of my stories in print.

I hope that's helpful. I wish you the best of luck with finding a home for your story :-)

David B Hi Chris, thanks for your detailed reply. It certainly is helpful, and I have been thinking that reading fees do help to cover costs and take submissions seriously and also contribute towards cash prizes and so on.

I agree that there is a lot of 'bad' or poor quality writing that gets submitted and this is also true in the self-publishing world. Even if the writing has been carefully edited, the content or meaning is trash. It's usually about erotica. horror, thrillers, etc., which to me, frankly, is boring. So, authors are having to come up with further flashy in-your-face book covers just to get noticed and to write what most people want to read, which is a shame because it reduces talent or writing quality.

Regarding stories. Yes, just keep writing more about different themes and word counts and to keep submitting seems to be the answer.

Never give up if you have a writing talent.

Chris Fielden Hi Dave. No problem :-)

I guess that one of disadvantages of self-publishing and the internet is that anything and everything can be published, making it harder to find those hidden gems. Still, like you say, never give up and keep on submitting – that’s a great ethos to have.

Suzy AB I was just wondering if there exists a short story-reading competition where authors read their own stories out loud thus being judged on writing and reading at the same time. Entries could be submitted by Soundcloud. Thank you for this wonderful site - very inspiring indeed.

Chris Fielden Hi Suzy. The only one I'm aware of is called The Squat Pen Rests, run by Steve Tuffin. It's a live performance event, held in Swindon and it doesn't run very often.

It's a great idea though. Maybe you should think about launching a competition like that?

Qudsia T Thanks very much for all your work on this - it's a fantastic resource.

Chris Fielden No problem, thanks Qudsia :-)

Tristan M Unfortunately the admirable Magic Oxygen competition closed for good.

Thank you for your hard work as usual, Christopher!

Chris Fielden Thank you for letting me know, Tristan - very much appreciated.

Sad news... I have retired the Magic Oxygen listing to the history section of the page.

Richard C Hi, do you know if the Aeon Award is legit? Doesn't seem to respond to emails or post updates...

Chris Fielden Hi Richard. So far as I know, yes - it's been running for years and seems well respected in the writing community.

However, I haven't dealt with them directly myself.

Have you tried contacting them via Facebook or Twitter? Might be worth a shot. Public posts can sometimes work better :)

Mr. Jan S Love the site and enjoyed the comments. Everyone dreams of having their collection published by a well known publisher. However, the brutal fact is that it isn't going to happen. Not unless you are a very well known novelist. Then they may accept a volume secure in the knowledge that your name alone will sell it and make a profit. Publishers are in business to make money. They are not interested per se in art. I have yet to discover an agent who accepts short stories.

Self publishing is, of course, an option. But once published you have to sell the book yourself. Most people, I think, put it on Amazon where they hope it will be miraculously noticed among the 8.5 million others on there. Well, good luck with that then. I have been published on line, in print, won competitions with my short stories and had poetry, essays and articles published in various magazines including the glossies. However, I live in the real world. I write because I need to and thoroughly enjoy it. I write for fun and if my work brings pleasure to others then that should be enough for anyone. When it stops being fun, I shall give it up.

Chris Fielden Hi Jan. It's always great to hear when people enjoy the site, so thank you.

I agree, writing for pleasure is important and selling short story collections is hard. However, it's not impossible. There are a lot of small presses out there now that consider publishing them, so the market has grown. My short story collection was published by Victorina Press recently - they're a UK based indie press that follow the principals of bibliodiversity, which is why I approached them. Is my book their biggest selling release? No. Readers do seem to prefer buying longer works and novels. But it does sell, it's won a couple of awards and the stories are being well received by reviewers and used on radio etc. And I do make money from it. That's because I spend time marketing the book, as do the publisher.

As a self-published writer, I also spend a lot of time marketing my books. The most effective way I've found of doing that outside of my website audience is by using Amazon ads. It takes a while to learn how to make a profit, but I have sold thousands of books as a result.

So, in my experience, it's not impossible to enjoy success from writing shorter works. If writers are interested in exploring the UK market, there are 2 useful books that contain details about our publishing industry, including short story publishers. They are the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook and the Mslexia Indie Publishing Guide. They're both worth a look.

I hope my thoughts are of interest to you and I wish you the very best with your writing.

Mr. Jan S . Thank you for you kind and quick reply. Forgive me for saying so but I feel that you are painting an optimistic picture. Readers do not dictate the market. Publishers do and profit is everything. It has always been very difficult to publish short stories. Even Orwell remarked on it. One of the problems being too many writers and not enough outlets for our work. In the heyday of the short story, the twenties and thirties, stories were published in daily newspapers. New York alone had over thirty. We no longer have that luxury. The tiny market that survives is heavily over-subscribed. Even your small publisher is no longer taking submissions until September 2021. It is a shrinking market. One no longer needs to be cleverly artistic or well qualified to succeed (I have a creative writing MA) or a good CV. One simply needs to be lucky.

Chris Fielden Hi Jan. No problem. Thank you for your reply.

You are forgiven :) You're right, I do paint an optimistic picture, but that's my nature. It encourages me (and others) to keep writing short stories. It's my favourite medium as a writer, and a reader. And many writers hone their craft through shorter works, before going onto novels, so they have their place in that respect too.

True, older outlets like newspapers are dwindling. Still, in my experience, opportunities are growing in the short story market, not shrinking. I list more magazines, journals and contests on my site now than I have before. I think the internet is playing a significant factor in that growth. I would add that the majority of my experience is with the UK market, not the US, and I appreciate there are some significant differences. For example, in the UK we have festivals dedicated to short works. I'm not sure if it's the same on the other side of the pond.

My publishers have a backlog because of delays caused by the current pandemic. It wouldn't surprise me if other publishers are in the same situation. I guess that would have a negative impact on all forms of publishing, not just short stories. Still, I have found publishers for two of the three shorts I have written this year to date, and the third is currently 'out there' being considered. My publishers know I'm writing a second collection and are encouraging me to do so, but I suppose I'm in the luxurious position of already having my foot in the proverbial door.

I agree that luck plays a big part in success. But so does hard work and proactively marketing published works. If you don't do that, how can you be lucky? That's why I stay positive and have an optimistic approach. It means my stories are out there, being read and hunting for luck. You never know... :-)

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I find discussions like this very interesting.

Yap Swi N (Mary) Hi Chris I enjoy reading the stories. I do write short stories. I would like to submit one for your consideration. How do I do it? Many thanks and stay safe.

Chris Fielden Hi Mary. Thanks for your message. I don't accept general story submissions. You can learn about the typos of guest post I do accept on my submission guidelines page .

I run a lot of flash fiction writing challenges. You can learn how to submit to those here .

And you can find the rules and submission criteria for my short story competition here .

If you have any other questions, please let me know. I hope you're staying safe and well :-)

Festus Well... a lot of people have already laid the well-deserved commendations at your doorstep but I guess there's always room for more.... Actually, I stumbled upon your website as part of my search for funding from writing competitions and I can authoritatively say ( to the extent applicable ;-)  ),  it's  one of the best out there.... and I admire the spirit of including the list of other websites that could be checked out.

By the way, I didn't see the Queryletter.com blurb competition... though the deadline is past but it's something I entered earlier on and others could benefit from the next time it is run ( as applicable).

And as afterthought, I wouldn't mind being referenced to solid websites with info on photography competitions (or yours, if you have one).

Chris Fielden Hi Festus. Thank you for your message. Glad to hear you've been finding the site helpful :)

Thanks for mentioning the Query Letter comp. I do list it - it's on my book and novel comps list.

I don't have a list of photography comps, and don't know of any I'm afraid. I'm sure the fine purveyor of search known as Google will send you somewhere helpful :-) Sorry I can't be of more help on that front.

Michelle M Thank you so much for providing this comprehensive page. I have already come across many contests I had never heard of that peak my interest, and I haven't even made it through half of them. It is greatly appreciated!

Chris Fielden Hi Michelle, thanks for your message.

No problem - great to hear you're finding the lists useful :-)

Tariq R What benefit would be given to the winning short story writer on Reedsy?

Chris Fielden Hi Tariq. Thanks for your message.

I believe Reedsy have a very large website audience, so you'd probably receive some good exposure. However, the best bet is to read their terms and conditions for more information. And if you have any questions, approach Reedsy directly.

Rosalind P Hi Chris, can someone confirm to me that Word Periscope is bonafide? They have a current competition and I would like to enter. There is little on their 'website'. I cannot find anything on the web about them, so would like some reassurance that they are genuine. Word Periscope are listed in lots of competition listings.

Chris Fielden Hi Rosalind. Thank you for your message.

To the best of my knowledge, Word Periscope is legitimate. They have been running for a couple of years and Ciaran, who administers the competition, has always been responsive and helpful when I've dealt with them. I last liaised with him about 2 months ago. I can try putting you in touch with him, if you like? Or you can use the contact form on their website.

I hope that puts your mind at rest, but please let me know if I can be of any more help :-)

Rosalind P Thanks Chris. Most useful.

Chris Fielden No problem, thanks Rosalind :)

Jay T Hi Chris. Thank you for compiling this list, immensely useful.

Just wondering if you've had any experience with Freelance Writing dot com's Writing Contests?

Chris Fielden Hi Jay. Thanks for your message. Glad to hear you find the lists useful.

No, I'm afraid I haven't heard of them and I can't find any previous correspondence with them in my email archive. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Aida R Hi Christopher. Thank you, first of all, for compiling such a wonderful list of writing contests. I've been looking around, but do you have any recommendations for wartime (e.g. WWI, Civil War, etc.) short story contests? Any advice would be helpful, thank you!

Chris Fielden Hi Aida. Thank you for your message - it's great to hear you find the lists useful.

Story contests with wartime themes do come up from time to time, usually around military anniversaries. For example, around the time of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain there were a few one-off competitions of this nature.

I'm not aware of any running at present, but it is worth doing a Google search for military themed writing contests from time to time, as they do come up on occasion.

I hope that's helpful :-) All the best.

Luke M I've been working on stories that honour the work of Flannery O'Connor while also featuring historic encounters between conquistadors and natives. Sort of fictionalised history with kudos to Flannery. I haven't started looking but I'm not real sure where to try to get this published. Do you have any ideas?

Chris Fielden Hi Luke, thanks for your message.

I've just done a quick online search and the University of Georgia Press run the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. I don't know if it's currently open or how often it runs, but that might be the best place for you to start.

I'd also research historical fiction competitions, magazines and journals. None spring to mind, but I list many mags / journals here , so it might be a good place to start your research.

I wish you all the best with your submissions.

Luke M Wow, thank you for the quick reply. I’ll check all that out.

Chris Fielden No problem, thanks Luke :-)

Claire B Dear Chris. It would appear that the Costa Short Story Prize has ended - although it is not entirely clear from their press release or the website FAQs.  The Costa Book Award certainly has closed for good.  Do you have any further details?  Best wishes.

Chris Fielden Dear Claire, thanks for your message.

The Costa Short Story Award is part of the Costa Book Awards, so I'm assuming it is also closed. Your message has reminded me to retire the listing, thank you - I'll do that now :)

If I hear anything different, I'll be sure to reinstate the listing, but for now I'd assume it's closed. Sad news. All the best to you.

Claire B Dear Chris, yes it is a shame - I was just about to submit a story! Best wishes.

Chris Fielden Dear Claire, luckily there are plenty more opportunities out there :) I wish you all the best with your submissions.

The copyright of the stories and content published on this website remain with the author.

Christopher Fielden and all the other contributing authors published via this website have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the authors of these works.

The stories and articles on this site are provided for you to read free of charge subject to the condition that they are not, by way of trade or otherwise, copied, lent, sold, hired out, printed or otherwise circulated in any format without the author’s prior consent.

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Writing Competitions and Events

If you are looking to take your writing to the next level, then entering a writing competition often provides that extra impetus to refine your work.

This is by no means a full list of competitions. Some writing competitions require an entry fee. Others don’t. This seems to be the norm these days and there are credible competitions that require an entry fee. Always check that you are comfortable with sending money to the organizers if this is the case.

Please contact the competition organizers directly if you have any queries. UK Writers College cannot be held responsible for the conduct of any third party competitions or events.

The Basics of Creative Writing Course

Competitions and events.

Curious Curls Fiction Contest 2023 15 November 2023 More details here

Ironclad Short Story Competition Deadline: 16 November 2023 More details here

Wild Words Poetry Submissions Deadline: 19 November 2023 More details here

Ghost Stories at the Bookshop Deadline: 23 November 2023 More details here

Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest 30 November 2023 More details here

WOW! Women on Writing Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Deadline: 30 November 2023 More details here

Anthology Travel Writing Competition 31 November 2023 More details here

Heroines Anthology – Volume 5: Call For Submissions Deadline: 18 December 2023 More details here

Prole Laureate poetry competition Deadline: 20 December 2023 More details here

The Henshaw Press Short Story Competition 31 December 2023 More details here

Prolitzer Prize for Prose Deadline: 21 January 2024 More details here

UK Read Me Colour Me Children’s Story Competition Deadline: 28 December 2023 More details here

New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024 Deadline: 31 January 2024 More details here

Story Unlikely’s Annual Short Story Contest Deadline: 31 January 2024 More details here

2024 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Deadline: 14 February 2024 More details here

Edinburgh Short Story Award Deadline: 28 February 2024 More details here

Next Generation Short Story Awards Deadline: 28 February 2024 More details here

The Short Story Writing for Magazines Course

Monthly entries.

Dark Tales Short Story Competition

The Global Short Story Competition

The Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course

Weekly entries.

The Telegraph Travel Writing Competition

The Long and Short of it – Unity Books Short Story Competition

The Write a Novel Course

Regular entries.

writing competitions 2022 uk

The Plaza Prizes run many writing competitions throughout the year. The purpose is to discover, publish and promote talended new writers. You can see their upcoming competitions here .

The Writers College My Writing Journey Competition . Free to enter, open to writers around the world. Regular submissions accepted. Details here>

Almond Press runs a writing competition event calendar  that is updated on a daily basis

In kitt  maintains an excellent website documenting lots of international writing competitions Details here>

Storyhouse | Contests for previously unpublished writers Details here>

Cranked Anvil Prompt Competition DEADLINES: 10am GMT on 1 April; 1 July; 1 October Details here>

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition DEADLINES: QUARTERLY: January; April; July; October. Details here>

Cranked Anvil Flash Fiction Competition DEADLINES: QUARTERLY: February; May; August; November Details here>

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writing competitions 2022 uk

Writing Competitions UK 2022

Writing Competitions UK 2022 comprises a list of writing competitions in 2022 that are ongoing. Both essay and creative writing Competition uk 2022

List Of Writing Competitions UK 2022

  • Fiction Competitions 
  • Drama Competitions 
  • Essay Competition 
  • Poetry Competitions 
  • Prose, Flash Fiction among many others in 2022.

Benefits Of Entering Into Any Of The Writing Competitions UK 2022

  • Cash prizes
  • You stand a chance to have your work published.
  • Mentorship.
  • Recognition in literary events among many others.
  • Check the eligibility requirements for these Competitions. Some of them are restricted in respect of age, education qualification etc.
  • Check the genres of work that you're required to submit. Be it Prose, Fiction, Poetry, be sure to identify it before submitting to any of the creative writing Competitions.
  • Read the submission guidelines before proceeding to submit. Submissions Guidelines is always of necessity and that which an applicant should consider while entering a writing Competition. Failure to adhere to it might lead to the rejection of your work.
  • In respect of the aforementioned, always check the word count!
  • Also, check the deadline. Avoid submitting to a creative writing Competitions UK 2022 that is already closed. Always ensure you submit before the deadline.
  • Find a place to write the dates for the announcement of shortlisted names for the contest in order to get duly informed as the Competitions proceeds.
  • Jack London Young Writers Contest for 6th-8th graders
  • Writers Of The Future Contest 2022
  • Jacklyn Potter Young Poets Competition
  • The Ann Whitford Paul – Writer’s Digest Manuscript Award 2022
  • Waterston Desert Writing Prize
  • World Historian Student Essay Competition 2022
  • Puchi Award 2022: Rules and Requirements
  • Creative Future Writers Award 2022
  • The Irene Adler Prize: A $1,000 Scholarship for Women Writers
Writing has given me a rich and exciting life. I’ve traveled the world from Sweden to South Africa, from the Golden Globes to the Olympic women’s hockey finals. I’ve photographed a mother polar bear and her cubs and profiled stars like ABBA, Jennifer Garner and Katarina Witt. And I couldn’t have done it without women. I’ve been very fortunate, and it’s time for me to give back. With the Irene Adler Prize, I’m awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada, based on an essay competition. My mother is a journalist and my sister works in publishing. The editors who gave me my big breaks with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Geographic are all female. Nearly every story of mine that’s won an award was assigned by a woman. Teachers, librarians, publicists, literary agents, fellow writers…I could go on. Women have had a huge impact on my career. In today’s challenging climate, I want to let my female colleagues know – past, present and future – that they and their work are respected and valued. This is not to minimize men. It’s to help maximize the talents of the other 50 percent of the world’s population, which is too frequently shortchanged. The time is right.
  • The Jane Austen Society Of North America Essay Contest

Jane Austen Society Of North America Essay Competition 2022

  • Bard Fiction Prize 2022
  • Button Poetry Poem Cover Contest 2022
  • HG Wells Short Story Competition 2022
  • UNESCO International Essay Contest for Young People  International Essay Competitions 2022
  • Foyle Young Poets Of The Year 2022

Polar Expressions Contest 2022

  • Submit To Polar Expressions Publishing Contest 2022
  • 2022 National Poetry Contest and
  • 2022 National Short-Story Contest

Immerse Education Essay Competition Scholarship 2022

  • The Miller Williams Poetry Prize 2022


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writing competitions 2022 uk

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UK wide children’s creative writing competition 500 Words launches

Primary school aged children from across the UK can submit their own original short story from today, Tuesday 26 September, until 8pm Friday 10 November.

500 words in bold yellow writing.  2023 in white writing at bottom.  Illustrations of bookworm, rocket, crown, headphones and flowers surround the words

We are delighted to be running this year’s 500 Words competition. It goes to the heart of everything we do in BBC Education. Ever since it began, the short story writing competition has always been for EVERY child, no matter what their ability. It is all about creativity with no need to worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. — Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education

Today, the UK’s most successful writing competition for children, 500 Words, launched on BBC Breakfast, live from a primary school in Abergavenny. 

Once again, the competition has been given the royal seal of approval, with Her Majesty The Queen announcing that it was open in a special poem to Sir Lenny Henry, one of this year’s judges, on BBC Breakfast. 

It is also confirmed that this year’s winners will have the chance to meet The Queen, with the grand final taking place at Buckingham Palace in February 2024. 

Primary school aged children from across the UK can submit their own original short story from today, Tuesday 26 September, until 8pm Friday 10 November. 

The competition, which is supported by BBC Teach, encourages children of all abilities to dive deep into their imagination and write the story they would love to read in 500 words or less, without fear of spelling, grammar or punctuation errors. 

Jon Kay, BBC Breakfast presenter says: “Filming at the Palace with Sir Lenny for BBC Breakfast this week has given us a glimpse of what next year’s 500 Words grand final will be like. The opulent state rooms which usually host royalty, ambassadors and heads of state from all over the world will be taken over by primary school kids from across the UK. It doesn’t matter where you live - or what your spelling and punctuation are like. If you have a brilliant story idea that will amaze, excite and entertain the judges, you can be one of our winners meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace.”  

Competition prizes

50 finalists, along with their parents or carers, will be invited to attend the grand final in February 2024 at Buckingham Palace. The event will be shown as part of a special 500 Words programme with The One Show on World Book Day®, Thursday 7 March 2024.  

At the event, the bronze, silver and gold winners of both age groups, 5-7 and 8-11, will receive a selection of exciting prizes, including having their stories read by famous faces and a bundle of books to help continue their love of the written word. 

The two gold winners will receive not only the height of judge, Sir Lenny Henry, in books, but 500 books for their schools.

Silver winners will get their hands on the height of Her Majesty in books, and bronze winners will receive the average height of a 7 or 11 year old in books. 

All of their stories will be illustrated by children’s illustrators – Joelle Avelino, Axel Scheffler, Fiona Lumbers, Sue Cheung, Jamie Smart, and Steven Lenton – framed, and put into a 500 Words winners' book. 

Every finalist will receive a £20 National Book Token and their stories will be recorded and published to the BBC Teach website.  

Every story will be entered into a random draw, where one lucky winner will receive a ticket to the grand final, and their school will receive a bundle of 500 books and literacy wall art of their choice. 

Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education says: “We are delighted to be running this year’s 500 Words competition. It goes to the heart of everything we do in BBC Education. Ever since it began, the short story writing competition has always been for EVERY child, no matter what their ability. It is all about creativity with no need to worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. This year we want children to write the story they would LOVE to read. We can’t wait to read all the incredible entries we know we will receive and support children across the UK with their creative writing.”

Meet the judges

This year’s stellar line up of judges include World Book Day ambassador, actor, comedian, presenter and writer, Sir Lenny Henry, who is making his 500 Words debut.

He will be joining the original 500 Words judges: award-winning and best-selling authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Francesca Simon, Charlie Higson and former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman.   

500 Words judge, Francesca Simon, says: “I am beyond thrilled that 500 Words is returning. It was always one of the highlights of my year: I love reading the stories, I love the excitement around writing, I love celebrating with the 50 finalists and their families, I love getting together with my fellow judges.  I am thrilled that over 100,000 children take part, and I hope even more will participate this year”

Getting involved  

Since the competition first launched in 2011, it has received over one million entries, and this year it wants to continue to encourage children of all abilities from across the UK to unleash their creativity and get involved.

The competition is open from Tuesday 26 September, and all stories need to be typed and submitted by an adult by 8pm on Friday 10 November. 

To celebrate the launch, and help children get started with creative ideas for their stories, a star-studded 500 Words Live Lesson will be available to watch at 11am on Wednesday 27 September on the BBC Teach website and CBBC. 

Blue Peter’s Mwaksy Mudenda and CBBC presenter Joe Tasker will be joined by 500 Words judges Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Francesca Simon and Charlie Higson to share tips with children on how they can develop and write their own original short story. 

In addition to this, a special series of school visits will take place across the UK to encourage entries from young creative minds, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. From 27 September to 16 October, BBC Teach, in partnership with Oxford University Press and the National Literacy Trust, will visit eight primary schools with various children’s authors and CBBC and CBeebies presenters Rhys Stephenson, Ben Cajee, Lauren Layfield and Alex Humphreys.

BBC Teach will run 500 Words in partnership with: Anderson Press, HeadteacherChat, Libraries Connected, National Book Tokens, National Literacy Trust, Oxford University Press, Pobble, Publishers Association, The Reading Agency and World Book Day. 

Alex de Berry, MD, National Book Tokens says: “Story writing is one way that everyone can tap into their creativity, an opportunity for your unique voice to run wild. 500 Words is a fantastic celebration that encourages all children to get involved and to have fun with writing. We are proud to be involved and to help the 500 Words team spread the word via hundreds of UK bookshops to communities everywhere.”

Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive, World Book Day says: “What could be more exciting than creating your own irresistible read? At World Book Day we’re excited to know what children love to read - in their own words! For anyone who hasn’t found their favourite book, or who knows there are so many reading worlds to explore, BBC 500 words is your chance to tell everyone which book you’d love to pick up if you saw it on a shelf.”

Just as 500 Words opens, the BBC’s writing competition for older children - the BBC Young Writers Award - and adults - the National Short Story Awards - announces its 2023 winners live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. 

  • If you have a child or have a class who wants to enter, head to bbc.co.uk/500words where you can find everything you need to know about the competition as well as full terms and conditions and privacy notices.
  • The competition closes on Friday 10 November 2023 at 8pm.
  • For more information on 500 Words partners, click here  

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writing competitions 2022: Your complete Guide

Writing competitions are an incredible opportunity to get your work in front of industry professionals so in this week’s blog post I’ve curated a list of contests that you may want to consider as part of your author journey.

While it can be nerve-wracking to submit your work, the benefits far outweigh any discomfort helping you understand where you need to improve, who the competition is, and what the publishing industry is looking for. If you win, there’s often a cash prize along with the prestige and confidence that comes from an award.

In fact you may (or may not) know that my own author career started as a result of winning a writing competition in 2016 which led to a 3-book deal.

So if you’re serious about your writing and being published, check out my round up of upcoming writing competitions, many of which have submissions open now.

As many of you are from all around the world, the majority of these are open to international entries but please do check the terms and conditions carefully!

1. The 2021 Exeter Novel Prize

Prize: First prize - £500

Entry fee: £18 (or £100 with appraisal)

Deadline: 11.59pm on 1 January 2022

About: The competition is open to everyone, living anywhere in the world, published, self-published or yet to be published, who does not have representation by a literary agent, and who does not receive a contract from a commercial publisher by the closing date.

2. Unleash Prize 2022 Book Prize

Prize: $1,000 advance and standard contract option to publish with Unleash Press

Entry fee: $35

Deadline: 5 January 2022

About: Unleash Press are looking for submissions for novels, short story collections, and creative nonfiction manuscripts.

3. The Emirates LitFest Writing Prize

Prize: a one-hour one to one with each of the judges for feedback, and writing career advice.

Entry fee: AED 200

Deadline: 12 December 2021

About: Part of the Emirates Literature Festival, this competition is for fictional entries in English by GCC residents and should include a 400-word synopsis of the book and the first 2,000 words of the almost completed manuscript.

4. Manchester Fiction Prize

Prize: £10,000

Entry fee: £18

Deadline: 28 January 2022

About: The Manchester Fiction Prize asks for a short story of up to 2,500 words in length. Stories submitted should be new work, not previously published elsewhere. The Prize is open internationally to those aged 16 or over.

5. Bristol Short Story Prize

Prize: 1st : £1000, 2nd: £500, 3rd: £250

Entry fee: £9

Deadline: TBA 2022

About: an annual international short-story writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers.

6. The Bath Novel Award 2022

Prize: £3000

Entry fee: TBA

Deadline: Submissions open on 1 December 2021

About: The Bath Novel Award is an international prize for emerging novelists and is open worldwide to unpublished, self-published and independently published writers. To enter, submit your first 5,000 words plus one page synopsis of novels for adults or young adults

7. First Novel Prize 2022

Prize: 1st : £1000, 2nd: £250, 3rd: £100

Entry fee: £25

Deadline: Submissions open February 2022

About: The First Novel Prize aims to discover a powerful new voice in fiction writing, across the English language world. Prizes are available for unpublished or independently published novelists. The submission should be over 50,000 words and of an adult genre.

8. Mississippi Review Contest

Prize: $1000

Entry Fee: $16

Deadline: 1 January 2022

About: The contest is open to all writers in English except current or former students or employees of The University of Southern Mississippi. Fiction and non-fiction entries should be 1000-8000 words; poetry entries should be three to five poems totaling ten pages or less.

9. The Disquiet Prize

Prize: a full fellowship (airfare stipend, tuition, and housing included) to the 2022 DISQUIET International Program in Lisbon, Portugal. Genre winners will receive a $500 cash prize in addition to publication.

Deadline: January 24, 2022

Entry fee: $15

About: The 2022 DISQUIET Prize is open for submissions in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

10. Fish Short Memoir Prize

Prize: 1st: €1,000, 2nd: Online writing course + €200, 3rd: €200

Deadline: 31 January 2022

About: This contest is an opportunity to have your memoir published. Qian Julie Wang, author of her memoir Beautiful Country, will select 10 short memoirs to be published in the Fish Anthology 2022, which will be launched during th e West Cork Literary Festival, July ’22.

Which competition will you enter?


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writing competitions 2022 uk

I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 

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writing competitions 2022 uk

  • Jan 20, 2022

Writing Competitions in 2022

If you’re anything like us, you probably have a stack of stories and piles of poems languishing on your laptop, waiting for the right moment to be submitted – but somehow, that moment never seems to come…

If that’s the case, why not make 2022 the year you let your stories see the light of day?

Competitions are a great way to get your writing out into the world, and there are so many to choose from that you’re bound to find the right fit for your writing. They also provide handy deadlines for those of us who need a little extra motivation – and some of the prizes are pretty mind-blowing! However, even the more modest prizes can provide a real confidence- boost (for both you AND publishers), if your story is chosen as a winner.

Don’t know where to start? Well, that’s where we come in. Writing Voices have done the research, and put together a list of competitions that will hopefully motivate your muse. Some competitions are yet to be confirmed for 2022, but we’ve covered you for the first half of the year, and tried to include as many genres and forms as possible. We’ll update the list in June to cover the second half of the year.

Before you enter, make sure you read the publication you are submitting to, and any past winning pieces, to ensure that your work is a good fit.

Proof-read carefully, and make sure you read all submission and entry guidelines before submitting.

Keep track of how much you’re spending on entry fees. Set yourself a budget, and remember that there are plenty of free-to-enter competitions that will help to keep the costs down.

All it remains for us to say now is good luck!

Manchester Poetry Prize

Submit a portfolio of 3-5 poems, with a maximum combined length of 120 lines.

Theme: Open

Entry Fee: £18

Prize: £10,000

Deadline: 28/1/2022

Flash Fiction 101

Submit stories of no more than 101 words in length.

Theme: Flowers/Romantic Comedy (this changes monthly, so check the website when you’re ready to submit).

Entry Fee: Free to enter

Prize: Winning entries are put forward for the annual competition in June, with the overall prize being publication in Chiasmus journal.

Deadline: 31/1/2022


Northern Writers Award 2022

Open for Northern English writers to submit poetry, all genres of fiction, creative non-fiction and writing for television.

Prize: The prize fund is used to provide financial support for the winning writers in the form of cash prizes, residential courses, bursaries, etc.

Deadline: To be announced February 2022 – please check the website.


Bag of Bones Horror / Dark Flash Fiction Competition

Submit flash fiction of up to 206 words.

Theme: Dark / Horror

Prize: Top three submissions will win £15. Selected stories will appear in the Bag of Bones Anthology print and e-book.

Deadline: 28/2/2022


Green Stories

Submit short stories of 2000-3000 words.

Theme: Stories of hope for a greener and more sustainable future, or stories with an underlying theme that includes environmental solutions. Include a synopsis of 300-800 words.

Prize: £200

Deadline: 21/2/2022


Lindisfarne Prize

Open to writers from the North East of England, or whose work celebrates the North East of England. Submit a short story up to 10,000 words or two chapters of an unpublished novel.

Theme: Crime / Thriller

Prize: £2,500

Deadline: 28/02/2022


Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition 2022

Submit short stories of up to 2200 words.

Theme: Treasure

Prize: Two nights stay for two at Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa, Stratford.

Deadline: 15/3/2022


BBC Short Story Prize 2022

Submit one short story of up to 8000 words. This competition has strict guidelines and requires an entry form to be submitted along with your entry. See the below for full details on how to enter.

Prize: £15,000 top prize, and three prizes of £600.

Deadline: 28/3/2022

Ver Poets Open Competition 2022

Poems of no more than 30 lines in length.

Entry fee: £4 per poem, three poems for £10 and £3 a poem thereafter.

Prize: £600 top prize, £300 and £100 runners up, plus the winner and selected poems selected for publication in the competition anthology.

Deadline: 30/4/2022


Bristol Short Story Prize

Submit short stories of up to 4000 words.

Entry fee: £9

Prize: 1st prize £1000, further prizes of £500 and £250

Deadline: 4/5/2022


The Bridport Prize

Short stories of up to 5000 words in length. (Also, competitions for poetry, flash fiction, novel and memoir – see bridportprize.org.uk for details).

Entry fee: £12 per story.

Prize: £5000 for winning short story; further prizes of £1000 and £500. Winner will also be published in the Bridport Anthology.

Deadline: 31/5/2022


Yeovil Literary Prize

Theme: Five Categories – so there should be something to suit everyone

Entry fee: Novel - £14.50 / Short Story - £8 / Poetry - £5 per poem / Children’s or Young Adult Novel - £12.50 / Writing Without Restrictions - £6


The Times / Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

Submit a full-length children’s novel for readers aged between 7 and 18. Open to 18+ only.

Entry fee: £20 per story

Prize: A worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House, plus a £10,000 royalty advance

Deadline 1/6/2022


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The best writing competitions for budding writers to enter this year

Fancy yourself a published writer? These competitions could be for you.

With numerous awards for every type of writing, from novels , to short stories to poetry running throughout the year, it can feel daunting to sift through them all. Which writing competition is right for you? Which ones are open when? Where do you even start?

As someone who is now a published author , I would say ‘pick up your pen’. It may sound obvious, but allow yourself to scribble down ideas. By letting your mind run free, you will be surprised at what happens when you give yourself complete creative freedom.

Then, pick a prize – and go for it. Here’s our round-up of the best writing competitions out there now. Good luck, and happy writing!

Once upon a time...

The Bridport Prize

“The story I wrote for the competition was the first time I felt I found that elusive thing - my ‘voice’. Without the Bridport Prize I would probably not have found my agent and quite possibly wouldn’t have written my book Behind the Scenes at the Museum so I have a lot to be thankful to it for.”

So says renowned novelist Kate Atkinson – could this be you next? First prize for the Bridport’s novel writing competition is £1,500, plus mentoring by The Literary Consultancy, consultation with literary agent AM Heath and publisher Tinder Press. You will also be published in the Bridport Prize anthology, not to mention an invitation to the glitzy awards ceremony.

And it’s not just the novel award. Bridport also runs competitions for poetry, flash fiction and short stories.

How to enter: Upload 5,000 to 8,000 words of your novel plus a 300 word synopsis onto the Bridport Prize’s website.

Entry fee: £20

Bristol Short Story Prize

An international short story competition opened to published and unpublished writers anywhere in the world. In addition to the main prize, all shortlisted writers are published in an anthology distributed by Tangent Books. 1st prize is £1,000, 2nd prize is £500, 3rd prize is £250. 17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the remaining shortlisted writers

How to enter : The maximum length of submissions is 4,000 words (does not include title) and there is no minimum length. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based.

Entry fee: £9 per story

Finland, Lapland, young woman sitting at the window at a lake writing into diary

National Poetry Competition

One of the biggest single poem competitions in the world, the National Poetry Competition is open to anyone aged 17 or older. The competition is for previously unpublished poems of up to 40 lines in length.

As well as the top prize, there are nine other small prizes for second place, third place, and commended entries. First Prize awards £5000, second prize £2000, third £1000, plus seven commendations of £200 each.

How to enter: Online or by post, along with a completed entry form.

Entry fee: £7

The First Novel Prize

Have you written a novel that is self-published or yet to be published? If yes, this is the prize for you. The First Novel Prize aims to discover a powerful new voice in fiction writing. There are first, second and third prizes up for grabs. Novels must be in adult genres, and be over 50,000 words.

How to enter: You can apply by post or online. Ensure your details are on the title page of your manuscript, followed by the synopsis and the novel within the same document.

Entry Fee: £25

Journaling Woman with Coffee in Cafe

Creative Future

The Creative Future Writers’ Award is an annual award for talented writers from a wealth of backgrounds. It’s the UK’s only national writing competition for all under-represented writers, and includes any style or genre (except children’s or erotica).

Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts and are given the opportunity to develop their work through training, mentoring, assessment and coaching.

How to enter: You can submit one piece of writing in one category (poetry or fiction) or one in each category – poetry or fiction. Applications can be submitted by post, in person or online.

Entry fee: Free

Have you started or completed an as yet unpublished novel with a cracking first chapter? Is your opening guaranteed to grab attention? Judged by Headline publishing and with a £500 prize (runner up £200), this annual competition could be the boost you need to get going!

How to enter: Submit an opening chapter up to 3,000 words, plus a one page synopsis outlining the balance of the story.

Entry fee: £10

Bath Novel Writing Prize

An international prize for emerging novelists writing for adults or young adults. First prize wins £3000. The shortlist prize is manuscript feedback and literary agent introductions, while the writer of the most promising longlisted manuscript will receive an online place worth £1,800

How to enter: Submit the first 5,000 words of your novel in progress, plus a one page synopsis. Entries accepted online and by post. All genres welcome.

Entry fee: £28 with sponsored places available for writers on low income.

The Good Housekeeping Novel Competition

Well, we had to mention it, didn't we? We've teamed up with Orion Books and top literary agent Amanda Preston of LBA Literary Agency to give you the opportunity to have your novel published . This year, we are looking for entries in the women’s fiction genre.

First prize is a publishing deal with worth £5,000, plus representation from Amanda Preston, as well as being featured in GH. Five shortlisted writers will attend a masterclass with Victoria Oundjian, Commissioning Editor at Orion Books, and will be given the chance to be represented by Amanda Preston, plus lunch with the Good Housekeeping team. So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

How to enter: Everything you need to know is here.

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writing competitions 2022 uk

  • Notes from the Chair
  • Branch officers
  • International Fiscal Association
  • Memberships
  • Events at a Glance

Writing Competition

Ifa uk branch writing competition 2022-2023.

The UK Branch of the International Fiscal Association is pleased to sponsor a writing competition for UK postgraduate students.

The competition is open to all full-time and part-time students studying tax law as part of a postgraduate degree (LLM, MA, MSc, PhD or similar programme) in the United Kingdom during the 2022-2023 academic year.

The paper must be primarily about UK international tax law, including the UK tax treatment of international and cross-border activities, UK tax treaties and/or UK aspects of international tax issues.

The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2023 at 23:59 GMT.

The award is £3,000 cash, plus complimentary membership in IFA UK for the 2024 calendar year if the winner is resident in the United Kingdom in 2024.

Further information can be found in the competition rules below.

Competition Rules

Eligibility and Topics

The writing competition of the UK Branch of the International Fiscal Association (IFA UK) is open to all full- and part-time students studying tax law as part of a postgraduate degree (LLM, MA, MSc, PhD or similar programme) in the United Kingdom during the 2022-2023 academic year.

The paper must be primarily about UK international tax law, including the UK tax treatment of international and cross-border activities, UK tax treaties and/or UK aspects of international tax issues.  Each student may submit only one paper.  Co-authored papers will not be accepted.  Published papers and papers accepted for publication, including on online forums, at the time of submission will not be accepted.  Papers submitted to other writing competitions may be submitted to the competition, but they must be accompanied by a note indicating all such submissions.

In all cases, the paper submitted must be the original work of the student and must be fully referenced, with citations in OSCOLA format.  IFA UK reserves the right to submit papers to Turnitin or a similar text-matching service.

Papers must be no more than 12,000 words in length, including footnotes and any appendices.  They must be submitted as Word files and should be double-spaced in an easily readable 12-point font, with footnotes in 10-point font.

Paper Submission

Papers must be submitted as an attachment to an email sent from the student’s UK academic email account to [email protected] by the deadline.  The covering email must include the following information:

  • the title of the paper;
  • the name of the student submitting the paper;
  • the student’s educational institution and degree programme; and
  • the student’s address, telephone or mobile phone number and academic email address.

All identifying information should be removed from the paper using the Inspect Document function in Word.  The name of the student and the institution he or she is attending should not appear anywhere in the document.

The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2023 at 23:59 BST.

All submissions will be acknowledged.

Papers will be judged anonymously by the review committee.  The winning paper will be selected by the committee based on, among other factors,

  • depth and thoroughness of research;
  • originality of analysis;
  • organisation and structure;
  • quality of writing;
  • difficulty of subject matter; and
  • accurate and appropriate referencing and citation of sources.

The author of the winning paper will be awarded £3,000 and will be given complimentary membership in IFA UK for the 2024 calendar year if he or she is resident in the United Kingdom in 2024.  The committee may, in its sole discretion, decide to split the prize or award additional prizes.  It also reserves the right to award no prize if it determines, in its sole discretion, that no submission is worthy of the prize.  In all cases, the decision of the committee shall be final.

Competition winners will be notified by 31 December 2023.

Effect of Submission

By submitting a paper, the student agrees that

  • the student has read and accepts the competition rules;
  • the paper is the original work of the student, and the student consents for the paper to be submitted to Turnitin or a similar text-matching service;
  • the student releases IFA UK from any and all liability in connection with the submission; and
  • the student’s name and the title of the paper may be used by IFA UK for publication in any medium and for editorial, advertising and other promotional usage, without compensation, in connection with the promotion of this writing competition and any succeeding writing competitions sponsored by IFA UK.

Copyright in the paper remains with the author.

Any inquiries regarding the competition should be directed to IFA UK at [email protected] .


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