The Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2019
The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Each entrant must submit 10 poems to be eligible. Entry is free. The winner will receive £3000.
2019 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest
Poets of all nations may enter. There is no age limit.
You may submit one humor poem, up to 250 lines. The entry is free. The winner will receive $1,000.
2unday Times EFG Short Story Award
Cash Prize: £30,000 (~€34,000)
Submit: a story of up to 6000 words
Open for submissions: usually July through September
Eligibility restrictions: open to all nationalities, but author must have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom or Ireland
César Egido Serrano Foundation International Flash Fiction Competition
Cash Prize: $20,000 (~€17,000) (plus an all-expenses-paid trip to attend an award ceremony in Madrid)
Submit: a story of fewer than 100 words on the theme of “The Word, bridging the gap between different cultures and religions.”
Languages: English, Spanish, Hebrew, or Arabic
Open for submissions: usually June through November
The Montreal International Poetry Prize
Cash prize: CA$20,000 (~€13,600)
Submit: a single poem of no more than 40 lines long
Open for submissions: usually January through May every other year (the next is 2019)
Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition. There is a new contest in each issue of this glossy writers’ mag. All types of stories are accepted, from horror to romance, with a length of between 1,000 and 3,000 words.
Closing: Monthly. Entries arriving too late for one comp automatically go into the next.
Prizes: £300, £150, £100.
Entry Fee: £6, or £3 for subscribers to the magazine. Critique – £5 (enclose sae if entering by post).
Writers’ Forum Poetry Competition. This monthly contest from the glossy magazine Writers’ Forum is for poems of up to 40 lines on any theme.
Closing: Monthly. Entries arriving too late for one month automatically go forward to the next.
Prize: £100 and a Chambers dictionary.
Entry Fee: £4 each, or £6 if you want a short critique (enclose sae for the critique if entering by post).
Telegraph ‘Just Back’ Travel writing Competition. If you are just back from somewhere a shade more interesting than the local park, the Telegraph Online would like the gripping details in up to 500 words. You can read previous winners on the website. A ‘voyage’ across the Mersey is one of them – proving that you don’t have to write about anywhere exotic to scoop the prize.
Prize : £200 in your choice of currency.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
Hour of Writes Competition. To enter this new weekly peer-reviewed contest from Manchester you submit a piece of writing of any type you choose running to no more than 2,000 words. There is a different theme every week.
Closing: 11pm every Friday.
Prize: £50 (usually the minimum, they say; prize increases if more entries are received).
Entry Fee: £3.
Scribble Quarterly Short Story Competition. This quarterly contest from Scribble magazine is for stories in any genre and on any subject, running to no more than 3,000 words. Winners are chosen by the magazine’s readers.
Prizes: £75, £25, £15.
Entry Fee: £3.
Dark Tales Short Story Competition. As you may gather from the name of the competition, this is not for the sort of jolly happy-ending story that leaves you with a warm glow inside. It is for horror and speculative fiction, the sort that leaves you afraid to turn out the lights in case something other than a tiny moth is hiding in the wardrobe. Your entry must be limited to 5,000 words.
Prize: £100 and publication.
Entry Fee: £4.
Flash 500 Competition. This quarterly flash fiction contest, which offers higher prize money than many similar competitions, is for stories of up to 500 words on any theme.
Prizes: 1st – £300. 2nd – £200. 3rd – £100. Highly Commended – A copy of Bad Moon Rising. Winners will be published on the website.
Entry Fee: £5 each, £8 for two.
Secret Attic Competitions. Here are two free monthly contests from Secret Attic Press, one for short stories of up to 1,200 words, the other for poems running to no more than 28 lines.
Closing: End of each month.
Prizes (in each category): £10. Best entries will be published in the monthly magazine.
Entry Fee: None – free entry.
The White Review Poet’s Prize. This contest from literary magazine The White Review is for poetry portfolios of between five and ten pages. It is open to residents of the UK and Ireland who have not yet had a single-author collection or pamphlet published. The promoters encourage work that explores and expands the possibilities of the page-poetry form.
Prize: £1,700 and expert advice. The winning entry will be published in the magazine.
Entry Fee: £12.
Glimmer Train New Writer Short Story Award. The American short story magazine Glimmer Train, which publishes new and emerging writers as well as more established ones, will unfortunately be steaming into the sunset next year, but before then there are some useful competitions you can enter. This one is, as the name indicates, for new writers, these being defined as ones who have not had any fiction appear in any print journal with a circulation of over 5,000. Submissions for this category, they say, are usually between 500 and 4,000 words, but they will accept anything up to 12,000.
Entry Fee: $18.
AQB Short Story Competition. Stories of up to 4,000 words on any theme are required for this contest from Arts Quarter Books.
Prizes: £75, £25, £25. Winners will, if they desire, be included in the forthcoming book Arts and Minds.
Entry Fee: £5.
Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year. To enter this contest from Bradt Travel Guides and the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards you write a travel piece of between 600 and 800 words with the theme of ‘Into to Blue’. This should be factual, based on personal experience and written in the first person. To be eligible you must not previously have been paid for a travel article.
Prizes: 1st – A 3-night break for two in Lapland and a commission to write an article about the trip for Wexas Traveller magazine. The three shortlisted finalists will be offered a place on the next Bradt Travel Writing seminar. They will also be invited to attend the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards where the winner of this contest will be revealed.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
Templar Poetry Pamphlet Awards. For this quarterly contest from Templar Poetry you submit a selection of your work as a manuscript of between ten and twelve A4 single-sided pages.
Prize: The winner will have his or her entry published in perfect-bound Templar Paperback Pamphlet format and will receive 5 free copies with the option to buy more at a discount.
Entry Fee: £15.50.
WB Flash Fiction Competition. This contest from Writers Bureau is for stories consisting of no more than 500 words.
Prizes: £300, £200, £100. All winners receive in addition a WB writing course of their choice.
Entry Fee: £5 each, £10 for three.
Ghosts in the Bookshop Writing Competition. This contest from the Petersfield Bookshop in Hampshire is, as you will no doubt have guessed, for ghost stories set in a bookshop. The bookshop is celebrating its tenth anniversary, hence the competition. There is no word limit as such, but the promoters say they prefer stories that can be read aloud ‘at a nice dramatic pace’ in under 20 minutes.
Prizes: 1st – £100. Runners-up – Five books from the bookshop.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
Manning’s Pit Poetry Competition. It doesn’t sound very attractive but it seems Manning’s Pit in Barnstaple, North Devon, is something of a beauty spot with more than its share of wildlife. It goes without saying that this valuable natural asset to the town is now under threat. And so this contest aims to raise funds to help save it. Your task is to write a poem of up to 40 lines about Manning’s Pit or a similar treasured and threatened piece of countryside near a town or village.
Prizes : £100, £30, £20.
Entry Fee: £3.
Wundor Editions Poetry Competition. Wunder Editions are looking for diverse, disruptive and innovative writers to enter their latest poetry contest. If you think this is just up your boulevard and you happen to be 16 or over, send in a poem on any subject running to as many words as you think you can get away with before the judge’s eyes glaze over. This might not be as many as you would wish. It could have been a long day. A lot of waffle and padding might have flooded under the bridge. The judge is turning mean. And your poem is up next …
Prize: £500. The winner and two runners-up will be published on the website. There is a possibility of publication in print as well.
Entry Fee: £5 for one, £10 for six.
Everything With Words Urban YA Competition. This contest from new publisher Everything With Words is for first young adult novels of between 40,000 and 70,000 words, set in a real city in today’s multicultural Britain. To enter you submit the completed novel plus a summary of up to 500 words.
Prize: £1,000 and possible publication of your novel.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism. This annual contest is for a piece of writing about new work in the arts. You are limited to 800 words.
Closing : 30.11.18.
Prizes: 1st – £3,000 plus publication in the Observer. Runners-up (2) – £500. There will be an awards ceremony at the Guardian Media Group headquarters in London.
Entry Fee: £10.
Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. This annual contest from the Munster Literature Centre in Cork, Ireland, is for poems of up to 40 lines in English on any subject.
Prizes: 1st – 1,000 euros, publication in Southword Journal, a week’s residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and a trip to Cork to visit the Cork International Poetry Festival (with 4 night’s accommodation and up to 600 euros travel expenses). 2nd – 500 euros and publication in Southword Journal . 3rd – 250 euros and publication in Southword Journal. Runners-up (10) – publication in Southword Journal and a fee of 30 euros.
Entry Fee: 5 euros each, 20 euros for five.
Fish Short Story Competition. If you are angling for a big prize, it’s worth trying your luck here in this international contest from Fish Publishing in southern Ireland. The required bait is a short story on any subject. To avoid a battering from the judges you must confine your tale to no more than 5,000 words.
Prizes: 1st – 3,000 euros (1,000 of which is for travel expenses to the anthology launch), plus a 5-day short story writing workshop during the West Cork Literary Festival. 2nd – A week at the Anam Cara Writers’ & Artists’ Retreat in West Cork with 300 euros travel expenses. 3rd – 300 euros. Runners-up (7) – 200 euros. Ten stories will be published in an anthology and the authors will receive five free copies plus an invitation to read at the launch during the West Cork Literary Festival in July.
Entry Fee: For online entries it’s 20 euros for the first, 10 thereafter. Add 2 euros for postal entries.
Littoral Press Poetry Competition. This contest is for full collections of nature, spiritual or environmental poetry.
Prize: Publication of your collection by Littoral Press as an A5 perfect-bound book with full colour covers and between 50 and 100 pages. The winner will receive 50 free copies.
Entry Fee: £20 per collection.
SLQ Poetry Competition. This regular contest from Sentinel Literary Quarterly is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject and in any style. Roger Elkin is the judge this time round.
Prizes: 1st – £250. 2nd – £100. 3rd – £50. Runners-up – 3 x £30, 3 x £15.
Entry Fee: £4 for one, £7 for two, £9 for three and so on.
Bath Children’s Novel Award. This annual international contest, which is open to unpublished and self-published debut novelists, is for novels of any length in any middle grade or young adult genre. To enter, you email the first 5,000 words of your story followed by a one page synopsis. If longlisted you will be expected to submit the full manuscript in December 2018. The longlist is chosen by a panel of children and young adults. The shortlist judge is Sallyanne Sweeney from Mulcahy Associates Literary Agency.
Prizes: 1st – £2,500. Runners-up – The writer of the most promising longlisted novel will receive an online place on Learn to Edit Your Novel the Professional Way from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. Shortlisted entrants will receive introductions to literary agents and feedback.
Entry Fee: £25.
H.E.Bates Short Story Competition. This annual contest in memory of the Nothamptonshire author of such works as The Darling Buds of May and Love for Lydia is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any theme.
Prizes: £500, £200, £100.
Entry Fee: £6 for one, £10 for two.
Strokestown International Poetry Competition. This annual contest from County Roscommon in Ireland is part of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival. It is for poems of up to 70 lines on any subject and in any style. There is also a contest for humour: The Percy French Prize for Witty Verse. The line limit and entry fees are the same. Finally, if for some reason you fancy writing a poem in Irish, this is catered for too (see website for details).
Prizes (Main Contest) 1st – 2,000 euros and a week’s residency at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat. 2nd – 700 euros, 3rd – 500 euros. Five additional poets will be invited to read and will each receive a 300 euro reading fee. The eight shortlisted poems will be published in an anthology. The Percy French Prize for Comic Verse has a first prize of 300 euros. Seven shortlisted poets will be offered a reading fee of 100 euros.
Entry Fee: 6 euros. Pay for five and get one free.
Moth Poetry Prize. This annual contest from Irish magazine The Moth is for poems of any length and on any subject. I should perhaps mention that the magazine is not devoted to the subject of moths, fascinating though these may be. It is an arts and literature magazine. Presumably the name is a reference to the way artists and writers are attracted to the light of recognition, only to beat their wings in vain against an invisible barrier until finally, broken and defeated, they slide down to the windowsill of despair. You’d think the magazine people could have come up with something a bit more cheerful than that, wouldn’t you?
Prizes: 1st – 10,000 euros. Runners-up (3) – 1,000 euros.
Entry Fee: 12 euros.
Holland Park Press Poetry Competition. Here is another contest from Holland Park Press of London. It is for poems of up to 50 lines on the theme of Brexit.
Closing : 31.12.18.
Prize: £200. The winner and runners-up will be published in the online magazine.
Entry Fee: None – free entry.
Exeter Novel Competition. To enter this annual contest from Creative Writing Matters of Exeter you submit the first 10,000 words of your unpublished novel, this to include a synopsis of up to 500 words.
Prizes: 1st – £500 plus a trophy. Runners-up (5) – £100 and a trophy. There will be an awards ceremony on 27.4.19 during which the final judge, Broo Doherty of DHH Agency, will present the trophies.
Entry Fee: £18.
Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest. The American short story magazine Glimmer Train, which publishes new and emerging writers as well as more established ones, will unfortunately be steaming into the sunset in the second half of 2019, but before then there are some useful competitions you can enter. This one is for stories about families in all configurations. Most entries, they say, run from 500 to 5,000 words, but any length up to 12,000 words is acceptable.
Entry Fee: $18.
Shepton Mallet Poetry Competition. This contest from the Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival is for poems of up to 30 lines on any aspect of snowdrops or the James Allen snowdrop story, or something inspired by the judge’s comments (see website for info). ‘Let your imagination run riot,’ they say. At this time of year I think I’m going to have to beat mine with a stick just to wake it up, but I’m sure yours will already be on its feet and raring to go. There are three age categories: 18 and over, 12 to 17, and up to 11.
Prizes: 18 and over – £200. 12 to 17 – £70. Up to 11 – £50.
Entry Fee: Adults – £4. Youngsters – free to enter.
Writers Retreat Short Story Competition. This is the first short story contest from Writer’s Retreat in Goole, East Yorkshire. It is for stories of between 250 and 1,000 words on any subject.
Closing: 30.1.19. Early-bird entries (reduced fee): 17.12.18.
Prizes: 1st – £200 and a free place on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat. 2nd – £100 and a 50% discount on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat. 3rd – £50 and 50% on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat. Runners-up (6) – £15. The writers of a further 15 stories will be offered a 50% discount on a Lake District retreat. Winners and shortlistees will be published on the website and will included in the first Writer’s Retreat UK short story anthology.
Entry Fee: £15. Early-bird entries – £10 (up to 17.12.18).
Fish Short Memoir Competition. This annual contest from Fish Publishing in Ireland is for memoirs of up to 4,000 words.
Prizes: 1st – 1,000 euros. 2nd – A week on a writers’ retreat at Casa Ana at La Alpujarra in Spain, plus 300 euros. The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.
Entry Fee: 17 euros for the first, 11 thereafter.
Prole Laureate Competition. This annual contest from Prole, a print magazine that publishes engaging, accessible, entertaining and challenging poetry and prose, is for poems on any subject and in any style. There are no restrictions on length, although you might like to consider how far it is reasonable to expect the judge to wade through that 5,000-line epic of yours before letting out an anguished cry and writing something obscene on it. As an occasional poetry judge, the most I have ever managed before turning nasty is 100 lines.
Prizes : £200, £50, £50. Winners will be published on the website and in Prole 28.
Entry Fee: £3 for the first, £2 thereafter.
Drip Action Theatre Playwriting Competition. This contest is for short plays suitable for the Arundel Festival Theatre Trail. A play will be performed at a different venue in Arundel on each of the eight days of the Festival. In the past, venues have included a restaurant, a jailhouse, a football club and a community hall. Plays should have a performance time of 30 to 40 minutes, and the casting, props and effects should be practicable. So no howling mob of thousands, no stampeding horses, no flying objects, people or animals … unless these are seen only by one of the characters through a window, whereupon he or she says, ‘Blimey, there goes a flying shed/witch/camel!’
Closing: 31.1.19. Open for entries from November 2018.
Prize: Each of the eight selected playwrights will receive a writer’s fee of £150. The best play takes the top prize of £250.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
Salariya Picture Book Prize. This contest from the Stratford Literary Festival and the Salariya Book Company Ltd aims to find the next big children’s author/illustrator. Just to clarify, you don’t have to be physically big to enter this. You do however have to be over the age of 16, unagented and unpublished (self-published doesn’t count), and you must be based in the UK or Eire. Can’t draw? Not to worry. Text only entries are acceptable, although you could if you wish team up with someone who can illustrate (must also be unagented and unpublished). The book should run to no more than 28 pages and be suitable for children in the 0 to 5 age range.
Closing: 31.1.19 (5.30pm).
Prize: £1,000 plus career advice from a leading children’s book agent and publicity through the Stratford Literary Festival. In the case of a collaborative entry, the prize is shared.
Entry Fee : None – free entry (one entry per person).
Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize. This is the ninth of these contests from the Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Sponsored by top London literary agents Peters Fraser Dunlop, it is open only to women over 21 who have not had a full-length novel published. It is for novels which combine literary merit with ‘unputdownability’. These can be literary or genre fiction, or novels for young adults or children. To enter, you submit 40 to 50 consecutive pages of your story’s opening, plus a synopsis of the remainder (5 to 10 pages), as specified in the T&Cs.
Closing: 8.2.19 (noon).
Prize: £1,500. The shortlisted entrants will receive a half-hour one-to-one consultation with an agent at Peters Fraser Dunlop. They will also be invited to the prize-giving dinner at the College along with a bunch of book trade freeloaders such as editors, agents, publishers and journalists. Each shortlistee will be able to bring a guest (I’d suggest a teetotaller with a car, as there will be free drinks and if my experience is anything to go by you will be consuming this in unwise quantities when that gormless individual sitting opposite you is named as the winner).
Entry Fee: £12.
W&A Yearbook Short Story Competition 2019. This annual freebie from the venerable writers’ handbook Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, is for stories of up to 2,000 words aimed at adults. There is no theme this time round.
Prize: A place on one of Arvon’s Clockhouse writing retreats, plus your story published on the website.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
Open House 2019. This poetry contest from the long-running literary magazine The Interpreter’s House is for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject.
Closing: 28.2.19. Not open for entries until 2.1.19
Prizes : £500, £150, £75.
Entry Fee: £1.75 each, £5 for three, £10 for six. Winners will be published in the mag and in an Open House Competition pamphlet.
Fish Flash Fiction Competition. This annual Fish competition is for stories running to no more than 300 words.
Prizes: 1st – 1,000 euros. 2nd – 300 euros. 3nd – An online writing course with Fish. The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.
Entry Fee: 14 euros for the first, 8 thereafter.
Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. I used to think hippocrates were wooden containers used at the zoo for transporting large herbivores. Of course I now know that Hippocrates was in fact a great medical poet, and this international contest is obviously being run in his honour. Poems of up to 50 lines on a medical subject are required. There are two categories, Open, and Health Professional. Actually there’s a third category – Young Poets – but as it has a later closing date I’m listing it separately.
Prizes (in each category): £1,000, £500, £250. Winning poems will be published online and in an anthology.
Entry Fee: £7 online, £10 postal.
The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. If you are an unpublished and unagented children’s novelist aged 18 or over and have an original idea, a fresh voice and a story children will love, you could be in luck because that’s just what the organisers of this annual international contest are looking for. They’re also looking for eighteen quid from your pocket, but grit your teeth and think of the prize. Your story should be suitable for a worldwide audience of children/young adults somewhere between the ages of 7 and 18 years. Your manuscript can run to a maximum of 80,000 words, and there is a suggested minimum of 30,000. You have to include a one-page synopsis (as described in the T&Cs) and a letter containing some info about yourself and explaining the book’s appeal to children (e.g. ‘It’s about fluffy bunnies and adorable kittens – the hero likes to eat them.’).
Prize: 1st – A publishing contract with an advance of £10,000, plus representation by a top children’s literary agent. Chairman’s Choice – A publishing contract with a £7,500 advance.
Entry Fee: £18. Luckily you no longer have to send your manuscript by post at colossal expense. You can now enter online. However, if you do happen to be the sort of writer who likes to hear the sound of a printer gulping down gallons of overpriced ink, by all means print out your 350-page manuscript and heave it onto the scales at your local post office (UK entrants only for postal).
Soundwork Short Story Competition. This freebie from Soundwork-uk is for short stories of up to 2,500 words suitable for audio recording. There is no set theme. Stories that have been published elsewhere are eligible as are new creations.
Prize: The winning story will be recorded by a professional actor and placed on Soundcloud and the Soundwork-uk.co.uk website along with a photo of the author.
Entry Fee : None – free to enter.
Search for a Star Writing Competition. This annual contest from Choc Lit Publishing and audiobook publisher Soundings is this year sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, and so you won’t be surprised to learn that entries must feature a creature of the feline variety. The contest is for completed novels of between 60,000 and 100,000 words suitable for a female adult audience. Your story could be a heart-stopping romance, thriller, romcom, fantasy, historical, Christmas story, etc. To be eligible to enter you have to be unpublished and not represented by an agent. Manuscripts must be assessed by a professional assessment or editing service before submission. A bit harsh that, not to say costly, but the contest has no entry fee as such.
Prize : A three-book deal for publication (ebook, paperback, audio CD) by Choc Lit Publishng and Soundings. The winner and runners-up will be featured in Your Cat Magazine.
Entry Fee: None. Only one entty per person.
Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine. This international contest is open to young poets of between 14 and 18. Poems of up to 50 lines on a medical subject are required.
Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250. Winning poems will be published online and in an anthology.
Entry Fee: £2 each, £15 for ten..
Poetry on the Lake Festival Competition. This annual international contest from Italy, now in its eighteenth year, has two categories: Silver Wyvern, for poems of up to 42 lines, and Formal for traditional forms (sonnet, sestina, villanelle, etc) up to 42 lines). There is no compulsory theme, but there is a separate prize for the best poem in either category that has the theme of ‘Spirit’ (interpret this as you wish).
Prizes: Silver Wyvern: 500 euros, 200 euros. Formal category: 100 euros. Best ‘spirit’ themed poem in any category – 100 euros.
Entry Fee (online): £10 for the first, £8 thereafter. Early bird entries (by 31.12.18) – £6 each.
Fish Poetry Competition. Poems of up to 300 words are invited for this contest from Fish Publishing based in southern Ireland. Billy Collins will be judging.
Prizes: 1st – 1,000 euros. 2nd – A week’s residency at Anam Cara Writers’ retreat. 3rd – 200 euros. The top 10 poems will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.
Entry Fee: 14 euros, for the first, 8 euros thereafter.
Rubery Book Award. This annual award is for books published by independent publishers or self-published. There are various categories (see website). To enter, send a hardcopy of your book by post or submit an ebook electronically.
Prizes: 1st – £1,500, and the book will be read by a top London literary agent. Category winners – £150.
Entry Fee: £37.
Sustainable Societies Competition. This contest from the University of Southampton is for stage plays with a performance time of between one-and-a-quarter and two hours. These should in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society. All genres are welcome.
Prizes: £100 each in three ages categories, plus an extra £200 for the overall winner. All top-rated scripts will be read by production company Live Your Values with a view to putting on a production in 2020 with a community-based theatre group.
Entry Fee: None – free to enter.
L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Competition. This US contest is open worldwide and is for short stories of up to 17,000 words. They should be science fiction, fantasy or horror with fantastic elements.
Prizes: $1,000, $750, $500.
Entry Fee: None.
These competitions are drawn from other sites. The Writers Newsletter takes no responsibility as to their accuracy.