Paid Entry Competitions
Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition
Mslexia focuses on women’s writing, so if you’re of the ‘fairer’ sex then enter a short story of up to 2,200 words into their annual competition. There’s no theme and a £2,000 first prize, £500 second prize, £250 third prize and a further £100 for three other finalists. All winning stories will be published in Mslexia’s quarterly magazine. However, there is an entry fee of £10.
Closing date: 17th March 2014
The Bath Short Story Award 2014
This international competition has prizes of £1,000, £200 and £100 for first, second and third prizes respectively. There is an entry fee of £8 and last year’s winners have just been published in an anthology.
Closing date: 31st March 2014
Exeter Writers Short Story Competition
This competition is looking for stories up to 3,000 words in length in any genre, excepting children’s stories. For a £5 entry fee you could win up to £500 for first prize and submissions are encouraged from anywhere in the world.
Closing date: 31st March 2014
Writing Magazine Competitions
Each month Writing Magazine call for submissions on their latest short story and poetry competitions. With a £4 entry fee (and discounted £3 entry fee for subscribers) they have a selection of themes and genres – currently open are submissions for ‘First Love’ short stories and Cinquain poetry (five lines with a particular syllable count). Typically short story entries are between 1,500-1,700 words and prizes are up to £200.
They also have a number of different subscriber-only short story and poetry competitions that are free to enter.
NAWG (National Association of Writers’ Groups) Competitions
If you are a member of a Writing Group that is registered with NAWG you can enter their 2014 competitions for free. These range from poetry, short stories in multiple genres, non-fiction and plays. Not only will your work be published in their anthology and on their website but you also win a trophy – which you can gratefully receive as part of an award’s ceremony during the annual festival.
Closing date: 30th April 2014
‘Broken Worlds’ Dystopian Short Story Contest 2014
With a first prize of £100, plus publication in an anthology, this competition is asking for submissions of no more than 5,000 words in length with a dystopian theme. They accept entries from around the world and invite up to two entries per author.
Closing date: 1st May 2014
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
To finish off this round up of writing competitions, how about this tongue-in-cheek, fun challenge to create the worst possible opening line to a novel? You can enter numerous times in a variety of categories, although be warned – the winners receive more of an accolade than a prize. The closing date is is ‘officially’ 15th April, but in actuality they accept submissions up to 30th June.
If you have any suggestions for competitions for writers currently seeking submissions please feel free to share the web-link in comments below.