It’s time to dust off those pens, power up those PC’s and shake yourself off to enter some of the upcoming writing competitions out there! I’ve been focusing far too much on the WIP of late to have entered any recently, so thought I’d share some options with you. Happy writing – and good luck to those who enter: you have to be in it, to win it!
Luke Bitmead Bursary
Deadline: 1st August 2014
Entry: Free, completed manuscripts only
Legend Press host this annual prize and are looking for adult fiction novels, over 50,000 words from first-time, unpublished writers who find it difficult (due to financial or personal circumstances) to focus on their writing career. All submissions should be uploaded via the online system and consist of seperate files containing a one-page synopsis, a personal statement and up to fifty pages of the novel. The winner will receive £2,500 and a publishing contract with Legend Press.
Room to Write Short Story Competition
Deadline: 1st August
Entry: £5 per story
Run by the inaugural Costa Short Short Story winner and novelist Wendy Robertson this 1,500 word short story competition hosts prizes of £200, £100 and £50 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The winning story will be published in the Northern Echo and broadcast on listenupnorth. Submissions can be made by post or online.
New England Science Fiction Association
Deadline: 1st September 2014
Entry: No entry fee. Limited to one entry per person.
Only new writers are asked to submit entries, with the definition that a qualifying entrant is a writer who has not had a short story, novella, or novel published in a paid, professional forum, book, magazine, etc. at the time of submission, and who has received no more than $250 for any previously published short story or other work of fiction. To be considered, a story submission must have strong science fiction or fantasy elements and must be shorter than 7,500 words. This short story competition is limited to 100 qualifying entries, so it might be better to submit earlier rather than later. Prizes consist of free books, certificates and membership to Boksone (a sci-fi convention in Boston, MA!)
2014 High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature
Deadline: 1st September 2014
This year’s prize is for Children’s Literature, intended for seven to 14 year olds. The Competition is open to residents of Cheshire, Warrington, Wirral and Halton including those who have ever lived or worked in the area. There is a first prize is £2,000 and runners-up prizes of £750. They request three copies of the typed 1,500 word entry to be posted though, so be aware that you wil have to add on the time for it to arrive.
RAC Driving Abroad Short Story Competition
Deadline: 11th September 2014
The RAC have create a short story compeition with the theme of driving in Europe and are asking for 1,000 word entries to be sumibitted online only. Prizes include £500 and RAC Breakdown cover for a year, publication in the RAC online club magazine and, for the runners-up £100 in M&S vouchers.
International Childrens Short Story Comeptition
Deadline: 31st August 2014
This year’s international children’s story competition run by Inclusive Works, Kazdu and Clavis Publishers has the theme of “Grandad, grandma and I in our multicultural society”. Submit your story for children either aged 1-3 years, with a limit of 600 words or 4-6 years with a maximum 900 words. The two winning stories will be published as illustrated children’s books in both Dutch and English by Clavis Publishers.
Hysteria Writing Competition
Deadline: 31st August 2014
Entry: £3 or £5
For women only, this competition requests entries for flash fiction, short stories and poetry – entry fee is £5 for short stories and £3 for flash fiction and poetry. There is no genre but they do request no horror or erotic stories, and contrary to popular belief the story does not have to involve a hysterectomy! There are cash prizes for each category and nine further winners from each of the categories will also be published in their annual anthology.
SASH Writing Competition
Deadline: 10th October 2014
Entry: No fee, but a donation would be welcomed
This charity for homelessness is launching their writing competition on 1st May, but some details have already been announced. The theme will be ‘homelessness’ and short stories of up to 3,000 words are requested. First prize will include a place on one of the highly coveted Arvon retreat.
The Orwell Society Dystopian Fiction Prize
Deadline: 1st November 2014
Entry: £5, students only
To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s great dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Orwell Society is organising a competition for students (both BA and MA) at British universities. Dystopian narratives of 3,000 words that best follow in the tradition set by Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four and which Orwell is most likely to have admired are requested. First prize is £500 and the winning entry will be published in the Orwell Society’s Newsletter (along with the two runners-up) on their website.
And finally for something a bit different, why not try out the TXTLit MicroFiction Short Story Competition? Entry Fees are £1 per entry and standard text message from your mobile phone – which is how entries are submitted – although be warned, grammatical correctness is one of the key features judges are looking for . Each month there is a different theme: for July it is ‘Mistaken Identity’. The first prize each month is £50.