Writing Competitions Guide: UK 2017

Why enter a writing competition, you ask?

  1. This is a fantastic way to get feedback on your writing from a completely unbiased source (as opposed to bugging your friends to read your work!).
  2. Winnings vary from your typical cash prizes, to writing festival tickets, agent consultations, writing courses and mentoring opportunities.
  3. Having a deadline and purpose may help you knuckle down and actually finish that story you’ve been mulling over!

The list below is a variety of competitions open to English-speaking writers, primarily in the UK, as that is what I am interested in – there are tons of international competitions too – just google!

There is a great range of competitions here – you certainly don’t have to commit to writing a full novel yet if you’re not ready to take that leap! I am very tempted by the flash fiction options!

Do any of these interest you? I’ll add to the list as I discover more!

Competitions are listed here with the soonest deadline first, hurry up as some of them end very soon!

 

Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize

Cost of entry: £12 per person

Deadline: 10th Feb 2017

Word Count: First 40-50 pages of your novel and a synopsis

Prize: £1,500 and a consultation with literary agent Nelle Andrew

The Rules: For unpublished, female authors over 21

 

Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story Competition

Cost of entry: FREE

Deadline: 13th Feb 2017

Word Count: Up to 2,000

Prize: Arvon Residential Writing Course (worth £1,000)

The Rules: Any genre, must be aged 17 or under on 10th Feb 2017

 

Reflex Fiction – International Flash Fiction Competition

Cost of entry: FREE

Deadline: 28th Feb 2017

Word Count: 180-360

Prize: £175

The Rules: Any theme, must not be published elsewhere

 

The Artificium Short Stories Competition

Cost of entry: £5 per entry, or £9 for two

Deadline: 28th Feb 2017

Word Count: 2,000-8,000

Prize: £300

The Rules: Any theme

 

Wundor Short Fiction Contest

Cost of entry: £10 per entry

Deadline: 28th Feb 2017

Word Count: 5,000-45,000 (see rules)

Prize: £500

The Rules: Open to novellas, short stories and collections, any theme

 

Flash 500 – Short Story Competition

Cost of entry: £5 per entry

Deadline: 28th Feb 2017

Word Count: 1,000-3,000

Prize: £500

The Rules: Any genre

 

Crime Writers Association – The Margery Allingham Short Story Competition

Cost of entry: £12 per story

Deadline: 1st March 2017

Word Count: Up to 3,500

Prize: £500 plus 2x tickets to CrimeFest 2018

The Rules: Must be a previously unpublished author

 

CrimeFest’s Flashbang

Cost of entry: £2 per person

Deadline: 3rd March 2017

Word Count: Up to 150

Prize: 2x tickets to CrimeFest 2018

The Rules: No established authors

 

Flash 500 – Flash Fiction Quarterly Competition

Cost of entry: £5 per entry

Deadline: 31st March, 30th June, 30th Sept and 31st Dec 2017

Word Count: Up to 500

Prize: £300

The Rules: Any genre

 

Bristol Short Story Prize

Cost of entry: £8 per entry

Deadline: 3rd May 2017

Word Count: Up to 4,000

Prize: £1,000, published in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 10

The Rules: Any theme, published and unpublished authors welcome

 

The Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award

Cost of entry: £20 per story

Deadline: 31st May 2017

Word Count: 5,000 – 8,000 (see rules)

Prize: £1,000, free mentoring, manuscript appraisal from The Literary Consultancy

The Rules: Must submit the first few chapters of a novel, plus a 300 word synopsis, any genre except children’s and non-fiction

 

Flash 500 – Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition

Cost of entry: £10 per entry

Deadline: 31st Oct 2017

Word Count: 1,000-3,000 (see rules)

Prize: £500

The Rules: Must submit story plus one page synopsis, any genre

 

Creative Writing Ink Competition

Cost of entry: FREE

Deadline: Every month!

Word Count: Up to 3,000 for stories or 40 lines for poetry

Prize: Amazon voucher and publication on the CWI website

The Rules: Any genre, short stories or poetry.

 

MAKE SURE YOU READ THE RULES CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR ENTRIES!!

In the small print for each competition you’ll find information on:

  • Line spacing
  • Font size
  • Entry format (e.g. Word doc, email)
  • Whether the title counts in your word count

and so on…

Over to you

I’d love to hear your experiences of entering writing competitions, and would appreciate any advice you can give a newbie!

Leave me a reply!