Writing Contests

This is by no means exhaustive. I add links frequently and try to keep this list up to date. These contests are annual and if over for this year will be active again next year, so the link may be useful to help you plan ahead even if currently closed. I add new links at the top and as contests close, I move them to the bottom until they open again. Good luck!

Worth a read: Lynda Nash on “how not to lose short story competitions” in Thresholds.

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition: Closes February 28, 2018. 3,000 word limit.

Bridport Prize: Closes May 31, 2018. Annual international contests for poems, short stories (5,000 word limit), and flash fiction (250 word limit). If you live in the UK or Ireland, you’re eligible for the novel competition.

RNIB Writing Competition: Closes 9am (UK) March 5, 2018. The theme this year is “connections” in two categories, prose and poetry.  1,000 words of prose or 30 lines of poetry.

Kanturk Arts Festival Flash Fiction Competition: Closes January 31, 2018. Must be inspired by the image in the link. 500 word limit.

The White Review Short Story Prize: Closes March 1, 2018. Open to residents in Britain and Ireland who have yet to secure a publishing deal. Word limit between 2,000 and 7,000 words.

BBC National Short Story Award: Closes March 12, 2018. Open to British citizens and UK residents who have a prior record of publication in creative writing in the UK. 8,000 word limit.

Fish Short Memoir Prize: Closes January 31, 2018. 4,000 word limit.

Bath Novel Award: Closes April 30, 2018. Submit up to the first 5,000 words of your novel and a synopsis.

Northern Writers’ Awards: Closes February 1, 2018. Supports work-in-progress by new, emerging, and established writers across the North of England (must be based in the region).

DISQUIET Literary Prize: Closes January 31, 2018. Fiction (short story or novel excerpt) 25-page limit, double-spaced; poetry.

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition: Closes May 1, 2018. 3,500 word limit.

Bath Flash Fiction Award and Bath Novella-in-Flash Award: Rolling deadlines. 300 word limit for flash.

Bath Short Story Award: Closes April 23, 2018. 2,200 word limit.

Bristol Short Story Prize: Closes May 1, 2018. 4,000 word limit.

Glimmer Train: Ongoing short story, very short fiction, and longer fiction contests or general submission for paid publication.

Grindstone Literary: Multiple deadlines. Includes Short Story, Novel, Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Micro Fiction.

2018 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest: Closes February 28, 2018. 5,000 word limit. Any genre of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, and hybrid forms.

Reader’s Digest 100-Word Story Competition: Closes February 19, 2018. Only open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland.

The following contests are currently closed (I’ll move them up as they open)

River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Contest: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around October 15. Manuscripts must be between 150-400 pages.

Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission is from May to August. 3,000 word limit.

Bedford International Writing Competition: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around September 30. Short stories 3,000 word limit; poetry.

Zoetrope Short Fiction Contest: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around October 1. 5,000 word limit for short stories. Also runs a screenplay contest.

Bare Fiction Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around October 31. 3,000 word limit for short stories. Also has flash fiction and poetry contests.

Manchester Fiction Prize: Closed for 2017, will open for 2018 in spring.  Typical annual submission deadline is around September 30. Short stories, 2,500 word limit.

Manchester Poetry Prize: Closed for 2017, will open for 2018 in spring. Typical annual submission deadline is around September 30.

John Steinbeck Award for Fiction: Closed for 2017. Opens for 2018 from June 1 to November 1. 5,000 word limit for short stories; also accepts non-fiction under 5,000 words and poetry.

The Brighton Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around June 30th. Short stories 1,000-2,000 words. Flash fiction word limit 350 words.

The Moth International Short Story Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around June 30th. 6,000 word limit.

Bath Children’s Novel Award: Closed for 2017.  Typical annual submission deadline is around mid-November.

Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize: Closed for 2017.  Typical annual submission deadline is around November 30.

Fish Publishing Short Story Prize: Closed for 2017. 5,000 word limit. Typical annual submission deadline is around November 30.

Doolin Writers’ Competition 2018: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around December 1. Short stories 1,000-3,000 words, flash fiction 500 word limit, poetry.

InkTears Short Story Contest: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is around December 1. Between 1,000 and 3,500 words.

Farnham Short Story Competition: Closed for 2017. Unclear whether it’s annual and  will run in 2018. If it does, likely submission deadline is November 1, 2018. 1,000 word limit.

Hysteria Writing Competition: Closed for 2017. Opens for submissions on April 1, 2018. Women of any nationality can enter. Short story 2,000 word limit; flash fiction 250 word limit; poetry 20 line limit.

Ruth Rendell Short Story Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission is around December 22. 1,000 word limit.

Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is early December. Submit a full-length manuscript suitable for children or young adults between 7 and 18. Length between 30,000 and 80,000 words.

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is December 31. Short stories up to 4,000 words; poetry up to 50 lines.

DISCOVER short story competition: Closed for 2017. If annual, submission deadline is December 31.

Boulevard Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers: Closed for 2017.  Typical annual submission deadline is December 31. 8,000 word limit.

2017 Exeter Novel Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is January 1. First 10,000 words, including synopsis, of a novel that has not been accepted for publication by a traditional publishing house.

Mogford Short Story Prize: Closed for 2017. Typical annual submission deadline is the beginning of January. 2,500 word limit. Story must include food and drink.

Mississippi Review Prize: Closed for 2017.  Typical annual submission deadline is the beginning of January.  Short stories and non-fiction 1,000-8,000 words. Poetry entries 3-5 poems totaling 10 pages or less.

The Moth Poetry Prize: Closed for 2017.  Typical annual submission deadline is December 31, 2017. One poem, any length.

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