Enter The Masters Review Award for New Writers

Lake Michigan beach.Photo by Judy DarleyThe Masters Review is inviting entries for its Summer Short Story Award for New Writers.

The deadline for submissions is 30th August 2021.

The winning story will be awarded $3000 and publication online. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $300 and $200 respectively.

The judge is Kristen Arnett, author of With Teeth and Mostly Dead Things.

All winning stories and any notable Honourable Mentions will receive agency review by Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, Heather Schroder from Compass Talent, and Siohban McBride from Carnicelli Literary Management.

Crucial details

  • $20 entry fee
  • $3000 1st prize
  • $300 2nd prize
  • $200 3rd prize
  • Stories must be under 6,000 words in length
  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed
  • Emerging writers only (Self-published writers and writers with story collections and novels with a low circulation are welcome to submit.)
  • International English submissions allowed
  • Deadline: 30th August, 2021
  • No identifying information on your story

Find full details here.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

MShed cr Judy DarleyThe Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding short fiction and poetry from around the world. The deadline for entering the award is 31st August 2021, making this the perfect time to get polishing your poetry and prose.

Prizes include publication within Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology plus £2,500 for the Poetry Winner, £2,500 for the Short Fiction Winner. Winner of the short fiction competition will receive a consultation with literary agency Redhammer Management, while the Poetry winner will have a Full Membership to The Poetry Society. To whet your appetite for creating more literary works, the winners will also receive a one-year print subscription to Granta and books courtesy of Bloodaxe Books and Vintage Books.

  • Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines
  • Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words

There’s no theme – just submit your finest story or poem offering your own unique window on a slice of the world!

Entry fees are £18 for short fiction and £12 for poetry.

For full details, visit aestheticamagazine.com/creative-writing-award/how-to-enter/

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com.

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Enter Chestnut Review’s Prose Chapbook Contest

Chestnut Tree by Judy DarleyChestnut Review has launched its first ever Prose Chapbook Contest. Editor Maria S. Picone invites you to submit any kind of prose manuscript, whether that’s fiction, CNF, or hybrid forms. A single powerful story is as welcome as a series of vivid flashes.

Submissions are open until 31st July 2021,

Maria S. Picone says: “We are looking for smart, daring manuscripts that overtake us, break us, and rebuild us with beautiful language. We welcome all forms of prose manuscripts: fiction, CNF, or hybrid. Hit us with one powerful story, or delight us with a series of flash. Blur genres or stay true to form. Surprise us. Challenge us. Manuscripts with more than one piece should feel cohesive and coherent.”

The manuscript’s length should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in total, which amounts to approximately 20-30 pages.

The winner will receive $600 and 20 copies of their published chapbook. Chapbooks will be published through Chestnut Review via a print-on-demand provider. The winner will earn 30% royalties, distributed annually on all copies sold.

The winning chapbook will be advertised in Chestnut Review and on social media, and will be featured for sale on Amazon.com and via https://chestnutreview.com/.

The winning author will be interviewed in a feature in the Summer 2022 issue of Chestnut Review.

Find full details here: chestnutreview.com/contests/

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com.

Wells Festival of Literature competitions

City of Wells cr Judy Darley

Wells Festival of Literature takes place from 15th-23rd October 2021, but before that they hold their annual writing competitions, with entries accepted until 30th June 2021.

The categories are short stories, poetry, children’s books and poetry by anyone aged 16-22 inclusive.

The first prize in their Open Poetry Competition will this year be £1,000. Second and third prizes will be £500 and £250 respectively.

The Short Story and Book for Children categories have the following prizes:

  • First prize = £750
  • Second prize = £300
  • Third prize = £200

There are Local Prizes of £100 each for the Short Story, Open Poetry and Book for Children competitions.

The Young Poet category the following prizes:

  • First prize = £150
  • Second prize = £75
  • Third prize = £50

All three prize winners will also receive a year’s subscription to the Poetry Society.

Short Story Competition
Entries may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length.
The Short Story judge is writer of fiction and non-fiction Sally Bayley.

The fee for each entry is £6.

Open Poetry Competition
Poet, author and playwright Owen Sheers is the 2021 Open Poetry Judge. Entries may be on any subject but must not exceed 35 lines in length.

The fee for each entry is £6.

A Book for Children Competition
The judge for this category is author Dr Joanna Nadin, who has published more than 80 books for children, teenagers and adults, including the award-winning Penny Dreadful series.Entries to the Book for Children Competition should be aimed at readers between the ages of 7-16 years. You must submit the first two chapters or first twenty pages, (whichever is the shortest), together with the synopsis of up to two pages and the age range of the book specified.
The fee for each entry is £6.
Young Poets Competition
Competitors may submit only one entry and must be aged 16 to 22 inclusive, at the closing submission date on 30th June 2021. Entries may be on any subject but must not exceed 35 lines in length. The judge is poet Phoebe Stuckes.
The fee to enter is £3.

The closing date for all entries is 30th June 2021. Prizes for all four competitions will be presented on Monday 18th October 2021 during the Festival.

Find the full rules and details of how to enter.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com

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Enter The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Terra Nostra Tropical plants cr Judy DarleyWasafari magazine invites submissions of Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing for The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize.

The prize closes on 31st May 2021 at 5pm BST.

The winners of each category receive a £1,000 cash prize and will be published by Wasafiri in print. Shortlisted writers will have their work published on the Wasafiri website. All 15 shortlistees and winners will be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility), and a conversation with Nikesh Shukla of The Good Literary Agency to discuss their career progression.  

The prizes include the chance to take part in the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility).

The fee is £10 for a single entry and £16 for a double entry. No entry may be more than 3,000 words long.  

Shortlisted entrants will be notified by email after 4th September 2021All shortlisted writers will be invited to the prizegiving event on 14th October 2021. 

Acceptance of a place on the shortlist indicates your agreement to your work being published in Wasafiriin print or online, and included in a possible anthology. 

Find full details of how to enter at www.wasafiri.org.

This year, poetry entries will be judged by renowned poet Tishani Doshi, fiction entries will be judged by prizewinning author Hirsh Sawhney, and life writing entries will be judged by bestselling novelist and memoirist Christie Watson. The Chair of the judging panel is writer and Professor of Creative Writing Andrew Cowan. 

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com.

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Enter the Bridport Prize

Burton Bradstock, Bridport. Shows figures on a pebbly Devon beach. Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

The Bridport Prize, one of the UK’s most prestigious writing competitions, is currently seeking your short stories, flash fiction, poems and debut novels.

The deadline for all competition entries is 31st May 2021.

Poems may be up to 42 lines in length. The entry fee is £10. The winning poet will receive £5,000.

Short stories may be up to 5,000 words long. The entry fee is £12. The winning short story writer will receive £5,000.

Flash fiction may be up to 250 words long. The entry fee is £9. The winning flash fiction writer will receive £1,000.

Novel extracts may be up to 8,000 words long. You must also supply a 300-word synopsis, which should be the first page of your entry. The fee is £20.

First prize is £1,500 plus mentoring by The Literary Consultancy and consultations with literary agent AM Heath and publisher Tinder Press.

Judges

Victoria Hislop, author of The Island, One August Night and other novels, will judge novel submissions. She says: “I am really excited to be judging the Bridport Prize! I will be looking for readability and originality, for writing that engages both my imagination and my curiosity! I am really looking forward to reading the entries.”

Raymond Antrobus, author of author of Shapes & Disfigurements, To Sweeten Bitter and The Perseverance, plus the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre (In 2019), will judge poetry submissions. He says: “I’m looking for poems that are written with both eye and ear…poems that unfold, surprise, delight, haunt its readers all at once. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be bold and show us something singular that only you are able to do or say.”

Former Literary Editor of the Observer and author of Shakespearean: On Life and Language in Times of Disruption, Robert McCrum will judge short story and flash fiction submissions. He says; “I’m on the look-out for the only thing that really matters in new fiction: an original voice. At 5000 words or so, the short-story is the ideal arena in which to pitch that new note. Flash fiction is like 20/20 cricket, an exciting new genre battling on a venerable pitch. I can’t wait to see what exciting novelties and reverse sweeps, the Bridport Prize will come up with. But it must be flash!”

Don’t forget to check out the resources section of the Bridport Prize website.

Find full details and enter your creative works at www.bridportprize.org.uk. And don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter full of useful tips and inspiration.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley (at) iCloud(dot)com.

Enter Bristol Short Story Prize 2021

Bristol hot air balloons cr Judy DarleyGot a story shuffling about inside your head? Bristol Short Story Prize 2021 is open for entries. The closing date is 5th May 2021. Submissions can be up to a maximum length of 4,000 words. There is an entry fee of £9 for each submission.

The writing competition prizes

First prize is £1,000. Second prize is £500, and third prize is £250.

Each of the 17 remaining shortlisted writers will receive £100. The 20 shortlisted stories will be included in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 14published by Tangent Books.

An additional prize of £100, The Sansom Award, in recognition of the contribution to Bristol publishing of John and Angela Sansom, will be presented to a Bristol writer selected by Angela Sansom. The Sansom Award winning story will also be published in the print edition of Bristol 24/7 magazine.

The 2020 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Florida-based writer Stephen Narain.

The 2019  Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Sydney-based writer Cameron Stewart for his story Black Snow.

The 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Dizz Tate  for her story, Cowboy Boot. 2nd prize went to Chloe Wilson. You can read an interview with Dizz about her win, here. Chloe Wilson has been signed by literary agent Kate Johnson of the New York-based MacKenzie Wolf Literary Agency.

The 2017 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Dima Alzayat for her story, Ghusl. Following her win Dima has been signed by literary agent Juliet Pickering.

The 2016 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Stefanie Seddon for her story, Kãka.

The 2015 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Canadian writer Brent van Staalduinen for his story A Week on the Water.

The 2014 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by Mahsuda Snaith for her story The Art of Flood Survival.

Find the full competition rules here.

For full details or to enter, go to www.bristolprize.co.uk.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com

Enter National Flash Fiction Day’s microfiction competition

Sweets by Judy DarleyNational Flash Fiction Day’s 100-word microfiction competition 2021 invites your submissions. Send something funny, something that resonates, is fresh and exciting, and leaves the judges lost for words.

The deadline is Monday 15th February 2021. You’re invited to submit up to three flash fictions on any theme.

This year’s judges are Rachael Dunlop, K M Elkes, Sharon Telfer and Alison Woodhouse.

Titles aren’t included in the word count.

  • First prize is £150
  • Second prize is £100
  • Third prize is £50

The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2021 anthology. Winning and shortlisted authors will also receive a free print copy of this anthology.

Find full details here.

This year, National Flash Fiction Day is on Saturday 26th June. How will you be celebrating?

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud(dot)com.

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2021 Short Story Competition

Beautiful skies, Victoria Park cr Judy DarleyThis annual competition is one of my favourites on the literary calendar. There’s no theme for you to base your story on – all you have to do is make sure you’re registered with the website www.writersandartists.co.uk, that the subject line of your email reads ‘W&A Short Story Competition 2021‘ and that you send it to waybcompetitions@bloomsbury.com.

Your story must be no more than 2,000 words long. There is no theme this year, so let your imagination run free! The deadline for entries is midnight BST on 12th February 2021.

The winner of the competition – along with two runners-up – will be announced on the W&A blog pages in March 2021.

Entry is free, but don’t forget to register before submitting your story. Continue reading

Enter the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2021

Bud. Photo by Judy DarleyThe Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2021 invites entries from women over the age of 18 who have written a novel “that marries literary merit with unputdownability.”

The closing date for the competition is 12 noon on Friday 12th February 2021.

The judges say they’re equally open to literary fiction and genre fiction, as well as to young adult fiction and children, providing they are primarily word-based.

Your submission must be previously unpublished, and you must not have had other full-length novels published. However, having short stories, poetry, non-fiction or picture books published previously does not exclude you.

To be considered, you need to submit the first 40-50 pages of the novel via the online form and a three to five-page synopsis of the remainder. Authors must not have agent representation at the time of submission.

The entry fee is £12. Sponsored entries for low income writers are available.

All shortlisted entrants be offered a one-to-one consultation, editorial feedback and advice on the marketability of their work from PFD literary agency.

The 2021 winner will receive a cash prize of £1,500.

Shortlisted applicants will also be invited to the prize-giving drinks reception and awards ceremony where they will have the chance to meet. Industry representatives.

Award-winning author and journalist Allison Pearson is chair of the judging panel. For full details, visit www.lucy-cav.cam.ac.uk/fictionprize/how-to-enter, and make sure you follow the competition Terms and Conditions.

Before entering, read these tips.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.