Win a publishing agency consultation via Writers & Artists

Notebook and pen cr Judy Darley

Are you a writer hungry for guidance and encouragement? The folks at Writers & Artists are collaborating with creative publishing agency whitefox for a competition that’s all about getting you the face-to-face time you need with an editor.

If you would benefit from a creative conversation with an expert editor to help make sense of your manuscript, this is the competition for you.

The winner will receive an editorial report and consultation with a member of the editorial team at whitefox, to help you take the next steps with your book, as well as a free place at one of Writers & Artists‘ writing events and a bundle of creative writing guides.

This prize is open to any UK or ROI-based writer aged 18 or over and writing fiction and/or non-fiction.

Deadline

The deadline for entries is Monday 14th November at 9am.

How to enter 

Please submit no more than 1000 words from your unpublished work-in-progress. This should be from the opening of your manuscript, attached to the online submissions form in a doc or pdf format. You also need to include a synopsis providing an overview of your work as well as a short note (200 words) about yourself and your writing influences.

You’re also required to subscribe to whitefox‘s newsletter The Frontlist.

The winner and shortlisted runners-up will be announced on Writersandartists.co.uk in early December 2022.

Eligibility

To enter this competition, you must:

  • Not have a publishing contract or agent
  • Submit an original piece of unpublished writing

Prizes

The winner will receive:

  • An editorial report from an editor at whitefox Publishing
  • A one-off follow-up consultation with a member of the editorial team at whitefox Publishing
  • A place at a W&A writing masterclass
  • A writing guide bundle including the latest edition of the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ YearbookWriters’ & Artists’ Guide To Getting Published or Writers’ & Artists’ Guide To How To Hook an Agent

Three other shortlisted entries will also receive a book bundle and a free place at one of our writing and publishing events.

Submit your entry via the online form here.

Good luck!

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.

Enter the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Arnos vale portal. Photo by Judy Darley. A natural formation of growing wood or vine that seems to hold a circle of light.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding short fiction and poetry from around the world. The deadline for entering the award is 31st August 2022, 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 winner of each category. 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

Salisbury horse chestnut. Phot by Judy Darley
Chestnut Review launched its first ever Prose Chapbook Contest in 2021 and is keeping up the trend for 2022. 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 1st September 2022,

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 12,000 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 2023 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.

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 28th August 2022.

The winning story writer will receive $3,000, an agency review and publication online.

Second and third place finalists will be awarded publication, agency review and $300/$200 prizes respectively.

Participating agents include: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, and Heather Schroder from Compass Talent.

The judge is Chelsea Bieker, author of GODSHOT and the new collection Heartbroke

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; writers with book-length work published or under contract with a major press are ineligible. Authors with short story collections are free to submit unpublished work, as are writers with books published by indie presses)
  • Deadline: 28th August, 2022
  • 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.

Searchlight Writing for Children Awards 2022

Brandon Hill, Bristol, child in tree by Judy Darley

The Searchlight Writing for Children Awards 2022 are open for entries.

There are two competition categories: Best Picture Book (text only) and Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults.

Picture Books category

Your picture book should be no more than 500 words long.

The winner will receive £500.

Winners in this category will be chosen by BBC Children’s Writer and Director Kayleigh Keam.

The entry fee is £9 for a picture book.

Novel Openings category

Novel Openings should be for ages seven to eighteen and should be 1,200 words long (you don’t need to have completed your novel).

The winner will receive £1,000.

Winners in this category will be chosen by Literary Agent Amber Caravéo of Skylark Literary.

The entry fee is £14 for a novel opening.

The top ten entries in both categories will feature in The Winners’ Collection, a book which is sent to literary agents and publishers to help your work get noticed.

These entries will also be included along with author biographies in the Winners’ Gallery on the Searchlight Awards’ website, which agents, publishers, friends and family can access, as well as in the annual Searchlight Awards’ Anthology, which features the best entries from all Searchlight Awards competitions in the last year.

The closing date for both categories is 22nd August 2022.

Results will be published on 27th January 2023.

For full details, visit www.searchlightawards.co.uk.

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.

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 30th June 2022 at 5pm BST.

The prize supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. Winners of each category receive a £1,000 cash prize and will be published in Wasafiri’s print magazine. 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 fee is £10 for a single entry and £16 for a double entry. No entry may be more than 3,000 words long.  

Subsidised entry is available for those who would otherwise be unable to enter the prize.  

Shortlisted entrants will be notified in early September

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

This year, the prize will be chaired by literary leading light Marina Salandy-Brown, who says, “I am delighted and honoured to be judging this important prize.” Marina will be joined by a truly remarkable panel of multi-award-winning poets and authors.

Mary Jean Chan, judging Poetry, comments, “the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has always caught my attention for its focus on discovering, supporting and mentoring emerging talent across multiple genres.” 

Judging Fiction, Preti Taneja is seeking for work that “feels fully arrived in terms of its thematic ambition, its use of language and its confidence in its own voice. And finally, Francesca Wade, on judging Life Writing, says that ‘Wasafiri has long been a brilliant home for innovative work. I’m excited to read pieces that explore and interrogate – the myriad possibilities of life-writing today.”

Judging Life Writing, Francesca Wade, says “Wasafiri has long been a brilliant home for innovative work.  I’m excited to read pieces that explore and interrogate – the myriad possibilities of life-writing today.”

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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Wells Festival of Literature competitions

City of Wells cr Judy Darley

In their 30th anniversary year, Wells Festival of Literature takes place from 14th-22nd October 2022, but before that they hold their annual writing competitions, with entries accepted until 30th June 2022.

The categories are short stories, poetry and children’s books, as well as 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 are £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 award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction and documentary maker Lucy Jago.

The fee for each entry is £6.

Open Poetry Competition
Poet, journalist and Telegraph commissioning editor Tristram Fane Saunders is the 2022 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 YA author Lucy Cuthew.
Entries to the Book for Children Competition should be aimed at readers between the ages of 9 and up including YA. You must submit the first two chapters or first twenty pages, (whichever is the shortest), together with the synopsis of up to two pages. Shortlisted authors may be asked to send in their complete manuscript.
The fee for each entry is £6.
Young Poets Competition
You 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 Bristol City Poet Caleb Parkin.
The fee to enter is £3.

The closing date for all entries is 30th June 2022. Prizes for all four competitions will be presented on Monday 17th October 2022 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 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting

Joseph Quinn and Erin Doherty in Wish List at the Royal Court. Photo by Jonathan Keenan

Joseph Quinn and Erin Doherty in Wish List by Katherine Soper

Eager to see your words performed on stage? The Bruntwood Prize invites playwrights of all levels of experience to submit original, previously unperformed and unproduced plays.

Entries can be submitted online at www.writeaplay.co.uk. The closing date is 6pm on 6th June 2022.

The winner will receive £16,000 and a full production of their play at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

There is also a Judges Award of £8000 and the Bruntwood Prize International Award of £8000, introduced in 2019 andiron to international playwrights who can apply through the Prize’s partners:

    • Atlantic Theatre (New York, USA)

    • Berkeley Rep (Berkley, California, USA)

    • Australian Plays Transform (Carlton, New South Wales, Australia)

    • Melbourne Theatre Company (Melbourne, Australia)

    • Canada Banff Playwrights Laboratory (Banff, Canada) 

This year, the Prize launches a new category: The North West Original New Voice Award and Residency. Winners in this category must be based in the north west of England and not have had a full-length play professionally produced for 12 performances or more in a professional venue.

As well as £8000, the winner will be given access to an additional £10,000 fund dedicated to their professional development at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester during a bespoke one-year residency.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is open to anyone aged 16+ in the UK, Ireland and the British Territories with a story to tell. The biennial prize is a partnership between property company Bruntwood, a major supporter of the arts, and world-class producing theatre, the Royal Exchange Theatre, in Manchester.

“The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is a genuine endeavour to discover new stories and help playwrights develop their craft, providing everybody and anybody with the opportunity to write a play,” they say. “It offers a fantastic opportunity to hone your writing skills, whether or not you have written for the stage before. In addition to a high proportion of winning and shortlisted plays being produced professionally, each of the top 100 plays receives individual feedback from the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team.”

This year’s Judging panel comprises Nihal Arthanayake, television and BBC Radio 5 Live presenter; Miranda Cromwell, Olivier Award winning Theatre Director; Julie Hesmondhalgh, award winning actor and supporter of the Royal Exchange Theatre; kimber lee, winner of the inaugural Bruntwood Prize International Award in 2019; Farai Matekenya Nhakaniso, Local Exchange Ambassador for the Leigh area for the Royal Exchange Theatre; Kate Vokes, Non-Executive Director at Bruntwood, and Roy Alexander Weise, Joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Erin Doherty as Tamsin Carmody in WISH LIST by Katherine Soper. Photo Jonathan Keenan

Erin Doherty as Tamsin Carmody in Wish List by Katherine Soper.

In 2015 Katherine Soper became the fifth overall winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Her play Wish List premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2016 before transferring to the Royal Court Upstairs from 10th January – Saturday 11th February 2017).

For full details of how to enter, visit www.writeaplay.co.uk.

All images in this post were taken by Jonathan Keenan and supplied by The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.

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

Enter the Bridport Prize

Pebble man by Judy DarleyThe 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 2022.

All entries are judged anonymously. To avoid disqualification, make sure you do not include your name, address, phone number, email, website, twitter handle etc on the document or in the file name.

Poems may be up to 42 lines in length (not including the title). There is no minimum line count. The entry fee is £12. The winning poet will receive £5,000.

Short stories may be up to 5,000 words long. The entry fee is £14. The winning short story writer will receive £5,000.

Flash fiction may be up to 250 words long. The entry fee is £11. The winning flash fiction writer will receive £1,000.

Novel extracts must be between 5,000 and 8,000 words long. You must also supply a 300-word synopsis, which should be the first page of your entry. The fee is £24.

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

Bridport Prize judges

Inua Ellams will judge poetry entries. Born in Nigeria, Inua is a touring poet, playwright and performer. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories and his books of poetry include Candy Coated Unicorns and The Half-God of Rainfall – an epic story in verse.

He recently completed his first full poetry collection The Actual. He lives and works from London, where he founded the Midnight Run, a nocturnal urban excursion.

Inua is seeking: “The distillation of human experience in language, and economical use of words, and transformation, where the sentiment of the poem is greater than the sum of its parts… when it leaps into the beyond.”

Tim Pears is the short story judge. Tim’s collection of short stories Chemistry and Other Stories was published in 2021 by Bloomsbury and chosen by the Sunday Times for their best new short story collections. Tim’s novel In a Land of Plenty was made into a BBC drama series. He was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Tim says: “I have developed an idea of the kind of short story I like to write, and to read, but what I look forward to judging the Bridport Prize is discovering new ways of writing, and fresh methods of telling, untold stories of this world we live in. What an exciting prospect!”

Kathy Fish is the flash fiction judge. Kathy has published five collections of short fiction including Wild Life: Collected Works 2003-2018. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Copper Nickel, Washington Square Review, and numerous other journals, textbooks and anthologies.

Kathy says: “Give me a story I’ve never read before. Or tell an oft-told tale in a wholly original way. I love stories that play with form or language. If you can do all that and also break my heart or make me laugh, so much the better!”

Monique Roffey is judging novel award entries. An award winning Trinidadian born British writer of novels, essays, literary journalism and a memoir, Roffey’s most recent novel, The Mermaid of Black Conch (Peepal Tree Press) won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2020 and was nominated for seven major awards.

Monique advises: “Write exactly what you like and never mind what the market seems to want. Be independent-minded at all times. You are the dog . You be creative and wag your tail. Do not ever worry what seems to be popular.”

Don’t forget to check out the Writers’ Room on the Bridport Prize website for resources and inspiration.

Key dates for your diary

Key dates in 2022

Save these dates to keep you ahead of the competition.

31 May

Competition deadline!

20 July

Novel longlist announced here and on social media.

25 July

Novel longlisted writers to submit 15,000 words, including the synopsis and original submission.

26 August

Novel shortlist announced here and on social media.

2 September

Novel shortlisted novel writers to submit 30,000 words, including the synopsis and original submission.

Early to mid-September

Winners and shortlisted writers in poetry, short story and flash fiction contacted.

Late September

All other writers contacted.

Early October

Novel winner and runner up informed.

Late October

Awards celebration.

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 National Flash Fiction Day’s microfiction competition

Sweets by Judy DarleyNational Flash Fiction Day’s 100-word microfiction competition 2022 invites your submissions. Send something funny, something that resonates, is fresh and exciting, and leaves the judges lost for words.

The deadline is 15th February 2022. You’re invited to submit up to three flash fictions on any theme at no more than 100 words each. Titles aren’t included in the word count.

This year’s judges are Christopher Allen, Joanna Campbell, Tracy Fells and Damhnait Monaghan.

The microfiction competition prizes are:

  • £150 for first place
  • £100 for second place
  • £50 for third place
  • seven awards of £20 for highly commended pieces.

The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2022 anthology. Winning and shortlisted authors will also receive a free print copy of this anthology.

Please only submit work that is not and will not be under consideration elsewhere before 15 March 2022.  By submitting work to the NFFD Microfiction Competition, you are agreeing to publication online and in the 2022 NFFD Anthology if your work is selected as a prizewinner or highly commended flash.

Find full details here.

This year, National Flash Fiction Day is on Saturday 18th 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.