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.

Searchlight Awards seek stories for children or young adults

Brandon Hill, Bristol, child in tree by Judy Darley

Entries are invited for the Searchlight Awards’ Best Short Story for Children or Young Adults competition.

The closing date is Tuesday 1st March 2022.

Your entry should be no more than 1,000 words long.

Literary agent and children’s author Chloe Seager of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, and TV and Film Agency will judge the competition. She says, ‘Much like Children’s and YA writing, great short stories are a very specific craft. Every sentence, really every word, has to be selected with care and must propel the story…’

Prizes

The top ten stories will feature in an electronic pitch book called The Winners’ Collection and be sent to numerous literary agents/publishers who have requested it. These stories will also be published in an annual printed anthology. First prize also includes a cash award of £500.

Each entry costs £10.

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 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.

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2022 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.

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 11th February 2022.

The winner of the competition – along with two runners-up – will be announced on the W&A blog pages in March 2022.

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

This year’s judge is Alysoun Owen, Editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.

Prizes of this writing contest

Find full details and competition rules at www.writersandartists.co.uk/competitions/writers-artists-short-story-competition-2022 

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.

SaveSave

Enter the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2021

Bud. Photo by Judy DarleyThe Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2022 invites entries from women over the age of 18 who have written a novel “that marries literary merit with unputdownability.”

Deadline for low-income writers’ submissions: 12 noon on Wednesday 9th February 2022.
Deadline for paid submissions: 12 noon on Friday 11th February 2022. 

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 to 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 – simply tick the appropriate box on the entry form. You will need to be able to provide proof of financial eligibility such as: Jobseeker’s Allowance; Disability Benefit; Income Support; Working Tax Credit; proof of being a full-time student; Housing Benefit; proof of being a full-time carer.

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

In addition, the 2022 winner will receive a cash prize of £1,500.

Shortlisted applicants will also be invited to the prize-giving ceremony where they will have the chance to meet and mingle with industry specialists.

Jackie Ashley is chair of the judging panel.

For full details, visit www.fictionprize.co.uk, and make sure you follow the competition Terms and Conditions.

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.

Enter the Orna Ross Green Stories Prize for eco-novels

Arnos Vale light in the canopy. Photo by Judy Darley
The Orna Ross Green Stories Novel Prize is seeking adult novels showcasing what a sustainable society might look like.

The deadline for entries is 30th December 2021, making this the perfect chance to end the year on a positive, eco-friendly note!

There is a cash prize of £1000 for the winner and £500 for the runner up.

Green Stories aims to create a cultural body of work that entertains and informs about green solutions, inspires green behaviour and raises awareness of the necessary transformations towards a sustainable economy.

A particular aim is to use fiction as a way to reach an audience beyond those who already strive to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and to support winning authors to translate their stories into published books.

Entry is free, but entrants must show they have read at least one chapter from successfully published pieces from the Green Stories project that provide an example of entertaining mainstream fiction that meets the criteria of showing green solutions (not just problems) that readers can engage with.

Habitat Man book coverThis year the book is Habitat Man by D. A. Baden, an eco-themed rom-com and murder mystery written specifically for the Green Stories project. The submission survey will include a short easy quiz to demonstrate that you’ve read the extract.

Length: Submit three chapters* (minimum of 4000 words, maximum 10,000 words) of a 70,000 – 95,000-word novel as one document that must include the following:

  • the first chapter
  • another chapter that best showcases how your novel meets the green stories criteria
  • a third chapter (suggest the final chapter if possible)
  • a synopsis between 500 and 1000 words (name and contact details optional – we can identify via submission page) that covers genre, plot, characters, and details of how it meets the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.

You can submit more than three chapters if you need to, in order to make up to 4,000 words. If you reach the shortlist, Green Stories may request more chapters or the full novel from the best entries to help them choose a winner.

Eligibility

Open to all adults (18+) of any nationality, as long as the submission is in English and has not been published elsewhere.

All submissions must conform to the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.

The competition is open to novels that are either:

–          Partially complete (at least 50%) in the first draft phase
–          Fully complete and unpublished (between 70,000 and 100,000 words).

Prizes

£1000 for the winner and £500 for runner up, plus the following: 

A half-price manuscript appraisal by established literary consultancy Daniel Goldsmith, worth £300 to £400, will be available to the authors of the top three entries.

Winners will also have the choice of either a one-to-one mentoring session with the winners (at their office in London or virtually) with literary agency Redhammer Management, or a package of self-publishing support from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) set up by Orna Ross including a year’s membership of ALLI and a free pass to the Self-Publishing Advice Conference.

Publishing is just half the battle, to help winners achieve sales we will promote the winning book (once published) via our networks.

Submission

Find the full details of how to submit your novel excerpt entry here: https://www.greenstories.org.uk/upcoming-competitions/adult-novel-deadline-dec-2021/.

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.

Anthology review – The Weight of Feathers

The Weight of Feathers cover. Shows purple book cover with pink, yellow and orange dots loosely shaped into a feather.The Weight of Feathers anthology comprises the winning, short-listed and highly commended fictions plucked from the riches submitted for the Retreat West Prize 2020. It opens with The Stonecutter’s Masterpiece by Jennifer Falkner, a bitter-sweet short story with a vivid sense of place, opening as it does with a paragraph that includes an expertly crafted line on the valley setting: “His workshop was the only thing in it, curled at the bottom like a sleeping cat.”

As short story judge Peter Jordan writes in his report: “It won because the writing on an individual sentence level was superb.”

In fact, there are outstanding sentences throughout this anthology. The book brims with intriguing short stories and flash fictions, each of which shimmers and hums with sensory details: a butterfly fluttering inside a double-glazed window; a woman turning to stone; a mouthful of damson jam. The delights are myriad, offsetting the sadness at the heart of many of these tales.

Continue reading

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave