Submit your novel for the Virginia Prize For Fiction

Virginaia-woolfs-house-richmond-hogarth-press-begun-hereBlue PlaqueAurora Metro, the Twickenham-based arts organisation, is searching for the best new fiction by a woman writing in English. The winner will receive £1,000 and a conditional offer of publication by Aurora Metro Books.

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

The 5th Virginia Prize for Fiction is now open  for submissions

The prize is open to any woman (over 18) around the world, writing in English.

The novel can be of any genre but cannot have been published or self-published before.

This biennial prize was launched in 2009 as a tribute to Virginia Woolf who wrote her first novel, The Voyage Out, while living an Hogarth House on Paradise Road in Richmond, where she and her husband Leonard also founded the Hogarth Press in 1917.

The prize’s founder, publisher Cheryl Robson, hopes that “by naming this prize in Virginia Woolf’s memory we will inspire women to find their voice and contribute to the pantheon of great women writers.”

The prize is open to any woman (over 18) around the world, writing in English. The novel can be of any genre but cannot have been published or self-published before. You must submit your entire completed novel to be eligible. The entry fee is £10 per manuscript.

The closing date for entries is 1st October 2017.

Previous winners include Shambala Junction by Dipika Mukherjee, which won the 4th Virginia Prize for Fiction, and The Leipzig Affair by Fiona Rintoul, which won the 3rd Virginia Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was dramatised for BBC R4′s Book At Bedtime. Read by Douglas Henshall and Indira Varma, it was broadcast in March 2015.

Kipling and Trix by Mary HamerMary Hamer, who won in the 2nd Virginia Prize for Fiction in 2011 with her novel Kipling & Trix, is the current Chair of the Kipling Society, and is giving a host of talks across the country about her novel and his life.

Louise Soraya Black who won the inaugural prize in 2009 for her novel Pomegranate Sky, which Fay Weldon described as “vividly written, fresh and eloquent”, has given up her law career to pursue writing full-time.

Could you be next?  For more information about the prize and to enter, go to aurorametro.com/the-virginia-prize-for-fiction.

Find out more about Virginia Woolf’s time in Richmond.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

MShed cr Judy DarleyAesthetica Magazine invites writers and poets to submit work into the Creative Writing Award.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding short fiction and poetry from around the world. The deadline for entering the award is 31 August 2017.

Prizes include publication within Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology and £1,000 for each category 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 subscription to Granta and books courtesy of Bloodaxe Books and Vintage Books.

It costs £12 to enter the Poetry category and £18 to enter the Short Fiction category.

Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words each and poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines each. Both short fiction and poetry entries should be written in English. Unusually, submissions previously published elsewhere are accepted. You may enter as many times as you wish.

For full details, visit www.aestheticamagazine.com/creativewriting
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Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Langkah Syabas Beach cr Judy DarleyWasafari magazine invite submissions for its New Writing Prize. There are three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing, each with a top prize of £300 plus publication in Wasafiri.

The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book in their chosen category.

Entries for Fiction and Life Writing should be no longer than 3,000 words, and Poetry submissions should comprise no more than five poems.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on 14th July 2017.

Entries cost £6 each.

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

Get a feel for the kind of thing Wasafari likes, read Anubha Yadav’s short story, The Beauty of Reality.

This year’s judges are:

Susheila Nasta MBE (Chair) Founding Editor of Wasafiri and Emeritus Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University.

Sabrina Mahfouz Award-winning poet, playwright and screenwriter and former Sky Arts Scholar for Poetry, Mahfouz’s work has been performed in the UK and the US

Andrea Stuart Writer and historian, author of Showgirls which was adapted for stage and screen, and the award-winning The Rose of Martinique: A Biography of Napoleon’s Josephine

Boyd Tonkin World renowned writer and journalist, currently Writer and Art Critic at The Independent and Chair of the Man Booker Prize.

It’s worth bearing in mind the international ethos of the magazine. ‘Wasafiri’ is Kiswahili for ‘travellers’ and, as the Editor explains, “the name was chosen because many of those who created the literatures in which [Wasafiri was] particularly interested … have all in some sense been cultural travellers either through migration, transportation or else, in the more metaphorical sense of seeking an imagined cultural ‘home.’”

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

Wells Festival of Literature competitions

City of Wells cr Judy Darley

Wells Festival of Literature takes place from 13th-21st October, but before that they hold their annual writing competitions, with entries being accepted until 30th June 2017. There are three categories – short stories, poetry and books for children.

In all three categories, the first prize winner will receive £750, the second prize winner will receive £300 and the third prize winner will receive £200.

They are continuing to offer the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100 and the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100. In addition there will be a £100 local prize in the Book for Children category.

The fee for each separate entry is £6.

Short Story Competition
Entries may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length.

The judge is Maria McCann, author of As Meat Loves SaltThe Wilding and Ace, King, Knave.

Poetry Competition
Entries may be on any subject but must not exceed 40 lines in length.

Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales from 2008 – 2016, will judge the competition. Gillian was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010 and the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012. Her last collection Ice was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award in 2012. Zoology is due to be published in August 2017.

A Book for Children Competition
Stories in this category may be on any subject, providing they are aimed at readers aged 9 and up, including young adult. Submit your first three chapters, plus a synopsisSteve Voake will judge this category. His award-winning novels include The Dreamwalker’s ChildThe Starlight Conspiracy and Blood Hunters, as well as the Daisy Dawson and Hooey Higgins series for younger readers and Insect Detective, a non-fiction picture book.

The judges will also present prizes at a special ceremony in the Bishop’s Palace during the Festival in October. Immediately preceding this, the shortlisted poets will be invited to read their entries.

Read the full terms and conditions.

The closing date for entries is 30th June 2017.

Find full details at www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk/2017-competitions

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

Enter The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017

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

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

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

Entries can be submitted online at www.writeaplay.co.uk. The closing date is 6pm on 5th June 2017.

“What we want is writers who think big and aren’t afraid to take on challenging subjects or write for large spaces,” says Michael Oglesby, Bruntwood Prize judge, and Founder and Chair of Bruntwood. “Since we founded the Bruntwood Prize it has grown into a prize of major significance. The writers who have won previously have gone on to great things and I hope we find more great talent this year.”

The 2013 Bruntwood Prize was won by Anna Jordan for her play YEN, which received its world premiere at the Royal Exchange in February 2015.

A partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and property company Bruntwood, the Prize is an opportunity for writers of any background and experience to enter unperformed plays. Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts for a chance to be one of four winners and win part of a prize fund totaling £40,000. Since its inception in 2005, more than 7,000 scripts have been entered, £160,000 has been awarded to 15 prize winning writers and eight winning productions have been staged.

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).

The competition is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, in the British Isles. All scripts are judged anonymously by a team of skilled readers and the final ten will be judged by this expert judging panel.

Broadcaster and journalist Kirsty Lang chairs the 2017 judging panel. She’s joined by the award-winning screenwriter Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, C4; Doctor Who, BBC), previous Bruntwood Prize winner Phil Porter (The Miser, West End; Vice Versa, RSC; The Cracks in my Skin, Royal Exchange Theatre), stage and screen writer Lucy Prebble (The Effect, National Theatre; Enron, Royal Court, Chichester Festival Theatre, West End & Broadway), Director Lyndsey Turner (Hamlet, Barbican; Chimerica, Almeida; Posh, Royal Court & West End and Associate Director of the National Theatre), award-winning actor Don Warrington (King Lear, Royal Exchange Theatre & BBC Four; Death in Paradise, BBC), and Royal Exchange Theatre Associate Artistic Director, Matthew Xia. Chairman of Bruntwood, Michael Oglesby CBE completes the panel.

“The Bruntwood Prize has grown to become much more than a competition and is now a significant event in the theatrical life of the country,” comments Michael Oglesby CBE, Chairman of Brentwood. “It provides a unique opportunity for aspiring playwrights to have access to a network of opportunities which help them to bring their plays to the stage. Challenging plays that make an important statement about the world in which we live are my particular favourites. I’m greatly looking forward to reading the entries which never cease to amaze and surprise.”

Each of the winners will enter into a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre. The winning scripts, will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester this November.

All entries for The Bruntwood Prize are made online. The process happens in four steps. You will need:

  • A pseudonym, or a name that’s not your own
  • A contact email address
  • An address in the UK or Republic of Ireland or British Overseas Territory or British Forces Post Office
  • A title for your play
  • Your finished play in a single document (PDF, DOC, or DOCX)

Don’t forget, the closing date for entries is 6pm on 5th June 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 or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com

Enter the Tillie Olsen Short Story Award

Solive Winery, tractor cr Judy DarleyThe Tishman Review has launched a short story competition in honour of author Tillie Olsen.

“Olsen is one of our heroes,” says the magazine’s co-founder and prose editor Jennifer Porter. “She was born in 1912 on a tenant farm in Nebraska, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Early in her life, she began crusading for worker rights, jailed for organising packinghouse workers and for participating in strikes. She continued working as an activist her entire life. (…) Olsen died at the age of 95 – a mother, grandmother, award-winning writer, feminist, and human rights and anti-war activist.”

Tell Me A Riddle by Tillie OlsenOlsen was the author of the short story collection Tell Me a Riddle and her story Requa I appeared in the publication Best American Short Stories 1971. She also wrote journalistic pieces from the 1930s about the struggle for economic justice.

Entries are invited of unpublished (including online and personal blogs) short stories not longer than 5,000 words in length. Manuscripts and file names must not contain any identifying information. Please double-space and paginate your entry. Please use only one space after a period.

All entries must be received through Submittable with the $15entry fee per story.

You may enter as many stories as they wish, but each one must be entered separately and with the $15.00 fee.

The closing date for entries is April 30th 2017.

The final judge is author Linda LeGarde Grover.

Contest winners will be announced on July 30th 2017. The winner will receive $500 and publication in the July issue of The Tishman Review.

All entrants will receive a one-year e-book subscription to The Tishman Review.

Find full details of the Tillie Olsen Short Story Award.

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

Enter the Bridport Prize

Port cr Judy DarleyOne of the UK’s most prestigious writing competitions, the Bridport Prize is currently seeking submissions of short stories, flash fiction, poems and debut novels.

The deadline for all competition entries is Wednesday 31st May 2017.

First things first, choose your writing species, novel, short story, flash fiction or poem.

Bridport Prize artwork cr Paul Blow

@copy; Paul Blow

Poems may be up to 42 lines in length. The entry fee is £9.  The winning poet will receive £5,000.

Short stories may be up to 5,000 words long. The entry fee is £10. The winning short story writer will receive £5,000.

Flash fiction may be up to 250 words long. The entry fee is £8. The winning flash fiction writer will receive £1,000.

Novel extracts may be up to 8,000 words long, and must be from the opening chapters. You must also supply a 300-word synopsis. The fee is £20. Entries will be judged by Nathan Filer in conjunction with The Literary Consultancy and literary agency A.M.Heath. First prize prize is £1,000 plus mentoring through The Literary Consultancy’s Chapter & Verse scheme, and possible publication.

Find full details and enter your creative works at www.bridportprize.org.uk.

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

Bristol Short Story Prize 2017 invites entries

Bristol hot air balloons cr Judy DarleyOne of my favourite writing competitions (and not just because it’s local), Bristol Short Story Prize 2017 is now open for entries. Flick through any of their anthologies and you’ll discover a wonderful breadth of theme, topic and style.

The closing date for entries is May 3rd 2017. Submissions can be up to a maximum length of 4,000 words.

The judging panel will be chaired by Tania Hershman. Tania is joined on the panel by acclaimed author Roshi Fernando and award winning bookseller, Simon Key.

BristolShortStoryPrize-vol-9-coverThe 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.

The 2013 Bristol Short Story Prize was won by London-based writer, Paul McMichael, for his story, The House on St. John’s Avenue.

Stories can be entered online or by post. The closing date for entries is midnight (BST) on May 3rd 2017. Find the full competition rules here.

The writing competition prizes

First prize is £1,000. Second prize is £700, and third prize is £400.

Each of the 17 remaining shortlisted finalists will receive £100.

Entry fees are £8 each.

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 Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.

Ginosko Flash Fiction contest

Icelandic skies cr Judy DarleyThe Ginosko Flash Fiction Contest 2017 invites submission of exceptional, unpublished works of flash fiction.

Submit up to two of your finest flash fiction, of no more than 800 words per piece. The work selected as the winner by judges Amanda Yskamp, Michael Hettich, Gary Lundy, E M Schorb, Andrena Zawinski, Andrei Guruianu, Robert Paul Cesaretti will receive the $500 Award, and will be published on Ginosko Literary Journal website and in a future issue.

The deadline for entries is 1st March 2017.

Each entry must be accompanied by a $5 entry fee.

Submit your entries, along with a brief bio and cover letter if desired, via Submittable: ginosko.submittable.com/submit. The name of the author must not to be on the actual submission.

Find full details and read the winner of the Ginosko Flash Fiction Award 2016 at ginoskoliteraryjournal.com/contest.htm.

Submit crime fiction to a Flash Bang contest

Pink water pistol cr Judy DarleyDid you know the phrase ‘flash in the pan’ originated with the priming of guns? I didn’t either before discovering the Flash Bang contest.

They’re seeking 150-word submissions of short crime fiction that packs a helluva punch, and emphasises the skill of flash fiction in utilising the skill of surprise and illumination in an artfully condensed package – one you may not wish to open without guidance from a bomb disposal squad.

Deadline for entries is midnight BST on 3rd March 2017.

Prizes of this writing contest

  • 1st prize is two weekend passes to CrimeFest 2018 (access to all interviews, panels and receptions, exc. accommodation, dinner, travel)
  • 2nd prize is one weekend pass to CrimeFest 2018
  • 3rd prize is a special CrimeFest delegate bag with books and other goodies

In addition to the above, all those on the shortlist will be invited to attend the Crime Writing Day on Friday 19 May 2017, when the winners will be announced.

Rules of this writing contest

Max 150 words. No minimum. Title not included in word count. One entry per person. £2 entry fee to cover admin, to be paid via PayPal. No entries from established crime authors, please. No other restrictions apply, but you’ll want to be able to attend CrimeFest in Bristol, UK, in May 2018 if you win.

Find full details of how to enter at flashbangcontest.wordpress.com/about-flashbang-2017/

The longlist will be published 7 April 2015. Shortlist will be published here 21 April. Winners will be announced at CrimeFest15, 14-17 May 2015. Good luck!