Wells Festival of Literature competitions

City of Wells cr Judy Darley

Wells Festival of Literature takes place from 19th-27th October 2018, but before that they hold their annual writing competitions, with entries being accepted until 30th June 2018. As well as the usual three categories – short stories, poetry and books for children – this year sees the launch of a new category: Young Poets, open to anyone aged between 16 and 22 inclusive.

Prizes in the Young Poet category consist of 1st: £150, 2nd: £75, 3rd: £50 plus a year’s membership of the Poetry Society.

Prizes in the existing categories of Short Story, Book for Children and Poetry are 1st: £750, 2nd: £300 and 3rd: £200. There are also dedicated prizes for local authors up for grabs – the Hilly Cansdale prize of £100 for Poetry; the Wyvern Short Story prize, also £100, and £100 to the best local author of a Book for Children.

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

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

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 synopsis.
Young Poets Competition
Entries may be on any subject but must not exceed 35 lines in length.

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 all entries is 30th June 2018.

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 judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com

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The Fiction Desk’s Newcomer Prize

Flash fictionThe Fiction Desk’s Newcomer Prize specifically seeks writing from new authors. It’s only open to writers who have not been previously published by The Fiction Desk, and who have not yet published a novel or collection of short stories in print.

The deadline for entries is Thursday 31st May 2018.

They say: “If you’re looking for inspiration, the winning stories from last year’s competition will appear in our next anthology, due this spring. Why not subscribe to the anthology series and receive your copy as soon as it’s published?”

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Write for a Flash Walk

Totterdown coloured houses cr Judy DarleyI’m happy to say that after a year’s hiatus, the #FlashWalk is set to return as part of the National Flash-Fiction Day celebrations on 16th June 2018. Far less seedy than it sounds (depending on the tales submitted), the Flash Walk will take place in Bristol, celebrating fiction in its shortest and most intense form.

The Flash Walk will take place in central Bristol, and your words can be part of it.

To be in with a chance of being included, all you need to do is send us a piece of flash fiction, prompted by some aspect of the theme Urban Landscape. You can take this idea in any direction you choose, using any theme and any genre, providing your tale is between 40 and 400 words in length.

Bristol can be but doesn’t have to be a source of inspiration for your submission.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 21st May 2018.

The selected stories will be shared by  actors during the walk, so if yours is chosen, all you need to do is come along and enjoy the performance!

The walk begins at 10.30am on 16th June, just outside the main entrance to Bristol’s M-Shed on the harbour side. It will finish at the GreenHouse, Hereford Street, BS3 4NA (just under a mile’s stroll away), between an hour and an hour and a half later.

The GreenHouse will also be the venue for the afternoon’s free writing workshops

To be part of National Flash-Fiction Day‘s #FlashWalk2018, submit your entries to bristolflash@gmail.com before midnight on Monday 21st May 2018. There’s no charge to enter, so why not give it a go?

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 Tillie Olsen Short Story Award

Solive Winery, tractor cr Judy DarleyThe Tishman Review is open for entries to their 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. Make sure you follow the formatting guidelines!

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

The closing date for entries is 30th March 2018.

The final judge is author Tori Malcangio.

Contest winners will be announced on 30th July 2018. 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 judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

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Micro-Fiction competition invites entries

Buttons cr Judy DarleyI’m a fan of flash fiction that packs an emotional wallop ­– such a challenge to achieve in only a handful of words!

National Flash-Fiction Day returns on 16th June 2018, and celebrates this short-short form in all its glory.

As part of the build up, their annual Micro-Fiction competition is open for entries of 100 words or fewer. There is no minimum word count.

The deadline is 23:59 (UK time) on 17th March 2018, so you just have time to string a few powerful, carefully selected words together. No problem, right?!

This year, entries are free. You’re invited to submit up to three flash fictions on any theme.

Find competition rules, terms and conditions, and the full list of prizes at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/comp.html

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A Poem to Remember competition

Red poppy by Judy Darley

Enter a new national poetry competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

You’re invited to breathe in the spirit of the Great War poets, and write a poem that honours those affected by service while paying tribute to humankind’s capacity to overcome adversity. The winner will receive a £2000 cash prize. Deadline 9th April 2018. 

The competition has been launched by the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), itself a new organisation designed to become one of the world’s best clinical rehabilitation centres for the armed forces and potentially civilians too. Inspired by the war’s famous poets, including Wilfred Owen, Muriel Stuart and Siegfried Sassoon, they’re seeking poetry “that honours those affected by service and pays tribute to humankind’s capacity commemorate the moment the guns fell silent in the First World War. It will honour the fallen and those who took part, remembering that many survivors suffered very serious injury which affected the rest of their lives.”

The best five entries will be chosen by a panel of judges, chaired by historian Dan Snow, and then go to a public vote.

The winning entry will be read out by Prince William at the opening ceremony of the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre near Loughborough , and will be displayed prominently in perpetuity at the Centre.

The overall winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize, with four runners-up receiving £500. Only one entry is permitted per person. Poems must be no longer than 25 lines.

Closing dates for entries is 23.59pm GMT on April 9th, 2018.
For inspiration, read more about modern day soldier poets.

Find the full competition details, rules and terms and conditions here.

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.

Ginosko Flash Fiction contest

Icelandic skies cr Judy DarleyThe Ginosko Flash Fiction Contest 2018 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 winning flash by judges Amanda Yskamp, Michael Hettich, Gary Lundy, E M Schorb, Andrena Zawinski, Andrei Guruianu and Robert Paul Cesaretti will receive a $500 Award, and will be published on Ginosko Literary Journal website as well as in a future print issue.

You can read the 2017 winner, PRAYER FOR SMOKE by Jason Del Guidice, here.

The deadline for entries is 1st March 2018.

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 at ginoskoliteraryjournal.com/contest.htm.

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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.

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

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!