Writers & Artists short story competition

Playa de San Antolin cr Judy Darley.Writers & Artists have teamed up with Retreat West for a free writing competition that offers you the chance to win a place on one of Retreat West’s writing retreats. As well as five days to focus on your writing in a beautiful coastal setting, the prize includes workshops taking place at the retreat.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is write a short story no longer than 1,000 words.

The only stipulation here is that your story – which can be about anything you like – must use a beach as its setting, and must be written for adults.

Entries are free, though you must have an account with www.writersandartists.co.uk. The deadline for submissions is midnight on Sunday 17th September.

Please send all entries to competition@bloomsbury.com, with a subject line of “Retreat West Short Story Competition“.

Prizes

The author of the winning story will receive a place on Retreat West’s Plotting Retreat, taking place from 17-21 November 2017 in West Bay, Dorset. Workshops over the weekend will be led by Richard Skinner, novelist and head of the Faber Academy, and Retreat West founder and novelist Amanda Saint. The retreat provides the opportunity to hone your writing skills in a beautiful location. Full details of the retreat can be found on the Retreat West website.

Both the winner and two runners up will also receive the latest edition of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook , a copy of one of our Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Companion Guide series, and a copy of the 2016 Retreat West Anthology of stories from the annual RW Short Story Prize and RW Flash Fiction Prize. The winning stories will also be published on www.writersandartists.co.uk.

Find full details, including terms and conditions, at www.writersandartists.co.uk/competitions/retreat-west-short-story-competition

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.

Dragonfly Tea want your short stories

Tea plantation cr Judy DarleySeeking a boost for your short story writing? Dragonfly Tea have launched their 2017 short story competition in partnership with Henley Literary Festival.

invite you a short story on the theme of Journey, and submit it to their short story competition before 11:59pm (GMT) on Monday 31st July 2017. Your tale can’t be more than 3,000 words long; there is no minimum length.

There is also a children’s competition too, with categories for ages 4-7, 8-11 and 12-15. Tales in this section must be on the theme of adventure and must not be more than 500 words long, not including the title.

The the competitions are open to all non-professional fiction writers who are UK residents. In other words, you can only enter is you have never received a fee for your written work, be that fiction or non-fiction. Prize money received as a result of entering work into a competition is not considered a fee.

The competitions are free to enter.

Entries can be submitted via post or online via the online entry page of the Dragonfly Tea website.

Prizes

Main competition

  • 1st – £1500
  • 2nd – £750
  • 3rd – £250

Children’s Competition, in each category

  • £50 voucher for each winner plus £100 voucher for their school.

Finalists from all categories will be invited to the Henley Literary Festival on Sunday 8th October 2017 for a special awards ceremony and prize giving.

Find full details of these creative writing 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.

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

A dystopian short story competition

Children and trees cr Alice DarleyThe RSPH and the Health Foundation are seeking submissions of short stories that raise awareness of a disturbing statistic.

The health gap between the richest and poorest children for obesity has widened every year for the past nine years. A quarter of the most deprived 10 year olds are now obese, more than twice the number of their least deprived peers.

And it’s not just obesity. Across many aspects of health, inequalities are widening. The most deprived can now expect at least 19 fewer healthy life years than their most affluent counterparts.

“Fast forward 10, 20, 50, 100 years. Where are we headed? What are the consequences for our health, for us as individuals and as a society, if we keep on this trajectory? RSPH and the Health Foundation want your help. We want talented creative writers with an interest in health and wellbeing to help us imagine a dystopian future (near or far) where the consequences of the social and commercial determinants of health are played out.”

The story should shed light on the lack of choice people currently face about the factors that shape their health and wellbeing such as work, education, housing, social networks and communities. These factors are largely outside of individual control and are influenced by political, social, economic, environmental and cultural factors.

If this idea captures your imagination, submit a short story of up to 5,000 words (no minimum) to the Health: from here to where? short story competition by Sunday 11 June 2017.

“We would like the stories to convey the implications of not taking action now on the factors that shape health and wellbeing.”

Entries will be judged by an expert panel of authors and health experts, based on their imagination, readability and thought-provoking nature.

The winning author will receive £1,500, while a selection of highly-commended entrants will receive £500 each. Winning and highly commended stories will be published in electronic form and a limited edition print booklet illustrated by artist Thomas Moore. The author will also have the opportunity to take part in press and publicity around the competition.

Find full details of how to enter, plus vital info on the subject you’re drawing inspiration from.

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

Enter Frome Festival Short Story Competition

Frome rooftopsPart of the Frome Festival 2017Frome Festival Short Story Competition welcomes submissions, with a deadline of Wednesday 31 May 2017.

This small Somerset town of layered roofs is set roughly between Bath and Taunton has become a hive for writers, with the  annual festival featuring writing residencies throughout the small, characterful shops, and street performances seemingly on every corner.

The competition costs £8 to enter.

Stories may be on any theme, but must be between 1,000 and 2,200 words in length, not including the title.

First prize is £400, second prize £200 and third prize £100.

There will also be special awards for writers living within a 25-mile radius of Frome Library, in a bid to support and encourage local writers.

The Frome Festival is well worth visiting for its own charms, especially the incredible busking that takes place throughout the narrow streets.

For full details visit the competition website.

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

Enter Mslexia’s short story competition

Button on Kilve Beach cr Judy DarleyMslexia’s annual short story competition for women writers is open for entries, so now’s the time to search out and polish up your plots!

The first prize is £2,000 – one of the biggest prizes available in the genre – and includes two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at Gladstone Library, and a day with a Virago editor. Not too shabby!

Three other finalists will each receive £100. The winning stories will be published in the June 2017 issue of Mslexia.

Stories must be between 300 and 3,000 words in length, not including the title. The shortlisted entries will be judged by novelist, playwright and poet Deborah Levy. Entires cost £10 each.

The closing date for the competition is 20th March 2017, so there’s just time to get your entry together.

You can find full details of how to enter at www.mslexia.co.uk.

Write to evoke memories

Severn River shadows cr Judy DarleyNational Memory Day is an annual celebration of poetry and creative writing for people affected by memory loss. In Memory Cafes around the UK, conversations and emotional connections are forged with the help of well-loved poems and the generation of new creative works. What a wonderful idea.

As part of this, The National Memory Day Creative Writing Competition invites you to submit poems and short stories which evoke the theme of MEMORIES.

The closing date for entries is 5pm BMT on Friday 20th January 2017. Entries will be judged by leading writers, poets, professionals and a panel of young people. The winners from each category will be announced at the National Memory Day celebrations on 18 May 2017.

The categories for entry are

  • Best Poem Award – Prize £4000
  • Best Short Story Award – Prize £4000
  • Plymouth University Best Young Writer aged 15 -18 Award – Prize £2000
  • Best Primary Carer Voice Award – Prize £2000

Stories must be no more than 1,500 words in length, and poems a maximum of 100 lines long. Entries should include a completed cover sheet and must not have been published in print or online previously.

The entry fee is £3 for your first entry and £2 for all subsequent entries entered at the same time. The funds raised from this competition will go towards placing Poets-in-Residence in Memory Cafes to work with people living with memory loss. The project is delivered in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, Plymouth University and the Poetry Archive.

Find full 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 Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.

Write to win a trip to the isle of Jura

Jura Distillery_viewJura Whisky, makers of single malt Scotch whisky, are searching for the world’s greatest storyteller and invite you to submit your best tale.

All you need to do is submit your story to the whisky producer’s #WinningWords competition, and you could win a luxury trip for two to Jura, a remote isle off the west coast of Scotland.

The prize includes three nights accommodation at the Jura Lodge, famously used as a writing retreat by the likes of George Orwell, who wrote much of 1984 there.

Currently, each week a different theme is posted on Jura Whisky’s website, and writers encouraged to submit a story in just 1,000 characters (that’s characters, not words!) or fewer on that theme. Three stories will be chosen each week and turned into illustrations.

Once all themes are complete, voting will open, and one lucky writer to win a three-night trip for two to the isolated isle. The island has just one road, one shop, one pub and one distillery, but with views like these what more could you need?

Jura Island_view

The trip will include a VIP tour of Jura with a speedboat trip to the Corryvreckan whirlpool – plenty of inspiration for more tales!

The competition closes on Tuesday 4th February 2014.

For full details and the chance to read tales already submitted, head to www.jurawhisky.com.

Enter The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition 2013

Arnos Vale Cemetery cr Judy DarleyWhen I think of classic British ghost stories I get a satisfying shiver down my spine, not least because it’s an area women writers seem to excel in, from Mary Shelley to Susan Hill!

The Fiction Desk are straying from their preference for more or less realistic tales for a competition focusing solely on the genre of the ghost story, saying “some genre fiction should be part of any balanced reading diet. One genre that we’d like to feature more of in our pages is the ghost story.”

The closing date for entries is 31 May 2013. Continue reading

The Yellow Room Spring Short Story Competition

Alice's WeddingDo you know The Yellow Room? It’s a sunny nook of the web for writers, with a print magazine and lots of resources for writers.

They are currently inviting entries for their Spring Short Story Competition. Stories must be no more than 1,000 words long, but can be in any genre, and on any subject.

The closing date for entries is 31 March 2013.

The entry fee is £4, and prizes range from £100 for the first prize to £20 for third prize.

The shortlist and winner will be announced on this website by 1st June 2013.

Find full details and competition rules at http://www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/Competitions.html

Good luck!