Over the Easter Holidays you might just get the time, in between eating your own bodyweight in chocolate, to get down to some writing. These competitions have deadlines throughout April and up to the end of May – so spring-clean your writing drawer, dust off any old stories you’ve got hanging around, and get going!
Details: This worldwide competition is for stories of up to 3,000 words.
Fee: Free to enter.
Deadline: 15th April 2016.
Prizes: 1st – One week Writers’ Retreat or Workshop in 2016 or 2017, with full-board accommodation in a single room, at Limnisa in Greece. Optional daily yoga sessions, literary evening, use of all Limnisa facilities (beach, bikes, library, etc). Alternatively you can have five online sessions of personal tutoring. 2nd and 3rd prizes – 50% discount on the Writers’ Retreat or Workshop. Or, you can choose to have an online session of personal tutoring or feedback on written work. Runners-up – 25% discount for Writers’ Retreat or Workshop.
Details: This contest is for poems of up to 40 lines on the theme of ‘A Way Through The Woods’. The judge is Maggie Sawkins, who won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2013.
Fee: £5 for the first poem, £3 each thereafter.
Deadline: 17 April 2016.
Prizes:£100, £50, £25. Winners have the option of anthology publication.
Details: This annual contest from Manchester Metropolitan University is for novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words in any genre. To enter you submit the completed manuscript plus a 500-word synopsis, and a cover sheet as specified in the T&Cs.
Deadline: 29th April 2016 (5pm).
Prizes: £1,000 and publication by Sandstone Press.
Details: This competition is for science fiction, fantasy and dark fantasy (and their sub-genres). Stories should be less than 8,000 words. There is also a contest for drawing a suitable illustration for the front cover of the contest anthology – see the website for more details.
Deadline: 30th April 2016.
Prizes: Story – £50. Shortlisted entries will be published in the anthology. Illustration – £50 and publication on the cover of the anthology.
Details: This competition is for stories of up to 4,000 words on any theme.
Deadline: 30 April 2016
Prizes: £1,000, £700, £400. Runners-up (17) – £100. Twenty stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 9.
Details: This contest from Swansea & District Writers Circle has three categories in the horror/psychological thriller genre. Scary stories should be between 1,500 to 2,500 words, eerie poems of up to 42 lines and spine-chilling scripts of up to 25 minutes (25 pages).
Fee: Stories and scripts – £6. Poems – £4.
Deadline: 20th May 2016.
Prizes: Stories and scripts – £150, £50. Poems – £150, £35. Winners will be published in a horror anthology in time for Halloween.
Details: There are four categories: Short Story, Poetry, Novel and Unrestricted. The stories can run to 2,000 words, the poems 40 lines or less. Novels – send 15,000 words for the opening chapters and synopsis. The final category is for anything you have written with the ‘wow’ factor.
Fee: Short Story – £6. Poetry – £6 each, £9 for two, £11 for three. Novel – £11 each. Writing Without Restrictions – £5.
Deadline: 31st May 2016
Prizes:Short Story – £500, £200, £100. Poetry – £500, £200, £100. Novel – £1,000, £250, £100. Writing Without Restrictions – £100, £50, £30. Western Gazette Best Local Writer Award for someone living in Dorset or Somerset. £100.
Details: One of the most prestigious writing contests in the British literary calendar, this competition is open to entries for poems of no more than 42 lines, short stories of less than 5,000 words, plus flash fiction of up to 250 words.
Fee: Poems – £8. Short Stories – £9. Flash Fiction – £7.
Deadline: 31st May 2016.
Prizes: For short stories and poems – £5,000, £1,000, £500 for each category, plus ten runners-up prizes of £100.
Flash Fiction – Prizes of £1,000, £500, £250, plus three supplementary awards of £100.
Details:This annual contest is for first novels by writers who have not had a novel published (apart from self-published novels). and who do not have a literary agent. UK entries only. Submit the first chapters of your story (5,000 to 8,000 words), plus a synopsis of up to 300 words.
Deadline: 31st May 2016.
Prizes: 1st Prize- £1,000 plus mentoring from The Literary Consultancy (Chapter and Verse Scheme) and possible publication. 2nd – £500. Three runners-up will receive £100 each.
Details: This competition is for stories of between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
Fee: £12 (includes a free copy of the winners’ anthology).
Deadline: 31st May 2015
Prizes: Prize: £700, £150, £50, plus publication.
As ever, the best of luck with these competitions, and do let us know how you get on.