Writing Competitions

Here you’ll find a handy list of useful writing competitions that are worth entering. Whether you’re an already established writer, or you’re looking to break out, there’s something here for you.

This list was compiled by Beth Watson-Wilkes

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize 2021

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize 2021 is open internationally, to anyone aged 18 and over, until April 1, 2021.

Writing can be in any form but must be written in English and adhere to the theme – Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilisation.

Free entry.

Word limit: 2500 words per entry.

1st prize: £10,000

2nd prize: £3,000

3rd prize: £2,000

You can find their competition here.

The Page Turner Awards 2021

The Page Turner Awards are open to all fiction and non-fiction writers until May 31st 2021.

There are five different award categories and writers are able to submit one entry per category.

Prize: Collective prize value of over £10,000 – prizes are all designed to help writers progress in their careers.

Completed and uncompleted manuscripts accepted, depending on the award entered for. Judges will read the first 10 pages of the entries. 

Entry fee: Early Bird – £20 until February 28th

                 Standard – £30 until 31st May

You can find their competition here.

Write On Art UK

Write on Art is open to all UK students aged 15-18. Simply pick a piece of art featured on the website and write about it.

It’s free to enter and entries are divided into two groups, based on year of study.

Word count: Years 10/11 – 400 words max.

                       Years 12/13 – 600 words max.

Closing date: Wednesday 30th June

1st place – £500

2nd place – £200

Three runners up – £100 each

You can find their competition here.

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition 2021

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition is open to writers who were born, have lived or are currently living in Wales.

There is no theme but short stories must be previously unpublished and must not exceed 5000 words.

Closing date: March 22, 2021.

1st Prize: £1000 and publication in a Parthian Books short story anthology.

Runner up: £100 and publication.

Entry fee: £8 per entry. 

You can find their competition here.

Moth Short Story Prize 2021

The Moth Short Story Prize 2021 is open internationally to anyone over the age of 16, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. Judged by Ali Smith.

Short stories must not exceed 5,000 words.

Entry fee: €15 per story.

Closing date: 30 June 2021.

1st prize: €3,000

2nd prize: week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend

3rd prize: €1,000

You can find their competition here.

Poetry for Good 2021 Competition

The Poetry for Good is a free-to-enter, national poetry competition celebrating the UK’s key workers.

Closing date: April 9th 2021.

There are three categories for entries: 

Growing Word – ages 11-15, written poems max. 250 words.

Spoken Word – age 16+, spoken poems up to 3mins long.

Written Word – age 16+, written poems up to 500 words.

You can find their competition here.

Crabbe Poetry Competition 2021

The Crabbe Poetry Competition 2021 is open to anyone born, educated, working or resident in Suffolk. Also open to Suffolk Poetry Society Members.

Closing date: June 15, 2021

There is no theme, but poems should be written in English and must not exceed 50 lines.

First Prize: £600

Second Prize: £300

Third Prize: £150

Plus, Two Highly Commended Prizes of £75

Entry Fee: £3 per poem

You can find their competition here.

Michael Terence Publishing 2021 Short Story Competition

The Michael Terence Short Story Competition is open to anyone over the age of 16, as long as the story is written in English.

Maximum word count is 3,000 words.

The closing date is March 31, 2021

Entry fee: £7 (£5 for entries submitted and paid for before February 28, 2021)

The winning entry will receive £2021 and their story published in the MTP 2021 Anthology.

You can find their competition here.

The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition

The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition opens on March 1st and closes on May 16, 2021.

Submit up to 400 words. Fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid narratives are considered.

Entrants must be 18 or older.

Prizes: $1500, $500, $300. Finalists will receive $100. The winners/finalists will be published in the June 2021 issue of SmokeLong Quarterly.

Entry Fees: $6 for one micro, $10 for two, $16 for up to four micros

You can find their competition here.

Grindstone Literary Competitions

International Novel Prize

Prize for finished or part-finished novels aimed at YA audiences or older, of any genre, judged by a literary agent.

Deadlines: 1st April 2021 (Super Early Bird) / 1st July 2021 (Early Bird) / 1st October 2021 (Final Deadline)

Entry Fees: £16 (SEB) / 18 (EB) / 20 (FD) (+£8.00 Optional Feedback Supplement)

Prizes include: Winner £1,000, Runner Up £500, 4x Shortlist £100. Other prizes include vouchers and publication.

Submit the opening 3,000 words of any finished or part finished manuscript aimed at YA audiences or older, of any genres, accompanied by a 200 word synopsis

You can find their competitions here.

International Short Fiction Prize

Prize for short stories of any genre aimed at adults, between 1000-3000 words of length.

Deadlines: 1st May 2021 (Early Bird) / 1st August 2021 (Final Deadline)

Entry Fees: £8.00 (EB) / £10.00 (FD) (+£8.00 Optional Feedback Supplement)

Prizes: Winner £500, Runner Up £200, 4x Shortlisters £50, Longlisted + shortlisted authors published in anthology

Submit a short story between 1000-3000 words of any genre aimed at adults.

You can find their competition here.

2021 Bristol Short Story Prize

The 2021 Bristol Short Story Prize is open until May 5, 2021.

The competition is open to all writers around the world whether published or unpublished.

1st prize is £1,000, 2nd prize is £500, 3rd prize is £250. 17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the remaining shortlisted writers. 20 stories will be shortlisted and published in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 14. All shortlisted writers will receive 2 free copies of the anthology.

Judges include literary agent, Irene Baldoni; manager of Foyles’ bookshop in Bristol, Tom Robinson; writer, Mahsuda Snaith.

Entry fee: £9 per story

You can find their competition here.

The Plough Poetry Prize 2021

The Plough Poetry Prize 2021 is open until March 31, 2021.

Final Judge: Roger McGough

Submit unpublished poems on any subject, up to 40 lines in length.

First prize is £1,000 (plus feedback from Roger McGough).

Entry Fee: £5 per poem for online entry, £6 per poem for postal entry.

You can find their competition here.

Saki Short Story Competition

The Saki Short Story Competition is open until June 30, 2021.

Entry Fee: £5 or £12 for three stories

1st prize: £500, 2nd prize: £200, 3rd prize: £100.

Maximum word count: 3000 words

The stories do not have to be in the style of Saki, or about Manning’s Pit, the countryside that he loved as a boy, but they need to have a spark of originality or wit, and something relevant to the countryside and its wildlife.

Judges: James Lovelock, Sir Richard Eyre and Peter Christie.

You can find their competition here.

Farnham Flash Fiction Competition 2021

The Farnham Flash Fiction Competition 2021 is open until June 4, 2021.

The competition is part of the Farnham Fringe which is 30 days of art and performance in June in Farnham Surrey.

Submit up to 500 words.

Prizes: £75, £25, £25 and publication.

Judge: Joanna Barnard

Entry Fee: £5

You can find their competition here.

#FlashFiction101

#FlashFiction101 is a monthly flash fiction competition. It’s free to enter.

Deadline: midnight on the last day of every month.

Each entry must be exactly 101 words.

Prize: Set of Tortive Theatre’s Bard Cards. The winner will have their story published online, along with their biography and links to any other work. The winning entry will be professionally recorded and voiced, and broadcast as part of a digital series in 2021.

The winning entry of each month will be included in the shortlist for the annual competition in June 2021.

You can find their competition here.

The Henshaw Competition

The Henshaw Short Story Competition is open until March 31, 2021.

Submit a short story on any theme up to 2000 words. 

Prizes: £200, £100, £50

Entry Fee: £6

The winning entries will also be published on the Henshawpress website and in an anthology.

You can find their competition here.

Never Such Innocence 2020/21 Competition

The Never Such Innocence 2020/21 Competition is open until March 19, 2021.

This year’s competition theme is ‘The Unheard Voices of Conflict: Stories from Around the World’.

There are four categories: Poetry, Art, Speech and Song and the competition is open to young people aged 9-18.

The winners in the four categories will be invited to participate in unique experiences and invited to NSI’s special award ceremony in London. All participants will receive a certificate of commendation for their work.

You can find their competition here.

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

The Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition is a quarterly short story competition.

The closing dates are: 31st January, 30th April, 31st July, 31st October.

Open to any theme or genre, but your story must be a maximum of 1,500 words (not including the title).

Entry fees: £5 for the first, £3 for the second, £2 for the third

Prizes: £150, £75, £30

The top three stories from each quarter will be published on the website.

You can find their competition here.

Creative Writing NZ Flash Fiction Competition

The Creative Writing NZ Flash Fiction Competition is an ongoing monthly competition.

Free to enter. Submit one story each month. Open theme, up to 1,000 words.

Open to all nationalities. You must be aged 18 and over to enter.

Prize: NZ$30. The winning author will also be offered publication on their website.

You can find their competition here.

Free to Enter Creative Writing Ink Competition

Our Creative Writing Ink competition is open to writers of any nationality or age.

Free to enter.

Closing Date: Last date of every month.

We’re looking for poetry, up to 40 lines. Open theme.

You just have to submit your poem to us to info@creativewritingink.co.uk with “Creative Writing Ink Monthly Competition” in the subject line. Please paste your poem into the body of your email, no attachments.

Entries should be in English. You can submit one entry every month. Please feel free to resubmit your work every month. We do not accept previously published material.

We will select one winner per month.

While we appreciate all entries, only the winning and shortlisted entrants will be contacted.  We will publish the winner’s details on our website and our Facebook page.

Prize: Publication on our website and an Amazon voucher worth £10. 

If you are under the age of 18, you must have the consent of a parent or guardian over 18 to enter the competition. Creative Writing Ink reserves the right to ask for proof of permission. Entries without permission will be disqualified.

Creative Ink – Writing Prompt Competition

We also run another free to enter competition, which is our writing prompt competition. It runs every two months.

Prize: The prize changes every two months. For full details, please visit our Writing Prompts page.

You can find their competition here.

The Writing Quarter Competition

The Writing Quarter Competition is a free to enter short story competition.

The deadline is the last day of each month. Submit short stories of up to 3,000 words. Open theme.

Monthly prize is AUD$30. The winning author will also be given the option to publish their story on the website.

The competition is open to all writers aged 18 or over regardless of their nationality or country of residence. Please submit one entry per month.

You can find their competition here.

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