News room: 10 Writing Competitions to Enter This New Year

10 Writing Competitions to Enter This New Year by Jessica Barrah

Here’s the first batch of writing competitions for the New Year. All these competitions have deadlines in the first few months of the year – a great motivation to turn off the TV, get writing, and hopefully win big!

1. Fish Short Memoir Competition

Details: A competition for memoirs of up to 4,000 words.
Entry Fee: €17 for the first, €11 for further entries.
Deadline: 31st January 2019
Prizes: 1st – 1,000 euros. 2nd – A week on a writers’ retreat at Casa Ana at La Alpujarra in Spain, plus 300 euros. The best 10 entries will be published in the Fish Anthology 2019.

2. Salariya Picture Book Prize

Details: A competition to find the next big children’s author/illustrator. To enter you need to be over the age of 16, unagented and unpublished (self-published is ok), based in the UK or Eire. Text only entries are acceptable, although you can also enter along with an artist (also unagented and unpublished). The book should be 28 pages maximum, and be suitable for children in the 0 to 5 age range.
Entry Fee: Free entry (one entry per person).
Deadline: 31st January 2019 (5.30pm)
Prizes: £1,000 plus career advice from a leading children’s book agent and publicity through the Stratford Literary Festival. The prize is shared if you are part of a writing/illustrating team.

3. Writers Retreat Short Story Competition

Details: A short story competition for stories of between 250 and 1,000 words on any subject.
Entry Fee: £15
Deadline: 30th January 2019
Prizes: 1st – £200 and a free place on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat. 2nd – £100 and a 50% discount on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat. 3rd – £50 and 50% on a Writer’s Retreat UK Lake District retreat. Runners-up (6) – £15. The writers of a further 15 stories will be offered a 50% discount on a Lake District retreat. Winners and shortlistees will be published on the website and will included in the first Writer’s Retreat UK short story anthology.

4. Teignmouth Poetry Festival Open Poetry Competition

Details: This contest from Devon is for poems of up to 35 lines on any subject.Poet John Greening will is the judge for the national competition, while Julie-Ann Rowell will be judging the local prize.
Entry Fee: £4.50 for the first, £3.50 for further entries.
Deadline: 31st January 2019
Prizes: £500, £250, £100. Local prizes (for TQ12, TQ14 and EX7 postcodes) – £100, £50, £25.

5. Spread the Word Life Writing Prize

Details: A competition for emerging writers of 18 or over, resident in the UK. The competition is for non-fiction writing about someone’s own life journey or experiences with a word limit of 5000. It can be prose, or a graphic novel, self-contained or an extract from a longer work. Please read the terms and conditions on the website.
Entry Fee: Free to enter.
Deadline: 1st February 2019
Prizes: 1st – £1,500, an Arvon course, a 2-year membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a meeting with an agent or editor. Runners-up (2) – £500 and a meeting with an agent or editor

6. Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize

Details: This competition is sponsored by top London literary agents Peters Fraser Dunlop, and is open to women over 21 who have not had a full-length novel published. Submit 40 to 50 consecutive pages of your story’s opening, plus a synopsis of the remainder (5 to 10 pages), as specified in the T&Cs.
Entry Fee: £12
Deadline: 8th February 2018 (noon)
Prizes: £1,500. Short listed entrants will receive a half-hour one-to-one consultation with an agent at Peters Fraser Dunlop.

7. W&A Yearbook Short Story Competition 2019

Details: You will need to register with the Writers’ & Artists’ website before entering this competition, which is for stories of up to 2,000 words on any subject aimed at adults.
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: 13th February 2019
Prizes: The winner will get a place on one of Arvon’s Clockhouse writing retreats, plus their story published on the website.

8. The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

Details: A competition for an unpublished and unagented children’s novelist aged 18 or over. Your story should be aimed at children/young adults between the ages of 7 and 18 years. Your manuscript can run to a maximum of 80,000 words, and there is a suggested minimum of 30,000. Include a one-page synopsis, a letter containing some info about yourself and explaining the book’s appeal to children.
Entry Fee: £18
Deadline: 28th February 2019
Prizes: 1st – A publishing contract with an advance of £10,000, plus representation by a top children’s literary agent. Chairman’s Choice – A publishing contract with a £7,500 advance.

9. Margery Allingham Short Story Competition

Details: This competition from the Crime Writers’ Association is open to published and unpublished writers is for stories of up to 3,500 words. The stories a crime, a mystery, an enquiry and a conclusion, the conclusion providing reader satisfaction
Entry Fee: £12
Deadline: 28th February 2019 (6pm)
Prizes: £500 plus two weekend passes to Crimefest 2020 and a selection of Margery Allingham books.

10. Flash 500 Short Story Competition

Details: A competition for stories in any genre running to between 1,000 and 3,000 words
Entry Fee: £7 for one, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four.
Deadline: 28th February 2019
Prizes: 1st – £500 and a 2-year Duotrope gift certificate. 2nd – £200. 3rd – £100

Good luck if you enter any of these competitions, and do tell us how you get on!

Further reading:

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Writing, Writers, Books, Self-publishing, Competitions, Contests, New year, and 2019