News room: 10 New Writing Competitions for Spring 2020

10 New Writing Competitions for Spring 2020 by Jessica Barrah

Thinking of spring cleaning? Don’t bother. Leave the cobwebs where they are, and instead dust off those short stories and poems languishing in drawers – or in your hard drive. It’s competition time!

1. Short Fiction/University of Essex Prize

Details: An international competition for stories of no more than 5,000 words on any theme.
Entry Fee: £9
Deadline: 31st March 2020
Prizes: £500, £250. Winners will be published on the Short Fiction website.

2. The Caterpillar Poetry Prize

Details: A competition for poems of any length, suitable for children aged 7 to 11, by writers aged 16 or over.
Entry Fee: 12 euros
Deadline: 31st March 2020
Prizes: 1,000 euros and publication in the The Caterpillar Magazine.

3. Rubery Book Award

Details: An annual award for self-published books, or for books published by independent publishers. There are various categories (see website). To enter, either send a hardcopy of your book by post or submit an ebook electronically.
Entry Fee: £37
Deadline: 31st March 2020
Prizes: 1st – £1,500, and the book will be read by a top London literary agent. Category winners (at least three) – £150.

4. Wergle Flomp Humour Poetry Competition

Details: This contest is for published or unpublished humorous poems of up to 250 lines. You can check some of the past winners and judge’s comments in the Contest Archives for useful information.
Entry Fee: Free to enter. One entry per person.
Deadline: 1st April 2020
Prizes: 1st – $1,000 plus gift certificate. 2nd – $250. Runners-up (10) – $100. The top 12 entries will be published online.

5. Binstead Poetry Prize

Details: A competition for poems of up to 50 lines on any subject, open to all poets aged over 16. There is also a Young Poets category for those aged 16 to 30 residing or studying in Hampshire, or West/East Sussex.
Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £4 thereafter. (for writers aged 16 to 30, the fee is £3 each.)
Deadline: 14th April 2020
Prizes: £250, £150, £50. South Downs Young Poet’s Prize – £50. Prizewinners will be invited to read their poems at a poetry evening during the Festival.

6. Bath Short Story Award

Details: An international contest from Bath for stories of 2,200 words maximum, on any subject. The shortlist judge this year is Kate Johnson from the Mackenzie Wolf Literary Agency.
Entry Fee: £8.
Deadline: 20th April 2020
Prizes: £1,200, £300, £100. Acord Award for an unpublished writer of fiction – £100. Local Prize – £50 in book tokens.

7. HPP Poetry Competition

Details: Write a poem of up to 50 lines about a member or members of a royal family from anywhere in the world, covering any aspect of royalty.
Entry Fee: Free entry
Deadline: 27th April 2020
Prizes: £200. The winner and runners-up will be published in the online magazine.

8. The Mairtin Crawford Awards

Details: A competition for poems and stories by writers who have not yet had a full collection of stories or poems, or a novel, published. In the poetry category, each submission should comprise between 3 and 5 poems of no more than 60 lines each. Stories (one per submission) should be under 2,500 words.
Entry Fee: £6 for each submission of one story or 6 to 10 poems.
Deadline: 29th April 2020
Prizes: The winners in each category will receive £500. Winners will be invited to read at the awards ceremony at the Belfast Book Festival 2020.

9. Bristol Short Story Prize

Details: A competition for stories of up to 4,000 words on any theme. These can be in any style, including graphic, verse or genre-based (crime, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, romance, children’s, etc).
Entry Fee: £9
Deadline: 30th April 2020
Prizes:1st – £1,000. 2nd – £500. 3rd – £250. Runners-up (17) – £100. The twenty shortlisted stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 13, and the writers will each receive two free copies.

10. Live Canon International Poetry Competition

Details: A competition for poems of any length.
Entry Fee: £6.50 for one, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for five, £35 for ten.
Deadline: 13th May 2020
Prizes: £1,000. Fifty poems will be published in the 2020 anthology and 16 will be performed by the Live Canon Ensemble during the prize-giving event at Greenwich Theatre.

Get writing, good luck, and do let us know how you get on!

Further reading:

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Writing, Authors, Writers, Self-publishing, Publishing, Competitions, Contest, Prizes, and Spring