News room: Summer Writing Competitions

Summer Writing Competitions  by Jessica Barrah

Even if England have no chance of winning the World Cup, you still have the chance of winning one of these ten great writing competitions – so what are you waiting for?

1. Telegraph ‘Just Back’ Travel writing Competition

Details: We’ve featured this competition a few times before, but it’s a good one to keep in mind if you’re going on holiday this summer. You need to write 500 words about your most recent trip – but it can also be somewhere within the UK, and you won’t miss the deadline – it’s a monthly competition.
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: Monthly
Prizes:£250 in your choice of currency from the Post Office and a chance to win £1000 if your piece wins ‘Article of the Year’.

2. Hour of Writes Competition

Details: Another ongoing competition – this time it’s weekly and peer-reviewed. You can submit a piece of writing of any type you choose of 2,000 words or less. There is a different theme each week.
Entry Fee: £3
Deadline: 11pm every Friday.
Prizes: £50 (prize increases if more entries are received).

3. Marian Keyes Scholarship

Details: Submit 3,000 words of a novel in progress together with a one-page synopsis. To be eligible you must be either: (a) unmarried, not co-habitating, and have a gross income of less than £25,000 and savings of less than £5,000, or (b) married or co-habitating and have a gross income of less than £35,000 and savings (jointly or individually) of less than £5,000.
Entry Fee: Free entry
Deadline: 29 July 2018.
Prizes: A place on a Curtis Brown Creative six-month online novel writing course.

4. Olga Sinclair Open Short Story Competition

Details: An annual competition for fiction of up to 2,000 word on the theme of Markets. You may incorporate the theme in any way you choose.
Entry Fee: £8
Deadline: 31st July 2018.
Prizes: £400, £250, £100.

5. Audiojam Flash Fiction Competition

Details: A competition for stories of up to 1,000 words suitable for audio broadcast. All genres are welcome and work may have been previously published.
Entry Fee: £1.99
Deadline: 31st July 2018.
Prizes: The winning story will be produced and recorded in a studio with professional actors. The recording will be made available to an existing listener base and the world via the Audiojam website and SoundCloud.

6. Cinnamon Press Debut Novel/Novella Prize

Details: Submit the first 10,000 words of your novel or novella.
Entry Fee:£12
Deadline: 31st July 2018.
Prizes: A publishing contract and 100 copies of the novel.

7. Winchester Poetry Prize

Details: An annual contest from the Winchester Poetry Festival for poems of up to 40 lines.
Entry Fee: £5 for the first, £4 thereafter.
Deadline: 31st July 2018.
Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250. Winners will be invited to read their entries at a prize-giving event at Winchester Poetry Day on October 6. Winning and commended poems will appear in an anthology. There is also a prize for the best poem written by a Hampshire-based poet.

8. Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition

Details: A competition for unpublished stories of up to 3,000 words on any subject.
Entry Fee: 15 euros
Deadline: 31st July 2018.
Prizes: 1st – 2,000 euros plus a week’s residency at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat. If you go to Cork to collect your prize, you will receive hotel accommodation, meals, drinks and VIP access to the literary stars at the Cork International Short Story Festival (12-15 September 2018). 2nd – 500 euros. Runners-up (4) – 120 euros. All six winners will be published in the literary journal Southword.

9. Bring Your Limericks to Limerick Competition 2018

Details: Write a limerick! There is a live final with 25 finalists reading out their verses at Limerick Literary Festival (in Limerick, Ireland, obviously).The limerick must contain the following elements:Five lines; Lines 1, 2, 5 must rhyme; Lines 3 and 4 must rhyme. A good limerick will have a clever unanticipated punch line as line 5 will often have puns, word play or a witty feature as part of it.
Entry Fees: Free – you can enter up to 3 Limericks.
Deadline: 10th August 2018.
Prizes: 500 Euros – but to qualify for the prize you must be able to attend the final in Limerick, Ireland on Saturday 25th August 2018.

10. HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Award

Details: A contest from the Historical Writers’ Association for historical stories, which they define as stories set at least 35 years in the past. The theme and genre are both open and stories should be 3,500 words max.
Entry Fee: £5
Deadline: 31st August 2018
Prizes: 1st – £500, publication online and in Whispering Gallery, mentoring by an author and agent, and tickets to the HWA awards ceremony in London. Runners-up – mentoring and tickets to the awards ceremony.

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, Authors, Books, Self-publishing, Competitions, and Summer