News room: 10 Writing Competitions to Enter Before Valentine's Day

10 Writing Competitions to Enter Before Valentine's Day by Jessica Barrah

It’s cold outside, the nights are still long, everyone’s stopped drinking and purses are empty after Christmas excesses. Depressing? Well the good news is, there’s no better time to stay in and write your entries for these 10 fantastic writing competitions, all with deadlines up to 14th February.

1. Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition

Details: An annual contest for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject.
Entry Fee: £5 each. Three or more £4 each.
Deadline: 31st January 2018
Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 4 x £50. Winners will be published in the society’s Poetry Folio.

2. Fish Short Memoir Competition

Details: A writing competition for memoirs of up to 4,000 words.
Entry Fee: 16 euros.
Deadline: 31st January 2018
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.

3. New Welsh Writing Award

Details: You don’t need to be Welsh to enter this competition – but if you live outside of the UK or Ireland, you do have to have been educated in Wales. The contest is for an essay collection of between 5,000 and 30,000 words. Your entry should consist of at least two essays.
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: 1st February 2018.
Prizes: 1st – £1,000 as an advance for ebook publication by New Welsh Review. 2nd – A writing course at Ty Newydd. 3rd – A weekend stay at Gladstone’s Library.

4. Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Details: A competition for realistic science-based near-future space exploration stories of no more than 8,000 words. Please read the ’Do’s and ’Don’ts’ list on the competition website page before entering your story.
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: 1 February 2018. (12.01am US Pacific Time)
Prizes:1st – Publication as the feature story on the Baen Books website at industry standard rates, an engraved award, free entry into the 2018 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership of the (American) National Space Society and a bundle of books and space merchandise. Runners-up will receive books and merchandise as well as free entry into the Space Development Conference.

5. Chiplitfest Short Story Competition

Details: A short story competition for stories on any theme up to 5,000 words.
Entry Fee: £5 for stories no longer than 2,500 words. £8 for up to 5,000 words.
Deadline: 7th February 2018.
Prizes: £500, £100, £50.

6. Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize

Details: The competition is sponsored by London literary agents Peters Fraser Dunlop, and is open only to women over 21 who have not had a full-length novel published (self-published doesn’t count). They are looking for novels combining literary merit with ‘unputdownability’. These can be literary or genre fiction, or novels for young adults or children. To enter you 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: 9th February 2018 (noon).
Prizes: £1,500. The shortlisted entrants will receive a consultation with one of the judges, literary agent Marilla Savvides. They will also be invited to the prize-giving dinner at the College

7. Spread the Word Life Writing Prize

Details: This competition is open to new and emerging writers aged 18 or over. It is for ‘life writing’, which is defined for this contest as non-fiction writing about someone’s own life journey or experiences (see further explanations on the website). Your entry doesn’t have to be entirely prose. It can contain poetry, or it could be like a graphic novel with illustrations. There is a word limit of 5,000. Your entry may be a self-contained item or an extract from a longer work. The writing must be unpublished. You however can have up to six professional publishing credits in fiction, life writing or poetry.
Entry Fee: Free.
Deadline: 9th February 2018.
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

8. International Bath Flash Fiction Award

Details: This contest is for short fiction of up to 300 words. There is no set theme.
Entry Fee: £9 for one, £12 for two, £18 for three.
Deadline: 11 February 2018.
Prizes:£1,000, £300, £100.

9.Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition

Details: This annual international competition from the W&A Yearbook is for stories of under 2,000 words on any theme. Please note that before emailing your entry, you have to register with the website. Your entry will not be valid otherwise.
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: 13th February 2018.
Prizes: A place on one of Arvon’s 4- or 6-day Clockhouse Writing retreats and your story published on the Writers’ & Artists’ website.

10. Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

Details: Poems of up to 50 lines on a medical subject are required. There are two categories, Open, and Health Professional. Please see the website for more details.
Entry Fee:£7 online, £10 postal
Deadline: 14th February 2018.
Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250. Winning poems will be published online and in an anthology.

Good luck if you enter any of these competitions – and watch out for our next batch of competition details, coming soon.

Further reading:

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Writing, Competitions, Self-publishing, Writers, Authors, Contests, Poetry, and Novel