Writing Competitions & Opportunities – December 2019

DECEMBER! One more month of 2020. Homg. Better get some writing out into the world super double quick.

Yes, we know you’re busy panicking about Christmas. Yes, we know you’d rather be hibernating under a blanket. Yes, we know writing is hard and arg and wah etc.

But you can do this. Even if you pick just one thing on this list and submit a piece of work, you’re a winner in our books. There are over SEVENTY competitions and opportunities with deadlines this month, from poetry to flash fiction to short stories to novels to screenplays to writing residencies and beyond – so there’s really no excuse not to give at least ONE of them a go…

PLUS: Our very own Writers’ HQ Flash Quarterly Contest closes at the end of December! Send us up to 500 words of your very best flash fiction to win a year of WHQ membership and 3 writing retreats!

Happy writing, happy subbing, happy festive shenanigans. Let’s do this.

Angelica Poetry Competition

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Line Limit: 100 lines of metrical poetry
Prizes: 1st prize: £50 / Runner-up: £20
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Extracts from longer works are also permitted

More details and submissions info HERE

Better Than Starbucks 2019 Sonnet Competition

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Requirements: Up to 2 metrical sonnets (Shakespearean, Petrarchan, Spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed)
Prizes: 1st prize: $100 / 2nd prize: $50 / 3rd prize: $25
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Up to 7 honourable mentions will also be published

More details and submission info HERE

The Broken City

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction & essays: 3,000 words / Poetry: up to 5 poems
Entry Fee: 
FREE
Notes: Theme: Welcome to the Interzone  – an issue on drugs (legal or otherwise) and the psychedelic experience. Fact or fiction: the weirder the better.

More details and submission info HERE

The Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition 2019

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Line Limit: 40 lines
Prizes:
1st prize: £1,000 / 2nd prize: £300 / 3rd prize: £200 / 5x commended prizes: £50
Entry fee: £4 for 1 poem / £10 for 3 poems / £2 per poem thereafter

More details and submission info HERE

Eternal Haunted Summer: Winter 2019

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Requirements: Short fiction and poetry of any length (pieces over 5,000 may be serialised over several issues)
Payment:
$5
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes:
Eternal Haunted Summer is looking for poems, short stories, and essays about both the many indigenous spiritualities of the Americas, and those which have been born or evolved there; e.g., African Diaspora Traditions, American-born Wiccan traditions, Feri Tradition, Santa Muerte, devotion to Goddesses such as Libertas/Statue of Liberty, and so on.

More details and submissions info HERE

Funny Pearls

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Word Limit: 100 words
Prizes: Two winners will receive Amazon gift cards to the value of £100
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Winter. Funny Pearls is open to submissions from women of all nationalities. Entries must be written in English and should intend to bring a smile to the reader’s face (dark humour qualifies).

More details and submissions info HERE

Inscribe Fiction Anthology: Next!

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Word Limit: 1,500-5,000 words of speculative fiction
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Next! (working title) is open to submissions from Black British writers. 

More details and submissions info HERE

Mythridate Magazine: Spring 2020

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Word Limit: Short fiction: 1,000-5,000 words / Non-fiction: 500-5,000 words / Poetry: no stated limit
Payment:
Poetry: $15 / Fiction: $20 / Non-fiction: $10-20
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes:
 Theme: Decadence – submit up to 3 pieces of the same format

More details and submissions info HERE

Nassau Review: Open Submission

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Word Limit:
Flash fiction: 1-3 pieces up to 100 / Short fiction & creative non-fiction: 3,000 words / Poetry: 1-3 pieces up to 50 lines 
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Theme: There’s Something About Travel. ALL work submitted during this period will be under consideration for the Nassau Review Writer Awards. Every reading period offers prizes of $250 for prose and poetry.

More details and submission info HERE

Slice Magazine

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Word Limit: 5,000 words – submit up to 5 poems, 2 stories, 5 flash fiction pieces, 2 essays screenplays, TV pilots or short scripts
Payment: Short stories & essays: $400 / Flash fiction: $150 / Poetry: $100
Entry fee:
FREE
Notes: Theme: Persistence

More details and submission info HERE

Slipstream Chapbook Contest

Deadline: 1st December 2019
Requirements: Up to 40 pages of poetry
Prize: $1,000 + 50 copies
Entry fee: $20
Notes: All entrants receive a copy of the winning chapbook plus a classic issue of Slipstream magazine.

More details and submissions info HERE

Dark Matter: Women Witnessing

Deadline: 2nd December 2019
Word Limit:
5,000 words
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Theme: How do we know?  Dark Matter welcomes submissions by women and nonbinary writers and artists.

More details and submission info HERE

Speculative City: Horror

Deadline: 2nd December 2019
Word Limit:
Fiction, poetry & essays up to 5,500 words
Payment:
$20-75 according to category and length of submission
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Horror

More details and submissions info HERE

Percy French Poetry Prize For Witty Verse 2020

Deadline: 6th December 2019
Line Limit: 70 lines
Prize: €300 
Entry Fee: €6 per poem
Notes: Shortlisted poets who read their poem on the night of the presentation will receive a €100 reading fee.

More details and submissions info HERE

Strokestown International Poetry Prize

Deadline: 6th December 2019
Word Limit: 70 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: €1,000 / 2nd prize: €700 / 3rd prize: €500
Entry Fee: €6 per poem
Notes: Shortlisted poets who read their poem at the festival will receive a reading free of €300.

More details and submissions info HERE

Nobrow Short Story Competition

Deadline: 9th December 2019
Word Limit: 3,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £2,000 / All selected contributors will receive £150 + two complimentary copies of the book and will be invited to attend events including a launch and readings.
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: The Censor. Up to 12 winning entries will be published in an anthology.

More details and submissions info HERE

A3 Review (RECURRING)

Deadline: 10th December 2019
Word Limit: 150 words (not incl title)
Prize: 1st prize: £250, 2nd prize: £150, 3rd prize: £75
Entry Fee: $5/£3
Notes: Theme: Transformation. Two winning entries from each month will appear in The A3 Review (published every 6 months). From this shortlist of winners, 3 will be chosen to win cash prizes.

More details and submissions info HERE

Burningword

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit:
Poetry: up to 5 poems (10 pages max) / Flash fiction & non-fiction: up to 2 pieces (300-500 words each) / 
Entry Fee:
$3

More details and submission info HERE

Hamlin Garland Award For The Short Story 2020

Deadline: 11th December 2019
Word Limit:
7,000 words
Prize: $2,000
Entry Fee:
$20

More details and submission info HERE

Placeholder Press: Arkeia/Archive 2020

Deadline: 11th December 2019
Requirements:
Personal essays, poems, prose, and art that reflects on personal experiences of 2010-2020
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Kurious Short Story Competition

Deadline: 12th December 2019
Word Limit: 2,000 words
Prize: £500
Entry Fee: £5
Notes: Theme: Curious

More details and submissions info HERE

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020

Deadline: 13th December 2019
Word Limit:
6,000 words
Prize: £30,000
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: The award is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland.

More details and submission info HERE

Back From The Brink

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit:
Short fiction: 2,000 words / Poetry: up to 3 poems
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Back from the Brink is looking for sci-fi and speculative poetry and fiction inspired by endangered species

More details and submissions info HERE

Chorley & District Writers’ Circle Short Story Competition 2019

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit:
2,500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £100 / 2nd prize: £50 / 3x Runners-up: £20
Entry Fee: £6 for 1 / £10 for 2
Notes: Theme: On the edge

More details and submissions info HERE

Eye To The Telescope

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Requirements: 1-3 speculative poems
Payment: 3¢/word (rounded up to nearest dollar) – min: $3, max: $25.
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Hard science fiction tropes

More details and submissions info HERE

F(r)iction Short Story Contest

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit:
Short fiction: 1,000-7.500 words / Poetry: up to 3 pages each / Flash fiction: 750 words
Prizes: Short fiction: $1,000 / Poetry: $300 / Flash fiction: $300
Entry Fee: Short fiction: $15 / Poetry: $10 (or $12 for 3) / Flash fiction: $8 (or £$12 for 3)

More details and submissions info HERE

Ilanot Review: Winter 2020

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: up to 5 poems, max 7 pages total / Flash Fiction: up to 3 pieces, max 1,500 words total / Short fiction: 3,500 words / Creative non-fiction: 3,000 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Home/Work

More details and submissions info HERE

Mid-American Review Poetry & Fiction Awards

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit: 
Poetry: up to 3 poems / Fiction: 6,000 words
Prize: $1,000 in each category
Entry Fee: $10
Notes:
All participants receive the issue in which our winners are printed

More details and submissions info HERE

Montana Mouthful

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: up to 3 poems, 1,000 words max / Flash fiction: 1,000 words / Short fiction, essays & narrative non-fiction: 2,000 words
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Romance Gone Wrong

More details and submission info HERE

Palm Sized Prompts (RECURRING)

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit:
500 words
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Entries should be inspired by the monthly prompt and emailed to palmsizedprompts @ gmail.com

More details and submission info HERE

Prism

Deadline: 15th December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: 4,000 words / Poetry: up to 4 poems, max 6 pages
Payment: Fiction: $30 per printed page / Poetry: $40 per printed page
Entry fee: $3
Notes: Theme: Sprawl

More details and submission info HERE

BeAnimal Autumn Writing Competition

Deadline: 16th December 2019
Word Limit: 500-1,000 words
Prizes: Each of the three finalists will win a place on a unique Nature experience and tour through the wilderness of India worth up to €599
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Choose from 3 nature-related topics detailed on the website

More details and submission info HERE

Cove Park Funded Residency

Deadline: 16th December 2019
Requirements: Personal statement + CV + example of work (up to 2,000 words)
Prizes: Three funded Literature Residencies of 2-6 weeks during summer 2020. Residents receive a fee of £425/week, accommodation and workspace.
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Cove Park welcomes applications from UK-based writers of any genre, who have published at least one book-length publication

More details and submissions info HERE

LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award For Short Fiction

Deadline: 16th December 2019
Word Limit:
3,000-8,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: $3,500 / 2nd prize: $1,000 / 5x finalists: $100
Entry Fee: $20
Notes: Winners will also receive an agency review by Sobel Weber Associates (clients include: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Richard Russo, Laura Lee Smith). All finalists will be considered for possible agency review. All entries will be considered for publication.

More details and submissions info HERE

Photo Flora Contest

Deadline: 18th December 2019
Word Limit:
350 words
Prize: $50
Entry Fee: FREE (membership required)
Notes: Entries must be inspired by the featured photo

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Contest

Deadline: 18th December 2019
Requirements: Feature screenplays of up to 150 pages
Prizes: 1st prize: $2,000 / 2nd prize: $500
Entry Fee: $69
Notes: Winners will also be introduced to industry professionals.

More details and submissions info HERE

Pacific Review

Deadline: 20th December 2019
Word Limit:
Fiction and creative non-fiction: 4,500 words / Poetry: 2-3 poems (max 2 pages)
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Synchronous

More details and submissions info HERE

Newfound

Deadline: 21st December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: any length / Flash fiction: 1,000 words (up to 3 pieces) / Creative non-fiction: 40 pages / Poetry: up to 6 pieces (10 pages total)
Payment: $25
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Virtual Realities

More details and submissions info HERE

Wild Words Winter Solstice Competition

Deadline: 21st December 2019
Word Limit: 1,000 words
Prize: Publication + a 1-hour one-to-one mentoring session
Entry Fee: £7
Notes: Entries must be inspired by one of 4 prompts on the website

More details and submissions info HERE

Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition 2020 

Deadline: 22nd December 2019
Word Limit: 1,000 words
Prize: £1,000
Entry Fee: £15
Notes: The winner of the competition will write four further stories for InterAct Stroke Support over the course of one year.

More details and submissions info HERE

Lazuli Literary Group 2019 Writing Contest

Deadline: 22nd December 2019
Requirements: Fiction, non-fiction, essays, philosophical ruminations, stageplays, fragments, chapters, excerpts: no stated word limit / Poetry: up to 5 poems
Prize: $100
Entry fee: $10

More details and submissions info HERE

Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest

Deadline: 28th December 2019
Word Limit:
Poetry: 30 lines / Fiction: 5 pages
Prizes: Poetry: 1st prize: $250, 2nd prize: $125, 3rd prize: $50 / Fiction: 1st Prize $500, 2nd prize: $250, 3rd prize: $100
Entry Fee: Poetry: $5 / Fiction: $10

More details and submissions info HERE

Retreat West Themed Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: 29th December 2019
Word Limit: 500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £200 / 2x runners-up: £100
Entry Fee: £8
Notes: Theme: Earth

More details and submissions info HERE

The Aleph Writing Prize 2019

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 10,000 words
Prize: The winning piece will be published in a limited number of handmade booklets and all copies/proceeds will go to the winner.
Entry
Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Against The Grain Poetry Competition 2019

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Line Limit: 40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £100 / 2nd prize: £75 / 3rd prize: £50
Entry Fee: £5 for 2 poems / £10 for 5 poems

More details and submissions info HERE

Arkbound Writing Competition

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 1,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £100 / 2nd prize: £50 / 3rd prize: £25 / 3x runners-up: £10
Entry
Fee: £3
Notes: Theme: Hope. Sponsored entries are available for disadvantaged people.

More details and submissions info HERE

Anthology Askew

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: up to 3 poems / Flash fiction: 1,000 words / Short fiction: 5,000 words
Entry Fee: Poetry: $3 / Flash fiction: $5 / Short fiction: $10
Notes: Theme: Relationships – “I’d love to be the light that finds you.”

More details and submissions info HERE

Chicken Soup For The Soul

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Inspirational true stories of up to 1,200 words
Payment: $200
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Self-care & Me Time

More details and submissions info HERE

Flash Fiction February 2020

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 200-750 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Chosen stories will be published one per day from 1–29 February 2020

More details and submissions info HERE

The Moth Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Line Limit: No line limit
Prizes:
1st prize: €10,000 / 3x runners-up: €1,000
Entry
Fee: €15
Notes: The first 15 entries by poets from Northern Ireland have been sponsored by an anonymous donor. 

More details and submissions info HERE

Ouen Press Short Story Competition 2019

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 4,000-10,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £300 / 2x runners-up: £100
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: The Gift

More details and submissions info HERE

The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 10,000 words
Prizes:
$1,000
Entry
Fee: $15
Notes: The winner and all finalists will be published in the annual print journal Lascaux 7 . Two copies of the journal will be supplied to every writer appearing in it.

More details and submissions info HERE

The Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Requirements: up to 5 poems, max 10 pages
Prizes: $500
Entry Fee: $15
Notes: Theme: The Gift

More details and submissions info HERE

River Styx Microfiction Contest

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 500 words
Prizes:
$1,500
Entry
Fee: $15 ($20 with one-year subscription)
Notes: All stories will be considered for publication.

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Animation Screenplay Competition

Deadline: 31st December* (early deadline) 2019
Requirements: Animation screenplays of up to 150 pages
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $49
Notes: *Deadline extends to March 2020 with increased fees.

More details and submissions info HERE

Seasons of Rot

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: 5,000 words / Poetry: single poems or multi-poem cycles
Payment:
Fiction: $0.02 per word ($5 min, $100 max) / Poetry: $10 per poem
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Seasonal Rot anthologies hope to explore seasonal themes in unique, surreal, festering ways.

More details and submissions info HERE

Sharkpack Annual

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: any length / Fiction & non-fiction: 1,000 words
Payment: $20*
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Dry. *The creative work that most excites the editors in a given issue will win the Prospero Prize—$150 cash and feature placement in the Annual. Generally, 1-2 Prizes will be awarded.

More details and submissions info HERE

Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival Poetry Competition 2020

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Line Limit: 30 lines
Prize:
£200
Entry
Fee: £4
Notes: Theme: Snowdrops or the work of James Allen. Shortlisted poems will be included in a specially printed poetry booklet

More details and submissions info HERE

The Society of Classical Poets 2020 Poetry Competition

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Line Limit: up to 3 poems, max 108 lines total
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $10
Notes: Poems must contain meter. Rhyme and other traditional techniques are encouraged as well, but not required. Entries should be written in 2019 and may be previously published

More details and submissions info HERE

Structo

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: 3,000 words / Poetry: up to 3 poems
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Submissions should be accompanied by a photo of a literary magazine (any literary magazine) bought recently.

More details and submissions info HERE

Spectrum Literary Journal

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: up to 5 poems / Fiction & non-fiction: 12 pages
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Truth

More details and submissions info HERE

Territory: Alaska

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: 7,500 words / Poetry & short forms: 4-6 pieces of up to 1,000 words each
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Alaska – Territory is looking for works that are about maps and the paradoxes they engender, are maps of some territory, or respond to an existing map in some way.

More details and submissions info HERE

Tributes To Trees

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Requirements: A letter, poem, story or memory to celebrate the trees in your life
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Trees

More details and submissions info HERE

True Story

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 5,000-10,000 words of creative non-fiction
Payment: $300
Entry
Fee: $3

More details and submissions info HERE

Vestiges: Lucunae

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: 3,500-5,000 words / Poetry: up to 6 poems, max 12 pages total
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: For this issue of Vestiges, the editors are looking for works in which death hangs on the balance of a breath.

More details and submissions info HERE

Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Requirements: 48-80 pages of poetry
Prize: $1,000
Entry
Fee: $20
Notes: The Wilder Series Book Prize is open to women over 50 years of age. All manuscripts will be considered for publication.

More details and submissions info HERE

WoLF Poetry Competition 2020

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Line Limit: 40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £400 / 2nd prize: £150 / 3x runners-up: £25 
Entry Fee:
£4 for one poem / £10 for 3 poems / £3 per poem thereafter
Notes: Shortlisted poems may be published in a WoLF anthology

More details and submissions info HERE

Workers Write!

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 500-5,000 words
Payment: $5-50 depending on length
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: stories and poems from the workplace

More details and submissions info HERE

Writers’ HQ Flash Quarterly

Deadline: 31st December 2019
Word Limit: 500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £100 + 12 months’ WHQ membership + 3 writing retreats / 2nd prize: £50 + 6 months’ WHQ membership + 3 writing retreats / 3rd prize: £25 + 3 months’ WHQ membership + 3 writing retreats
Entry Fee:
FREE (though donations to our bursary are very much welcomed!)

More details and submissions info HERE

Ad Hoc Fiction (RECURRING)

Deadline: Various (weekly)
Word Limit: 150 words
Prize: Free entry to the Bath Flash Fiction Award
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Entries must include the prompt word (see website for latest deadline). Once submissions are closed, entries are published for public voting on the Ad Hoc site.

More details and submissions info HERE

Faber Academy QuickFic (RECURRING)

Deadline: Weekly (new prompt every Friday)
Word Limit: 250 words
Prize: A selection of books
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Stories must be in response to a weekly prompt posted each Friday at 9.50am

More details and submissions info HERE

Third Word Press Great Eighty Challenge (RECURRING)

Deadline: Rolling
Word Limit: Exactly 80 words
Prize: Royalties on publication
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Title not included in word count (but limited to 6 words).

More details and submissions info HERE

If you have a writing competition or opportunity to add to our January listings, contact [email protected] before the 31st of December.

Please note: We rarely list contests with an entry fee of over £20/$25 (with the exception of scriptwriting and chapbook competitions). 

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