Writing Competitions & Opportunities – January 2020

New year! New writing! New subs habit!

2020 is almost here – or already here, depending on when you’re reading these listings – and hoo boy it’s time to up our submissions game.

We’ve put together over 70 writing competitions, opportunities, and excellent things with deadlines in January, many of them free-to-enter, most of ’em with cash prizes or other great boons and bonuses.

But hey, the most important thing is to get your work out there; to build off every rejection and get better and better. And maybe – just maybe – you’ll be celebrating a publication soon… In the meantime, if you need a helping hand, we’ve got your back.

So go forth and submit with fortitude and tenacity, fine writers!

-algia

Deadline: 1st January 2020
Requirements: Up to 3 poems or 2,000 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: pain, illness and sore health

More details and submissions info HERE

Stories of the Nature of Cities

Deadline: 1st January 2020
Word Limit: 750 words
Prizes: 1st prize: $2,000 / 2x 2nd prizes: $1,000 / 3x 3rd prizes: $500
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: City in a wild garden

More details and submissions info HERE

THINK Winter/Spring 2020

Deadline: 1st January 2020
Requirements: Up to 5 poems or one piece of prose
Entry fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

BatCat Open Submissions

Deadline: 2nd January 2020
Requirements: Poetry, fiction, creative non fiction, collections of short pieces or single works of any length
Entry Fee: 
FREE
Notes: All genres are welcome, but BatCat are generally most interested in what might be described “literary” writing.

More details and submission info HERE

Chicken House Open Coop

Deadline: 2nd January 2020
Requirements: A 500-word pitch + the first 1,500 words/3 chapters of a novel for children aged 7-17
Prizes:
Feedback and mentoring from the Chicken House editorial team
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Open Coop is open to submissions for one day only

More details and submission info HERE

Gemini Poetry Open

Deadline: 2nd January 2020
Line Limit: No limit
Prize: 1st prize: $1,000 / 2nd prize: $100 / 4x honourable mentions: $25 
Entry
Fee: $8 for up to 3 poems

More details and submissions info HERE

Northern Book Prize 2020

Deadline: 2nd January 2020
Requirements: Novels or ‘non-fiction of literary quality’
Prize:
Prize and advance worth £5,000 + creative editorial support + publishing contract
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes:
The Northern Book Prize is open to unpublished, completed book-length works of literary merit written in English by a writer, of any nationality or descent, who lives in the North of England or who has a strong connection to the North.

More details and submissions info HERE

The Disquiet Prize

Deadline: 3rd January 2020
Word Limit: Fiction & non fiction: 25 (double-spaced) pages / Poetry: up to 6 poems (10 pages total)
Prize: A full fellowship (airfare stipend, tuition, and housing included) to the 2020 DISQUIET International Program in Lisbon, Portugal
Entry Fee: $15
Notes:Runners-up and other outstanding entrants will be considered for financial aid

More details and submissions info HERE

The Emerging Writer Award

Deadline: 3rd January 2020
Requirements: A CV + a summary of your WIP + a 2,000 writing sample
Prize: A tailor-made package worth up to £2,000 including tuition via open courses, retreat time and/or mentoring
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: The Emerging Writer Award is open to unpublished prose writers (fiction) living and working in the UK with a collection of short stories or novel in development.

More details and submissions info HERE

St Martin’s Minotaur / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Deadline: 3rd January 2020
Word Limit: A completed crime novel manuscript of at least 60,000 words (220 pages)
Prize: A $10,000 advance and publishing contract with Minotaur Books
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Animation Screenplay Competition

Deadline: 3rd January 2020 (early deadline*)
Requirements: Animated feature screenplays: 100-120 pages / Adult TV pilots and kids’ TV pilots: 22-35 pages for half-hour pilots, 46-65 pages for hour-long pilots
Prize:
$1,000 in each category + circulation of winning screenplays to industry professionals + development support from ScreenCraft
Entry Fee: $49
Notes:
*Deadline extends to 29th Feb with increased entry fees.

More details and submissions info HERE

Novel Noctule

Deadline: 5th January 2020
Word Limit:
Micro fiction: 250 words / Flash fiction: 1,000 words / Short fiction: 1,250-10,000 / Poetry: up to 3 poems, 10 pages total
Entry Fee:
FREE
Payment: $10
Notes: Theme: Misfortune (Novel Notule is a publisher of horror)

More details and submission info HERE

BBC Writersroom Script Room Drama 2020

Deadline: 6th January 2020
Requirements: Drama scripts (TV, film, radio, stage or online) of at least 30 pages
Prize: A group of writers (usually between 10 and 15) will be selected to join the BBC Drama Room writer development group for 2020/21 
Entry fee:
FREE

More details and submission info HERE

The Henshaw Short Story Competition

Deadline: 6th January 2020
Word limit: 2,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £200 / 2nd prize: £100 / 3rd prize: £50
Entry fee: £6
Notes: Optional critique for £12

More details and submissions info HERE

It’s My Shout

Deadline: 6th January 2020
Requirements: an A4 page pitch of your story
Prizes: Script development meetings, workshops, and support from experienced industry screenwriters
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Mslexia: March 2020

Deadline: 6th January 2020
Requirements:
Fiction, non-fiction & poetry: various word limits (send a 200 proposal for non-fiction)
Payment: £25
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Mslexia is open to submissions from women writers

More details and submission info HERE

92Y Discovery Poetry Contest

Deadline: 10th January 2020
Requirements:
Up to 10 pages of poetry
Prize:
Four winners receive $500 + a reading at 92Y + publication in The Paris Review Daily + a two-night residency at the ACE Hotel
Entry Fee: $15
Notes:The contest is open to poets who have not published a full-length poetry collection

More details and submissions info HERE

A3 Press Chapbook Submission

Deadline: 10th January 2020
Requirements: 12-14 connected pieces of prose, poetry, or illustrated pieces
Payment: £200 + 10 copies of the chapbook
Entry Fee: £20
Notes: Chapbooks are presented on an A3 map fold format

More details and submissions info HERE

Escalator 2020

Deadline: 10th January 2020
Requirements: 2,000 word writing sample + 200 word proposal + 200 word bio
Prize: 5 one-to-one mentoring sessions + a retreat at Norwich UNESCO City of Literature + workshops and development sessions + a showcase event with an audience of invited guests and industry professionals + space on the National Centre for Writing website to showcase your work
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Escalator encourages under-represented writers who self-identify as from a working-class background, who haven’t undertaken any formal creative writing qualifications, or whom wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to benefit from this kind of support. You must live in the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk) to apply.

More details and submissions info HERE

Soho Theatre Verity Bargate Award 2020

Deadline: 10th January 2020
Requirements: 100 word summary + full-length play scripts of at least 60 minutes
Prizes: £7,500 + an option for Soho Theatre to produce your play
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Dancing Bear Books: Womxn

Deadline: 11th January 2020
Word Limit: Short fiction & essays: 6,000 words / Poetry: 600 words
Payment: Unstated one-time fee
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Womxn will be a collection all about the experience of being female and must be linked to some kind of fairy tale, historical or mythological female figure. You do not have to be a woman to submit work.

More details and submissions info HERE

Magma Poetry Competition

Deadline: 11th January 2020
Line Limit:
Short poems: up to 10 lines / Longer poems: 11-50 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £1,000 / 2nd prize: £300 / 3rd prize: £150 in each category
Entry Fee:
£5 for the first poem, £4 for the second, £3.50 thereafter

More details and submission info HERE

Mogford Food & Drink Writing Prize 2020

Deadline: 13th January 2020
Word Limit:
2,500 words
Prize: £10,,000
Entry Fee:
£10

More details and submission info HERE

Nesta Alternarratives

Deadline: 13th January 2020
Requirements:
2 examples of existing work + a short story which will form the basis of your project + a proposal to explain the idea behind the work you would like to create through Alternarratives and how you will do this
Prize: 1st prize: £15,000, 10x shortlisters: £1,000
Entry Fee:
 FREE
Notes: Nesta wants to unearth the future of cutting-edge short-form storytelling, encouraging writers based in the UK to think beyond the word document and use all the tools we have at our disposal to tell stories in new and exciting ways. Alternarratives is asking writers/creators to develop work for a young audience between 11-16.

More details and submissions info HERE

Keats-Shelley Prize 2020

Deadline: 14th January 2020
Word Limit: Poetry: 30 lines / Essays: 3,000
Prizes: Combined prizes over £5,000
Entry Fee: Poetry: £10 for 2 poems / Essays: fee not stated
Notes: The theme for poetry and short story entries is: Songbird. Essays may be on any aspect of the works or lives of the Romantics and their circles.

More details and submissions info HERE

Chicken Soup For The Soul

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Word Limit: Inspirational true stories and poems of up to 1,200 words
Payment: $200
Entry
 Fee: FREE
Notes: Themes: The magic of dogs / The magic of cats

More details and submissions info HERE

The Cosmos Prize

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Requirements:
An alternative final chapter of Cosmos
Prizes: 1st prize: $300 / 2nd prize: $100 / 3rd prize: $50
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: All prize winners will also receive FFE’s publications + an FFE T-shirt + lapel pin. Submissions must fit with the overall narrative of Cosmos, bring the story to a compelling, meaningful, exciting and/or evocative conclusion, and capture the style and sensibility of science fiction of the 1930s.

More details and submission info HERE

The Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Requirements:
A project proposal + a biographical statement + a writing sample of up to 10 pages
Prize: $5,000
Entry Fee: $15
Notes: The Fund supports writing that combines an engaging individual voice, literary sensibility, imagination and intellectual rigour to bring new perspectives and deeper meaning to the body of desert literature.

More details and submissions info HERE

Hektoen International Writing Contest

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Word Limit:
Essays of up to 1,600 words
Prizes: 1st prize: $3,000 / 2nd prize: $800
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Blood. Submissions must include at least one image. 

More details and submissions info HERE

Kanstellation: The Dark Side of Science

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Word Limit: Poetry: up to 4 poems / Flash fiction & non-fiction: up to 2 pieces of 500-1,000 words / Essays: up to 2 essays of 1,000-2,500 words
Payment: Poetry: $60 / Flash: $100 / Essays: $120
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: The dark side of science

More details and submissions info HERE

Literal Latte Fiction Awards

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Word Limit:
10,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: $1,000 / 2nd prize: $300 / 3rd prize: $200
Entry Fee: $10 for 1 entry, $15 for 2

More details and submissions info HERE

Writers Online Historical Fiction Competition

Deadline: 15th January 2020
Word Limit: 1,500-1,700 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £200 / 2nd prize: £50
Entry Fee: £6 for non-subscribers, £4 for subscribers
Notes: Entries must be historical fiction (over 50 years ago)

More details and submissions info HERE

UEA New Forms Award

Deadline: 17th January 2020
Requirements:
A 2,000 word writing sample + 250 word supporting statement
Prize: £4,000 + a bespoke period of development, which may include mentoring, learning opportunities and promotional platform.
Entry Fee: $10
Notes:
The UEA New Forms Award seeks fiction that explores the boundaries of possibility.

More details and submissions info HERE

Influx Press Non-Fiction Open Call

Deadline: 5th – 19th January 2020
Requirements: Non-fiction proposals: 2 sample chapters/10,000 words + examples of previous works
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Open to submissions from women and non-binary writers

More details and submission info HERE

Iota Shot Pamphlet Awards 2020

Deadline: 20th January 2020
Requirements:
16-20 pages of poetry, max 40 lines per page
Prize: Up to three I_SHOT Pamphlets will be published by Templar Poetry
Entry Fee:
£20
Notes: Winners will also have the option to submit a full collection for publication at a later date.

More details and submission info HERE

Poets & Players Competition 2020

Deadline: 21st January 2020
Line Limit: 40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £600 / 2nd prize: £200 / 3rd prize: £100
Entry fee: £4 per poem, or 3 for £10

More details and submission info HERE

Puchi Award

Deadline: 23rd January 2020
Requirements: Entry form + CV + 2,000 word book summary + completed book manuscript
Prize: An €8,000 advance + publication by Fulgencio Pimentel + 25 copies of the book
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: The Puchi Award is looking for books in any genre or form: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, novels, comics, picture books, essays, cookbooks, geography books, combinations of the above or any other type imaginable.

More details and submission info HERE

Emma Press Poetry Pamphlets for Adults & Children’s Poetry Collections

Deadline: 24th January 2020
Requirements: The first 6 pages of a poetry pamphlet for adults and/or a poetry collection for children
Prize: Publication + 10 free copies + royalties
Entry Fee: £10 (enables you to enter one or both categories)

More details and submissions info HERE

Sixfold

Deadline: 24th January 2020
Word Limit: 
5,000 words of fiction, 1-5 poems
Prize: 
$1,000
Entry Fee: $5
Notes: 
Stories are submitted into 3 rounds of voting by participating writers (more on how it works here).

More details and submissions info HERE

A3 Review (RECURRING)

Deadline: 25th January 2020
Word Limit: 150 words (not incl title)
Prize: 1st prize: £250, 2nd prize: £150, 3rd prize: £75
Entry Fee: $5/£3
Notes: Theme: Thanatos. 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

BMA Writing Competition 2020

Deadline: 25th January 2020
Word Limit: 700 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Sorry

More details and submissions info HERE

Vassar Review: Protest, Prophecy, Play

Deadline: 26th January 2020
Word Limit: Fiction & literary non-fiction: 30 pages / Poetry: 6 poems or 10 pages
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Protest, prophecy, play

More details and submissions info HERE

Retreat West First Chapter Competition

Deadline: 27th January 2020
Word Limit:
The first chapter of a novel up to 3,500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: Submission package review and feedback from literary agent Carrie Plitt / 2nd prize: Submission package review and feedback from Amanda Saint / 3rd prize: Short feedback from Carrie Plitt
Entry fee: £10
Notes: The competition is not accepting children’s fiction

More details and submissions info HERE

The Fresher Writing Prize 2020

Deadline: 27th January 2020
Word Limit: Short fiction: 3,000 words / Poetry: 42 lines
Prizes: £200 in each category + feedback
Entry Fee: £7 (entry is free for staff and students of Bournemouth University)

More details and submissions info HERE

The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship

Deadline: 22nd January 2019
Requirements: A writing CV + application + writing sample (2,000 words of fiction, 90 lines of poetry, 10 pages of a script)
Prize: A month-long retreat at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing in France + £1,200 stipend + travel expenses
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: You must be over 18 and based in Scotland with a publication record to apply

More details and submissions info HERE

Chicken Soup For The Soul

Deadline: 30th & 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Inspirational true stories of up to 1,200 words
Payment: $200
Entry
 Fee: FREE
Notes: 30th Jan theme: Christmas / 31st Jan theme: Be you

More details and submissions info HERE

Room 204 Writer Development Scheme

Deadline: 30th January 2020
Requirements:
A 2-year writing history + up to 3 writing examples, max 3,000 total + a statement of demonstrable need
Prizes: A small number of emerging writers from the West Midlands will receive support, mentoring and career development from Writing West Midlands worth over £1,000
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Room 204 is for emerging writers living, working or studying in the West Midlands who are looking for career development.

More details and submissions info HERE

Arundel Festival Theatre Trail Writers’ Competition

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Requirements: Plays of 30-40 minutes for a max of 5 performers
Prizes: 1st prize: £250 + all successful playwrights will receive a £200 writer’s fee
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: 8 short plays will be performed at 8 venues across Arundel during the festival

More details and submissions info HERE

Bad Betty Press: Pamphlet & Collection Manuscripts

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Requirements: 10 pages of poetry from a full collection/pamphlet manuscript
Prize: Successful manuscripts will be accepted for publication in 2021
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: 1,500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £150 / 2nd prize: £75 / 3rd prize: £30
Entry Fee: £5 for first entry / £3 for the second / £2 for the third

More details and submissions info HERE

Cúirt New Writing Prize 2020

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Fiction: 2,000 words / Poetry: 50 lines
Prizes: €500 in each category
Entry
Fee: €10
Notes: Winners will also have the opportunity to read at the Cúirt / Over the Edge Showcase event 

More details and submissions info HERE

Fish Short Memoir Prize

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: 4,000 words
Prize: 1st prize: €1,000 / 2nd prize: A week’s writers’ retreat at Casa Ana, La Alpujarra, Spain + €300 / 3rd prize: €200
Entry Fee: €17 for first entry, €11 thereafter
Notes: The best 10 memoirs will be published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2020

More details and submissions info HERE

The Gollancz & Rivers of London BAME SFF Award

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: 5,000-10,000 words
Prize: 1st prize: £4,000 + critique + 1 year mentoring programme / 2nd prize: £2,000 + critique / 5x runners-up: £800 + Gollancz books
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: The prize is open to BAME writers. Submissions must be either a self-contained short story or the opening of a novel that fits into the science fiction, fantasy or horror genres.

More details and submissions info HERE

Hashtag Queer: LGTBQ+ Creative Anthology

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Fiction & non-fiction: 7,500 words / Poetry: 5 pages / Scripts: 10 pages
Payment:
$5 per printed page
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Entries must be by and/or about LGTBQ+ themes

More details and submissions info HERE

The International Radio Playwriting Competition 2020

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Requirements: A script for a 53 minute radio play with up to 6 central characters + a 400 word synopsis
Prizes: 2 winners will receive £2,500 + a travel expenses and accommodation to London to see their winning plays being recorded for broadcast on the BBC World Service and attend a prize-giving event
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: The competition is open to new and established writers over the age of 18 who live outside the UK. There are two categories for entry – one for entrants who speak English as a first language and one for entrants with English as a second language.

More details and submissions info HERE

Into the Void Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Line Limit: 60 lines
Prizes:
1st prize: $500 / 2nd prize: $100 / 3rd prize: $50
Entry
Fee: $6
Notes: Each entry comes with a free one-year online subscription to Into the Void 

More details and submissions info HERE

The John Byrne Award

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Requirements: A piece of creative work up to 15,000 words + 200 word entry statement
Prizes:
£7,500
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Entrants must be over 16 and living in Scotland. There are also quarterly awards of £500.

More details and submissions info HERE

The Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Line Limit: 40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £1,000 / 2nd prize: £300 / 3rd prize: £100 / 4x runners-up: £50
Entry Fee: £5 for 1 poem / £10 for 2 / £12 for 3 / 4 for £16 / 5 for £20

More details and submissions info HERE

Little Tokyo Historical Society Short Story Contest

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Fiction: 5,000 words / Poetry: single poems or multi-poem cycles
Prize:
$500 in each category
Entry
Fee: FREE (but contributions welcome)
Notes: Stories must be set in a current, past or future Little Tokyo in the City of Los Angeles, California. There are 3 categories: English language, Japanese language and youth (18 and younger)

More details and submissions info HERE

The Masters Review Winter Short Story Award For New Writers

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: 6,000 words
Prize: 1st prize: $3,000 + agency review / 2nd prize: $300 / 3rd prize: $200
Entry Fee: $20

More details and submissions info HERE

The 2019 Plough International Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Line Limit: 40 lines
Prizes:
1st prize: £1,000 / 2nd prize: £500 / 3rd prize: £250
Entry
Fee: £5

More details and submissions info HERE

Prole Laureate Poetry Competition 2020

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Line Limit: no limit
Prizes: 1st prize: £200 / 2x runners-up: £50
Entry Fee: £3 for first entry, £2 thereafter

More details and submissions info HERE

Pure Slush: The Beautifulest

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Stories, essays and poetry of  50-1,000 words
Entry
Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Beauty

More details and submissions info HERE

Room: Neurodivergence

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Fiction and creative non-fiction: 3,500 words / Poetry: up to 5 poems
Payment: $50 CAD for one page, $60 for two pages, $90 for three pages, $120 for four pages, $150 for five or more pages
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: Neurodivergence. Room publishes fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people.

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship

Deadline: 31st January 2019 (*regular deadline)
Requirements: Feature screenplays: 70-140 pages / Comedy TV pilot scripts: 25-40 pages / Drama TV pilot scripts: 45-65 pages
Prize: Up to 4 winners will receive all-expenses paid trip to LA to meet with industry professionals + creative development mentorship
Entry
 Fee: $49
Notes: *Deadline extends to 29th Feb with increased submission fees

More details and submissions info HERE

Teignmouth Poetry Festival 2020 Competition

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Line Limit: 36 line
Prizes: 1st prize: £500 / 2nd prize: £250 / 3rd prize: £100
Entry
Fee: £4.50 for first poem, £3,50 thereafter
Notes: There are also prizes for local poets

More details and submissions info HERE

The Winter Anthology

Deadline: 31st January 2020
Word Limit: Poetry or prose of any length
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $11
Notes: Entries must not have been written before 1999

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 February listings, contact [email protected] before the 31st of January.

Please note: We rarely list contests with an entry fee of over £20 (with the exception of scriptwriting and chapbook competitions) unless they also offer free entries for low income writers. 

Related Posts

No results found

Menu