Writing Competitions & Opportunities – July 2020

Here comes July! Oh my actual god.

Lockdown’s easing but your subbing habit’s definitely not.

We’ve put together over 70 writing competitions, calls for submission, and excellent things with deadlines in July, many of them free-to-enter and with cash and publication up for grabs.

If you need a bit of creative pep and motivation, join our #Submit2020 challenge, and for all your other writing needs, we’ve got you covered.

So browse our fine selection of listings, get writing and send your work out!

Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Line limit: 30 lines
Prizes: adult: $1,000 / 13-18: $200 / under-12: $200
Entry fee: adult: $15 / 13-8 $5 / under-12: FREE
Theme: positive visions of peace and the human spirit

More details and submission info HERE

The Binge Watching Cure

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word count: 100-25,000 words
Payment: $100
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: Science Fiction

More details and submission info HERE

Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word limit: 7,500 words
Prizes: $500
Submission fee: $15

More details and submission info HERE

Great American Fiction Contest

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word count: 1,500-5,000 words
Prizes: $1,000 plus publication/ five runners-up will receive $200 plus online publication
Entry Fee: $10

More details and submissions info HERE

Harper Collins Diverse Voices Open Inbox

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Requirements: 30,000 – 75,000 word manuscript of literature for middle-grade audience (aged 8-12) in any genre or format.
Prize: $1,000, Editorial feedback from a panel of HarperCollins editors in writing, including an edit letter and a thirty-minute phone consultation. Consideration for publication by the HarperCollins Children’s Books’ acquisitions group.
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

The Novel Award

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word count: minimum 30,000 words
Prize:  $10,000 advance plus publication
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

Of Words Anthology

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word limit: 3,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Notes: must include an election or voting process in the story.

More details and submission info HERE

Penfro Poetry Competition

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Line limit: 40 lines
Prize: 1st: £300 / 2nd: £100
Entry fee: £5
Theme: Loving the Earth

More details and submission info HERE

Pennine Ink Writers Competition

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word Limit:
500 words
Prize: £50 plus publication
Entry Fee:
£3
Notes: Image prompt on website

More details and submission info HERE

People of Colour Destroy Lovecraft

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word count: 350 – 1,500 words
Payment: 750-1,500 words: $10 / 350 – 749 words $5
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: POC characters that turn Lovecraft’s racism and monsters on his/their heads. Preference for submissions from writers of colour.

More details and submission info HERE

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Requirements: a completed half-hour to one-hour English-language television drama script
Prize: $2,500, a trip to New York City, and an invitation to the International Emmy® Awards Gala in November.
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: The competition is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30.

More details and submissions info HERE

Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word limit: short stories of up to 2,500 words, poems of up to 3 a4 pages
Prize:
mentoring and publication
Entry Fee: £1
Notes:The contest is open to writers aged 18-30

More details and submissions info HERE

Still Point Arts Quarterly

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word limit: 5,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: The secret life of objects
Notes: accepting submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, essays and poetry.

More details and submission info HERE

Thema

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word limit: fewer than 20 double-spaced a4 pages
Payment: short story: $25; poem: $10
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: The Tiny Red Suitcase
Notes: submissions from the US must be posted, email is accepted outside of the US.

More details and submission info HERE

Writer Shed Press

Deadline: 1st July 2020
Word limit: 2,500 words
Payment: $20
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: Love and sacrifice
Notes: open to essays, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry

More details and submission info HERE

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

Deadline: 3rd July 2020
Word limit: 2,000-4,000 words
Prize: £1,000 plus publication
Entry fee: £7.50
Notes: entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth.

More details and submission info HERE

Curtis Brown Write from Home Scholarship

Deadline: 5th July 2020
Requirements: first 3,000 words of a novel in progress, with a one page synopsis
Prize: one fully paid place on a Three-Month Online Novel-Writing Course
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: eligibility criteria HERE

More details and submission info HERE

Liar’s League

Deadline: 5th July 2020
Word limit: 800-2,000 words
Prize: a professional reading at a live event 
Entry fee: FREE
Theme: women & girls
Notes: both author and protagonist(s) MUST be women (or girls)

More details and submission info HERE

In Parentheses Open Submissions

Deadline: 6th July 2020
Word Limit: Prose: 1,000 words / Poetry: up to 5 pages
Entry Fee: FREE
Theme: mission and motive

More details and submissions info HERE

The HG Wells Short Story Competition

Deadline: 6th July 2020
Word Limit: 1,500 – 5,000 words
Prizes: There are two competitions: The Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition for young writers of 21 years and under, for which the prize winner receives £1,000, and a competition for the over 21s which offers The Grand Prize of £500.
Entry Fee: Over 21s: £10/Students: £5/under-21s: FREE
Theme: “Vision”

More details and submissions info HERE

Scottish Book Trust Writers Awards

Deadline: 8th July 2020
Word limit: Prose: 3,500 words / Poetry: 200 lines
Prize: £2,000, a writing retreat and career development
Entry fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

2020 Alternate Endings

Submission period: 5th – 10th July 2020
Word limit: 1,000 words (up to 3 pieces) of speculative flash fiction
Payment: $80
Submission fee:
FREE (optional donations to the Black Lives Matter movement)
Notes: looking for stories from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) writers who re-envision the future

More details and submission info HERE

Saw it Here First Productions

Deadline: 10th July 2020
Requirements: short plays of 10-15 minutes
Submission fee: FREE
Notes: looking for plays about subjects other than COVID-19

More details and submission info HERE

Write by the Sea Writing Competition

Deadline: 10th July 2020
Word Limit:
Fiction/Memoir: 3,000 words/Poetry: 40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: €500/two category winners: €250
Entry Fee:
€10 for one entry, €25 for three
Theme: “Waves”

More details and submission info HERE

The Year of the Virus Anthology

Deadline: 10th July 2020
Word limit: 7,500 words
Payment: $50 + a free copy of the anthology
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: viruses / pandemic

More details and submission info HERE

Capsule Stories

Deadline: 12th July 2020
Word limit: Fiction: 3,000 words / Poetry: up to 5 poems
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: burning up / autumn

More details and submission info HERE

Litro Magazine

Deadline: 12th July 2020
Word limit: 4,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: the macabre

More details and submission info HERE

Globe Soup Short Story Competition

Deadline:  12th July 2020
Word count: 5,000 words
Prize: £1,000
Entry fee: £8
Notes: Stories must be set in a particular country. Which country is revealed after you enter.

More details and submission info HERE

Mason Street Review

Deadline: 12th July 2020
Word limit: 4,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: Thrills! Mystery! Suspense!

More details and submission info HERE

The Other Stories

Deadline: 14th July 2020
Word count: 2,000 (or 10% either way)
Payment: $5
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: Immortality
Notes: If accepted, we’ll get our fantastic narration team to lend their voices, our editor will sprinkle some magic pixie dust on the track, and you could have your story heard by thousands of listeners each week.

More details and submission info HERE

Bellevue Literary Review BLR Prize

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Word limit: 5,000 words
Prize: $1,000
Entry fee: $20
Theme: health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body.

More details and submission info HERE

Chipper Press: Zombie Diaries

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Word count: 4,500 – 17,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: Short stories from the point of view of the zombie

More details and submission info HERE

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Word limit: 1,200 words
Prizes: 1st: £200 / 2nd: £100 / 3rd: £50
Entry fee: £5

More details and submission info HERE

John Locke Institute Essay Competition

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Prizes: 1st prize: Junior Fellowship worth £500/subject category winners £100
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Open to under-18s only. Essay questions can be found here.

More details and submission info HERE

Nowhere Spring Travel Writing Prize

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Word count: 800-5,000 words in any genre
Prize: $1,000 plus publication
Entry Fee: $15

More details and submissions info HERE

Pure Slush: Wrong Way Go Back

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Word count: 150 – 1,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: regret, u-turn, turning back, making changes

More details and submission info HERE

Rattle Poetry Prize

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Line Limit:
none
Prizes: 1st prize: $15,000/Finalists: $500 
Entry Fee:
one-year subscription to Rattle ($25)

More details and submission info HERE

This Sentence Starts the Story

Deadline: 15th July 2020
Prize: $100
Submission fee: FREE
Notes: must begin with the words “Give me twenty”. All writers will receive feedback for their submission.

More details and submission info HERE

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition

Deadline: 16th July 2020
Line Limit:
40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £1000 cash and a residential course at Ty Newydd Writing Centre plus category prizes
Entry Fee:
Adults:  £5.75 for the first poem, £3.50 for each additional poem. Children/Young People: First poem free, £1.75 for each additional poem.
Notes: categories for adults (18+), young people (12-­17 years) and also children (11 and under).

More details and submission info HERE

Michael Mullan Cancer Fund Writing Competition

Deadline: 16th July 2020
Word Limit:
Short story: 2,000 words/Flash fiction: 500 words/Poetry: 40 lines
Prizes: Short story: €200/€50 / Flash fiction: €100/€50 / Poetry: €100/€50
Entry Fee:
Short story: €15/Flash/poetry: €10
Notes: all entry fees go to the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund.

More details and submission info HERE

The Stephen Spender Prize

Deadline: 17th July 2020
Requirements: translations of any poem in any language into English – max. 60 lines plus a commentary of up to 300 words
Prize: 1st: £1,000 / 2nd: £750 / 3rd: £500
Entry fee: £8
Notes: separate categories for under-18s and adults

More details and submission info HERE

Chesil Theatre: Take Ten

Deadline: 18th July 2020
Requirements: play of no more than ten minutes
Prizes: winning ten plays to be performed at Chesil Theatre
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: The road not taken

More details and submission info HERE

Staunch Novel Prize

Deadline: 20th July 2020
Requirements:
first 5,000 words plus one-page synopsis
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes:Open to thrillers in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

More details and submission info HERE

Staunch Short Story Prize

Deadline: 20th July 2020
Word count: 500 – 3,500 words
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes:Open to short stories in the thriller genre in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

More details and submission info HERE

Staunch Flash Fiction Prize

Deadline: 20th July 2020
Word limit: 300 words
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes:Open to flash fiction in the thriller genre in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

More details and submission info HERE

Hi 20:20 Short Story Competition

Deadline: 20th July 2020
Word count: 1,000-1,500 words
Entry Fee:
£6
Notes: writing in the following genres: adventure/travel, thriller, romance, science/fantasy.

More details and submission info HERE

Lazuli Literary Group Writing Competition

Deadline: 22nd July 2020
Requirements: open to all genres, no word count
Prize: $200
Submission fee: $15

More details and submission info HERE

Tick Tock 500-word Fiction Anthology

Deadline: 23rd July 2020
Word count: exactly 500 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: time travel

More details and submission info HERE

Constellate Magazine

Deadline: 25th July 2020
Word limit: 3,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: nature

More details and submission info HERE

Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award

Deadline: 30th July 2020
Requirements: full manuscript of an original short story collection
Prize: $1,000 plus publication
Entry Fee:
$20

More details and submission info HERE

Pop-up: 10 Stories to Make a Difference

Deadline: 30th July 2020
Word limit: 750 – 3,000 words of children’s literature
Prize: £500 plus illustration and publication
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: difference
Notes: open to entrants under 26 years old

More details and submission info HERE

Amsterdam Quarterly

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 3,000 words
Entry fee: FREE
Theme: choices

More details and submission info HERE

Anthology Magazine Short Story Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 1,500 words
Prize: €300, hotel stay, trophy and subscription to Anthology Magazine
Entry fee: €15
Theme: friendship

More details and submission info HERE

Beechmore Arts Journalism Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 1,000 words
Prize: 1st: £200 plus publication 2nd: £100 plus publication
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

Beechmore Life Writing Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 1,000 words
Prize: 1st: £200 plus publication 2nd: £100 plus publication
Entry Fee:
FREE

More details and submission info HERE

Broken River Prize

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Requirements: 35-50 page poetry manuscript
Prize: £200 plus publication
Entry fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

Budapest Prose Anthology

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word count: 1,000-5,000 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: stories must be set in Budapest

More details and submission info HERE

Casa Africa Essay Prize

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word count: 15,000-20,000 words
Prize: €2,000
Entry Fee: FREE
Theme: Climate change in Africa

More details and submission info HERE

Dreich Chapbook Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Requirements: 20-poem chapbook
Prize: publication
Submission fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

Fiction Factory Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 1,000 words
Prizes: 1st: £150 / 2nd: £50 / 3rd: £25
Entry fee: £5

More details and submission info HERE

Forever Endeavour Charity Short Story Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word count: 1,000 – 3,000 words
Prizes: £100
Entry fee: £5-£10

More details and submission info HERE

Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Line limit: none
Prize: 15 winners: publication plus Arvon residential course, 85 runners-up: online publication
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: open to 11-17 year-olds

More details and submission info HERE

Hissac Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 500 words
Prize: 1st: £200 / 2nd: £75 / 3rd: £50
Entry fee: £5

More details and submission info HERE

Hissac Short Story Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 2,000 words
Prize: 1st: £200 / 2nd: £75 / 3rd: £50
Entry fee: £5

More details and submission info HERE

John McGahern Award

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Requirements: cover letter, biography and 3 x writing samples
Prize: a two-week fully resourced residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and a stipend of €1,000
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: This is an open call to early career writers of fiction resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Applicants must have had some fiction or short stories published in a recognised journal or anthology selected by an established publisher or editor.

More details and submission info HERE

Lucent Dreaming Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word count: 800 – 1,500 words
Prizes: 1st: £100 / 2nd: £50 / 3rd: £25
Entry fee: £4 / FREE for low-income writers

More details and submission info HERE

Mainstream: an Anthology of Stories from the Edges

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 2,500 words
Payment: £100 plus publication
Submission fee: FREE
Notes: please include a short statement on why you are an ‘outsider’

More details and submission info HERE

Poetry London Mentoring Scheme

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Requirements:
sample of up to three poems plus application
Prize: one year free one-to-one mentoring, plus travel bursary
Entry Fee:
FREE

More details and submission info HERE

The Robert Graves Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Line limit: 40 lines
Prizes: 1st prize: £1,000/Runners up: £100
Entry fee: £5/free for under-19s
Notes: to be awarded at Wimbledon BookFest in October

More details and submissions info HERE

Stone Crop Review

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word count: 500 – 5,000 words
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: fauna

More details and submission info HERE

Understorey Magazine

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word count: 1,500 words
Payment: $50 – $100
Submission fee: FREE
Theme: Gender & technology
Notes: open to Canadian women writers

More details and submission info HERE

Walter Swan Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Line limit: 30 lines
Prizes: 1st: £200 / 2nd: £100 / 3rd: £75
Entry fee: age 25+: £6 /  18-25: £3
Theme: ‘a kindness’

More details and submission info HERE

Wild Atlantic Words Short Story Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Word limit: 3,000 words
Prize: 1st: €500 2nd: €250
Entry Fee:
€10
Notes: Open to writers who are Irish or resident in Ireland.

More details and submission info HERE

Winchester Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Line limit: 40 lines
Prize: 1st: £1,000 2nd: £500 3rd: 250
Entry Fee:
£5 for first poem, £4 for subsequent poems
Notes: Additional prize for best Hampshire-based poet.

More details and submission info HERE

The Writers Bureau Poetry Competition

Deadline: 31st July 2020
Line limit: 40 lines
Entry fee: £5
Prize: a Writers Bureau course of your choice

More details and submission info HERE

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

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. 

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