Writing Competitions & Opportunities – September 2019

September is upon us (how the everliving fuuuuu…?) – it’s a new academic year, the last quarter of 2019 (like, whuuuu?), and the perfect time to get a hold of your submissions habit and send some writing out into the world.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? You get rejected. MEH. You get accepted? YEAH!

Check out our mammoth list of 60+ writing opportunities and competitions below, pick one (or two, or 60), and get subbing. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, our very own Writers’ HQ Flash Quarterly Contest is on there, too… It’s free to enter and you could win yourself a whole year’s WHQ membership and 3 productivity-boosting writing retreats. Kablooie.

Ooh, and it’s still not too late to jump on board our #Submit2019 challenge and try to beat your personal best for submissions this year.

Why are you still reading this intro? Get to it!

Black Warrior Review 2019 Contest

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Word Limit: Fiction & non-fiction: 3,000 words / Poetry & flash fiction: up to 3 pieces
Prize: Fiction, non-fiction & poetry: $1,500 / Flash fiction $800
Entry Fee: Fiction, non-fiction & poetry: $20 (international entries $30) / Flash fiction: $8
Notes: Runner-ups in each category will also receive monetary compensation. All submissions will be considered for general publication.

More details and submissions info HERE

Coniston Prize

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Requirements: 3-6 poems
Prize: $1,000
Entry fee: $15
Notes: The Coniston Prize is an annual award that recognises an exceptional group of poems by a woman writing in English.

More details and submission info HERE

Liar’s League (London)

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Word Limit: 800-2,000 words
Prize: 
A public reading of your story + mp3 & YouTube recording + free drinks all night at the Liar’s League event (or a free book if you can’t attend)
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes:
 Theme: Toil & Trouble – witches, warlocks, wizards, wyverns, wights, wraiths and will-o-the-wisps (and other horror-themed things not beginning with W). Accepted stories will be read by a professional actor on the 8th of October 2019.

More details and submissions info HERE

PANK Big Book Contest

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Requirements: Full length manuscripts (novels and short story collections)
Prize: $1,000 + publication + a $500 publicity campaign + 25 copies
Entry fee:
FREE
Notes: Runners-up will also be considered for publication

More details and submission info HERE

The Southampton Review

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Word Limit: Fiction, non-fiction, novel extracts & flash fiction: 7,500 words / Poetry: up to 5 poems
Payment:
Fiction: $100+ / Poetry: $75 per poem
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes:
Published authors will also receive a year’s subscription to The Southampton Review

More details and submissions info HERE

Still Point Arts: Phenomenal Woman

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Word Limit: 5,000 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: ‘Phenomenal Woman

More details and submissions info HERE

Tartu City of Literature International Residency Programme

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Requirements:
A fragment of published text (in English or Estonian) + application form
Prize: 2 months’ residency in Tartu + accommodation + €600 monthly scholarship + travel compensation
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Applicants must have at least one published book, play, or screenplay, and have an interest in Estonian literature and culture

More details and submission info HERE

Hubert Butler Essay Prize

Deadline: 1st September 2019
Word Limit:
3,000 words
Prize: 1st prize: £1,000 / 2 runners-up: £500 each
Entry Fee: 
FREE
Notes: The Hubert Butler Essay Prize is looking for essays with a european dimension and is open to EU citizens only

More details and submission info HERE

Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition

Deadline: 2nd September 2019
Line Limit:
50 lines
Prizes: (in each category) First prize: £1,000 / Runner-up: £200 
Entry Fee:
£5 per poem / £4 per poem for more than 3 entries
Notes: There are two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language

More details and submission info HERE

Popshot Quarterly

Deadline: 2nd September 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: 12-40 lines / Flash fiction: 100-1,000 words / Fiction: 1,000-3,000 words
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: ‘chance

More details and submission info HERE

Portland Review 2020 Anthology: Labor

Deadline: 2nd September 2019
Word Limit: Fiction: 3,000 fiction / Poetry: 10 pages
Payment: $30
Entry fee: FREE
Notes: Theme: ‘labour

More details and submissions info HERE

Dogwood Literary Prizes

Deadline: 5th September 2019
Word Limit:
Fiction & non fiction: 22 pages / Poetry: 2-3 poems
Prizes:
$1,000 in each category
Entry Fee: $10

More details and submissions info HERE

Zoetrope Screenplay Prize

Deadline: 5th September 2019 
Requirements: 
Film scripts: 70-130 pages / 1-hour TV pilot scripts: 45-65 pages / 30-min TV scripts: 22-34 pages
Prize: 
$5,000
Entry Fee: $50
Notes: Francis Ford Coppola will select a grand prize–winner from among the top ten finalists. The scripts of all top ten finalists are sent by Zoetrope to leading production companies and talent agencies for consideration.

More details and submissions info HERE

Great Eighty Challenge (RECURRING)

Deadline: 9th & 23rd September 2019
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

Nan Shepherd Prize For Nature Writing

Deadline: 10th September 2019
Requirements: 10,000 words/sample chapters + synopsis + bio
Prize: £10,000 editorial mentorship + a book deal with Canongate + option for literary representation
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: The Nan Shepherd prize is looking for emerging writers from under-represented backgrounds

More details and submissions info HERE

The Ginko Prize For Ecopoetry

Deadline: 15th September 2019
Line Limit: 54 lines, up to 10 poems
Prizes: 1st prize: £5,000 / 2nd prize: £2,000 / 3rd prize: £1,000 
Entry Fee: £7 for first entry, £4 thereafter
Notes: There is an additional prize on the theme of ‘environmental defenders’ with a prize fund of £500

More details and submissions info HERE

National Poetry Day

Deadline: 15th September 2019
Line Limit:
40 lines
Prizes: £30’s worth of book prizes will be awarded to the top three poets
Entry Fee:
£3 for 1 / £7 for 3 / £10 for 5
Notes: Optional theme: ‘truth‘. The top 20 poems will be published in an anthology.

More details and submission info HERE

Palm Sized Prompts (RECURRING)

Deadline: 15th September 2019
Word Limit:
500 words
Prize: $300
Entry Fee:
FREE
Notes: Entries should be inspired by the monthly prompt and emailed to palmsizedprompts @ gmail.com

More details and submission info HERE

Scotland Writing Residency

Deadline: 15th September 2019
Requirements:
20 pages of fiction/creative non-fiction/playwriting or 10 pages of poetry + CV + references
Prize: A week’s retreat in the Scottish highlands + $500
Payment: $22
Notes: Open internationally to applicants writing in English

More details and submission info HERE

David Higham Open Day for Under-Represented Writers

Deadline: 16th September 2019
Requirements:
The first 3 chapters of a book + synopsis + application form
Prize: Ten winners will receive a place on the open day (30th January 2020) to meet with industry professionals + tailored feedback + a bursary for travel expenses is also available
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: David Higham welcomes applications from any writer living in the UK from an under-represented background, including LGBTQ+ writers, writers from working-class backgrounds, writers from ethnic, cultural and religious minorities and writers with disabilities. Writers must be un-agented.

More details and submissions info HERE

Mslexia Poetry & Pamphlet Competitions

Deadline: 16th September 2019
Requirements: Poetry prize: 3 poems / Pamphlet prize: up to 24 pages of poetry (up to 20 poems)
Prizes: Poetry prize: £2000 + mentoring + a writing retreat / Pamphlet prize: £250 + publication
Entry Fee: Poetry prize: £10 for 3 poems / Pamphlet prize: £20
Notes: Mslexia competitions are open to writers who identify as women

More details and submissions info HERE

Writers Online Dark Tales Competition

Deadline: 15th August 2019
Word Limit:
1,500-1,700 words
Prize: 1st prize: £200 / 2nd prize: £50
Entry Fee: £6 (non-subscribers) / £4 (subscribers)
Notes: This contest invites fiction with an edge. It could be spooky or chilling, or just dealing with the darker side of human psychology.

More details and submission info HERE

Dodging The Rain

Deadline: 18th September 2019
Word Limit: 3,500 of fiction, poetry or drama
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

free writing courses

Granada Writers In Residence Programme

Deadline: 20th September 2019
Requirements: 1,500-3,000 word extract + synopsis + letters of recommendation
Prize: A month’s stay for two writers in Granada + accommodation
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: During the residency, writers must undertake a text (fiction or non fiction) of at least 8000 words and participate in local literary activities. Applicaants must have published at least one book (and no more than five).

More details and submissions info HERE

Hammond House International Writing Competition

Deadline: 20th September 2019
Word Limit:
Poetry: 40 lines / Fiction: 2,000-5,000 words / Screenplays: 10 mins
Prizes: Poetry: £100 / Fiction: £500 / Screenplay: £100
Entry Fee: £10 (£5 or members)
Notes: Theme ‘leaving

More details and submissions info HERE

Manchester Fiction Prize

Deadline: 20th September 2019
Word Limit: 2,500 words
Prize: £10,000
Entry Fee: £17.50

More details and submissions info HERE

Southam Book Festival Flash Fiction & Poetry Competition

Deadline: 21st September 2019
Word Limit: 100 words
Prize: £50
Entry Fee: £2 or 1 entry / £8 for 6
Notes: Entries must contain the words ‘water dripped’

More details and submissions info HERE

The Val Wood Prize: Love Letters

Deadline: 21st September 2019
Word Limit: 1,500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £100 / 2nd prize: £50 / 2x runners-up: £25
Entry fee: FREE

More details and submission info HERE

Stroud Book Festival Competition

Deadline: 22nd September 2019
Word Limit: Poetry: 40 lines / Flash fiction: 500 words / Mainstream fiction: 3,000 extract + 200 word synopsis
Prizes: Poetry & flash fiction: 1st prize: £500, 2nd prize: £250, 3rd prize: £100 /  Mainstream fiction: 1st prize: £100 + writing retreat, 2nd prize: £75, 3rd prize: £50
Entry Fee: £5
Notes: The mainstream fiction prize is only open to Gloucestershire writers

More details and submissions info HERE

Allingham Festival Flash Fiction & Poetry Competition

Deadline: 26th September 2019
Word Limit: Flash fiction: 700 words / Poetry: 40 lines
Prizes: €300 in each category
Entry fee: €5

More details and submission info HERE

Grindstone International Novel Prize

Deadline: 28th September 2019
Requirements:
A 3,000 word novel extract + synopsis
Prizes: 1st prize: £1000 + publication / Runner-up: £100
Entry Fee: £22

More details and submissions info HERE

Ninevoices Short Story Competition

Deadline: 28th September 2019
Word Limit: 1,200-1,500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £250 / 2nd prize: £50
Entry Fee: £5
Notes: Theme: ‘summer

More details and submissions info HERE

Retreat West Themed Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: 29th September 2019
Word Limit:
500 words
Prize: 1st prize: £200 / 2x runners-up: £100
Entry Fee: £8
Notes: Theme: ‘water

More details and submissions info HERE

Boulevard Non Fiction Contest For Emerging Writers

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Count:
8,000 words
Prize: €1,000
Entry Fee: €16
Notes: The Boulevard Prize is open to writers who have not yet published a full length book 

More details and submissions info HERE

Caterpillar Story Prize

Deadline: 31st August 2019
Word Count:
1,500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: €1,000 / 2nd prize: a writing retreat
Entry Fee: €12
Notes: The Caterpillar Story Prize is open to children’s writers

More details and submissions info HERE

Dzanc Books Prize

Deadline: 31st August 2019
Word Limit:
Novels: 40,000+ word manuscripts + synopsis / Short story collections of any length / Novellas: 18,000-40,000 words
Prizes: Novel: $5,000 + publication / Short story collection: $2,500 + publication / Novella: $1,500 + publication
Entry Fee:
$25

More details and submissions info HERE

The First Page Challenge

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Requirements:
The first page of a work-in-progress
Prize: $200
Entry Fee: $5
Notes: The prize fund will increase with additional entries

More details and submissions info HERE

Flash 500 Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit:
500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £300 / 2nd prize: £200 / 3rd prize: £100
Entry Fee: £5 (or £8 for 2 entries)
Notes: Optional critique for an additional £10

More details and submissions info HERE

The Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit:
6,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: £2,000 / Runners-up: £150 / Longlist: £50 in book vouchers
Entry fee: £10 

More details and submissions info HERE

The Henshaw Short Story Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 2,000 words
Prize: 1st prize: £200 / 2nd: £75 / 3rd: £25
Entry Fee: £6 (£12 with critique)

More details and submissions info HERE

Lascaux Prize In Creative Non Fiction

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit:
10,000 words
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $15

More details and submissions info HERE

Literal Latte Essay Award

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 10,000 words
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $10 for first entry, $5 thereafter

More details and submissions info HERE

The Literary Nest

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Requirements: 5 poems or 1 story
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Morton Marr Poetry Prize

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Requirements:
Up to 6 poems in a traditional style
Prize: $1,000
Entry Fee: $5

More details and submissions info HERE

Mslexia Fiction Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit:
Flash fiction: 300 words / Adult novels: the first 5,000 words / Short stories: 300-3,000 words
Prizes:
Flash fiction: £500 / Novel: £5,000 / Short story: £3,000
Entry Fee: Flash fiction: £5 / Adult novels: £25 / Short stories: £10
Notes: Additional finalist prizes and optional extra prizes also available. Mslexia competitions are open to writers who identify as women.

More details and submissions info HERE

New Criterion Poetry Prize

Deadline: 31st August 2019
Requirements: 60 page poetry collections
Prize: $3,000
Entry Fee: $25
Notes: The Criterion Prize is looking for poetry collections that pay attention to form

More details and submissions info HERE

Ogham Tree Poetry Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit:
60 words
Prizes:
1st prize: £200, 2nd prize: £100, 3rd prize: £50
Entry Fee: £4 for 1 / £10 for 4 / £24 for 12
Notes: Entries must be based on one of 12 Ogham characters

More details and submissions info HERE

Red Hen Press Fiction Award

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Requirements: Manuscripts of up to 150 pages (short story collections or novels)
Prize: $1,000 + publication
Entry Fee: $25

More details and submissions info HERE

Sandy Run Novella Prize

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: Novellas of 17,500-40,000 words
Prize: $1,000 + publication
Entry Fee: $22

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition

Deadline: 30th September* (early deadline) 2019
Word Limit: 20,000 word extract of a ‘cinematic’ book (up to 150,000 words)
Prizes: 1st prize: $1,000 / 2nd prize: $500
Entry Fee: $59
Notes: *Final deadline extends to 30th Nov with increased fees. Winners and runners up will also be introduced to industry professionals

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition

Deadline: 30th September* (early deadline) 2019
Word Limit: 20,000 words
Prizes: 1st prize: $1,000 / 2nd prize: $500
Entry Fee: $39
Notes: *Final deadline extends to 30th Nov with increased fees. Winners and runners up will also be introduced to industry professionals

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Pilot Launch Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Requirements: Comedy pilots: 40-60 pages / Drama pilots: 75 pages
Prizes: Comedy/drama: $1,000 / Web series: $500
Entry Fee: $59
Notes: Winners and runners up will also be introduced to industry professionals

More details and submissions info HERE

ScreenCraft Stageplay Competition

Deadline: 30th September* (early deadline) 2019
Requirements: Stage plays of 15-120 pages
Prize: 1st prize: $1,000 + optional travel to LA to produce your play / 2nd prize: $500 + introductions to industry professionals
Entry Fee: $39
Notes: *Final deadline extends to 30th Nov with increased fees

More details and submissions info HERE

Pure Slush: The Shitlist

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 200-1,500 words
Entry Fee: FREE
Notes: Stories must contribute towards a collection of stories set in and around the town of Quonsettville, Vermont, set off by a particular event…

More details and submissions info HERE

The Short Story Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 1,000-5,000 words
Prize: 1st prize: £500 / 2nd prize: £100
Entry Fee: £8

More details and submissions info HERE

Soundwork Monologue Competition

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Requirements: Monologues of up to 10 minutes
Prize: The winning monologue will be recorded by a professional actor and published on Soundcloud
Entry Fee: FREE

More details and submissions info HERE

Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 25-30 pages of poetry
Prize: $500 + publication + a week’s writing retreat
Entry Fee: $12
Notes: The prize is open to black poets

More details and submissions info HERE

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Line Limit: 250 lines
Prizes: $2,000 (in each category)
Entry Fee: $12
Notes: There are two categories: free style & rhyming or traditional style

More details and submissions info HERE

Txtlit (RECURRING)

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 160 characters
Entry Fee: Submissions are made by text message. You will be charged for one standard text by your network operator.
Notes: Themed (check website for details) – send your story as a text message from a UK mobile phone to our new number 07537 432 432.

More details and submissions info HERE

Writers’ HQ Flash Quarterly Contest

Deadline: 30th September 2019
Word Limit: 500 words
Prizes: 1st prize: 12 months’ WHQ membership + 3 writing retreats / 2nd prize: 6 months’ WHQ membership + 3 writing retreats / 3rd prize: 3 months’ WHQ membership + 3 writing retreats
Entry Fee: FREE (but donations to our sponsor a writer programme are very welcome!)
Notes: Shortlisted and winning entries will be published on the WHQ site and in a 2020 anthology

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

If you have a writing competition or opportunity to add to our October listings, contact [email protected] before the 13th of September. Please note: We rarely list contests with an entry fee of over £20/$25 (with the exception of scriptwriting competitions). 

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