Francesca looks at more competition rules and why it’s important to follow them

To reiterate what I wrote last month, it’s amazing how often competition rules are ignored. Is it because people don’t bother to read them properly or they think it doesn’t matter? Either way, a competition entry will fall at the first hurdle if the rules haven’t been followed. (Last month’s post, the first part on rules, can be found here.)

One rule that’s found on 99% of competitions is the word count. If the competition stipulates a minimum and/or maximum (more often the latter), then make sure your entry complies. A few contests will give a 10% leeway, but if it’s not mentioned, don’t do it. Be careful, particularly with flash fiction, to check whether the word count includes the title. It usually doesn’t, but very occasionally it does.

The most common format requested is Word document, either .doc or .docx. Other common ones are Rich Text Format (.rtf) and PDF. This will sometimes depend on whether you send it as an email, or as part of a form. Fonts and sizes aren’t always specified, but nevertheless keep to legible ones, for instance, Ariel or Times New Roman. Using something fancy like ARHerman, or overly bold like Impact, won’t make for easy reading for the poor judge. Although it’s less common, check whether a particular line spacing or margin width is favoured.

The final part on rules next month. In the meantime, happy comping!

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Closing Soon

Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition

Theme: “The Looking Glass”. 2,500 words

Prize: Two night stay and three course dinner for two at Amberley Castle, plus publication in Harper’s Bazaar.

Closing date: 9 April 2018

Entry: Free

Details

 

Winchester Writing Festival Memoir Competition

Theme: Memoirs up to 1,000 words

Prize: A place at the Writers’ and Artists’ ‘How to hook an agent’ lunch, worth £175.

Closing date: 11 April 2018

Entry: £6

Details

 

Winchester Writing Festival Children’s Picture Books Competition

Theme: For readers aged 3 – 6, text 600 words max, prose or verse.

Prize: Editorial meeting with Little Tiger publishing to discuss submission / 2nd & 3rd – constructive feedback.

Closing date: 11 April 2018

Entry: £6

Details

 

Winchester Writing Festival First Three Pages of a Novel Competition

Theme: First three pages of novel plus 600 word synopsis

Prize: Editorial meeting with Little, Brown to discuss submission

Closing date: 11 April

Entry: £6

Details

 

Limnisa Short Story Competition

Theme: “Plastic”, 500 – 1,500 words.

Prize: One week writing retreat in Greece

Closing date: 15 April 2018

Entry: Free – just need to ‘like’ and share on Facebook or Twitter.

Details

 

May Competitions

Writing Magazine Other Worlds Competition

Theme: SciFi, fantasy, horror or paranormal, 1,500 – 1,700 words

Prize: £200 plus publication in magazine / £50 plus publication online

Closing date: 15 May 2018

Entry: £6 / £4 for subscribers

Details

 

First Novel Prize

Theme: Any adult genre over 50,000 words

Prize: £1,000 / £250 / £100

Closing date: 31 May 2018

Entry: £25

Details

 

The Fiction Desk Newcomer Prize

Theme: Open, 1,000 – 7,000 words. Must not have had a novel or story collection published, or have been published by Fiction Desk

Prize: £500 / £250

Closing date: 31 May 2018

Entry: £8

Details

 

Frome Festival Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 1,000 – 2,200 words

Prize: £400 / £200 / £100

Closing date: 31 May 2018

Entry: £8

Details

 

Bridport Prize Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 5,000 words max (not children’s)

Prize: £5,000 / £1,000 / £500 / 10 x £100

Closing date: 31 May 2018

Entry: £10

Details

 

Bridport Prize Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open, 250 words max

Prize: £1,000 / £500 / £250 / 3 x £100

Closing date: 31 May 2018

Entry: £8

Details

 

Bridport Prize Novel Competition

Theme: Any adult genre or YA. 5,000 – 8,000 words from opening chapters, plus 300 word synopsis

Prize: £1,000 plus mentoring from literary consultant / £500 plus manuscript appraisal / 3 x £100 plus 50 page appraisal

Closing date: 31 May 2018

Entry: £20

Details

 

Looking Ahead

Christopher Fielden’s Annual Humour Short Story Competition

Theme: Any genre but must be humorous

Prize: £1,000 / £500 / £250 / 3 x £50 / 14 x £25 plus all published in an anthology

Closing date: 31 July 2018

Entry: £9 early bird fee till 30 April. After 1 May, £11. (Cheaper for more entries)

Details

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Francesca Capaldi Burgess has been placed or shortlisted in a number of competitions including Winchester Writers’ Conference, Twyford Writers, Chorley & District Writer’s Circle, Retreat West, Cordelia.net, Meridian Writing, Flash a Famous Phrase, Wells Festival and Writing Magazine. She’s had stories and a serial published in magazines worldwide and in three anthologies, including Diamonds and Pearls and 100 Stories for Haiti  plus a few articles and even a poem. She is a member of the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and the Society for Women Writers and Journalists. Francesca runs a writing blog along with RNA member Elaine Roberts called Write Minds.    Find me on Twitter

 

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