Francesca looks at the different prizes on offer

 

A few days ago it was announced that the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction will not be awarding the annual prize to anyone this year. Apparently none of the books submitted made the judges laugh out loud. A little sad for all the authors who submitted their already published novels, especially as they’ve presumably entered for the prestige of winning rather than the prize. This consists of a jeroboam of Bollinger Champagne and a set of PG Wodehouse novels, as well as having a local rare breed pig named after the winning novel.

So what are you prepared to accept for a prize? Money only? Books, book tokens or a chance to perform your work? A writing course/retreat or a week’s holiday? A chance to pitch to an agent? Mentoring ? Short story publication with no recompense? Membership of a literary organisation or a writing residency? A publishing contract and free copies of your book? These are all prizes I’ve come across as I’ve looked through competitions currently open.

What a writer is prepared to accept for all their hard work is up to the individual, though it’s always advisable to read the small print for hidden conditions. I personally wouldn’t be happy with having my entry published without some kind of payment, though I did in my early days as a writer in order to get my name ‘out there’. Some prizes of holidays or retreats don’t pay for your travel there, so that’s another consideration. If the competition is offering a retreat or course away, are the dates convenient for you? If the prize is publication, is the publisher concerned one you feel you can work with?

Hopefully you can find the competition and prize you’re looking for in the bumper crop below. The best of luck to everyone and don’t forget to let us know of any competition success.

 

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Closing Soon:

Bath Flash Fiction Award

Theme: Open. 300 words max

Prize: £1,000 / £300 / £100 / 2 x £30 / 50 shortlisted to be offered publication in anthology

Closing date: 10 June 2018

Entry: £9

Details

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Rest of June competitions:

Creative Future Literary Awards

Theme: “Chemistry”. 1,000 words max. Only those who are underrepresented in the literary world through disability, mental health, health or social circumstances may enter.

Prize: Selection of cash and other prizes

Closing date: 18 June 18

Entry: Free

Details

 

Eyelands International Short Story Competition

Theme: “Luggage”. 2,500 words max

Prize: Week’s holiday on Crete / First three winners in the English and Greek anthologies

Closing date: 20 June 18

Entry: €10

Details

 

Erewash Writing Competitions 2018

Theme: “Summer Gardens”. Short stories 1,500 – 2,000 words, Flash fiction 500 words max

Prize: £25 for short story winner / £10 for one flash winner

Closing date: 21 June 18

Entry: Free

Details

 

Retreat West Themed Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: “Reunions”. 500 words max

Prize: £200 / 2 x £100

Closing date: 24 June 18

Entry: £8

Details

 

Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize

Theme: Must embrace ethnic diversity. Children’s book 8+ or Young Adult. 4,000 words plus synopsis. Must previously be unpublished.

Prize: £1,000 plus mentoring and an Arvon course / £500

Closing date: 29 June 18

Entry: £10

Details

 

Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open.

Prize: £300 / £200 / £100

Closing date: 30 June 18

Entry: £7

Details

 

Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award

Theme: First Chapter of a novel up to 5,000 words, synopsis and cover letter from unrepresented and unpublished authors

Prize: £1,000 plus introduction to agent Madeleine Milburn / £250 and manuscript review from editor

Closing date: 30 June 18

Entry: £20

Details

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July Competitions:

 The Brighton Prize Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 1,000 – 2,000 words

Prize: £1,000 / 2 x £100

Closing date: 1 July 18

Entry: £8

Details

 

The Brighton Prize Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open. 350 words max

Prize: £500 / 2 x £50

Closing date: 1 July 18

Entry: £6

Details

 

Myriad Fist Drafts Competition

Theme: Submissions only from unpublished women who identify as being of African heritage or descent. 5,000 words of work in progress, synopsis and cover letter

Prize: Week’s retreat in West Dean College, Sussex and publication in an anthology with major writers such as Malorie Blackman and Zadie Smith.

Closing date: 6 July 18

Entry: £10

Details

 

Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 1,200 words max

Prize: £200 / £100 / £50

Closing date: 12 July 18

Entry: £5

Details

 

Wasafari New Writing Prize

Theme: Open. 3,000 words max

Prize: Winners published in Wasafari and will receive a cash prize

Closing date: 13 July 18

Entry: £6

Details

 

Trouble and Strife Short Story Competition

Theme: Stories of protest. 1,000 words max

Prize: £500 / £250 / £125

Closing date: 15 July 18

Entry: £5

Details

 

Staunch Book Prize

Theme: A thriller where no woman is harmed. First 5,000 words, one page synopsis

Prize: £2,000

Closing date: 15 July 18

Entry: £20

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.

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2 Comments
  1. Phillipa Ashley 5 months ago

    I’m laughing out loud at the image of stony-faced literati sitting around a table with expressions like Mary Whitehouse viewing the Vaseline moment in ‘A Very English Scandal’. It’s both hilarious and quite sad that those poor judges couldn’t find something to amuse them.

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