Entering writing competitions has many benefits, even when you’re in the middle of writing that novel.

Sometimes it can be hard to get a competition entry written when you’re up to your eyeballs in creating a novel and even holding down a day job. If you can find some time to set aside for the endeavour, it can be well worth it, particularly if you’re early on in your writing career. With closing dates in place, it’s good practice for writing to a deadline.

Whether you’re new to the fiction game or not, taking a break from the novel and creating a different kind of story can get the writing brain back in gear. They say a change is as good as a rest. Picking another genre can be a good challenge. You might even find that this helps create ideas for the Work in Progress, so you’ll go back to it refreshed and enthused.

If it’s a novel competition, it can be an opportunity to either get it published or get some help with editing.

Entering competitions is also an excellent way to make a bit of extra money, though of course you often have to invest a little cash first. From a practical point of view, being placed or even shortlisted in a competition gets your name ‘out there’, which is particularly important if you’re still making your way towards novel publication.

This month there’s a chance to win some financial help while you write that novel. There are three other novel / novella competitions, four flash fiction prizes, eight short story comps and a chance to enter both a children’s short story and a children’s or YA novel. There’s even a short play competition, if you feel inclined in that direction.

Whatever you choose to enter, good luck and have fun.

The blog team are taking a well-earned rest in August, so see you again in September.

 

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Closing Soon:

Retreat West Novel Prize

Theme: Open. First 7,500 words plus 500 word synopsis.

Prize: 1st Publishing contract and £500 advance / 2nd Full ms critique

Closing date: 19 August 2018

Entry: £15

Details

 

The Historical Writers’ Association Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Award

Theme: Historical (at least 35 years ago). 3,500 words max

Prize: £500, publication, mentoring session from an author and agent

Closing date: 31 August 2018

Entry: £5

Details

 

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September competitions:

The Billy Roche Short Play Competition

Theme: Plays up to 15 minutes in length

Prize: €300

Closing date: 1 September 2018

Entry: €10

Details

 

Adventures in Fiction New Voices Competition

Theme: Open. First page of novel plus one page synopsis

Prize: Start up mentoring package worth £550

Closing date: 14 August 2018

Entry: £10

Details

 

Manchester Fiction Prize

Theme: Open. 2,500 words max

Prize: £10,000

Closing date: 14 September 2018

Entry: £17.50

Details

 

Writing Magazine Love Story Competition

Theme: Love. 1,500 – 1,700 words

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

Closing date: 15 September 2018

Entry: £4 for subscribers / £6 non

Details

 

Mere Write in the Week Timed Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: 350 words including the phrase given on 14 September

Prize: £60 / £30 / £15

Closing date: 22 September 2018

Entry: £2 for first story, then £1

Details

 

Erewash Writers’ Group Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 2,500 words max

Prize: £100 / £70 / £30

Closing date: 27 September 2018

Entry: £3 / £5 for 2

Details

 

The Caterpillar Story Prize

Theme: For children aged 7 to 11, any subject. 1,500 words max

Prize: €1,000 plus publication

Closing date: 30 September 2018

Entry: €12

Details

 

Chorley & District Writers’ Circle Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 2,500 words max

Prize: £100 / £50 / £30

Closing date: 30 September 2018

Entry: £5

Details

 

Retreat West Themed Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: “Protest”. 500 words max

Prize: £200 / 2 x £100

Closing date: 30 September 2018

Entry: £8

Details

 

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October competitions:

Colm Tóibín Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 1,800 – 2,000 words

Prize: €1000 / €500 / €300

Closing date: 1 October 2018

Entry: €10

Details

 

Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open. 300 words max

Prize: £500 / 3 x £50

Closing date: 1 October 2018

Entry: £5

Details

 

Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition

Theme: First 5,000 words of a children’s or YA novel that has at least 15,000 words.

Prize: £5,000 / 4 x manuscript feedback

Closing date: 1 October 2018

Entry: £25

Details

 

Mslexia Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 300 – 3,000 words

Prize: £5,000 / 3 x £100

Closing date: 1 October 2018

Entry: £10

Details

 

Mslexia Novella Competition

Theme: First 5,000 words of an unpublished fiction for adults or YA, between 10,000 and 40,000 words

Prize: £1,000 plus the opportunity to have it published

Closing date: 1 October 2018

Entry: £15

Details

 

Retreat West Short Story Prize

Theme: Open. 1,500 – 5,000 words

Prize: £400 / £250 / £150 / £20

Closing date: 28 October 2018

Entry: £10

Details

 

A Story for Daniel Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Joyful, hopeful or uplifting theme, 500 words max

Prize: £100 plus publication / runner up prizes

Closing date: 31 October

Entry: Free, but entrants might like to make a donation to one of the suggested charities

Details

 

Kimberley Chambers Kickstart Prize

Theme: For someone in need of finance to complete their novel. First three chapters of a novel plus synopsis 500 words max

Prize: £1,000 to help with essentials, time with an editor and an offer of representation from an agent

Closing date: 31 October 2018

Entry: Free

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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