Writing a novel is a long undertaking and it can take a while to reap any rewards. Entering short story and flash fiction competitions can be a good way to fill in the waiting time and earn some money, as well as boost your confidence. It also gives you something different to write if you’re weary of you current WIP (and we all go through that stage). As they say, a change is as good as a rest. As for novel comps, they’re another avenue for your book, or something to put on your CV if the prize you win isn’t publication.

Here’s a tip, which I know shouldn’t need saying but having judged competitions myself I know does need saying: always read the rules and conditions several times. I like to print up or photocopy the ‘how to enter’ page and tick off each item as I do it. That way I know I’ve done all they want of me.

It helps if you can keep accurate records of your entries, so you know which you’ve entered, when they’re meant to be announcing the winners, and so on. I’m certain I’d have got into a right mess with my submissions without my spreadsheets. I used to add the competition entries to the sheet for my magazine subs, but I soon realised it was more useful to create a new spreadsheet especially for the comps. These are in date order. I also keep a paper system. This is an exercise book set out by story, which allows me to see exactly where each of them has been sent. It’s also handy when your laptop crashes and you can’t reload your spreadsheets!

 

Happy comping everyone, and let me know if you have a win.

 

Click April 2020 and May 2020 for posts detailing further competitions closing in June, July and August.

 

 

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Closing soon

 

Globe Soup Summer Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 5,000 words max

Prizes: £1,000

Closing date: 12 July 2020

Entry: £8

Details

 

 

August competitions

 

Writing Magazine Dark Tales Short Story Competition

Theme: Creepy to psychological, 1,500 – 1,700 words

Prizes: £200 / £50

Closing date: 15 August 2020

Entry: £6 / £4 subscribers

Details

 

Edinburgh International Flash Fiction Award

Theme: Open, 250 words max

Prizes: £600 / £300 / £150

Closing date: 31 August 2020

Entry: £6

Details

 

The Val Wood Prize

Theme: Feel good, 2,000 words. (No commercially published entrants)

Prizes: £100 / £50 / £20 plus a Yorkshire prize

Closing date: 31 August 2020

Entry: Free

Details

 

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Theme: Open, 2,000 words max (also poetry)

Prizes: £1,000

Closing date: 31 August 2020

Entry: £18

Details

 

 

September competitions

 

New Voices Competition (novel)

Theme: Open. One page synopsis and first page of novel required

Prizes: Start up mentoring package worth £550

Closing date: 14 September 2020

Entry: £10

Details

 

Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open, 300 words max

Prizes: £500 / 3 x £50

Closing date: 21 September 2020

Entry: £5

Details

 

Mslexia Children’s and YA Novel Competition

Theme: Completed, unpublished novel, at least 20,000 words. Submit first 5,000 words

Prizes: £5,000

Closing date: 21 September 2020

Entry: £25

Details

 

Myslexia Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 300 – 3,000 words

Prizes: £3,000 / 3 x £100

Closing date: 21 September 2020

Entry: £10

Details

 

Eco Santa Short Story Competition

Theme: Story for children making Santa an eco-warrior, 1,000 words max

Prizes: £100

Closing date: 30 September 2020

Entry: Free

Details

 

SWWJ John Walter Salver Competition 2020

Theme: ‘Women’, 1,500 words max

Prizes: £100  / £50 / £25

Closing date: 30 September 2020

Entry: £7.50 / £5 for members

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 Book for Children, Writing Magazine and The People’s Friend serial competition. She’s had stories and a serial published in magazines worldwide and three DC Thomson pocket novels. Her first historical saga, published by Hera Books, was published on 10th June. Apart from the RNA, she’s also a member of the Society for Women Writers and Journalists. Francesca runs a writing blog with RNA member Elaine Roberts called Write Minds.

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