Looking at the different prizes on offer

A happy new year to you all. Here’s a question for you all to consider at the beginning of another writing year. What are you prepared to accept as a competition 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 that have been offered in competitions I’ve seen over the last few years.

What a writer is prepared to accept for all their hard work is up to the individual, of course. 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’ and to have something on my writing CV. Some prizes of holidays or retreats are worth a fair bit of money, but many 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? Some competitions state that you’ll be disqualified if you can’t turn up for the ceremony. That’s something that needs to be checked, particularly if it’s being held in another country. If the prize is publication, is the publisher concerned one you feel you can work with?

It’s always advisable to read the small print for hidden conditions, so you don’t get any nasty surprises.

Good luck to you all in your comping endeavours in 2021.

Click December 2020 for posts detailing further competitions closing in February

 

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Closing soon

 

Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction

Theme: Crime or thriller fiction in progress, short stories of 10,000 words max or first two chapters plus synopsis of a work in progress. Writers must be from or live in the North East of England, or their work must celebrate the area.

Prizes: £2,500

Closing date: 28 February 2021

Entry: Free

Details

 

 

March Competitions

 

Bridgend Writers’ Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 1,500 – 1,800 words

Prizes: £100 / £50 / £30

Closing date: 1 March 2021

Entry: £5 for a single story and £2.50 for every entry thereafter

Details

 

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Theme: Best published and unpublished adventure novels

Prizes: Published: £10,000 / Unpublished: Advance of £15,000 and publishing deal with Bonnier Books

Closing date: 7 March 2021

Entry: Free

Details

 

Fowey Festival Short Story Competition

Theme: ‘Breaking Point’, 1,500 words max

Prizes: £200 / £100 plus publication on website

Closing date: 7 March 2021

Entry: £10

Details

 

Evesham Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 2,500 words max

Prizes: £150 / £50 / £30

Closing date: 5pm, 12 March 2021

Entry: £5

Details

 

BBC National Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 8,000 words max

Prizes: £15,000 / 4 x £600. All broadcast on Radio 4

Closing date: 9am, 15 March 2021

Entry: Free

Details

 

Eludia Award

Theme: Unpublished novel or collection of stories

Prizes: US$1,000

Closing date: 15 March 2021

Entry: US$20

Details

 

Writing Magazine New Start Short Story Competition

Theme: ‘New Start’, 1,500 – 1,700 words

Prizes: £200 / £50

Closing date: 15 March 2021

Entry: £7.50 / £5 for subscribers

Details

 

New Welsh Review Rheidol Prize for Prose with a Welsh Setting

Theme: Unpublished book, novella, short story collection or nonfiction, 5,000 – 30,000 words, Welsh themed or set in Wales

Prizes: £1,000 advance for a publishing deal

Closing date: 16 March 2021

Entry: £12

Details

 

Tulip Tree Review Wild Women Story Contest

Theme: Empowering stories with a female main character, 10,000 words max

Prizes: US$1,000

Closing date: 23 March 2021

Entry: US$20

Details

 

An Axe to Grind Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: 1,000 words max

Prizes: CAN$700 / $200 / $100

Closing date: 31 March 2021

Entry: CAN$5

Details

 

Rubery Book Award

Theme: All genres of fiction, self-published or published by independent press

Prizes: £1,500 / category winners £150 each

Closing date: 31 March 2021

Entry: £37

Details

 

 Short Fiction Journal International Short Story Prize

Theme: Open theme for main prize / themed prize ‘Wild Writing’. Both 5,000 words max

Prizes: £500 / £250 / £100 for main prize / Wild Writing prize is £500 / 3 x Wild Writing Masterclasses

Closing date: 31 March 2021

Entry: £7 in January and February / £9 in March

Details

 

 Writers Bureau Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 2,000 words max

Prizes: £300 / £200 / £100

Closing date: 31 March 2021

Entry: £5

Details

 

 

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Francesca Capaldi Burgess has been placed or shortlisted in a dozen competitions including Winchester Writers’ Conference, Retreat West, Meridian Writing, Wells Festival Book for Children, Writing Magazine and The People’s Friend serial competition. She’s had stories published in magazines worldwide and her fourth DC Thomson pocket novel, was published on 10th December. Her second historical saga, War in the Valleys, published by Hera Books, was published on November 25th. 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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