A bumper crop of competitions for the autumn

Whichever competitions you’re entering, it’s worth having a look at the winning entries from previous years, which are often featured on the websites. Sometimes you can purchase anthologies with the winning entries. With novel prizes, you can investigate what kind of books have won. They’ll give you a feel for what kind of entry is favoured, whether it’s literary, general, light, funny, quirky, dark and whether they prefer happy endings or are okay with ambiguous or non-happy endings. It’s also worth having a look at what genres the judges write in (if they are writers, of course).

Amongst the bumper number of competitions this month are three which cost nothing to enter. It’s worth taking a look at them and having a go, especially if you’re new to writing contests.

Good luck to you all in your competition endeavours.

 

Click August 2020 for posts detailing further competitions closing in October.

 

 

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Rolling Competitions

 

Writers’ Forum Short Story Contest

Theme: Open, 1,000 – 3,000 words

Prizes: £300 / £150 / £100

Closing date: ongoing

Entry: £6 / £3 for subscribers

Details

 

 

Ongoing competitions

 

Retreat West Monthly Micro Fiction Competition

Theme: New prompt on first Monday of each month, 100 words exactly

Prizes: 30% of entry fees and publication / 20% of entry fees and publication / free entry to the next month’s competition. Winner is decided by a vote

Closing date: Around one week after the prompt is posted.

Entry: £4

Details

 

 

Closing soon

 

Grindstone 2020 International Novel Prize

Theme: Any genre, YA or older, opening 3,000 words for finished or part completed novel

Prizes: £1,000 / £500 / 4 x £100

Closing date: 28 September 2020

Entry: £20

Details

 

 

October Competitions

 

Bath Flash Fiction Award

Theme: Open, 300 words max

Prizes: £1,000 / £300 / £100 / 2 x £30

Closing date: 11 October 2020 (plus two other dates in the year)

Entry: £9

Details

 

Writing Magazine Dystopian Short Story Competition

Theme: Explore the idea of ‘what if’ to create future or aternative worlds, 1,500 – 1,700 words

Prizes: £200 / £50

Closing date: 15 October 2020

Entry: £6 / £4 subscribers

Details

 

Retreat West Short Story Prize

Theme: Open, 1,500 – 3,000 words

Prizes: £400 / £250 / £150 / £20 shortlisted

Closing date: 25 October 2020

Entry: £10

Details

 

Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize

Theme: Open, 500 words max

Prizes: £350 / £200 / £100 / £15 shortlisted

Closing date: 25 October 2020

Entry: £8

Details

 

Bedford International Writing Competition

Theme: Short stories, open theme, up to 3,000 words (Plus poetry and other comps)

Prizes: £500 / £150 / £100

Closing date: 31 October 2020

Entry: £6

Details

 

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 1,500 max

Prizes: £150 / £75 / £30

Closing date: 31 October (and quarterly)

Entry: £5 (discount for further entries)

Details

 

Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competition

Theme: Opening chapter 3,000 words max plus one page synopsis, for published, self-published and unpublished authors

Prizes: £500 / £200

Closing date: 31 October 2020

Entry:  £10 (discount for further entries)

Details

 

The McKitterick Prize

Theme: A first novel, unpublished or published between 1 January and 31 October 2020, by an author 40 or over on 31 October

Prizes: £4,000 / £1,000

Closing date: 31 October 2020

Entry: Free

Details

 

Overcome Writing Competition

Theme: ‘Overcoming’, 2,000 words max.

Prizes: £500 plus 2nd prize to be announced

Closing date: 31 October 2020, 11pm

Entry: £5

Details

 

ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Theme: Short story, 5,000 words max, by writers who’ve had at least one story accepted for publication

Prizes: £1,000

Closing date: 31 October 2020

Entry: Free

Details

 

Southport Writers’ Circle Open Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 2,000 words max

Prizes: £150 / £80 / £30

Closing date: 31 October 2020

Entry: £3 / £10 for 4

Details

 

 

 November Competitions

 

Craft Flash Fiction Contest

Theme: 1,000 words max

Prizes: $1,000 / 4 x $150

Closing date: 1 November 2020

Entry: $20 for up to 2 entries

Details

 

The Caledonia Novel Award

Theme: Open, YA or adult novel at least 50,000 in length, published or unpublished author

Prizes: £1,500

Closing date: 1 November 2020

Entry: £25

Details

 

The 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Theme: Open, 2,000 – 5,000 words, by writers from the Commonwealth. Stories in other stated languages also accepted

Prizes: £5,000 for overall winner, £2,500 for a winner from each region.

Closing date: 1 November 2020

Entry: Free

Details

 

Writing Magazine 500-Word Short Story Competition

Theme: Open theme

Prizes: £200 / £50

Closing date: 15 November 2020

Entry: £6 / £4 subscribers

Details

 

London Independent Story Prize

Theme: Open: short stories 1,500 words max; flash fiction 300 words max

Prizes: £100 for each category

Closing date: Different priced deadlines, up to 29 November 2020

Entry: Flash fiction £6 – £9.50 and short story £10 – £15.50, depending on date of entry

Details

 

Retreat West Novelette-in-Flash Prize

Theme: Short novel, 3,000 – 8,000 words, made up of 500 word flash fiction chapters

Prizes: £150 / £100 / £50,  plus publication of all three in a collection

Closing date: 29 November 2020

Entry: £14

Details

 

Cranked Anvil Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open, 500 words max

Prizes: £100 / £25, plus publication

Closing date: 30 November 2020 (and quarterly)

Entry: £3 / £5 for 2

Details

 

The Bath Children’s Novel Award

Theme: Children’s or YA novel by unpublished or independently published authors

Prizes: £3,000, plus other prizes for runners up

Closing date: 29 November 2020

Entry: £28

Details

 

Aeon Award

Theme: Speculative fiction, 10,000 words max

Prizes: €1,000 / €200 / €100

Closing date: 30 November 2020

Entry: €8.50

Details

 

Hastings Writers Room First 1,000 Words Novel Competition

Theme: First 1,000 words of a psychological, crime or gothic horror novel

Prizes: £100 / £50

Closing date: 30 November 2020

Entry: £7

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 and a serial published in magazines worldwide and her fourth DC Thomson pocket novel is due out in December. Her first historical saga, published by Hera Books, is called Heartbreak in the Valleys. 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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