Romantic Novelists' Association

January’s Competition Monthly

22 January 2018

A new year, a new start. Francesca hopes you’ll find something familiar, or even better, something outside your comfort zone in this latest selection of competitions. 

When I first attended Adult Education creative writing classes I’d written several short stories and poems, but not a lot else. Our tutor (author Elaine Everest), encouraged us to try our hand at all sorts of different writing. We had a go at scripts, several forms of poetry, articles, flash fiction, tips and fillers, leaflets, non-fiction books, novels and a few more things besides.

One of the most valuable aspects of these classes was that we were also encouraged to submit to all sorts of markets. Between us, we’ve ended up with a whole heap of different
genres and types of writing published in different arenas. This success is largely due to us being pushed to write and submit outside of our comfort zone. Today, now running her own classes, Elaine still encourages us to try new things, giving us challenges that we might not normally tackle.

It’s a new year, so why not try a competition outside of your comfort zone? Or dig out work you’ve abandoned in order to write something else. The selection this month includes short stories, novels for adults and children, script writing, poetry, flash fiction and two humour competitions. Perhaps you fancy yourself as a Ben Elton or Carla Lane? Perhaps the new Mike Leigh? Have a go and see what new doors you can open.

Good luck to you all, and don’t forget to let us know of any successes you have.




Kelpies Prize 2018

Theme: Children’s novel set in Scotland for either 8-10 or 12-15 year olds.

Prize: Winning author, £2,000

Closing date: 28 February 2018

Entry: Free



Bridgend Writers’ Circle Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 1,500 – 1,800 words

Prize: £200 / £50 / £30

Closing date: 1st March 2018

Entry: £5 / £7.50 for 2



The International Windsor Fringe Award for New Drama Writing

Theme: Plays of 30 minutes max, 6 actors max. Only amateur playwrights.

Prize: 3 winners selected for stage performance.

Closing date: 5 March 2018

Entry: £10



Brittle Star Short Story Fiction Competition (also poetry)

Theme: Open, 2,000 words max.

Prize: £250 per genre / £50 pg / £25 pg

Closing date: 14 March 2018

Entry: £5 / £3.50 each subsequent



Writing Magazine Humour Short Story Competition

Theme: Humorous short story, 1,500 – 1,700 words.

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

Closing date: 15 March 2018

Entry: £5 / £3 for subscriberss



Edge Hill Short Story Prize

Theme: Single author collection of short stories, published between 1st Jan & 31 Dec 2017 (not self published)

Prize: £10,000 / £1,000 reader’s choice.

Closing date: 23 March 2018

Entry: Free



Retreat West Flash Fiction

Theme: ‘Forgetting’.
500 words max. No children’s stories

Prize: £200 / 2 x £75

Closing date: 25 March 2018

Entry: £8



The International Rubery Book Award

Theme: For international and self published books.

Prize: £1,500 plus read by top literary agent. Catergory winners £150 each. No publication
date restriction. All genres.

Closing date: 31 March 2018

Entry: £36



Twisted Mysteries Writing Competition

Theme: Read the brief, but basically what lies beneath the surface in 1933.

Prize: £100 / £50 / £25 plus all winners published in an eBook anthology.

Closing date: 30 March 2018

Entry: £5



Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award

Theme: Open. Max 1,500 words. Unpublished writers only (novel and short story)

Prize: £1,000 / 2 x 100 / Scottish prize £500

Closing date: 31 March 2018

Entry: £10



Writers Bureau Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 2,000 words max.

Prize: £300 / £200 / £100 / £50 plus a WB course for all winners

Closing date: 31 March 2018

Entry: £5



Writers’ Forum Fiction Competition (also poetry)

Theme: Open. 1,000 – 3,000 words

Prize: £300 / £150 / £100

Closing date: Rolling.

Entry: £6 / £3 for subscribers


(Writers’ Forum also have a flash fiction competition each month, but the duration for
each is short and you’ll need to look for the current theme)


Bristol Poetry Prize

Theme: Open. Up to 100 lines.

Prize: £600 / £300 / £100

Closing date: 31 March 2008

Entry: £6

Details  (scroll down)


Wergel Flump Humor Poetry Contest

Theme: Humorous poem up to 250 lines

Prize: £1,000 / £250 / 10 x £100

Closing date: 1st April 2018

Entry: Free


Looking Ahead

First Novel Prize

Theme: Novels over 50,000 words

Prize: £1,000 / £250 / £100

Closing date: Open February 1st – 31 May 2018

Entry: £25





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,, 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 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.