Romantic Novelists' Association

June 2019: Competition Monthly

17 June 2019

Publication without payment?

The list of competitions seems rather a sparse month this time round, but for good reason. Four of the competitions I found declared they had the right to publish any entries, whether the writer won a prize or not. It’s another reason to check the rules thoroughly.

There could be said to be some advantage to being published in a magazine or anthology as a short/long lister, with no recompense. If the competition is high profile, or it’s an opportunity to get your name ‘out there’, you might think it’s worth it. I did this a couple of times myself in the early days. However, once your story is out there in the public domain, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to publish it elsewhere and therefore never make a penny from your hard work. This is particularly galling if someone else has made money from your efforts.

It’s worth weighing up the pros and cons and do what suits you. As I’ve mentioned before, I always err on the side of caution and will never include such competitions on this blog.


Click April 2019 and May 2019 to check competitions detailed in past blog posts that are still open.


Good luck everyone, and let us know of any competition success




August Competitions


Writing Magazine Dark Tales Competition

Theme: Spooky / Chilling. 1,500 – 1,700 words

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

Closing date:  15 August 2019

Entry: £4 subscribers / £4 non




September Competitions


SiWC Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 2,500 – 5,000 words

Prize: $1,000 / $150. Both plus publication.

Closing date:  20 September 2019

Entry: $15



Val Wood Prize

Theme: Love Letters. 1,500 words max. (Only writers not commercially published)

Prize: £100 / £50 / 2 x £25

Closing date:  30 September 2019

Entry: Free



The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize

Theme: Children’s story, 1,500 words max

Prize: €1,000 / week long stay at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland

Closing date:  30 September

Entry: €12



Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Open. 300 words max

Prize: £500 / 3 x £50 plus publication for all four

Closing date:  30 September 2019

Entry: £5



Mslexia Short Story Competition

Theme: Open. 300 – 3,000

Prize: £3,000 / 3 x £100 plus publication for all four

Closing date:  30 September 2019

Entry: £10



Myslexia Adult Novel Competition

Theme: First 5,000 words of a completed, unpublished novel, adult or YA, at least 50,000 words.

Prize: £5,000 plus option of representation with an agent / 4 x manuscript feedback and introduction to agents and editors.

Closing date:  30 September 2019

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. Her first book, Danger for Daisy, was published by My Weekly Pocket Novels at the end of 2018. Apart from the RNA, she’s also a member of the Society for Women Writers and Journalists. Francesca runs a writing blog along with RNA member Elaine Roberts called Write Minds.