Romantic Novelists' Association

October 2019: Competition Monthly

14 October 2019

Francesca looks at point of view in short story entries

It’s easy to accidentally switch point of view in the middle of a scene when using third person. This was something I made a note of when judging a short story competition several years ago. Also known as head hopping, it can confuse the reader. If that reader happens to be the competition judge, they may simply give up on the story. When using more than one point of view (and in a short story there generally aren’t any more than two), it’s better to change them from scene to scene, not every few lines. And if the story is from the point of view of ‘Jane’, then we can’t possibly know what ‘John’ is thinking (unless Jane is a mind reader in a fantasy, of course!). Beware of using an omniscient (all knowing) viewpoint, which has to be done consistently and needs great skill, but is also a little old fashioned nowadays.

Good luck in your endeavours. Do let me know of any successes via Twitter or Facebook (below).

Click August 2019 and September 2019 for posts detailing further competitions closing in November and December.






Rolling/Frequent Competitions


Writers’ Forum Short Story Contest

Theme: Open, 1,000 – 3,000

Prize: £300 / £150 / £100

Closing date: Rolling

Entry: £6 / £3 subscribers




November Competitions


Writing Magazine 500 word Flash Competition

Theme: Open

Prize: £200 / £50

Closing date:  15 November 2019

Entry: £6 / £4 subscribers




December Competitions


Writing Magazine Epistolary Short Story Competition

Theme: Using different documentary methods to tell a story, 1,500 – 1,700 words

Prize: £200 / £50

Closing date: 15 December 2019

Entry: £6 / £4




January 2020 Competitions


James Knudsen Prize for Fiction

Theme: Open, 7,500 words max

Prize: $1,000

Closing date: 1 January 2020

Entry: $20



St Martin’s Minotaur / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel

Theme: Unpublished novelists (or self published if novel already published isn’t entered), novels no less than 66,000 words

Prize: Publication and advance of $10,000

Closing date:  3 January 2020

Entry: Free



Bath Novella-in-Flash Award

Theme: Novella in a series of flash fictions, 6,000 – 18,000 words in total

Prize: £300 / 2 x £100

Closing date: January 12 2020

Entry: £16



The Mogford Food and Drink Short Story Prize

Theme: Food and drink, 2,500 words max

Prize: £10,000 / 3 x £250

Closing date:  13 January 2020

Entry: £10



The Breakwater Fiction Contest

Theme: Open, 1,000 – 1,500 words

Prize: $1,000

Closing date: 15 January 2020

Entry: $10



Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Theme: Open, 1,500 words max

Prize: £150 / £75 / £30

Closing date:  31 January 2020

Entry: £5



Retreat West First Chapter Competition

Theme: First chapter of a novel up to 3,500 words

Prize: Submission package review and feedback from agent Carrie Plitt / Submission package and review from Amanda Saint, editor at Retreat West Books

Closing date:  26 January 2020

Entry: £10



Cúirt New Writing Prize

Theme: Short fiction, 2,000 words max (also poetry)

Prize: €500

Closing date: 31 January 2020, 5pm

Entry: €10



Lancashire Authors Association Open Flash Fiction Competition

Theme: Exactly 100 words

Prize: £150

Closing date: 31 January 2020

Entry: £2







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, Writing Magazine and The People’s Friend serial competition. She’s had stories and a serial published in magazines worldwide. Her next Pocket Novel, That’s Amore , will be published by People’s Friend on 31st October. 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.