- ‘Language Evolves’ is the theme for a science fiction story competition with a word limit of 2,500 and a deadline of 1 December. It’s free to enter and the top prize is £400 plus publication in the New Welsh Review. The competition is linked with a workshop back in August, but you don’t have to have attended.
- The Breakwater Review at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, offers $1,000 dollars and publication for a story of between 1,000 and 4,000 words. The deadline is again 1 December and the entry fee is $10.
- A rare novella competition is being run by Lucent Dreaming with word count limits of 15,000 to 40,000 words, an unusual opportunity if you’ve got something in that bracket. The deadline is 4 December, top prize is £100, publication and some other goodies. Unusually, simultaneous submission is not allowed, though since there aren’t many novella competitions that probably isn’t an issue. Entry fee £4.
- SF again; the Roswell Award is for stories up to 1,500 words; the top prize is $500, and your story may be read by a celebrity at the presentation. Entry is free and the deadline is 15 December. No fanfic, which won’t trouble me.
- Janus Literary has a competition for stories of 750 to 1,000 words on the theme ‘wild dark sea’. Top prize is $400 and online publication, entry fee is $4 and the deadline is 16 December.
- Staying with the general theme, Wild Words (an organisation that runs retreats, mentoring sessions and so on) invites pieces of up to 1,000 words inspired by one of three uplifting quotes (they actually say four quotes, but I only see three). The winner gets online publication and a one-hour mentoring session with the founder Bridget Holding. Judge for yourself whether that justifies a £7 entry fee. The deadline is 21 December.
- Go west for the Devon and Cornwall International Novel Prize, which calls for your first 5,000 words with a 500 word synopsis. The deadline is 31 December and the top prize is £2000, a trophy and an online publishing contract. The entry fee is £15.
- Finally, Swoop Books, the independent publisher, is running a competition for stories of 1,500 to 3,000 words on the theme ‘Ordinary People’. First prize is £100 and twenty stories will be published in an anthology (a proper paper one, I believe – that’s what I like to see); entry is £5.
Here’s my look at competitions I might enter with deadlines in December (three are right at the start of the month).