Here’s my regular look at writing competitions I might enter during the coming month (so no poetry or competitions not open to UK writers, for example). The majority have deadlines at the end of the month, so you mostly have a bit of time to work on a story.
- Ambit seeks stories of up to 1,000 words (arguably flash fiction) on the classic Ovid/Kafka theme of ‘Metamorphosis’; the entry fee is £6 and the top prize is £500. You’ll need to get writing because the deadline is 1 July.
- The Gutsy Great Novelist Page One competition requires only the first page of your novel-in-progress, by 7 June. The entry fee is $20 and the top prize $1,000.
- The H.G.Wells prize is for stories between 1,500 and 5,000 words on the theme ‘mask’ with a fee of £21 and top prize of £500; the deadline is 12 July.
- The Doris Gooderson prize from Wrekin Writers is for stories up to 1,200 words in length. The entry fee is £5, the prize £200, and the deadline is 13 July.
All the others have a deadline of 31 July.
- The Novel London competition asks for your first 3,000 words plus a synopsis. It costs £11 to enter and the top prize is £500 (plus mentoring).
- The Olga Sinclair Prize, from Norwich Writers’ Circle, is for stories on the theme ‘lost’. The word count limit is 2,000, the entry fee £9, and top prize £200.
- The Seán O’Faoláin prize from Munster Literature is for stories up to 3,000 words, with an entry fee of €18 and prize of €2,000.
- The Fiction Factory First Chapter competition requires, guess what, the first chapter of your completed novel. Although you can send a chapter of any length, it seems only the first 5,000 words will be taken into account. The entry fee is £18 and the top prize is £500.
- Fabula Press is back and wants stories of up to 6,000 words; the fee is $10 and top prize $500.
- The regular Cranked Anvil competition comes round again next month with a word limit of 1,500, entry fee of £5 and prize of £150.
- Anthology offers a prize of €500 for stories up to 1,500 words on the theme ‘memories’.
- HISSAC (Highlands and Islands, but you don’t have to be Scottish) wants stories up to 2,000 words; the entry fee is £5 and the prize £200.
- Finally, you need a humorous piece of up to 2,500 words to enter the unique To Hull and Back competition. The entry fee is £15 and the cash prize is £1,200. In addition, a selection of stories will be published in an anthology, and the winning author’s face will be photoshopped into a dramatic picture showing them on a motorbike journey to Hull (think Meatloaf album cover). In addition, the organiser will strap the winner’s copy of the anthology to the front of his Harley Davidson and ride from Bristol to Hull and back, returning the book with whatever damage the elements may have inflicted along the way. I said it was unique!
Good luck if you enter any of these; if you are longlisted or win, please do let me know.