A selection of writing competitions I might enter during the coming month.
First, a few with deadlines on 1 November.
- Globe Soup’s historical fiction challenge is interesting. £12 buys you a ticket, the colour of which determines the period in which the story (up to 4,000 words) must be set. Top prize is £1,000. Got my entry in already!
- The Caledonia Novel Award is back. They want twenty pages of your novel plus a synopsis. Entry is £25 and you could win £1,500.
- The. Commonwealth Short Story prize is free to enter, but offers £2,500 for regional winners and a grand prize of £5,000. You must be a citizen of a Commonwealth country: entries may be in English or in Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil or Turkish.
- F(r)iction magazine wants stories between 1,001 (not 1,000, please!) and 7,500 words: it costs $15 to enter and top prize is $1,000.
- For the Nilsen First Novel prize, you need to send your complete ms. It’s $25 to enter and the prize is $2,000. Novellas and collections of linked short stories can also be entered.
- The John Steinbeck Award from Reed magazine wants stories up to 5,000 words: for an entry fee of $20 you could win $1,000.
Then we have a number of competitions with later deadlines.
- The current Liar’s League contest closes on 6 November and is free to enter. Winning stories will be read by an actor in the Phoenix pub, where the author will get free beer all night (this is the London event – I believe there are similar ones in other cities). Ken Towl, my esteemed colleague in a couple of writing groups, has won this three times, but is selflessly keen to encourage more competitors to have a go. This time round stories should be festive and on the theme of ‘hopes and fears’.
- The Writer magazine wants up to 2,000 words: entry is $30, top prize $1,000 and the closing date is 8 November.
- The Neilma Sidney prize allows up to 3,000 words on the subject of travel. Entry is $12 and first prize $5,000 (Australian dollars, I presume). The deadline is 14 November.
- A Smokelong is a story of 1,500 words, just a bit longer than flash: however, the Smokelong Quarterly currently wants flash stories (no more than 1,000 words). Entry fees are a bit complex, but it’s basically $14: top prize is $2,500 and the deadline is 15 November.
- The Barry Hannah Prize, from the Yalobusha Review, has an entry fee of $5 and a prize of $500. Entries can be up to 4,000 words and must be on the theme ‘Departures and Arrivals’: they want fiction that pushes the boundaries or is experimental in content or form. The deadline is 18 November.
- Those sturdy folk the Wenlock Olympians are running their event again. £5 to enter, a prize of £150, up to 2,500 words, and a deadline of 23 November.
The rest all have a deadline of 30 November.
- Banbury Writer’s Café want up to 1,500 words (a smokelong?): it’s free to enter and you could win £50. Entries must be inspired by one of the picture prompts they provide.
- The Plaza Prizes actually specify that they want smokelongs. £14 for your first entry then £7 for extra goes: the prize is £1,000.
- While we’re going short, let’s go really micro with Doug Weller’s Six Word Wonder contest. Free to enter, the form encourages multiple attempts, and you can win $100. Six words, no fee, win $100.
- Finally, I’m dreaming of a green Christmas. The EcoSanta contest wants tales (1000 words) of St Nick going ecological. £5 to enter, win £100.
If you get somewhere with one of these, let me know!