Here are the writing competitions I might enter with deadlines in February.
The Jim Baen prize is for positive stories about space exploration in the near future. Up to 8,000 words are required, it’s free and the winner gets an award, publication, and 8 cents per word on publication. The deadline is 1 February
Chiplitfest is back: entry is £8 for stories up to 2,500 words, or you can go as high as 5000 words if you pay £10. Enter by 5 February.
Stringybark needs stories with a link to Australia (but it could be as little as a jar of Vegemite on the counter). Up to 1.500 words: A$15 to enter and a prize of A$500. The deadline is 12 February.
The Writers and Artists Yearbook want up to 2.000 words and it’s free to enter! You could win a place on an Arvon course. Stories must be on the theme ‘Love’ Enter by 14 February (see where the theme comes from?).
Brink literary journal wants hybrid (or cross-genre) stories – but not avant garde experimental writing. Check the site for more explanation. It’s $22 to enter and the winner will be published in October. The deadline is 15 February.
The Mary McCarthy prize from Sarabande Press wants 150-200 pages. The entry fee is $29, with the top prize being $2,000 plus publication. Again, the deadline is 15 February.
NOWW (the Northern Ontario Writers’ Workshop) wants 2,000-3,500 words. It’s CA$10 to enter and top prize is CA$150. The deadline is 28 February.
Bridge House want up to 5,000 words on the theme ‘Gifted’: it’s free to enter, and the winner will be published and paid royalties. The deadline is 28 February.
The AWP awards cover competitions for four different forms: for me the most interesting are the short story collection and novel ones. Entries need to be book length, which for short stories means 150-300 pages and for novels at least 60,000 words. It costs $30 to enter each contest ($20 for members): the top prize appears to be $5,500 for short stories but a mere $2,500 for novels (?). The deadline is 28 February.
Finally with the same deadline Letter Review is looking for 1.000 to 3.000 words for a top prize of $600 ($20 entry fee)
Good luck – if you get anywhere with these, do let me know!
Went to Strange Clay at the Hayward Gallery. I feared this might be a bit austerely intellectual, but in fact most exhibits are attractive as well as interesting, and several are humorous to varying degrees. There is a self-portrait with critique by (Sir) Grayson Perry and a piece by Edmund de Waal, better known to me as the author of The Hare with Amber Eyes. I’m afraid the latter is the least enjoyable thing in the show: small white pots in vitrines hoisted above your head. Katharine rightly said it looked like additional light fittings… Generally though, the show is a lot of fun.