A round-up of the short story competitions I might enter in May. As always this is a purely personal selection, with no claim to be comprehensive – but it might be handy if you fancy trying your luck.
I hope some of these appeal to you.
- The Craft Short Fiction Prize is for stories up to 5,000 words. The entry fee is $20 and the top prize $2,000 (plus a subscription). Time is running out already as the deadline is 2 May.
- Only one day later we have the deadline for the Australian Book Review Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Again the maximum word count is 5,000: the entry fee is AU$25 (less for subscribers) and the first prize is AU$6,000.
- The Bristol Prize has a deadline of 5 May for stories up to 4,000 words; it’s £9 to enter and you can win £1,000.
- Word Periscope wants stories on the theme ‘Time’, up to a mere 1,500 words, and offers a prize of £1,500. You’ve got until 15 May. The entry fee is £7, or for £15 you can also have feedback.
- The Raymond Carver prize also has a deadline of 15 May; the word limit is a spacious 10,000, the entry fee $17 and top prize $2,000.
- Chiplitfest, with a deadline of 16 May, lets you choose your word limit. If you’re happy with 2,500 words, you pay £5 to enter, but you can go up to 5,000 if you pay £8. Either way the first prize is just £500.
- City Academy is running an unusual contest which seems almost like a mini writing course. You register your interest and receive a series of prompts and exercises. This has been going on for a while already, so if you register now you’ll get all the earlier stuff in one go. The actual entry doesn’t have to be in until 25 May, and the entry fee is £15 (sounds like good value if you fancy a mini-course thrown in). Top prize is £1,000.
- The Wit to Woo wants pieces up to 10,000 words (which need not be about dating, or indeed, owls – the competition is amiably headlined ‘Write What You Like’). The entry fee is £7, top prize £1,500, and the deadline is 28 May.
- With a deadline of 31 May (I think) the complicated Page Turner Awards include one for the first ten pages of completed novel manuscripts. Pricing includes an early bird option (too late already, sorry), and there are bronze, silver, and gold options whereby you can pay more for a whole range of extras; the basic seems to be £30, but if you can find out what the prize is, please let me know. It might be unfair, but I couldn’t help feeling that selling the extras and a writing software package is what the labyrinthine website is really about. Shame, but I think I might pass.
- The BPA First Novel Award asks for your first 5,000 words plus a synopsis; entry is £20 and the prize £1,000; deadline 31 May.
- The prestigious Bridport competition also has a deadline of 31 May. You can enter stories up to 5,000 words for £12 and the top prize is £5,000.
- Swoop Books wants stories on the theme ‘Love Locks’, with word limits of 2-3,000. The entry fee is £5 and prize just £100, deadline 31 May.
- Finally the Queen Mary Wasafiri prize, also with a deadline of 31 May, has a top prize of £1,000; entry is £10, and the word limit is 3,000. I think a prior look at Wasafiri magazine would be helpful if you want to try for this one.
Good Luck! If you win any of these, let me know!
PostScript. Charlotte Wakefield from the Page Turner Awards has helpfully contacted me with some clarification. She says:
You were interested to know more about the prizes, which you can browse here – 2021 Award Prizes | Page Turner Awards. Our mission is to offer meaningful prizes to new writers and established authors, ranging from mentorship to publishing packages to audiobook production.
You can find further details about our awards on our site here – About Us | Page Turner Awards If you have any further questions about the awards, I’d be happy to help.
Feel free to also browse testimonials from last year’s entrants here – Awards Testimonials | Page Turner Awards This should help give you an understanding of what we’re all about.
To enter, you must first register your details. Then, you can log in and enter your submission. You can register and enter here – Enter In Two Steps | Page Turner Awards
Please do check that you’re entering for the appropriate award category. There are different criteria depending on whether your work is published or unpublished, and completed or uncompleted. You can browse the 5 award categories here – 2021 Award Categories | Page Turner Awards
I’m grateful for the trouble she has taken, and pass that on for your information.