March ’23 Competitions

Here is a look at writing competitions I might enter which have deadlines in the coming month (so no poetry or flash, for example).

  • Not to be missed, the Alpine Fellowship seeks stories of up to 2,500 words on the theme of ‘Flourishing’. They interpret this word in a particular way, so I recommend reading what they say about it. It’s free to enter: first prize is £3,000, down from the massive £10,000 of previous years, but still generous, and it comes with  an invitation to their August symposium in Fjällnäs, Sweden. The deadline is 1 March.
  • Not actually a competition, but with the same deadline, Guts Publishing is open for submissions of works at least 30,000 words long.
  • Is March 1 Guts Day? Because with the same deadline again we have the Gutsy Great Novelist competition, looking for Chapter One of your novel. This one costs $20 to enter, with a prize of $1,000.
  • The Fowey Festival competition has a deadline of 5 March, and seeks up to 1,500 words. It’s £10 to enter, with a £250 prize and the melancholy theme is ‘I’ll Never Be Young Again’.
  • Entries to the Tennessee Williams Short Story contest should have some link to the great author and be between 1,500 and 4,000 words. $10 to enter, a prize of $200, and the deadline is 11 March.
  • The BBC National Short Story Award is a big one, with a prize of £15,000 and your work published and broadcast. Entrants need a record of prior publication and self-publishing does not count. It’s free, however, and there’s a generous word count limit of 8,000. The deadline is 13 March.
  • The Perkoff Prize, from the Missouri Review, wants up to 8,500 words on health or medicine. It costs $15, the prize is $1,000, and the deadline is 15 March.
  • With the same deadline, Lorian Hemingway (granddaughter of Ernest and a notable writer herself) looks for up to 3,500 words. Entry is $15 if you’re quick or $20 later, and the prize is $1,500.
  • Also with a deadline of 15 March, Phoebe wants up to 5,000 words. Entry is $7 and top prize $500. The link goes to the Submittable page, scroll down for the relevant details.

All the rest have a deadline of 31 March.

  • The Deborah Rogers Foundation offers a big prize of £10,000 for a promising work in progress. Send 15 to 20,000 words of your manuscript so far. It’s free: the intention is to help give someone who is struggling the support they need to get their writing project delivered. You must reside in Britain, the Commonwealth, or Eire. As a comfortably retired person with plenty of opportunity to write, I probably won’t enter, but I hope they find a worthy winner.
  • The Clay Reynolds Prize from the Texas Review is a relatively rare opportunity for works in the novella form (20 to 50,000 words). Entry is $20, and you could win $500 plus publication.
  • The Crazy Cats are back with an Easter competition in which you must include swearing and/or insults: however, you are to use the names of pastries or chocolate as the offensive terms, you bunch of glazed croissants. Up to 2,500 words, £7.50 to enter and a prize of £70 (not huge but it would buy you a few pains au choc).
  • The focus is on experiences for the Long Covid anthology, which is free to enter. There will be no single winner, but selected accounts of the continued impact of the disease (up to 1,500 words) will be published and the authors will receive an honorarium.
  • That old warhorse the Henshaw prize is still plugging away, with the latest competition offering the usual £200 prize for stories up to 2,000 words: it’s £6 to enter and for a modest extra fee you can get feedback.
  • Finally, Pinch Literary Awards, from Memphis, wants up to 5,000 words. Entry is $20 and the prize is a nice $2,000.

Good luck if you enter any of these; if you get anywhere, please do let me know.

Lucent Dreaming Novella

Just heard that the Lucent Dreaming novella competition has been cancelled. Results were due at the end of this month but there were only thirteen entrants! Entry fees are being refunded. It surprises me that during lockdown more people weren’t writing, but perhaps it reflects the lack of popularity for the novella form – I only know of one other current contest (the Clay Reynolds). Let’s hope that does all right.