Here are the writing competitions with deadlines in October that I might enter – so mainly short stories and novels, with no poetry or flash.
- The Jeffrey E. Smith contest wants stories up to 8,500 words: the entry fee is $25 and top prize is $5,000, with a deadline of 1 October.
- With the same deadline, the Grindstone International Novel Prize needs 25 pages of a complete novel plus a synopsis. Entry is £18, first prize is £1,000.
- Zoetrope wants literary stories up to 5,000 words. Entry is $30, the prize is $1,000, and again the deadline is 1 October.
- Galley Beggar Press offer £2,000 for stories up,to 6,000 words, with an entry fee of £10 – the deadline/ is 10 October.
- The Calvino Prize is for pieces in the magic realist spirit of Italo Calvino. Submit up to 25 pages by15 October with a fee of $25 for a top prize of $2,000. (I was a finalist last year, but I’ve got no inspiration this time round.)
- Black Spring want those strange, imperfect but promising pieces from your bottom drawer, of 40 to 1,000 pages. Entry is free, and the winner gets a publication contract.
- The Create the Future prize seeks writing about climate change of up to 2,000 words that addresses one of three questions they pose. Entry is free: the winner will be published online and (if in the UK) receive a ‘bundle’ of Delphis Eco cleaning products. Deadline 17 October.
- Omnidawn want fabulist stories – quite hefty ones, between 7,500 and 17,500 words. Entry is $18, and the winner gets $1,000 plus 100 copies of the printed version (a chapbook). What would I do with 100 copies? The deadline is 18 October.
- Beartooth Anthony is looking for your best Halloween campfire stories, of any length, the scarier the better. Entry is free, and the winner gets a really nice hammock. Enter by 22 October.
- This year the Dinesh Alirajah contest is looking for crime stories between 2,000 and 6,000 words. It’s free, and you could win £500. The deadline is 29 October.
All the rest have a deadline of 31 October.
- The Bedford competition is for stories up to 3,000 words and the top prize is £1,000. Entry is £7.50 or a bargain three goes for £15.
- Southport Writer’s Circle want 2,000 words. Entry is £3 and first prize is £150.
- Cranked Anvil look for a slim 1,500 words: entry is £5 and first prize £150.
- Finally, the Dillydoun International Fiction Prize offers $2,000 for a story up to a chunky 8,000 words: entry is $25.
- A late addition – the Fiction Factory competition has a maximum word count of 3,000 and a deadline of 31 October. Entry is £6 (discounts for multiple entries)
Good luck – if you get anywhere with these, do let me know!