A selection of writing competitions I might enter during the coming month, with no pretence of being a comprehensive list.
- The Exeter Novel Prize requires your first 10,000 words and a synopsis: £20 to enter, with a prize of £1,000. The deadline is 1 January (though I’d be surprised if anyone is reading your excerpt on 2 January).
- The European Society of Literature is running the European Writing Prize. Brits can still enter in spite of Brexit (in fact anyone from anywhere). Entry is free, and the prize is €50 plus life membership (and think of the prestige!) They want between 1,500 and 3,500 words on the theme of ‘Anxiety’. To help with getting into the mood, the deadline is 1 January. They say results will be out by the end of the month, which is a bit hard to believe.
- If you’ve got an excess of anxiety after that, you could try the Disquiet Literary Prize. 25 pages max, entry $15, prize $1,000, and for this one you’ve got until 2 January.
- Cheering up, we have the regular Henshaw competition: as ever, it’s for 2,000 words, entry £6, prize £200. The deadline is 6 January.
- What about trying non-fiction? The Nine Dots prize is for an essay on ‘Why the Rule of Law has become so fragile’. Really they are looking for something that will be developed into a full-length book. You need to provide 3,000 words, a structure, and a justification statement, but you’ve got until 23 January. Entry is free. Why are you thinking of non-fiction all of a sudden, you ask: well, it just seems attractive. The prize is $100,000.
- The Bournemouth (Fresher) Writing Prize wants 3,000 words. It’s £7 to enter and you could win £500 plus feedback and a professional recording of your work. The deadline is 27 January.
- The Face Project only wants 1,000 words and entry is free, but the only prize is publication, albeit in a unique new production. Your story must be inspired by one of the 28 pictures of faces on their site. Deadline is 29th (not 28th?)
- The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize has a limit of 3000 words: entry is $25, top prize $1,000 and the deadline is 30 January.
The rest all have a deadline of 31 January.
- The Masters Review is back with its winter award. Up to 6,000 words, $20 to enter, and top prize is $3,000.
- .The Parracombe prize has come back with a higher word limit – 2023 instead of last year’s 2022 (yes, I see what you did, Parracombe!) Entry is £5, the prize £150.
- Askew’s Word on the Lake festival offers a prize of $200 (Canadian) for stories up to 1,500 words: entry is $15.
- Finally the swamp pink prize from Crazy Horse wants up to 25 pages: entry is $20 and the prize $2,000.
If you get somewhere with one of these, do let me know