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Great writing competitions – February 2019

Love writing? We’ve brought together February’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and books. All the competitions listed should be open to writers across the UK and most are open internationally too. 

You’ll find details of prizes, requirements, eligibility, entry fees (some are free) and deadlines to help you choose the right ones for you. 

Bath Flash Fiction Award 

Enter the first of this year’s Bath Flash Fiction Awards for a chance to win the top prize of £1,000. There’s £300 on offer for second place, £100 for third as well as small prizes for highly commended writers. All longlisted entrants will also be offered publication in an anthology. 

The judge is award-winning author, Vanessa Gebbie. The competition is open internationally until 10th February. It costs £9 to enter one story and there are discounts for more.

Full competition details here.

Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition 

The free-to-enter Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition is open to both published and unpublished writers. 

The winner will receive a place on one of Arvon’s Clockhouse writing retreats as well as publication online. Enter stories of up to 2,000 words by 13th February.

Full competition details here.

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 

The prestigious, Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award has a top prize of £30,000 for a story of up to 6,000 words. Six shortlisted authors will also receive £1,000 and will have their stories published. 

The competition is open to any novelist or short story writer around the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland until 15th February.There is no entry fee. 

Full competition details here. 

Ruminate Magazine – William Van Dyke Short Story Prize 

The William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, run by not-for-profit Ruminate Magazine, is offering a top prize of $1,500. The runner-up will be awarded $200. Both will be published in Ruminate Magazine. Enter stories of up to 5,500 words by 18th February. The reading fee is $20.

Full competition details here.

Omnidawn First/Second Book Poetry Contest 

Omnidawn’s first contest of the year will award the winner $3,000. The First/Second Book Poetry Contest is open to a wide range of styles and approaches of original poetry entered from anywhere in the world. The reading fee is $27 and the deadline is 25th February.

Full competition details here. 

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 

The judges of The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition are looking for original ideas, a fresh voice and a diverse range of stories that children will love. First prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House, an advance of £10,000 and representation from a top literary agent.

There is also a special prize in 2019 to celebrate the tenth year of the competition. The winner of the ‘Chairman’s Choice’ prize will also win a publishing contract, £7,500 and representation.

To be eligible for both prizes, you must have completed a full-length novel (30,000-80,000 words) suitable for children/young adults aged between 7 and 18 years. The entry fee is £18 and the competition is open internationally until 28th February.

Full competition details here.

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Competition 

The Fish Flash Fiction Prize has a top prize of €1,000. The second prize is €300 and the third an online writing course. Ten stories will be selected for inclusion in an anthology and the authors will be invited to read at the West Cork Literary Festival in July. 

Enter stories of up to 300 words from anywhere in the world until 28th February. It costs €14 to enter one story and there are discounts for more. You can also pay for a critique.

Full competition details here.

Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition 

The latest round of the Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition is open until 28th February. Enter stories between 180 and 360 words for a chance to win the top prize of £1,000. The second prize is £500 and third is £250. 

All long-listed entrants will be offered the opportunity to be published in an annual print anthology. Entry costs £7. 

Full competition details here. 

Desperate Literature Prize for Short Fiction 

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize will award the winner €1,000, a week’s residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and a consultation with a US literary agent. Two runners-up will be awarded €250. 

The organisers have also teamed up with ten literary and artistic institutions to maximise publication opportunities for all shortlisted writers. The deadline has been extended to 28th February. Entering one story costs €20 and further stories cost €10.

Full competition details here.

Glimmer Train Fiction Contests 

This year is the last chance to enter a Glimmer Train Fiction Contest. The final Fiction Open competition has a top prize of $3,000 and publication of stories between 3,000 and 28,000 words. The reading fee is $21. 

The final Very Short Fiction contest is open to stories between 300 and 3,000 words and offers a top prize of $2,000 and publication. The reading fee is $16. 

Entry for both competitions is open until 28th February.

Full competition details here.

Crime Writers’ Association Margery Allingham Short Story Competition 

The judges of the international Margery Allingham Short Story Competition are seeking entries which fit into the legendary crime writer’s definition of what makes a great story: “The mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a crime, a mystery, an enquiry and a conclusion with an element of satisfaction in it.” 

The competition is open to both published and unpublished authors. Enter stories of up to 3,500 by 28th February. The winner will be awarded £500 plus two weekend passes to CrimeFest 2020 and a selection of Margery Allingham-related books. Entry costs £12.

Full competition details here. 

Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award 

The Debut Dagger Award celebrates new crime writing. Submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents. The Debut Dagger is open to writers who have not yet had a full-length novel published by a traditional publisher. Entries are open until 28th February.

Full competition details here.

Comedy Women in Print Prize

HarperFiction has teamed up with the Comedy Women in Print Prize for unpublished writers. The winning comic novelist will receive a publishing contract and a £5,000 advance. The runner-up will be offered a free place on the MA in Creative Writing from the University of Hertfordshire. There is also a prize on offer for a published, comic female writer of £2,000. The deadline is 28th February.

Full competitions details here.

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide, published and unpublished. The first prize is £1,000, second prize £500 and third prize £250. Entries are open until 28th February.

Full competitions details here.

That’s it for this month but do join us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on new opportunities. 

You can also find details of more competitions coming up this year here.

If you’re running a great competition or opportunity for writers in the near future, do get in touch with us here. We publish the best every month on Literary Lightbox and promote even more on social media.

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    By: Literary Lightbox

    Literary Lightbox, founded by Loretta Milan, publishes great writing inspiration, opportunities and news. We feature New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling authors, emerging and indie authors too.

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