February 2018’s best writing opportunities


February may be frosty but there are lots of toasty writing competitions and opportunities open at the moment to warm your imagination. We’ve brought together this month’s best, with details of prizes, entry requirements and deadlines so you can start submitting!


Simon & Schuster Commercial Fiction Competition

Win representation by Darley Anderson Literary Agency and publication with in Simon & Schuster UK this competition for new, commercial fiction. Details here.

Kevin Elyot Award

Applications are now open for the Kevin Elyot Award for a writer-in-residence. £3,000 is on offer to support a promising writer, practitioner or scholar to begin creating a new written work. Details here.

Debut Dagger Award

The Debut Dagger Award is the Crime Writers’ Association’s competition for new writing which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. 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. Details here.

BBC National Short Story Award

The BBC and Cambridge University are welcoming entries into the BBC National Short Story Award. The winning author will receive £15,000 and four shortlisted authors will each get £600. Entries close on 12th March. Details here.

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an annual award for adventure writing. The Best Published Novel category accepts entries published between 1st January 2017 and 30th April 2018 with a top prize of £15,000. The winner of the Best Unpublished Manuscript category will receive a £7,500 travel grant to put toward research and mentoring from agents at Tibor Jones & Associates. Entries close on 12th March. Details here.

Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

The theme of this year’s Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize is ‘Childhood’ and a £3,000 cash prize will be awarded to the best short story on the topic. The winner and two runners will also be invited to attend the Venice symposium. The deadline is 15th March: Details here.

TSS International Flash Fiction Competition

The latest round of the TSS International Flash Fiction Competition is still open. The top prize is £400. Winning and highly commended stories will also be published online. The deadline is 15th March. Details here.

Retreat West Flash Fiction Competition 

Retreat West’s first themed flash fiction competition this year is open for entries until 25th March. The theme is ‘forgetting’ and the top prize is £200. The best stories will also be published online. Details here.

The Rubery Book Award

The Rubery Book Award seeks the best books by indie writers, self-published authors and independent presses internationally. The ‘Book of the Year’ will be awarded £1,500 and will be read by London literary agency, MBA. In addition, category winners will each receive £150. Entries are open until 31st March. Details here.

Winchester Writing Festival Competitions

The Winchester Writing Festival competitions have a great selection of categories and prizes for novel extracts, short stories, flash fiction, poetry and more. The deadline this year is 11th April (earlier than in previous years). Details here.

Swanwick Writers’ Summer School Competition

Win a place at the 70th Swanwick Writers’ Summer School by entering a poem, short story or piece of children’s fiction into this year’s competition. Entries are open until 30th April. Details here.

The Bridport Prize

The prestigious Bridport Prize is now open for entries with an £18,000 prize fund. You can enter flash fiction, short stories, novels and poetry up until 31st May. Details here.


We also promote many more writing opportunities on Facebook and Twitter every week so do look out for those too.

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

  • author's avatar

    By: Loretta Milan

    Loretta Milan is the founder of Literary Lightbox. She works as a professional writer and is working on a psychological thriller. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative’s three-month novel writing programme. Her writing is fuelled by liquorice and marshmallows.

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