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Great writing competitions – July 2019

We’ve brought together July’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comedy and more.

All the competitions listed should be open to writers across the UK and most are open internationally too. We share details of prizes, requirements, eligibility, entry fees (some are free) and deadlines to help you choose the right ones for you.

The Nowhere Magazine Travel Writing Contest

Literary travel magazine, Nowhere, is accepting submissions for its latest Travel Writing Contest. Enter fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essays of up to 5,000 words. 

  • Prize  $1,000 and publication in Nowhere magazine.
  • Deadline – 15th July.
  • Entry fee – $20.
  • Full details – Visit the Nowhere magazine website.

Frontier Poetry Industry Awards

The Frontier Poetry Industry Awards will be judged by Jeff Shotts (Executive Editor of Graywolf Press), Kwame Dawes (Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner) and Sarah Gambito (Co-founder of Kundiman).

Submissions are open to emerging poets. You should have no more than two full-length collections out or forthcoming at the time of submission. Poems entered must be unpublished. There is no line-limit. Poems may be any length, any style, or any subject.

  • Prizes  First prize is $3,000, second prize is $200 and third is $100.
  • Deadline – 15th July.
  • Entry fee – $20.
  • Full details – Visit the Frontier Poetry website.

PRISM International Creative Nonfiction Contest

The PRISM International Creative Nonfiction Contest is being judged this year by Sharan Dhaliwal, editor-in-chief of Burnt Roti magazine. Entries must be original, previously unpublished in print or online. 

  • Prizes  $1,500 grand prize, $600 runner-up and $400 second runner-up.
  • Deadline – 15th July. 
  • Entry fee – $35 for Canadian entries, $40 for US entries and $45 for international entries which includes a one-year subscription/extension to PRISM International. Additional entries are $5. Indigenous writers can enter free. There are also a limited-number of free entries available to low-income writers. 
  • Full details – Visit the PRISM International website.

William Faulkner Literary Competition

This prize was established in honour of award-winning author, William Faulkner and celebrates emerging writers. The categories include the novel, one act play, poetry, adult short story and student short story. 

  • Prizes  $2,000 for the winning novel, $600 for the winning one-act play, poem and adult story as well as $250 for the best student short story.
  • Deadline – Deadlines vary between 15th and 31st July for all categories except the student story, which has a deadline of 31st August.
  • Entry fee – $50 for novels, $20 for all other categories except for student short stories which are free to enter. 
  • Full details – Visit the William Faulkner Literary Competition website.

The Felix Dexter Bursary for Comedy Screenwriting

BBC Comedy and the BBC Writersroom have announced their continued commitment to developing talented BAME comedy writers with the Felix Dexter Bursary. BBC Comedy Commissioning is the largest comedy department in the UK, responsible for some of the most watched and critically acclaimed programmes in the world. A six-month bursary will be awarded to an aspiring comedy writer to develop his or her skills. 

  • Deadline – 30th July.
  • Entry fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit the BBC Writersroom website.

The Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Prize

This competition is open to original short stories of up to 3,000 words which have not been published or broadcast. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. 

  • Prizes  First prize is €2,000 and a one-week residence at Anam Cara Retreat; Second prize is €500 and four runners-up will receive €250. All winners will also be published.
  • Deadline – 31st July.
  • Entry fee – €18.
  • Full details – Visit the Munster Literary Centre website.

Festival of Writing Bursary

The Festival of Writing is one of the largest events of its kind in the UK. It offers writers the opportunity to meet agents and publishers, get advice from professional authors during an inspiring weekend.

The Marjacq Bursary for under-represented writers will award one, full-weekend ticket to the Festival of Writing. Under-represented writers are invited to apply for this special bursary, inclusive of all accommodation, workshops and food as well as a full UK travel bursary and additional one-to-ones with agents at Marjacq Scripts.

  • Deadline – 31st July.
  • Entry fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit the Jericho Writers website.

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 are creating a wonderful 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.

  • author's avatar

    By: Loretta Milan

    Loretta Milan is the founder of Literary Lightbox. She works as a professional writer and also has a novel in construction. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative’s three-month novel writing programme. Her writing is fuelled by too much tea.

  • author's avatar



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