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Great writing competitions – June 2019

We’ve brought together June’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of books, flash fiction, short stories and poetry. 

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 Bath Novel Award

The Bath Novel Award is an annual, international prize for emerging novelists of any nationality who do not yet have a traditional publishing contract. Entry is open to writers of any nationality or residency. Novels can be unpublished, self-published or independently published and in any genre written for adults or young adults (13+) readers. This year’s judge is literary agent, Hellie Ogden. Submit up to 5,000 words and a one-page synopsis. 

Creative Future Writers’ Award

The Creative Future Writers’ Award celebrates under-represented writers. The winners will be chosen by a panel of industry experts. 

  • Prizes – The are twelve prizes worth over £10,000 into total including cash, professional mentorship, inclusion in an anthology and ongoing artistic development. 
  • Deadline – 2nd June.
  • Entry fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit the Creative Future Writers’ Award website.

Eyelands International Short Story Contest

This year’s Eyelands International Short Story Contest is ‘round midnight’. Submit unpublished stories of up to 2,500.

  • Prizes  First prize is a week’s holiday on the island of Crete. The top three stories will be published in Greek and English anthologies. All shortlisted stories will also be published in a special English edition. 
  • Deadline – 20th June.
  • Entry fee – €10 and free entry for the prize winners of previous contests.
  • Full details – Visit the Eyelands website.

McLellan Poetry Competition

The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded by the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival. The judge for this year will be Sean O’Brien.

  • Prizes  First prize is £1,500, second is £300 and third is £150. Six highly-commended poets will also receive £25.
  • Deadline – 21st June.
  • Entry fee – £6 for one poem and £5 for additional ones.
  • Full details – Visit the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust website.

Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest

Omnidawn runs several poetry competitions every year. The Chapbook Contest invites poetry in a wide range of styles, approaches and forms. It’s open to writers worldwide with no limitations on the amount of poetry a writer has published. Submissions should be between 20 and 40 pages, not including front and back matter. This year’s judge is Tongo Eisen-Martin

  • Prizes  $1,000, publication and 100 free copies of the winning book.
  • Deadline – 24th June.
  • Entry fee – $18.
  • Full details – Visit the Omnidawn Publishing website.

The Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

The annual, V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize was founded by the Royal Society of Literature at the beginning of the millennium to commemorate the centenary of an author widely regarded as the finest English short-story writer of the 20th century and to preserve a tradition encompassing Pritchett’s warmth of feeling and mastery of narrative.

Stories submitted must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth. 

  • Prizes  £1,000, publication in Prospect online and in the RSL Review.
  • Deadline – 28th June.
  • Entry fee – £7.50.
  • Full details – Visit The Royal Society of Literaturewebsite.

The Impress Prize

The annual, Impress Prize is designed to champion and nurture new voices. Winners of past prizes have gone on to enjoy multiple book deals and have sold rights across the globe. 

The prize is open to submissions of fiction and non-fiction across most genres, including YA. Poetry and children’s fiction are not accepted. Entries should comprise of a 6,000-word sample of your manuscript, a synopsis, publishing rationale and an author biography. 

  • Prizes  £500 and consideration for publication.
  • Deadline – 30th June.
  • Entry fee – £25. You can also receive feedback on your entry for an additional £75.
  • Full details – Visit the Impress Prizewebsite.

North Street Book Prize

Organised by Winning Writers, The North Street Book Prize is open to self-published works of literary fiction, genre fiction, creative non-fiction/memoir, poetry, children’s picture books and graphic narratives. Entries must be under 200,000 words. The competition is open to most authors in most countries around the world.

  • Prizes  One grand prize winner will receive $3,000. The top winner in each category will receive $1,000. All winners will also receive a marketing analysis, one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 BookBaby credit and a free advert in the Winning Writers newsletter worth $150. One honourable mention in each category will also receive $250. Online excerpts will also be published for all entreis that win a prize along with critique from the judge.
  • Deadline – 30th June.
  • Entry fee – $60. 
  • Full details – Visit the Winning Writers website.

The Moth International Short Story Prize

Entries are being welcomed into The Moth International Short Story Prize. This year’s judge is award-winning author, Kit de Waal.

  • Prizes  First prize is €3,000, second is a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend, third prize is €1,000. The three winning stories will also be featured in the autumn issue of The Moth.
  • Deadline – 30th June.
  • Entry fee – €15.
  • Full details – Visit The Moth website.

Berlin Writing Prize

Enter stories on the theme of ‘the circus’ into the Berlin Writing Prize. It’s open to both published and unpublished writers from around the world. 

  • Prizes  The winner will receive a four-week residency at Berlin’s The Circus Hotel from 4th January to 3rd February 2020, a place as a delegate at the British Council Literature Seminar 2020 and publication in a Reader Berlin anthology. Two runners up will receive two nights at the hotel during the time of the prize-giving event, €100 travel stipend and publication. Seven shortlisted writers will win Reader Berlin goodie bags, prize-giving event invitations and publication. 
  • Deadline – 30th June.
  • Entry fee – €12.
  • Full details – Visit the Berlin Writing Prize website.

Grindstone International Flash Fiction Prize

The Grindstone International Flash Fiction Prize is open to writers across the world. The judging panel is comprised of a team of professional authors and writers who will provide personalised feedback on every valid entry. 

  • Prizes  The winner will be awarded £500 and the runner-up will receive £50. All shortlisted stories will be published in an anthology and their authors invited to the next Atmos Collection. 
  • Deadline – 28th June.
  • Entry fee – £8.
  • Full details – Visit the Grindstone Literary website.

Wells Festival of Literature Competitions 

Competitions are an integral part of the Wells Festival of Literature, with entries submitted from all around the world. Enter short stories, poetry and children’s books 

  • Prizes  First prize in each category it £750, second is £300 and third is £200. There is also a local prize of £100.
  • Deadline – 30th June.
  • Entry fee – £6. £3 for young poets. 
  • Full details – Visit the Wells Festival of Literature website.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize

The annual, University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world. It’s open to published and unpublished poets. All entries must be single poems up to 50 lines and no more than 1,000 words.

  • Prizes  The winner will be awarded AUD$15,000. The runner-up will receive AUD$5,000. Four additional poems will be shortlisted. 
  • Deadline – 30th Jun.e
  • Entry fee – $25. There is a discount for students.
  • Full details – Visit the University of Canberra 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.

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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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