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Great writing competitions – October 2019

We’ve brought together October’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction and screenwriting. There are again lots of great competitions with deadlines this month – particularly in the poetry category – so we’ve got another bumper list for you! 

All the opportunities mentioned 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.

Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition

This competition is welcoming full-length screenplays, TV pilots and short scripts from writers around the world. Executives, managers and producers actively seeking new writers and projects are lined up to read this year’s winners.

  • Prizes  There is a $20,000 prize pot across all the categories as well as other prizes including screenplay development, career consultations, guaranteed reads and industry consideration. 
  • Deadline – The late deadline is 8th October. There is a final deadline available in November but this has a higher entry fee. 
  • Entry fee – $50-70 for entries in time for the late deadline. 
  • Full details – Visit the Fresh Voices website.

NUHA Foundation Blogging Prizes

The NUHA Foundation’s competition has three categories including the Adult Prize, Youth Prize and Young Writers Prize for blogging. The focus is on the quality of writers’ arguments and the originality of their ideas. Each category has its own themes and word count.

  • Prizes  Top prizes are $250 – $2,400 depending on the category.
  • Deadline – 12th October.
  • Entry fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit the NUHA Foundation website.

Bath Flash Fiction Award

The international, Bath Flash Fiction Award aims to bring flash fiction to both writers and readers and give the genre a wider audience. The competition runs three times a year. Enter fiction of up to 300 words. 

  • Prizes  First prize is £1,000, second prize is £300 and third is £100. Two commended authors will receive £30 each. 50 longlisted entrants will also be offered publication in an anthology and will receive a free copy. 
  • Deadline – 12th October.
  • Entry fee – £9 with discounts for multiple submissions.
  • Full details – Visit the Bath Fiction Award website.

The Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize

The Arkansas International is welcoming entries into its Emerging Writer’s Prize. You can submit short stories of up to 7,500 words if you’ve not yet had a full-length book published. 

  • Prize  $1,000 and publication.
  • Deadline – 13th October.
  • Entry fee – $20 (which includes a one-year subscription to The Arkansas International). Entry is free for existing subscribers. 
  • Full details – Visit the Arkansas International website.

La Napoule Art Foundation Residency

La Napoule Art Foundation offers time and space for creative minds from across the world to engage in cultural interchange and meaningful work that impacts the world by providing an interdisciplinary group residency. Ten creatives will be able to spend four weeks living and working at the Château de La Napoule in spring 2020.

  • Award  All successful applicants will receive accommodation, studio space, a $1,000 stipend, breakfast every morning and most evening meals.
  • Deadline – 14th October.
  • Application fee – $30.  
  • Full details – Visit La Napoule Art Foundation website.

Palette Previously Published Poem Prize

Palette Poetry wants to bring light to lost pieces of poetry – much loved works that no longer receive the attention they deserve. The Previously Published Poem Prize is open for entries from writers worldwide who have already published a poem online or in print.

  • Prizes  First prize is $2,500; second is $300; third is $200 and publication. 
  • Deadline – 15th October.
  • Entry fee – 20. 
  • Full details – Visit the Palette Poetry website.

TLS Poetry Competition

The Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition aims to “open the field, in hopes that a great poem will enter the lists”. This year’s judges are Fred D’Aguiar, Karen Solie and Alan Jenkins. 

  • Prizes  First prize is £3,000; second is £1,500; third is £750. The winner and runners up will be published in the TLS Christmas double issue. All entrants will also receive a six-month digital subscription to TLS.
  • Deadline – 15th October.
  • Entry fee – £5 for one poem and £3 for additional ones. 
  • Full details – Visit the Times Literary Supplement website.

The Dora Maar Fellowship

Outstanding midcareer professionals in the arts and humanities, including writers, are invited to apply for residencies from the Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France. To be eligible, you need to have an established career in your field as residencies are designed to provide dedicated time to develop expertise further. 

Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Chapbook/Novelette Contest 

Omnidawn’s latest competition is open to writers of magic realism and literary forms of fantasy, science fiction, horror, fable, and myth. Stories can be primarily realistic, with elements of non-realism, or entirely non-realistic. The recommended length of submissions is 7,500 to 17,500 words.

  • Prize  $1,000, publication of the chapbook/novelette and 100 copies.
  • Deadline – 15th October.
  • Entry fee – $18.
  • Full details – Visit the Omnidawn Publishing website.

Steve Kowit Poetry Prize

The Steve Kowit Poetry Prize, sponsored by the San Diego Poetry Annual, celebrates the legacy of a literary treasure whose impact reached far beyond the region. It’s open to any poet, anywhere. 

  • Prizes  First prize is $1,000, second is $250 and third is $100.
  • Deadline – 15th October.
  • Entry fee – $15.
  • Full details – Visit the San Diego Entertainment + Arts Guild website.

The SmokeLong Flash Fellowship for Emerging Writers

SmokeLong’s Fellowship is an award and year-long virtual residency for new and emerging writers. During the year, each issue of the publication will include one piece of flash fiction by the winner. The Fellow will participate in online workshops, creating three flash stories per quarter with the aim of building a great portfolio. The Fellow will also get an inside look at the editing process, reading and voting on submissions as well as acting as a guest editor for a week. 

  • Award  $1,000 prize, virtual residency and workshops.  
  • Deadline – 15th October.
  • Application fee – $8.
  • Full details – Visit the SmokeLong Quarterly website.

Eyelands Book Awards

The Eyelands Books Awards is accepting submissions of both published and unpublished novels, novellas, short story or poetry collections, children’s books, historical fiction, memoir and graphic novels. You can enter from anywhere in the world. This year’s judges are Andriana, Gregory Papadoyiannis and Catherine McNamara.

  • Prizes – The winner in the Published Books category will be awarded a five-day holiday in Athens, publication of an excerpt online and an exclusive, handmade ceramic designed especially for the awards. The winner of the Unpublished Books category will be published by Strange Days Books and will be translated into Greek. Every prize winner will also be entitled to a 50% discount on a 3 Rock Writers’ Residency Program in 2020. 
  • Deadline – 20th October.
  • Entry fee – $30.
  • Full details – Visit the Eyelands Awards website.

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2019

Coffee-House Poetry’s latest Poetry Prize is welcoming submissions of poems of up to 45 lines (max one side of A4). Poems must be original and not have been previously published. This year’s judges are Kathryn Maris and Pat Boran. 

  • Prizes  First prize is £2,000, second is £1,000 and third is £500. 20 poets will also be recognised as highly commended. 
  • Deadline – 21st October.
  • Entry fee – £5.
  • Full details – Visit the Coffee-House Poetry website.

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are inviting entries from writers based in the UK for the annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. Stories need to be on the theme of ‘artificial intelligence’ and can be between 2,000 and 6,000 words. The panel of judges includes Martyn Bedford, acclaimed short story writer and lecturer; Emma Yates-Badley, Literary Editor at Northern Soul; Senior Lecturer Dr Robert Duggan from UCLan and Julie Fergusson from The North Literary Agency. 

  • Prize  £500.
  • Deadline – 25th October.
  • Entry fee – FREE (only one submission per author permitted).
  • Full details – Visit the Comma Press website.

The RW Short Story Prize

Retreat West is accepting entries into the RW Short Story Prize 2019. Stories can be in any genre (except children’s and erotica) and must be 1,500 to 5,000 words. This year’s judge is award-winning author, Angela Readman.

  • Prizes  First prize is £400; second prize is £150 and third is £150. Shortlisted authors will be awarded £20. All top entries will be published in an anthology. 
  • Deadline – 25th October.
  • Entry fee – £10.
  • Full details – Visit the Retreat West website.

Iceland Writers Retreat Scholarship Places

Applications are open for scholarship places on the Iceland Writers Retreat which will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland in April 2020. Over the course of the retreat, each participant will be enrolled in a total of five writing workshops led by internationally acclaimed authors, a Q&A panel, numerous readings and social functions. You don’t need to be a professional writer but you must be serious about the craft and committed to developing your skills. Candidates will be chosen based on potential and financial need. 

  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Application fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit the Iceland Writers Retreat website.

The Poetry Society National Poetry Competition

The National Poetry Competition is one of the largest single-poem competitions in the world. Enter original, unpublished poems on any subject of up to 40 lines in length. This year’s judges are Mona Arshi, Helen Mort and Maurice Riordan.

  • Prizes  First prize is £5,000; second prize is £2,000 and third is £1,000. Seven Highly Commended authors will also receive £200.
  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Entry fee – £7 for one poem and £4 for additional ones.
  • Full details – Visit The Poetry Society website.

Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition 

Finishing Line Press is an award-winning, small press publisher. Submit up to 35 pages of poetry into the Open Chapbook Competition. 

  • Prize  $1,000 and publication of a chapbook-length poetry collection. 
  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Entry fee – $15.
  • Full details – Visit Finishing Line Press website.

Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award

This 2020 award will be presented to a first-time prose writer based in the United Kingdom or Republic or Ireland whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work. Submit 20 – 25,000 words of a work in progress. This can be fiction or nonfiction but must not be under option or contract. The judges are Ian Rankin, Sarah Perry and Max Porter.

  • Awards  The winner will receive £10,000 and each runner up £1,000.
  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Application fee – FREE
  • Full details – Visit the Deborah Rogers Foundation website.

The Society of Authors Tom-Gallon Trust Award

This annual award for a short story is financed by a bequest made by Miss Nellie Tom-Gallon in memory of her brother and generously supported by ALCS. Applicants must usually reside in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and must have had at least one short story accepted for publication. 

  • Prize  £1,000.
  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Entry fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit The Society of Authors website.

Aftermath Short Story Contest

Aftermath magazine aims to raise awareness of the harm being caused to our planet and the consequences this will have. Aftermath’s latest contest, ‘The End of our World 2.0’, is open for submissions of 1,500 to 5,000-word stories inspired by the messages about the environment on its website. The contest is open to anyone, of any age, in any country. 

  • Prizes  First prize is $1,000, second prize is $300 and third is $100.
  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Entry fee – FREE.
  • Full details – Visit the Aftermath Magazine website.

Screencraft Family Screenwriting Contest

Are you writing a feature film that families will love? This contest avoids the genre-focus of many other contests by seeking exclusively screenplays that are life-affirming stories of faith, courage, hope and love. Whether your project is a family drama, comedy, animation, or action-adventure film, this competition could be for you.

  • Prize: $1,000, phone call (or in-person introduction) to a top Hollywood literary manager, circulation of the winning screenplay synopsis to a network of over 60 industry professionals and dedicated portfolio evaluation support. 
  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Entry fee – Entries received in time for the early bird deadline are $49. Later deadlines are available but the entry fees are higher.
  • Full details – Visit the Screencraft website.

Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship

Screencraft Fellowship recipients will receive ongoing professional support and a special trip to Los Angeles for meetings, mentorship and personal introductions to key entertainment studio executives, producers, literary managers and agents. To apply, submit a feature film script or original television script, along with an optional cover letter that expresses your vision and background as an emerging writer.

  • Deadline – 31st October.
  • Application fee – Entries received in time for the early bird deadline are $49. Later deadlines are available but the entry fees are higher.
  • Full details – Visit the Screencraft 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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