November Roundup of Writing Competitions

By on Oct 29, 2015 in Writing Competitions |

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The Fiction Desk Newcomer Prize 2015

The Fiction Desk are yet another organisation that supports new writers and regularly runs short story and flash fiction competitions. As far as I can tell this is an international competition.

Word limit: 1000 – 7000 words

Prizes: 1st – £500, 2nd – £250

Entry fee:£8

Closing date: 6th November 2015

Winning entries will be published in the Fiction Desk Anthology. They have strict rules about entrants not previously having published a novel or collected stories in print. However, ebook only publication or just part of a print anthology is acceptable.



Galley Beggar Short Story Prize

Galley Beggar Press is a tiny indie imprint that loves to support writers on the fringes. You know, the ones with talent that refuse to write what everyone else is writing. I suspect they will be looking for a bit of that in the submissions for this new annual prize. They run The Singles Club, a subscription service which publishes short stories as small books, so they have a lot of experience in the short story arena. This is an international competition.

Word limit: 6000 words

Prizes: 1st – £500

Entry fee: £10

Closing date: 15th November

The winning writer may opt to take a year’s editorial support from the directors of Galley Beggar Press as an alternative to the cash prize. There will be two rounds of elimination: a long-list announced at the beginning of January and a short-list three weeks later. The winner will be announced mid Feb.



Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition

The magazine has always pushed short stories and new writers and runs a number of competitions throughout the year. To my mind 1500 words isn’t a short short story, but then to a lot of contests 5000 words is a standard length.

Word limit: 1500 words

Prizes: 1st – $3000, 2nd – $1500, 3rd – $500, 4th–10th – $100 

Entry fee: $20

Closing date: 16th November 2015

The actual closing date is a bit confusing. Hidden in the info on the site they offer an extended deadline to the 14th December for an extra $5. Winning entries will be published in the Writer’s Digest magazine and presumably their short story competition collection publication. Other long-listed writers will receive a $50 gift certificate for the Writer’s Digest shop.



Field of Words

The Australian based Field of Words site offers regular competitions in both flash fiction and short story categories throughout the year. It took me a moment to figure out why this is called the Spring Round of the The 2015 Flash Fiction and Short Story competition, then I realised that as an Australian competition it is spring at this time of year. That aside these folks are dedicated to helping writers get off the ground. This is an international competition.

Flash Fiction Category

Word limit: 1000–2500

Prizes: 1st – AUD$200, 2nd – AUD$50 

Entry fee: AUD$10

Short Story Category

Word limit: 1000–2500

Prizes: 1st – AUD$500, 2nd – AUD$100 

Entry fee: AUD$20

Closing date: 30th November 2015

The organisers can also offer a critique of your story for an additional fee. Winners and runners-up will be published on the site.



Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award winter 2015

This is the last competition  of the year from Writers’ village. But there will be more next year if you miss this one. As I’ve mentioned previously it is a prestige contest and has weight with agents and publishers. This is an international competition.

Word limit: 3000 words

Prizes: 1st – £1000, 2nd – £500, 3rd – £250, five runner-up prizes of £50

Entry fee: £15

Closing date: 30th November 2015

The winning stories will be published on the site. Dr John Yeoman, the principal judge and the site’s creator does a great deal to support emerging writers. Anyone who submitted a story may request to see how their story was graded and given advice on how it could be improved.



Fish Prize for Short Stories

The Fish Prize is still my favourite competition to enter, and to read the shortlisted and winning entries for. It’s also a very generous prize. This is an international competition.

Word limit: 5000 words

Prizes: 1st – €3000, 2nd – A week at a writers’ retreat in Ireland, plus €300 travel expenses, 3rd – €300

Entry fee: €20

Closing date: 30th November 2015

The judge this year will be novelist Kevin Barry. The winning entries and ten runners-up will be published in the Fish Anthology. They will also be invited to read at the anthology’s launch during the West Cork Literary Festival.



Writers Bureau Annual Short Story

The Writers Bureau offers useful online courses for writers. It is connected to the Freelance Market News Magazine, a handy resource for freelance writers. They run several writing competitions throughout the year.

Word limit: 2000 words

Prizes: 1st – £300, 2nd – £200, 3rd – £100, 4th – £50

Entry fee: £5

Closing date: 30th November 2015

All winning writers will also receive a Writers Bureau course worth £300. The winning entries will be published in the Freelance Market News publication and on the Writers Bureau site.



Aeon Award final 2015 round

This is one of the few genre based competitions out there, though the genres covered are fairly numerous, covering any speculative fiction: fantasyscience fictionhorror, crossovers and anything else that doesn’t yet have a shelf set aside. The word count is amongst the most generous, though I worry about those shorter stories getting a look-in. This is an international competition

Word limit: 10,000 words

Prizes: 1st – €1000, 2nd – €200, 3rd – €100 

Entry fee: €7.50

Closing date: 30th November 2015

The competition is run by Albedo One Magazine over four rounds during the year with a shortlist from each round going into the long selection at the end of the year. Six stories will be chosen from this list followed by the three finalists. Complex? Nonsense! Perfectly simple. I’m guessing some of the finalists will also end up being published in Albedo One.



The Plough Prize

A prestige and valuable poetry prize from the same people who offer a similarly generous short story competition earlier in the year. Standards are high so make sure your quill is extra sharp.

Word limit: 40 lines

Prizes: 1st – £1000, 2nd – £500, 3rd – £250 

Entry fee: £5

Closing date: 30th November 2015

Entries to be judged by the ubiquitous poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.



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