Competition Time

Still not in Back to Work mode? Spend a few hours with these little opportunities and see what you come up with. Think of them as the hors d’oeuvres to the main meal of your story writing.

And thank you Unsplash photographers for the free use of the pic

Free To Enter – the Telegraph Online ‘Just Back’ Travel Writing Competition. If you are just back from somewhere slightly more interesting than a bus stop, then the Telegraph Online would like the exciting details in up to 500 words. You can read previous winners on the website. A ‘voyage’ across the Mersey is one of them – proving that you don’t have to write about anywhere exotic to scoop the prize.

Picutre Courtesy of Unsplash.jpg
Picture courtesy of Unsplash

Closing: Monthly. Prize: £200 in your choice of currency.
 Email your entry, of no more than 500 words (with the text in the body of the email), to

Free To Enter
– The Val Wood Prize

2018: Women’s Writes competition,  now open for submissions. This annual freebie from the website of author Valerie Wood is open to anyone over the age of 16 regardless of gender.  This year the contest is celebrating 100 years since married women won the right to vote.  Stories should therefore have a strong female protagonist.  Other than that you are free to write about anything you wish.  Story length 1,500 words Closing: 15.9.18 (5pm). Prizes: £100, £50, £25, £25. 
Details here

Free To Enter – Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland have joined forces to launch a competition to find a debut crime writer from a BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) background. The winner will have their book published, under the Harvill Secker imprint, in a publishing deal with an advance of £5,000. The winner will also receive perks alongside their publishing contract, including a panel appearance at the Bloody Scotland Festival in 2019 (this year’s dates are 21st-23rd September) and a series of three one-to-one mentoring sessions with Abir Mukherjee.
Closes 9th of September 2018. Details here

Hour of Writes Competition. To enter this new weekly peer-reviewed contest from Manchester, submit a piece of writing of any type you choose running to no more than 2,000 words. There is a different theme every week. Closing: 11pm every Friday. Prize: £50 (usually the minimum – prize increases if more entries are received).
 Entry Fee £3. Details here

Dark Tales Short Story Competition. For horror and speculative fiction – the sort that leaves you afraid to turn out the lights in case something other than a fly is hiding under the bed. Like a Spider, for example. No matter how small. All those legs. And far too many eyes…Anyway… your entry must be limited to 5,000 words. Closing: Monthly. Prize: £100 and publication. Entry Fee £4. Details here

Flash 500 Competition. Write an entire story in just 500 words. Easy peasy. (And you would have practiced with your Telegraph entry, right?) Now in its ninth year, this quarterly open-themed competition has the remaining 2018 closing dates of 30th September and 31st December 2018.
Entry Fee £5 per story or £8 for two. The results will be announced within six weeks of each closing date and the three winning entries each quarter will be published on their website. Details here