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Writing Contests

Competitions to Enter

If you're here to find the current update of the table of contests, please follow this link to my new website, where you'll find it fully enabled. Good luck with your entries.

This blog is no longer updated.

This page is updated as often as I can manage. Latest update is 10 February 2015. Sorry it's a bit late, but I've been a bit busy with the house move and all that it involves!
You can enlarge the table below by clicking on the oblong at the bottom right of the pane, download it, or simply use it from this location (though it may be difficult to read at the normal size). 
Dates are listed using the logical worldwide system of dd/mm/yy, not the looney system employed in the USA, folks.

Entries in the list below are listed by closing date
First item is Entry fee.
Then 1st prize.
O/M indicates whether you can enter Online or by Mail (sometimes both methods are allowed – check the website).
Entry type: whether a short story, poem, novel, etc..
Next comes maximum length; usually word number for stories and line number for poems.
Then the theme; often open.
Notes are included where I can - things like who is eligible to enter, etc.
Finally, the link to take you to the appropriate page of the website, where possible (shown underneath the entry when not in-line).
Please, ALWAYS visit the website first: this list is provided only as a guide to what’s available.

ALWAYS check the rules, which you can access by clicking on the links provided.

On-going contests.
£300/3           O 1-3000       Open              SS                   Writers' Forum
$500/Free     O 25pps         Literary           SS                   Crazyhorse 
£100/3           O 3000           Open              SS                   Story feedback  
£75/3              M 3000           Open              SS                   Park Publications
£150/3           O 50 lines     Open              P                     Sentinel Literary Quarterly
£150/5           O 1500           Open              SS                   Sentinel Literary Quarterly
£100/5           O  2000          Open              SS                   
£200/4           O Various      Various          Various          Writing Magazine

$250/Free     O No limit      Open              See site         Unmanned Press

The small print:
Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that the information given in this table is passed on in good faith. I have no connection to the organisers of these contests and you should employ the usual caution when dealing with online matters.


A small number of people have allowed a bad experience with scams to colour their attitude to writing contests. The vast majority of competitions are genuine.

Also, there's a group who seem to think that genuine contests make no charge. This, of course, is frankly fantasy: how are contest runners supposed to finance prizes (often very large cash awards), pay for judges and publicity, etc? One of the most respected contests, both in the trade and for winners, is the Bridport: they have always charged an entry fee. But with a first prize of £5000.00, is that any surprise?

If you want a book giving details of hundreds of contests worldwide, have a look at this link (I haven't read this book, but it's by a trusted source).
And, if you want your own copy of a publication, updated every quarter, giving details of loads of contests, try

Funds for Writers
Run by Hope Clark, produces free newsletters giving details of contests you may not come across in any other way. Worth subscribing to them.
Creative Competitor is a website that specialises in its own writing contests and writing competition information. It also provides (paid for) services for writers. It's certainly worth a look.

Writers Reign has an extensive listing of writing competitions; definitely worth a look.

Lists a large number of prizes and awards not generally displayed elsewhere.
Up to date competitions listed by Sally Quilford on this site. Please note; new link for this one
Constantly updated with details of numerous contests.

Check out the recommendations on here for various contests. HOWEVER they have a blanket policy of not supporting contests with entry fees –  But this site is useful to check on those contests where you might lose all your rights if you enter.
A newly developed website, which is building a number of pages – one of these offers competition details. They are currently running their own contest as well.
A list of, as it says, 25 different writing competitions; worth exploring.
Writers’ Forum: monthly contests for short stories and poetry. Prizes up to £300
Writing Magazine & Writers News: monthly contests (themed) for short stories and poetry. Prizes up to £250 
Fickle Fiction from the pen of Gayle Beveridge is another excellent source of contest details. I'd advise a visit.

Also, I urge you to read and comply with the contest rules. In many competitions there are loads of entries and the judges or organisers are looking for reasons to reject submissions; don't let yours be thrown out just because you couldn't be bothered to read the rules or thought they didn't apply to you because you're so special.


Quillers said...

Hi Stuart I'm really grateful for the listing, thank you! Just to let you know that the comps calendar has a new home at

all the best
Sally said...

Thanks for keeping me up to date, Sally. I've now amended the record.

Gayle Beveridge said...

Hello Stuart, thanks for the link to my competition list. said...

You're very welcome, Gayle. Anything we can do to help each other in this writing lark has to be a good thing.

Top said...

You're doing a great job. Well done. said...

Thank you, Olaide. Spread the word amongst your circle of friends: I'd like this to be of use to as many writers as possible.

Anonymous said...

This is superb. I will refer to it in a post tomorrow on WordPress as it is just such good research and so useful. There is this haibun competition that I co-run if you find it relevant - here said...

Thank you. For others reading this, the link above takes you to a site from Riga, Latvia, and introduces a poetry competition that appears to be a rolling affair. If you write poetry, you might want to take a look at this.