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Writing contests, competitions and opportunities – March 2019

writing, writing opportunities, writing competitions, creative writing

We’ve brought together March’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of books, flash fiction, screenplays, short stories and poetry. This month, you’ll find everything from cash prizes and scholarships to writing retreats in sunny locations and a programme for emerging writers based in a fabulous library.

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.

We’ve also changed our format a little to make it easier to get an impression of what’s on offer quickly as you scroll. We’d love to hear what you think!

The White Review Short Story Prize

The White Review Short Story Prize is an annual competition for emerging writers residing in the UK or Ireland who have not yet secured a publishing contract. The prize aims to reward ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing.

The judges, this year, are Chris Power, Sophie Scard and Michal Shavit. They’re looking for short stories that explore and expand the possibilities of the form in any literary genre, on any theme or subject matter. 

The London Library Emerging Writers Programme

An Emerging Writers Programme has been launched by The London Library. It offers a unique opportunity to writers, in all genres, including one years’ free membership of the library, masterclasses, networking, guidance and support. 

Winchester Writers’ Festival Scholarships

The Lindsay Literary Scholarship 

The Lindsay Literary Scholarship covers the cost of three days at the Winchester Writers’ Festival (14th to 16th June 2019), access to all workshops, talks, one-to-one appointments with industry experts, meals, accommodation as well as a grant toward travel.

The scholarship will be awarded to a children’s fiction, middle grade or YA writer of any age who lives in the UK or Ireland and comes from an under-represented background. Applicants can be unpublished or self-published but must be unagented.

The Monica Wood Scholarship 

This scholarship is open to writers aged between 18 and 25 who would like to apply for a free weekend package at the Winchester Writers’ Festival, including all meals and accommodation plus travel costs up to £100.  

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Each year, the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition awards fellowships to promising new screenwriters around the world. Applicants must submit an original feature film screenplay between 70 and 160 pages, in English. You can enter up to three scripts. 

Judging is completed over several rounds by industry professionals, Academy members drawn from across the spectrum of the motion picture industry and the Academy Nicholl committee. Fellowship recipients will be expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the fellowship year.

Room Magazine Fiction Contest 

Room’s annual Fiction Contest is being judged this year by Catherine Hernandez, the award-winning author of Scarborough.

The magazine also has poetry, short story and creative nonfiction competitions coming up later in the year.

BBC National Short Story Award

The BBC and Cambridge University are again welcoming entries into the BBC National Short Story Award. It’s open to British nationals and UK residents who have a prior record of publication in creative writing in UK. Stories submitted can be up to 8,000 words. 

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Short stories of between 2,500 and 12,500 words are being welcomed by The Colorado Review for the 2019 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction. Stories must be between 10 pages/2,500 words and 50 pages/12,500 words. They can be on any theme but must be unpublished. This year’s judge is Joan Silber. 

Prairie Schooner Book Prize

Literary magazine, Prairie Schooner is accepting fiction and poetry for its annual book prize. It’s open to writers worldwide who are both published and unpublished as long as the manuscripts entered have not yet made it into print. You can enter both categories and make multiple submissions. 

Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition 

Win a stay at Brownber Hall in Yorkshire in the Harper’s Bazaar UK 2019 Short Story competition. Submit up to 2,500 words on the theme of ‘Liberty’, which was the title of a story by Vita Sackville-West published in a 1930s issue. The competition is open to published and unpublished writers.

Eyelands International Flash Fiction Contest 

The Eyelands International Flash Fiction Contest is open once again, this time with a theme of ‘Spring’. Stories can be up to 500 words, in any genre but must be unpublished. The judge is Gregory Papadoyiannis.

Enizagam Literary Contest 

Enizagam is welcoming submissions of short fiction and poetry into this year’s competition. Short stories may be up to 4,000 words in any literary style and on any subject. Poetry may be up to ten pages (with no more than one poem per page), in any poetic form (including free verse) and on any subject.

You can also make general submissions of fiction, poetry and mixed/multi-genre works to the publication throughout the year for free.

Limnisa Short Story Competition

Take part in Limnisa’s annual Short Story Competition for a chance to win a fabulous, writing holiday in Greece. Enter original stories up to 1,500 words inspired by the colourful photograph on Limnisa’s website. Stories must not have been published before.

TSS International Flash Fiction Competition

The latest round of the TSS International Flash Fiction Competition is open to writers internationally. Stories may be up to 400 words. The judges are Elisabeth Ingram Wallace and Rupert Dastur.

The Rubery Book Award

The Rubery Book Award seeks the best books published by indie writers, self-published authors and independent presses internationally. The organisers have a reputation for finding great books and aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten the authors’ profiles.

All genres of adult fiction, young adult, children’s, biographies, nonfiction, self-help, cookery, poetry, photography and more are accepted. Both books and ebooks are eligible. This year’s judges are Paul McDonald, Clare Morrall and Kerry Hadley-Pryce.

Caterpillar Poetry Prize

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is open to unpublished poems written by adults for children aged seven to 11. Poems may be of any length and on any subject. This year’s judge is Brian Moses, cited as ‘one of Britain’s favourite children’s poets’. Poems entered must not have been published and can be entered from anywhere in the world.

Fish Publishing Poetry Prize 

The annual, Fish Poetry Prize will be judged this year by Billy Collins. The competition is open to writers of all nationalities. There is no restriction on theme or style. Poems may be up to 300 words and must not have been published.

There are also lots of other great competitions coming up throughout the year from Fish Publishing covering a variety of creative forms.

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 Lightbox Originals and promote even more on social media.

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