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Writing contests, competitions and opportunities – May 2019

Writing opportunities, writing competitions, writing contests

We’ve brought together May’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of books, flash fiction, screenplays, short stories and poetry.

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.

Winchester Writers’ Festival Bursary

The Winchester Writers’ Festival is an inspiring event for creative writers working in all forms and genres. The three-day weekend includes workshops, talks and one-to-one appointments with over 70 literary agents, commissioning editors, authors, poets and publishing experts.

The Winchester Writers’ Festival Bursary Fund has a number of bursaries available for writers experiencing financial difficulty. The offer is open to all Festival package applicants. 

Miami Book Fair de Groot Prize for the Novella

The Miami Book Fair has partnered with The de Groot Foundation to launch the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize which will be awarded to an author of an unpublished novella. The judge is Justin Torres, author of the novel, We the Animals, which has been translated into fifteen languages and was adapted into a film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His shorter works have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian and more.

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest

This Emerging Writer’s Contest is open to writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry who have not yet published or self-published a book. 

Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most prestigious literary fiction contests. Open to writers around the world, the contest has a prize fund of $2,500 across five categories. Short stories entered can be up to 10,000 words. This year’s guest judge is award-winning author Claire Fuller, whose novels, Our Endless Numbered DaysSwimming Lessons, and Bitter Orange have been translated into sixteen languages. 

Frontier Poetry Digital Chapbook Contest

The judges of the Frontier Poetry Digital Chapbook Contest are looking for an electric bundle of poems of up to 30 pages.

BAFTA Scholarship 

If you’re based in the UK and are looking to study a post-graduate course in film, journalism, game design or TV, you could get financial assistance and mentoring as part of a BAFTA scholarship. First check if the course you’re interested in is eligible here.

The Yeovil Literary Prize

The Yeovil Community Arts Association is inviting entries into the 2019 Yeovil Literary Prize from all corners of the world. There are four categories covering novels, short stories, poetry and a unique one with few restrictions designed to unleash writers’ imaginations. There is also a local prize. All genres are welcome. 

First Novel Prize 2018 

Have you written a novel that hasn’t been published yet or have you published your novel yourself? Then the First Novel Prize could be for you. It’s open to previously unpublished or independently published novelists. Your novel has to be over 50,000 words and can be in any genre for adults.

The Bridport Prize

The prestigious, Bridport Prize has a generous prize fund. The organisers are dedicated to finding and encouraging the most promising writers from across the world. Enter flash fiction, short stories, novels and poetry. 

William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition

The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition is sponsored annually by The Pirate’s Alley Society, Inc, a non-profit literary and educational organisation. The aim is to find talented writers and help them improve their work, assist them in finding literary agents and, ultimately, help find publishers for their work.

Reflex Fiction Seasonal Flash Fiction Competition 

The latest round of the Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition is open. Enter stories between 180 and 360 words.

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

The Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards competition is open exclusively for independently published books and aims to spotlight the authors. 

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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