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Writing opportunities – July 2020

Writing opportunities, writing contests, writing competitions

We’ve brought together July’s best competitions and opportunities, open to writers of novels, short stories, poetry and more.

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.

The Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards

The annual, Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards, aim to inspire poets to explore and share positive visions of peace and the human spirit. They’re open to writers worldwide. Entries must be original, unpublished and written in English.

HarperCollins Diverse Voices

HarperCollins believes in sharing powerful, thought-provoking and entertaining stories that offer inclusive perspectives of the world. The Diverse Voices Open Inbox contest is an opportunity for writers from diverse backgrounds in the Unites States to submit their work. 

The publisher is current inviting submissions of literature for middle grade audiences (ages 8-12) in any genre or format. A typical middle grade novel is 30,000 to 75,000 words and a typical middle grade graphic novel is no more than 250 pages.

The Novel Award

Fitzcarraldo Editions, Giramondo and New Directions have launched a new, biennial award for a book-length work of literary fiction written in English by published or unpublished writers around the world. The judges are seeking innovative and imaginative novels that explore and expand the possibilities of the form. Entries must be a minimum of 30,000 words.

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

The Royal Society of Literature is running the twenty-first V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize which is designed to find the best unpublished short story of the year. It is open to stories between 2,000 and 4,000 words from writers resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth.

Curtis Brown Creative Write from Home Scholarship 

This new scholarship, offered by Curtis Brown Creative, will offer a talented writer of limited means, based anywhere in the world, a fully-paid place on one of its three-month online writing courses worth £1,600. The course will run from 13 July to 19 October 2020.

HG Wells Short Story Competition 

The annual HG Wells Short Story Competition is open to fiction between 1,500 and 5,000 words on the theme of ‘vision’. It has two categories: the Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition for young writers of 21 years and a competition for the over 21s. All shortlisted entries will be published in a paperback anthology. 

Write by the Sea Competition 

The Write by the Sea Literary Festival, based in Kilmore Quay in Ireland, is inviting entries into its latest writing competition. In keeping with Kilmore Quay’s maritime location and traditions, the organisers are looking for short stories (up to 3,000 words), memoirs (up to 3,000 words) and poetry (up to 40 lines) on the theme of ‘waves’.

Globe Soup Short Story Competition 

Globe Soup is an online space for travellers, adventurers and explorers which is also a place for budding travel writers. The organisation’s short story competition is open to fiction of up to 5,000 words set in a country that is revealed when you enter. Submissions can be in any genre or style. 

Bellevue Literary Review Prizes 

Bellevue Literary Review is a journal of humanity and human experience. It is published by NYU Langone Medical Center as part of the Department of Medicine’s thriving Division of Medical Humanities. The prizes award outstanding writing related to health, healing, illness, mind and body. Enter fiction (up to 5,000 words), creative nonfiction (up to 5,000 words) and poetry (up to 3 poems).

Nowhere Travel Writing Prize

Award-winning literary travel magazine Nowhere is inviting submissions into its latest travel writing prize. It is open to writers of all levels of experience who write fiction, nonfiction, poetry or essays that have a powerful sense of people, place and time. Submissions should be between 800 and 5,000 words.

Rattle Poetry Prize

Rattle’s mission is to promote the practice of poetry. ‘At Rattle, anything always goes. If a poem is accessible, interesting, moving, and memorable, if it makes you laugh or cry,’ then it’s Rattle’s kind of poem. The prize is open to writers worldwide and there is no line limit.

Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition

The Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition has been an important first step in many poets’ careers for nearly quarter of a century. Enter poems of up to 40 lines. The categories are Adults (18+) Young People (12-­17 years) and Children (11 and under).

The Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation

If you can translate into English any poem from any language, you could enter it into The Stephen Spender Prize, run in conjunction with The Guardian, which has an Open Category for adults and a Youth Prize for young people. The poem you translate can be from any language, ancient or modern, as the prize celebrates poetry in all its forms and genres

The Stephen Spender Prize also includes a Polish Spotlight this year, a special strand challenging writers to translate one Polish poem from a curated selection into English. It is open to UK and Irish citizens or residents.

Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award

This international competition seeks original collections of short stories. 

Poetry London Mentoring Scheme

In its third year, Poetry London’s mentoring scheme offers the chance for three talented poets to receive a year of one-to-one mentoring from Vahni Capildeo, Wayne Holloway-Smith and Mimi Khalvati. To apply, you will need to submit a sample of three poems and respond to a number of questions about your experiences and artistic development. Writers who secure a place will also receive a £500 travel bursary.

Robert Graves Poetry Prize

The Robert Graves Poetry prize is a collaboration between the Roehampton Poetry Centre and Wimbledon BookFest. It offers an opportunity for emerging and established poets writing in any genre and based anywhere in the world. You can submit up to four poems of up to 40 lines. 

Winchester Poetry Prize

The Winchester Poetry Prize is open to poems up to 40 lines. There is an open competition and an additional prize for the best Hampshire-based poet. 

That’s it for this month but do join us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss out on new opportunities. Our inspirational newsletter comes out every Monday to get each week started with a creative boost. We never bombard our readers with emails. Our wish is only to inspire and support your writing.

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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