Competitions are in order of their closing dates, with the nearest first. Annual and ongoing competitions are also listed below.
Winter Tales Competition: Short Stories and Poems
This is a chance for unpublished writers and poets to be included in a new anthology, due out in 2008. Coming under the broad mantle of Winter, entries can be as diverse and original as their creators. This includes stories and poems for children as well as adults. Winners will also receive: 1st prize £100, runners up £25 and excerpts of their work will be published on the website. The entry fee is £3 per entry. For more information visit www.winterwitch.co.uk
Closing date: 31 January 2008
Falsh Fiction Competition
Write a story in 600 words or less using a photo as inspiration. 1st prize is £75 plus publication online. For more information visit www.creative-competitor.co.uk
Closing date: 31 January
The HappenStance short story competition
For adults and young people. The judge for 2007/8 will be author Susie Maguire.Prizes: 1st £120, 2nd £75, 3rd £50, plus publication in the 2008 HappenStance short story anthology. Online entry fee: £5 per story (includes free critique).Stories must be in English or Scots, maximum length 2500 words. No theme.For more information visit www.happenstancepress.com
Closing date: 2 February 2008.
Bristol Short Story Prize
Run by the Bristol Review of Books, this short story competition (max. 3000 words) is open to all ages and nationalities. No theme, £7 entry fee. Entries must be previously unpublished. The top 20 entries will be published in an anthology, to be launched at Bristol's Waterstone's. Prizes are: 1st -£300, 2nd - £200 and 3rd - £100; the winners will also be published in the Bristol Review of Books. For more information visit www.bristolprize.co.uk
Closing date: 31 March 2008
Open Poetry Competition
Poems can be on any subject and in any form, maximum word length is 40 lines. Must be original and unpublished. 1st prize: £100, 2nd prize: £75, 3rd prize: £50. For more information visit www.creative-competitor.co.uk
Closing date: 31 March 2008
Pound a Poem
A competition for children aged 7 to 11, in school year's 3 to 6. It is focused on literacy, healthy eating and citizenship. Children can write a poem about fruit or vegetables and pay £1 per poem to enter into the competition. All the money raised will go to Cancer Research UK to fund research into cancers that affect children. For more information, visit www.poundapoem.co.uk Launches 15 September 2008.
Closing date: 12 December 2008
Author v Author
Author v Author is a national short story competition. The concept is very simple: local newspapers encourage their readers to take part in the competition. Entrants submit a story of no more than 5,000 words online, in their age category. The stories can be read by anyone who registers on the website. Readers are encouraged to judge each story by rating it from 1-5.
Closing date: 30 April 2008
Annual and ongoing competitions
Produce two quarterly magazines of short stories, and run several open writing competitions every year wish cash prizes and publication for the winners. For more information, visit www.parkpublications.co.uk
Writers’ Forum magazine monthly poetry competition
Prizes are: 1st £100 plus publication; three runners-up receive a dictionary plus publication. Entry fee is: £5 per poem, £7 for two. No theme, up to 40 lines. No deadline as the competition is continuous. For more information, visit www.writers-forum.com, or see the magazine, which is available from branches of WH Smith.
Voices on the Page
A national writing event for adults in Skills for Life adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL classes in England. We are looking for learner writing: true stories, fictional stories or poems about life, love, home, family, dreams, sadness, hopes, experiences - anything that someone else may want to read. Voices on the Page has three elements: a national online storybank, a book to be published in the autumn of 2007, and an awards ceremony for regional winners and runners up. The aim is to create a collection of writing in the form of the all-inclusive online storybank and a selection in the publication, which will be an everlasting document to what it is like to be alive now. Visit www.nrdc.org.uk/voices
The TES Write Away literary competition - closed 2006
Write Away, ran for 10 years, inviting students aged from 7 to 14 to write about their own lives, focussing on a person, place or event that has been important to them and experiment with forms such as a diary entry or letter.For the final 2006 competition there were some 9,000 submissions, from all over the UK as well as international schools in many parts of the world, which were read by panels of teachers organised by the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) in different regions. The final four winners were chosen by authors Michael Rosen, poet and broadcaster, and Jacqueline Wilson, the current Children’s Laureate. For more information see www.tes.co.uk. The scheme closed down following the sale of the TES to a new owner.
Leaf Books writing competitions
Publisher Leaf Books runs regular short story, poetry and other writing competitions. Each entry usually costs approximately £3 to £5 and prizes include cash awards, books and publications in a Leaf Books anthology. For details of current competitions and closing dates visit http://leafbooks.co.uk/New/For%20Writers/CurrentCompetitions.htmlMoon Town Cafe
This poetry website runs free-to-enter poetry contests, with monetary prizes. For more information visit www.moontowncafe.com/contest.asp
Reading Is Fundamental, UK website
Search For a School runs an annual poetry competition and publishes some of the best entries. The competition is open to all age groups. The closing date for entries is 24 October for each year. See www.searchforaschool.com
txtlit.co.uk is based on texting micro stories- stories that contain no more than 160 characters (the maximum for one text message). The theme changes monthly and texts cost £1 plus the standard network charge for a text. For more information visit www.txtlit.co.uk/
Prime Prose is a quarterly competition for original, unpublished fiction of no more than 500 words. Every entrant receives a critique of their work. Cash prizes and payment for entry. www.soszynski.btinternet.co.uk/primeprose/
Write for BookCrossing
Want to write for BookCrossing? If your article is accepted, you could see it featured in their newsletter. You can write anything about books, reading, or BookCrossing - tutorials, release and catch stories, well-travelled book stories or funny BookCrossing experience stories. Write it up, then submit it to www.bookcrossing.com/articles/submit
Writers Online is not so much a competition but an ongoing way of encouraging children to practise their creative writing skills. The Writers Online website encourages children to write pieces of their own in response to, and in the style of, an extract from a well-known writer. These can then be submitted for inclusion on the site. See www.englishonline.co.uk/writers/.