UK Writing Competitions: Flash Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories and Novel Extracts (2019)

This weekend I submitted two pieces of flash fiction to UK writing competitions. I’ve also been beavering away on a 5000-ish word short story. It feels sooooo good to be writing again! I spent hours looking for competitions to enter, so thought I’d write up a list for others in the same boat.


Please note:

  • 
Always thoroughly read the guidelines before submitting your entry.
  • I’ve only included comps open to unpublished writers.

  • I shall update this list as and when new competitions are announced.
  • Best of luck!

Monthly competitions

Scottish Book Trust | monthly prompt for 50 word piece of flash fiction | no fee | prize: mug from The Literary Gift Company


Creative Ink | short stories up to 3000 words / poetry up to forty lines | no fee | prize: publication on website and £10 Amazon voucher 


Cranked Anvil (Quarterly) | short stories up to 1500 words – you can submit up to three stories per comp| fee: £5 for the 1st, £3 for the 2nd, £2 for the 3rd | prize: £150 / £75 / £30 |  The three placed stories from each quarter will be published on the Cranked Anvil website. Future anthologies will also be considered, published by Cranked Anvil Press, in which shortlisted stories from each competition will be published. 


1000 Word Challenge (Quarterly) | short stories of 750-1000 words – you can submit as many as you like per comp| fee: £5 / £15 if you would like structured feedback on your story | prize: £150 / £75 / £50 | You can write about whatever you like, as long as you respond to the competition theme. They are happy to read stories in any genre as long as the stories are beautifully told.

UK Writing Competitions ending February 2019


The 2019 Life Writing Prize| Closes: 11:59pm 1st February | Free entry | 5000 words max of writing intended to be true, reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences *NOT fiction | 1st prize: £1500 Avron course, development meeting with an editor and agent, two highly commended: £500 | winners will receive two mentoring sessions and a development meeting with an editor and agent.


Bath Flash Fiction Award | Closes: midnight 10th February | £9 one entry, £15 two, £18 three | 1st prize: £1000, 2nd prize: £300, 3rd prize: £100 third, £30 two commended, 50 authors offered anthology print publication, with all published authors shipped a free print copy.


Writers & Artists Short Story Competition | Closes: midnight 13th February | Free to enter | Prize: a place on one of Arvon’s four or six day Clockhouse writing retreats, as well as seeing your story published on the W&A website| 2000 words max

The Tangerine | Closes: 22nd Feb | Free to enter | 6000 words max
The Tangerine particularly welcomes submissions from women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities

UK Writing Competitions ending March 2019


The White Review | Closes: 5pm on 4th March | Entry fee: £15 (proceeds go to their charity)| 2000 words min, 7000 words max

The Short Story | Closes: midnight on 31st March | Entry fee: £5 | 1st prize £400, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £50, plus up to five highly commended prizes of £25 each | 400 words max


UK Writing Competitions ending April 2019


Bath Short Story | Closes: midnight on 15th April| Entry fee: £8| 1st prize £1200, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100, plus £50 for the local prize| 2200 words max


UK Writing Competitions ending May 2019


The Bridport Prize (Novel Extract Award) | Closes 31st May | Fee: £20 | 300 word synopsis and 8000 word extract | 1st prize: £1000 and mentoring, 2nd Prize: £500 and full manuscript assessment, 3 awards of £100 and 50 page manuscript assessment


The Bridport Prize (Flash Fiction) | Closes 31st May | Fee: £9 | 250 words max| 1st prize: £1000, 2nd prize: £500, 3rd prize: £250, 3 highly commended prizes of £100


The Bridport Prize (Short Story) | Closes 31st May | Fee: £12 | 5000 words max| 1st prize: £5000, 2nd prize: £1000, 3rd prize: £500, 10 highly commended prizes of £100 | 
The winning and highly commended stories, poems and flash fiction will be published in the Bridport Prize anthology each year.

The winning Bridport stories and shortlist will be read by leading London literary agents A.M. Heath with a view to representing writers.


The London Independent Story Prize (LISP) | Closes 6th May | Fees: £5-12 | 300 words max| Prize: £200| All entrants will be considered for print and/or digital publication in the forthcoming London Independent Story Prize Anthology. 

UK Writing Competitions ending June 2019


Bath Novel Award | Closes: 2nd June | Entry fee: £25 | 1st prize: £2500 and literary agent introductions and manuscript feedback, 2nd prize: literary agent introductions and manuscript feedback, 3rd prize: online place on editing course worth £1800 | send one page synopsis and first 5000 words of your unpublished or self-published novel (must be over 50,000 words in total)

UK Writing Competitions ending July 2019

UK Writing Competitions ending February 2019


The 2019 Life Writing Prize| Closes: 11:59pm 1st February | Free entry | 5000 words max of writing intended to be true, reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences *NOT fiction | 1st prize: £1500 Avron course, development meeting with an editor and agent, two highly commended: £500 | winners will receive two mentoring sessions and a development meeting with an editor and agent.


Bath Flash Fiction Award | Closes: midnight 10th February | £9 one entry, £15 two, £18 three | 1st prize: £1000, 2nd prize: £300, 3rd prize: £100 third, £30 two commended, 50 authors offered anthology print publication, with all published authors shipped a free print copy.


Writers & Artists Short Story Competition | Closes: midnight 13th February | Free to enter | Prize: a place on one of Arvon’s four or six day Clockhouse writing retreats, as well as seeing your story published on the W&A website| 2000 words max

The Tangerine | Closes: 22nd Feb | Free to enter | 6000 words max
The Tangerine particularly welcomes submissions from women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities

UK Writing Competitions ending March 2019


The White Review | Closes: 5pm on 4th March | Entry fee: £15 (proceeds go to their charity)| 2000 words min, 7000 words max

The Short Story | Closes: midnight on 31st March | Entry fee: £5 | 1st prize £400, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £50, plus up to five highly commended prizes of £25 each | 400 words max


UK Writing Competitions ending April 2019


Bath Short Story | Closes: midnight on 15th April| Entry fee: £8| 1st prize £1200, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100, plus £50 for the local prize| 2200 words max


UK Writing Competitions ending May 2019


The Bridport Prize (Novel Extract Award) | Closes 31st May | Fee: £20 | 300 word synopsis and 8000 word extract | 1st prize: £1000 and mentoring, 2nd Prize: £500 and full manuscript assessment, 3 awards of £100 and 50 page manuscript assessment


The Bridport Prize (Flash Fiction) | Closes 31st May | Fee: £9 | 250 words max| 1st prize: £1000, 2nd prize: £500, 3rd prize: £250, 3 highly commended prizes of £100


The Bridport Prize (Short Story) | Closes 31st May | Fee: £12 | 5000 words max| 1st prize: £5000, 2nd prize: £1000, 3rd prize: £500, 10 highly commended prizes of £100 | 
The winning and highly commended stories, poems and flash fiction will be published in the Bridport Prize anthology each year.

The winning Bridport stories and shortlist will be read by leading London literary agents A.M. Heath with a view to representing writers.


The London Independent Story Prize (LISP) | Closes 6th May | Fees: £5-12 | 300 words max| Prize: £200| All entrants will be considered for print and/or digital publication in the forthcoming London Independent Story Prize Anthology. 

UK Writing Competitions ending June 2019


Bath Novel Award | Closes: 2nd June | Entry fee: £25 | 1st prize: £2500 and literary agent introductions and manuscript feedback, 2nd prize: literary agent introductions and manuscript feedback, 3rd prize: online place on editing course worth £1800 | send one page synopsis and first 5000 words of your unpublished or self-published novel (must be over 50,000 words in total)

UK Writing Competitions ending July 2019


Fiction Factory | Closes 31st July | Fees: £6 | 500 words max| Prize: £150 / £50 / £25| All genres welcome, winning stories will be published on website and included in a planned anthology.

Michael Terence Publishing | Closes 31st July | Fees: £5 | 3000 words max| Prize: £300 / £200 / £100| All genres welcome, winners will receive publication in the MTP Summer Anthology (print book and ebook). Anthology title will be based on the winning entry title.

UK Writing Competitions ending August 2019

SaveAs Writers’ (poetry)| Closes 31st August | Fees: £3 or £8 for three | 60 lines max| Prize: £200 / £100 / £50| All things space: poems and stories on any aspects of humanity’s relationship with the cosmos – the moon, stars and planets, astronomy or astrology, space exploration, UFOs.  

SaveAs Writers’ (prose)| Closes 31st August | Fees: £4 or £10 for three | 3500 words max | Prize: £200 / £100 / £50 | All things space: poems and stories on any aspects of humanity’s relationship with the cosmos – the moon, stars and planets, astronomy or astrology, space exploration, UFOs.  

UK Writing Competitions ending September 2019

Val Wood Love Letters | Closes 5pm, 21st September | Fees: free to enter | 1500 words max | Prize: £100 / £50 / 2x £25 | Entries should be in the form of a love letter and entrants are free to write about whatever they wish as long as the theme of love and the form of a letter are adhered to.

UK Writing Competitions ending October 2019

The London Short Story Prize | Closes 5pm, 7th October | Fees: £10 | 5000 words max (all themes allowed) | Other criteria: entrants must currently reside in London/Greater London | Prize: overall winner will receive £1000 and their short story will be published in Open Pen London. Two highly commended writers will each receive £250. The full longlist will see their short stories published in the London Short Story Prize 2019 Anthology.

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