writing course reviews from Writers College gradautes

Writing Competitions
and Events

If you are looking to take your writing to the next level, then entering a writing competition often provides that extra impetus to refine your work.

This is by no means a full list of competitions. Some writing competitions require an entry fee. Others don’t. This seems to be the norm these days and there are credible competitions that require an entry fee. Always check that you are comfortable with sending money to the organizers if this is the case.

Please contact the competition organizers directly if you have any queries. NZ Writers College cannot be held responsible for the conduct of any third party competitions or events.

The Basics of Creative Writing Course

A rigorous training for both beginners and seasoned writers

Competitions and Events

Fiction Factory First Chapter Novel Competition
Deadline: 31 July 2021
More details here

Future Folklore Climate Fiction Competition
Deadline: 9 August 2021
More details hereThe Bruce Jesson Journalism Award

Deadline: 17 September 2021
More details here

Kindle Storyteller Awards

Deadline: 31 August 2021
More details here

EYELANDS Book Awards 2021
Deadline: 20 October 2021
More details here

Anthology Poetry Award
Deadline: 31 October 2021
More details here

The Bedford Short Story Competition
Deadline: 31 October 2021
More details here

The Ovacome Writing Competition 2021 
Deadline: 30 September 2021
More details here

The Smokelong Quarterly Comedy Prize

Deadline: 15 November 2021
More details here

The Short Story Writing for Magazines Course

All the basics of short story writing in one course

Regular Annual Writing Competitions

The annual Sunday Star Times Short Story Awards in New Zealand. Deadline is December each year. See Stuff.co.nz for more details.

The Sargeson Prize in New Zealand closes 30 June. More details here.

The takahē Short Story Competition closes 31 August. More details here.

Almond Press runs a writing competition event calendar that is updated on a daily basis

Less Than 100 Words

Cooldog Short Story Competition

The Bridport Prize for a 5000-word short story offers one of the biggest prizes globally. The deadline is 31 May. More details here.

Grindstone Literary runs several competitions annually. Have a look at their competitions here – https://www.grindstoneliterary.com/competitions

Apostrophe Books | Fiction Fast Track

Inkitt maintains an excellent website documenting lots of international writing competitions

Storyhouse | Contests for previously unpublished writers

Flash fiction is fast becoming a genre in its own right. The Flash500 on-line competition has just celebrated its first year and already it receives several hundred entries from almost 20 countries for each contest. It runs quarterly with a different judge each time. Optional individual critiques cost £10 (about $NZ20). Lorraine Mace’s eagle-eyed critique includes a full-page feedback on plot, characters, structure etc, and detailed editorial comments using Word’s ‘track changes’ programme. The most thorough entry critique I have found.

Writing a complete story in just 500 words stretches your powers of imagery and precision. Why not take up the challenge? Full details on www.flash500.com.

Flash500 publishes winning stories and judge’s reports on its own web site and in the e-zine Words With Jam – the best-kept media secret. Subscribe online; it’s absolutely free and crammed to the margins with tips, humour and inside stories on writing and writers (www.wordswithjam.co.uk).

Writer’s Forum is a UK, monthly quality magazine for writers of all genre, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It is available on subscription or in newsagents; I even saw one recently on the shelf in the Far North of New Zealand, so it can’t be hard to find. They have a monthly competition for short stories of any genre from 1000-3000 words; an optional full-page critique costs £5. This is exceptional value for a constructive, individual verdict from the bench.

The magazine publishes three winners in the next issue with a detailed write-up by judge, Sue Moorcroft. These stories and her comments are a rich source of critical insights on storytelling. Entry is by snail-mail or online, and is continuous – if a story is too late for one issue it’s carried through to the next, no sweating over deadlines. Further details are on their website www.writers-forum.com.

The BBC Short Story Competition allows entries in any style or genre, but the caveat is that you have to be published to enter this. Self-publishing does not count. See the previous winners reading their stories, and find the full details at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0079gw3.

Cinnamon Press, an independent small publisher in the UK, runs two short story competitions each year for stories of 2000-4000 words in any genre, by writers anywhere. As well as awarding cash prizes, they publish the winning stories and top runners up in an anthology; the entry fee includes a copy of this publication. Their website is www.cinnamonpress.com.

Finishing your first novel? They also run a novel/novella competition; first prize includes publication, and four runners up receive a full appraisal of their work.

Another short story competition with an open-door policy for beginner writers is the Fish Publishing Short Story Competition. Offering generous prizes for a 5000-word story, the winner gets €3,000 plus entry to a 5-day Short Story Workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival. Seven ‘honourable mention’ prizes of €200 each are also on offer. The top ten stories are published in the annual Fish Anthology.  Find more details here: https://www.fishpublishing.com/competition/short-story-contest/

The Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course

Learn how to write winning short stories

The Write a Novel Course

Write your novel with one-to-one guidance from an award-winning author.

Weekly Writing Competitions

The Telegraph Travel Writing Competition

The Long and Short of it – Unity Books Short Story Competition

For a bit of lighthearted fun, Reedsy runs weekly short story competitions in response to a writing prompt. Winners get $50 and publication on the Reedsy blog. See the details here.

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