Writing with no goal or purpose (other than to enjoy writing) is a wonderful feeling. But if you’re particularly proud of a piece you’ve created, why not enter a writing competition?
Competitions can also be helpful in getting pieces finished, because they offer a deadline, sometimes a theme, and an incentive (often cash prizes, mentorship or even publication). Some require an entry fee, but there are plenty of great competitions and prizes that are completely free to enter. What do you have to lose? Here are some of our favourites.
Scottish Book Trust 50 Word Fiction
Write a story of up to 50 words using the given prompt in this free monthly competition. We love this one at Converge. You can win a mug!
Litro Flash Fiction Competition
Submit up to 400 words or a spoken word performance around the theme of lockdown. Deadline: 22nd May.
Creative Future Writer’s Award
A prize dedicated to celebrating the work of writers from under-represented backgrounds. Submit a maximum of 42 lines for poetry or 2,000 words for fiction. Courses, cash and mentorship to be won! Deadline: 31st May.
Penguin Random House WriteNow
Another programme aiming to find undiscovered writers who identify as coming from under-represented communities. Submit 1,000 words for the chance to win workshops, feedback and more. Deadline: 31st May.
Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Writing Competition
Your story could be recorded as an audiobook! Write between 1,000 and 2,000 words around the theme of ‘inspiration’ to enter (your story doesn’t need to be related to Jane Austen in any way). Deadline: 20th May.
BBC National Short Story Award
The deadline for this one passed in March, but it’s definitely one to pop in your calendars for next year. Enter up to 8,000 words for a chance to win a massive £15,000. Deadline: March.
Creative Writing NZ Flash Fiction Competition
A monthly flash fiction competition for stories of up to 1000 words. Deadline is the last day of every month.
Nature Writing Prize for working class writers
Best-selling writer Natasha Carthew has established a Nature Writing Prize for writers who ‘self-identify as working class’. Submit 1000 words of poetry, fiction, non-fiction or hybrid writing. Prizes include publication in the Countryman magazine and a mentoring session with Natasha. Email submissions to email@example.com. Deadline: 7th June.