We will hopefully be forgiven for kicking off with our own Ninevoices’ competition. There are other competitions out there, but few – if any – restricting entry to beginners who have earned less than £300 from their writing in the past year. We are on your side. We know how hard it is to get that first spark of recognition.

SO, please let us have your short stories up to 2,000-words, on any subject. Details and rules can be accessed above, entry fee is £5 per story (only two cups of coffee!) and prizes are: £100, £50 and £25 – plus publication on our website for our winner. Closing date is 31 May. Do let’s hear from you.

Bridport Prize 2015 for short stories, poetry and flash fiction. Prizes: £5,000, £1,000, £500 and ten £50 highly commendeds for short stories and poetry/£1,000, £500, £250, three £25 highly commendeds for flash fiction/£100 Dorset Award for best local winner or runner-up. Anthology publication for all. Entry fee: £6 per flash fiction, £7 per poem, £8 per short story. Closing date 31 May. Website http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

Frome Festival Short Story competition for short stories 1,000-2,200 words on any theme. Prizes: £300, £150, £75. Entry fee £5. Closing date 31 May. Website http://www.fromeshortstorycompetition.co.uk

The Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for an extract (5,000-8,000 words) from an unpublished debut novel. Prize: £1,000 plus mentoring. Entry fee £20. Closing date 31 May. Website http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

London Magazine Poetry, for poems up to 40 lines. Prizes: £300, £200, £100 plus publication. Entry fee £5. Closing date 31 May. Website www.http://the londonmagazine.org

Yeovil Literary Prize for novels (opening chapters and synopsis, up to 15,000 words), short stories (max. 2,000 words) and poems (up to 40 lines). Prizes for novels: £1,000, £250 and £100; for poems/short stories, £500, £200 and £100. Entry fee for novels £11, for short stories £6, for poems £6 for a single poem, £9 for two, £11 for three. Closing date 31 May. Website http://www.yeovilprize.co.uk

Welsh Poetry Competition 2015. Poems up to 50 lines. Prizes: £400, £200, £100, plus anthology and web publication for 17 runners-up. Entry fee: £4. £5 Paypal. Closing date 31 May.