Purbeck Literary Festival Short Story Competition. 1,000 words on the theme : Heroes. Fee: £3.50. Prize: £100 and publication in Writers’ Forum, a hand-bound notebook, plus an invitation to the festival to receive prize from author Jill Mansell, with one night’s hotel accommodation. Deadline: 14 December. Details: http://www.purbeckliteraryfestival.info

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. Novel for children: full manuscript, synopsis and chapter breakdown. Fee: £15. Prize: publishing contract with Chicken House with royalty advance of £10,000. Suitable for children between 7 and 18. Deadline: 18 December. Details: doublecluck.com/submissions.

Henshaw Press Short Story Competition. Up to 2,000 words on any theme. Prizes: £100, £50, £25. Entry fee: £5. £10 to include critique of story. Deadline 31 December. Details: http://www.henshawpress.co.uk

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize. Up to 4,000 words, poetry up to 50 lines. Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, two £50 highly commended in each category. Entry fee: £5. Closing date: 31 December. Details: http://www.magicoxygen.co.uk