With holidays mostly behind us here are some competitions to get the juices flowing again:

Ghost Story Competition. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of that famous ghost story contest between Lord Bryon, John Polidori and Mary Shelley original ghost stories are being sought by the Scottish Storytelling Centre of up to 1,200 words ‘that have been written to be read aloud’. Although there is no monetary prize, the six winning stories will be told at the National Library of Scotland on Halloween as part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. The stories will be filmed as they are told – and who knows what fame may follow. There is no entry fee, but the deadline is imminent – 5 September. Writers do not need to be based in Scotland to enter. Details from http://writ.rs/2016ghoststorycomp

Bedford International Writing Competition is seeking short stories up to 3,000 words, or poems of 40 lines. The entry fee is £5, or three for £10. Prizes: £200, £100, £50. Deadline 30 September. Details: http://www.bedfordwriting-competition.co.uk

Galley Beggar Press invite entries for its 2016/2017 Short Story Prize, with the prize pot increased to £1,000, with an alternative prize of year-long editorial support. Galley Beggar Press was set up to support ‘ambitious, groundbreaking work and was the initial publisher of Eimaer McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing.’ The winning, shortlisted and longlisted authors will be published as part of the Galley Beggar Singles Club. Stories should be up to 6,000 words and the entry fee is £10 per story. Closing date is 30 September. Details from the website: http://galleybeggar.co.uk

The Manchester Writing Competition 2016 offers a spectacular first prize of £10,000 for an original short story of up to 2,500 words. The entry fee (understandably, with such a prize pot) is £17.50 and the deadline is Friday 23 September. Details from http://www.manchesterwritingcompetition.co.uk

Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition for the first 3,000 words. Prize: £5,000. Entry (for women only) fee: £25. Deadline 19 September. Details: mslexia.co.uk

Erewash Open Short Story Competition 2016. Stories of up to 2,000 words. Fee: £3 for one entry, or £2.50 for two or more. Prizes: £100, £60, £25, £15. Details (including definition of ‘New Writer’ and ‘Open’ categories) erewashwriterscompetiton.weebly.com

PLEASE remember to check entry details, as these sometimes get changed at short notice!