There are a surprising number of competitions this month, with the holiday season upon us. But editing a draft, or tinkering with the idea for a new short story is a pretty constructive way of passing a flight if you don’t fancy the movies on offer. So, no excuses accepted.

The Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition closes on July 10. Word count: 1200. Fee: £5. Prizes: £200; £100; £50. Details: wrekinwriters.wordpress.com

H G Wells Short Story Competition. Deadline 16 July. Word count: 1500-5000, The theme is ‘LIGHT in its broadest interpretation’. Prizes: £250 for authors of 22 years of age or over with an entry fee £10. £1,000 for authors 21 years of age and under, with FREE entry. Details: https://hgwellscompetition.com/

Cinnamon Press Debut Novel/Novella Competition. First 10,000 words. Fee: £12. Prize: year’s mentoring, publishing contract and 100 copies of the book. Details: http://www.cinnamon-press.com

HISSAC Short Story And Flash Fictions Competitions. Story: 2000 words. Flash: 500 words. Fee: story £5: £12 for three, £18 for five. Flash: £5, or £12 for three. Prizes: £250; £50; £25. Details: http://www.hissac.co.uk

Norwich Writers Olga Sinclair Competition wants stories on the theme of ‘strangers’. The winner will receive £400, with a second prize of £250 and a third of £100. Ten runners-up will receive a signed copy of Strangers: A History of Norwich’s Incomers, by local historian Frank Meeres. The winner and runners-up will be published in an anthology. Entry fee: £8. Closing date 31 July. Details: https://norwichwriters.wordpress.com/

The Ledbury Poetry Festival is offering a first prize of £1,000 and a course at Ty Newyyd, with runners-up receiving £500 and £250, for unpublished poems up to forty lines in any style and on any subject. There is an entry fee of £5 for the first poem and £3.50 for any subsequent poems. Closing date 13 July. Details: http://www.poetry-festival.co.uk

As usual, I urge you to check all details before entering.

Although the above features competitions happening this month, do please take a look at ninevoices’ own competition for a story using some delightful, but obscure, old English words. You don’t need to use them all! One would be sufficient, if it is used imaginatively. Our prize might be modest, but we are unlikely to get the mass entries that the bigger competitions receive – which gives you better odds… You have until the end of August.