I was nurdling my way through the streets of Bergen recently, after a rather fine seafood meal and a walk across the damp earth of one of the city’s many green spaces, when I saw this displayed in a shop window. Petrichor is apparently a Norwegian manufacturer of men’s raincoats. How appropriate, when the old English word refers to the smell of damp earth before or after rain…

This is an admittedly clumsy way of reminding everyone of ninevoices’ own flash fiction competition, which closes at the end of this month. Details are pinned above, but require a story of between 99 and 199 words using as many as possible of those evocative listed words that are at risk of vanishing for ever. The entry fee is £5 (with all profits going to charity) and the prize is £100 for the one we like best. Plenty of time to create something, as long as we receive it by owl-light on the 31st August.

We have some entries already, but we’re greedy: WE WANT MORE.

Ilkley Literature Festival Competition.  Deadline August 1st. (SOON) Story: 3,000 words. Poem: 30 lines. Fee: £5. Prizes: story £200; poem £200; £100; £75. Details: http://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk

Costa Short Story Award. Stories up to 4,000 words. Prizes: £3,500; £1,000; £500. FREE ENTRY.  Closing date August 5th. Details: http://www.costabookawards.com

Hysteria Writing Competition. For a poem of 20 lines; short story of 2,000 words; flash fiction of 250 words. Fees are £3 for a poem; £5 for a short story; £3 for Flash fiction. Prizes: poem £75; story £150; flash £75. Open to women only. Deadline: 31 August. Details: http://www.hysteriauk.co.uk

Earlyworks Press Flash Fiction Competition. For 100 words on an open theme. Fee: £3.50, or £15 for up to six entries. Prize: £100. Deadline August 31st. Details. http://www.earlyworkspress.co.uk.

Exeter Flash Fiction Competition. Up to 250 words. Entry fee: £4. Prizes: £150; £100; £50. Deadline August 31st. Details: creativewritingmatters.co.uk

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Short fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Poetry should be no more than 40 lines. Works previously published are accepted. Prizes: £1,000 poetry; £1,000 short fiction. Sixty finalists, including a winner from each category, will be selected for publication in Aesthetica Magazine. Entry fees: Poetry £12. Short fiction £18. Deadline August 31st. Check details at: http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/cwa

Come on guys – remember all those resolutions about entering lots of competitions this year… ?

(But PLEASE check all rules and entry details first)

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