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I’m a couple of days late with this – for which, my apologies, I was off on my broomstick – but here are some competitions worth entering in November.

Bath Children’s Novel Award, for 7-17 years. 5,000 words plus synopsis. Entry fee £25. Prizes: £2,000; £500 Cornerstones voucher. Deadline: 19 November. Details: bathnovelaward.co.uk/childrens-novel-award

Erewash Writers Free Entry Competition. Poem: 40 lines. Flash Fiction: max 500 words. Story: 1,500-2,000 words. Theme: Live in the Moment. Entry, as said, is free, but is limited to two entries max per person. Prizes: £25 story; £10 poetry/flash fiction, plus publication. Deadline: 23 November. Details: erewashwriterscompetition.weebly.com/2017-free-entry-themed-writing-competition.html

Fish Short Story Prize 2017.  Word limit, 5,000. Entry fee: 20 Euros. 10 stories will also be selected to go into the 2018 Fish Anthology. First prize: 3,000 Euros. Second prize: Week at Anam Cara Writers Retreat, plus 300 Euros. Third prize: 300 Euros. Fish also have an on-line short story writing course and a critique service. Details: http://www.fishpublishing.com

Congleton Playwriting Competition for one-act plays from new and emerging playwrights with a running time of 20-30 minutes (3,500-4,000 words). Ideally plays should have between two and six characters, but monologues will be considered. Shortlisted plays will be performed at the Congleton Players One-Act Play Festival in 2018, and the writer of the play voted the audience’s favourite will get £150. ENTRY IS FREE. Deadline: 30 November. Details: http://congletonplayers.com/

There are also always competitions to enter in Writer’s Magazine and Writers’ Forum.

And, finally, November is National Novel Writing Month, the challenge to use November to get your word count up to 50,000 words and your book properly under way. Although this started on November 1st, you can still sign up. There are badges for reaching important targets and a prize draw for people who get successfully to the end. Along the way are pep talks, support and the chance to meet fellow writers on-line. Details: https://nanowrimo.org


The picture, incidentally, was one of my entries into the annual Speldhurst Village Scarecrow Competition. It didn’t win, nor did it get placed (maybe it should have been featured in my Rejection Diaries), but was great fun to create. My friends tell me the likeness is remarkable, apart from the hair length.