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Yesterday was one of ninevoices’ fortnightly writing days. An opportunity to share work-in-progress, discuss books we’ve read, and encourage one another to persevere – perhaps the most important quality for a writer, after talent. And, to demonstrate its importance, ex officio member Skipper trawled around the room in search of a dropped or donated fragment of food and reminded us with his melting brown eyes to be dogged in our literary endeavours.

Here are some ways:

The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize wants stories up to 4,000 words and poems up to 50 lines on any theme. Prizes are £1,000, £300, £100 and 2 x £50 in each category. The entry fee is £5 and FOR EVERY ENTRY A TREE IS PLANTED IN AFRICA. Worth entering for the good you are doing, with the possible bonus of winning one of the prizes. The deadline is 31 December. Details: http://www.magicoxygen.co.uk

Flash 500 Competitions hold quarterly competitions for flash fiction, up to 500 words. Prizes: £300, £200 and £100. Entry fee is £5 for one, £8 for two. Deadline 31 December. Details: flash500.com

Bath Children’s Novel Award. Send first 5,000 words and synopsis. Prizes: £2,500, various shortlist prizes, including Cornerstones online course worth £1,800. Entry fee: £25. Closing date 2 December. Details: http://www.bathnovelaward.co.uk

Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition for full-length novels of 30,000 to 80,000 words, suitable for readers 7-18. Prizes: publication deal worth £10,000. All longlisted writers receive an editorial report. Entry fee: £15. Deadline 18 December. Details: http://www.chickenhousebooks.com/submissions

H E Bates Short Story Competition for up to 2,000 words. Prizes: £500, £200, £100, £100 for best short story by Northampton writer not winning another prize. Entry fee: £6, or £10 for two. Closing date 3 December. Details: http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk

RW Themed Flash Fiction Prize. Short fiction up to 500 words on quarterly set themes. December: ‘Running Away‘. Prizes: £200, 2 x £100. Entry fee: £8. Closing date 30 December. Details: http://www.retreatwest.co.uk

Henshaw Quarterly Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,000 words. Prizes: £100, £50, £25. Entry fee: £5. Deadline 31 December. Details http://www.henshawpress.co.uk

Audio Arcadia’s General Fiction Short Story Competition for stories up to 5,000 words. Prizes: anthology publication, royalties. Entry fee: £5.50. Closing date 31 December. Details: http://www.audioarcadia.com

The Exeter Novel Prize is open for entries, and asks for the first 10,000 words (including synopsis) of a novel that has not been accepted for publication by a tradition publishing house. The first price is £500, plus a trophy. Five shortlisted writers will each receive £100 and a trophy. Entrants must not be currently represented by a literary agent.The entry fee is £18, payable by Paypal. Details http://www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk  The closing date is January 1st – technically next year, but the morning after New Year’s Eve isn’t the best time to press all the right buttons on your computer. Do it well ahead of time!

The Moth Poetry Prize awards 10,000 Euros for a single unpublished poem, and 3 prizes of 1,000 Euros for runners up. Closing date 31 December. Details: http://www.themothmagazine.com


Skipper would like to remind you to check all details carefully before entering any competitions. Good luck!