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What better time than spring to begin a new short story, enter a competition, or perhaps create a children’s book about the creature whose magical home is under this tree…?

The White Review Short Story Prize is for ambitious short fiction between 2,000 and 7,000 words by UK writers who have yet to secure a publishing deal. There is a first prize of £2,500, with the winning story being published in the print edition of the quarterly White Review. Shortlisted entries will be published online and their authors will receive feedback from The White Review editors. The entry fee is £15 and the closing date 4 March. For full rules and entry details: http://www.thewhitereview.org/prize

Neil Gunn Writing Competitions. Short story: 2,500 words max. Poetry: 40 lines max. Prizes: £500; £300; £200 in each category. Entry fee: £8. Deadline 8 March. Details: http://www.highlifehigh-land.com/neilgunn

Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition for writers aged 16-plus. 2,500 words maximum. Prizes: £150 plus trophy. Entry fee: £5. Deadline 22 March. Details: eveshamfestivalof-words.org/competition

Evesham Festival of Words Junior Competition for a story of 500 words max (age 8-11); 1,000 words (age 12-15). Prizes: £30 gift voucher plus trophy in each category. Details: eveshamfestivalof-words.org/competition

Fish Publishing Poetry Contest for a poem of 300 words. Prizes: 1,000 Euros; week at Anam Cara retreat; 200 Euros; top 10 published in anthology. Entry fee: 14 Euros, then 8 Euros thereafter. Deadline 31 March. Details: http://www.fishpublishing.com/writing-contests

The BBC National Short Story Award 2019, with Cambridge University, is open for entries until March 11. This prestigious award has a first prize of £15,000, and four shortlisted authors will each win £600. All winning stories will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in an anthology. Stories should be aimed at adult readers and up to 8,000 words. However, to enter writers must have a previous record of publication in creative writing (prose fiction, drama or poetry) with an established book publisher, newspaper, magazine, journal or periodical in the UK, or broadcast by a UK national broadcaster or content provider. Self-published work is not eligible. Entry is free, and each author may submit just one story. Full details from https://writ.rs/bbcnssa2019

Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition for 500 words maximum. Entry fee: £5 or £8 for two. Prizes: £300, plus publication in Words with Jam; £200 and £100. Details: http://www.flash500.com

Henshaw Press Quarterly Short Story Competition for short stories of 2,000 words. Prizes: £100; £50. Deadline end March. Details: henshawpress.co.uk

Not a vast field, but there are always other, themed, competitions run by Writing Magazine and by Writers’ Forum which you can enter – some of which are open to non-subscribers.

As always, please remember to double-check the latest entry details before pressing that ‘send button.

[My picture, incidentally, was taken last Tuesday, at Scotney Castle, in Kent. Bravo for our wonderful National Trust, and the wit they show in the notices displayed for visitors…]

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