It’s spring, hatch out a new story!

Entries are invited for the seventh Bath Short Story Award. Prizes are £1,000 for the winner, £300 for the runner-up and £100 for the third. There is a £100 prize for the best story by an unpublished writer and a £50 local prize. Stories should be up to 2,200 words and the entry fee is £8 per story. Closing date is 15 April. Details:

Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for stories between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Prizes: Aus $5,000, $3,000,$2,000, with $$2,500 divided between 3 commended. Entry fee is Aus $25 and the closing date 15 April. Details:

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Deliberately bad opening lines to novels, comic writing inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s notorious Paul Clifford opening, ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’  Prizes are modest, but receive considerable publicity. Free entry. Closing date 15 April. Details:

Billy Roche One Act Play Award for plays up to 15 minutes. Prizes: Euros 300, 200 and 100. Entry fee: Euros 10, Closing date: 19 April.

Grey Hen Poetry Competition for poems up to 40 lines by women who are 60+. Prizes: £100, £50, £25, website production. Entry fee: £3, £10 for four. Closing date: 30 April. Details

Dark Tales Short Story ongoing monthly competition for horror and sci-fi stories up to 5,000 words. Prizes: £100 each months, plus publication. Entry fee: £4. Closing date 30 April (last day of each month). Details:

Swanwick Writers’ School Competition for stories poems and writing for children on the theme of ‘close call’. Prizes: inclusive week at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School for each category winner. Writing Magazine manuscript appraisal for second winners; Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook for third. Entry fee: £6. Closing date 30 April. Details:

Scottish Arts Club/Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award – 250 words maximum. Prizes £500, trophy, membership. Entry fee: £5. Deadline: 30 April. Details:

Please remember to double-check entry details before committing your time and money, in case I’ve got something wrong.

Meanwhile, good luck. There isn’t as long a list as usual, but why not try something different from your normal writing style – like the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest? I didn’t think I could remember how to knit, but managed to cobble together those Easter chicks for a local Hospice fund-raising effort. They’re wonky, but managed to successfully hold a handful of chocolate cream eggs.