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September, of course, is your final chance to enter our own competition for a story on the theme of ‘summer‘ – and don’t forget, you only have until the 28th, not the end of the month. The first prize is £250, with £50 going to one runner-up. Entry is £5 and all profits will be going to the cinderella arthritis charity, PMRGCAuk.

We have chosen to limit entry to those who didn’t earn more than £300 from their writing in the past year. So you won’t have to compete with people like Ian Rankin, Hilary Mantel or Stephen King (all of whom are, no doubt, gnashing their teeth with frustration).

Mslexia Competitions. Details from http://www.mslexia.co.uk/competitions. Deadline for all three competitions: 30 September.

Mslexia Novel Competition. For novels of at least 50,000 words in any genre for adult and/or young adult readers by currently unpublished women writers. The winner gets £5,000, together with the option of representation by agent Charlotte Robertson. In addition, finalists are invited to a pitching and networking event with agents and editors, and will receive manuscript feedback from TLC. Submit the first 5,000 words (great news – they don’t appear to require a synopsis!). Entry fee: £25.

Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition for up to 300 words. The winning entry will get £500 and they, together with three finalists will be published in Mslexia magazine. Entry fee: £5.

Mslexia Short Story Competition for up to 3,000 words. The first prize is £3,000, plus an optional Moniack Mhor writing retreat and mentoring by an editor at Virago Press. Their story, together with those of three finalists, will also be published in Mslexia magazine. Entry fee: £10

Retreat West Novel Prize for unpublished novels. Prize: Retreat West publishing contract and £500 advance. Manuscript critique and editorial report. Entry fee: £15. Deadline 1 September. Details: http://www.retreatwest.co.uk

The London Short Story Prize, for writers with a London postcode. Up to 5,000 words. Prizes: £1,000. Entry fee: £6. Deadline 17 September. Details: http://www.spreadtheword.org.uk

The Manchester Prize for short stories up to 2,500 words, or portfolio of 3-5 poems, max 120 lines each. Prizes: £10,000 in each category. Entry fee: £17.50. Closing date: 20 September. Details: www2.mmu.ac.uk/writingcompetition/

Imison Award for original radio plays by writers new to radio. Prizes: £2,000. Entry fee: £30. Closing date: 30 September. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org/imison-award

The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize. Short stories of up to 2,000 words for children aged 7-11. Entrants must be over 16. Prizes: 1,000 Euros. Entry fee: 12 Euros. Closing date: 30 September. Details: http://www.thecaterpillar-magazine.com

Grindstone Literary Services Novel Prize. Opening chapter of 3,000-words, plus synopsis. Entry: £22. Prizes: £1,000; £100; publication; course coupon. Deadline: 28 September.

Bedford International Writing Competition for short stories of up to 3,000 words, poems up to 40 lines, on any theme. Prizes: £300, £150, £100 in each category. Entry fee: £6, £12 for three. Closing date: 30 September. Details: http://www.bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk

Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize for stories up to 6,000 words. Prizes: £1,000 or a year’s editorial support, £150 for shortlisted authors, £50 bookshop vouchers and four GBP titles for those longlisted. Entry fee: £10. Closing date: 30 September. Details: http://galleybeggar.co.uk

Romance is in the air, for the Val Wood Prize for a love letter. Each entry can contain several letters (to the same person, or several), but must be no more than 1,500 words. First prize is £100 and publication on their website. The runner-up will receive £50, and two other commendations of £25. Entry appears to be free, and that prize would enable you to treat your own dearly beloved to a meal, or a slap-up cream tea. The deadline is September 21st., But please read all the conditions of entry carefully on the website: http://www.valeriewood.co.uk

HWA & Sharpe Books Unpublished Novel Award is for an unpublished novel set at least 35 years in the past. Imogen Robertson, Chair of the Historical Writers Association, is one of the judges. They require a completed manuscript between 40,000-words and 100,000-words, together with a synopsis of between 500-1,000-words. The prize is a publishing contract with Sharpe Books and £500. There are two further cash prizes of £100. Important note: all entrants will be offered a consultation with Richard Foreman, Managing Director of Sharpe Books, by phone or email on how to find an agent and routes into mainstream publishing or, if they wish, advice on how to self-publish their work and the companies which can support self-published authors. This is helpful advice, bearing in mind some rather doubtful companies advertising for unwary writers. The entry fee is £20, and the deadline 30 September. Details: https://historicalwriters.org/unpublished-novel-competition/

Please always double-check all details in case of error on my part. It is, after all, rather hot for crouching over a keyboard.

Final thought. If you feel spoilt for choice, enter several…

Good luck!