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Light in Our Darkness is the theme for The Word Poetry Competition, which is part of the first Lichfield Cathedral Poetry Festival, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings. The first prize is £100, second prize of £50 and third of £25 in the age categories of 17-25 and 26 and over. The winners will also be displayed in Lichfield Cathedral. Poems should be original, unpublished poems that use ideas around creation, cosmology, space travel and astronomical discovery and reflect the origins of the universe and space, light and time. All poems must have a title. Entry is free. The deadline is 3 October and details can be found at: http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/journeys/the-word-poetry-competition

The Dalkey Creates Writing Festival international contest is for short stories up to 2,000 words and poems up to 30 lines, with winners in each category receiving 1,000 Euros. The entry fee is 15 Euros and the closing date 6 October. Details: http://www.dalkeycreates.com

Virginia Prize for Fiction, for unpublished novels, at least 45,000 words, by women. Prizes: Development and publication of the winning novel. Entry fee: £25. Closing date: 1 October. TODAY! Details: https://aurorametro-com/virginia-prize-for-fiction/

Imison Award for original radio plays by writers new to radio. Prizes: £3,000. Closing date: 6 October. FREE ENTRY. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org

London Short Story Prize for stories up to 5,000 words by writers with London postcodes. Prizes: £1,000, 2x£250. Entry fee: £10. Closing date: 7 October. Details: http://www.spreadtheword.org.uk

Bath Flash Fiction Award for up to 300 words. Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 2x£30. Entry fee: £7.50, £12 for 2, £18 for 3. Closing date: 13 October. Details: bathflashfictionaward.com

Retreat West fiction for up to 500 words; short stories 1,500-5,000 words. Prizes: flash: £350, £200, £100, £15 for each shortlisted; short stories: £400, £250, £150, £20 each shortlisted. Entry fee: £8 flash; £10 short story. Closing date: 27 October. Details: http://www.retreatwest.co.uk

Cinnamon Pencil Mentoring Competition. 10 poems, two short stories, or the first 10,000 words of a novel. Prize: a place on the Cinnamon Pencil mentoring scheme. Entry fee: £12. Closing date: 30 October. Details: http://www.cinnamonpress.com

The 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award has a first prize of £10,000 for an unpublished book by a first time writer. Runners up will receive £1,000. This bi-annual competition, in memory of the agent who founded the agency that became Rogers Coleridge White, wants the first 20,000-25,000 words of a work in progress, plus a synopsis and a biographical note. There is no entry fee, but writers must reside in the United Kingdom or the British Commonwealth. They can submit one work only and must not have published a full-length work or be under contract to a publisher. The deadline is 31 October and details can be found at http://www.deborahrogersfoundation.org

Bedford International Writing Competition for short stories up to 3,000 words, poems up to 40 lines. Prizes: each category £300, £150, £100. Entry fee: £6, £12 for three. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk

McKitterick Prize for the best first novel, published or unpublished, by an author over the age of 40 on 31 December. Prizes: £4,000. FREE ENTRY. Deadline: 31 October. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org

Southport Writers’ Circle is inviting entries for their SWC International Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,000 words on any theme. As well as the first prize of £150, there are second and third prizes of £80 and £30. Entry is £3 per story, or four for £10. Closing date is 31 October. Details: http://www.swconline.co.uk

Tom Gallon Trust Awards for short stories up to 5,000 words by authors who have had at least one story accepted for publication. Prizes: £1,000, £500 runner-up. FREE ENTRY. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org

Carmarthen Book Fair Short Story Competition. Short stories for adults, 1,200-1,500 words. Prizes: £100, £50. Entry fee: £3, £5 for two. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.facebook.com/CarmarthenBookFair 2016/

Please, as ever, check that I have all the entry details correct. Entering competitions is a good thing – even if you don’t win, you hone your craft and, hopefully, have fun.

With regard to our own competition, we are busily reading entries and will soon be able to give a date when we will announce the result of our deliberations. With Skipper insisting we be dogged in our efforts. Many thanks to those who entered.