Perhaps we are being unrealistic, thinking you might have the time and inspiration over the festive season to enter writing competitions. Yet perhaps this would be the ideal thing to distract you from worrying about not managing to make a home-made Christmas pudding. Or possibly you could tweak your entry into our ninevoices short story competition and send it to fresh fields?

Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition. Flash Fiction: max. 1,000 words. Fee: £15. Prize: £1,000 plus commission to write four further stories for InterAct Reading Service over the course of one year. Judge: Margaret Drabble. Deadline 2 December. Details: http://www.interactstrokessupport.org/ssc2020

Angelica Poetry Competition for poems up to 100 lines. Prizes £50, £20 and publication. Free Entry. Closing Date 1 December. Details: https://anglica.co.uk/poetry-competition/

Chorley & District Writers’ Circle Annual Short Story Competition. Short stories, maximum 2,50000 words, on the theme: ‘On The Edge’. Prizes: £100, £50 3x£20. Entry fee: ££6, or £10 for two. Deadline 15 December. Details: http://www.chorleywriters.org.uk

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize for short stories up to 4,000 words and poetry up to 50 lines. Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 2x£50 highly commendeds in each category. A tree planted for every entry. Entry fee: £5. Deadline 31 December. Details: http://www.magicoxygen.go.uk

Henshaw Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,000 words. Prizes: £200, £75, £25. Deadline 31 December. Details http://www.henshawpress.co.uk

The Moth Poetry Prize 2019. Prize of 10,000 Euros for an unpublished poem, with three runner-up prizes of 1,000 Euros. Entry fee: 15 Euros. Deadline 31 December. Details: http://www.themothmagazine.com

Words Magazine Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,000 words on the theme ‘murder’. Free entry. Prizes: £50 and £25. Closing date: 31 December. Details: http://www.wordsmag.com

Arkbound Short Story Competition for stories between 500 and 1,000 words on the theme of ‘time’. Prizes: £100, £50, £25, 3x£10. Entry fee: £3. Deadline: 31 December. Details: http://arkbound.com

Good luck – and please remember to check all details before entry.

STOP PRESS:  

WATCH THIS SPACE, BECAUSE TOMORROW WE WILL BE PUBLISHING THE NAME OF THE WINNER AND RUNNER-UP OF OUR OWN SHORT STORY COMPETITION ON THE THEME OF SUMMER.