The creative arts are suffering because of lock-down, though one can fortunately still watch and admire favourite actors on IPlayer and box sets. Books, of course, are always there for us, and those who write should surely be taking advantage of more time at their keyboards. (As the more cynical of you of will suspect, this paragraph is simply an excuse to use a picture of a certain Fleabag actor.)

To more serious matters:

An anthology of non-fiction, short stories and poetry is being put together by Printed Words with all profits going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Submissions are limited to UK residents and a limited number of reprints will be considered, although previously unpublished work is preferred. The maximum word count for non-fiction and short stories is 2,000 words, with a maximum of 50 lines for poetry. A biography of up to 100 words is required and the deadline is 15 June. Printed Words is a quarterly non-profit zine and print magazine which has a £20 prize for one writer in each issue. Details:

Grindstone Literary have two competitions currently on offer, both with a 28 June deadline. A Novel Prize for up to 3,000 words, plus a 300 word synopsis. And a Flash Fiction Prize for 500 words. The former has prizes of £1,000, £500 and 4x£50; the latter, prizes of £500, £20, and 4x£50. The Novel Competition has an £18 entry fee, the Flash Fiction Competition £6 entry fee. Details from:

Farnham Flash Fiction Competition for up to 500 words on any subject. Prizes: £75, £25, £25 for best entry featuring Farnham. Entry fee: £5. Closing date: 5 June. Details:

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize for poetry (up to five poems), fiction and life writing up to 3,000 words. Prizes: £1,000 in each category, plus publiction in Wasafiri. Entry fee: £10 for one category, £16 for two categories. Closing date: 15 June. Details:

Hastings Literary Festival Writing Competition. Short stories up to 2,500 words, short stories by BAME writers, up to 5,000 words, poems up to 40 lines, and flash fiction up to 500 words. Prizes: £200, £100, £50 in each category, plus a bespoke writer’s surgery for best entry from a Sussex writer. Entry fee: £7.50, £5 for each subsequent entry. Deadline was 7 June, HOWEVER, THIS SADLY APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CANCELLED because of lock down considerations.

Bath Flash Fiction Award. A thrice-yearly competition for flash fiction up to 300 words. Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 2X£30. Entry fee: £9. Current closing date: 16 June. Details:

British Czech & Slovak Association prize for short stories and non-fiction, up to 2,000 words, exploring links between Britain and the Szech/Slovac Republics at any time. The suggested, but optional, theme for 2020 is ‘sporting’. Prizes: £400, £150, publication in the British Czech & Slovak Review. Free entry. Closing date: 30 June. Details:

Henshaw Short Story Competition. A quarterly competition for short stories up to 2,000 words, on any theme. Prizes: £200, £100, £50. Entry fee: £6. Current closing date: 30 June. These are lovely people who not only support writers, and offer a helpful critique, if wanted, but have sent all profits since September 2019 to Medecins sans Frontiers. A few years back, a member of ninevoices managed to not only win this, but get her story into their anthology – so it can be done. Details:

Impress Prize for New Writers. Full-length debuts from unpublished fiction and non-fiction writers. Submit a book proposal and sample chapter totaling no more than 6,000 words. Prizes: £500 and publication by Impress Books. Entry fee: £25. Closing date: 30 June. Details:

Wells Festival of Literature – short stories between 1,000 and 2,000 words; poems up to 35 lines; stories for children (first three chapters); young poets, up to 35 lines. Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250, £100 local prize; £750, £300, £200, £100 local prize, in poetry and children’s categories; £150, £75, £50 in young poets’ category. Entry fee: £6 each category; £3 for young poets. Closing date: 30 June. Details:

Everything is topsy-turvey at the moment, so PLEASE check the above details with care before trying to enter anything. Some competitions are being cancelled, others have their deadlines altered.

Good luck!