Thank goodness the coffee shops are open again. Those of us who write and edit best when removed from the distraction of household chores can finally get back into writing mode. And at Taste Well, in Royal Tunbridge Wells, there’s a free chocolate mint – which can be saved as a reward for completing a fresh page of work.

The Adventures in Fiction New Voices Competition is aimed at writers who have started a novel and completed at least fifty pages of a manuscript, with the prize being a start-up mentoring package, including an appraisal of up to 50 pages (16,000 words), guidelines, a development strategy and a consultation. The package is worth £500. To enter, send a one-page synopsis and the first page of the novel manuscript. To be eligible to enter, you should not have been commercially published, though self-published writers may enter. Entry fee: £10. Closing date: 14 September. Details:

Hammond House 2020 Literary Prize. Short story: 1,000-5,000 words. Poem: max 40 lines. Screenplay: max 10 pages. Theme: ‘Survival’. Entry: £10 per category; £5 for members. Prizes: £500 short story; £100 poem, screenplay. Deadline: 30 September. Details:

Telegraph ‘Just Back’ Weekly Travel Writing Competition for a travel article of maximum 500 words. Prize: £250 plus publication – with the potential to win an annual £1,000 prize. Details:

Poet Aurelien Thomas is inviting poetry and flash fiction with the theme of fatherhood for a new anthology with the object of donating all profits to Families Need Fathers. Submissions are open to UK writers and there is no word count for poetry, but flash fiction should be no longer than 1,000 words. A fifty-word biography should be included. As a charity anthology, there is no payment – but you are contributing to a good cause. Deadline: 30 September. Submissions should be emailed to Aurelien Thomas at

The Manchester Writing Prize – given by the Manchester Writing School at Mancheste Metropolitan University, has £10,000 awards for fiction and poetry. The Manchester Poetry Prize is given for the best portfolio of three to five poems (maximum total length 120 lines)and the prize is £10,000. The entry fee is £18 per portfolio. The Manchester Fiction Prize is for the best short story up to 2,500 words. The prize is £10,000 and the entry fee £18. All entries must be original and unpublished. Closing date: 18 September. Details:

Mslexia Fiction and Memoir Competition. Short Story, up to 3,000 words, with a first prize of £3,000, an optional week at an Arvon writing centre and mentoring by an editor at Virago Press. The winning entry and three finalists will be published in Mslexia magazine. Entry fee: £10. Flash Fiction, up to 300 words, has a first prize of £500. The winner and three finalists will be published in the magazine.Entry fee: £5. Children’s & YA Novel – submit first 5,000 words only – finalists will be invited to a pitching and networking event with agents and editors, and will receive manuscript feedback from TLC. Entry fee: £25. Memoir & Life-Writing is for prose of at least 50,000 words that narrate events in the writer’s life and/or a quest or investigation she undertakes by women who are previously unpublished. Finalists are inviting to a pitching and networking event with agents and editors and will receive manuscript feedback from TLC. Submit first 5,000 words only. Entry fee: £25. Deadline: 21 September. Details:

Caterpillar Story for Children Prize. For stories up to 2,000 written by adults for children aged 7-11.Prizes: 1,000 Euros. Entry fee: 12 Euros. Closing Date: 30 September. Details:

Crowvus Christmas Ghost Story Competition for ‘Spooky stories, up to 4,000 words’. Prizes: £100, £75, £50. Entry fee: £3, £5 for two. Closing date: 30 September. Details:

We live in strange times, which is perhaps why there seem to be less creative writing competitions on offer, so perhaps it is time to work on that long-planned novel, if nothing here appeals.

As always, do please check with the relevant websites before entering, in case entry details have been changed.