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Take a leap into the fictional unknown and enter one of the competitions below.

The Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition for stories up to 1,000 words. Prizes: £1,000 and commission to write four further stories over the course of one year. Entry fee: £15. Deadline 2 December. Details:

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2021, the world’s richest short story prize, is inviting entries up until 4 December. In addition to the winner’s prize of £30,000, shortlisted authors each win £1,000. Shortlisted writers will also be included in an Audible audiobook anthology and receive a further £1,000 fee. Writers must have a track record of publication/broadcasting with an established publisher, magazine or broadcaster. Website:

Mslexia Poetry & Pamphlet Competition 2020. Poetry: 1st prize £2,000 plus mentoring and writing retreat, 2nd prize £500, 3rd prize £250. Special prize of £250 for the best poem by an unpublished woman poet. Deadline 7 December. Details:

Language Evolves Short Story Competition for max. 2,500 words on the theme of language evolution. Prizes: £400, plus publication in New Welsh Review; shortlist also considered for publication. Details: Entry free. Deadline 1 December.

The Devon & Cornwall International Novel Prize for the first 5,000 words of a novel, plus a synopsis of no more than 500 words. All adult genres acceptable, including YA. Entry fee: £15. Prizes: £2,000 for the winner, plus a trophy and online publishing contract; shortlisted authors get a trophy and online publishing contract. Deadline 31 December. Details:

Henshaw Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,000 words on any theme. Prizes: £200, £100, £50. Entry fee: £6. Deadline 31 December. Details:

Not a huge list, but some competitions appear to have been withdrawn because of the covid crisis. Because of this, please check the appropriate website before entering any of the above in case more withdrawals have taken place.