This is a big month for those hoping to have their novels noticed. Maybe, like the lambs I saw recently kicking up their heels near Penshurst Place in Kent, it is time to spring into action, either with that book you are writing, or with a short story from the possibilities below.
To begin with, the Yeovil Literary Prize have extended their deadline until 31 May. This is for novels (opening chapters plus synopsis) up to 15,000 words; short stories (max. 2,000 words); poems (up to 40 Lines); and ‘Writing Without Restrictions’. Prizes: Novel: £1,000, £250, £100; Short story and poetry, £500, £200, £100; Writing Without Restrictions: £200, £100, £50. Entry fees: £12 Novel; Short story: £7 Poetry: £7 for one, £10 for two, £12 for three; Writing Without Restrictions: £5. Details: http://www.yeovilprize.co.uk
The deadline for the £10,000 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition has been extended until 14 May. The winner of this competition for completed manuscripts by unpublished and unagented children’s writers will receive a publishing contract with an advance of £10,000 and the offer of representation by a literary agent. What’s not to like? Entry is for completed, full-length fiction manuscripts (30,000 to 80,00 words) for readers between seven and YA. Entry fee is £18. Details: http://www.chickenhousebooks.com/submissions/
BPA First Novel Award 2021 is for unpublished novelists and offers the winner £1,000 plus an agent introduction. First prize is £1,000, with a manuscript review for the runner-up. The top three entrants also receive agent introductions. The entry fee is £20 and the deadline 31 May. Details: bluepencilagency.com/bpa-first-fnovel-award-2021/
The 2021 Page Turner Awards are inviting entries for unpublished and emerging writers. The categories are: Ebook award for published books. Open to any published or self-published book. Screenplay award, for completed scripts and screenplays. Writing award for completed unpublished manuscripts. Writing mentoring award. All awards are for fiction and non-fiction. Prizes include mentoring, publishing packages, audiobook production, marketing and book promotion packages, writing and publishing courses and manuscript critiques. Each entry costs £30. Closing date 30 May. Details: https://pageturnerawards.com/
Bath Novel Award is asking for the first 5,000 words of a novel, plus a one-page synopsis. Prizes: 1st – £3,000; 2nd – agent introductions and feedback; 3rd – Cornerstones online course. Entry: £28. Deadline 31 May. Details: http://bathnovelaward.co.uk
Bridport Prize for short stories (up to 5,000 words), novels (first 8,000words) poetry (up to 42 lines) and flash fiction (up to 250 words). Prizes: £5,000, £1,000, £500 and 10x£100 for short stories and poetry; £1,000, £500, £250, 3x£100 for flash fiction; £1,000, £500, 3x£100 for novels, plus editorial guidance. Entry fee: £9 for flash fiction, £10 per poem, £12 per short story, £20 novel. Deadline 31 May. Details: http://www.bridportprize.org.uk
The Bedford Competition is for short stories up to 3,000 words, poems up to 40 lines. Prizes in each category £1,000, £200, £100. Entry fee: £7.50. Note: Closing date 1 May. Details: http://www.bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk
Bristol Short Story Prize for stories up to 4,000 words. Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250, 17x£100. Entry fee: £9. Note: Closing date: 5 May. Details: http://www.bristolprize.co.uk
Frome Festival Short Story is for stories between 1,000 and 2,200 words. Prizes: £400, £200, £100. Entry fee: £8. Closing date: 31 May. Details: http://www.fromeshortstorycompetition.co.uk
As ever, please check entry details carefully, especially deadlines which can change at short notice.
Good luck – someone has to win!