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If you persevere with your writing, maybe one day you might feature in a book like this one – discovered in a local Hospice charity shop. To that end, here are a few of the competitions available during July.

Moths to a Flame Poetry Competition invites original unpublished poems of any length on the theme of moths and/or energy. Poems must be able to be read or performed for a maximum of two minutes. The winner will be decided at a Zoom poetry slam and will receive £250. Ten shortlisted poets will receive a Moth Kit, which is part of the Moths to a Flame project, plus three copies of the resulting published book. Entry is FREE. Each writer may submit one poem. Closing date 2 July. Details: http://www.mothstoaflame.art

The HG Wells Short Story Competition 2021 is open for short fiction on the theme of ‘Mask’. There are two entry categories. The Junior (writers 21 and under) has a £1,000 prize and the Senior (writers over 22) category has a £500 prize. Enter original unpublished fiction between 1,500 and 5,000 words. Winning and shortlisted entries will be published in an anthology. Entry in the Junior category is FREE. The Senior entry fee is £10, or £5 for writers with studen ID. Deadline 12 July. Details: https://hgwellscompetition.com/

The Novel London 2021 Literary Competition is an international contest that invites the first chapter and a synopsis. The entry must be part of a complete work of fiction, which may be unpublihsed, self-published or newly published. The winner will receive £500 plus six months of mentoring from Nadine Matheson. The second prize is £300 and an assessment of the first three chapters and synopsis. The third prize is £100 and two coaching sessions. Submit the opening chapter (up to 3,000 words), a short synopsis and a one-page biography. Entry fee: £11. Closing date 31 July. Details: http://www.novellondon.co.uk

The Highlands and Islands Short Story Competition is open for stories up to 2,000 words, and flash, maximum 500. Prizes in both categories are £200, £75 and £50, with the possibility of several Highly Commended places. The competition is open only to amateur writers, defined as not earning a living from writing or having been ‘professionally published in any major capacity’. “We actively like the odd and the strange”. Entry is £5, £12 for three, £18 for five. Deadline 31 July. Details: http://www.hissac.co.uk/CompetitionDetails

The Fiction Factory First Chapter Competition is inviting entries of a maximum of 5,000 words of the first chapter. If the chapter is longer, send it in full but clearly mark the 5,000 word point. As well as a first prize of £500, the winning entry will be read by Joanna Swainson of Hardman & Swainson Agency. All shortlisted entrants will receive a free appraisal. Entry fee: £18. Deadline 31 July. Details: https://fiction-factory.biz/

Finally, not a competition, but visual and literary journal Short Fiction has a submission window for writers for whom this would be their first published piece. Submit original, unpublished fiction between 500 and 5,000 words. Payment is 2p per word, with a minimum of £30 and a maximum of £100. Closing date: 31 July. Details: http://www.shortfictionjournal.co.uk/subs

As ever, let me remind you to double-check all details before entering. Good luck!