Spring is the time for new beginnings and, perhaps, new writing. So grab your pencil and a coffee and check out these competitions that you could enter in March:

Bridgend Writers’ Circle Open Short Story Competition for stories up to 1,800 words – but with no minimum word count. Prizes: £100, £50, £30. Entry fee: £5, £7.50 for two. Closing date: March 1st. Details: http://www.bridgendwriters.org

Neil Gunn Writing Competition for stories up to 2,500 words and poetry up to 40 lines, interpreting a quote from Scottish Writer Neil Gunn. Prizes: £500, £300 and £200 in each category. Entry fee: £8. Closing date: 4 March. Details: http://www.neilgunntrust.org

Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition for short stories up to 2,500 words. Prizes: £150, £50 and £30. Entry fee: £5. Closing date: 11th March. Details: https://eveshamfestivalofwords.org

Searchlight Awards invites submissions for its Best Short Story for Children or Young Adults competition. The top 10 stories will feature in an agent/publisher pitch book, as well as being published in an annual anthology. First prize – £500. Entry fee: £10. Closing date: 21st March. Details: https://www.searchlightawards.co.uk/competitions/

BBC Short Story Award for stories up to 8,000 words. Prizes: £15,000, 4x£600. FREE ENTRY. Deadline: 21st March. Details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nssa

Harpers Bazaar Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,500 words on a given theme. Prizes: publication plus free weekend break. FREE ENTRY. Closing date: 13th March. Details: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/culture-news/a36157/harpers-bazaar-short-story-competition/

Gordon Burn Prize for a published novel or work of fiction that challenges perceived ideas about genre. Prizes: £5000, up to three months’ retreat at Gordon Burns’s cottage. FREE ENTRY. You may enter after 3rd March, with a 7th April deadline. Details:www.newwritingnorth.com

Limnisa Short Story Competition for stories up to 3,000 words on a set theme. Prizes: one week writing retreat at Limnisa, Greece, including full board and accommodation. FREE ENTRY. Closing date details unclear, but expected to be in March: Please therefore double-check details: http://www.limnisa.com

London Magazine Short Story Competition is seeking stories of up to 4,000 words. Prizes: £500, £300, £200. Entry fee: £10, £5 for each extra. Deadline: 31 March. Details: http://www.thelondonmagazine.org

Red Shed Open Poetry Competition for poems up to 50 lines. Prizes: £100, £50, plus £10 for shortlisted poems. Entry fee: £3 for the first poem, £2 for subsequent poems. Deadline: 31 March. Poems can be entered by post, with online entries having a small extra entry fee. Details: currockpress.com/theredshedpoetrycompetition2022.html

Several of these competitions are FREE to enter, so no excuses for not jumping in! But do please check all entry details first, especially the deadlines which can sometimes change at short notice.

Good luck!