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This month we celebrate the birthday of the great William Shakespeare, so what better time to pursue one’s own writing ambitions than through entering one of the following competitions:

Bath Short Story Award for stories up to 2,200 words. Prizes: £1,200, £300, £100, plus The Acorn Award of £100 for an unpublished writer. Entry fee: £9 each. Closing date: April 11. Details: https://bathshortstoryaward.com

Red Planet Prize for new series drama scripts. Prizes: script commission and masterclass with award-winning writers. Entry fee: Closing date: April 3. Details: http://www.redplanetpictures.co.uk/the-red-planet-prize.

RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award – for stories up to 4,000 words. Prizes: a reading by a special guest at an evening at the Royal Academy of Arts. ENTRY IS FREE, so what is stopping you? Closing date: April 15. Details: http://pindropstudio.com/

The international Desperate Literature Prize 2022 will receive 1,500 Euros and a writing residency at Civitella Ranieri Foundation for original unpublished short fiction no longer than 2,000 words. The winner will also get an introduction to literary agent Charlotte Seymour from Johnson & Alcock and a manuscript assessment and follow-up meeting from an editor at The Literary Consultancy. Two runners-up will each get 750 Euros. The winners and runners-up will all be published in an anthology with one of the prize’s partner journals and be invited to participate in Desperate Literature salons in Madrid, London and Edinburgh, with one shortlisted writer offered a spot at the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature and a 400 Euro travel stipend. Closing date April 15. Details: https://desperateliterature.com/

Edge Hill Short Story Prize for published short story collections. Prizes: £10,000, £1,000. FREE ENTRY. Closing date: April 15. Details: http://www.edgehill.ac.uk

Grey Hen Poetry Prize invites submissions of unpublished poems of up to 40 lines by women over the age of 60. Prizes are £100, £50 and £25, with publication online. Entry is £3, or four for £10. Closing date: 30 April. Details: http://www.greyhenpress.com

Finally – why not raise your writing profile by attending Swanwick, the Writers’ Summer School? There are three competitions to win a place: a poem of up to 40 lines, a short story of up to 1,000 words; children’s fiction up to 1,000 words. The theme for all entries is: ‘Community’. Prizes: a fully inclusive week at the 2022 Summer School for the winner; a Writing Magazine manuscript appraisal for the second; and a copy of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2022 for the third. Entry fee: £6 for each piece; multiple entries are allowed. Closing date: April 30. Details: http://www.swanwickwritersschool.org.uk/win-a-place

Good luck with those entries – just make sure you double-check the details online first, in case there have been changes since I compiled my information.