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As writers, we need to overcome rejection and it helps to have several irons in the fire at any one time. Competitions are great for this, giving you something else to keep you going or work towards. And the occasional – perhaps surprise – win is a huge encouragement. No excuses, then, for not entering lots of the following:

Colm Toibin International Short Story Award for stories up to 2,000 words. Prizes: 700É, 500É 300É. Entry fee: 10É. Closing date: 1 May. Details: http://www.wexfordliteraryfestival.com (These things can be won – a member of ninevoices – not me – did so a year or two ago and had a wonderful trip to Ireland to accept her award.

Mairtin Crawford Awards for short stories up to 2,500 words or 3-5 poems. Prizes: £500 and invitation to read at Belfast Book Festival. Entry fee: £6. Closing date: 1 May. Details: https://belfastbookfestival.com/mairtin-crawford-award

Bristol Short Story Prize for stories up to 4,000 words. Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250; £100 for 17xshortlisted. All published in prize anthology. Deadline: 4 May. Details: http://www.bristolprize.co.uk

Nick Darke Award for full-length stage plays: Prizes: £6,000. FREE ENTRY. Closing date: 4 May. Details: http://www.falmouth.ac.uk/nickdarkeaward (Please double-check this one, it proved elusive)

Bath Novel Award for the first 5,000 words of a novel, plus a one-page synopsis. Prizes: £3,000; 2nd agent introductions and manuscript feedback; 3rd Cornerstones online course. Entry fee: £29. Closing date: 31 March. Details: http://bathnovelaward.co.uk

Bluepencilagency First Novel Prize for the first chapter of an unpublished novel up to 5,000 words. Prizes: £1,000, manuscript review, introduction to judge/literary agent Nelle Andrew. Entry fee: £20 Deadline: 29 May. Details: http://www.bluepencilagency.com

Bridport Prize for short stories (up to 5,000 words), novels (first 8,000 words), poetry (up to 42 lines) and flash fiction (up to 250 words). Prizes: £5,000, £1,000, £500 and ten £100 highly commended for short stories and poetry; £1,000, £500, £250 and five £100 highly commendeds for flash fiction; £1,500, £750, plus editiorial guidance. Entry fee: £9 per flash fiction; £10 per poem; £12 per short story; £20 novel. Deadline 31 May. Details: http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

Frome Festival Short Story Competition for stories 1,000-2,200 words. Prizes: £400, £200, £100. Entry fee: £8. Closing date: 31 May. Details: http://www.fromeshortstorycompetition.co.uk

The Yeovil Literary Prize 2022 is inviting entries in the following categories: Novel. Enter the opening up to 10,000 words and a synopsis up to 500 words. Prizes are £1,250, £300 and £125. The entry fee is £14.50. Short Story. Enter short stories up to 2,000 words. Prizes are £600, £250 and £125. Entry fee is £8. Poetry. Enter poems up to 40 lines. Prizes are £600, £250 and £125. Entry fee £5 per poem. Children’s/Young Adult Novel. Enter the first 3,000 words and a 500-word synopsis. One illustration may be included. Prizes are £600, £250 and £125. Entry fee £12.50. Writing Without Restrictions. Enter work that doesn’t fit into usual competition categories. Prizes are £250, £125 and £75. Entry fee £6. Entries may have appeared online, but must be commercially unpublished. Closing date: 31 May. Details: http://www.yeovilprize.co.uk

As ever, please check entry details before committing yourself.

Good luck!