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The late lamented Hilary Mantel was not an overnight success, so let her inspire you to persevere with your own creative writing, perhaps by entering one of the competitions below, which have an October deadline. Who knows, a win might lead to you having a book published and being stocked in London’s famous Hatchard’s bookshop.

Grindstone Novel Prize. Submit the first 5,000 words of an unpublished manuscript over 50,000 words. Prizes: £1,000, £500, 4x£125. Entry fee: £8. Closing date: 1 October. Details: http://www.grindstoneliterary.com

The Perito Prize for short stories between 1,000-2,000 words on the specific themes of inclusion, access, diversoity, inclusive design and inclusive environments. Prizes £500 and publication. FREE entry. Deadline: 23:00 GMT 1 October. Details: http://www.weareperito.com/perito-prize

Imison Award for original radio plays by writers new to radio. Prizes: £3,000. FREE entry. Closing date: 2 October. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org/imison-award

Bath Flash Fiction Award. Thrice-yearly award for flash fiction up to 300 words. Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, 2x£30. Entry fee: £9. Closing date: 9 October. Details: http://bathflashfictionaward.com

Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize for stories up to 6,000 words. Prizes: £2,000, £200 for shortlisted, £50 book vouchers for longlisted, plus Galley Beggar Press subscription. Entry fee: £10. Closing date: 9 October. Details: http://galleybeggar.co.uk

Comedy Women in Print Prize for stories up to 5,000 words and comedy novels by women in two categories: published writers and unpublished writers. Prizes: £2,000 for published writers and £1,000 plus a free place on the University of Hertfordshire’s MA in Creative Writing for unpublished writers. Wntry fee: Free for published writers, £10 for unpublished writers. Closing date: 14 October. Details: http://www.comedywomeninprint.co.uk

Creative Mind Horwich. Short stories up to 1,500 words or poems up to 40 lines on the theme: ‘travel’. Prizes: £50, £30 and £20 in each category. Entry fee: £3; £5 for three. Closing date: 24 October. Details: http://www.creative-mind.co.uk

NAWG 250 Competition for Flash Fiction up to 250 Words. Prizes: £100. Entry fee: £2.50. Closing date: 25 October. Details: http://www.nawg.co.uk/competition

Bedford Competition for short stories up to 3,000 words, poems up to 40 lines, on any theme. Prizes: in each category: £1,000, £200, £100. Entry fee: £7.50 or 3 for £10. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition for stories up to 1,500 words. Prizes: £150, £75, £30. Entry fee: £5, £3 for second, £2 for third. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.crankedanvil.co.uk

Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition, for an opening chapter no longer than 3,000 words, plus synopsis. Prizes: £500, £200. Entry fee: £10, £18 for two, £26 for three. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.flash500.com

McKitterick Prize for the best first novel, published or unpublished, by an author over the age of 40 on 31 October. Prizes: £4,000. FREE entry. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org

National Flash Fiction Day Novella in a Flash Competition. 6,000-12,000 words in individual flash blocks, maximum 1,000 words each. Prizes: £300, £100, £50. Entry fee: £14. Closing date: 31 October. Details: https://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/index.php/competition/

Beverley Prize for Literature for book-length manuscripts of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, or criticism. Prizes: £1,000 and publication.Entry fee: £25. Closing date: 14 October. Details: https://store.eyewearpublishing.com

Retreat West Prize for short stories, 1,500-2,500 words, flash fiction, 150-500 words, and micro flash, up to 150 words. Prizes: £400, £250, £20 each shortlisted short stories; £350, £200, £100 and £15 for flash; £200, £100, £50 and £10 for micro. Entry fee: £10 for short stories, £8 for flash, £5 for micro. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.retreatwest.co.uk

Southport Writers’ Circle International Short Story Competition for stories up to 2,000 words. Prizes: £150, £80, £30. Entry fee: £3 or £10 for four. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.swconline.co.uk

Fiction Factory Short Story, up to 3,000 words. Prizes: £300, £100, £50. Entry fee: £6. CFlosing date: 31 October. Details: http://fiction-factory.biz

Tom Gallon Trust Awards for short stories up to 5,000 words by authors who have had at least one story accepted for publication. Prizes: £1,000. FREE entry. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.societyofauthors.org

Earlyworks Press Short story. Short stories in two categories: up to 4,000 words, and up to 8,000 words. Prizes: £200, cash and books. Entry fee: £5 for up to 4,000 words; £10 for 4,000-8,000 words. Closing date: 31 October. Details: http://www.earlyworkspress.co.uk

A fair amount of choice for you here, so do try at least one of them – remembering always to double-check the details before entering. Good luck!

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