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Isn’t it time you entered a competition? (says Snowy)

Nine of this month’s competitions are free to enter (I’ve typed this fact in bold wherever it applies!) so do take a look. I really hope you’ll find one or two (at least) that will inspire you to have a go. Also, I’ve added in a couple of extras whose deadlines fall early in March. As always, please check websites, in case details have changed.

  • Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award for a short story of up to 8,000 words showing the near future (no more than 50–60 years out) of manned space exploration (e.g. about moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, AI, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure). FREE ENTRY. Prizes: publication on Baen Books’ main website at pro rates for first prize, plus prize packages for first, second and third. Closing date: 1st February. Details: https://www.baen.com/contest-jbmssa
  • Papatango New Writing Prize for unperformed full-length playscript. FREE ENTRY. Prizes: £7,000 + winning script produced by Papatango in a full run at Bush Theatre (London). 4 x £500 + option to have play presented as reading. Closing date: 5th February. Details: https://papatango.co.uk/new-writing-prize/
  • Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize for first 40–50 pages of an unpublished novel (plus 3–5-page synopsis of remainder) by a woman. Entry fee: £12. Prize: £1,500. Closing date: 10th February (or 8th February if sponsored as low-income writer). Details: https://www.fictionprize.co.uk/
  • Spotlight First Novel Competition for a one-page synopsis and first page of an unpublished novel. Entry fee: £16. Prize: mentoring package from Adventures in Fiction, a dedicated Spotlight page on their website, and first page + synopsis posted online. Closing date: 14th February. Details: https://adventuresinfiction.co.uk/spotlight-1st-novel
  • National Flash Fiction Day Microfiction Competition for up to 100 words on any theme. Entry fee: £2 for one entry, £3.75 for two, £5.25 for three. Prizes: £150, £100, £50, £20 x 7 + publication in anthology + free print copy of anthology. Closing date: 15th February. Details: https://www.nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/index.php/competition
  • Northern Writers’ Awards for work including poetry, fiction, narrative non-fiction and YA by writers in the north of England; also by those originating from a working-class background, final-year/graduates of Northumbria University, young writers between 11–14 and 15–18, and those with ‘limited opportunities to pursue their talent’. FREE ENTRY. Prizes: different for each award, but including cash prizes and mentoring support. Closing date: 22nd February. Details: https://newwritingnorth.com/northern-writers-awards/awards
  • Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award for a crime novel. Submit the first 3,000 words plus synopsis (up to 1,500 words). Entry fee: £36. Prize: £500; also finalists on shortlist receive brief professional assessment + work will be sent to UK publishers and agents. Closing date: 28th February. Details: https://thecwa.co.uk/awards-and-competitions/the-daggers/debut-dagger-rules
  • Exeter Writers’ Short Story Competition for stories of any genre and theme (but not children’s) up to 3,000 words. Entry fee: £7. Prizes; £700, £350, £200, £100 for a Devon writer. Closing date: 28th February. Details: www.exeterwriters.org.uk
  • Flash 500 Short Story Competition for short stories of any genre (including by and for children) from 1,000 to 3,000 words. Entry fee: £7, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four. Prizes: £500, £200, £100. Closing date: 28th February. Details:  https://flash500.com/short-stories
  • Kelpies Prize is for writers living in Scotland only. Entries must include (i) the first five chapters of a book for children (either fiction or non-fiction) OR a whole picture book story, (ii) synopsis, (iii) a short piece of writing for children (1,000–3,000 words) that begins, ‘It wasn’t my fault!’ [character name] said. ‘Let me tell you what really happened …’, (iv) information about you. FREE ENTRY. Prize: £500 plus nine months’ mentoring and consideration for publishing contract with Floris Books. Closing date: 28th February. Details: https://discoverkelpies.co.uk/kelpies-prize-writing
  • Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition (open to writers worldwide) for short stories on any topic up to 2,000 words. Entry fee: £10. Prizes: £3,000, £500, £250. Write Mango Award: £300. Isobel Lodge Award open to unpublished writers living in Scotland: £750. Also offer of publication of top 20 stories (or more) in next anthology. Closing date: 28th February. Details: https://www.scottishartstrust.org/short-story
  • UK Film Festival Script Writing Competitions for (i) 3-minute scripts (3–4 pp), (ii) 10-minute screenplay, and (iii) feature film scripts. Entry fee: (i) 3-minute script – £20, (ii) 10-minute screenplay – £35, (iii) feature film script – £60. Prizes: 3-minute script will be produced. 10-minute and feature scripts will be circulated to production companies and financiers. All winning scripts will be supported by UK Film Festival for chance of production and promotion. Winners and runners-up will receive the latest version of Final Draft 12 (value: $250) + free script listing and placement on Inktip. Closing date: 28th February. Details: https://filmfreeway.com/TheUKFilmFestivalScriptCompetitions
  • The Welkin Writing Prize for narrative prose up to 400 words. FREE ENTRY. Prizes: £250 + Writers’ HQ membership, £120 + book voucher, £60 + book. Closing date: 28th February. Details: https://www.mattkendrick.co.uk/welkin-prize
  • The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition for a collection of 20 pages of poetry. Entry fee: £29. Prizes: 2 x £700 + publication by Smith|Doorstop Books + in The North magazine + reading at The Wordsworth Trust + a place on a residential course at Moniack Mhor. Six runners-up will receive publication in a feature in The North magazine + online reading + £100 each. Closing date: 1st March. Details: https://poetrybusiness.co.uk/competitions/the-international-book-pamphlet-competition
  • The Poetry Business New Poets Prize for a collection of 12 pages of poems from writers aged 17 to 24. Entry fee: £10. Prizes: Two winners will receive editorial support for publication by Smith|Doorstop + their work will appear in a feature in The North magazine. Two runners-up will receive mentoring + their work will appear in The North magazine. Winners and runners-up will also receive a subscription to The North magazine and be invited to give a reading organised by The Poetry Business. Closing date: 1st March. Details: https://poetrybusiness.co.uk/competitions/new-poets-prize
Just suppose that winning a competition meant getting your novel published. That’s what happened to Maggie when she won the Historical Writers’ 2020 Unpublished Novel Award with The Servant. Could it be your turn next?