If you’re a new writer, chances are you’re not quite sure how to kick off your career. Should you get an agent? Write to publishers? Writing contests are a great way for beginners to get noticed. By definition they attract more amateurs than professionals, giving you a chance to compete with writers close to your own level. And if you’ve already started your career but want to take it up a notch, a well-known writing prize can really make your portfolio stand out.
It’s scary showing your work to the world. But you have to bite the bullet eventually, so you might as well do it for a cash prize!
Entry Fee: £3 for subscribers, £6 for non-subscribers
Prize: First Prize £300, Second £150, Third £100.
Entry Fee: None
Prize: £200 in currency from the Post Office
Deadline: Midnight on Wednesday
Entry Fee: £4
Deadline: 6pm every Saturday
hundred words. Judges choose the three best entries, which are voted on during the following week. If you like the adrenaline rush of tight deadlines you’ll love this.
Entry Fee: £5 for first poem, £4 for subsequent poems
Prize: First Prize £1000, Second £500, Third £250
Deadline: 31 July 2016
poetry to a captive audience at the Winchester Poetry Festival in October.
Entry Fee: £4.00 for first entry, £3.00 for any subsequent entries
Prize: Winner £200, Runners-up £50
Deadline: 1 October 2016
Entry Fee: £12
Prize: £300 for poetry, £500 for novel or short story
Deadline: 31 May (Short Story), 31 July (Novel), 30 November (Poem)
Entry Fee: £20
Prize: Winner £20,000, Runners-up £1000
Deadline: 9 January 2017
Entry Fee: £16
Prize: A mentoring package worth up to £990
Deadline: 14 February 2017
make your work really shine.
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: £2500 plus guaranteed production in a professional theatre
Deadline: 31 August 2016
Entry Fee: £8 – £10 per submission
Prize: Up to £5000
Deadline: 31 May 2016
Yes, it’s the most prestigious writing prize in the UK. Yes, we’re seriously suggesting you enter. Okay, the chances of winning are slim, but even just taking part in such a respected competition will improve the quality of your writing.
What have you got to lose?
Even if you only enter small monthly competitions, the regular practice will make you a better writer. And if your novel or short story has been pushed to the bottom of your to-do list recently, a deadline and a pot of gold at the end might inspire you to polish up that old draft into something spectacular. So get writing!
by Julie Martin.
Julie is a student, freelance writer and blogger. She manages to fill her life with her favourite work and hobbies. She is an editor on MyMathDone, and she writes for resources like GettingSmart, YourStory and ELearningIndustry. You can follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn for more interesting stuff.