Writing competition deadlines – a quick round-up

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Here are a few writing competitions with deadlines coming up, should you have a few spare bucks or quid or rupees and a brilliant story or poem in your drawer. I kept it simple here, so follow the links for details, but all of them have pretty good prizes!

-May 31st: Bridport prize – short stories (under 5000 words) £9, flash fiction £7 (under 250 words – phew!), poems £8

-May 31st: Fiction Desk Flash Fiction Competition – £5 pounds for a story between 250 and 1000 words (in case you went overboard with your Bridport entry…)

-May 31st: Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition – €25 for 16 to 24 pages of poems

-June 30th: The Moth International Short Story Prize – €12 entry fee for a story under 6000 words (judged by Donal Ryan)

-July 1st: iYeats Poetry Competition – €5 for a poem (judges: Jane Clarke and Dave Lordan)

-July 7th: Brighton Prize: £6 for a story between 1000 and 2000 words (judge: Peter James)

-July 15th: Ambit Summer Writing Competition – £5 for a poem (judge: Dan O’Brien), £7 for a story (judge: Alison Moore)

-July 15th: Rattle Poetry Prize – $20 for up to four poems (AND you get a subscription to the magazine, ie 4 issues / 3 issues for non-US entrants to cover postage. Interesting system, makes it worth it even if you poems don’t get anywhere in the competition – it’s a damn fine mag!)

-July 17th: Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition: £20 (judge: Andrew McMillan)

-July 24th: Wasafiri New Writing Prize – Fiction and Life Writing under 3000 words, and poems – £6 for entry in one category, £10 in two, £15 in three. (judges: Toby Litt, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Roger Robinson)

-July 31st: The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition – €15 for a story under 3000 words (judge: Danielle McLaughlin)

-August: competitions? writing? Get’out’o’here! Go to the BEACH, fool!

-September 30th: The Penny Dreadful Novella Prize – €10 for a novella between 15,000 and 35,000 words (judged by the following brilliants: Colin Barrett, Sara Baume and Paul McVeigh)

[oh, and by the way, the magazines behind some of these competitions are all well worth checking out, and submitting to outside of competitions too… Actually, why not buy one of them now?]


Read Kevin Barry’s ‘A cruelty’

A cruelty‘, a terribly strong story by short fiction rock star Kevin Barry, is up for your reading pleasure at the Literary Hub. It’s quite short, but it should achieve an unholy amount of messing with your little mind.

I was lucky enough to hear it read by the man himself before reading it, and heck can Barry read. He’s one writer that is really worth seeing ‘live’, so don’t miss him if he ever comes roaming by your neck of the backwoods.

(‘A cruelty’ is from the collection Dark lies the island, available in all good bookshops)

Quote #11: Nick Hornby

American lives seem, from this distance at least, very different from European lives. Look at this: Sean Wilsey’s mother was the daughter of an itinerant preacher. She ran away to Dallas to be a model, an escape funded initially by the nickels from her uncle’s jukeboxes and peanut machines. She was dragged off to California by her angry family, and while waitressing there she met a US Air Force major who married her on a live national radio programme called The Bride and Groom. She split from the major, dated Frank Sinatra for a while, married a couple of other guys – one marriage lasted six months; the other, to the trial lawyer who defended Jack Ruby, lasted three weeks. She got a TV job and she had a fan club. and then she married Sean’s dad. We don’t do any of that here. We don’t have itinerant preachers, or peanut machines, or Sinatra. We are born in, for example, Basingstoke, and then we either stay there, or we move to London. That’s probably why we don’t write many memoirs. 

Nick Hornby, ‘The Complete Polysyllabic Spree’

[Great little collection of Hornby’s columns about his reading life in The Believer magazine. A lot of funny bits, interesting takes on books (whether they’re books you’d be interested in or not) writing, reading and the literary world.]