Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Alejandro escamila-600pixWhy not enter a writing competition? (plus literary events 8 Oct 2019 onwards)

Calling writers of all ages, be brave! Get your writing out there. Whatever you write – poems, short stories, novels of all genres – there is a competition for you. Angela J. Phillip goes in search of the best competitions.

The first thing you do when you’ve written something is to read it to yourself and get a thrill of satisfaction. It might be rough and in need of polishing, but it exists. Where there was nothing, now there is something. You have transformed the blank page with your creation. You have added something tangible to the world. The second thing is to find a wider audience. One way to do it is to enter a competition, so have a look at the list of possibles listed below.

Please check the eligibility and other requirements under the link to ‘information’ for each competition. I may have made mistakes and sometimes there are residence or other requirements that I may not have included.


Sussex Poetry Competition
eligibility: anyone over 16 years old with links to Sussex
deadline: 20 October 2019
what to submit: poem with title and not more than 40 lines
entry fee: £6 for first poem, £4 for each subsequent poem
Prize: £1,000, £250 – see website for details under ‘information’ below
– more information on Sussex Poetry Competition.

Poetry Society National Poetry Competition
eligibility: 17 yrs or older
deadline: 31 October 2019
what to submit: unpublished poem of up to 40 lines
entry fee: £7 for the first poem, £4 thereafter.
Prize: £5,000, £2,000, £1,000 see details under ‘information’ below
– more information on National Poetry Competition.

Wales Poetry Award
eligibility: over 17 years
deadline: 28 November 2019
what to submit: poem of up to 70 lines
entry fee: £5 per poem, free for low income writers
Prize: £100, £50, £25 and publication
– more information on Wales Poetry Award.

Creative Writing Ink Competition
eligibility: anyone
deadline: can submit one poem per month
what to submit: unpublished poem up to 40 lines
entry fee: free
Prize: £10 Amazon voucher and publication on website
– more information on Creative Writing Ink Competition.

Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival Poetry Competition 2020
eligibility: any age (11 and under, 12 to 17, 18 and over)
deadline: 31 December 2019
what to submit: theme is Snowdrops or the work of James Allen (see info below)
entry fee: free to under 18s, adults £4
Prize: £50 (under 11s)  £70 (12 – 17) £200 (adults)
– more information on  Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Competition.

The Previously Published Poem prizePreviously published poem-220pix
eligibility: anyone with a previously published poem
deadline: 15 October 2019
what to submit: a previously published poem that didn’t win a prize
entry fee: multiple submissions accepted but reading fee required (information on submission)
Prize: $2,500 and republication
– more information on the Previously Published Poem Prize.

Enfield-poets-220pixEnfield Poets’ Competition
eligibility: age group: over 16 yrs
deadline: 7 March 2020
what to submit: poem up to 50 lines, any theme or form
entry fee: £4 per poem or £10 for 3.
Prize: £500, £250, £100 and publication on Enfield Poets’ website
– more information on the Enfield Poets’ Competition.


Creative Writing NZ Flash Fiction competition
eligibility: over 18 years
deadline: every month
what to submit: short story, open theme, up to 1,000 words
entry fee: free
Prize: NZ$30 and publication on the website
– more information on Creative Writing NZ Flash Fiction competition.


Earlyworks Press Short Story Competition
eligibility: over 16 yrs
deadline: 31 October 2019
what to submit: unpublished short story not entered for any other competitions up to 4,000 words (£5) or up to 8,000 words (£10)
entry fee: £5 (up to 4,000 words) or £10 (up to 8,000 words)
Prize: £200 first prize and publication for best entries
– for more information on Earlyworks Press Short Story Competition

Nobrow Short Story-220pixNobrow Short Story Competition
eligibility: any age
deadline: 9 December 2019
what to submit: short story fiction or creative non-fiction up to 3,000 words on theme ‘The Censor’
entry fee: free
Prize: £2,000 and other winners £150 plus publication
– more Information on Nobrow Short Story competition.

Southport Writers’ Circle International Short Story Competition
eligibility: all
deadline: 31 October 2019
what to submit: unpublished short story any genre or style up to 2,000 words
entry fee: £3 per story, £10 for four stories
Prize: £150, £80, £30
– more information on Southport Writers’ Circle International Short Story Competition.

Dinesh Alirajah Prize for short fiction
eligibility: 18 yrs or older resident in the UK
deadline: 25 October 2019
what to submit: 2,000 – 6,000 words on the theme of Artificial Intelligence
entry fee: free but only one entry allowed
Prize: £500 plus publication
– more information on the Dinesh Alirajah Prize for short fiction.

Rurh Rendell-220pixRuth Rendell Short Story Competition 2020
eligibility: all
deadline: 2 December 2019
what to submit: any genre up to 1,000 words suitable to be read in a hospital setting
entry fee: £12 per story
Prize: £1,000 and winner will write 4 further stories during the year.
– more information on the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition.

Cranked Anvil Short Story competition
eligibility: any
deadline: quarterly 31 October, 31 January, 30 April, 31 July
what to submit: unpublished story up to 1,500 words any theme or genre, up to 3 stories per quarter
entry fee: £5 for first, £3 for second, £2 for third
Prize: £150, £75, £30 plus publication on website
– more information on the Cranked Anvil Short Story competition.


Spread the word-220pixSpread the word Life Writing Prize 2020
eligibility: UK residents, 18 yrs and over
deadline: February 2020
what to submit: life-writing – stories that are true
entry fee: free
Prize: £1,500 and mentoring – see website
– more information on the Spread the word Life Writing Prize.


Bath Novel Award-220pixThe Bath Novel Award
eligibility: anyone with an unpublished novel – or independently published novel (check for 2020)
deadline: open Dec to May for 2020
what to submit: up to first 50,000 words and one page synopsis (check for 2020)
entry fee: in 2019 it was £25 per novel.
Prize: £2,500
– more information on the Bath Novel Award.

Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competition
eligibility: anyone with unpublished novel
deadline: 31 October 2019
what to submit: opening chapter of unpublished novel up to 3,000 words plus one page synopsis
entry fee: £10, optional critique £25
Prize: £500, £200 see details below.
– more information on the Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competition.

Caledonia Novel award-220pixThe Caledonia Novel Award 2020
eligibility: unpublished and self-published novelists over 18
deadline: 1 November 2019
what to submit: first 20 pages plus 200 words synopsis of original work (at least 50,000 words) in any genre
entry fee: £25
Prize: £1,500
– more information on the Caledonia Novel Award.

Cinnamon Press Annual Debut Fiction Prize

eligibility: those who have not had novel or full-length short story collection published through a press
deadline: 30 November
what to submit: up to first 10,000 words of novel (adult or crossover)
entry fee: £16
Prize: Mentoring for one year worth £1,000
– more information on the Cinnamon Press Literature Award (please note – there are 3 different competitions on this page)


Young Walter Scott Prize, 2019
age group: 11 – 19 yrs
deadline: 31 October 2019
what to submit: Fiction set in a time before you were born.
length: 800 – 2,000 words
entry fee: not stated, probably free
Prize: £500 travel grant and work published.
– more information on the Young Walter Scott Prize.

Room of my own comp-220pixRoyal Society of Literature’s – A room of my own
age group: 14 – 18 yrs
deadline: 18 October 2019
what to submit: Essay on what you think you need to make your future as a writer
length: max 500 words
entry fee: not stated, probably free
Prize: £50, £20. £10 plus publication
– more information on RSL’s A Room of My Own.


WOW! Women on Writing 2019 contests
age range: women of any age
deadline: 31 October 2019
What to submit: essay
length: 200 – 1,000 words
entry fee: $12
Prize: $500 and publication
– more information on WOW.

Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize
age range: women over 21 yrs who have never had a full-length novel published
deadline: 17 January 2020
what to submit: first 40  50 pages and a synopsis of the remainder (3 – 4 pages)
entry fee: £12
prize: £1,500
– more information on the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize.

A Womans Write-220pixA Woman’s Write Annual Unpublished Novel contest
eligibility: woman with unpublished novel
deadline: 30 November each year
what to submit: first 50 pages plus chapter by chapter plot synopsis (book must be at least 60,000 words long) and cover letter
entry fee: $40
Prize: $500 – see ‘information’ below for more details.
– more information on A Woman’s Write Unpublished Novel contest.

Well, you might not win, but it will be a start and if not this time, you might win next time. And if you don’t win next time, you can post your poem on Facebook or start a blog to showcase your short stories. Or you can self-publish your novel on Amazon. There is always a way, now more than ever. GOOD LUCK!


Hastings Storytelling Festival
5 – 9 October 2019
See the website for details and see article.

Meet the writer – Susan Evans, performance poet
Tuesday 8 October, 6.30 – 7.30 pm at The Hastings Contemporary, Rock-a-Nore Rd TN34 3DW
Tickets are free but you need to book – click here.

Bookbuster 39 Queens Rd, Hastings
Thursday 24 October 6 – 9 pm £2 entry Sheer Poetry: An open mic poetry night
Go to Bookbuster’s Facebook page and see more.

Printed Matter Bookshop 185 Queens Rd, Hastings TN34 1RG
14 Oct 2019 6 pm: Book launch of Robin Young’s Dhanmondi Road – see article.
Jan 2020: Book launch of Paul Anderson’s Suedeheads & film screening of Horace Ove’s ‘Reggae 1970’ at The Electric Palace Cinema, Old Town.

The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards
Louise back cover-220pix
Book Launch – Between two worlds by Louise Mooncie
Sunday 20 October 19.00 – 21.00
Louise Illig Mooncie will be talking and reading from her book on her past experiences as someone in a personal and spiritual crisis, and particularly, as a German woman who struggles with her country’s troubled past. Louise will also welcome questions on her experiences and the beliefs that she holds today.

Come and look at the Bookkeeper Bookshop Facebook page to see more.

The Literary Shed Writing Circle run by A. Vasudevan
Two-hour weekly writing sessions in safe, creative spaces in Hastings and St Leonards
Tuesday 8 October from 10–12 am (free) at Sea Kale, 29 London Rd, Saint Leonards-on-sea TN37 6AJ
Thursday 17 October from 10 – 12 (£6) at The Blue Bee on the corner of Courthouse St, Old Town, Hastings
Friday 25 October from 10 – 12 (free) at Sea Kale, 29 London Rd, Saint Leonards-on-sea TN37 6AJ 
For further information, please email:, subject: WRITE-INS.


Well, folks, that’s it for this week. I hope you’ve all had a good week and that your projects are going well.

For an update on my writing, please see: Two main characters?Running.

For a selection of other posts on my writing journey, please see

Thanks for reading and happy writing.

Angela J. Phillip

Images taken from Competition Websites and and




Posted 09:00 Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat

Also in: Hastings Bookchat

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