30 WRITING COMPETITIONS with Amazing Prizes

Every few months, I like to collate a bucket load of writing competitions and plonk them in a post for you to peruse and enter at your leisure.

I say it all the time, but writing is a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, you’re guna lose it and that doesn’t mean always writing long novel-like prose.

Short stories are like the caffeine of writing. They give your muse a jump start shot of adrenaline and get your brain working in ways you never imagined. Why not make it your goal to enter a comp a month this year?

I’ve only listed first prize winnings this time to save time and as always PLEASE CHECK THE RULES for any competition you enter. There are always details and nuances that you have to adhere to, I have not included them here.

Here’s a list of 30 competitions with big prizes. Clearly enter the first one immediately :p

But of course, first of all, I am going to promote my own competition…

1. The BIG BASH BLOGGERS COMPETITION Entry fee £5, 400-600 themed words. Prizes: Amazon vouchers, beta reads, critiques, book trailers, Blog or author logo and more. Closes March 1st at Midnight.

2. Hugh Roberts – Glimpses Competition Entry fee FREE. Solve the puzzle from the book. Prizes: £100 Amazon voucher. Closes 28th Feb.


3.The Orwell Society Dystopian Fiction Prize 2016/17 Entry fee £5. 3000 words. Prize: £500. Closes 17th Feb.

4.Book a Break Competition Entry fee FREE. 2000 words. Prize: 4 day holiday in Provence. Closes 6pm GMT 19th Feb.

5.Readers Digest Competition Entry fee FREE. 100 words. Prize: £2000 and publication. Closes 20th Feb.

6.Past Year Memoir Entry fee FREE. 16 words. Prize: Free writing course. Closes 20th Feb.

7.ChipListFest Entry fee £5-8. 2500 or 5000 words. Prize: £500. Closes 20th Feb.

8.Fish Flash Fiction Competition Entry fee €14, €8 subsequent entries, 300 words. Prizes: Top ten stories published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2017. €1,000; online writing course with Fish. Closes 28th February.


9.F(r)iction Winter Literary Competition  Entry fee $8-$15. Various comps, various word counts. Prizes: various $500-$1000. Closes 1st Mar and 1st April.

10.Paranormal Short Story Entry fee FREE. 500-5000 words. Prize: £50. Closes 1st Mar.

11.Ginosko Competition Entry fee $5. 800 words. Prize: $500. Closes 1st Mar.

12.Humour Short Story Entry fee £5. 1500 – 2000 words. Prize £200 plus publication. Closes 15th Mar.

13.Mslexia Flash Fiction Entry fee £5. 300 words. Prize £500. Closes 20th Mar.

14.Mslexia Short Story Entry fee £10. 300-3000 words. Prize £2000. Closes 20th Mar.

15.BBC International Short Story Writing Award Entry fee FREE (I think?). (sketchy word count info) Prize: £15,000. Closes 6th Mar.


16.BAME Short Story Entry fee FREE. 6000 words. Prize: 1000 plus workshop. Closes 2nd Apr.

17.750 Word Comp Entry fee £5. 750 words. Prize £200 plus publication. Closes 15th April.

18.Grindstone Literary Competition Entry fee £5. 1500 words. Prize: £500. Closes 28th April.

19.Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest Entry fee FREE. 6000 words. Prize: $1500. Closes 30th Apr.

20. Exeter Short Story Entry fee £10.  10,000 Words. Prizes: £500. Closes 30th Apr.

21.CredFest Entry fee £5. 3000 words. Prizes: £75 plus other stuff. Closes 30th Apr.


22.Bath Short Story Award Entry fee £8. 2200 words. Prizes: £1000. Closes 1st May.

23.Bristol Short Story Prize Entry fee £8. 4000 words. Prizes: £1000. Closes 3rd May.

24.Ploughshares Emerging Writers Entry fee $24. Under 6000 words. Prizes:$2000. Closes 15th May

25.Bridport Prize Entry fee various. Word count various. Prizes: over £18,000 across the competitions. Closes 31st May.

26.Cinnamon Press Entry fee £12. 4000 words. Prizes: 1 year mentoring and course. Closes 31st May.

AND A Few Bonus Continuous Comps

27.The NAWG ‘100’ Competition. Entry fee £3, £5.50 for two, £8 for three. Prizes: £75; £25 for every 100 entries – email entries to: comp-100@nawg.co.uk.

28.101 Word Story Comp Entry fee FREE. (various competitions, with various closing dates and various prizes.)

29.#StoriesEverywhere Entry fee FREE, 140 characters. Prizes: free writing class of your choice. Closes monthly.

30. Less of a competition more of a one day writers retreat for those based in the UK, check out the writershq page of events, I really wana go to one, mostly because they’re all sweary and boozy, what’s not to love? So if anyone fancies it, drop me a line.

Almond Press has excellent and continual competition listings. Check them out here.

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  1. Been trying to submit an entry to one of the contests, but server is not responsive. No clue what the problem is, will try again tomorrow morning. Thanks for your email informking me of the contests!

  2. Great list, if I may say so. I’ve already entered two this year and am about to enter the one for the BBC. People, like you, are worth their height in wagon wheels for putting lists like these together. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for the list of competitions, Sacha. Maybe when I’m not so busy … 🙂
    I’ve been having problems with notifications so have, no doubt, missed some posts. Just want to say – I do like your SB logo and header – awesome!

    1. Ahhh thank you so much – the logo was made by Allie Potts and the new header I made after I released the book cover, but I suspect it will change – it’s only a temporary header 🙂

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