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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2017 > WRITERS’ NEWS


Your essential monthly round-up of competitions, paying markets, opportunities to get into print and publishing industry news.

Be the best for Bridport

The Bridport Prize – one of the most prestigious, and eagerly awaited competitions in the creative writer’s year – is open for entries to the 2017 contest.

There are four categories: short stories, poetry, flash fiction and the novel award.

• Short stories, judged by Peter Hobbs. The competition is for stories up to 5,000 words. The prizes are £5,000, £1,000, £500 and ten highly commendeds of £100. The entry fee is £10 per story.

• Poetry, judged by Lemn Sissay. The competition is for poems up to 42 lines. The prizes are £5,000, £1,000, £500 and ten highly commendeds of £100. The entry fee is £9 per poem.

• Flash fiction, judged by Kit de Waal. The competition is for stories up to 250 words. The prizes are £1,000, £500, £250 and three highly commendeds of £100. The entry fee is £8 per short story.

• Novel Award, judged by Nathan Filer in conjunction with The Literary Consultancy and AM Heath Literary Agents. The competition is for the opening of a novel (5,000-8,000 words) in any adult or YA genre plus a 300- word synopsis, by a writer who has not previously published a novel and is not currently represented by a literary agent. The prizes are £1,000 plus a year’s mentoring from The Literary Consultancy, £500 and three highly commendeds of £100. The entry fee is £20 per novel extract.

All entries in all categories must be original and unpublished, and may be on any subject and written in any style or form, although stories for children are not recommended. The writer’s name must not appear on the manuscript. Writers may enter as many times as they like in any category.

Poems should be single spaced with a line-count noted at the top of the first page. Prose should be double-spaced with a wordcount noted at the top of the first page. Writers may enter by post or online. Online entries should be doc, docx, rtf, pdf, txt or wps files with the title of the entry as the filename.

Pay the entry fee by PayPal or by debit/credit card. The closing date is 31 May.

Details: The Bridport Prize, PO Box 6910, Bridport, Dorset DT6 9BQ; website:

Enquiring minds, liberal values

Gladstone’s Library is inviting applications for its 2018 Writers in Residence and Politics in Residence Awards 2018.

Each writer selected for a residency will be offered a month’s residency at Gladstone’s Library, the UK’s only prime ministerial library. During their stay, each writer blogs about their experience at Gladstones Library, runs a creative writing workshop and offers an ‘Evening With’ event. They receive full board and accommodation and a stipend of £100 per week. The Writers in Residence Awards are for writers whose work engages with liberal values. The Politics in Residence Awards recognise the best written expression of political thought, particularly work that encourages political debate with a public audience.

Writers at all stages of their career are encouraged to apply for both awards. Prose fiction and non-fiction, poetry, screenplays and drama are all eligible for submission for Writers in Residence Award. For the Politics in Residence Award, submit creative non-fiction, journalism, life writing and biography.

To apply, send a one-page CV or biography, a copy of the book you would like to be considered for the Award, a 250- word statement defining ‘liberal values’ and 250-word plan of the work you propose to do at the library, plus a proposal for an evening event and day masterclass.

Submitted texts must have been published (not self-published) within the last three years. E-published texts are acceptable. Entry is free.

The closing date is 31 May for Writers in Residence Awards and 7 June for Politics in Residence Awards.

Details: Louisa Yates, Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire CH5 3DF; tel: 01244 532250; email:; website:

Cue for a collection

Cinnamon Press is accepting entries for its Poetry Pamphlet Prize. Four winners will each receive publishing contracts with Cinnamon Press and thirty copies of their pamphlet.

The competition is open to all poets, whether beginners or experienced. Poets may enter up to four pamphlets.

For each pamphlet entry, send 15-25 poems. The poet’s name must not appear on the manuscript. Submit all poems with a nom-de-plume and working title in the header. Submit online as doc, docx or rtf files only, or by post. If submitting by post, include a cover sheet with contact details and title.

The entry fee is £10 per pamphlet, payable by PayPal or cheques made out to Cinnamon Press.

The closing date is 31 March. Details: Cinnamon Press Writing Prizes, Meirion House, Glan yr afon, Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd LL413SU; email:; website:


Granta wishes

Leading literary journal Granta has an open submissions window for new fiction until 16 February.

Granta is a magazine of new writing and all material submitted to it must be original and unpublished. Original translations of work that has been published in another language are accepted. There are no set minimum or maximum lengths, but most submissions are between 3,000 and 6,000 words. Writers may submit one piece of prose only. Submissions will be considered for both the print magazine and the online editions unless writers state otherwise.

Send all manuscripts double-spaced via the online submission system.

Further submission windows in 2017 are: 24 April-24 May for non-fiction, and 3 October-3 November for poetry. Non-fiction writers may send one piece. Poets may send up to three poems in their submission, but may submit once only. Payment varies. Website:

Say yes to Yeovil

The Yeovil Literary Prize 2017 is open for entries.

There are four categories:

• Novel Prize. The prizes are £1,000, £250 and £100. Enter opening chapters plus a synopsis (up to 15,000 words in total). The entry fee is £12.

• Short Story. The prizes are £500, £200 and £100. Enter stories up to 2,000 words. Include a wordcount. The entry fee is £7.

• Poetry. The prizes are £500, £200 and £100. Enter poems up to 40 lines. The entry fee is £7 for one poem £10 for two and £12 for three.

• Writing Without Restrictions. Enter anything you have written as long as it is good and legal. The prizes are £200, £100 and £50. The entry fee is £5.

There is also a £100 local prize: The Western Gazette Best Local Author Prize for the best shortlisted entry by an author living in the Western Gazette distribution area.

All Yeovil Literary Prize entries must be original and unpublished. For postal entries, prose should be double-spaced and poetry, single spaced. For online entries, all submissions should be single spaced.

All entries should be on numbered pages. The writer’s name must not appear on the manuscript.

Entry fees may be paid by PayPal or cheques made out to YCAA Literary Section.

The closing date is 31 May.

Details: Yeovil Literary Prize Competition, The Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil BA20 1UX; website:

Essay this prize to win a book deal

Fitzcarraldo Editions is inviting entries for the Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize 2017.

The prize is for the best proposal for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) by an unpublished writer from a writer resident in the UK and Ireland. The prize is £3,000, which is an advance against publication with Fitzcarraldo Editions, and the opportunity to spend up to three months in residency at the Mahler & LeWitt in Spoleto, Italy, working on the book.

To enter, submit a proposal no longer than 5,000 words outlining the subject matter, scope, style and structure of the proposed essay. Include a word count, delivery date and biographical note. Writers may also send a writing sample up to 5,000 words. All entries must be original and unpublished, and not previously submitted to a publisher. Manuscripts should be double spaced in 12pt font. In the same document as the proposal, include a brief covering letter with name and contact details and the title of the proposed essay.

Entry is free. Writers may send one entry. To enter, writers must not have published book-length non-fiction, but may have published fiction and non-fiction in magazines and journals.

The closing date is 15 March.

Details: Fitzcarraldo Editions, 243 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DN; email:

Two decades out there

Aphelion, a free webzine of science fiction and fantasy, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary by featuring ‘best of ’ selections from its history in each issue this year.

Aphelion was set up by Dan Hollifield in 1997 as a non-paying stepping stone for new writers to hone their crafts and showcase their work. In twenty years, it has published at least 2,600 pieces of writing, with more than 200 of its writers advancing to professional status.

‘My reward is seeing the messages from our writers who proudly announce, “I made a sale!”,’ said Dan. ‘That’s tempered with the knowledge that we won’t see many more submissions from those writers in the future.’

Aphelion now publishes horror as well as sci-fi and fantasy, remains free, and welcomes entries to its monthly flash fiction contest as well as submissions of new work.


Make waves, stand out

Making Waves is a new competition for spoken word poetry from Falmouth Poetry Group.

The competition, which will be judged by Luke Wright, has a first prize of £600. There is a second prize of £250 and a third prize of £150.

To enter send digital sound files of short spoken poems, up to 200 seconds. Send poems as mp3 or m4a files by email as attachments. Write the name of the poet and the title of the entry in the submission email. If the poem is spoken by anyone other than the entrant, or includes other participants, ie musicians, acknowledge this in the entry email. All poems must have a title. All entries must be original and must not have been published or broadcast.

The entry fee for the first poem is £6, and

£4 for subsequent entries. Pay this by PayPal.

The closing date is 31 March.

Details: email:; website: making-waves-spoken-poetry-competion/

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Make this the month you make your dreams real and start becoming a writer in the Get Serious issue, with advice on: • How a change of attitude will help you, and the wider world, take your writing seriously • How to stay motivated past the difficult mid-novel slump • Money matters: Are you charging enough for your freelance writing? PLUS How to make sense of your royalty statements Cover star Jake Arnott tells us about finding the stories and characters that society overlooks and we explore the style and technique of forensic crime superstar Patricia Cornwell Get your work out there with opportunities to get published and competitions with more than £60,000 total prize money in 20 packed pages of Writers' News. All this plus our definitive guide to writing festivals, courses and other events for 2017