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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2018 > WRITERS’ NEWS


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

New £20,000 prize for non-fiction beginners

The John Murray Prize with The Spectator is a new nonfiction award for unpublished authors to commemorate the 250th anniversary of John Murray, the UK’s oldest publishing imprint. The prize is a £20,000 book contract with John Murray plus mentoring sessions.

The winning essay will be published in The Spectator and in an anniversary anthology. Up to ten runners-up will be published in the anthology with a flat fee of £100, and will receive a selection of books.

The competition is a for a 4,000- word piece of non-fiction writing on the theme of ‘origin’, plus a separate outline/description of up to 1,000 words on how this essay could be expanded into a book. Topics may come from any discipline – history, science, literature, nature, travel memoir – and should give an unexpected view of an origin of the writer’s choice. Both documents should be double spaced. Submit entries by email.

Entrants must not have had a full-length book previously published. Self published authors are eligible.

Entry is free. The closing date is 1 May.

Details: email:; website:

Win £1,000 for an unpublished novel

The London Magazine is inviting entries for its inaugural Novel Writing Competition.

There is a first prize of £1,000 and the winning novel will be published by Author Enterprises. There is a second prize of £200 and a third prize of £100.

The competition is for original, unpublished novels between 40,000 and 100,000 words. The London Magazine is looking for strong and entertaining literary fiction. Entries may be on any subject or theme.

All entries must be sent by through the online submission system as doc, pdf or txt files with the filename being the author name followed by the name of the story. Entries should include a front page with the author’s name, address and email address, and a 400-word summary of the novel.

Writers may enter as many times as they like. There is an entry fee of £20 per manuscript, payable as part of the online entry process.

The closing date is 30 April.


Celebrate diversity in YA prize

The Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize is open for entries.

The competition is for the beginning of an original work of full-length fiction by an unpublished author of middle grade and YA fiction whose writing embraces ethic diversity either through their own ethnicity and culture and/or in their writing.

There is a first prise of £1,000, professional mentoring from Marjacq Scripts and an Arvon course of their choice in 2019. There is a runner-up prize of £500.

All entries must be unpublished fiction by debut middle grade and YA authors, ie those who have not previously published a middle grade or YA novel or collection of short stories. Authors who have published picture books, non-fiction or adult fiction, or who have self-published, may enter.

To enter, send the first 4,000 words of a completed novel, typed in 11pt Times New Roman on numbered pages of a Word document. The title should appear in a header on each page. Include a 500-word synopsis which should indicate whether the target readership is middle grade or YA, and in a separate document, a 200-word biography and details of all previously published work. All entries must include the total word count of the finished novel.

All entries must be made through the online submission system. There is a £10 entry fee, payable as part of the submission process. The closing date is 29 June.


Austen Metro

From Bridget Jones’s Diary to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, modern authors can’t stop putting a new spin on Jane Austen’s masterpiece. The latest is simply called Pride, by US-Haitian author Ibi Zoboi, who made her YA novel debut last year with the National Book Award finalist The American Street. This new reworking bills itself as ‘A Pride and Prejudice Remix’ and concerns a family of five sisters who live in Brooklyn. The story begins when the affluent Darcy family come to live nearby.

Poets meet politics

Entries are invited for the Poets Meet Politics International Open Poetry Competition 2018. The competition is for original, unpublished poems up to 42 lines/500 words on any political theme, however broadly or narrowly interpreted. There is a first prize of €500, a second prize of a week ‘s accommodation at the Creativity Cabin in Beara, County Cork, and a third prize of €100. Winning poems may be published in an anthology, and on the Hungry Hill website.

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About Writing Magazine

Want to double your story sales? In this month's issue of Writing Magazine we tell you how to turn one idea into two stories. All writers need feedback on their work, and we explore how positive feedback will make you a better writer. Is horror dead? We look at the current state of horror publishing. This month's star interview is author Nikesh Shukla talking about the big issues: life, race and big ideas. Read 20 pages of news about competitions and opportunities to get into print, and there's £60,089 in writing prizes to be won.