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


Tina Jackson

The C21 Drama Series Script Competition is inviting entries.

The competition is to find an outstanding pilot script for an international TV drama series.

Six finalists will present their script to a panel of commissioners and broadcasters, including representatives from Amazon, Netflix and the BBC, at Content London in November. The overall winner will receive a $10,000 dollar option from WritersRoom to develop the project.

To enter, submit an original, unoptioned script not longer than sixty pages that has been written in the last two years and to which the writer holds all the rights, and a treatment between one and three pages supported by an industry referee (eg agent, producer, development executive, drama commissioner, script editor, screenwriter or screenwriting course tutor). The treatment must include a paragraph explaining the series concept.

Upload all entries through the online system.

There is no entry fee.

The closing date is 31 August.


Capital contest

Win a first prize of £1,000 in the annual competition from London writer development agency Spread the Word The London Short Story Prize is designed to discover and publish the best new stories coming out of the capital.

The competition is for original, unpublished short stories up to 5,000 words by writers resident in London. This year’s judges are authors Guy Gunaratne and Clare Fisher, and literary agent Sarah Such.

The winner will receive £1,000 and a meeting with an agent. Two runners-up will each get £250 and a meeting with an editor, and there are further prizes of Spread the Word writing courses and membership of London Writers’ Network. Winners and highly commended entries will be published in the London Short Story Anthology 2018.

Entry is £8 per story. Enter through the online submission system.

The closing date is 17 September.


Funds for non-fiction

The Royal Society of Literature is inviting applications for the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction.

This is the second year that the Awards, which will be awarded in perpetuity, have run. Two awards, one of £10,000 and one of £5,000, are offered to support writers to complete their first work of non-fiction.

To apply, writers must be UK residents with a publishing contract for a debut work of non-fiction for a mainstream readership. The submission date for the book should be no earlier than 1 April 2019.

To apply, complete the application form, including a letter of support from the publishing editor, a statement about the work and how the award would benefit the writer, a synopsis outlining the time frame for research and writing the book, a draft chapter or other sample of writing up to twenty pages, and a copy of the publishing contract.

The closing date is 19 September.

Details: email:; website:

Be bloody in it to win it

Tina Jackson

The Harvill Secker Crime Writing competition has been launched by Bloody Scotland and Harvill Secker. The competition, to find a debut BAME crime writer, has a first prize of publication and a £5,000 advance The prize will be judged by historical crime writer Abir Mukherjee, a Bloody Scotland committee member and winner of Harvill Secker’s first crime writing competition; Diamond Dagger-winning author Ann Cleeves; Sarah Shaffi, journalist and founder of BAME in Publishing, and Harvill Secker editorial director Jade Chandler.

To enter, send the first 5,000 words of an unpublished crime novel and a full plot outline. The winner will be offered a publishing deal with Harvill Secker with a £5,000 advance, a panel appearance at Bloody Scotland, mentoring sessions with Abir Mukherjee and an Arvon course. Bloody Scotland takes place between 21 and 23 September.

‘I’m excited to be part of this new initiative being launched by Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland,’ said Abir. ‘At this time of great change, it’s more important than ever that the experiences and viewpoints of writers from across the spectrum of our society are published. Different viewpoints mean different stories, which in turn lead to a wider, richer literary atmosphere, hopefully reaching out to communities who feel marginalised or who have traditionally lacked a voice.’

The competition closes on 9 September.


Specfic writers of the future

Writers aged 13-18 are invited to submit speculative fiction stories for Voices of Tomorrow, an anthology to be published by Michigan based MIFI Writers in December this year.

Writers from around the world are welcome to submit their work but 60% of the anthology will consist of stories from writers based in Michigan. Every writer, no matter where they live, will receive feedback comments from editorial staff. Payment for published work will be $20. Stories should be a maximum 5,000 words but there are no restrictions on the kind of speculative fiction. It should, however, be intended for a young adult or adult readership but can be fantasy, horror, steam punk, science fiction or anything that is ‘simply weird’. Stories with children and young adults as the main are the main protagonists and agents are what is wanted.

Attach doc, odt, rtf or txt files by email:


Serve time with your play’s production

An organisation with an artistic mission to create ground breaking work by disadvantaged writers, Synergy is inviting prisoners and ex-prisoners to submit new plays for performance to diverse audiences.

‘The majority of people in the criminal justice system are overrepresented within socially disadvantaged groups and on leaving prison are more likely to suffer social isolation,’ says Synergy’s New Writing Manager Neil Grutchfield. ‘We want our work to combat this and have a transformative effect on those who encounter it, whether prisoner, ex-prisoners or audience members.’

There is pretty much a free rein as to what to write about and if submitting a play you will be given involvement in its production and a voice in the rehearsal room, on stage and in post show discussions. You will also be able to give input into the company’s development.

Send by email or post and include a cover letter saying a little about yourself and the play.

Details: Neil Grutchfield, New Writing Manager, Synergy Theatre Project, 8 St

Thomas Street, London SE1 9RR; email:; website:


Beastly writing

Tina Jackson

World of Animals, edited by Zara Gaspar, is aimed at anyone who loves wildlife.

‘Our readers range in age, but the one thing they share is that they’re keen to learn about all aspects of the animal kingdom,’ said Zara. ‘We cover everything from an animal’s anatomy to its behaviours and abilities, and even the habitats it relies on. We aim to be fun and informative, so a lot of our features focus on why we love animals, what makes them so fascinating and learning about their incredible skills. We also cover more hard-hitting topics, from the ivory trade to whaling, how organisations around the world are working to safeguard the future of some species and what happens when we’re too late.’ Readers cover a wide spectrum. ‘Because of the topic, our readers really do range in age. Most of our readers are female, but we are also read by children eager to learn about animals; those in their late teens to early twenties wanting careers relating to wildlife; and people in their forties and fifties who are just mad about animals.’ World of Animals is for people who love animals and care about their future.

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About Writing Magazine

EXCLUSIVE this month, with your Writing Magazine: How to Perfect Your Submission - Tips from a Publisher Publisher, author and consultant Scott Pack offers a definitive guide to the publishing package and everything you need to include to give your manuscript submission its best chance of success. AND In this month's main magazine: Check out the latest competitions and opportunities to get published in this month's Writers' News – there's £48,800 in writing prizes to be won and over 40 opportunities to get published. Author advice • We explore ways of getting your writing to new readers, with details of how to run a memorable author event, and how to approach schools to set up school visits. • Should you be happy with a small boutique agency or hold out for a big hitter? • Will your young editor understand your older characters? • The value of listening to your characters Industry insight • Innovative publisher Clare Christian considers whether publishing needs a new business model. • Womag writers are up in arms at new rights terms from Woman’s Weekly. We explain the controversial new terms and their impact. • Why are author incomes falling? Agent Piers Blofeld calls publishers to account. • Where the weird world’s at – explore the fantasy publishing landscape. Interviews and profiles with authors of all levels, including: • Star interview with gangland crime bestseller Jessie Keane, talking about the no-holds-barred approach that makes her Queen of the Underworld. • Chick-lit bestseller Carole Matthews charts her writing day and recalls how she got her first break in Writing Magazine! • Explore the life and career of the father of modern bestsellers – Mark Twain • Novelist Kerry Fisher explains how she straddles the worlds of feelgood fiction and domestic noir