Whether you've written a full-length novel or have an idea for a short play and need a deadline to spur you on, Joe Winters guides us through the best writing competitions currently open to submissions...
The Avalon Mentorship, Siege Perilous
A six-month development programme for emerging Scottish playwrights, culminating in an in-depth scene workshop with the company’s Artistic Director and a team of professional actors.
Deadline: 24 September 2012.
Channel 4/ Òran Mór Comedy Drama Award
The prizewinner selected by Òran Mór and Channel 4 judges will be given £5,000 and a stage premiere in March 2012 at A Play, a Pie and a Pint during the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.
Deadline: 1 October 2012.
Everyone Has the Right, Ice and Fire and Amnesty International UK
This rolling script submission service is looking for plays with Human Rights at their heart. Feedback is given to all applicants and the best plays will receive professional rehearsed readings at Amnesty International UK’s London Human Rights Action Centre.
Deadline: 31 December 2012
Little Pieces of Gold
A regular showcase for thought-provoking new drama, held at the Southwark Playhouse in London. Plays must be no longer than 20 minutes, with a cast of a maximum of four actors.
Deadline: 12 October 2012
The Traverse Fifty: a year-long development scheme for writers
The Traverse is looking for 50 writers from Scotland and beyond for a year-long attachment culminating in a new writing festival. Submit a 500 word play for Edinburgh.
Deadline: 14 November 2012
The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting
First Prize is £16,000 with the offer of a year-long attachment with the Royal Exchange Theatre. There are also three Judges’ Awards of £8,000 each.
Opens: 31 January 2013
BBC Writers Prize – for radio writing
A prestigious new award for radio writing. Enter a script for the chance to win a Radio 3 or Radio 4 Drama commission or pilot commission for Radio 4 Comedy.
Deadline: 3 December 2012
Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition
£300, £150 and £100 prizes and publication in a new writers’ magazine for stories between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Rolling monthly publication, entries arriving too late for one competition go into the next.
Cazart Short Story & Flash Fiction Competition
Competition for flash fiction up to 400 words, stories between 400 and 3,000. Cash prizes based on the number of entries and publication on the Cazart homepage for two months.
Deadline: 26 of every month.
Rolling monthly short story and poetry contests. £300, £150, £100 and publication in Writers’ Forum.
Five Stop Story Competition
Enter your stories of up to 3,000 words for a monthly £50 prize; the top author in the league table at the end of the year wins an extra £150. Winners and runners-up published online and as an iPad and iPhone app.
The Scott Prize
£1000 prize and a standard publishing contract from Salt for collections of short stories.
Deadline: 31 October 2012
Cinnamon Press Short Story Award
For stories between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Biannual (end of June and November) £100 and publication prize.
Cinnamon Novel / Novella Award
Enter the first 10,000 words of your novel or novella to win a biannual (end of June and November) £100 and publication prize.
WriteOnSite Writing Competition
Competition opens at 5.30pm GMT every Saturday with a challenge of three themes. You choose the theme and have 20 minutes to complete your story. Three entries are then chosen to be read and judged by all the other entrants over the following week to win £40 and Internet glory.
Telegraph ‘Just Back’ Travel Writing Competition
A monthly £200 prize for gripping tales of recent travel. No need for the exotic: past winners include a voyage across the Mersey.
Bloomsbury 247 Tales Competition
A rolling monthly competition for tales of up to 247 words by writers between 8 and 16. Winners receive £75 of Bloomsbury children’s books, publication on Bloomsbury’s website and a framed copy of their story.
Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award
Enter a poem of up to 60 lines to win a biannual (end of June and November) £100 and publication prize.
Deadline: 15 December 2012
Flash 500 Humorous Verse Competition
£150, £100, £50 and publication in ‘Words with JAM’ could be won for humorous or satirical poems of up to 30 words.
Deadline: 30 September 2012
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Image by California Cthulhu (Will Hart) available under a CC BY 2.0 license.