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Writing Opportunities

Wicked Young Writers 2020

Information
Closing date: 
2 March 2020
Entry: 
5-25 year-olds writers in the UK. No entry fee
Prize: 
Each winner gets four tickets to see the London production of WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre + meet cast members after the show along with an exclusive backstage tour and £50 worth of books/eBooks tokens to spend.

The Wicked Young Writers Awards has announced that entries are open for its 10th anniversary year. Created by the producers of the musical Wicked in partnership with the National Literacy TrustUK-based organisation which has campaigned since 1993 to improve literacy standards across all age groups. Excellent research information and details of the many initiatives the charity is currently involved in. www.literacytrust.org.uk. It also has a useful page of news stories on UK literacy, which links to newsletter http://www.readitswapit.co.uk/TheLibrary.aspx, the annual national writing competition is for 5 to 25-year-olds, and is intended "to reward excellence in creative writing and encourage young people to find their own voice". The awards ceremony takes place at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, home of Wicked. The Duchess of Cornwall is awards patron.

The judging panel for 2020 is author Cressida Cowell; Jonathan Douglas, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust; Nicky Cox MBE, editor in chief of First News; Michael McCabe, executive producer of Wicked; poet and mental health ambassador Hussain Manawar; writer, comedian and actor Charlie Higson; and author, illustrator and poet Laura Dockrill. The ambassador for a second year is author Dan Freedman.

Michael Morpurgo, who helped set up the awards and was one of the first judges, said: "Happy birthday Wicked Young Writer Awards! I was delighted to get involved all those years ago because I felt there was a great need for a writing award for all ages. One that wasn't prescriptive but would allow young people to write about what they felt, to find their voice with the encouragement of their parents and teachers."

Douglas said: "Over the past 10 years, young writers from across the UK have been capturing our imaginations, moving us to tears and making us laugh out loud through the Wicked Young Writer Awards. Writing can inspire children and young people's creativity and give them the freedom to explore their thoughts and feelings. Not only that, but children and young people who enjoy writing tend to go on to do better at school and lead happier lives. I can't wait to read the entries from this year's young writers as we celebrate 10 years of this incredible award."

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The 2020 International Book & Pamphlet Competition

Information
Closing date: 
1 March 2020
Entry: 
Open to all poets. Entry Fee £28
Prize: 
Four winners will published by Smith|Doorstop books. All winners will also receive a share of £2,000, publication in The North magazine and a reading at The Wordsworth Trust.

The 2020 International Book & Pamphlet Competition is now open for entries

The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 34th International Book & Pamphlet Competition judged by Imtiaz Dharker and Ian McMillan is now open.

Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20 pages of poetry. Four winners will be selected by the Judges to be published by our award-winning imprint Smith|Doorstop books. All winners will also receive a share of £2,000, publication in The North magazine, and a reading at The Wordsworth Trust.

All winners will receive close editing, extending their entry up to 28 pages and are guaranteed pamphlet publication. There is also an opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript, which, where the judges feel it is appropriate, will be published as a book in the autumn of 2021.

Full-price entry is £28. Subscribers to The North, Friends of the Poetry Business, and members of the Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £25. All entrants will also receive a 10% code that can be used to purchase books or memberships from the Poetry Book SocietySpecialist book club founded by T S Eliot in 1953, which aims to offer the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Members buy at 25% discount. The PBS has a handsome new website at  www.poetrybooks.co.uk website books at www.poetrybooks.co.uk. A discount code will be sent to you by e-mail upon receipt of your entry to the competition.

The Judges

Imtiaz Dharker's six collections of poetry include Over the Moon and Luck is the Hook. She was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014, she has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library and worked on projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, as well as the Archives of St Paul's Cathedral. She is also an artist and video film-maker.

Ian McMillan is a poet and performer who presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3. His many poetry residencies include with Barnsley FC, and he has worked extensively for BBC TV and radio. He is the author of several books and pamphlets, including a Selected Poems and the memoir Summat and Nowt. Ian likes to work across art forms, but most of all he likes reading new poems, which is a good thing!

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The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize 2020

Information
Closing date: 
3 February 2020
Entry: 
Open to writers who have yet to publish a full-length work or have a literary agent, living in the UK and aged 18 or over. No entry fee
Prize: 
£1,500, an Arvon course, a writing mentor, two years' membership of the Royal Society of Literature

Kerry Hudson, Nell Stevens and Sathnam Sanghera are to judge Spread the Word

London organisation running creative writing workshops for writers at all stages, with a focus on new writing and live literature, and encouraging innovation and experimentation. www.spreadtheword.org.uk

's 2020 Life Writing Prize. The prize takes place in association with Goldsmiths Writers' Centre and with funding from Joanna Munro, and offers the winner a cheque for £1,500, an Arvon course, a writing mentor, two years' membership of the Royal Society of Literature

This British site may seem rather formal (stated aim ‘to sustain and encourage all that is perceived as best whether traditional or experimental in English letters, and to strive for a Catholic appreciation of literature’), but has a lively series of lectures and discussions involving distinguished authors. Also administers literary prizes. http://www.rslit.org/index1.html

, and an optional development meeting with an agent and editor. Two highly commended writers receive writing mentors and £500.

Twelve longlisted writers will be invited to read from their work at an event at Foyles Charing Cross Road next June.

Ruth Harrison, director of Spread the Word, said: "The prize shows that life writing is a vital and dynamic literary form with nearly 1,000 submissions being received from across the UK in 2019. We are looking forward to not only supporting and celebrating up and coming writers but also to reading and hearing stories that often go unheard."

Blake Morrison, professor of creative and life writing at Goldsmiths, University of London and patron of the Life Writing Prize, said: "In the era of fake news, life writing has never been more important. Its premise is truth-telling. And it's a way for voices we're not used to hearing - voices from the margins and fringes - to make themselves heard. No literary genre is more democratic. And with democracy under threat, that lends it even more potency."

The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers' Centre was established in 2016. Open to new and emerging writers living in the UK aged 18 or over, the Prize was established to celebrate and develop life writing in the UK thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Munro. Blake Morrison is Patron of the Prize.

Free to enter, the Prize aims to find the best life writing from emerging writers from across the UK. The Prize defines life writing as ‘intended to be true', reflects someone's own life journey or experiences and is not fiction. The competition is open to writers who have yet to publish a full-length work or have a literary agent.

The 2020 Life Writing Prize 2020 will close on Monday 3 February at 11am.

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Emma Press open submission 2020

Information
Closing date: 
24 January 2020
Entry: 
Open to all poets internationally. Entry fee £10
Prize: 
Publication

Children's and adult pamphlet categories


The Emma Press is calling for submissions of poetry manuscripts, with the deadline set for 24 January. There are two categories: pamphlets for adults and collections for children. The judges will be publisher Emma Dai'an Wright and poet Edward van de Vendel.

Poets should submit six pages of poems for either or both categories. There is a £10 submission fee, limited to one per poet. Emma Press will publish the selected manuscripts in 2021.

Dai'an Wright said: "The poetry pamphlets and children's poetry collections are the flagship series of my publishing house and I'm looking forward to adding new voices to them. I feel like poetry pamphlets and children's poetry books occupy a less-publicised area of the poetry world, with fewer awards and less shelf-space in bookshops, and yet they are both absolutely vital to the poetry ecosystem, in developing poetry writers and readers."

The Emma Press last called for manuscripts in autumn 2017, and has since published eight pamphlets from this call, with five more due out in 2020.

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The Moth Poetry Prize 2019

Information
Closing date: 
31 December 2019
Entry: 
Open to all poets over 16 for an unpublished poem. Entry fee €15 per poem
Prize: 
First Prize €10,000, three shortlisted poets €1,000

The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone (over 16), as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

The four shortlisted poems will appear in the spring issue of The Moth, and the overall winner will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland

The website of the Irish National Poetry Organisation, offering a resource centre, introductions and readings from new and emerging poets resident in Ireland. www.poetryireland.ie

in Dublin on 30 April 2020.

The overall winner will receive €10,000, while the three other shortlisted poets will each receive €1,000.


The Judge

This year's judge is Claudia Rankine. Rankine's numerous awards and honours include the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Lannan Foundation Literary Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist. In 2005, she was awarded the Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American PoetsThe website of the wonderful Academy, which was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. Any poet or poetry lover would find it worth a visit.. She is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

The Prizes

1st prize €10,000

3 runner-up prizes of €1,000

There is no line limit. The entry fee is €15 per poem. You can enter as many poems as you like.

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The Bookbrunch Selfies Awards 2020

Information
Closing date: 
27 December 2019
Entry: 
All titles submitted need to have been published in English since January 2018, and entries will be accepted from authors based in the UK who are predominantly or only self-published. Entrance fee of £25+VAT per title, and all those submitting work will receive six-month subscriptions to BookBrunch.
Prize: 
£1,000 in each category

Submissions are open for the second year of the Bookbrunch Selfies Awards in the UK.

In order to recognise one of the fastest-growing parts of the book market, BookBrunch, with the London Book Fair, launched The Selfies Award scheme in the UK in late 2018. Sponsored by IngramSpark, this exciting initiative aims to discover new talent and reward the best self-published titles each year.

In the first year The Selfies rewarded work in the adult fiction category only. However, BookBrunch is delighted to announce that a second category, children's fiction, has been added to The Selfies Awards for 2020 to help improve diversity in this sector. Recent research by BookTrust shows that books by British writers of colour were twice as likely to be self-published as those by white writers. A third of unique titles from British creators of colour were self-published or published by hybrid publishers, while only about one in 10 unique titles by white British creators was self-published or published by hybrid publishers.

The prize in both categories is £1,000, plus a profile in BookBrunch and a publishing deal provided by sponsors IngramSpark. Shortlisted authors will receive free membership of the 2019 Author HQ club at the London Book Fair. Comprising a theatre and networking area, Author HQ provides a forum for discussion of the ever expanding number of approaches to publishing, and includes networking events and "how-to" style panels.

What the judges are looking for:

• A fantastic story that entertains and delights the reader
• A well-produced ebook or print book
• An enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience

• An effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy that has the potential for great sales

All titles submitted need to have been published in English since January 2018, and entries will be accepted from authors based in the UK who are predominantly or only self-published - ie, where the authors themselves act as publisher/creative director.

In order to register, authors should go to the BookBrunch subscription page and select the 6-month subscription box, using the code SELFIES2020-ADULT-FICTION if submitting a title in the adult category, or SELFIES2020-CHILDRENS-FICTION if submitting a title in the children's category. There is a small entrance fee of £25+VAT per title, and all those submitting work will receive six-month subscriptions to BookBrunch.

A similar scheme is also being launched in the US, where submissions will open on 1 January 2020.

More details www.theselfies.co.uk

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020

Information
Closing date: 
13 December 2019
Entry: 
Open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland. No entry fee
Prize: 
First Prize £30,000, shortlisted authors get £1,000

Promoting & celebrating the excellence of the modern short story

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is the richest prize for a single short story in the English language, worth £30,000 to the winner. The award, for a story of 6,000 words or less, is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland.

The closing date is 6pm on December 13, 2019. The longlist will be announced in May 2020, the shortlist in June 2020, and the winner will be announced on July 2, 2020.

Co-founded in 2010 by Lord Matthew Evans of EFG Private Bank and The Sunday Times's Cathy Galvin, the award is now sponsored in its 10th year by Audible, the spoken word publisher.

The prize prides itself - through the blind reading undertaken by its judges - on discovering and promoting new and emerging writers. This year's winner was the Irish writer Danielle McLaughlin.

Over 1,350 writers entered the award in 2019, with stories coming from 40 different countries and every continent except Antarctica. Entries must be of 6,000 words or less, must be written in English, and must be either unpublished or, for the 2020 award, not published before January 1, 2019. The author must have a track record of published creative writing in the UK or Ireland.

The judges over the past ten years have reflected the power and prestige of the award, and have included Melvyn Bragg, AS Byatt, John Carey, Sarah Churchwell, Carys Davies, Kit de Waal, Anne Enright, Sir Richard Eyre, Sebastian Faulks, Aminatta Forna, Petina Gappah, Tessa Hadley, Mark Haddon, Nick Hornby, Hanif Kureishi, Mark Lawson, Blake Morrison, Neel Mukherjee, Andrew O'Hagan, Will Self, Elif Shafak, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.

A feature of the 2020 award will be an Audible audiobook anthology of the shortlisted stories, which has dramatically broadened the audience for the short story, and allow the award's stories to be enjoyed in a brand new way. Shortlisted authors will receive an extra £1,000 fee, on top of a prize payment of £1,000, for being included in the anthology.

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Nobrow Short Story Competition

Information
Closing date: 
9 December 2019
Entry: 
Open to all writers of 18 and over with an unpublished and not yet submitted story or creative non-fiction piece. No entry fee
Prize: 
The overall winner will receive £2000, all selected contributors will receive £150 and two complimentary copies of the book

Nobrow Short Story Competition for writers! Up to twelve winning entries will be published in our short story anthology, and this beautifully illustrated book will celebrate the best short fiction and non-fiction writing.

Our theme is ‘The Censor'. You can interpret this in any way you wish - it could represent censoring of the past, present and future; the self; the state; or the effects of censorship on everyday life. As a provocation we hope our theme can provide a rich vein of storytelling inspiration for anyone wishing to take part in the competition. We are looking for inclusive, surprising, ingenious and diverse responses that capture our minds and hold us until every word is devoured.

A submission is defined as a short story of up to 3,000 words or a creative non-fiction piece of up to 3,000 words.

It is completely free to enter, and we welcome submissions that you may already have written as long as they have not been previously published and can be related to the theme of The Censor.

By entering writers give permission for their story or crative non-fiction piece to be used in the anthology.

Prizes

An overall winner will receive £2000.

All selected contributors will receive £150 and two complimentary copies of the book, and will be invited to attend events including a launch and readings.

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Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020

Information
Closing date: 
1 November 2019
Entry: 
Open to Commonwealth writers for unpublished stories in 11 languages No entry fee
Prize: 
Overall winner £5,000, five regional winners £2,500

Entrants can submit in 11 languages and the prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000-5,000 words). The five regional winners each receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives a total of £5,000.

Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum.

The prize is open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries and judged by an international panel, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth. The judges for the 2020 prize are: Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Chair), Mohale Mashigo (Africa), William Phuan (Asia), Heather O'Neill (Canada and Europe), Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw (Caribbean), and Nic Low (Pacific).

The five regional winning stories are published online by the literary magazine Granta.

Janet Steel, programme manager of Commonwealth Writers, said: "The prize is at the heart of all the work we do at Commonwealth Writers. It's a chance for new voices to shine from around the Commonwealth and be recognised on a global platform."

Last year's winner, Constantia Soteriou, said: "This prize is a recognition for giving voice to those who did not have the chance to be heard before; those who were left behind."

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Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award 2020

Information
Closing date: 
31 October 2019
Entry: 
Writers writing in English and resident within the British Commonwealth and Eire, who have not yet published or self-published a full-length book No entry fee
Prize: 
First Prize £10,000, 2 runners-up £1,000

Applications for the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award are now invited.

Submissions can be made from 1st June 2019 until 31st October 2019.

The Judges of the 2020 Award will be Ian Rankin (Chair), Sarah Perry and Max Porter.

An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time prose writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work.

Submissions for the 2020 Writers Award open on 1st June 2019 and close on the 31st October 2019.

If your submission is on the longlist you will be notified in April 2020. The shortlist will be announced in late April. The winner of the Award will be announced in London in mid-May at an event to which the three shortlisted authors will be invited.

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National Poetry Competition 2019

Information
Closing date: 
31 October 2019
Entry: 
Open internationally to all poets who are 17 or over Entry fee £7 for the first poem, £4 for subsequent poems
Prize: 
First Prize £5,000, Second Prize £2,000, Third Prize £1,000 and 7 Commendations £200

One of the biggest single poem competitions in the world, the National Poetry CompetitionAnnual poetry prize run by the UK-based Poetry Society established in 1978; accepts entries from all over the world; over 10,000 poems submitted each year is open to anyone aged 17 or older. Run by the Poetry Society in the UK, the competition is for previously unpublished poems of up to 40 lines in length.

Ten Prizes

First Prize: £5000
Second Prize: £2000
Third Prize: £1000
Seven commendations: £200

Deadline: 31 October 2019

Judges

Mona Arshi • Helen Mort
• Maurice Riordan

There will be an awards event in London in spring 2020.

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Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2019

Information
Closing date: 
21 October 2019
Entry: 
Open to all poets internationally, Entry fee £5/€6/$7 per poem
Prize: 
1st Prize £2,000, 2nd Prize £1,000 and 3rd Prize £500 plus 20 commendeds

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2019

judged by kathryn maris & pat boran

first prize £2,000
second prize £1,000
third prize £500
plus 20 commendeds

submit via e-mail or post by mon 21 oct 2019

judges will read all poems submitted

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