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Writing Opportunities

The BBC National Short Story Award 2023

Closing date: 
13 March 2023
British nationals and UK residents, aged 18 years or over. No entry fee
Winner £15,000 plus 4 shortlisted authors £600

 The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and four further shortlisted authors £600 each.

Enter a story of no more than 8,000 words.

Reeta Chakrabarti is chair of the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) judging panel, alongside bestselling novelist Jessie Burton; Booker Prize wining author Roddy Doyle; author and creative writing lecturer Okechukwu Nzelu; and returning judge Di Speirs, books editor at BBC Radio.

The stories are broadcast on Radio 4 and available to listen to on BBC Sounds, and also published in an anthology by Comma Press. The 2022 winner of the BBC National Short Story Award was Saba Sams, and previous alumni of the award include Zadie Smith, Hilary Mantel, Jon McGregor, Ingrid Persaud, Cynan Jones, Sarah Hall, Lucy Caldwell and Jo Lloyd.

This is the awards' third year in partnership with Cambridge University.

The entry deadline for the BBC National Short Story Award is 13 March.

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The Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2023

Closing date: 
10 February 2023
Open to unpublished and unagented female writers, aged 21 or over, who live in the UK or Ireland. Entry fee £12
Winner £1,500 and guidance and support from literary agent and sponsor Peters Fraser Dunlop

The Prize is for novels by unpublished and unrepresented women writers over the age of 18 in the UK and Ireland. Now going into its thirteenth year, the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize has developed a reputation for attracting first-class writing talent. Judges are seeking entries that combine literary merit with 'unputdownability', and it has been a catalyst for numerous literary careers.

The winner of the 2023 prize will receive guidance and support from literary agent and sponsor Peters Fraser Dunlop as well as a cash prize of £1,500.

Entrants need to submit 40-50 pages of their novel and 3-5 pages of synopsis.

The 2023 judging panel welcomes back Tim Bates, Head of the Books Department and literary agent at Peters Fraser Dunlop; Dr Isobel Maddison, Fellow Emerita of Lucy Cavendish College where she was Lecturer and Director of Studies in English; Jackie Ashley, political journalist, broadcaster and Honorary Fellow of the College; Gillian Stern, editor and ghost-writer; Lindsey Traub, Fellow Emerita, and Phoebe Morgan, Harper Collins Editorial Director and author of four novels published by HQ. Joining the panel this year are Reeta Chakrabarti, BBC News presenter and correspondent, and Sheena Patel, writer and assistant director for the film and TV industry. We will be announcing a very special Chair next week.

More about the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize

Entry form


Carcanet open submissions window

Closing date: 
20 January 2023
Poets with full-length poetry manuscripts in English, or translation No entry fee
Publication by Carcanet Press

Independent UK press Carcanet is launching an open submissions window to find new poetry talent.

Carcanet has revealed the dates of its next submission window, which will open on 2 January 2023 and close on 20 January 2023.

Carcanet editors John McAuliffe and Michael Schmidt said: "The open, free submission window is a vital resource for Carcanet: this is how we find writers whose work shapes contemporary poetry. We welcome submissions from all quarters and expect great things."

Carcanet is looking for full-length poetry manuscripts in English, or translation and, is expecting over 1,000 manuscripts to arrive during the window. Work is considered for three possible destinations: Carcanet collections, anthology series New Poetries and the journal PN Review.

Previous submission windows have resulted in some substantial finds, including Kei Miller, Sophie Hannah, Sinead Morrissey, Caroline Bird, Vahni Capildeo, Billy Letford and John Clegg.

For more details


The Selfies Book Awards UK 2023

Closing date: 
3 January 2023
Authors who have self-published adult fiction, children’s books or adult memoirs/autobiography in the UK between January and December 2022. Entry fee: £35 per title to include a six-month subscription to Bookbrunch
£750 cash prize for each category plus other prizes

For the fifth year running the hugely popular Selfies Book Awards - powered by UK trade journal BookBrunch and sponsored by Ingram Spark® - will again reward three self-published authors for their publishing excellence. Submissions are now open for indie authors who have published an adult autobiography/memoir, adult fiction or children's book during 2022.

Supported by the London Book Fair and Nielsen BookData, the awards recognise one of the fastest growing parts of the book market. Entries are now open, and the closing date of the submission window will be Tuesday 3rd January 2023. Shortlists will be announced in March, and the Selfies Book Award winners will be unveiled at the London Book Fair Author HQ next April.

Originally launched in the UK in 2018, this initiative uncovers fantastic talent and rewards the very best self-published authors each year. The inaugural Selfies Book Award 2019 was presented to Jane Davis for her adult novel Smash all the Windows. In 2020, the winner of the adult category was Clare Flynn with her historical love story The Pearl of Penang, while Jemma Hatt took home the inaugural children's prize for her middle-grade escapade The Adventurers and the Cursed Castle. In 2021 a third category was added to make a trio of impressive winners: Halima Khatun's The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage (adult fiction), Kate Claxton's My Mum's a Tiger, illustrated by Angela Mayers (children's book) and Sophie Campbell's Breakfast at Bronzefield (memoir/autobiography).

Jo Henry, managing director of BookBrunch, said: "We were all so pleased with the quality of the submissions in 2022; the three winners were impressively well published as well as wonderfully readable and we can't wait to see what the 2023 awards will bring."

The winners in each category get £750 plus a profile in BookBrunch, banner advertising on the BookBrunch website and the option of a special publishing deal provided by sponsors IngramSpark. In addition, all shortlisted authors will receive free entry to the 2023 London Book Fair and membership of Author HQ club at the Fair. Comprising a theatre and networking area, Author HQ provides a forum for discussions on 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 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 between January and December 2022 and entries will only be accepted from authors based in the UK who are predominantly or only self-published, ie where the author themselves acts as the publisher/creative director.

In order to register, authors should go to, click on the subscribe button and select the 6 month subscription box, using the code SELFIES2023. The fee of £35 will include a six-month subscription to BookBrunch (normal price £65).

Please see for more details.

The sister Selfies Book Awards in the U.S. will be opening for submissions in Spring 2023. For more information, please see


The Moth Poetry Prize 2022

Closing date: 
31 December 2022
Open to all poets over 16 for an unpublished poem. Entry fee €15 per poem
1st prize €6,000, plus three runner-up prizes of €1,000 and eight commended poets will each receive €250

The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, 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 prize is for an unpublished poem, and entrants (over 16) are welcome from anywhere in the world.

The four shortlisted poems will be published in the spring 2023 issue of The Moth and the overall winner will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry IrelandThe website of the Irish National Poetry Organisation, offering a resource centre, introductions and readings from new and emerging poets resident in Ireland. in the spring.

There is an entry fee of €15 per poem.

The shortlist will be announced in March 2023 and the four shortlisted poems will appear in the spring 2023 issue of The Moth. The overall winner of €6,000 will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland in Dublin in the spring of 2023.

This year's judge is Louise Gluck, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature

Closing 31 December 2022.

More details

Daily Mail First Novel Competition 2022

Closing date: 
1 November 2022
Open to anyone aged 16 or over who is a resident of the UK or Republic of Ireland and has not had a book published before No entry fee
A £20,000 advance and publishing contract with Little Brown's Sphere imprin and the services of top literary agency LBA

Today, the Mail and one of the world's biggest and most respected publishers launch a search for the UK's brightest literary talent. For the winner, the prize will be life-changing - their book will be published by Little, Brown's Sphere imprint. Our chosen author will also get a £20,000 advance and be taken on by top literary agency LBA.

By entering, your opening chapters and synopsis will be read by publishing professionals. If you win, an editor will help you shape and polish your first work of fiction, tackling plot problems, character development and scene setting.

Although entrants must be aged 18 or over, there's no upper age limit - after all, experience feeds imagination. Even if you don't scoop the first prize, it's possible your book may be chosen for publication anyway if the judges decide it has potential. This has been the case with several runners-up in the past.

Your entry must be written for an adult audience, can be in any genre except Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror and can be contemporary, historical, funny or tragic, dark or delightful, so long as it has an original voice, compelling characters and a driven plot.

The contest is for first-time authors who have not had any work of fiction published before.

It doesn't need to be complete - just send 3,000 words, plus a 600-word synopsis (including spoilers) to show where you plan to take your plot and characters.

See the website for the terms and conditions - but make sure you read the full set online and agree to them before entering.

Our judges are bestselling novelist Clare Mackintosh; Ed Wood, Sphere publishing director; Darcy Nicholson, Sphere editorial director; Luigi Bonomi, founder of the LBA agency; and Hannah Schofield, a leading agent at LBA. Completing the judges' line-up is Sandra Parsons, Daily Mail literary editor.

So what are you waiting for? Read on - and start writing!

More information


The National Poetry Competition 2022

Closing date: 
31 October 2022
Open to anyone 18 or over from all over the world to enter an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines. Entry fee £7 for first entry, £5 for unlimited subsequent entries
First Prize: £5,000, Second Prize £2,000 and Third Prize £1,000, Commendations £200

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

The 2022 National Poetry Competition is one of the world's most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines, open to anyone internationally who is 18 or over. It is judged anonymously and has been won by celebrated poets and by newcomers.

Ten Prizes

First Prize: £5000
Second Prize: £2000
Third Prize: £1000
Commendations: £200


Greta Stoddart, Jason Allen-Paisant and Michael Symmons Roberts

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The Bridport Prize 2022

Closing date: 
30 September 2022
Eligibility please check on the individual category on their website for entry and fees for Poetry, Short Story, Novel, Memoir and Flash Fiction. Entry fees various, please check on their website
Various - please check on their website

The Bridport Prize has five sections: Poetry, Short Story, Flash Fiction, Novel Award and a new Memoir section.

Read the Rules carefully, as they have different prizes, rules, entry fees and closing dates.

The Memoir section closes on 30 September.

More details


The Moth Nature Writing Prize 2022

Closing date: 
15 September 2022
Open to anyone over the age of 16 with an unpublished piece of nature writing. Entry fee €15 per entry
€1,000 and a week-long stay at The Moth Retreat in rural Ireland.


Judge Max Porter

Max Porter's Sunday Times bestseller Lanny was longlisted for the Booker Prize and the Wainwright Prize and shortlisted for the Waterstones and Foyles Book of the Year. His first novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, won the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. A theatre production, directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy was performed in Dublin, London and New York.

The Prize will be awarded to an unpublished piece of writing - prose fiction, non-fiction or poetry - which best combines exceptional literary merit with an exploration of the writer's relationship with the natural world. The word limit is 4,000 words.

The prize is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. The winning piece will be published in the winter issue of The Moth, and the winner will receive €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Moth Retreat in rural Ireland. Closing date 15 September 2022.

1st prize €1,000 plus a week at The Moth Retreat in rural Ireland. The Moth Nature Writing Prize is open to anyone (over 16) as long as their piece is previously unpublished. The word limit is 4,000 and there is an entry fee of €15. Closing 15 September 2020.

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The Imagined Futures

Closing date: 
9 September 2022
YA writers resident in the UK or Ireland. No entry fee
The first prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Faber and a £15,000 advance, while the second and third prizes also receive publishing contracts with advances of £8,000 and £5,000 respectively.

Faber has launched The Imagined Futures, a new YA science fiction prize aimed at finding stories that 'offer hope and spark the imagination in this period of incredible global and environmental change'. It is looking for fiction that shines a spotlight on the power and value of the natural world and explores the potential outcomes for our collective future.

The prize closes on 9 September 2022. The entry criteria is a young adult novel or collection of short stories that can be (loosely) defined as science fiction, comprising the first 10,000 words and a full synopsis of the novel in 500 words, or a full manuscript and 500 word synopsis. Potential themes include:

  • A radical reimagining of a world in which all life has equal importance
  • Humankind playing second fiddle to Plantkind molecular explosion that completely reconfigures our world and us too
  • Space habitation
  • Waste not want not - truly, literally living alongside all our debris
  • Technological innovation that eliminates all waste, erosion and inbuilt obsolescence
  • Human/world compatibility reaches new levels of extraordinary . . .
  • Extraterrestrial life is real, and so is their desire to 'improve' us

The first prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Faber and a £15,000 advance, while the second and third prizes also receive publishing contracts with advances of £8,000 and £5,000 respectively. Winners will also receive a tour of the Faber Archive to see first editions of Faber's science fiction. Agented and unagented writers resident in the UK are eligible.

Publisher Leah Thaxton said: "Some of the most imaginative, immersive fiction I have read has been science fiction, but there isn't enough of it! Particularly now when young adults need great escapism that offers hope and that sense of wonder often associated with this genre. So, that is what we're looking for in launching this prize. We want to leave an inspiring legacy of books that thrill and empower young adults and show them that their behaviour and thinking is enormously important. We want to encourage them to go on to invent and build the solutions that will transform our existence. This is a call for literary environmental action, to refuel hearts and minds!"

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Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2022

Closing date: 
31 August 2022
Open to all. Entry fee Poetry entries £12 | Short Fiction entries £18
£2,500 awarded to both the Poetry and Short Fiction winners and publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, which is awarded to 60 writers, shortlisted by the judging panel.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is an international literary prize that is a hotbed for new talent in Poetry and Short Fiction. Now in its 16th year, the Prize supports both emerging and established writers. By entering, writers can showcase their work to key industry figures and organisations including The Poetry SocietyLively and well-presented UK site supporting poetry with 4,000 members internationally and some thoughtful content., Granta, VINTAGE and more.

The Short Fiction and Poetry winners have gone to achieve widespread acclaim, including nominations for the T. S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize. The prize attracts thousands of entries each year from across the world and is an outstanding resource to discover the best new voices in creative writing.

Winners are selected for both categories and awarded £2,500 in prize money. Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, Full membership of The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner), a free 10-week Online Course from  the Poetry School (Poetry Winner), Consultation with Redhammer Management

Specialises in works with international potential.

Unpublished authors must be professional in their approach and have major international potential, ideally book, film and/or TV.

Submissions via agents website

Children's clients include Donna Ballman, Peggy Brusseau, Gary Bushell, Brian Clegg, Maria (MG) Harris, Lucy Johnson, Amanda Lees, Michelle Paver, Kellie Santin, David Yelland.

(Fiction Winner), a selection of books from Vintage and a one year print subscription to Granta.

Aesthetica is proud to champion new writing talent and supports its writing alumni beyond the Prize, offering print and digital publicity and continued exposure across our channels.

Poetry entries £12 | Short Fiction entries £18

Submissions close 31 August 2022

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The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2022

Closing date: 
31 July 2022
Poets from anywhere in the world aged 11-17 years No entry fee
Top 15 winners get publication in the Foyle Young Poets 2022 Anthology

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is one of the biggest and most established prizes for young people aged 11 - 17 in the world. If you're an aspiring writer, enter your poems to the competition at by 31 July 2022. It's totally free to enter and entrants can submit as many poems of any length as they like, on any theme. 100 young people will win prizes including publication in a widely-distributed anthology, poetry books, Youth Membership of The Poetry SocietyLively and well-presented UK site supporting poetry with 4,000 members internationally and some thoughtful content., mentoring, paid opportunities to write and onward support with their writing development and career.

This year's award will be judged by Anthony Anaxagorou and Mona Arshi. The Patron of the 2022 Award is Savannah Brown.

Last year, we received 14,408 poems from over 6,775 poets aged 11-17 from across the UK and around the world. Writers from 109 different countries entered the competition from as far afield as South Africa, China, Ethiopia and Georgia, as well as the four corners of the UK.Do you dream of starring in next year's anthology? Enter the 2022 award, and as well as publication you could receive mentoring opportunities from The Poetry Society including a weeklong writing retreat for the Top 15 winners; extended engagement with the poetry community through complimentary Youth Membership of The Poetry Society; quarterly copies of Poetry News; and lots of prizes such as poetry books, chocolate, and other goodies.

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is the biggest poetry competition for 11-17 year olds in the world. Since it began 24 years ago, the Award has kick-started the career of some of today's most exciting new voices. Past winners include Jay Bernard, Sarah Howe, Helen Mort, Phoebe Power, Caroline Bird, Mukahang Limbu, Richard O'Brien and many more incredible poets.

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