Skip to Content

Writing Opportunities 2019

The Moth Poetry Prize 2019

Closing date: 
31 December 2019
Open to all poets over 16 for an unpublished poem. Entry fee €15 per poem
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The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone (over 16), as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.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 IrelandThe website of the Irish National Poetry Organisation, offering a resource centre, introductions and readings from new and emerging poets resident in Ireland. 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.

More details


The Bookbrunch Selfies Awards 2020

Closing date: 
27 December 2019
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.
£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

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020

Closing date: 
13 December 2019
Open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland. No entry fee
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.

More details


Nobrow Short Story Competition

Closing date: 
9 December 2019
Open to all writers of 18 and over with an unpublished and not yet submitted story or creative non-fiction piece. No entry fee
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.


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.

More details


Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020

Closing date: 
1 November 2019
Open to Commonwealth writers for unpublished stories in 11 languages No entry fee
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."

More details


Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award 2020

Closing date: 
31 October 2019
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
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.

More details


National Poetry Competition 2019

Closing date: 
31 October 2019
Open internationally to all poets who are 17 or over Entry fee £7 for the first poem, £4 for subsequent poems
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


Mona Arshi • Helen Mort
• Maurice Riordan

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

More details 

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2019

Closing date: 
21 October 2019
Open to all poets internationally, Entry fee £5/€6/$7 per poem
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

More details

The Caterpillar Story Prize 2019

Closing date: 
30 September 2019
Open to all writers over 16 Entry fee €12
First Prize €1,000, Second Prize a week’s retreat at the marvellous Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

This annual award is given to the best story (of no more than 1,500 words) written by an adult for children aged 7-11.
Anyone can enter, as long as you are over 16 and your story is previously unpublished.


We are delighted to announce that Kelly McCaughrain will judge The Caterpillar Story Prize 2019.


The entry fee is €12 per story, and you can enter as many stories as you like.

More details


The PBS & Mslexia Women's Poetry and Pamphlet Competitions 2019

Closing date: 
16 September 2019
All women poets - only women are eligible - Poetry £10 for up to three poems, Pamphlet £20
Poetry - £2000 (plus optional mentorship and writing retreat) | 2nd: £400 | 3rd: £250 Pamphlet – publication by Seren Books and £200


1st PRIZE: £2000 (plus optional mentorship and writing retreat) | 2nd: £400 | 3rd: £250 | 17 FINALISTS: £25 | UNPUBLISHED POET: £250

All women poets are invited to submit poems to our exciting competition, the winner of which will receive £2,000, an optional writing retreat with PBS Selector Sandeep Parmar and a residency kindly provided by Cove Park. For the entree fee of £10 you can submit up to 3 poems, or more across multiple submissions! Winning poets will also be featured in the MslexiaStylish and lively site for quarterly UK literary magazine read by 12,000 'committed' women writers. Good range of quality writing, information and advice with news, reviews, competitions and interviews, all presented in a friendly fashion. Praised by Helen Dunmore as 'astute, invigorating and above all an excellent read.' magazine, and a selection in the PBS Bulletin. Click here to submit online (you will need to make a Submittable account).


Winning Prize: Pamhlet publication by Seren BooksClick for Seren Books Publishers References listing and £250.

Women poets who have not previously had a full collection published are invited to submit a new poetry pamphlet for an entrance fee of £20 (or multiple pamphlets across multiple submissions). The winning pamphlet will be selected for publication by Seren Books, and the poet will win £250!

More details

The Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry

Closing date: 
15 September 2019
Open to unpublished poems from poets from all over the world writing in English £7 for the first poem, then £4 for every subsequent poem
First prize £5,000, second prize £2,000, third prize £1,000

The Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry is a major international award for poems embracing ecological themes.

The Prize aims to highlight the role poetry can play in raising awareness, gaining insight, and provoking concern for the ecological imperatives of our time.

First prize is £5,000, second prize is £2,000, and third prize is £1,000.

The judges are the iconic Mexican writer, activist and ambassador Homero Aridjis and the T S Eliot Prize-winning poet Jen Hadfield.

For the first time this year, we are launching a separate prize focused on a theme or challenge encountered by environmental campaigners in their everyday work. This year's theme is Environmental Defenders, with a £500 prize for the poem that best engages with the many threats faced by activists and communities, as they protect their families, livelihoods and planet from schemes that cause devastating environmental damage. This prize is in association with Global Witness, who have catalogued the closing of political space for civil society action in their Environmental Activists campaign

The winner of the Ginkgo Prize and the winner of the Environmental Defenders Prize will be awarded week-long residencies at the Cambridge Writing Retreat.

The winners' ceremony will be held on the evening of 22 November 2019 at Swedenborg House, Bloomsbury, London.

The Ginkgo Prize is kindly sponsored by Loowatt and funded by the Edward Goldsmith Foundation. The prize is organised by the Poetry School.

More details

Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing

Closing date: 
10 September 2019
Open to previously unpublished and self-published writers based in the UK No entry fee
An advance of £10,000, editorial mentoring and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates

A new literary prize for underrepresented voices in nature writing

Canongate has launched the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing, as Oscar-nominated actor Tilda Swinton records the audiobook of Shepherd's The Living Mountain (Canongate)

The Nan Shepherd Prize is a new competition to find the next voice in nature writing. It aims not only to celebrate nature writing but provide an inclusive platform for new and emerging nature writers from underrepresented backgrounds.

The winner of The Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing will receive a book deal with Canongate - including editorial mentoring and an advance of £10,000 - and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates

Literary fiction, crime writing and writing for children; non-fiction: biography, history, sport, music popular culture. Also adult fiction and general non-fiction. No poetry, science fiction, fantasy or academic.

Represents children's writers and illustrators. No reading fee. See website for submission guidelines.

Submissions by email: Prefers to receive submissions by email. You will find their individual preferences and email addresses listed on their Agents page. Please email your submission directly to the agent you feel will be most compatible with your work. They read all submissions made in order of receipt. Please note that they will only respond to submissions if they wish to read more. If you have not heard back within eight weeks then you can assume that they do not feel that the work is right for the agency.

Submissions by post: Their strong preference is for submission by email, but if this is not possible, then send a hard copy to your preferred agent at Jenny Brown Associates, 33 Argyle Place, Edinburgh EH9 1JT. They will only respond if they wish to see more. Unfortunately they are unable to return material submitted, and their policy is to recycle all materials.

For fiction: send the first 50 pages (no more) and a synopsis in a single document, with a covering letter (see below).

For non-fiction: email a proposal and short example of the proposed work - a sample chapter, for instance. Please include a short note on the competing or comparable literature stating, where possible, author, title, publisher and publication date. It would be helpful to have an overview of possible marketing outlets and a biographical note outlining your background, training and experience.

For children's: Does not represent poetry or plays.

All submissions: Please write a covering letter in the body of the email giving an account of the background of the book and your writing career to date. If you have been referred to us by a publishing or personal contact then make this clear. If you have had previous correspondence with one of their agents please mention this. They appreciate knowing if your project has been sent to or is being considered by other agents or publishers.

Founded 2002


The Nan Shepherd Prize opened for submissions on 24 June 2019.

Nan Shepherd is one of our most beloved authors and while her classic of nature writing The Living Mountain took three decades to first find a publisher, today the book is recognised as a masterpiece and Nan is inspiring a new generation of writers. We felt that a prize named after her was a fitting way to honour her legacy.

At Canongate, we have a track record of publishing great nature writing from established voices such as Annie Dillard, Dan Richards, John Lister-Kaye and Nan Shepherd, of course, as well as launching new writers like Amy Liptrot, Charlotte Runcie and Kerri ní Dochartaigh.

More details