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Writing Opportunities 2019

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Anyone can enter, as long as you are over 16 and your story is previously unpublished.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.

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1st PRIZE: £2000 (plus optional mentorship and writing retreat) | 2nd: £400 | 3rd: £250 | 17 FINALISTS: £25 | UNPUBLISHED POET: £250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

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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.

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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.

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Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2019

Closing date: 
2 September 2019
Open to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe £5 to submit one poem or £4 per poem for more than three entries
Winners in each category will receive £1000 and both runners up £200

The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is excited to launch its 2019 International Poetry Competition to celebrate the power of poetry across the world!

Categories: Open and English as an Additional Language.

Deadline: 2 September 2019 (23:00 BST/22:00 GMT).

£1000 to winners.

The competition is open to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe and has two categories:

Open category (open to all poets aged 18 years and over)
English as an Additional Language (EAL) category (open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language)

The winners of each category will receive £1000 and both runners up £200.

We are absolutely delighted that this year's judge is the internationally-acclaimed and award-winning author Jackie Kay., who is the Scottish Makar (Poet Laureate)

The competition deadline is 11pm BST/10pm GMT on Monday 2 September 2019. It costs £5 to submit one poem or £4 per poem for more than three entries. Each poet can enter a maximum of ten poems. Please follow the instructions in the Oxford Brookes Shop. All entries must be unpublished work.

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