Wednesday, 26 February 2020


For this short story competition from Parsec Ink, you're asked to write a story of up to 3,500 words on the theme of forging. Good word – I can think of several ways to interpet that!

The contest is free to enter and offers a $200 prize. It's only open to non-professional writers. The entry must be sci-fi, fantasy or horror.

Forging can mean creating something strong and enduring – to forge a career, legacy or relationship, for example. The encouragement of my granparents forged my love of gardening. If you forge ahead, you're taking the lead or making good progress.

Forging can be to make an object from metal by heating and shaping it. A forged banknote is a forgery (fake, fraudulent copy) created by a forger.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Win help to get your novel written and published

Me doing a booksigning in Waterstones
This competition from Pen to Print is for potential novelists. The ten finalists will win a year of mentoring and have their completed book published. You have until September to submit a synopsis and the first chapter. First entry is free. If you want to try more than one story idea you can, but it'll cost you £10 a go for the extra ones.

Original cover

In case you're thinking nobody ever wins these sorts of competitions I can assure you they do. I know, because it happened to me! It was quite a while ago now, but I entered a free novel writing competition after blooging about it and Escape To The Country was published as a result. 

Curent cover

Sadly the publishing company ceased trading a few years later, but I was able to self publish the book afterwards and I'm still benefitting from the boost that win gave to my confidence and writing career.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Fancy a week in Greece?

The prize for this free to enter short story competition from Limnisa is a week's writing retreat at a seaside location in Greece. 

It includes food, optional yoga sessions, use of a bike and some other stuff. 

It doesn't include travel costs.

To enter write a story of up to 1,000 words, 'loosely inspired' by the image and/or text on their website. 

If you wish you can also pay for a professional evaluation of your story.

I've been to Greece, so you get photos!

Friday, 21 February 2020

This competition from Harper's Bazaar is for a 2,200 word short story on the theme of summer. The prize is a two night stay in a hotel in Yorkshire.

I have writing friends in Yorkshire, so I'm tempted to give this one a go.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Win a tablet PC

Here's a competition for either poetry or short stories (up to 2,000 words). First entry is free, subsequent attempts cost £10. The prize for each category is a 'tablet PC'. You have until late March to enter.

Widely published authors are not eligible. They've not said how they define that, but as these are just a few of the magazines I've been published in, I guess I'm one of the wide lot!

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Queening it

This competition from Holland Park Press is for poems connected with royalty. You don't need to be in favour (or against) and don't have to actually write about a member of the royal family – dogs or handbags are fine, apparently. The prize is £200.

Here's me and Princess Anne
Some royals seem a waste of space
But I reckon Anne deserves her place
Actually I'm a bit of a fan.

Come on, surely you can do better than that?

Friday, 14 February 2020

Save the planet and win $1,000

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for passing on the link to this free to enter short story competition. The maximum word count is 5,000 and any genre may be submitted, but do take the stated 'provocation' into account.

There are nine prizes of $100 and one of $1,000 on offer.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Have your debut play performed

Here's a competition for debut playwrights. Shortlisted entries will be performed and the best will also win a 'tablet PC'. Entrants must be based in the UK and prepared to travel to Baring and Dagenham to attend the final performance.