Saturday, 6 of February 2016

The Cheltenham Prize 2016

Cheltenham Writers’ Circle is launching its first open short story competition with cash prizes totalling £150 plus book tokens.  The theme, chosen to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, is ‘What You Will’ – in other words your creativity has no bounds.

Maximum word count is 2,000.

Opening date: 1 March 2016

Closing date: 4 June 2016

Judge: Helen Hollick, author of historical fiction and’The Sea Witch Voyages’ and Managing Editor for the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews.

Prizes:£100 for the overall winner and £50 for the best entry with a GL postcode (the overall winner cannot take both prizes), plusa £15 book token for the runner up in each category, courtesy of The Suffolk Anthology bookshop, Cheltenham.

Entry fee: £2 per story, maximum 3 entries.

In entering the competition entrants give theirpermission for Cheltenham Writers’ Circle to publish the winning stories and others of special merit in the Circle’s collection of writing, All rights remain with the author.  Hillside Voices.


Submissions: can be made by email or post. Email: Post: The Organiser, Cheltenham Prize, 2, Hayman Close, Cheltenham, GL53 9FD. Postal entries should be on A4 paper, double spaced, in TWO copies.Email entries should be on Word files attached to a cover message headed ‘Cheltenham Prize’. All entries must be in English.


Please submit a separate cover page with your name and contact details, including postal address, email and phone number, story title(s) and first line(s). Please ensure the story manuscript itself does not feature your name. If emailing, please send the cover sheet and your story as two separate files attached to the same email.

Payment is by cheque made out to ‘Cheltenham Writers’ Circle’ (please mark the back of the cheque ‘Cheltprize’ and add the

title(s) of your story(ies)) to be sent by post to the Organiser at the above address. Please send your cheque by post even if you send your entry by email and be sure to give details to enable the Organiser to marry up your payment with your story.

Go to   for more details and   for the rules. Any queries to


We hope you have fun writing your stories.


People sometimes ask what criteria the stories are judged by. These are fairly equal considerations:


1)      Originality

2)      Quality of writing; narrative drive, pace and flow, characterisation, plot, technique

3)      Quality of prose; grammar, spelling and punctuation.


We hope that’s helpful and look forward to receiving your entry


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This is a new award under the auspices of The Terence Rattigan Society for a commercial full length play for the theatre.

Aside from the first prize of £2500 the winner is guaranteed a professional production.

There is a second prize of £1000 and a rehearsed reading.

The final stage judges are actor David Suchet, Downton Abbey creator writer Julian Fellowes, director Thea Sharrock and academic Professor Dan Rebellato.

“We have tried to keep the entry process as easy and cost-effective as possible – the rules are in the attached entry form. I would emphasise again however that the entries must be full length (75 mins minimum preferably with an interval), and aimed at the commercial market. Although the award is named after Rattigan the aim is not to encourage pastiches of his style.”

If you need any further information please visit


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Curtis Brown open for submissions

Respected agent Curtis Brown has introduced an online portal for open submissions.

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A prize of £7500 is up for grabs in this short story competition.

Up to 2500 words, closing date is March 6th.

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Pet writing (blog post) competition: Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Pets Corner

Win a pet-friendly break in Normandy by writing a blog post about your pet
The winner will receive a three-night stay for two at the Chateau de St Paterne, a free Eurotunnel short break return ticket for the winner, their pet and one vehicle, a pre-loaded Post Office travel money card worth £300 and a year’s supply of pet food. Runners up will win pet food.
To enter the Pet Writing Competition, write a story of  250 words or more about your favourite pet and post it on a blog, linking back to the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and Arden Grange websites and sharing the post across social media using #petlovers.
The closing date is 25 January.

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Free workshops for 16-25 year olds (Birmingham)

From Sampad arts:

“Do you want to tell your story by writing a short story, poem, blog post, article or script?

Sampad Arts is holding FREE writing & storytelling workshops in Birmingham on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February 2016 with respected British / Bangladeshi writer / actress Leesa Gazi.

This is a great opportunity which is likely to interest young women of Bangladeshi origin.


or call 0121 446 3260 to register your interest”

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Bristol Short Story Prize 2016

The 2016 Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all published and unpublished writers.
Stories can be on any theme or subject and entry can be made online via the website or by post.

Entries must be previously unpublished with a maximum length of 4,000 words (There is no minimum).
The entry fee is £8 per story.
The closing date for entries is April 30th 2016.

1st £1000
2nd £700
3rd £400
17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the writers whose stories appear on the shortlist.

All 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 9.

The 20 shortlisted writers will be invited to an awards ceremony  in Bristol in October 2016 when the winners will be announced and the anthology launched.

The judging panel will be chaired by celebrated writer Tania Hershman. Tania is joined on the panel by acclaimed writer Niven Govinden, owner of award winning Big Green Bookshop, Simon Key,
and Juliet Pickering, literary agent at Blake Friedmann.

Full details and rules at

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The Fenland Reed

Call for Submissions

After the success of its first issue, The Fenland Reed is now seeking submissions of poetry and prose for issue 2 on the theme “Lost and Found”. The deadline is 15th January and full guidelines can be found online at:

The Fenland Reed is a new East Anglian literary magazine, publishing poetry and short stories from emerging and established authors. The first issue was published in the autumn and sold out within a few weeks – here are some comments from readers:

A beautifully produced & readable mag.

Some fine work and very high production values.

A high quality publication both in content and production and a very exciting (and brave) enterprise.

Some fantastic pieces of writing from a collection of really impressive poets.




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Birmingham Horror Group launches this week

Next Meeting: Saturday, December 5th 2015, 7:00pm

Venue: The Spread Eagle, Acocks Green, Birmingham B27

Interested in the dark fantasy fiction of such writers as MR James, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King? Or perhaps the horror films of George Romero, Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro? From Bride of Frankenstein to It FollowsThe Haunting of Hill House to The Books of BloodThe Twilight Zone to Ash vs Evil Dead, the Birmingham Horror Group offers a relaxed forum for all fans of the genre to meet and discuss their favourite writers, artists and film-makers, with occasional special guest appearances from leading creators.

See website for more details

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Stephen King short fiction competition

Hodder & Stoughton are running a short story competition, in which King himself will pick the winner.

The prize will include publication of the winning story on the the Guardian books website and a chance to improve your skills at a Guardian Masterclass run by King’s UK editor, Philippa Pride.

“We’re looking for original and gripping stories of not more than 4,000 words. Your story must be inspired by and reflect some aspect of the brief King has provided:”

Click here for details on how to enter the competition. The closing date is 18 December, 2015.

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