Writing Competitions

Winner's trophyWriting a novel or full-length play is a long and slow process (unless you’re involved with NaNoWriMo) and that’s just the first draft.

So, I’ve found that writing competitions can be a welcome distraction/addition whilst I’ve been involved in the ‘main project’, and they can also provide a number of benefits:

  1. Improve your profile – stating that you’ve won a writing competition(s) looks great on your covering letter
  2. Get feedback on the quality of your writing –  getting some independent feedback can be welcome. However, it’s also important to remember that like any competition, there could be hundreds or even thousands of other entrants, so don’t become disheartened if, like me, you don’t actually win (note-to-self, be sure to update this blog just as soon as that changes)
  3. Overcome writers’ block – sometimes putting a piece of work aside and focusing on another can help to stimulate ideas and bring us back into the flow of writing
  4. You could win stuff – as well as the kudos, there’s often money and the promise of appearing in print for the victor.

Type “writing competition” into Google and you’ll see a wide range of competitions from local to national, from 50 word flash fiction to full length novels, screenplays and scripts. I’ve entered a few, not many, but chose them based on whether I had pieces of writing already lying dormant on my PC or if they sparked ideas in my head to write something new.

Anyway, here’s a few competitions that have caught my attention, there are many more, but I hope you find these useful:

Flash fiction

Short Stories

Novels and scripts

  • Undiscovered Voices: an opportunity for unpublished UK writers of children’s fiction to have an excert of their work printed within an anthology which is then sent to editors and agents.
  • BBC Writersroom: a number of writing opportunities for radio, TV, theatre and film. Regularly updated. Search competitions and opportunities by platform and type.
  • Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition: an annual competition with a book publishing deal as the enviable prize. Submission for 2012 has just passed, but keep an eye out for next year’s competition.

There are plenty of other competitions out there, and many websites offering advice and information on how best to enter them.

For me, I’m leaving competitions aside for now and will be focused on writing the play and this blog.

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2 thoughts on “Writing Competitions

  1. This is a very quick, useful, and inspiring guide for anyone who really doesn’t know why to enter competitions or where to begin. Good luck on writing the play and keeping up on the blog, but don’t hesitate to offer further advice down the road. I’m going to have to recommend this post to my class.

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