Saturday, January 15, 2011

Upcoming Writing Competitions

Some competitions for the coming months. Confession: I now believe in multiple submissions. Send them everywhere!

Strokestown
Poetry
Deadline 24th Jan


Mslexia
Stories: Max wordcount 2,200.
Deadline 24th Jan

Cuirt New Writing Prize
Poetry: 3 poems, each under 50 lines
Fiction: up to 2000 words
Non Fiction/Memoir: up to 2000 words

Deadline: 4th Feb

Bryan Mc Mahon
Short Stories of up to 3,000 words

Deadline 25th Feb

Fish
One Page
300 words or less
Deadline 20 March

Fish
Poetry
Under 200 words
Deadline 30 March

Molly Keane Writing Award
Short story competition.
Up to 2,000 words.
Deadline 24th Mar

Bridport
SHORT STORIES: 1st prize = £ 5000 (approx. 8000 US$, 5900 € )
POEMS: 1st Prize = £ 5000 (approx. 8000 US$, 5900 €)
FLASH FICTION: 1st Prize =£ 1000 (approx. 1600 US$, 1180 €)
Deadline 30th June

Aesthetica
Up to 2 poems/ max 40 lines.
Stories - max word count 2000 words.
Deadline 31 Aug.


A few things I've learnt about submitting to competitions...
  1. If you've just finished your story and it moves you to tears, laughter and/or awe - don't send it. You're not objective yet. Wait at least three to four days to correct errors that you were too misty eyed with genius to notice at first.
  2. Before you email your work to the competition, email it to yourself. And edit it again. Then print it out again. And edit it again. Then send.
  3. The process of submitting stories and poems is useful even if you don't win or get short listed - it brings your work up to a better standard. It improves your editing skills.
  4. Only winners are contacted. You'll have to trawl the net to find out who won. Don't worry, you'll get used to it.
  5. Don't just send your brilliant story to one competition and wait for half a year for the results. Send it to a few competitions of equal merit...whats the worst that can happen? If the story wins one you can email the others (if you're lucky enough to be shortlisted more than once)
  6. Aways save the first unedited draft, it gives you the freedom to play around with subsequent drafts.
  7. Don't spend too much money on competitions or you'll feel like a sucker and you'll be poor. Be selective. Give yourself a limit. Don't overlook a free entry!
  8. If you've never heard of the competition, if you've never heard of the judge, if the entry fee is ten euro and the prize is a book token... restrain yourself!
  9. We all have blindspots. If a story keeps coming back - get someone else to read it.
  10. Switch off from competitions for long periods and just concentrate on your writing.
  11. Don't forget why you started writing in the first place!


11 comments:

AquaMarina said...

all good advice Niamh, especially about multiple entries and leaving stuff to sit for a while.... Good Luck!

Old Kitty said...

I love your advice!!! The first half of 2010 I went mad and submitted to so many competitions (free and fee-paying ones) and then the shock of losing more than winning was incredible! LOL!! So now I'm resting like your advice so sagely advices and concentrating on my wip!!! But I still keep my stories though, cos I love em and gave birth to them and they all have names! LOL!

If you are going for any of these (and you should especially with your incredible poems!!!!!) GOOD LUCK!!!

Take care
x

120 Socks said...

Good tips, especially number 10!

Brigid said...

Good luck Niamh if you are entering any of them.
I am a bit off competitions at the moment, I need to find some energy to do them.
Great advice, especially the one about waiting a few days to edit your story.

Words A Day said...

@AquaMarina
thanks! Might get to enter one or two!

Old Kitty
I do that too - go through phases of entering and then vowing I'll ignore them! Good luck with your work in progress!

120 Socks
Thanks - no 10 is the one I have to keep reminding myself of!

Brigid
Thanks! I know that feeling of being off competitions; they're very distracting and not the be all and end all... I posted this with the hope of motivating and reminding myself - If I make three out of the nine I'll be doing very well!

Niamh B said...

handy list, tho I'm gone off paying comps for the moment.

Words A Day said...

Niamh B
Really? Is it because they seem too be luractive to be kosher? Genuinely interested - I swing back and forth on this topic myself...

KarenG said...

Good luck to you and everyone who enters these competitions!

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for all these links + the advice.

Good luck with your submissions, Niamh.

Helena Duggan said...

Hey Niamh, your blog is great! Thanks for the list of competitions I will get to them tomorrow and the advice is brilliant, I am the worst in the world for not rechecking my stuff, no eye for fine detail! See you in a week

Words A Day said...

Helena
Thanks, see you next week and good luck with any stories you send off!