The weekly herding: seize those chances

It seems to be a quiet time of year writing advice-wise, so instead I have a few opportunities in this week’s regular round-up. There are many ways of getting your work out into the world, so thank heavens for the sure-to-be-sainted magazines, journals and competitions that offer avenues for struggling writer wretches like us.

The writing’s on the wall

Submission opportunity

Mslexia is a writing magazine for women with more submission opportunities than you can shake a stick at. For their December issue, they’re inviting everything from novel first pages for feedback to article pitches, and from memoir pieces to themed short stories and poetry (the current theme is ‘Secret Fantasy’ if you’re feeling bold in either sense of the word). There’s a small payment (£25) for most pieces published and the deadline for the issue is October 11.

Incidentally, they also sometimes put out a call for columnists willing to share their writing journey, and regularly run competitions with impressive prizes. It’s certainly a site worth keeping an eye on if you aren’t already familiar with it.


All the poetry

On her personal blog, Dublin writer Angela Carr has posted a fantastic, comprehensive list of upcoming competitions and magazines open for submissions. Many of them are for poets, which isn’t my area, but I know the list will be of great interest to some regular readers here. Kudos to Angela for all that hard graft.

It jogged my mind about one competition I’ve been meaning to take a closer look at – The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, run by Aesthetica Magazine. The first prizes (there’s a short story and poetry category) include £500 prize money for the winner in each category, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, full membership to The Poetry Society for the poetry winner and a consultation with literary agency Redhammer Management for the short fiction winner, among other goodies. It’s open internationally provided work is in English, and the deadline is August 31. Entry fee is £15 plus VAT.


Novel competition

Think you have something spooky to rival The Loney? Here’s your chance to pounce

Also not my area, but anyone with a thriller up their sleeve – or locked away in a secret room with only creepy dolls for company – might like to have a look at the Madeleine Milburn Summer Writing Competition, which has as its theme ‘Make Us Scared’. Five entries will be shortlisted and the winner will be chosen by UK agent Madeleine Milburn and guest judges. The prize is £500 and an offer of representation by the Madeleine Milburn Agency. All five shortlisted entries will receive comprehensive written feedback.

Entrants should send a cover letter including their bio, a synopsis and the full manuscript (or a minimum of 30,000 words if the novel is nearing completion). It does not sound like a competition you should enter if you’re still at the ‘what if’ first draft stage.

The closing date is September 1 and there’s an unusually short turnaround time on this one, with the shortlist announced a week later on September 8, and the winner revealed October 6. Wow, fast-paced AND thrilling for some lucky contestant.


Photo credits: and



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