The great thing about fiction competitions and literary journals is that if you don’t succeed in one, there will be another along before too long. I thought I’d share a few things I’ve seen recently that might be of interest. This is by no means a definitive list – I’m far too lazy for that kind of thoroughness.
Please bear in mind that if you are triumphant in any of the competitions, you will have to share your winnings with me. It’s the law*.
Short story competitions
The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2017 has poetry, fiction and life writing sections, and is open internationally to anyone who has not yet published a complete book in the relevant category. The fee is £6 for one entry, £10 for two and £15 for three. The prize in each category is £300 and publication in Wasafiri journal of international contemporary writing. You have until July 14 to enter.
The prestigious Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Award 2017 is accepting entries until July 31. There is a fabulous first prize for this one of €2,000, a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writers’ Retreat in west Cork, publication in Southword literary journal, plus your accommodation and meals covered if the winner comes to Cork for the prize-giving and reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival in September. Second prize is €500 and publication in Southword, and four shortlisted stories will also be published and receive a publication fee of €120. Stories should be a maximum of 3,000 words and the entry fee is €15. You can read last year’s winning story, The Idyllic Land of the 6’s by Shauna Mackay, as well as the runners up here.
The Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize 2017/2018 is worth entering if only for the fact that they produce elegant print volumes of the shortlisted and winning writers’ stories, which remain on sale long after the competition is old news. In addition, first prize is a choice between £1,000 or 12 months of editorial support from Galley Beggar Press, which is a publishing company based in Norwich. Shortlisted writers also receive a cash prize of £150. Longlisted writers receive £50 in book vouchers, plus a 4-book subscription to Galley Beggar Press. Entries can be anything up to 6,000 words, with an entry fee of £10. The competition is open internationally and the closing date is August 27. They also have a very considerate policy of offering 50 free entries to writers on a low income who would not otherwise be able to afford to enter. This is decided at the discretion of the directors on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It seems as if a new litfest pops up every two minutes these days. The latest of these is the inaugural Words by Water Kinsale Literary Festival, which takes place in the lovely, only-slightly-west Cork sailing town of Kinsale in October. And where there’s a festival, there’s almost always a competition. The Words by Water Short Story Competition is currently accepting entries until August 31. Stories should be a maximum of 2,000 words and there’s an entry fee of €12. Just beware that there is also a theme – ‘Open’ – in whatever way you interpret that. The prize is €250 and publication in Cork’s Evening Echo. There’s also a poetry category, further details on the website.
Bare Fiction is currently looking for poetry, short stories (up to 5,000 words) and – unusually – 10-minute plays for their 10th issue. The submission window is open until June 5. Make sure that your name does not appear on the file you upload as they operate a blind submission policy.
Submissions are also invited to the The Ogham Stone, the annual arts journal produced by the creative writing faculty of the University of Limerick. You can submit fiction, creative non-fiction and memoir (of up to 2,000 words in each case), poetry (individual poems should be no longer than 50 lines), as well as visual arts/photography, and they welcome work from writers around the world. Up to four pieces can be submitted across all categories. The submission window closes on August 31.
*…of this blog.