Writing Competitions and Opportunities Digest – Edition 3

by limebirdvanessa

Welcome to the third edition of our weekly writing digest here at Limebird Writers. Each issue will highlight a few writing competitions and opportunities that we have selected for you. If you missed the last editions, you can view them here:

Edition 1
Edition 2


Opportunity type – Book publisher actively seeking novel submissions direct from authors.
Theme – 1) “Norfolk Gothic” (Dark fiction set in the English county of Norfolk), 2) Literary fiction, 3) Crime fiction.
Word count – Preferably less than 80,000 words.
Organiser/publisher – Salt Publishing
Reward – Not specified.
Eligibility – Not specified, but work must be aimed at the British market (although they do sell internationally).
Deadline – Ongoing.
Link for infoSalt Publishing.
Notes – They were established in 1999, have published almost 1,000 books and currently receive around 40 novel submissions per day.


Opportunity type – Poetry competition.
Theme – Any.
Wordcount – 1 to 3 poems of 60 lines each.
Organiser/publisher – Vallum Contemporary Poetry Magazine.
Reward – 1st prize $750, 2nd prize $250 (I think that’s Canadian dollars). Both will be published in Vallum magazine.
Eligibility – Open to international entrants.
Deadline – July 15, 2013.
Link for infoCompetition rules.
Notes – There is an entrance fee of $20 CDN for Canadian residents, $20 USD for international entrants, which includes a one-year subscription to Vallum magazine.


Opportunity type – Children’s fiction novel competition (novels written FOR children, not BY children).
Theme – Any, suitable for children from 7yrs to 18yrs (novels only, no picture books).
Word count – 30,000 to 80,000 words.
Organiser/publisher – The Times newspaper and Chicken House.
Reward – First prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus representation from a top children’s literary agent. All longlisted entrants will receive a reader’s report of their work.
Eligibility – Open to international unpublished novelists over the age of 18 (it is fine if you have had non-novel writing published, and it is also fine if you have had self-published novels).
Deadline – November 1, 2013.
Link for infoChicken House.
Notes – There is a £15 entrance fee.


Opportunity type – Short story competition.
Theme – Must be set it in a city, competition title is “Your City, Your Story!”
Word count – Less than 3,500 words.
Organiser/publisher – World City Stories.
Reward – 1st prize 100 Euros, 2nd Prize 75 Euros, 3rd Prize 50 Euros. T-shirts for runners up.
Eligibility – Not specified, but the website header says ‘World City Stories: Stories from around the world’, so I assume the competition is open to people from around the world.
Deadline – August 31, 2013.
Link for infoWorld City Stories (scroll to the bottom of the page to find ‘Terms and Conditions’ link).
Notes – One free entry allowed per person. There is a 5 Euro charge for additonal entries.


Opportunity type – Women’s Novel Competition.
Theme – Any genre, but must be for adult or YA.
Word count – At least 50,000 words.
Organiser/publisher – Mslexia
Reward – 1st Prize £5,000
Eligibility – Open to women of any nationality in any country.
Deadline – September 23, 2013.
Link for infoCompetition rules (they have been having some problems with their server lately, so if you can’t get on to the site, try again later).
Notes – There is a £25 entry fee. Mslexia is a magazine for women who write – they regularly run writing competitions and have requests for various submissions running all the time (there is no fee to pay for general writing submissions), so it’s worth browsing the site even if you’re not interested in this particular competition (as long as you’re female!). For info on their general submissions, see here.


EXTRA NOTE OF CAUTION: Do always read the terms and conditions carefully, as Jennifer Eaton discovered, when you enter some writing contests, you can lose the rights to your submitted work forever, even if you don’t win. If you’re happy with that, no problem, but it’s best to be aware of what you’re agreeing to before sending any of your work anywhere!


Good luck everyone!

Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information given here, but please verify details yourself before submitting anywhere as Limebird Writers cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. Listing of opportunities here is not necessarily an endorsement of them.


15 Comments to “Writing Competitions and Opportunities Digest – Edition 3”

  1. The 1st one and 3rd one are incredible opportunities, especially if you’re trying the traditional publishing route rather than the self pub! Great links as usual Vanessa!

  2. Thanks for including my article! So many people don’t look at the legal mumbo jumbo, but it can be soooo important!

    • Yes, I think sometimes there can be a tendency, not just with competitions but in general, to assume that the small print is just all fine, and not bother to read it, but your piece reminds us that we can’t cry about it afterwards if we didn’t check it properly beforehand!

  3. Ooh, I think I might have my YA novel done before the Chicken House contest deadline. Here’s hopin’!

    Thanks, Vanessa!

  4. Another great list! And a great idea to remind us all to check who we’re sending our stuff out too!

    • Yep, there are some competitions where we have written it very specifically for that, and have no intention of using it for anything else if it doesn’t win, but there may be other occasions where we could definitely repackage it for another market, so it’s good to be clear on these things before submitting!

  5. Contests can be wonderful but the rules and rights can be alarming. Even if you read it carefully, it may not be clear exactly what rights your giving up. My dad’s a lawyer so I usually ask him to peruse them just to be safe.

    • Just noticed I missed a couple of comments back here! Some contests seem to have barely any rules, and others have a huge amount. If it’s something that I’ve written very specifically for something, and can’t imagine myself using it for anything else, then I’d probably be less worried about fully deciphering the rules than if it was something that I could see recycling!

  6. Thanks again, Vanessa! I’ve taken special note of the children’s novel one. It’s a great impetus to clean up my old 2005 NaNoWriMo children’s story!

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