Writing Competitions and Opportunities Digest – Edition 30

by limebirdvanessa

Welcome to the 30th Edition of our weekly writing competitions and opportunities digest. If you missed the last edition, you can see it here.

Happy Monday everyone, are you ready for another week of writing? First on today’s list is a heads-up about the launch of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, it only has a two week entry window so don’t miss it! Next up is a quarterly journal looking for short stories that start with the opening line they provide; why not see if that one sparks your creativity? Thirdly we have an accumulator short story competition, if you don’t know what that is, then check it out, it sounds like fun to me! And finally, if you’re feeling poetic, we have a magazine seeking contemporary urban poetry.

We always welcome your feedback about this digest, and if you have any suggestions about writing contests or opportunities that we could include, do let us know using our contact page; if we use your suggestion, we’ll give you a shout-out.


Opportunity type – Novel writing contest.
Theme – Genres: General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, or Young Adult.
Word count – 50,000 to 125,000 words.
Organiser/publisher – Amazon.
Reward – A publishing contract with a $50,000 advance. Other prizes for runners-up.
Eligibility – Open internationally, although there are a few exemptions which you can see on the official rules page. Must be aged 13 years or older.
Deadline – The entry window is from February 16 to March 2, 2014. They only accept 10,000 entries, so if they reach that amount before the deadline, it will close.
Link for info – Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Notes – To enter the contest you must first submit a 300 word pitch. Have a look at some successful pitches from past winners here.


Opportunity type – Short stories for a quarterly journal.
Theme – Begin with the line “Carlos discovered _____ [fill in the blank] under a pile of shoes in the back of his grandmother’s closet” (for the spring edition). “Please, Sylvia, give me a moment to think” (for the summer edition). “Fifty miles west of Bloomington lies Hillsboro, a monument to middle-class malaise” (for the fall edition). “We went as far as the car would take us” (for the winter edition).
Word count – A non rigid guideline of 300 to 5,000 words.
Organiser/publisher – The First Line journal.
Reward – $25-$50 plus a copy of the issue your story appears in. They publish several of the submissions in each edition, without ranking them.
Eligibility – Not specified.
Deadline – Spring edition: February 1, 2014. Summer edition: May 1, 2014. Fall edition: August 1, 2014. Winter edition: November 1, 2014.
Link for info – The First Line submissions.
Notes – They are open to all genres.


Opportunity type – Accumulator short story competition.
Theme – Any, but using  one of their first lines.
Word count – Written in 4 stages, each of which should be 300-350 words.
Organiser/publisher – Creative Frontiers.
Reward – The winner of each stage wins £25 Amazon gift voucher. Everyone who enters will have their name put into a draw to win a £100 Amazon gift voucher.
Eligibility – Only specification is that it must be written in English.
Deadline – Stage One: February 1 to March 31. Stage Two: May 1 to June 30. Stage Three: August 1 to September 30. Stage Four: November 1 – December 31.
Link for info – Accumulator short story competition.
Notes – They give the first line of the story. To enter, you must add 300-350 words to that line. They choose the winning one from those and publish it. You then add 300-350 words to that winning one. And so on through the four stages. For the first stage they have given a choice of three opening lines, but after that, you will only be able to add to whichever is the winning one at each stage.


Opportunity type – Magazine seeking poetry.
Theme – Rust/Dust/Lust. They prefer a contemporary urban style.
Word count – 3 to 5 poems.
Organiser/publisher – Slipstream magazine.
Reward – Publication in the magazine, and copies of the magazine in which your work appears.
Eligibility –  Not specified.
Deadline – June 1, 2014.
Link for info – Slipstream magazine poetry submissions.
Notes – They also run an annual chapbook contest which asks you to submit 40 pages of poetry. Details are on the same link as above.


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.


24 Responses to “Writing Competitions and Opportunities Digest – Edition 30”

  1. My writing group was just talking about that Creative Frontiers one. ^_^ Looking forward to getting involved with that!

  2. I love when you post these. Thank you!

  3. Thank you, Vanessa. I keep collecting these but must make time to do something about them. 😉

  4. Is it Monday ALREADY? Damn these weeks are flying by!

    I’m tempted by the Amazon one, I know some people who’ve entered that previously. Need to check whether Crime novel fits in with their Mystery/Thriller genre.

  5. Reblogged this on blondinbrille and commented:

  6. Definitely looking into the First Line Journal one! Thanks for sharing these!

    • I always find that first lines can be quite inspiring, in a completely different way than a theme is, and interesting to see the different directions people can go in from there. Good luck if you enter! Do let us know how you get on.

  7. That “Carlos discovered” one has moved my mind in filthy directions.

  8. First Line and Accumulator sound like they should appeal to the same sort of writers. Very interesting that they diverge after a point, though. Accumulator is rather like the round-robin stories my sister and cousins and I used to write when we were younger. That was a great way to pass the time!

    Thanks, Vanessa! I’m not sure I’ll be biting on any of these, but I do have one or two from previous entries that I jumped for, so I’m not totally slacking. 😉

    • Good, glad to hear it, slacking won’t be tolerated! I’m surprised the rust/dust/lust contemporary urban poetry doesn’t appeal to you though. That one kinds of appeals to me for some reason. We’ll see, there’s plenty of time as long as I don’t forget about it which is what usually happens!


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