Opportunities For Writers

Welcome to our opportunities page. Here, we list competitions, literary events and publisher submission deadlines so you can keep track of your writing calendar.

Click on the name of the opportunity/competition to be taken to the respective information page.

If you’re a website or publication running competitions/events, feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to list them for our readers.

 

Opportunities for writers page

 

Opportunities: September 2016

Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

Entries are open for the fourth annual Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Self-published works may be submitted in the following categories: Mainstream/Literary Fiction; Genre Fiction; Non-fiction; Inspirational; Life Stories; Children’s Picture Books; Middle-Grade/Young Adult; and Poetry. One Grand Prize winner will be selected, as well as a first prize winner in each category and honourable mention winners. Entries close 1st September.

Madeleine Milburn Summer Writing Competition

Presented by a world-renowned literary agency, the Madeleine Milburn Summer Writing Competition invites entries on the theme 'Make Us Scared'. The competition is open to unagented writers submitting an unpublished book manuscript. The top five entries will receive comprehensive written feedback and the winner will receive £500 and an offer of representation by the agency. Entries close 1st September.

Sustainable Arts Foundation Fall Awards

Writers with at least one child under the age of 18 are invited to apply for the Sustainable Arts Foundation Individual Awards. Five awards of $6000 each and five of $2000 each are on offer. Open to writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, longform journalism, plays, picture books and graphic novels. Open worldwide; entry fee $15USD. Entries close 2nd September.

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is open to writers around the world regardless of age, genre or career stage. Stories of 2500 words or less on the theme 'Tidal' are accepted, with a $12AUD entry fee. The winner receives $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. Entries close 15th September.

Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards

Entries are now open for the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards. Short stories up to 4000 words are accepted in any of the following categories: Mystery/Crime, Horror, Romance, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, and Young Adult. One Grand Prize winner will be selected, along with a first prize winner in each category and honourable mentions. Entries close 15th September.

Bartleby Snopes Dialogue Only Contest

Bartleby Snopes' eighth annual Dialogue Only Contest is now open. Entries must be under 2000 words and composed entirely of dialogue, with no narration or speech tags. Cash prizes are awarded to first through fifth prize. $10USD for unlimited entries. Closes 15th September.

Kathy Fish Fellowship for Flash Fiction Writers

Literary journal SmokeLong Quarterly invites submissions for the 2017 Kathy Fish Fellowship. The winner will receive $500USD and be considered a virtual 'writer-in-residence' for SmokeLong's four 2017 issues, each of which will include a flash piece from the winner. Open worldwide. Applications close 15th September.

Ron Pretty Poetry Prize

Five Islands Press presents the 2016 Ron Pretty Poetry Prize, open to international applicants. Entries of a single poem up to 30 lines are accepted, with a fee of $25 for the first poem and $10 per poem thereafter. First Prize is $5000AUD; second is $1500; third $750. Entries close 15th September.

Mslexia Children's Novel Competition

Open to unpublished women novelists, the Mslexia Children's Novel Competition invites entries of books written for children or young adults. Entries cost £25 per novel; the first 3000 words of your completed children's novel must be submitted, and the novel in its entirety must be at least 15,000 words. First prize is £5,000 and entries close 19th September.

Manchester Writing Competition

Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 or over, the Manchester Writing Competition offers a £10,000 prize for the best short story up to 2500 words. Entry fee is £17.50. Entries close 23rd September.

Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award

Entries are now open for the 2017 instalment of 'the world's richest short story prize'. Open to any writer worldwide who is published in the UK or Ireland, the award is worth £30,000 to the winner. Five shortlisted authors will also each receive £1,000. Stories up to 6000 words are accepted. Entries close 29th September.

The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award

The Ghost Story invites entires of short fiction on a supernatural or paranormal theme for its Supernatural Fiction Award. First, second and third prizes will be awarded, including cash and publication. Entries should run between 1500 and 10,000 words; entry fee is $20. Closes 30th September.

The Horne Prize Essay Competition

Cultural partners since 2014, Aesop and The Saturday Paper are pleased to present a major new essay award, The Horne Prize, valued at $15,000. It will be awarded in late December for an essay of up to 3000 words, addressing some part of the theme ‘Australian life’. Entries are open until October 31.

Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize

Short stories up to 6000 words are accepted for the 2016/17 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. The winner will receive a choice between £1000 in prize money or year-long editorial support, as well as a detailed profile and interview in The Bookseller. Entry fee is £10 and entries close 30th September.

Opportunities: August 2016

Trudy Graham/Julie Lewis Literary Award for Prose

The 2016 Trudy Graham-Julie Lewis Literary Award for Prose (Fiction or Non-Fiction) has an open theme and entrants may submit prose up to a maximum of 2000 words. The ‘Open’ category carries a $400 first prize, with $200 for second and $100 for third. Entry fees: $15 each, $25 for two entries, or $35 for three entries. Deadline: 12th August.

The New Guard Literary Review Poetry and Fiction Contests

The New Guard invites entries for its Knightville Poetry Contest and Machigonne Fiction Contest. The Knightville Contest awards $1,500 and publication for an exceptional poem in any form; up to three poems per entry; up to 150 lines per poem. The Machigonne Contest awards $1,500 and publication for an exceptional fiction in any genre. Submit up to 5,000 words: anything from flash to the long story. Novel excerpts are welcome if the excerpt functions as a stand-alone story. Both competitions close at midnight on 15th August.

Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest 2016

Entries are now being accepted for the Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest. Humorous essays and cartoons about writing/publishing. Two categories, free and paid, with cash prizes and publication. Results announced October 2016. Judged by Moira Allen, Leigh Anne Jasheway and Geoff Tristram. Sponsored by Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat. Deadline 31 August 2016.

The Overland Story Wine Prize

Run by Australian literary journal Overland, the Story Wine Prize invites entries of short fiction up to 800 words from Australian and New Zealand writers. The winning story receives $4000 and will be published on the label of a Story Wines vintage, as well as in Overland’s last print issue of 2016. Two runners-up will each receive $500 and be published at Overland online, and on the labels of different Story Wines vintages. Entries close 31st August.

The Scotland Writing Residency

The Scotland Writing Residency awards a free one-week stay in a beautiful cottage in Brora, Scotland. The winning writer resides, for one week during the summer or fall, in a furnished, recently renovated, three-bedroom traditional croft cottage. Applications are now open online and close on 15th August.

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is now open for submission. Fiction up to 2,500 words with the theme of 'Tidal' is accepted. The winner will be awarded $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review. $12 per submission, with entries closing on the 15th September.

John Hinde Awards for Excellence in Science Fiction Screenwriting

The Australian Writers' Guild invites entries for the 2016 John Hinde Awards. The award, funded by a bequest from the late Australian film critic John Hinde, offers $10,000 for the best produced script and professional support for the best unproduced script submitted each year. Entrants must be Australian citizens and members of the AWG. Entries close 22nd August.

The Horne Prize Essay Competition

Cultural partners since 2014, Aesop and The Saturday Paper are pleased to present a major new essay award, The Horne Prize, valued at $15,000. It will be awarded in late December for an essay of up to 3000 words, addressing some part of the theme ‘Australian life’. Entries are open until October 31.

Creative Nonfiction's 'How We Teach' essay competition

Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking essay submissions for its spring 2017 issue. They're looking for original essays about teaching (up to 4000 words), and welcome submissions of both personal stories and profiles. $1000 will be awarded for the best essay and $500 to the runner-up. $20 reading fee. Deadline: 29th August.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is an international literary prize that celebrates excellence in Poetry and Short Fiction. The prize is now in its 10th year, hosted by the international art and culture publication, Aesthetica Magazine. Cash prizes, publication, consultations, subscriptions and book packs on offer. Poetry under 40 lines and fiction under 2000 words accepted. Entries close 31st August.

Five on the Fifth 2016 Annual Short Fiction Contest

Five on the Fifth invites fiction entries between 1000 and 4000 words for its first annual contest. Winners will be published in Five on the Fifth’s November 2016 issue. In addition to publication, the five winners will each receive prize money between $25 and $150. Entries close August 31st.

Hysteria Writing Competition

The Hysteria Writing Competition 2016 is open to women of any nationality. There are three categories: short stories up to 2,000 words; flash fiction up to 250 words; and poetry up to 20 lines. Entries are accepted in any genre except erotica or horror. Cash prizes and publication on offer; small entry fees apply. Closes 31st August.

The Matador Review submissions call-out

The Matador Review, an online literature and art quarterly based in Chicago, Illinois, seeks submissions for its second issue, the Fall 2016 publication. The Matador Review invite all unpublished literature written in the English language (and translations that are accompanied by the original text). Fiction, creative non-fiction, flash fiction, poetry and visual art submissions are welcome until 31st August.

The NWF/Joanne Burns Microlit Award 2016

Jointly sponsored by the Newcastle Writers Festival and Spineless Wonders, the 2016 Joanne Burns Microlit Award invites entries under 200 words on the theme 'landmarks'. Microlit refers to any form of short writing such as flash fiction, prose poem, dramatic monologue and so on. National and local categories open for entry; winners of both categories will receive $300 and entries by all finalists will be considered for publication in an anthology. Entries close 31st August.

The Olga Masters Short Story Award

The Olga Masters Short Story Award is a competition celebrating the life and writings of Olga Masters, Australian journalist and author. Entry is open to Australian residents. Stories should be 2000-5000 words, about any aspect of Australian rural family life. First prize is $1500 and runner-up prize is $500. Entries close 1st September.

Young Lions Fiction Award

The New York Public Library invites entries for the 17th annual Young Lions Fiction Award. Entries must be a novel or a collection of short stories (written for adults) published between January 2016 and December 2016, and entrants must be US citizens under the age of 35. Publishers, not authors, must submit all entries, before the closing date of 2nd September.

Opportunities: July 2016

The Peter Blazey Fellowship

The Peter Blazey Fellowship was established, by the University of Melbourne, in honour of Peter Blazey: journalist, author, and gay activist. Since 2004, this fellowship has celebrated and award nonfiction writers residing in Australia with the support and means of furthering a work in progress. Writers of biography, autobiography or life writing are welcome to submit an extract of up to 5,000 words before 15th July. The successful applicant will receive approximately $15,000 in financial support along with a month residency at The Australia Centre.

Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

Since the 50s, Australian poet and environmental activist Venie Holmgren has left her mark on the world. In celebration of her legacy, Holmgren Design are hosting an Environmental Poetry Prize open until 15th July. Australian and New Zealand residents are welcome to submit their unpublished poems that are no more than 80 lines each and that feature an environmental theme. A prize of AUD$1,000 is on offer.

The H.G. Wells Short Story Competition

As one of the foremost writers in the genre of speculative fiction, H. G. Wells has left a lasting legacy in the literary and scientific world. In celebration of intriguing and thought provoking creative works, the BBC Aeronautics Correspondent Reg Turnill and his wife, Margaret, have established the H. G. Wells Short Story Competition. Submit your stories, of between 1,500 and 5,000 words, before 19th July for your chance to receive publication in the H. G. Wells Short Story Competition Anthology and £1,000 in prize money.

The Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize

The National Union of Workers (NUW) is a large union that's all about representing workers from countless industries and promoting fair and sustainable jobs. In collaboration with NUW, Overland is hosting the Fair Australia Prize that features five categories: fiction (up to 3,000 words), essay (up to 3,000 words), poetry (up to 88 lines), graphic or cartoon (180 mm by 255 mm) and best entry by a NUW member. Entry is free and open until 31st July, so time to get creative! Creative works that explore and promote a fairer society, planet, working industry and food industry are welcome. A prize of $4,000 for each category and publication in Overland is up for grabs.

Elyne Mitchell Writing Awards

Is rural life your favourite setting for stories? The Elyne Mitchell Writing Awards wants to celebrate these rural landscapes explored in creative works. Submit your short story of up to 2,500 words before 27th July for your chance to win $1,000 in prize money, along with book vouchers. This year's theme is "A New Perspective", and centres on the Australasian rural experience.

The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition

The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition is a must see for writers world wide. Hosted by the Munster Literature Centre, the competition it celebrates the best of storytelling. Submit your original and unpublished stories, of up to 3,000 words, before 31st July for your chance to receive publication in Southward, €2,000 in prize money and a week long residency at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat. Entry fees apply.

The Stringybark Short Story Awards

The Stringybark Short Story Awards is all about celebrating the best of Australian writing talent. This year's competition is now open, to all creative works that are within 1,500 words and that feature an Australian history theme. Submit your piece before 31st July, for your chance to receive $950 worth of prizes in cash and books.

The Masters Review Awards for New Writers

Emerging writers, this one's for you! The Masters Review Awards seeks to celebrate the new writers trying to make it in the industry. Prize money of $2,000 and publication is up for grabs, for the best work of fiction, less than 6,000 words. Submissions close 15th July, so time to get writing!

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

Wollongong Writers Festival are running a Short Story Prize in 2016. This international short story prize is open to writers around the world regardless of age, genre or career stage. And the winner will be published in prestigious literary journal, Mascara Literary Review. Submissions close September 15th, 2016.

Narrative 2016 Spring Story Contest

Since 2003, nonprofit organisation Narrative has published and promoted creative works in the digital space. The 2016 Spring Story Contest welcomes all unpublished works of up to 15,000 words, both fiction and nonfiction. Whether short stories, essays, memoirs or graphic stories are your favoured form, ensure your piece has the "ambition of enlarging our view of ourselves and the world". A total of $5,000 in prize money is up for grabs for successful submissions. Entries close 31st July.

Cleaver Magazine Submissions

Independent publication Cleaver Magazine are all about promoting "cutting edge" creative works from a plethora of unique and emerging voices. Their free submissions portal is currently open until 31st July for the upcoming issues of the magazine. Short stories of up to 4,000 words, poems, flash fiction of up to 500 words and creative nonfiction pieces of up to 3,000 words are welcome for consideration.

The Secret Door Competition For Children's And YA Writers

Writing support group Twisted Leads have celebrated the best of emerging writing talent for over 10 years. The competition is now on the search for picture books of up to 500 words and novels of between 5,000 to 100,000 words depending on the age group. The theme this year is "Looking for hooks". Submissions close 15th July.

The Scribe Nonfiction Prize For Young Writers

For the 4th year running, the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers returns! Talented writers under 30 are welcome to submit their long form nonfiction works, of between 5,000 and 10,000 words. The winner receives $3,000 in prize money, an editorial mentorship to develop their work for publication and a book pack of Scribe's latest releases. Submissions close 10th July.

The John Marsden & Hatchette Australia Prize For Young Writers

For the 11th year running, the John Marsden & Hatchette Australia Prize for Young Writers is here to celebrate the emerging writing talent among secondary students. Writers aged 18 years and under are welcome to submit works of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Winners receive $500 in prize money, an exclusive workshop with author James Phelan, a lunch with John Marsden, a book pack and more. Entries close 1st July.

Opportunities: June 2016

2016 S.D. Harvey Short Story Award

The S.D. Harvey Short Story Award is an annual competition organised by the Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA). It is part of the prestigious Ned Kelly Awards, celebrating the very best in Australian crime writing. The winner of the 2016 S.D. Harvey Short Story Award will receive a first prize that has increased to $1500.

Shoalhaven Literary Award 2016 for Poetry

The Shoalhaven Fellowship of Australian Writers return once more celebrating the best of emerging poets, with the Literary Award 2016. All submissions of up to 60 lines on any theme are welcome before 3rd June, and will be reviewed by Sydney based poet Brook Emery. The winning poet will receive $1000 in prize money as well as a 2 week artist residency at Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River. A $10 entry fee applies.

ACU Poetry Prize

The Australian Catholic University are celebrating the power of poetry and kindness through the return of the 2016 Poetry Prize. Australian poets are welcome to submit up to 4 poems, with a maximum of 80 lines each, before the 6th June. This year's prize is a celebration of "poetry [as] a powerful medium for reflecting on how loving kindness can be manifested, or how its absence can be damaging". With $10,000 prize money up for grabs, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

VU Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers

The Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize is an annual competition in celebration of the best short fiction by emerging writers. For the best short fiction, up to 3000 words in length, the winning writers will receive thousands of dollars in prize money, along with publication in the Spring issue of Overland. The competition closes 12th June.

2016 Grieve Writing Project

In the lead up to Grief Awareness Month in August, The Hunters Writers Centre host the annual Grieve Writing Project. It's an initiative to bring awareness to the ongoing process of grief, through poetry and short stories. If you're an Australian writer, whether established or emerging, you're invited to share your experiences of loss and grieving in a 500 word short story or in a poem, of up to 36 lines. Submissions close 26th June.

The Moth International Short Story Prize 2016

Irish magazine The Moth are back once more with their International Short Story Prize 2016. All unpublished stories, of up to 6,000 words, are welcome to enter, for the chance to receive publication and more — "A 1st prize of €3,000, a 2nd prize of a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France (including €250 for travel) and a 3rd prize of €1,000". Submissions close 30th June.

Red Room Poetry Object Competition, 2016

Red Room Poetry Object is a poetry writing competition inviting young writers and their teachers from across Australia and New Zealand to submit poems about 'talismanic' objects that are special to them. It is open to students in grades 3-10 and their teachers

Twisted Tax Tales Short Story Competition

The Success Tax Professionals’ Twisted Tax Tales Competition is all about raising awareness and funds for the 'Save the Tasmanian Devil' appeal. If you're a talented writer with a flair for short fiction, submit your 5,000 word short story now for the chance to win $10,000 and help a great cause! The top 20 stories will also be published in a Twisted Tax Tales Anthology. Your story must include at least one main character, who is an accountant. Submissions close 30th June.

University of Canberra Vice Chancellor's International Poetry Prize

In celebration of the enduring power of poetry, the University of Canberra are hosting an international competition. Poets world wide are welcome to submit up to 4 of their works for the chance to win $15,000 in prize money. Entry fees apply, though student discounts are also available. Submissions close 30th June.

Boston Review

Since 1975, Boston Review have celebrated incredible writing and published innovative and challenging ideas to the public. This year, they're on the hunt for incredible poetry from any poets worldwide. Submit before 1st June for your chance to win $1,500 prize money and online publication.

AskPeterson Scholarship: Essay Writing Contest

Are you an emerging essayist? AskPetersen is currently hosting an essay writing contest, open to writers worldwide. Submit your essay of 500-1000 words on any one of the seven provided topic areas, which include questions such as "Is online learning as good as face-to-face learning?" and "Are we too dependent on computers?". Submissions close 1st June, so get writing for the chance to flex your essay writing skills and win prize money.

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

Wollongong Writers Festival are running a Short Story Prize in 2016. This international short story prize is open to writers around the world regardless of age, genre or career stage. And the winner will be published in prestigious literary journal, Mascara Literary Review. Submissions close September 15th, 2016.

Impress Prize For New Writers

The Impress Prize for New Writers offers unpublished writers a chance to win a publishing contract. The winner is decided by a panel of experts working in the publishing industry and as a result is offered  a publishing contract with Impress Books with the aim of publishing the book in the year following the award. Numerous entries from previous years have gone on to be published by Impress Books and other publishers and many authors who have entered the prize have also gone on to be represented by agents. If you are an unpublished writer, enter your 6,000 word sample, synopsis of the piece and publishing rationale by 1 July 2016.

Opportunities: May 2016

Questions Writing Prize

Online journal Questions is a quarterly publication on a mission to nurture a new generation of writing and ideas. This year's Questions Writing Prize 2016 attempts to celebrate the young writers, between ages of 18 and 30, who demonstrate incredible fiction and nonfiction writing. The prize includes $2000 prize money and publication for the best piece of writing: 1500 to 2000 words, under any theme, and either fiction or nonfiction. Time to get writing, submissions close 1 May!

The 2016 Scribe Nonfiction Prize

Express Media, the literary icon for young writers, is at it again with their 2016 Scribe Nonfiction Prize! All writers of memoirs, essays, creative nonfiction pieces and more are welcome to submit their nonfiction writing for the prize. Included in your prizes, should you win, are a cash prize of $3000, an editorial mentorship to develop your work for publication and a selection of manuscript assessments, free books and craft development masterclasses. Submissions close 2 May.

Griffith Review: The Novella Project

Griffith Review are now opening their doors to submission of incredible works of fiction, that fall between 10,000 and 25,000 words in length. With plans to publish 4+ of the best winning novellas, this prize offers an unbeatable opportunity for fiction writers to take their writing from idea to bookshelf! Along with a cash pool prize of $25,000 up for grabs, there's a digital subscription to Griffith Review and more that awaits the winning talent. Submissions close 13 May.

ZineWest

ZineWest is a publication aimed towards celebrating short creative works from talented members of the Western Sydney region. They're currently on the lookout for any works of prose, poetry, lyrics, cartoon or drama to be published in their print zine. The prize includes $100-400 prize money in addition to publication. Submissions close 14 May.

AHWA Flash Fiction & Short Story Competition

Do you like giving people chills up their spines? Does your writing aim to be every bit as scary as it is imaginative? The AHWA Competition is on the hunt for great flash fiction (less than 1,000 words) and short stories (1,001 to 8,000 words) in the horror genre. Whether you choose classic creatures like zombies or ghosts or venture further afield to inspire those creepy creative works, all are welcome. Submissions close 31 May.

The Fool For Poetry Chapbook Competition 2016

Writers and poets worldwide, this one's for you! The Munster Literature Centre has opened their doors to manuscripts of between 16 and 24 pages in length. Along with a total of €1500 in prize money, the 1st and 2nd prize winnings receive publication in of their works and complimentary copies of chapbooks. Submissions close 31 May.

Eastwood/Hills Annual Literary Competition 2016

Closing 31st May - Enter short stories, poetry, and memoir pieces for the chance to win prize money. Entry fee $5 per entry or $20 for five entries. Accepting ballads with an Australian bush theme, in perfect rhyme and metre (maximum 80 lines). Entry fee $5 per poem, with a maximum of four entries. First prize $100 plus a trophy and certificate.

2016 Far Horizons Award for Poetry

Canadian literary magazine The Malahat Review is currently welcome poems from writers in Canada, the United States and worldwide. A prize of $1000 (CAD) is on offer, along with publication, for the best works of poetry. So time to get writing! This one closes on 1 May 2016.

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

Are you ready for your name to sit alongside the Australian writing greats, like Tim Winton, Kate Grenville and more? Australia residents under the age of 35 are welcome to submit their unpublished manuscripts to the Allen & Unwin Literary Award before 31 May. The writing must be fiction or Australian history/biography and must be an original work. A $25 entry fee applies.

Harvard Review

For decades Harvard Review has published short fiction, poetry, essays, drama and book review to incredible success. With two publications annually, writers are now invited to submit their works for the next edition, with a maximum of 5 poems, 2 short plays or 7,000 words of prose. Submissions close 1 May.

Prairie Schooner

Whether it's short stories, poems, interviews or essays, Prairie Schooner is on the hunt for the best of them! If you think you've got incredible writing to offer, submit your pieces before 1 May for the chance to receive publication and more. The mission behind the publication is to celebrate and support writers both established and emerging everywhere, so time to get writing and seize this opportunity while it lasts!

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world. Deadline May 15th.

Impress Prize For New Writers

The Impress Prize for New Writers offers unpublished writers a chance to win a publishing contract. The winner is decided by a panel of experts working in the publishing industry and as a result is offered  a publishing contract with Impress Books with the aim of publishing the book in the year following the award. Numerous entries from previous years have gone on to be published by Impress Books and other publishers and many authors who have entered the prize have also gone on to be represented by agents. If you are an unpublished writer, enter your 6,000 word sample, synopsis of the piece and publishing rationale by 1 July 2016.

Opportunities: April 2016

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world. Deadline May 15th.

Bath Short Story Award

A selection of twenty winning, shortlisted and longlisted stories will be published in the 2016 anthology in digital and print format (publication likely in October, 2016). Short stories of up to 2200 words in all genres, styles are welcome. Entry fee of £8.

The Big Issue Fiction Issue

An annual highlight of the publishing world, last year’s edition had a circulation of close to 30,000 nationally. This year there is NO prescribed theme for the stories. Stories must be between 300 and 3000 words.

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

A prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of thirty-five. Offering publication by Allen & Unwin, with an advance against royalties plus prize money totalling $20,000.

2016 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Since '61, the Australian Book Review has published innumerable reviews and creative works. 2016 marks a return of the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, that seeks to celebrate the best of short fiction. Submit your stories of between 2000 and 5000 words before 18 April for the chance to receive publication and $7000 in prize money.

2016 Peter Cowan 600 Word Short Story

For the fans of short fiction, Peter Cowan's Writers Centre is hosting a Short Story Aware for original works of less than 600 words. The aim is to celebrate and encourage new writers who have yet to receive recognition for their writing in the shape of awards or other competitions. All writers and all themes are welcome. Competition closes 1 April.

Banjo Paterson Writing Awards

Fiction writers and poets alike, time to get writing — The Banjo Paterson Writing Awards return for another year! Short stories up to 3000 words and poems up to 200 lines are welcome, with the theme of Australian content. A small $10 fee applies per entry, with entries closing 11 April.

Forest Fellowship of Australian Writers Short Story Competition

In seeking to support and encourage Australian writers, the Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW are hosting a short story competition in the month of April. 2000 word short stories, with any theme, are welcome. Time to get writing, writers! Publication and prize money are up for grabs, with submissions closing 30 April.

2016 Bristol Short Story Prize

The Bristol Short Story Prize is on the hunt for incredible short stories, from writers all over the world. Stories of any theme, up to 4000 words, are welcome for submission via post and online. An £8 entry fee applies for all entries. Prize money along with publication in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology awaits the winning writers. Remember to submit before 30 April.

2016 Bronze Swagman Award

In celebration of new writers and the authentic Australian voice, the Bronze Swagman Award returns for the 45th time. The award welcomes all poems written in traditional Australian Bush Verse form, with a maximum of 3 entries per person. Entries are open until 30 April, with further details available at the Bronze Swagman website.

The Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award

The Wexford Literary Festival are currently hosting an international short story award in honour of one Wexford's most beloved writers: Colm Tóibín. The competition is open to works between 1800 and 2000 words, with no restriction on subject matter. A €10 entry fee applies.

The Novella Award 2016

The Novella Award is offering writers of novellas (between 20,000 and 40,000 words) the chance for publication by Sandstone Press and £1,000 prize money. All writers over the age of 16 and who create their novella in the English welcome, are invited to seize this incredible opportunity. Entries close 29 April.

Opportunities: March 2016

Impress Prize For New Writers

The Impress Prize for New Writers offers unpublished writers a chance to win a publishing contract. The winner is decided by a panel of experts working in the publishing industry and as a result is offered  a publishing contract with Impress Books with the aim of publishing the book in the year following the award. Numerous entries from previous years have gone on to be published by Impress Books and other publishers and many authors who have entered the prize have also gone on to be represented by agents. If you are an unpublished writer, enter your 6,000 word sample, synopsis of the piece and publishing rationale by 1 July 2016.

HARDCOPY Professional Development Program for Australian Writers

HARDCOPY is a unique, national professional development program that helps Australian writers reach their potential. In 2016 the program will focus on fiction manuscripts. The program is open for applications until March 11th from Australian writers who have a manuscript in development. See the website for full details of the program and how to apply.

The Kerouac Project Residencies

The Kerouac Project provides four residencies a year to writers living anywhere in the world. Each residency consists of approximately a three-month stay in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote his novel Dharma Bums. Utilities and a food stipend of $1,000 USD are included. Applications for 2016-2017 residencies are due by March 13th. Your application must fall into one of the following categories: Poetry, Play, Screenplay, Fiction/Short Story, or Nonfiction. There is a $30 USD application fee.

Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition

Mslexia, a magazine and online platform dedicated to committed to helping women writers progress and succeed, accepts entries for its Women's Short Story Competition until March 14th. The competition 'welcomes writers of all levels of experience, writing stories on any subject – in any style'. First prize is £2,000, plus two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at Anam Cara, and a day with an editor at Virago Press. Second prize is £500, third prize £250, and three other finalists will each receive £100. All six winning stories will be published in the June issue of Mslexia.

Colorado Review Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

The Colorado Review is a US literary journal featuring contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews. The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction seeks short stories on any theme from both US and international writers. The winner receives a $2,000 USD honorarium and publication in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. Entries must be between 2,500 and 12,500 words, and the entry fee is $15 USD per story.

Bellingham Review Annual Contests

Bellingham Review publishes 'literature of palpable quality', and their 2016 contests are open until March 15th. The contests are the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, and the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction. Winners will receive $1,000 and publication in the Bellingham Review Spring 2017 print issue. Entry fee is $20 for US entries and $30 for international entries. See the Submittable page for detailed entry guidelines for each competition.

The Masters Review Anthology Volume V

The Masters Review, a platform for new and emerging writers, is accepting submissions for its fifth annual print anthology: 'Our aim is to showcase ten writers who we believe will continue to produce great work.' The ten selected writers will receive $500 and have their works published in a nationally distributed book. Fiction and narrative nonfiction up to 7000 words are accepted, and there's a $20 reading fee per piece. Submissions close March 31st.

Henry Lawson Festival Verse & Short Story Competitions

The Henry Lawson Festival is accepting entries for its Verse and Short Story Competitions until March 31st. The Short Story Competition is open to stories on any theme up to 2,000 words. The Verse Competition comprises Traditional Verse, Humorous Verse and Free Verse categories, accepting poems up to 48 lines. A range of monetary prizes and publication opportunities are awarded to First and Second Prize winners. See the Entry Kit for further details on each competition.

The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition

The Fiction Desk publishes a regular anthology series dedicated to new short fiction, and its Ghost Story Competition is open until March 31st. The website notes that "'Ghost story' can mean a lot of different things, from an encounter with an actual phantom to more unusual paranormal phenomena and unexplained events." Winners will be published in an anthology, with a first prize of £500, a second prize of £250, and a third prize of £100. The entry fee is £8 per story.

Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland Literary Awards

FAWQ is open for entries from all writers to its 2016 Literary Awards – entries close March 31st. The Awards comprise four categories: poem up to 40 lines; haiku; short story up to 2000 words; and flash fiction up to 250 words. Prizes include $200 for first place and $50 for second place in each category. Winning and shortlisted entries may be included in an anthology published by FAWQ. Entry fee is $5 per entry or $12 for three.

Tethered by Letters F(r)iction Winter Literary Competition

Tethered by Letters, a literary publisher and resource for writers, is accepting entries to its F(r)iction Winter Literary Competition until March 31st. There are three submission categories: short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words; flash fiction with a word limit of 750 words; and poetry no longer than three pages. See the submissions page for details on individual competition entry fees and prizes.

Scribe Publishing: Unsolicited Manuscript Submissions

Scribe Publishing, an independent trade publishing house based in Melbourne and London, welcomes unsolicited manuscript submissions until March 31st. 'We are generally interested in literary fiction, serious non-fiction, and children's picture books. Please note that, at present, we do not accept unsolicited poetry, plays, young adult fiction, or individual short stories.'

Peter Cowan Writers' Centre 600 Short Story Competition

The PCWC 600 Short Story Competition welcomes entries of open theme short stories up to 600 words. Australian writers only are eligible for entry. Prizes include $200 for first prize; $100 for second; $50 for third;
$50 for the Novice Writer Award; and $100 for the Julian Cowan Youth Award. The competition closes April 1st, and there is a $10 fee for each entry (or $20 for three/$30 for five entries).

Opportunities: February 2016

Josephine Ulrick Literature and Poetry Prize

Pioneered by the Griffith University, the Josephine Ulrick Literature and Poetry Prizes are a treasure trove of opportunity for writers and poets everywhere! From now until the 12th February, submit your incredible short stories, up to 2000 words, and poems, up to 100 lines. A total of $30,000 prize money is available for the 4 best submissions.

EJ Brady 2015-16 Short Story Competition

The Mallacoota Arts Council have an amazing competition currently in the works. The EJ Brady Short Story Competition offers 2 main categories to show off your stellar works: the "Mallacoota Prize" for pieces up to 2500 words, and the "Gabo Prize" for pieces up to 700 words. A small entry fee applies, entries close 28th February.

The Great Novella Search

Busy Bird Publishing are on a mission: to discover the best Australia novella or short story collection yet to be published. Submit your works, of 20,000 to 40,000 in length, for your chance to receive $1000 prize money, publication and a publishing contract. Entries close 1st February.

Tamar Valley 2016 Short Story Competition

In the lead up to the annual Tamar Valley Writers Festival (18th-20th March 2016), the Festival is hosting a short story competition. Writers, 18 and over, are welcome to submit their short stories of up to 2,500 words. Winners receive the opportunity for publication in the Festival anthology, a $100 book voucher and $500 prize money. Entries close 5th February

The Norman McVicker Award

The Mudgee Valley Writers are inviting young writers (22 and under) to submit their original literary works of fiction or poetry. The recommendation is for your work to explore Australian life and literature in some way, though this isn't a prerequisite. Entries close 29th February.

Artificium Short Story Competition

The UK Journal of New Fiction and Poetry, Artificium, are on the hunt for amazing stories, from writers worldwide. The competition includes 2 main categories: "short stories", for works between 2,000 and 8,000 words, and "in brief", for works of poetry and flash fiction between 500 and 1000 words. All winning works receive a cash prize, and the potential opportunity for publication in a future edition of Artificium. Entries close 5th February.