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Writing opportunities – February 2021

We’ve brought together February’s best writing competitions, contests and opportunities open to writers of flash fiction, short stories, poetry and novels. 

All the writing opportunities listed should be open to writers across the UK and most are open internationally too. We share details of prizes, requirements, eligibility, entry fees and deadlines to help you choose the right ones for you.

Never want to miss an opportunity? Subscribe at the end of this page.

William Van Dyke Short Story Prize

The William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, run by Ruminate Magazine, is inviting short stories of up to 5,500 words into its latest competition. 

Bath Flash Fiction Award

The international, Bath Flash Fiction Award is open for entries of stories of up to 300 words. This year’s judge is award-winning flash fiction author, Charmaine Wilkerson. 

Writers’ and Artists’ Short Story Competition

The Writers’ and Artists’ Short Story Competition is open to both published and unpublished writers. Submit short stories of up to 2,000 words.

This year’s judge is Alysoun Owen who is the Editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and has worked in publishing for more than 25 years.

Omnidawn First/Second Book Poetry Contest

Omnidawn’s first contest of the year is open to a wide range of styles and approaches of original poetry entered by writers based anywhere in the world. Submissions may be between 40 and 120 pages of poetry. 

First Pages Prize

The First Pages Prize supports unagented writers worldwide with an annual prize for the first five pages of a long work of fiction or creative nonfiction. This year’s judge is Iowa Writers’ Workshop director, Lan Samantha Chang.

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize

Enter flash fiction of up to 300 words into the latest Fish Publishing competition. The judge is Kathy Fish, author and professor of creative writing.

Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition

The latest round of the Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition is open to stories of between 180 and 360 words. The judge is author, Sophie van Llewyn.

Margery Allingham Short Story Competition 

The judges of the international, Crime Writers’ Association Margery Allingham Short Story Competition are seeking entries of up to 3,500 words that fit the legendary crime writer’s definition of what makes a great story: “The mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a crime, a mystery, an enquiry and a conclusion with an element of satisfaction in it.” 

Debut Dagger Award

The Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award celebrates new crime writing. Submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents. The Debut Dagger is open to writers who have not yet had a full-length novel published by a traditional publisher. Enter a 3,000 words novel opening and synopsis.

Scottish Arts Trust Short Story Competition

The Scottish Arts Trust Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide. The judges are seeking original and engaging stories, on any topic, of up to 2,000 words. Chief judge is award-winning author and editor, Andrew O’Hagan. 

In addition, a special prize, the Isobel Lodge Award is open to unpublished writers born, living or studying in Scotland. 

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