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Writing opportunities – March 2021

We’ve brought together March’s best writing competitions, contests and opportunities open to writers of books, short stories, poetry and nonfiction.

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.

London Library Emerging Writers Programme

The Emerging Writers Programme is a unique opportunity offering up and coming writers based in the UK, in all genres, one year’s free membership of The London Library as well as writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the library’s resources. To apply, you’ll need to submit a brief synopsis of the project you would like to work on during the programme and a writing sample. 

BBC National Short Story Award

The BBC and Cambridge University are again welcoming entries into the National Short Story Award. It’s open to British nationals and UK residents who have a prior record of publication. Stories submitted can be up to 8,000 words. 

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Stories of between 2,500 and 12,500 words, on any theme, are being welcomed by The Colorado Review into the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction.

Room Magazine Fiction Contest

Room publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art by people of marginalised genders. Enter stories of up to 3,500 words into its fiction contest.

Prairie Schooner Book Prize

Literary magazine, Prairie Schooner, is accepting fiction and poetry into its annual book prize. It’s open to writers worldwide who are both published and unpublished as long as the manuscripts entered have not yet made it into print. 

Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition

Harper’s Bazaar has celebrated original fiction since its foundation, publishing the work of everyone from Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy to, more recently, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ali Smith. Published and unpublished writers are invited to enter stories of up to 2,200 words on the theme of ‘Threads’ into the publication’s latest short story competition. 

Masters Review Anthology Prize

Every year, The Masters Review opens submissions for its anthology, a collection of ten stories and essays written by the best emerging authors. Submit fiction or creative nonfiction of up to 7,000 words. 

Rubery Book Award

The Rubery Book Award celebrates the best books by indie writers, self-published authors and independent presses. Genres accepted include fiction (all genres), young adult, children’s, biographies, non-fiction, self-help, cookery, poetry and photography.

Caterpillar Poetry Prize

Enter unpublished poems for children aged 7 to 11 (written by adults) into the international, Caterpillar Poetry Prize. Poems may cover any subject. 

Fish Publishing Poetry Prize

The annual, Fish Poetry Prize is open to unpublished poems of up to 60 lines covering any theme or style. It is open to writers of all nationalities. 

Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry

The Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire and the Hyla Brook Poets invite submissions into the Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry. 

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