Women Only Writing Competitions

Where are all the male writers hiding?Women only writing competitions

The writers’ events I’ve been to recently seem to be dominated by the fairer sex. At the Martin Davies Novel Writing Day there were around a dozen participants but only one of them was male. At the writers group I attend, women outnumber men by nearly 3 to 1 and in the Birmingham Chapter of the Romantic Novelists Association we have just one man (but maybe that is to be expected!).

And judging by the email addresses of the subscribers to this blog, 95 % of them are women and most of the comments left are from ladies too.

I pointed out this imbalance in the sexes to my husband and he suggested that maybe all the male writers are actually writing and producing best-sellers, rather than sitting around talking about writing or surfing the blogosphere.

He could have a point. We women get caught up in the social aspects of writing whereas our male counterparts actually knuckle down and get on with it.

So as we seem to be all girls together, here are some suggestions for women only competitions to get you inspired and writing:

  • The Glass Woman is a fiction competition for stories of between 50 and 5,000 words. The theme is open but the subject must be of significance to women. No entry fee and the closing date is March 21st. First prize is $500 plus there are runners-up prizes. Previous winning entries plus full details are here.
  • The Baptist Times are running a women’s writing competition for non-fiction. There are 3 categories each with a prize of £100; Spirituality, Cultural Comment and Faith & Life. The judges are looking for writing that’s stylish, insightful and powerful. No entry fee, word limit is 1,000 and closing date is 4th April. Full details here.  
  • The Grey Hen Poetry competition is open only to women over 60. Closing date is 30th April 2011, £3 entry fee and £100 first prize. Full details here.

If you’re already a published novelist then there’s always the Orange Prize for Fiction.

Oh, and if you’re a man reading this – please leave a comment and make yourself known (or use the box on the right to sign-up to receive my blog posts by email – that way you’ll never miss one!)



  1. #1 by Vic on February 24, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    Hi Ladies,

    I’m male (Or at least I was the last time I looked) – my passion just like yours is writing. Fiction and short stories mainly, but I have written some factual works too.

    All the best to you all.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on February 24, 2011 - 12:39 pm

      Thanks for making yourself known, Vic. Good to have you with us!

  2. #3 by Mo James on February 24, 2011 - 1:16 pm

    Hi Sally.

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog.

    With regards the latest post, I have to say, I’ve never really given much thought to the gender of writers! When I think back to the books I read when I was younger they were generally by male authors, but I think that may have been because I was more for the horror genre so my books of choice were penned by the likes of James Herbert and Stephen King.

    Perhaps I shall take more notice of the names/photos on the books I select, for a while at least, and see if I can find a man!

    MoJo x

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on February 24, 2011 - 2:10 pm

      Mo – thanks for your kind words about the blog. There are lots of books around written by men but maybe they don’t feel the need to make contact with others in the same way that women do? Instead they just get on with writing and that’s why they don’t appear in great numbers at writing groups etc.

  3. #5 by Helen Yendall on February 24, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    Sally, I had to smile at your husband’s comments! Very practical and to the point (and very like a man – bless him!). But he’s probably right! I think we women like to chat and ‘touch base’ with each other much more – it seems to be a ‘need’ we have. Maybe it goes back to the Stone Age when the men were out hunting and we women were all ‘housekeeping’ back in the caves – and had to get on with each other!!

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