Posts Tagged Short Stories
Need something to gee you up and encourage the writing muse? Try one (or both!) of these free, themed short story competitions.
Vanda ‘n’ Linda’s Write Space Competition
Vanda Inman and Linda Lewis are looking for 500 word stories inspired by the photo on their website.
First prize is your choice of module from Vanda’s Short Story Success writing course. Second prize is either a critique of a short story of up to 2000 words or a copy of Linda’s book, The Writer’s Treasury Of Ideas (UK only).
Closing date is 31st August.
Words Magazine Short Story Competition
Words Magazine wants up to 2,000 words on the theme of ‘Murder’.
First prize is £50. Second prize is £25.
Closing date is 31st December.
Debbie from Erewash Writers has been in touch with information about their latest short story competitions:
The first one is FREE to enter. It has a theme of ‘Summer Loving’ and there is a maximum of 1,200 words in which to tell the story. The closing date is 27th August 2015 and the judge is Andrew Campbell-Kearsey, author of more than 100 published short stories. The winner will receive Andrew’s book ‘Centurionman‘, one free entry to the Erewash Open Short Story Competition 2016 plus online publication of the story on their website and Facebook page. Full competition details can be found here.
The second competition is the Erewash Open Short Story Competition, closing September 24th 2015. Entry fees are a reasonable £3 per entry or £2.50 if entering two or more stories. The competition has an open theme and 2,000 words limit. The judge is Simon Whaley. There are two categories to this competition: New Writer and Open.
Prizes are: £100 First, £50 Second, £25 Third, £25 Fourth plus two ‘Highly Commended’ each win 2016 comp free entry.
Full competition details can be found here.
So, no reason not to pick up your pen and get busy this weekend!
Many of you will already be aware of Alfie Dog Fiction. They are one of the biggest short story download sites on the internet and they have just announced their first short story competition.
First prize is £200 and publication of a 35 – 40,000 word short story collection (e-book and paperback).
Second prize is a critique of short stories up to a total of 10,000 words.
The entry fee is rather unusual. It is the download of five paid short stories by different authors. Prices for stories start at 39p so you may be able to get five stories for £2.00.
In my opinion £2.00 to enter a competition with a £200 prize and book publication is very good value (plus you get the stories as well!).
Stories must be between 1,000 and 2,000 words and in any genre normally carried by Alfie Dog (which gives you a lot of scope).
The closing date is 30th September 2014 – so plenty of time to get you’re thinking caps on!
The full competition details are here.
Many thanks to my friend Nick for bringing this competition to my attention.
Earlier this year the Cremona Hotel in Bournemouth held a crime writing short story competition (I entered but never heard a thing, so I guess I didn’t win …). It must have been a success because now they are holding a romance writing short story competition.
Entry is FREE and you must write a romantic story of up to 1,200 words with a seaside background.
First prize is a weekend for two at the Cremona and there are runners up prizes of £25 and £15.
Closing date is 14th Feb 2014. Full details can be found here.
Talking of competitions – has anyone discovered where, on the Best magazine website, the weekly ‘stories’ are, one of which contains the name of a famous writer? Entrants to the Best short story competition need to include this writer’s name as part of their entry. All I’ve found are three interviews with writers – any of which could be classed as ‘famous’.
Finally, as you read this, I am up in Leeds on a ‘How to Write the Mystery Novel’ weekend, run by ‘Relax and Write’. I’ll let you know how I got on next week, along with announcing the winner of the Book Review Competition (you’ve got until midnight Sat 26th to enter).
Who doesn’t like something for nothing?
So here are a few bits and pieces that won’t cost you a penny:
- Nick Daws is running a competition on his blog to win a copy of his new course ‘Blogging for Writers’. All you have to do is send him a guest post of between 500 to 1000 words for his writing blog. The winning entry will be published on his (high-traffic) blog along with any others that he feels are of sufficient interest to his readers. The closing date is Sunday 31st March at 5pm.
- Ideas Tap are running a competition for stories on any theme between 1,200 and 5,000 words in length. Up to 12 stories will be chosen to receive expert feedback plus publication in an e-anthology. The closing date is 28th May and full details are here.
- My first e-anthology One Day For Me – 8 Award-Winning Stories is free across all Amazon platforms until 25th March.
Do you enjoy reading or writing historical short stories?
If so, it might be worth having a look at Snapshots of History. It’s a small magazine that appears twice a year and each issue offers the chance to win £25 (first prize) or £15 (second prize). I won second prize in the latest edition and have been asking the editor, Sally Bland, all about the magazine.
Here’s what she had to say in answer to my questions:
So if you fancy dabbling in the past and creating a fictional view of a particular character, event or time period (my story was based around the marriage of Wallis Simpson to Edward VIII) – here is your chance.
Details of how to get hold of the magazine and/or enter the twice yearly competitions are available on the Snapshots of History website.
Helen from Multi-Story.co.uk has been in touch to tell me that for their latest short story competition, the prize pot has been increased to £500 for the first prize. Second prize is £100 and third prize £50.
The competition has an open theme and a word limit of 2,500. So there’s lots of scope there for writing something new or maybe you’ve got a favourite story which hasn’t got a home yet…
The judge is Amelia Farrell who has written short stories and serials for over 30 years, under various pen names. Have a look at the website to see what she’ll be looking for in the winning entry. But be warned, she says, “… don’t mistake me for some old girl who’s only interested in romance and cosy crime!” So this might not be the place to send a Womag story.
Entry is £5 and closing date is 30th June 2012. See the website for full details. The website also has a page giving pointers on how to improve your chances when entering competitions. Much of it has been said before but it’s always useful to have it drummed home again – especially the ‘Dare to be Different’ motto. Judges have a lot of stories to read and are looking for something that stands out from the rest.
Talking of competitions, I was pleased recently to make the longlist of the Flashbang Crime Story competition. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the shortlist but it was good to know that I’d been in the top 25% of entries.
The beauty of the internet is that it brings the world into our living-rooms. We can target markets across the globe without worrying about the cost of international postage and how to include a stamped addressed envelope for a reply.
Here are two American websites to which I’ve submitted work:
- Long and Short Reviews specialises in romantic fiction. Their main function is to review full-length novels, however every Thursday they publish a short story. Stories must be between 1000 and 1500 words and contain a strong romantic element and a ‘happy ever after’ or at least ‘hopefully happy ever after’ ending. Payment is minimal ($5 plus a free 1 month advert if you have a book that you want to promote) but they include a short biography with each story in which you can include your website/blog. Full submission details are here. I submitted a story originally written for the UK women’s magazine market. It had done the rounds here without success but I didn’t want to consign it indefinitely to my desk drawer. The story is available to read here on the Long and Short Reviews site. By the way Long and Short Reviews has a sister site, Whipped Cream, that deals with erotic fiction – so don’t be shocked if you see that mentioned in the submission guidelines on the site!
- The second market is a regular competition organised on the Readingwriters site. Each competition has a different theme and varying word count so you need to check the current requirements. I like these competitions because they are free to enter but offer a $100 prize and the judging procedure allows you to see how near (or otherwise) you were to winning. The stories that got through the first round of judging are listed on the website, then a bit later those that got through the second round of judging and finally the winner’s name plus ‘honourable mentions’ are published. The winning story is posted on the site along with a critique by the judge.
So why not send your work across the pond and see if you can make it big in the US!
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