Tuesday, 28 January 2014

BBC National Short Story Award

BBC National Short Story Award
in partnership with Booktrust is now open for submissions for the ninth year. Published authors from the UK are invited to submit stories for the 2014 Award until 28 February.

Mslexia Short Story Competition

Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition
is open to stories up to 2200 words in length and can be on any subject. Women writers from all countries are eligible to enter. Closes 17 March.

Bath Novel Award

The Bath Novel Award
is an international competition for unpublished or self-published novels with a £1000 prize. Submissions should include up to the first five thousand words of a novel plus a one page synopsis. Entries close 28 February 2014.

Doolin Writers Weekend and Short Story Competition announced

Doolin Writers Weekend and Short Story Competition announced
 Hotel Doolin has confirmed a prize fund of €1,000 will be awarded to the winning entrant, with €600 and €400 prizes for the second and third placed entries respectively.  The winning entries, which will be published on the Irish Writers’ website and in The Clare People newspaper, will be announced at the Doolin Writers’ Weekend in County Clare on 28-30 March 2014
 Competition entries will be judged this year by Anthony Glavin
 Entries to the Doolin Short Story Competition 2014 can be on any theme and should be no longer than 3,000 words. The entry fee is €10 and the closing date for entries is Monday 3rd March at 5pm.  To enter visit: www.doolinwritersweekend.com. Further information is available from Donal Minihane, Hotel Doolin, Doolin, Co. Clare, on 065-70741111 / dminihane@hoteldoolin.ie.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Digital Writers’ Festival
is organised by the team behind Australia’s Emerging Writers’ Festival. The festival will run from 13 to 24 February with the majority of events being streamed live on the website at no charge, enabling readers and writers from around the world to participate.
BBC Radio 4′s Opening Lines Series
showcases first time and emerging writers. They are looking for original short stories between 1900 and 2000 words, which work being read out loud i.e. with a strong emphasis on narrative and avoiding too much dialogue, character description and digression. Submissions close 14 February.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2014


Good Behaviour
Now in its 17th year, Waterford County Council’s Arts Office is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting entries for the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award.

The late writer lived, until her death in 1996, in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.  Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell.  In 1981 ‘Good Behaviour’ became a publishing sensation for which she was short listed for the prestigious Booker Prize.  To celebrate this rich literary life, the County Waterford Arts Office, by kind permission of the Keane family, is inviting entries for a previously unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words.  There is no entry fee, no age limit and no restriction on the subject matter.  A prize of €500 will be awarded to the winner at a special ceremony during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, Co. Waterford in June 2014.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 12 noon on
Friday 14th March 2014.

Full details and an entry form can be downloaded from www.waterfordcoco.ie or by contacting the Arts Office on 058-41416.

The Moth International Short Story Competition

The Prize is open to everyone, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished.  There is a 6,000 word limit. The entry fee is €9 per story and you can enter as many stories as you like.

You can enter online or simply send your story or stories along with a cheque or postal order made payable to The Moth Magazine Ltd. and an entry form (downloadable here) or a cover letter with your name and contact details and the title of story attached to: The Moth, 81 Church Street, Cavan, Co. Cavan, Ireland.

This year’s competition will be judged by Mike McCormack, a recipient of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature whose debut short story collection was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His novel Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award and was described in the Irish Times as ‘the greatest Irish novel of the decade just ended’. 

The three winning stories will feature in the autumn 2014 issue of The Moth and the winners will be invited to read at a special event at the Winding Stair Bookshop in Dublin in September 2014.  

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Cork County Library and Arts Service Short Story Competition 2014

Cork County Library and Arts Service Short Story Competition 2014

Conditions of Entry

·        Stories must be less than 2,000 words.

·        All entrants must be 18 or over

·        All entrants must be a current registered library member in any public library.

·        Stories must be the original work of the author.

·        Stories must not have been previously published or, accepted for future publication elsewhere.

·        Stories must be typed on A4 paper.   No handwritten entries will be accepted.

Further Information

·        All entries must be accompanied by an entry form. The name of the entrant must not appear on the story itself.

·        20 stories will be shortlisted for publication and a winner selected by a panel of judges
including Dave Lordan, Vincent McDonnell and Billy O’Callaghan 
·        The winner’s prize will be attendance and accommodation on a week long writing workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival 2014 in Bantry plus accommodation

·        Copyright of each story will remain with the author; however Cork County Library and Art Service reserves the right to publication in print or electronic format and/or broadcast of shortlisted stories

·        Submission of a story deems acceptance of each of the above conditions

·        The Judges decision is final

Entries may be submitted at any branch of Cork County Library, by post to Arts Office, Cork County Council, County Hall or email to sinead.donnelly@corkcoco.ie
The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday 14th February , 2014

Cork County Library and Art Service

Short Story Competition 2014

      Entry Form

Name of entrant:______________________________________

Address of entrant:____________________________________



Email Address_______________________________________

Title of Short story:____________________________________

Library of which you are a member:______________________



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Great news.Live radio drama of six new plays.

"Tales of Our Times"

For one night only a night of live radio drama with live foley in Bewleys Theatre. Be there as a stellar ensemble cast perform 6 short plays by award-winning new Irish writers with live Foley and music from award-winning composers Stefan French and Rory Pierce. 

Let the cast transport you on an aural adventure through the Irish countryside; from a couple trying to solve a rat-infested attic in a creaky fixer-upper house, to a truck driver trying to steer his lorry cabin home on bendy roads one wet and windy night, via a supernatural café, where a woman meets her younger self ... along with a ghost story, a love story and a highly dramatic tale of the last farmer to hold out as his village is flooded to make way for a reservoir.

A stellar ensemble cast including Susie Lamb, Annette Flynn (Fair City), Raymond Keane, Geraldine McAlinden (Scúp), Noni Stapleton (Penny Dreadful), Sheila Moylette (Ripper St), Brendan Corcoran, Seamus Greene, Nuala Roche (all Barnstorm Theatre) and introducing Kaylin Shanahan (aged 10) will bring these stories life.

Directed and adapted by Orla Murphy from stories by new voices Niamh Boyce (Irish Newcomer of the Year, Bord Gáis), Pat Griffin, (Francis MacManus finalist),Mary Healy (Listowel Writers' finalist), Eileen Condon, Valerie Ryan and Maura Barrett.

Tickets 10 euro (6pm show) 12 euro (8 pm) plus booking fee

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition 
 Each week on Tuesday at midday (GMT), from the 16th of April 2013, five words are posted on this competition page. Entrants then have one week to compose and submit poems that must include all five words.
At noon next Tuesday, these words will no longer be eligible, and replaced with five new words. The competition will run for a total of forty weeks, until the last week of January 2014.
A prize of 500 euro will be awarded to one winner, and if available, then invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s seventh anniversary event, on Monday 14th of April, 2014 (an additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this). The shortlisted poems and winning entry will also be published in Five Words Vol VII – the next annual anthology of five word poems, launched at the same event.
A panel of poets from the Ó Bhéal board will adjudicate, and a shortlist of twelve poems including the overall winner will be announced during the first week of March, 2014.
The five words offered each week for 2013-14 have been sourced from the audiences of the first fifty Five Word Challenges (held each Monday evening during 2007-8 at Ó Bhéal – with a few extra words added due to deletion of duplicates). They are then selected from this list randomly.

Monday, 13 January 2014

William Faulkner - William Wisdom

A competitive talent search open to all writing in English, the William Faulkner - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition is for previously unpublished work. Self-published and print-on-demand books are considered published. Books, stories, essays previously published in their entirety on the Internet are considered published. Collections are not accepted in any category.
Entries are accepted now in eight categories: Novel, Novella, book-length Narrative Non-Fiction, Novel-in-Progress, Short Story, Essay, Poetry, and Short Story by a High School Student. Overall goals of the competition are to seek out new, talented writers and assist them in finding literary agents and, ultimately, publishers for their work.
2013's opening date was January 1, 2013. The final deadline was May 15, 2013. Winners will be notified on William Faulkner's birthday, September 25, and presented publicly at the Society's gala annual meeting, Faulkner for All, this year on December 7.
The 2014 competition will open on January 1. Do not send 2014 entries before that date.
For 2014's competition guidelines, CLICK HERE! For 2014 entry form, CLICK HERE!

Please review your work carefully prior to entering. Some of our judges traditionally are well known literary agents and editors who take a dim view of sloppy editing. Our general guideline for both pre-round and final judges is "ready for publication."


1. Spell Check. Some entries we receive obviously have never been run through Spell Check. Spell Check is just a beginning, however, as it is impossible for Spell Check to catch such errors as "where" instead of "were" or "there" instead of "their" or incorrect spellings of names. Once you have used Spell Check a couple of times, do it again.

2. Third Party Editing. After you have spell-checked, then have two or three educated readers, people you trust, read the copy for typos, grammatical mistakes. Then Spell Check again, as mistakes often are made while correcting mistakes. We do not correct your manuscripts prior to submitting for judging.

3. Bad Phrasing. During Words & Music, 2012, literary editor Brenda Copeland of St. Martin's conducted a self-editing workshop and warned writers to beware of such over-worked, often unnecessary phrases "There is," "There are," "There was," which can lend a trite quality to a manuscript. For instance, you might replace "There was a time when Mary Shannon O'Brien would have hesitated to confront the church hierarchy about child abuse..." with "Until Sean was ruined by that dirty priest, Mary Shannon O'Brien might have hesitated to confront the Church hierarchy. Not now."

4. Over-used words. One novel manuscript entered last year—which was a good concept but too long—used the word "the" 10,001 times. At least half could easily have been eliminated. For instance, "Marylin stood outside of the room and listened to the
cacaphony of querulous voices in the room. When she entered the room, the quarreling ended abruptly."  Use instead, for instance, "Outside, Marylin listened as ranting voices reached crescendo level. Then, she entered and raving was replaced by a still angry silence." More dramatic, six fewer words. Obviously, there are occasions when "The" is necessary for emphasis, e. g., The Help. "The" is, however, the most overused word in the language and especially overused for titles, chapter headings. For instance, Atonement is a great title, while The Atonement would have been trite. Sweet Tooth is a terrific title. The Sweet Tooth would be less compelling. (Atonement and Sweet Tooth are critically acclaimed novels by Ian McEwan.)

5. Watch Your Titles. Competition judges and, utlimately, editors and agents, are confronted with titles as their first impression of a manuscript's worth. One mistake writers make frequently with the titles they choose is to plaguerize a title from another work of art, such as selecting Heard It On The Grapevine, which is a direct steal from the hit song of that name. There may be a reason in the writer's mind for using such a title but it indicates a lack of imagination to a reader not yet privy to the contents of the manuscript.

6. Other Important First Impressions. Professional readers, such as agents and literary editors frequently read the first couple of chapters and the ending before deciding whether they want to invest more time in a manuscript. They know that readers looking for a new book to read frequently do the same thing. So, concentrate especially on strong openings and endings. A weak opening means a manuscript will not meet our general guideline of "ready for publication." Ditto, a poorly constructed ending to a story.

7. Imagination Versus Reality. There are perfectly marvelous stories based in reality and perfectly marvelous stories totally imagined. If your setting is imaginary, you can name a street and locate it within your imaginary city or town however you like. If your story is set in a real city or town, however, making up streets or having them run the wrong way or in the wrong part of the city are no-nos. Getting facts wrong about an historic incident or personage is another egregious error.
8. Dialogue. A majority of the manuscripts we reject are product of a poor command of dialogue, with characters uttering phrases which are either pretentious, pompous or
simplistic to the point of boredom.  And, talk about overworked phrases, too many of
the manuscripts could have their word counts significantly reduced by elimination of
unnecessary instances of "he said" and "she said."

9. Characters and Voice. A common failing in manuscripts which are rejected in our competition is the lack of a compelling central character and/or lackluster secondary characters. Take a close look at your characters. Is there a strong reason for a reader to take the time to become embroiled with your characters? Get a reaction to your characters from several third party readers. If these readers don't "love" your characters, go back to work. Select a voice approach and be consistent. If switching from the voice of "all-seeing , all-knowing God" to the "ordinary mortal," a difficult task to achieve successfully,
make it clear that a switch has occurred so the reader is not confused and does not lose
the storyline. If first-person voice is the approach selected, then make certain that voice can pull the reader into your story. If the central character is sufficiently compelling, his/her voice can carry a storyline.

10. Setting the Scene. If you are writing a scene set in a place you personally have never visited or a time before your own, your research had better be first class. Nothing is more disturbing to a reader than realizing that the author does not know what he/she is talking about. Beyond the simple fact of accuracy, however, is the writers's job to conjure a scene so vivid that the reader feels transported. Too many manuscripts we received are more like
first drafts of TV screenplays, which could not possibly transport without accompanying visuals and audio.

These are just a few tips on basic editing to help you with your entries. We suggest you have a professional editor look at your work prior to entering if possible.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Spinetinglers.co.uk Monthly Short Story Competition

Spinetinglers.co.uk Monthly Short Story Competition - The top five stories each month will be published on the site and the first place story will be published in the annual anthology. First prize £100; 2nd prize £50; third prize £25. Closing date for submissions is the 15th of each month, limit is 5,000 words and the theme is dark fiction. More information about Spinetinglers monthly competition.

Competitions closing soon

Competitions closing soon:

Tethered By Letters' Spring Short Story Contest - Any genre range; word limit - 2,000 - 7,500. All winners be published in Tethered By Letters' Spring Quarterly Journal and finalists will be considered for later publication. International submissions are welcome.
Prize is $250 and entry fee is $10. Deadline is 31 January 2014. More information about Tethered By Letters Contest.

Inspired by My Museum . Any writer from anywhere in the world between the ages of 16 and 35 can take part. Entries can be up to 400 words. Only ONE entry is allowed per person. Closing date 10 February 2014. More information about the Inspired by My Museum competition.

The White Review short story competition - First prize £2,500 for a short story up to 7,000 words that expands the genre. Entry fee £15. Closing date 1 March 2014. More information about The White Review short story competition

Bath Short Story Award - No story theme'; 2,200 word limit. Entry is £8 and prizes range from £50 to £1,000. Closing Date is 31 March 2014. Find out more about the Bath Short Story Award.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Glimmer Train short story submissions

Submission Categories
We have five submission categories from which to choose, including our standard category (no reading fees and payment for accepted pieces is $700), and four contests (reading fees allow for 1st place prizes from $1,500 to $2,500). Contests vs. standards. Click on the names of the categories for details.
NOTE: There is always a one-week grace period after the deadline.
Very Short Fiction (1st place - $1,500): Welcome in January, April, July, And October.
Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place - $1,500): Welcome in February, May, August, November.
Fiction Open (1st place - $2,500): Welcome in June and December (closes January 2).
Family Matters (1st place - $1,500): Welcome in March and September.
Standard Category ($700): Welcome in January, May, September.

Get writing in 2014.Listowel Writers Week and competitions

Get Writing in 2014!Are you thinking of giving 2014 to getting your writing started, progressed or  published?

Whatever you want to achieve with your writing, we have a three day workshop course to give you all the support and structure you will need to get there.  We have a fantastic group of workshop directors ready and enthusiastic about teaching you all there is to know in their  areas of expertise. So if you have a writing idea, don't know where to begin, want to improve on what you have written, take it to the next stage or branch out to a specific writing genre, we have the course for you. Here are our 2014 Workshops.

Novel Advanced Workshop with Douglas Kennedy
Novel Getting Started with Catherine Dunne
Novel - The Halfway Stage with John MacKenna
Creative Writing Getting Started with Martina Devlin
Creative Writing Advanced with Mary O'Donnell
Poetry Getting Started with Mark Granier
Poetry Advanced with Peter Fallon
Memoir & Non Fiction with Molly McCloskey
Writing for Theatre with Bernard Farrell
Adult Writing Fiction for Teens with Siobhán Parkinson

Short Fiction with Nuala Ní Chonchúir
Travel Writing with Mary Russell

How to Book a Literary Workshop:

Each three-day Workshop will run from 9.00am – 12.30pm on Thursday 29th May, Friday 30th  May and Saturday 31st  May, 2014.
Places are limited to 15 per workshop.
Workshop Fee: 
€175.00 for each three-day workshop

Bookings are now being taken:
Click on any of the above Workshops and you will be directed to the box office.
The William Trevor Scholarship

Deadline: 7th March 2014 
This scholarship honours the contribution to literature of the internationally-renowned novelist and short story writer, William Trevor. The scholarship is open to all students worldwide who would welcome an opportunity to attend the Cork Writers' School. The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, accommodation (bed and breakfast) at the Summer School and transport to and from all organised social and cultural events. It will not cover travel costs or admission charges. Applications will be judged by a panel on the basis of academic merit and reasons for taking the course.
Applicants must be aged 18 or over by 1 January 2014. Free to enter. More over on their website.
(b) Ginosko Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline: 1st March 2014
Entry Fees: $5 
Submit up to 2 pieces, 800 words maximum each piece.
Final Judges: Maggie Heaps, Michael Hettich, Gary Lundy, E M Schorb, Larissa Shmailo, Andrena Zawinski, Andrei Guruianu, Robert Paul Cesaretti.

$250 award and awarded work will be published on the Ginosko Literary Journal website. More info available on the website.
(c) On the Premises Competition
Deadline: 31st January 2014
They are looking for short stories based on ANY of the previous 21 premises. You'll find a list of the past premises on their past issues page.
Stories should be 1,000-5,000 words.
No entry fees.
Full details over on their website.

BBC Radio Drama submissions

The BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit welcomes submissions from writers new to radio for their annual series, Opening Lines which is broadcast on BBC Radio. The next window for sending in material is January 6th - February 14th 2014. As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories they publish transcripts of the best stories submitted within this period on the Opening Lines programme pages. The three successful writers will be invited to London for an afternoon in Broadcasting House and the chance to see their stories recorded. They are looking for original short stories which work being read out loud. They are interested in seeing stories which cover a broad range of subject-matter but material which explores particularly dark, harrowing themes is not best suited to Opening Lines. The time allotted for each story is up to 14 minutes, which means submissions must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words in length. One submission per writer. More over on the BBC website.

Cuirt New Writing Prize 2014

Cúirt New Writing Prize 2014

Submission Guidelines 

The Cúirt New Writing Prize, in memory of Lena Maguire, is open for submissions from Thursday 28 November 2013. Entries should be sent via email to: tara@cuirt.ie
Submissions are welcome in poetry and fiction. There is a €500 cash prize for the winner in each category, an opportunity to read at the Cúirt/Over the Edge Showcase event during the festival, and the inclusion of the winning piece in a Cúirt publication that will be launched at Cúirt 2014. The judges are poet Martin Dyar and fiction writer Mary Costello.

In 2014, Cúirt is introducing Young Cúirt for ages 12-17, in poetry and fiction. The winner will receive €100 cash prize, they will be published in the Cúirt publication, and they will have the opportunity to read at the 2014 Cúirt labs event in April.

The guidelines for both adult and youth submissions are as follows: Poetry entries must consist of 3 poems under 50 lines each, and fiction pieces may be up to 2000 words. Entries in both English and Irish are welcome.

A €10 entry fee applies which can be paid via the paypal button at: www.cuirt.ie, or sent using a postal order or bank draft to: Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway. When emailing submissions, please specify how you have paid the fee. In the case of paypal payments, please include a copy of your paypal receipt in the email.

The closing date for submissions is the 30 January 2014 at 5pm, winners will be announced on Monday 24 February. For more information see the website: www.cuirt.ie

Stinging Fly short story competition

Stinging Fly Competition
2014 is sure to be another very busy year for the Fly. There are now just a few weeks left until the closing date for the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award. We have assembled an excellent panel of judges – Anne Enright, Yiyun Li and Jon McGregor – and we are very grateful to Redmond Doran of Davy Byrnes for the generous sponsorship, and to the office of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature for their support.

To remind you: there is €15,000 on offer for the best short story and five runner-up prizes of €1,000. The closing date is Monday February 3rd. The competition is open to Irish citizens and to writers who are resident or were born in the thirty-two counties. Entries must consist of a previously unpublished short story written in English. The maximum word count is 15,000 words, no minimum. Only one story per entrant and the entry fee is €10.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Lightship Short Memoir Prize 2013

Lightship Short Memoir Prize 2013

Closed on 1 Jul 2013

Lightship Short Memoir Prize 2013
Judge: Rachel Cusk
Closed on 1 Jul 2013
Results published on 9 Sep 2013
Fee: £12.00
Word Limit: 5000
Lightship Short Memoir Contest
Do you want to tell your own story, or an episode of it; write from your own life experiences and get published? A short memoir is not fact-based autobiography. It is pure storytelling and as such, allows writers licence to make sense of a part of life, to fashion it into a story that readers can learn from and be entertained by. The inaugural Lightship Short Memoir Competition will be judged by Rachel Cusk. The winning entry will be awarded £1,000 and be published in Lightship Anthology 3.
The Prizes
1st Prize: £1,000 / US$1600*
The winner and nine runners-up will be published in the Lightship anthology by Lightship Publishing Ltd and Alma Books and will be invited to read from their work at an awards ceremony in Kingston-upon-Hull in 2013. (Please note we cannot fund travel costs to and from the awards.)
The Judge
Rachel Cusk will judge the Lightship International Short Memoir Competition 2012-2013. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR! -how to get the most out of life

There's an old story about a motivational speaker's
illustration of life's priorities and the quest for
happiness. In front of a large audience, the speaker was
alone on stage with a table covered with a cloth. Promising
to show the audience the secret to success, fulfillment and
a great life, she pulled out an old-fashioned pickle jar,
set it on the table and said that the jar represents your

She then pulled out a bucket with some fairly large rocks
and proceeded to fill the jar, and asked the audience if
the jar was full. Naturally, most responded that it was.
With a sly grin, she then asked if they were sure and
reached for a second bucket that had small pebbles in it.
With care, she managed to get a couple dozen pebbles to
drop down in the spaces between the larger rocks and again
asked if the jar was full. Again, most of the audience
agreed that it was, although with some hesitation.

She then pulled out a bucket of sand and carefully poured
several pounds of sand into the jar. Asked if the jar was
finally full, the audience was doubtful and cautiously
answered, "Probably not." The speaker then pulled out a
bucket of water and slowly poured most of the bucket into
the jar.

Finally, she stepped across the stage and asked what lesson
was to be learned, and a confident young man called out,
"That you can always squeeze more in!" The speaker agreed
that was good, but suggested there was a far more important

She then said something I've never forgotten. "To get the
most out of life, you have to put the big pieces in first."

If you allow your life to be filled with water, sand and
pebbles, you'll never have room for the "big pieces." Never
allow your life to be consumed with the "small things."