Writing Competitions

The 2017 Writing Competitions ARE NOW OPEN.


Please read the information on costs, rules, terms and conditions at the bottom of the page before entering.



Entrants are invited to submit poems on any subject up to a maximum of 40 lines for each entry. Single spaced.

1st prize: £125
2nd prize: £75
3rd prize: £50

Adjudicator: Joan McGavin, Poet and Lecturer

Sponsor: The Southern Daily Echo
Southern Daily Echo





Entrants are invited to submit the first 500 words of a short story or novel with a murder thriller theme.

1st prize: Books to the value of £60
2nd prize: Books to the value of £40
3rd prize: Books to the value of £20

Adjudicator: Simon Hall, Author

Sponsor: P&G Wells Ltd., Booksellers





Entrants are invited to submit a memoir of up to 2500 words.  This may be a self-contained piece, or it may be the first chapter of a full-length memoir. Entrants are reminded that memoir is not the same as fact-based autobiography.  Memoir emphasises story.  It is subjective, distinctive and usually focuses on a specific theme or series of memories or even a single event in order to engage the reader and illuminate an aspect of ourselves.

1st prize:  A place at one of the Writers’ & Artists’ ‘How to Hook an Agent’ lunches (value £175). Full details at www.writersandartists.co.uk/events
2nd prize:  A copy of either the 2017 Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook or the 2017 Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook plus two other writing advice books selected from:  www.writersandartists.co.uk/store/writersandartistscompanions
3rd prize:  A copy of the 2017 Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook or the 2017 Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

Adjudicator: Paul Dodgson

Sponsor: Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, updated and published annually by Bloomsbury, is the perfect guide to all aspects of the media and publishing worlds. It gives invaluable advice on how to prepare a submission and which agents and publishers to approach. Essential reading for all writers of journalism, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screen plays.

‘The writers’ bible’, Susan Hill
Writers and Artists logo.wpm




For readers aged 3-6
Entrants are invited to submit a text of no more than 600 words in prose or verse for children aged 3-6.  Only ONE entry per person allowedWritten feedback is not offered for this competition.

1st prize: Editorial meeting with the Little Tiger to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
3rd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
Highly Commended:  Constructive written feedback

Adjudicators: Editorial Department, Little Tiger Press

Sponsor: Little Tiger Press Group





For readers aged 8-12
Entrants are invited to submit the opening chapter or section (maximum 1000 words) of a humorous work for children and a one-page synopsis of the remainder.  Written feedback is not offered for this competition.

1st prize: Editorial meeting with Stripes Publishing to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
3rd prize: Book prizes and constructive written feedback
Highly Commended:  Constructive written feedback

Adjudicators: Editorial Department, Stripes Publishing

Sponsor: Little Tiger Press Group
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Sponsored by Skylark Literary for writers of middle grade and young adult fiction. Skylark are looking for an instantly intriguing concept coupled with a remarkable writing voice – find out more at www.skylark-literary.com.

Entrants are invited to submit the first 2000 words of a work of fiction for readers aged 8-12 OR 12+. Please specify the audience you are writing for and include a one-page synopsis of your story. Please give the word-count of the finished novel if complete. Double-spaced, not previously published.  Written feedback is not offered for this competition.

1st prize: One-to-one consultation with a literary agent at Skylark Literary on story development (based on the sample and synopsis entered) of at least one hour – either in person if the winner can travel easily to London or over the phone if not – plus £75 towards travel expenses (or to be kept by the winner if they don’t need to travel).
2nd prize: One-to-one telephone consultation on sample and synopsis of 30 minutes, plus £50.
3rd prize: One-to-one telephone consultation on sample and synopsis of 20 minutes, plus £25.
Three runners-up: One or two paragraphs of written feedback on their sample and synopsis.

Sponsor and adjudicator: Skylark Literary




A flash fiction is a short, short story which does much more than its size would suggest. It shows a glimpse which implies a larger story, and every word works its hardest to bring meaning, plot, character and theme alive. In 500 words, send us a flash fiction which will intrigue, excite and entertain, and which will linger in the mind long after reading.

1st prize: Writing Magazine Mini critique service and publication in Writing Magazine October Competition Supplement
2nd prize: Writing Magazine one-year subscription
3rd prizeWriting Magazine one-year subscription

Adjudicator: Susie Wild, Publishing Editor at Parthian Books

Sponsor: Writing Magazine






Entrants are invited to send the first three pages (12 pt. double-spaced) of their novel plus a 600 word max.synopsis. Any theme or period.

1st prize: Editorial meeting with Little, Brown to discuss the winning submission, either in their offices in London or via telephone (travel not provided)
2nd prize: Books to the value of £70
3rd prize: Books to the value of £30

Adjudicator: Anna Boatman, Little, Brown Book Group

Sponsor: Little, Brown Book Group
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Entrants are invited to submit quality short stories on any subject, theme or period (no children’s stories).  Length 1500 to 3000 words for each entry. Each entry must be a complete story.  Entries will be judged on their originality and excellent story-telling qualities.

1st Prize: Telephone consultation with literary agents Janklow & Nesbit UK to receive a detailed editorial report on the winning entry.
2nd Prize: Book prizes
3rd Prize: Book prizes

Adjudicator: The Chandlers Ford Writers

Sponsor: Janklow & Nesbit UK





10   YOUNG WRITERS’ COMPETITION                                                                  

This year’s theme is ‘Planet Earth’. Entrants are invited to send prose (no more than one page) or a poem (of no more than 30 lines) about our planet. Use your imagination and experiment with words, using sound, shape and meaning to create something new. Please print out entry form below and post to: Young Writers’ Competition, Winchester Writers’ Festival, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR.

Please note that entries must be submitted in hard copy and not electronically or by email.  Entries will not be returned.

Two Categories:  School Years 1–6 and School Years 7-11.

Each of the categories offers prizes of National Book Tokens for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, tickets to Marwell Wildlife, and a framed certificate.  Prizes will be awarded at an awards tea on 25 June 2016 in Winchester.

Adjudicator:           Isabel Rogers, Hampshire Poet 2016/17

Sponsors:              University of Winchester, Marwell Wildlife

Download a Young Writers Competition Flyer and Entry Form 

Please feel free to print out the flyer and post at schools and libraries in  your area.


Entry Conditions:  Competition Information, Rules, and Terms and Conditions:

The closing date for all competition entries is 5:00 pm Monday, 15th May, 2017. Entries must be received by this date for inclusion in the competition.

Competition fees: £6 to enter/per entry, additional £10 per entry for constructive feedback – NB Writing for Children – Picture Book, Children’s Funny Fiction, Skylark Soaring Stories, and Young Writers’ competitions do NOT offer feedback.

New this year:  ALL entries must be submitted electronically via the Submittable competition entry software system.  No paper or email entries will be accepted (except for the Young Writers’ Competition, which must be in paper form.)

How it works:  To enter a competition, please click on the pink box above, which will take you to a payment page.
1.  Select the competition that you would like to enter.  Some, but not all, competitions offer constructive feedback for an extra charge.  Please ensure that you have read the submission and feedback details carefully before making your choice.
2.  If you are entering more than one competition, or are entering one submission for feedback and one without, please do separate transactions and payments.
3.  Your payment confirmation receipt will give you a weblink for your specific competition.  When you click on the weblink, it will take you to the Submittable competition entry system for that specific competition.
4.  Please create an account and password and upload your submission.  Make note of your password in case you need to access the system later.
5.  If you request and pay for feedback, it will be sent to you via Submittable between 18 June and 1 July, 2017.

Previous Publication:  All entries must be original, previously unpublished, in English, written by one author, and not have won an award in any previous competition.  Self-published entries are acceptable.

Format:  Entries must be typed, 12pt font, double-spaced (poetry single spaced), with the writer’s pseudonym and name of the competition on the bottom right-hand corner of every page.  Do not include your real name on the manuscript.

Changes to Entries:  Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be modified in any way.  Please ensure that your entry is in its final form before submitting.

Competition Entry Cancellation:  No refunds can be given for the cancellation of a competition entry.

Copyright:  Copyright of all works submitted for competitions remains with the author.

Number of Entries Allowed: Entrants may submit up to five entries for each competition, except for Picture Book, in which only one entry per person is permitted. Multiple entries to the Picture Book competition by the same person will result in all entries being disqualified.

Festival speakers may not enter the competitions.

Feedback: If you pay for feedback, you will receive your constructive comments by email from Submittable between 18 June and 1 July, 2017.

Judging Decisions:  The decisions of the judges are final and the judges reserve the right to withhold awards if no entry reaches an appropriate standard.

The first place winning entry of each competition will be published in The Best of 2017. Winners must send their unaltered manuscript in electronic format within 10 days following the Festival to Sara.Gangai@winchester.ac.uk. The editor reserves the right to limit the number of words and to correct manuscripts in accordance with the format, house style and quality standard of The Best of 2017.

Agreement:  By entering and paying for a competition entry, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions above.


If you have any questions about the above, please email sara.gangai@winchester.ac.uk or call 01962 826367.