Opportunities for writers

Here’s a list of live writing opportunities. Please note, the information below may change so do check the details on individual websites. This is not an exhaustive list. Do check your regional literature development agency for further opportunities available to you.

DECEMBER 2020

Literature Wales are inviting applications for their Professional Development Programme for Writers of Colour based in Wales.

Details

Deadline: 4 December

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2021 is looking for an outstanding English-language story of 6,000 words or under from a fiction author from anywhere in the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland.

Details

Deadline: 4 December

Five Quills for Kids is looking for a BAME author who would be interested to collaborate with us on writing and developing a young fiction series.

Details

Deadline: 4 December

Royal Society of Literature are inviting proposals for their Literature Matters Award. For writing, literary events or projects which either help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or will help generate public discussion about why literature matters.

Details

Deadline: 7 December

South Asia Speaks is a mentorship program for early career writers living in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives. The programme is led by Sonia Faleiro.

Details

Deadline: 10 December

New Architecture Writers is a free year-long programme aimed at aspiring BAME writers. It features evening talks, workshops and assignments taught by journalists, architects and editors working for world-renowned media institutions.

Details

Deadline: 11 December

JANUARY 2021

BBC Writersroom’s annual window for unsolicited scripts (TV, film, radio, stage or online) will open between 11am on Monday 7th December 2020 and 5pm on Wednesday 6th January 2021.

Details

Deadline: 6 January

The National Centre for Writing is inviting submissions for the University of East Anglia (UEA) New Forms Award and Laura Kinsella Fellowship: two awards for fiction writers at the beginning of their writing careers.

Details

Deadline: 15 January

The Women’s Prize and Curtis Brown have launched Discoveries, a pioneering programme seeking the most talented and original new female writing voices in the UK and Ireland. The prize will accept novels in any genre of adult fiction and entrants will be required to submit only the first 10,000 words of their novel with a synopsis.

Details

Deadline: 17 January

City Lit’s Malorie Blackman Scholarships for Unheard Voices provide three annual awards worth up to £1000 each, to fund one year’s study within the Creative Writing department at City Lit.

Details

Deadline: 31 January

FEBRUARY

Room 204 is Writing West Midlands’ writer development programme for emerging writers in the region. The programme includes mentoring and career development.

Details

Deadline: 1 February 

Spread the Word Life Writing Prize aims to find the best life writing from emerging writers. Free to enter.

Details

Deadline: 1 February 

Papatango New Writing Prize is now open for entries for scripts. Offers feedback to all entries.

Details

Deadline: 7 February

Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize is for a novel by a woman over the age of 21 that marries literary merit with unputdownability. For unpublished writers only.

Details

Deadline: 12 February

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition is for short stories of no more than 2000 words.

Details

Deadline: 12 February 

Word Factory Apprenticeship is a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers for unpublished writers of short stories.

Details

Deadline: 18 February

Northern Writers’ Awards 2021 invite writers from across the North of England to send in their unpublished work-in-progress for the chance to win a share of £40,000 in cash awards and professional development.

Details

Deadline: 18 February

MARCH

The Borough Press are currently running an Open Submission period for writers from underrepresented backgrounds. Submit the first 10,000 words.

Details

Deadline: 31 March

Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize is inviting proposals for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000) by a writer resident in the UK and Ireland who is yet to secure a publishing deal.

Details

Deadline: tba

APRIL

Royal Literary Fund Fellowships offer professional writers the opportunity to work in a university for two days a week helping students develop their writing.

Details

Deadline: now open 

The Bath Short Story Award is for short stories of up to 2,200 words.

Details

Deadline: tba

Bristol Short Story Prize is for published and unpublished writers and is for short stories of up to 4000 words.

Details

Deadline: tba

MAY

Leicester Writes Short Story Prize is for short stories of up to 3000 words, on any theme or subject.

Details

Deadline: 21 May 

Creative Futures Writers’ Award is for under-represented writers. The prize welcomes fiction and poetry on the theme of tomorrow.

Details

Deadline: tba 

JUNE

The Times/Chicken House Books Children’s Fiction Comp is looking for completed full-length children’s/YA novel. Prize: £10k advance and representation.

Details

Deadline: tba

Faber’s FAB prize is for BAME new writers and illustrators. 

Details

Deadline: tba

The MM Mentorship is for unrepresented (un-agented) writers. Mentoring will include a structural edit, a meeting with a literary agent, and representation. 

Details

Deadline: tba

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is the UK’s biggest national competition for playwriting.

Details

Deadline: tba

Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize is for short stories up to 6,000 words. Open to black, Asian, minority ethnic writers living in the UK or Ireland.

Details

Deadline: tba

Wasafiri New Writing Prize is open for entries in three categories: fiction, poetry and life writing.

Details

Deadline: tba

JULY

Primadonna Prize is for unsigned and unrepresented new writing talent. Entrants must submit 500 words on the theme ‘the more things change.’

Details

Deadline: tba

The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction is for short stories of up to 10,000 words. 

Details

Deadline: tba

Poetry London Mentoring Scheme is offering talented poets free one-to-one mentoring. 

Details

Deadline: tba

AUGUST

Novel London Literary Competition is inviting international writers to submit their opening chapter.

Details

Deadline: tba 

The Women Poets Prize is for emerging and established poets. Three winners will receive £1000 bursary and mentoring.

Details

Deadline: tba

Richard & Judy’s Search For A Bestseller is accepting manuscripts from unpublished authors.

Details

Deadline: tba

Costa Short Story Award is for short stories of up to 4000 words. Prize fund: £5000

Details

Deadline: tba

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is open for entries in two categories: short fiction and poetry

Details

Deadline: tba 

SEPTEMBER

Gatehouse New Fiction Prize seeks to encourage new writers to explore the possibilities of length within the short fiction genre. For short fiction up to 8000 and 12,000 words.

Details

Deadline: tba

Manchester Writing Prizes is for fiction of up to 2500 words and poetry of between 3 – 5 poems, with a max. combined length of 120 lines.

Details

Deadline: tba

The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize Competition 2020 is looking for dynamic, authoritative and lively essays of no more than 3,500 words in English, on any subject from writers aged 18-35.

Details

Deadline: tba

The Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize is for both published and unpublished writers, writing original fiction in English, and from anywhere in the world. Short stories of up to 6000 words

Details

Deadline: tba

OCTOBER

London Short Story Prize is open to London-based writers, for short stories of up to 5000 words. 50 free entries to low-income writers.

Details

Deadline: tba

The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction is for short stories of between 2000 and 6000 words.

Details

Deadline: tba

NOVEMBER

New Media Writing Prize showcases exciting and inventive stories and poetry that integrate a variety of digital formats, platforms, and media.

Details

Deadline: tba

DECEMBER

Royal Society of Literature are inviting proposals for their Literature Matters Award. For writing, literary events or projects which either help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or will help generate public discussion about why literature matters.

Details

Deadline: tba

ROLLING

Arts Council Developing your Creative Practice is a new fund of between £2000 and £10000 for individual artists and/or creative practitioners.

Details

Deadline: Rolling – Check with ACE

TLC Free Reads Scheme is a manuscript reading scheme for writers on a low income.

Details

Deadline: Rolling – Check with your regional writing partner

The Faber Academy Scholarship is intended to help someone who would not be otherwise able to attend their Writing a Novel course. The scholarship covers course fees only.

Details

Deadline: Rolling – Check with Faber