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.
Your regional literature development agency is responsible for supporting, promoting, and championing writing where you live. These are: Writing East Midlands, Writing West Midlands, Spread the Word (London) New Writing North, New Writing South (South East), Literature Works (South West).
The Women’s Prize and Curtis Brown are inviting entries to 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.
Deadline: 17 January
Papatango New Writing Prize is now open for entries for scripts. Offers feedback to all entries.
Deadline: 30 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.
Deadline: 31 January
Room 204 is Writing West Midlands’ writer development programme for emerging writers in the region. The programme includes mentoring and career development.
Deadline: 31 January
Present Tense Lit Magazine accepts poetry (up to 40 lines), flash fiction (up to 1,000 words), and short stories (up to 3,000 words) as well as creative non-fiction (up to 3,000 words) on the set theme. Spring/Summer theme: Water/fall
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 For unpublished writers only.
Deadline: 11 February
Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition is for short stories of no more than 2,000 words.
Deadline: 11 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Northern Writers’ Awards 2021 invite writers from across the North of England to send in their unpublished work-in-progress for the chance to win a share of £40,000 in cash awards and professional development.
Deadline: 17 February
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.
Deadline: 14 March
Royal Literary Fund Fellowships offer professional writers the opportunity to work in a university for two days a week helping students develop their writing.
Deadline: 8 April
The Bath Short Story Award is for short stories of up to 2,200 words.
Deadline: 11 April
The White Review Short Story Prize is an annual short story competition for short stories of up to 7,000 words.
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.
Bristol Short Story Prize is for published and unpublished writers and is for short stories of up to 4000 words.
Deadline: 4 May
Creative Futures Writers’ Award is for under-represented writers. The prize welcomes fiction and poetry on a set theme annually. 2022 theme: How it started
Deadline: 22 May
Bridport Prize The Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award is for unpublished novels. Submit 5-8,000 words plus a 300 word synopsis in the first instance.
Deadline: 31 May
The Bath Novel Award is for unpublished novels. Submit 5,000 words plus a one-page synopsis.
Deadline: 31 May
Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is for fiction, poetry and life writing up to 3,000 words.
Deadline: 31 May
The Times/Chicken House Books Children’s Fiction Comp is looking for completed full-length children’s/YA novel. Prize: £10k advance and representation.
Deadline: 1 June
Leicester Writes Short Story Prize is for short stories of up to 3,500 words, on any theme or subject.
Deadline: 18 June
Mslexia is inviting short stories no longer than 2,200 words (which translates to a 15-minute radio broadcast slot) and poems up to 40 lines on the theme of Roots for their Showcase section.
Deadline: 7 June
Faber’s FAB prize is for BAME new writers and illustrators.
Deadline: now open
The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is the UK’s biggest national competition for playwriting.
Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women, open to Pakistani women over the age of 18, is looking for short stories of up to 3,000 words.
Deadline: 30 June
The MM Mentorship is for unrepresented (un-agented) writers. Mentoring will include a structural edit, a meeting with a literary agent, and representation.
Deadline: 1 July
Primadonna Prize is for unsigned and unrepresented new writing talent. Entrants must submit 500 words on the theme ‘the more things change.’
The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction is for short stories of up to 10,000 words.
Deadline: 31 July
The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is for scripts which are at least an hour long.
Poetry London Mentoring Scheme is offering talented poets free one-to-one mentoring.
Novel London Literary Competition is inviting international writers to submit their opening chapter.
The Women Poets Prize is for emerging and established poets. Three winners will receive £1000 bursary and mentoring.
Richard & Judy’s Search For A Bestseller is accepting manuscripts from unpublished authors.
Costa Short Story Award is for short stories of up to 4000 words. Prize fund: £5000
Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is open for entries in two categories: short fiction and poetry
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction is for short stories of between 2000 and 6000 words.
New Media Writing Prize showcases exciting and inventive stories and poetry that integrate a variety of digital formats, platforms, and media.
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.
Arts Council Developing your Creative Practice is a new fund of between £2000 and £10000 for individual artists and/or creative practitioners.
Deadline: Rolling – Check with ACE
TLC Free Reads Scheme is a manuscript reading scheme for writers on a low income.
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.
Deadline: Rolling – Check with Faber