Writing opportunities

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.

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

The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. This year’s question is ‘What does it mean to be young in an ageing world?’

Details

Deadline: 18 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

Megaphone invites applications for writers from an ethnic minority background who are looking for mentoring in writing for children. The scheme includes masterclasses, and information and advice on how to get your book published.

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 For unpublished writers only.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

ELEVATE is an Arts Council funded scheme that pairs low-income and/or underrepresented writers with specialist editors to develop their work. 

Details

Deadline: 21 February

adda magazine is seeking translated work from South and Southeast Asia. Accepting poetry, non-fiction, and fiction: non-fiction entries – in particular – are strongly encouraged.

Details

Deadline: 21 February   

Neema Shah is offering to mentor writers from underrepresented backgrounds. 

Details

Deadline: 26 February

Avon x Mushens Entertainment Prize is open to writers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are writing a commercial novel. Novels do not need to be complete at the time of submission.

Details

Deadline: 28 February

Owned Voices Novel Award is open to unagented writers from an underrepresented background. Writers must have a complete novel at the time of submission.

Details

Deadline: 28 February

MARCH

Mslexia is looking for pieces about artists and their subjects, about seeing and being seen, about paint, pencil and film for their 90th issue.

Details

Deadline: 8 March

The Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics 2021 is a national programme to encourage diversity in poetry reviewing culture aimed at emerging critical voices. 

Details

Deadline: 15 March

Pontas Literary & Film Agency and JJ Bola are partnering to create a mentoring prize for unagented, unpublished, under-represented writers.

Details

Deadline: 15 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: 19 April

The White Review Short Story Prize is an annual short story competition for short stories of up to 7,000 words.

Details

Deadline: 26 April

The RSL has partnered with Sky Arts, led by Awards Ambassador and RSL Vice-President, Bernardine Evaristo to launch a new set of Awards focused on discovering and nurturing talented emerging writers of colour. 

Details

Deadline: 30 April 

Write Beyond Borders is a British-Council funded project for emerging writers of South Asian background based in the UK, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Details

Deadline: 30 April

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: 30 April

Bad Betty Press is open for submissions for its 2021 anthology, The Book of Bad Betties. They are  looking for poems that pay tribute to the women who’ve changed our lives.

Details

Deadline: 30 April

MAY

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

Details

Deadline: 5 May

Writing Our Legacy is offering 15 bursaries of £500 to Black, Asian or ethnically diverse writers in Sussex, Hampshire or the wider South East to research and develop new writing or project work with a focus on the landscape of South Downs National Park.

Details

Deadline: 5 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.

Details

Deadline: 14 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. 

Details

Deadline: 31 May

The Bath Novel Award is for unpublished novels. Submit 5,000 words plus a one-page synopsis. 

Details

Deadline: 31 May

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is for fiction, poetry and life writing up to 3,000 words.

Details

Deadline: 31 May

All Stories offers free mentorships for underrepresented children’s book and YA writers unable to pay for support.

Details

Deadline: 31 May

JUNE

Leicester Writes Short Story Prize is for short stories of up to 3,500 words, on any theme or subject.

Details

Deadline: 1 June

Creative Futures Writers’ Award is for under-represented writers. The prize welcomes fiction and poetry on a set theme annually.

Details

Deadline: 6 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.

Details

Deadline: 7 June

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

Details

Deadline: now open

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

Details

Deadline: tba

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.

Details

Deadline: 30 June

JULY

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: 1 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: 31 July

The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is for scripts which are at least an hour long.

Details

Deadline: 12 July

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