Literary magazine Prairie Schooner is currently accepting fiction and poetry manuscripts for its popular annual book prize contest. The winners will each receive US$3000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press.

Entries must unpublished and fit into one of two categories:

  • fiction collections of at least 150 pages comprised either entirely of short stories or one novella along with short stories
  • poetry collections of at least 50 pages

The competition is open to writers worldwide, and both unpublished and published writers are welcome to enter. Entries can be submitted electronically or in hard copy, and a reading fee of $25 is payable.

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The James Jones Fellowship Contest is now in its 26th year. It awards $10,000 to an American writer with a first fiction novel in progress in 2017. Two runners-up will each receive $1000.

Entrants are asked to supply a two-page outline of their entire novel, plus the first 50 pages of the work.

The fellowship is only for unpublished first novels: collections of short stories, memoirs and self-published novels are not eligible. To enter this contest, writers must be United States citizens.

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Each month we aim to provide a helpful round-up of writing competitions, fellowships, publication opportunities and more for writers at all stages of their careers.

Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites (linked in bold) for all the latest details. For more opportunities and regular updates follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Stoneboat Literary Journal
is seeking contributions for ‘Beyond Red and Blue: Voices for America’. From the editors:
“The recent presidential election has revealed a deep divide in the American political and cultural landscapes. Also emerging in the wake of the election is a clear need for conversation among Americans on all sides of this divide. We are excited to facilitate this discourse by providing a space for all people to express their views, not only about the election outcome but also about what it means to be an American in 2017 and what it means to make America great again. (Or, what already makes America great.)” Closes 1 February.

Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship
is an annual award that allows professional writers living in Scotland to enjoy a month-long residency at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing in France with a stipend of £1200. Each year four writers are invited to spend time with other artists and absorb fresh cultural experiences. Applications close 1 February.

Philosophy Through Fiction Short Story Competition
is open to speculative fiction (including but is not limited to science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternative history, or magical realism) that explores one or more philosophical ideas. These can be implicit; there is no restriction on which philosophical ideas you explore. First prize is US$500 and the winning story will be published in Sci Phi Journal. Entries close 1 February.

Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency
This is an eight-day workshop and residency for fourteen writers on Cuttyhunk Island, seven nautical miles off the coast of southeastern Massachusetts. There are two sessions in 2017:  2 June – 9 June and 25 September – 2 October. Five days are dedicated to the workshop, three to free writing time. A total of four scholarships are available. Applications close on 1 February.

subTerrain Magazine
is based in Vancouver and is published three times a year. Submissions for its spring issue with the theme ‘The Future’ close on 1 February.

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Founded by artists in 1984, the Vermont Studio Center is the largest international artists’ and writers’ residency program in the United States. Each month the Center hosts over 50 writers and artists from across the country and around the world.

The residencies take place on a historic 30-building campus along the Gihon River in Johnson, Vermont, and run for between 2 and 12 weeks.

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Earlier this week entries to the lucrative Montreal International Poetry Prize opened for 2017. The winner of the prize will receive a cash prize of CA $20,000 (approximately US $15,200). Montreal International Poetry Prize is open to original, unpublished poems up to 40 lines long. Entrants can be from anywhere in the world and do not need to be previously published poets.

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A post by Julian Bass, Lecturer in Software Engineering at the University of Salford

If you want to be a better, faster writer, you should treat your writing as a lean manufacturing process. “Lean” is an engineering technique for making manufacturing less wasteful and has been used in industrial production for decades. Today it has spread to sectors from software development to customer services. But I’ve found the principles of lean can even help improve the practice of writing, whether you’re producing a report or a novel.

Lean was developed from Japanese manufacturing ideas in the 1980s and 1990s. It involves applying five principles to minimise waste and increase productivity: flow, value, waste, pull and perfection. The key goals in lean manufacturing are to learn and continually improve. For writing, we have to first start with a finished piece of work in order to get feedback. Then we can start to apply the circular lean process and principles.

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Entries are now open for the St. Francis College Literary Prize for 2017. This biennial prize awards US$50,000 to an author for their 3rd to 5th published work of fiction.

Eligible authors can be based anywhere in the world and there are no age or citizenship restrictions. Nominated books can also be published anywhere in the world, although only English-language books may be entered (translations accepted). Uniquely, self-published books are also eligible for consideration.

In order to be eligible for the 2017 prize, the nominated work needs to have been published between June 2015 and May 2017. 

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