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Opportunities for Writers: August and September 2013

Opportunities for Writers August and September 2013

The Virginia Quarterly Review
is currently accepting submissions of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. While they have a long history of publishing accomplished and award-winning authors, Virginia Quarterly Review also seeks and supports emerging writers and submissions from writers based anywhere in the world are welcomed. Closes 1 August.

The William Hazlitt Essay Prize
is offered by Notting Hill Editions each year. The Prize is for the best essay in the English language, of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, published or unpublished, on any subject. Award value £15,000. Five runners-up will each receive £1000. Authors of any nationality are eligible, but submissions must have been written originally in English. Deadline 1 August.

Bernheim Forest Writing Residencies
are offered in collaboration with Sarabande Books and Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest. The Bernheim Forest Writing Residency is located in a 14,000 acre forest and nature preserve located near Louisville, Kentucky. Residents receive a $500 honorarium, and resides, for at least 4 weeks, and up to 12 weeks, in a furnished cabin. The ‘soft’ entry deadline is 1 August.

The Costa Short Story Award
is run as part of the Costa Book Awards, one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes. The award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words.The winner will receive prize money of £3,500. The author in second place will receive £1,500 whilst that in third place will receive £500. Entries opened on 1 July and close on 2 August.

Hologram Books
is a new project from Express Media, Australia’s peak body for young writers. They are looking for manuscripts by Australian writers under 30, between 20,000 and 60,000 words long. Both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts will be accepted and there are no genre restrictions. Submissions close 11 August.

Heavy Feather Review
is a literary and arts quarterly dedicated to publishing fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, or any hybrid thereof. They are currently running a chapbook competition for works between 32 and 40 pages. Entries close 15 August. Submissions are also open for Issue 3.1 – the deadline is 15 September.

Undiscovered Voices
is an initiative by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators British Isles.  The Undiscovered Voices anthology will present a selection of novel extracts from 5+ to Young Adult novels and be sent to editors and agents in the UK. To be eligible you must be a member of SCBWI and reside in the European Union. Entries close 15 August.

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Contest
is open to writers who have not yet published a book of poetry. The 2013 prize will be judged by Robert Pinsky, the only poet to have been named three times The United States Poet Laureate. The winner will receive US$1,000 and a VIP Pass to the next festival. Entries close 15 August. The festival also runs competitions for fiction and one-act plays.

The 2013 John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers
Young writers under the age of 25 are encouraged to enter the competition to share in AUD $5,500 in prize money and have the opportunity to be published online and in the December issue of Voiceworks magazine. There are two categories: short fiction or first chapter of a novel (up to 3,000 words) and poetry. Entries close 19 August.

The African Story Challenge
is a new $1 million programme of reporting grants to encourage innovative, multi-media storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Africans. Entries for their second competitionc cycle, ‘Diseases: Prevention and Treatment’ open on 6 August and close on 23 August.

The Manchester Writing Competition
is a major international literary competition, celebrating excellence in creative writing, and open to anyone aged 16 or over (with no upper age limit). The 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize will award a cash prize of £10,000 to the writer of the best portfolio of poetry submitted. All entrants are asked to submit a portfolio of three-to-five poems (total maximum combined length: 120 lines). The 2013 Manchester Fiction Prize will award a cash prize of £10,000 to the writer of the best short story submitted. All entrants are asked to submit a story of up to 2,500 words in length. Entries for both categories close on 30 August.

Aesthetica Magazine
is inviting all writers and poets to submit their work to their 2013 creative writing competition. There are two categories, short fiction and poetry, and the winner of each will receive £500. Winners and finalists will be published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual. Closes 31 August.

The Sustainable Arts Foundation
is offering five awards of $6000 each for writers and artists with families. The money can be for things like child care, workspace, new equipment, research and travel. The awards are open worldwide. Applications close 31 August.

The Fourth Annual NANO Prize
will be awarding publication and US$500 to a previously unpublished work of fiction of 300 words or fewer. While there will be only one winner of the contest, all submitted pieces will be considered for publication. Entries close 1 September.

The Oxford American
welcomes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions, as well as proposals for Points South and feature articles. Submissions for the winter issue close on 1 September and online submissions are preferred.

The Puffin Review Short Story Competition
is for stories up to 3,000 words and the competition’s theme is obsession. Four shortlisted stories will be published in The Puffin Review with the overall winner also receiving a book pack. There are no entry fees and the competition closes on 1 September.

One Story
is a literary magazine that contains, simply, one story. Approximately every three-four weeks, subscribers are sent One Story in the mail, or on their digital devices. Submissions are open between 1 September and 31 May. Stories must be between 3,000 and 8,000 words and can be in any style on any subject.

The International 3-Day Novel Contest
takes place over the North American Labour Day Long Weekend, 31 August to 2 September. The competition has been running since 1977. Participants pre-register and then commit to writing a complete novel is three days. The winning novel will be published.

Hedgebrook Writers in Residence Program
for women writers is located on Whidbey Island, about thirty-five miles northwest of Seattle. The program is open to all women writers, published or not, without regard to race, religion, nationality, age, professional experience, sexual orientation, place of residence, or economic background. Applications for 2014 residencies close on 4 September.

The Scottish Book Trust Mentoring Scheme
will support four established writers who need intensive support with a writing project. They will be paired with a writer or industry professional –  such as an agent, editor or producer – for 9 months of mentoring. Applications close 6 September.

How to Write a Graphic Novel Masterclass
is being run by the Guardian in London on 7 September. Speakers include Audrey Niffenegger, Paul Gravett and Pat Mills. The Guardian is also running masterclasses in writing for children, blogging and pitching your script. Visit the website for full details.

The Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book is currently accepting entries. ‘Independently Published’ books include self-published books (such as those published through CreateSpace,, iUniverse, etc.) and/or books published through small presses releasing less than five titles per year. There is no limit to the number of books an individual can enter, though each book requires a separate entry fee. Entries are due by 10 September.

The Jentel Artist Residency Program
is located on a 1000 acre plus working cattle ranch 20 miles southeast of Sheridan, Wyoming. It offers individuals a supportive environment in which to further their creative development. Application for residencies in winter and spring 2014 close on 15 September.

Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition
is for novels in any genre for adult or young adult readers, written by unpublished women novelists. To qualify as a novel, your book must total at least 50,000 words. The prize is £5,000. Writers can be from anywhere in the world and the close date for entries is 23 September.

Quirk Books
is running its inaugural ‘Looking for Love’ Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts. Manuscripts must be at least 50,000 words, be written in English and feature a love story. The grand prize is US$10,000. Closes 1 October.

Lines + Stars
is seeking poems and short prose for its Fall 2013 issue. Prose should be approximately 4000 words. Closes 1 October.

Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize
is run by The Missouri Review. Three prizes of US$5,000 are on offer for fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Up to 25 typed, double-spaced pages can be submission for the fiction and non-fiction prizes. Poetry entries can include any number of poems up to 10 pages in total. International writers are welcome to enter and entries close on 1 October.

The Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University
is accepting fellowship applications from the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts until 1 October. Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University during the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2014 through May 31, 2015. Stipends are funded up to US$70,000 with additional funds for project expenses.

The Scribe Non-fiction Prize for Young Writers
is a developmental award to foster talented Australian writers aged 30 or under who are working on a long form or book-length non-fiction work. In addition to a cash prize of AUD $1500, the winner receives the opportunity to meet with a publisher or an editor and to experience the process of working with an editor on their writing. Entries must be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. Closes 11 October.

The Miami University Press Novella Contest
has been given annually since 2005 to a novella length manuscript of original fiction. The winning manuscript will receive US$750 and publication. Submissions close 14 October.

The A.M. Heath Irish Children’s Prize
is open to un-agented children’s book writers born or resident in Ireland, and writing in English. The winner will be awarded a prize of €1,000. Submissions close on 17 October.

The Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition
offers aspiring writers an opportunity to be published at one of the UK’s leading literary imprints and receive a £5,000 advance for his or her novel.Would-be crime writers must submit the first 5,000 words of their crime novel, along with a detailed, two-page double-spaced synopsis of how the rest of the book unfolds, including the ending. Entrants can be from anywhere in the world but must be over 18 and submit their book in the English language. Entries close 30 November.

The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize
is one of the world’s richest poetry prizes for single, unpublished poem. The winner of the 2013 prize will receive €10,000 (approximately US$13,000). Entries close 31 December.

The Dark Crystal’s Author Quest
is being run by the Jim Henson Company. They are searching for an author to write a new novel set in the world of Henson’s The Dark Crystal. The winning author will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Group USA valued at $10,000. Entries will be accepted between 1 October and 31 December.

American Short Fiction
accepts unsolicited submissions year round and there are no fixed guidelines as to content or length. Submissions to the magazine must be original and previously unpublished. ASF considers work that has appeared online (including on blogs and Facebook) to be previously published.

Tincture Journal
is seeking scripts of plays or screenplays that stand on their own as text.Your work will be published in their e-book, including a short bio. Script length is flexible, but it must be engaging as pure text. They recommend no more than 15,000 words. Poetry and fiction submissions are also being considered.

The Atlantic Magazine
accepts submissions of great nonfiction, fiction, and poetry throughout the year. Their website states that ‘a general familiarity with what we have published in the past is the best guide to our needs and preferences.’

Momentum Monday
Momentum, Australia’s first major digital imprint, is open to submissions. Momentum accepts submissions weekly on Mondays between 12.00 midnight and 11.59 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time via email only. Momentum is open to publishing fiction and non-fiction in most traditional and non-traditional genres. This includes new and previously published shorter length stories, essays and journalism between 15,000 to 50,000 words, genre novels and non-fiction between 50,000 to 100,000 words and longer and complex narratives of over 100,000 words. Writers can be based anywhere in the world.

The Dorland Mountain Arts Colony
offers residencies of up to 12 weeks year-round to visual artists, writers and composers in the secluded hills overlooking the Temecula Valley in southern California. The cost of the residency is $250 per week or $1,000 per month, and residents are responsible for their own food and travel expenses. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but must be postmarked at least 45 days prior to the requested residency start date.

Ashland Creek Press
is a small, independent publisher of ‘books with a world view’. They currently accepting submissions of book-length fiction and non-fiction on the themes of travel, the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife. They are also seeking full-length plays with animal rights themes for publication.

The Poised Pencil
is currently accepting submissions of young adult mystery novel manuscripts between 45,000 to 80,000 words in length. Submissions should be accompanied by a short cover letter including a book synopsis, author biography and publication history. Writers should be based in the USA or Canada.

Cold Mountain Review 
publishes poetry, creative non-fiction, interviews with creative writers, fiction and art. Submissions are read between August and May each year.

The Buenos Aires Review
is looking for fresh, unpublished writing in both English and Spanish. All prose submissions—fiction and non-fiction—must be under 5,000 words and poets are asked to send 3 to 6 poems at a time (up to 2,000 words).

The BlueCat Screenplay Competition
for 2014 is now open for entries. The Best Feature Screenplay will receive a US $15,000 grand prize and four finalists each receiving $2500. The Best Short Screenplay will receive $10,000. There is also a special Joplin Award for the Best Feature Screenplay from outside the USA, Canada or the UK ($1500 prize). Submission dates vary; visit the website for full details.

For regular updates on writing competitions and publication opportunities follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. 25 July 2013 / 5:11 pm

    That’s a lot of competitions! Thanks for all this information.

  2. Marne Carmean
    28 July 2013 / 12:43 pm


  3. Hannah
    20 August 2013 / 11:36 am

    thanks a lot!

  4. Norah demspster
    17 September 2013 / 7:12 pm

    What a great website. The list of opportunities is fabulous. Saves hours of searching online . Norah

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