I find having a theme and a deadline a good way to motivate myself to write. Here are some upcoming themed publication opportunities which I’ve recently shared with my creative writing students. I hope you find them inspiring too.
Scottish Book Trust 50-Word Competition Stories of under 50 words about a summer of football. Deadline: 27 July.
Fragmented Voices Micro-fiction (100 words max), flash fiction (300-500 words), and short stories (1000 words max) on the theme of home. Deadline: 31 July.
Black Cat Magazine Poetry, fiction (short stories of up to 3,000 words or flash fiction of up to 1000 words) on the theme of apocalypse (‘send us your fantasy, science fiction, slipstream, magical realism, dystopian fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk and all the other punks’). Deadline: 31 July.
Hay Festival Write for Change Short fiction, non-fiction, and poetry (100-500 words) on the theme of the opportunity for renewal. Submissions will be showcased on the Write for Change digital map and in a digital anthology. Deadline: 21 August.
Green Stories Radio Play/Series Competition A radio play or series that in some way touches upon ideas about building a sustainable society. Deadline: 26 August.
The Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing Uplifting, feel-good stories of up to 2,000 words on the theme of then and now. Note that entries from already commercially published writers will not be accepted. Deadline: 5pm on 28 August.
Hysteria Writing Competition Short stories of up to 600 words, flash fiction of up to 100 words, and poems of up to 12 lines in length on the theme of hope and unity. Deadline: 31 August.
SaveAs Writers’ International Writing Competition For poetry (60 lines max) and prose (3,500 words max) on the theme of horizons. This can be in relation to T.S. Eliot and his work (as The Waste Land opened new horizons in poetry) or another interpretation. Deadline: 31 August. Entry fee: £3 per poem or £8 for three poems. £4 per story or £10 for three stories.
Black Coffee and Vinyl Poetry (not to exceed three poems), fiction (2,000 words max), non-fiction (2,000 words max) on the theme of The City. Deadline: 31 August.
Moonflake Press Poetry, fiction (100-1500 words), and creative non-fiction (100-2000 words) on the theme of escapism. Deadline: 1 September.
On the Premises Monster Short Story Competition Short stories of between 1000-5000 words in which someone or something is considered to be a monster. Deadline: 3 September.
Southam Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition Flash fiction of up to 100 words that includes the word revealed. The title must not include the word revealed or any related words such as revelation, revealing, etc. Deadline: 4 September. Entry fee: £2 per story, or up to six for £8.
Ovacome Writing Competition Short stories of up to 2,000 words on the theme of connected to raise funds for ovarian cancer support services and awareness projects. Deadline: 20 September. Entry fee: £5.
Friendly City Press Poems about food for inclusion in a forthcoming anthology called ‘Savour: Poems for the Tongue’. Deadline: 30 September.
Inky Lab Press Stories of between 5000-10000 words for upcoming anthologies of dark humour in the face of adversity and science vs superstition. Deadlines for both to be confirmed.
Five Minute Lit Micro memoirs of exactly 100 words about five minutes in your life. No deadline.