22. Competitions Part 3: What's Coming Up?

Author: Nola Published: almost 3 years ago.
Tags: markets, competitions, contests Category: Writing tips

In the last two weeks, we’ve looked at some tips to help you succeed in competitions and some cautions to think about before submitting your manuscript. But where do you find out about these competitions that you’re going to enter?

Sources for Competitions

Market Guides
The Australian Writer’s Marketplace has a detailed section on ‘Literary Awards, Competitions, Fellowships and Grants’. As well as an alphabetised listing, there is also a handy monthly calendar so you can plan well in advance. For just $19.95, you can also buy a separate volume that just contains the competitions. Always check the relevant websites before submitting material, as guidelines or availability of some competitions may change. Depending on your genre, American and British market guides may also be helpful in locating contests, though be sure to check that they accept entries from overseas. For example, the Christian Writer’s Market Guide lists competitions for inspirational writers.
Writers' Organisations
If you want to be regularly informed of upcoming competitions, I’d strongly advise you to become a member of your state writers’ centre. For example, the Queensland Writers Centre includes competition information in its monthly magazine and fortnightly e-newsletter. Other groups such as the Fellowship of Australian Writers also disseminate information about contests. If you’re linked into a group, you’re more likely to hear of opportunities when they arise.
Writing Magazines
As well as the in-house publications of writing organisations, there are many excellent writing magazines that advertise competitions (e.g. The Writer and Writer’s Digest in the US and Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum in the UK). Again just check that the relevant competition accepts entries from overseas.
Internet Search
Don’t underestimate the benefits of doing an occasional Google search for competitions in your genre. I find it helpful to also add the current year so that you’re more likely to come across contests that are still open.

Upcoming Competitions

If you look at the sources mentioned above, you’ll find a plethora of contests. Here are a few current ones to get you started.

  • The Stringybark Short Story Award has an open theme for a story up to 1500 words, though there has to be some connection with Australia. Entries close on 18 January 2015. Shortlisted stories are compiled into an anthology. I was shortlisted for their Twisted Stringybark competition earlier this year and received a free electronic copy of the anthology.
  • The Eyre Writers Literary Awards offer prizes for short stories to 1500 words (open theme or an Australian rural or maritime theme) and rhyming and non-rhyming poetry to 50 lines. Entries close on 31 January.
  • The Tabor Adelaide Creative Writing Awards offer prizes for short fiction to 1500 words and poetry to 42 lines. The theme is “Hope Against Hope” and entries close on 6 March 2015.

Good luck with your submissions. I’d be interested in hearing about other current competitions you know about.

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