2021 Competitions

The writing competitions are now closed.
The Shortlist and Winners of each competition will be announced on this page
at 6:00 pm BST on Friday, 25 June.


The Writers’ Weekend Flash Fiction Competition

Can you write a story with a beginning, middle and end in only 300 words?  We’re looking for stories that transport us and leave us wanting more.  Stories should be written for adults, but can be on any theme or subject. 
There is no minimum length, but stories must not be a word over 300, including the title.

Judged by Claire Fuller,
author of Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, Bitter Orange
and the new Unsettled Ground.

First Prize:  £300
Second Prize:  £200
Third Prize:  £100


The Writers’ Weekend Writing for Children Competition

For writers of children’s (5+), middle grade, and young adult fiction. We are looking for an instantly intriguing concept coupled with a remarkable writing voice. Entrants are invited to submit the first 3000 words of a work of fiction for first chapter books (ages 5+), ages 8-12, or 12+.

Please specify the audience you are writing for, include a one-page synopsis of your story and give the word count of the finished novel, if complete. 12 pt, double-spaced, not previously published. Please combine the 3000 words and one-page synopsis into ONE file.

Judged by The Writers’ Weekend

First Prize: £300
Second Prize: £200
Third Prize: £100

Writing Magazine & Writers' Weekend Short Story Competition

Entrants are invited to submit quality short stories on any subject, theme or period (no children’s stories). Length 1500-3000 words for each entry. Each entry must be a complete story. Entries will be judged on their originality and excellent story-telling qualities.
Sponsored and Judged by Writing Magazine

First Prize: £250, publication in Writing Magazine in 2021, and a one-year subscription to Writing Magazine.
Second Prize: One-year subscription to Writing Magazine
Third Prize: One-year subscription to Writing Magazine

Entry fee: £10 per entry/£8 per entry for subscribers of Writing Magazine

To enter this competition, click on the green button below. Your payment will be taken by Writing Magazine and you will upload your entry directly to their site.
(This applies to the Short Story competition only)

The Little Tiger Picture Book Competition

Calling all budding writers who are passionate about picture books! Entrants are invited to submit up to two texts of no more than 600 words each - in prose or verse - that are perfect for sharing with children aged 3-6.
Sponsored and Judged by The Little Tiger Group

First Prize: £200, a one-to-one Zoom editorial consultation with the Little Tiger Press editorial team to discuss the winning submissing plus a £50 book token
Second Prize: Written editorial feedback and £30 book token
Third Prize: Written editorial feedback and £20 book token

The Arvon Opening of a Novel Competition

Entrants are invited to send the first three pages (12 pt. double-spaced) of their novel, plus a 600-word maximum synopsis. Any theme or period from Upper YA novels to adult. For an additional fee, entrants can receive one-two paragraphs of supportive feedback on their entry. Please combine the synopsis and submission into ONE file before uploading.

Sponsored by Arvon
Judged by author Claire Gradidge, winner of the 2019 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition.

First Prize: A place on an Arvon at Home online Writing Week
Second Prize: A place on an Arvon at Home online Masterclass
Third Prize: A place on an Arvon at Home Craft of Writing Session


Play to the Crowd and Playmakers Young Writers’ Competition

Play to the Crowd is an arts and education charity in Winchester, UK. Our family comprises: Theatre Royal Winchester – a beautiful middle scale heritage theatre, Hat Fair – one of the oldest Outdoor Arts Festivals in the country and Playmakers – a range of community engagement and creative learning programmes and activities

This FREE competition is for young writers in two age groups:  ages 4-11, and 12-16.

Entrants are invited to send prose (no more than one page) or a poem (of no more than 30 lines) about ‘The adventures that I dream of‘.

Entries may be typed or hand-written, but must be submitted online through the link below. No hard copies will be accepted.  Two entries maximum per person.  Please indicate age of entrant in the top right corner of your entry.

First, second and third-place winners in both categories will receive book tokens, and a place on a special hybrid creative writing workshop for young people (and their adult) run by Playmakers.  You can attend in person or online.

You’ll get support, advice and inspiration from Playmakers’ Writer-in-Residence Richard Hurford and Associate Writer Martin Jakeman to produce original material for future performance projects out and about all over Winchester. Richard is an award-winning playwright and performance writer whose work has been produced across the UK, Europe and the USA . Martin is a writer and performer and artistic director of Historical Huzzahs, bringing history to life for modern audiences in fun and accessible ways.

Judged by the Writers’ Weekend and sponsored by Playmakers

Writing Competition Terms and Conditions:

Copyright:  Copyright of all works submitted for competitions remains with the author.

Previous publication:  All entries must be original, previously unpublished, in English, written by one author, and not have won an award in any previous competition.  Self-published entries are acceptable.

Formatting: Entries should be in 12pt, Times New Roman, double-spaced. Entries for the Young Writers competition may be hand-written or in another font, but must be submitted online.

Changes to entries:  Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be modified in any way.  Please ensure that your entry is in its final form before submitting.  Entries MAY NOT be withdrawn and resubmitted.  If this occurs, the entry will be disqualified and removed from the competition.

Process:  If the competition you are entering requires a synopsis (Opening of a Novel), you must combine the synopsis and submission into ONE file before uploading.  (Our system does not allow the uploading of more than one file per entry.)

Judging:  The decisions of the judges are final and the judges reserve the right to withhold awards if no entry reaches an appropriate standard.

Deadline:  The deadline for all competitions (except the Writing Magazine Short Fiction competition) is 28 May, 2021 at 11:59 pm BST. The deadline for the Short Fiction competition is 4 June, 2021 at 11:59 pm BST.

Winner Announcement:  The shortlist and winners will be announced on this website on Friday, 25 June, 2021 at:  www.writersweekend.uk

Feedback:  If you purchased feedback on your Opening of a Novel or Flash Fiction competition entry, it will be sent the week after the Writers’ Weekend (28 June – 2 July, 2021).  The other competitions do not offer feedback, unless you win a prize.

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