Open Competitions 2016

Closing Date: 31st October 2016


Short Story & Poetry

Big Money Prizes (both categories)
  • 1st prize: £ 250.
  • 2nd prize: £ 100.
  • 3rd prize: £ 50.


Fantastic Prizes of Book Print Deals
  • 1st prize to the value of £ 300.
  • 2nd prize to the value of £ 200.
  • 3rd prize to the value of £ 100.
The Book Print Deal Explained

Printed books to the value of the prizes shown above, will be awarded. According to our printer, you would be looking at 250 mono books, Royal size (234mm × 156mm), containing 144pp for £300.00; 150 books for £200.00 and 75 books for £100.00.

You do not have to use the prize on the entered work. Indeed how you use your prize with the printer is very flexible. Maybe you have a collection of short stories or poems ready for publication?

But, please note, there is no cash alternative available.

Entry Fees

Short Story & Poetry   Novella
  • Single entry in either category: £ 5.
  • Poetry only: three poems for £ 10.
  • Optional critiques: £ 5 each, available for both categories.
  • Entry fee: £ 10.
  • Optional "brief but helpful" feedback: £ 10.

Payment Methods

Please note that the 2016 Open Competitions are now closed.

Competition Rules

Short Story & Poetry   Novella
  1. Entries must be in English and typed or printed on one side of white A4 paper or emailed formatted as a Word file.
  2. Stories can be from 500 to a 2,000 words maximum.
  3. Poems can be any style, maximum 40 lines.
  4. Handwritten entries are not permitted.
  5. Stories and poems must be for adults.
  6. Pages should be numbered.
  7. Please do not put your name or any other identifying marks on your manuscript, or within the email attachments.
  8. Stories or poems must not have been previously published, nor should they have won a prize in another competition.
  9. Postal entries: send two copies, plus the entry form and s.a.e. for critique if needed. Post to the address given below.
  10. Email entries: attach your entries formatted as Word files. Include entry form details, including how you are paying, in the body of the message. Send to with "NAWG Open Writing Comps" in the subject box.
  1. Stories must be for adults.
  2. Novella must not have been previously published, nor should it have won a prize in another competition.
  3. Entries must be in English.
  4. Please send the first 5,000 words from your novella as a Word file, attachment, 1.15 spaced, 11pt font, pages numbered.
  5. Please also send a synopsis as another Word file attachment, covering (no more than) one side of A4, 1.15 spaced, 11pt.
  6. Handwritten entries are not permitted.
  7. Please make sure no identifying marks remain on the extract or synopsis.
  8. Attach your extract and synopsis to an email message, addressed to with "NAWG Open Writing Comps" in the subject box, and the details given below in the body of the message.
  9. If payment is being made by cheque, you may send the completed entry form with it.
  • If any competition rule fails to be followed, your entry may be disqualified.
  • The winning entries will be published here on the NAWG website.
  • Copyright remains with the author.
  • Entrants may win more than one prize.


Here are instructions for submitting your competition entries.

Short Story & Poetry Novella
You may enter by email or by post. You may enter by email only.
Email Entries
  • Put "NAWG Open Writing Comps" in the subject line.
  • Please put full entry form details in the body of the message.
    • Full name.
    • Please let us know if you are a member of NAWG. Individual or which group?
    • Address, including postcode.
    • Telephone number.
    • Title of entry.
    • Whether or not you require individual feedback?
    • Total payment paid.
    • Payment method, e.g. cheque, PayPal, BACS?
  • Attach your entries formatted as Word files.
  • Please, do not put your name or any other identifying marks on your message attachments.
  • Send to
  • All email entrants, who have paid for a critique, will receive it by email, after the results have been announced.
Postal Entries
  • Please include:
    • Your name and contact details.
    • Your competition entry/entries (no names nor identifying marks please).
    • Your cheque, if paying by cheque.
  • When requesting a critique for a postal entry, please enclose an s.a.e. with the correct postage.
  • Send to the following address:

    NAWG 2016 Open Competitions
    c/o 65 Riverside Mead
    PE2 8JN
  • As entries will not be returned, please retain a copy.
  • Critiques will be posted once the results have been announced.

Entry Forms

The entry forms are no longer available, as the competitions are now closed.

Judging and Critiques

Here are some brief biographies of our competition judges.

Short Story Judging and Critiques – Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson has enormous experience as both writer and teacher. He took the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he studied under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, and has been a professional writer since 1986.

He has had thirty novels professionally published and translated into eleven languages. His Robert Fairfax historical mystery series, written under the pen-name Hannah March, was twice shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, and has recently been re-released in e-book by Headline. He has recently written on Shakespeare for the New York Times and the Huffington Post.

Tim with cat

His historical novels written under the pen-name Jude Morgan have attracted rave reviews from Hilary Mantel, Tracy Chevalier and Joanna Trollope. His novel about the Brontës, The Taste of Sorrow, was short-listed for the Portico Prize 2010 and has been optioned for TV serialisation by BBC Wales.

He has taught Creative Writing at City College Peterborough and elsewhere for 17 years, and is a Member of the Society of Authors.

Tim's latest novel, The Secret Life of William Shakespeare, written as Jude Morgan, is his 30th published book.

Poetry Judging and Critiques – Doris Corti

Poet and freelance writer Doris Corti is Poetry Adviser and Vice Chairman to the Society of Women Writers & Journalists.

She has published poems in many poetry magazines and anthologies including Grey Hen Press, Cassells, Macmillan. Her last two collections were published by Headland and Scriptora. She is a regular contributor to Writing Magazine and wrote their poetry home study course. She has written non-fiction books including the popular Writing Poetry.

Prizes for poetry including the Julia Cairns, Elizabeth Longford and NAWG competitions. She has led poetry courses and workshops at Swanwick, Caerleon and NAWG. She gives talks and readings, and currently leads creative writing and poetry groups for Huddersfield U3A.

Novella Judging and Critiques – Cressida Downing
Cressida Downing

Cressida Downing, The Book Analyst, has worked in publishing and bookselling for over 25 years. As a freelance editorial consultant, she works for literary agents, publishers and directly for authors.

She is a regular guest blogger at the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.

She would buy books rather than clothes or food, and lives in East Anglia with two children, two cats, and one husband.

Your Writing at its Best
Logo: The Book Analyst

The Book Analyst offers a wide range of editorial help

with competitive and upfront pricing and fast service.

Contact us now to see what we can do for you and your writing.

One-off edits and on-going mentoring available. – mention NAWG for your 10% discount


Results for the 2016 open competitions are available. You can also see results and awarded entries from previous years and other competitions.

Further Information

For enquiries and further information:


Phone: 01733 311680

Our Link Magazine, anthologies and all of NAWG

print jobs are printed by CMP (UK) Ltd.

NAWG endorses their work for speed and quality.

For book printing enquiries contact:

NAWG would like to thank CMP (UK) Ltd for giving these generous prizes

making these competitions possible, and for their continued support.

Book Printing • Self-Publishing • Anthologies •

Hard and Soft Back Book Production • Free guide and sample book

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Competition & Mentorships

We are proud to be associated with the Highlands & Islands Short Story Association.


  • Book Printing
  • Self Publishing
  • Anthologies
  • Hard and Soft Back Book Production
  • Free guide and sample book

CMP (uk) Ltd

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Telephone: 01202 739993