[↓Comments] Open Competitions

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NAWG Open Competitions – Short Story and Poetry
Results now published
You can read the wining entries on-line Scroll down

Deadline for entries for is 31st March 2014  Scroll down

Flash fiction/poetry competitions, The Deddington Writers’ Group
Closing Date Monday 14th April, 2014 Scroll down

The Ticket to Write Playwriting Contest
Closing Date: Friday 18th April, 2014 Scroll down

2014 Bristol Short Story Prize Launched
Closing date: 30th April 2014 Scroll down

Birmingham Poetry Prize 2014
Closing date:   31 May 2014 Scroll down


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As a commitment to our members this page is available to Writing Groups who are members of NAWG and are running an open creative writing competition, so that they might advertise their competition to others, free of charge.

Other groups or associations who are not members will be charged a fee for the privilege. Starting on the 1st January 2011, the fee for a one off submisson will be £8.00. Should you require further submissions thoughout the year, the fee of £20.00 will cover all advertisements for 12 months following payment.

All payments should be made by cheque, payable to NAWG and sent to Webmaster, 65 Riverside Mead, Peterborough, PE2 8JN: -or, you may now pay by PayPal.

Choose Advert’s timespan

2013 Entry Fees.


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Park Publications

Short stories always welcome for Scribble (incorporating Debut), the short story magazine (Est. 1999). 84 pages of quality fiction and other items about writing. Over £100.00 in prizes in each issue. Readers vote for best three stories. Critiques offered on any unsuitable work – free for annual subscribers. For further details please visit www.parkpublications.co.uk or write to Park Publications, 14 The Park, Stow on the Wold, Cheltenham, Glos. GL54 1DX.


NAWG 2013 Open Writing Competitions

Final Results

Plus Every entry was entered into a draw to win:

FilamentBook Launch Countdown Package, worth £500
full details of winner below*

Berforts Information Press . . .
                                                . . .who support NAWG – offer a book printing and self-publishing service to Authors and Publishers. Experienced friendly staff happy to assist you with your book. Free no obligation quotations.

FREE - guide to book printing and self-publishing.

    Web: www.berfortsinformationpress.com               Tel:01438 – 312777

*FilamentBook Launch Countdown Package, worth £500 - a 13 week mentored process to launch your book.
Journalist led Author audio interview.  Weekly author mentoring calls, unlimited email Q&A, and professionally written press release distributed to bespoke media list, kindly donated by Chris Day, Creative Director of Filament Publishing. Publishing Division: www.FilamentPublishing.com    Members of  Independent Publisher’s Guild

Chris Day has spent a lifetime as a communicator. Originally an actor and theatre director, he has appeared on television, in films, on radio and on stage. He is currently the CEO of Filament Publishing Ltd, a boutique publishing house specialising in training, self-help, and personal development titles. Chris is also a professional journalist and writes a monthly column in Making Money Magazine.

Short Story Judging and Critiques by successful short story writer and Writers’ Bureau tutor, Linda Lewis (a.k.a. Catherine Howard) whose books include The Writers’ Treasury of Ideas, published by Filament and How to Earn £10 in Ten Minutes. All books available as ebooks.

See: – www.akacatherinehoward.weebly.com

Blog: – www.akacatherinehoward.blogspot.com

Poetry Judging and Critiques by James Nash, a writer and poet, and a long-term resident of Leeds. He is a well-known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and in the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events. Latest publication Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets

Organised for and on behalf of NAWG (National Association of Writers’ Groups) Registered Charity No. 1059047 www.nawg.co.uk Email: NAWG Chairman

Sponsored by Berforts Information Press


Final Results for the 2013 Open Writing Competitions, closing dates 31st October 2013
The 2013 NAWG Open Short Story Competition
Judged by Linda Lewis

First Prize £250
‘Jack in the Hedge’
Petra McQueen

Read the short story here

Second Prize £100
Shirley Jackson
Taverners Writing Group

Third Prize £50
Tim Stokes

Highly Commended
‘Water World’
Sue Hoffmann
Earlyworks Press, Online Forum

Highly Commended
Maureen A. Jeffs
Writers Reign

Highly Commended
‘Not This Time’
David Lake
Writers in Somerset

A brief note from the judge: ‘All the stories were good, some better than others of course, but with very few really bad efforts. What I look for in a first reading are stories that make an immediate impact, either because the writing is so strong, or the subject is unusual and well-handled. That didn’t happen this time which meant that choosing the actual prize winners and commended stories took a lot longer and involved a lot of rereading.  Maybe this was a good thing because a great story is one that you enjoy more each time you read it, despite knowing what’s going to happen.
In the end, the winners slowly emerged and by the end of the judging process I had grown rather fond of all the winners and the highly commended stories.’ Linda Lewis, Leeds, November 2013

The 2013 NAWG Open Poetry Competition
Judged by James Nash

First Prize £250
‘A Skylark’s Song’
Doris Corti

Second Prize £100
‘Oretical Creatures’
Hilary Adams
Keele Poets

Third Prize £50
‘Master Craftsman’
Susan Rogerson

Read the three prize-winning poems here

Highly Commended
‘The Honeymoon’
Tracy Rees

A brief note from the judge: ‘What a joy it was to judge this year’s entries, and a very strong reminder that poetry can do many things for us as writers and readers.  It can tap experiences to the core, it can remind us of who we are and what we are, and it can make us laugh, and gasp, at its wonderful wit and wordplay. So all in all a wonderful experience of finding all sorts of treasure and poetic gold in the stunning array of entries for this year’s entries to the NAWG open competition for poetry,’ James Nash, Leeds, November 2013
My congratulations go to all of you, you should be proud of yourselves to have reached the high status of a place in this list of prize-winners. Pam Fish, NAWG Chairman.
Our thanks go to Berforts Information Press who generously supports NAWG, making these Open Competitions, and big money prizes possible. And thanks also to Chris Day, Creative Director of Filament Publishing for the extra prize of the FilamentBook Launch Countdown Package, worth £500 – a 13 week mentored process to launch your book.
This extra prize goes to the writer of the poem, ‘That Day in May’ by Garvey Humphrey. The number of the winning entry was picked at a meeting of the Peterborough Writers’ Group by Tim Wilson, AKA Jude Morgan from a total of 347 entries, which included both short story and poetry.
The winning short story and the three placed poems will be published on our website: www.nawg.co.uk and in our 2014 Anthology – ‘Write Path 2014’, together with the full judging notes.


Details of previous NAWG Open Competitions can be viewed at the bottom of the page . . .












2014 Launch event: 7.30 Saturday 5th October – Ilkley Literature Festival

Black and Asian women’s writing takes centre stage at this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival with the launch of the second SI Leeds Literary Prize on Saturday 5th October.

The prize, for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women, was launched in 2012 by Soroptimist International of Leeds and acts as a loudspeaker for Black and Asian women’s voices.   It is run in partnership with two well established and highly regarded literary organisations, Ilkley Literature Festival, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and independent Leeds-based publishers Peepal Tree Press.

The launch event will feature the 2012 winner Minoli Salgado reading from her prize-winning novel A Little Dust on the Eyes.  Acclaimed British novelist Bernadine Evaristo will also be in conversation with John McLeod about her new book Mr Loverman. The Prize Ambassador, Margaret Busby, said: “It’s exciting to be able to launch the second edition of this important prize,  which offers a unique opportunity for unpublished fiction from a grouping  disproportionately under-represented in mainstream literary output. As well as a great line-up of judges  in 2014 we have a host of additional support for our winning writers , with the aim of helping develop new audiences for their work in the future.”

The SI Leeds Literary Prize 2014 has a new panel of judges including literary agent and former commissioning editor at Virago Press, Elise Dillsworth; award-winning writer and literary activist, Kadija George; broadcaster and former Chair of Arts Council England, Sue Woodford-Hollick OBE; and Jamaican born writer Kerry Young (Chair) whose first novel Pao was shortlisted for no less than three literary prizes.  Judging will be co-ordinated by writer Gail Bolland, former director of Tonic, a multi arts programme which was aimed at enriching the environment of six West Yorkshire hospitals.

The winner of the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2014 will receive £2,000 and an invitation to present their work at the Ilkley Literature Festival plus a place on an Arvon Foundation fiction course of their choice in 2015.

Second and third place prize winners will receive £750 and £250 respectively and will be offered attendance at a TLC writer development day at the Free Word Centre.  All three prize winners will also receive manuscript assessment from The Literary Consultancy.

The deadline for entries for the 2014 SI Leeds Literary Prize is 31st March 2014 and full details of how to enter are on the prize website www.sileedsliteraryprize.com

The launch event will take place at Ilkley Playhouse, Wildman Theatre, Weston Road, Ilkley LS29 8DW on Saturday 5th October at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £5 available from the box office on 01943 816714 or book online at www.ilkleyfestival.org.uk

Patrons supporting the prize include journalist and writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a well-known commentator on issues relating to immigration, diversity and multi-culturalism;  award winning author Bernadine Evaristo; writer, critic, broadcaster and human rights advocate Bidisha; playwright and novelist Bonnie Greer; artist, and curator for Harewood House Trust, Diane Howse;


Flash fiction/poetry competitions
Closing Date Monday 14th April, 2014

The Deddington Writers’ Group in Oxfordshire will again be running a writing competitionas part of
the Deddington Festival (12-22 June, 2014).
It will be in two sections:
Flash Fiction, open theme, max. 1000 words;  Poem in any style, max. 100 words.
Deadline is Monday 14th April, 2014.
Entry fee: £3 per entry for stories and/or poems.

Prizes:  First £100, Second £60, Third £30.

Judges:  TBA.

Short-listed entrants will be notified by early June and invited to attend the Awards event in Deddington Church on Sunday, 22nd June at 2.30 p.m.  Full details and an entry form can be downloaded from www.deddingtonfestival.org.uk/what-s-on/writing-competition  from the week commencing January 6th.


The Ticket to Write Playwriting Contest
Closing Date: Friday 18th April, 2014

The Ticket to Write playwriting contest – launched as a Beatles-themed Festival – is now open for entries for the third year when the selected plays will be performed at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre on July 15 and 16.

The 2014 Festival has two new exciting changes:

• Plays need not just have themes on The Beatles – they can include the wider Mersey Music scene of the 60s.

• Plays entered should now be one-act 40 – 45 minute dramas rather than 15 minute offerings.

As usual the plays can be about the people, stories inspired by songs and song-titles or any genuine connection with The Beatles or the Mersey Scene of that period.

The winner gets a tasty £150 and it costs £20 to enter.

Entries must be in by Friday April 18.

All plays will be assessed anonymously by a theatre professional and three will go forward to be performed on both nights of the final when the audience vote will count towards the final result.

All entries will receive a considered written critique from the assessor who will receive £10 of the entry fee.

Full details are under How To Enter on our website www.acedrama.co.uk


2014 Bristol Short Story Prize Launched

Closing date: 30th April 2014

The 2014 Bristol Short Story Prize is officially launched. Now in its 7th year, the Bristol-based competition has established itself as one of the UK’s most prestigious open writing competitions, “one of the most important short story prizes in the country” according to Scott Pack, publisher at HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project.

A shortlist of 20 stories will be selected, from which the winning writer and story will be chosen. The winning writer will receive £1,000 and all 20 writers whose stories are shortlisted and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 7 will receive at least £100.

The 2014 Bristol Short Story Prize awards ceremony will take place next October when the winner will be announced and the Volume 7 anthology published. The closing date for entries is April 30th 2014.

The 2014 judging panel will be chaired by writer and former Radio 4 producer, Sara Davies. Sara will be joined on the panel by Literary Agent, Rowan Lawton, writer and TV presenter, Sanjida O’Connell, and author, performer and journalist, Nikesh Shukla. Sara says: “I’m hoping to find some writing that makes me look at the world differently, or unexpectedly, and that may be because of an imaginative story, or because of the imaginative way it’s told. I’m hoping to find writers who love language, and love using it in inventive ways. Most of all I’m planning to enjoy myself!” The winner of the 2013 Bristol Short Story Prize, announced 4 days ago, Paul McMichael, says of his triumph :

“I’m overwhelmed…that a set of such discerning judges picked this story out. Thoroughly delighted and grateful.”

The latest Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology containing Paul’s winning story plus the other 19 shortlisted stories is available now.

For full details visit www.bristolprize.co.uk

For further information and to arrange interviews contact Joe Melia on 07708 095414 or by email: enquiries@bristolprize.co.uk

Registered in England & Wales Registered Number: 6625768 Registered Address:86 Shirehampton Road Stoke Bishop BS9 2DR

Notes to Editors

The Bristol Short Story Prize is an annual, international writing competition founded by the editors of Bristol Review of Books magazine. The closing date for entries is 30th April 2014. 20 stories will be shortlisted by the judges and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Vol 7 which will be available for all bookshops to stock. The anthology will be launched at an awards ceremony in Bristol in October 2014. The winning author and two runners up will also be announced at the awards ceremony and prizes will be presented.

1s t- £1000 plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card
2nd – £700 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
3rd – £400 plus £100 waterstone’s gift card
17 further prizes of £100 will be awarded to the other writers whose stories are shortlisted and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Vol 7. For jpeg images of the Bristol Short Story Prize logo contact Joe Melia. enquiries@bristolprize.co.uk

Entries must be no more than 4,000 words. There is an £8 entry fee per story. There is no limit on the number of entries per author. Enter online via www.bristolprize.co.uk or by post to Unit 5.16, Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3EH Writers published in previous BSSP anthologies have gone on to further publication and success: Clare King’s debut novel The Night Rainbow was published by Bloomsbury last year – Clare featured in volume 3 of the Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies. Marli Roode’s debut novel Call it Dog, published this year, was very recently shortlisted for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize – Marli has had stories published in Vol 2 and Vol 3 Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies. Avril Joy, whose story Meat was published in last year’s anthology, was the winner of the inaugural Costa Short Story Award earlier this year. Tim Weaver has just had his 4th novel, Never Coming Back, published. Tim’s short story The Close was published in the first BSSP anthology in 2008. Tara Conklin’s 2010 shortlisted story, Signs of Our Redemption, published in BSSP Anthology Vol 3 was the basis for her debut novel, The House Girl, published by William Morrow in the USA earlier this year.


Birmingham Poetry Prize 2014
Closing date:   31 May 2014

For unpublished poems up to 40 lines or fewer on any subject, theme or form.
Prizes:  £750  +  5 runner up prizes of pamphlet collection.
Entry fee:  £2 per poem.  £1 for each subsequent poem.
Judges:  Roy McFarlane & Charlie Jordan

For further information please visit http://www.nestmagpie.co.uk

The Birmingham Poetry Prize 2014 is organised by The Magpie’s Nest, a literary magazine which provides a platform for emerging and established poets and writers. the magazine welcomes submissions of original poetry and short fiction.

Postal address:   The Magpie’s Nest, 338 Gibb Street, Custard Factory, Digbeth,
Birmingham, United Kingdom, B9 4AA

To obtain a free issue of The Magpie’s Nest email info@nestmagpie.co.uk






Archived material of previous NAWG Open Competitions.

The 2011 First Open Short Story Competition

Click to read about the 2011 NAWG Open Short Story Competition Full list of  shortlisted and winners, competition notes and details of  Berforts the print buisiness that made this competition possible.

Also read the winning entry Assipattle by Barbara Smith. CLICK HERE

The 2012 Second NAWG Open Short Story Competition

To read the winning story ‘A Gift from the Horse Chestnut Tree by Veronica Bright. CLICK HERE

For full list of all 2012 NAWG Open Competition Prizewinners, including long and short lists  CLICK HERE

The 2012 First NAWG Open Poetry Competition

For full list of 2012 Prizewinners CLICK HERE

To read the first three winning poems CLICK HERE


These 2012 winners will also be published in our 2013 Anthology – ‘Write Path 2013’.

The Write Path 2013 is available now – pamfish@ntlworld.com - for full detail

Posted by pamfish on December 13, 2011


[↑Article] 20 Comments on Open Competitions

[...] Mixed: The National Association of Writers Groups (based in the UK) lists their competitions on nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions. [...]

Gravatar image for Oliver Gunne

The 2013 Open Short Story results are in. Let me see if I know Linda Lewis enough from her work/website to hazard a guess at the winner of the short story? My guess, and it’s only a guess, but most judges go for either something that holds a mirror up to there writing or a good human condition story. Let’s rule out the mirror – it depends too much on vanity. So? Human condition it is then. I’m guessing family/loss/illness/heartache/ touching at least four maybe five of the basic human emotions. I’m guessing it ends badly for someone/something but there’s much redemption to be had by the family group? I’ve no idea what the winning entry is, its not been published. But I bet I’m close?

Posted by Oliver Gunne on February 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

Gravatar image for pamfish

The winning short story will be published shortly – watch this space and then make up your own mind about it. NAWG Chairman.

Posted by pamfish on February 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

[...] NAWG // short story, poetry // 31 Oct 13 [...]

Posted by A few competition links | t upchurch on November 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

[...] Mixed: The National Association of Writers Groups (based in the UK) lists their competitions on nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions. [...]

Gravatar image for Dennis Harkness

And thanks for presenting the Home-Start Bridgwater Short Story Prize so well!
There’s one small change that we’d appreciate. In giving our website address you’ve added an ‘e’ in Bridgwater (a common slip – the Bridgewater in Canada IS spelt like that) but for some it might make it difficult to get through (when I tried it did give me a route to the correct address).
Thanks in anticipation!

Posted by Dennis Harkness on September 29, 2013 at 9:35 am [Reply]

[...] NAWG // short story, poetry // 31 Oct 13 [...]

Posted by July writing | t upchurch on July 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

[...] Mixed: The National Association of Writers Groups (based in the UK) lists their competitions on nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions. [...]

[...] Mixed: The National Association of Writers Groups (based in the UK) lists their competitions on http://www.nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions. [...]

[...] http://www.nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions/ Category: Uncategorized Share Tweet [...]

Posted by Writing Competitions | The Dock on May 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

Gravatar image for Elliott Beresford

Hi there, when will the Open Poetry competition be publicly announced?

Best wishes


Posted by Elliott Beresford on March 28, 2013 at 7:37 am [Reply]

Gravatar image for Lisa

Apologies for not replying sooner and thanks for your reply. I meant that I couldn’t get onto the Homestart Bridgewater site to check the rules of the competition.

Kind regards

Posted by Lisa on January 1, 2013 at 1:04 am [Reply]

Gravatar image for Lisa Egerton

There seems to be a problem with this website, I can’t get onto it. Has the page been deleted?

Posted by Lisa Egerton on October 30, 2012 at 8:26 am [Reply]

Gravatar image for pamfish

Hello Lisa – could you explain more fully your problem. You must have been able to get onto the website to send this comment, so what happened to make you send this? It is just possible that you coincided with a page being edited. But, all seems to be working okay now, and I have had no other comments about problems. Good to hear from you, Pam Fish, Webmaster.

Posted by pamfish on November 4, 2012 at 11:47 am [Reply]

[...] The National Association of Writers Open Short Story and Poetry Comps 2012 [...]

Posted by » Writing Competitions Closing in October 2012 West Lothian Writers on September 27, 2012 at 11:30 am [Reply]

[...] The National Association of Writers Open Short Story and Poetry Comps 2012 [...]

Posted by Closing October 2012 | Writing Calendar Blog on July 2, 2012 at 9:49 am [Reply]

[...] includes P+P. Full details here. Choc Lit Short Story Competition, Closing date 31st January, 2012 Find out more Simon Whaley’s Latest Book – The Positively Productive Writer ISBN: 9781846948510  [...]

Posted by The National Association of Writers' Groups | Featured Group on January 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

Gravatar image for Jennifer Margrave

Hi I’m trying to copy details of the competitions from the website but there’s no ‘print’ sign or anything which I can use – so how do I print off the pages?


Posted by Jennifer Margrave on December 18, 2011 at 10:55 am [Reply]

Gravatar image for pamfish

Hello Jennifer
We don’t at present have a ‘print this page’ facility, but this should not stop you from printing off the page using your own printer options. I have just experimented by clicking on the print icon in the webpage tool bar and it woked like a dream. But, thank you for your comments it is so good to know that people like yourself care enough to interact with us. i hope that this helps, Pam.

Posted by pamfish on December 18, 2011 at 11:53 am [Reply]

[...] couple of months ago I entered the National Association of Writers’ Groups short story competition and I paid £3 extra for a critique by Linda Lewis. The story I sent had already been in 2 [...]

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