Writing Magazine


Writers put your noses to the Grindstone

Tina Jackson

Grindstone Literary have four creative writing competitions running this spring.

• Win £1,000 in the 2020 International Novel Prize for unpublished novels. Enter up to 3,000 words of the opening of an unpublished finished or part-finished novel in any genre aimed at readers from YA upwards. Also send a synopsis no longer than 300 words. The Grand Prize winner gets £1,000 and the runner-up, £500. There are also four £50 shortlist prizes. The entry fee is £16. The closing date is 28 March.

• Win a £500 first prize for flash fiction up to 500 words in Grindstone’s Flash Fiction Prize. Enter original, unpublished short fiction, in any genre. The first prize is £500, and the second prize, £200. There are also four shortlist prizes of £50. The entry fee is £6.

The closing date is 28 March.

• To enter the International Short Story Prize, send original, unpublished short stories in any genre up to 3,000 words. The first prize is £500 and the second, £200. Four shortlisted writers will each get £50. The entry fee is £8. The closing date is 28 April.

• First prize is £500 for an unpublished poem in the Grindstone International 2020 Poetry Prize. To enter, send original, unpublished poems up to 40 lines. There is a first prize of £500 and a second prize of £200. Four shortlisted poems will each win £50. The entry fee is £8 per poem. The closing date is 28 May.

Website: www.grindstoneliterary.com/competitions

Destination dynamic drama

The Red Planet Prize 2020 is inviting entries.

The winner of the biannual competition for emerging drama scriptwriters will get a script commission.

The focus of this year’s award, which is from independent production company Red Planet Pictures and ITV, is on finding original voices to bring into the mainstream.

This year’s contest invites scripts for four-part contemporary thrillers (crime, psychological, conspiracy, relationship, political) and returning procedural series (crime, medical, legal).

Emerging scriptwriters from the UK and Ireland are invited to submit an existing original full-length spec script for TV, radio, film or theatre, a one-to two-page pitch for an original TV series or returning serial, and a brief CV mentioning writing credits if applicable.

Up to ten shortlisted writers will be invited to a one-day pitching masterclass and then will have three weeks to write up their pitch and series outline. The runner up will get development opportunities with ITV and the winner will get a script commission.

The submission window opens on 27 March and closes on 3 April.

Website: www.redplanetpictures.co.uk/the-red-planet-prize

Nothing to lose with Yeovil

Enter The Yeovil Literary Prize 2020 in four categories: novel, short story, poetry, writing without restrictions.

Since its launch in 2002, the annual international Yeovil Literary Prize has established itself as a major event on the writers’ competition calendar.

• The novel category is for the synopsis and opening chapters of an unpublished novel. The prizes are £1,000, £250 and £100. The winner will also have the opportunity to pitch their book to literary agents. This year’s judge is Paul Blezard. The entry fee per novel is £12.

• The short story category is for original, unpublished short fiction up to 2,000 words. There are prizes of £500, £200 and £100. This year’s judge is Susan Sandon. The entry fee per short story is £7.

• The poetry category is for original, unpublished poems up to 40 lines. The prizes are £500, £200 and £100. This year’s judge is Caroline Gilfillan. The entry fees are £7 for one poem, £10 for two and £12 for three.

• The writing without restrictions category is wide open. Entries may be anything you have written that doesn’t fit into the other categories. There are prizes of £200, £100 and £50. This year’s judge is Jessica Axe. The entry fee is £5.

There is also Best Local Writer Award for a shortlisted entry by a writer living in the distribution area.

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