Monday, 4 September 2017



Welcome to the Caledonia Novel Award, an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists.

Prize: £1,000

Shortlist judge: Madeleine Milburn, literary agent and founder of Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency

Special Prize: a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre for the best novel from the UK and Ireland


Here at The Caledonia Novel Award, we are really keen to nurture undiscovered talent and encourage new writers. With this in mind, we are very excited to announce that, for the second year running, we are offering a special prize for the best novel submitted by an author from the UK and Ireland. This prize is a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, situated in the Scottish Highlands, just 14 miles from Inverness. The winner will be able to choose from a selection of week-long residential courses taking place there in 2018. Details of the 2017 courses, and further information about this excellent resource, can be found at

Moniack Mhor is Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre. The centre runs residential creative writing courses and partnership courses throughout the year for adults and young people at all stages of their writing career. Courses are tutored by established writers, with a mid-week visit from a guest writer, and cover many different genres. Moniack Mhor also runs one-off events for writers, outreach workshops, awards and a fellowship. High on a hill close to Loch Ness, the centre is an inspirational and nurturing setting for writers to spend an intensive period focussing on their work.

Many thanks to Moniack Mhor for their participation and continuing support.


Our 2018 novel competition is open for entries from 01 May 2017 until 01 November 2017
Longlisted novels will be announced on 30 November 2017, with longlistees invited to submit their full novel manuscript by 6 December 2017
Shortlisted novels will be announced on 25 January 2018, with the overall competition winner announced in February 2018 and awarded £1,000
The entry fee is £25 per novel
Novels can be in any genre for adults or young adults
Novels must be the entrant’s original work and at least 50,000 words in length
The competition is open to writers over the age of eighteen of any nationality and resident in any country
The Caledonia Novel Award is open to unpublished or self-published novelists only
Entrants must be unagented
Entrants must not be employed by Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency or The Caledonia Novel Award
Entries may not be altered after submission
Entrants retain full copyright of their work, however by entering the competition give The Caledonia Novel Award permission to post an extract from the first 20 pages of any shortlisted entries on our website
The writer of the best novel from the British Isles and Ireland, as judged by Madeleine Milburn, will receive a free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. The winner will be able to choose from a selection of week-long residential courses taking place in 2018. The prize includes accommodation, food and tuition, but does not cover travel costs. The full list of courses for 2018 will be announced in November, 2017. For further details about Moniack Mhor, visit There is no cash alternative to this prize

Novels should be submitted via email to with one attachment containing the first 20 pages of your novel (double-spaced in a size 12 font) followed by a 200-word synopsis. In the body of your email, please list your name (this should not appear anywhere on your novel extract), novel title, contact details, brief details of genre, and payment date.
The competition entrance fee is £25 per novel, payable by Paypal. Please click the below button:

Saturday, 2 September 2017



The inaugural Cambridge Short Story Prize will be opening to submissions on the 1st September and closing on 31st October. This is an international short story prize and we welcome entries from every corner of the globe.

There will be a £1500 prize fund, a local Cambridge Prize, and all shortlisted writers will be published in an anthology.


SUBMISSION PERIOD: 1st September – 31st October 2017
WORD LENGTH: 1,500 – 3,000 (including title)
ENTRY FEE: £8 (Via PayPal only)
PRIZES: £1000 (1st) £300 (2nd) £200 (3rd) & Local Cambridge Prize with Spilling the Ink.
PUBLICATION: Anthology publication for the winners and shortlisted writers.

The longlist will be announced in early January.


Friday, 1 September 2017

The Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition 2017

Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition 2017

The short story competition was first held in 2008 and the challenge remains the same: writers are requested to write a piece, in any genre, in no more than 1000 words. The winner of the competition will receive £1000 and will be commissioned to write four further stories for InterAct Stroke Support over the course of one year. This year the competition will be judged by esteemed novelist Margaret Drabble who will present the award at the winner’s ceremony in 2018, date to be confirmed.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 22nd December 2017.

Stories of any genre can be submitted online or by post and the submission fee is £15.00 per story.

How to Enter:

Enter your story via email and make payment via BACS transfer.

Email address:

Email story entries will receive a reply including InterAct's bank details and a unique payment reference number once the story has been submitted. The reference number must then be included with the £15.00 per story BACS transfer payment. Alternatively you can pay by posting a cheque made out to 'InterAct Stroke Support', quoting your unique reference on the reverse of the cheque. If the payment is not received by fourteen days after the story has been submitted the entry will be disqualified.

The filename of email entries must be the title of the story and it must be either a .doc .docx or .pdf file. The entrants name and contact details must not appear anywhere on the manuscript of the submitted story.

We would appreciate it if, when submitting your story via email, you can tell us how you heard about the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition.

Postal entries must be typed, single-sided, with pages numbered and unstapled, with payment by cheque made out to 'InterAct Stroke Support'. Stapled entries will not be accepted. Please include a covering letter detailing the entrant’s name, contact details, how you heard about the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition and the word count of the story. The entrants name and contact details must not appear anywhere on the manuscript of the submitted story. Send postal entries to:

Short Story Competition
InterAct Stroke Support
Victoria Charity Centre
11 Belgrave Road

Please enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked 'ACKNOWLEDGEMENT' if you require acknowledgement of receipt of your postal entry.

Terms and conditions of entry:

1. The length of each story must not exceed 1000 words.
2. Entrants can write in any genre.
3. Entrants can submit multiple stories.
4. Stories must be suitable to be read in the sensitive environment of a hospital setting.
5. The winner of the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition will receive £1,000 and will be commissioned to write four further short stories for InterAct Stroke Support over the course of one year.
6. The closing date for all entries is 5pm, Friday 22nd December 2017.
7. A £15.00 entry fee is applicable to each story entered. Payment can be made either by BACS transfer (details sent once the story has been submitted) with email entries or by cheques made out to ‘InterAct Stroke Support’ with postal entries.
8. The competition is open to anyone, including non-UK applicants, over 16 years.
9. Stories must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any website or public online forum or broadcast.
10. While the copyright of any story submitted to the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition will remain with the author, stories are submitted with the understanding that InterAct has the right to copy, distribute and publish the story to support the charity’s work.

Disclaimer: Due to the expected volume of entries, the charity is unable to offer individual feedback to entrants. The decision of the judges is final.

The Family Narrative Project - Writing Contest

The Family Narrative Project Writing Contest

The Family Narrative Project invites entries to our 2017 essay contest on the theme of family. At FNP, we know that family means many things to many different people. Feel free to define family broadly. We also know that family relationships can be complicated and wonderful and frustrating and supportive and destructive and confusing and breathtakingly loving. We know, in other words, that they have the power both to harm and to heal. We are open to essays that reflect the full range of family life.

Deadline: October 31, 2017 (11:59 p.m.)

Word limit: 1000 words

Entry fee: $10/entry

Prize: $500 for winner plus an interview with the author that will be featured on our website.

Winner will be announced on our website on January 4, 2018.

Enter Here.


Open for entry today

Awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000–5,000 words) in English. Regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000. Translated entries are also eligible, as are stories written in the original Bengali, Kiswahili, Malay, Mandarin, Portuguese, Samoan and Tamil.

The competition is free to enter.

Full entry and eligibility rules are available to download in Word format or PDF.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize

Benjamin Franklin is one of history’s great figures. While he made lasting contributions in many fields, his first passion was writing. He believed in the power of the written word as the bedrock of a democratic society, to inform, and stimulate debate.

Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The competition is exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500. Winning entries will be posted here and also published online by media partner, The Telegraph.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize is endowed by Benjamin Franklin House Chairman John Studzinski, a leading executive and philanthropist.

Literary Prize Judges

*Marcia Balisciano, Director of Benjamin Franklin House
*Lord Guy Black, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group
*David Hawkins, Committee Chair of Benjamin Franklin House
*Rory Sutherland, Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House
*Andrea Wulf, author of 'The Founding Gardeners' 2011.

2017 Literary Prize

The 2017 Franklin quote is :

‘If you would not be forgotten, As soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.’ Poor Richard, 1738


*Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK
*Entrants must provide their name, email, postal address, telephone number, age and place of study (if applicable; if they are not currently in education, they should provide a biographical note explaining their current activities)
*Entrants may submit only one entry; fiction or non-fiction accepted
*Entries of 1000-1500 words must be sent by 31 October 2017 to

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire are proud to announce the first annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction.

Dinesh Allirajah (1967-2014) once said of himself (referencing a Sonny Criss sleeve note): ‘I am a jazz writer, which is a full-time creative job’. Dinesh had many other occupations, too – lecturing in creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Central Lancashire and Edge Hill, running workshops and literacy classes in community centres, schools and prisons, acting as Chair of the National Black Arts Alliance and the National Association for Literature Development, as well as being a long-term director of Comma Press. He was also a DJ, playwright, radio presenter, cricket enthusiast and blogger. Dinesh regularly performed to audiences across the UK, as well as in France, Poland, Germany, Bangladesh and Nigeria. His short stories were featured in numerous anthologies and magazines, and first collected in A Manner of Speaking (Spike Books, 2004). Scent is the first comprehensive collection of his work, published by Comma Press following his sudden passing in December 2014.

Dinesh was a Founding Board Member of Comma (2007-2012), and a Director of Comma Press since it became a National Portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council in 2012. He also lectured in Creative Writing at UCLan for 8 years and was much-loved by everyone he worked with. Amongst these many other things, first and foremost, he was a writer, and he loved to write short fiction, which he posted regularly on his blog (Real Time Short Stories). His sudden passing in 2014 was a shock to all who knew him, and now Comma in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, have set up this prize, in his name, as part of a lasting legacy of his love of writing short fiction.

The theme for this inaugural year will be ‘Café Stories’, in honour of Dinesh’s Café Shorts series which he posted on his blog. He believed cafes to be “fertile ground for the short story.” In his own words, he said “The reason a café setting works is because we understand what goes on there, without the gauze of a local or historical context.” We would like to see how writers handle this narrative space, and how the writer projects his or her fiction onto it, and so we ask that all submissions are written with this theme in mind.

The prize is open to anyone 18 years or over who is a resident of the UK, and the story you submit must not have been published anywhere else, online or in print. It is free to submit your entry, but only one per writer please. All entries will be made anonymous upon receipt. Entries will be made anonymous upon receipt and will remain so until after the shortlist has been decided.

Entries open 10th May 2017 and close 31st October 2017. All entries must include a cover letter which states the author’s name, address, email, contact number, and story title. Any entries sent without this information will not be considered.

You must submit your story both electronically and in hard copy form. Please send your story entry and cover letter electronically to in the form of a Word Doc, then send a hard copy of your story to Becky Harrison, Comma Press, Studio 510a, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA.

The shortlist will be chosen with the help of UCLan creative writing students, who will then handover the shortlist to our panel of judges, which includes Dr. Naomi Kruger (Lecturer in Creative Writing at UCLan), Claire Dean (author of multiple short stories for Comma, debut collection published by Papaveria in 2017) and Inua Ellams (poet, performer, playwright, graphic artist and designer).

The winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an ebook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online. The prizegiving ceremony will take place on May 8th 2018, Dinesh’s birthday, at UCLan.

Full terms and conditions:

1. The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2017 is organised by the University of Central Lancashire ("UCLan") and Comma Press.

2. The Competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is not excluded by these Rules. There is no upper age limit for entry.

3. Members of University of Central Lancashire staff (who may also be students) and their spouses are excluded from being eligible to enter.

4. The deadline for electronic entries is 5pm (UK time) on Tuesday 31st October 2017. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered. Paper copies can arrive after this deadline, but must correspond to a digital submission received before the deadline.

5. Entrants must submit a short story of between 2,000 and 6,000 words in length. Titles, blank lines and page numbers are not included in the word count.

6. Entrants may submit one story each.

7. All work submitted for consideration must be on subject with the theme of café stories, and must be the entrant's own original writing.

8. The story entered should not have appeared in print, online or have been broadcast prior to or be published after entry. Work which has been published on public websites, blogs or social media sites can be submitted, but must be taken down before the date of entry and must not be uploaded again until the writer has been notified whether they have been successful in making the shortlist. Shortlisted writers are asked not to publish their story anywhere as it will be included in the shortlist eBook. Work found to be published in print or to have been broadcast or to have appeared on a website outside of these terms will be disqualified.

9. All work must be submitted both electronically by email (to, and hard copy in the post (to Becky Harrison, Comma Press, Studio 510a, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA), both including a cover letter which states the author’s name, address, email, contact number and story title. Without a cover letter with both the electronic and hard copy entry the story will not be eligible. Preferably entries should be typed or word-processed, clearly legible and written in English. Entrants should not include illustrations or artwork. Beyond these stipulations, presentation (e.g. font and spacing) is at the entrant’s discretion.

10. Translations into English of work written in other languages can be accepted, provided that the source text is the entrant's own original work and has not been published (in line with the above); translations into English of work published (in line with the above) elsewhere in other languages will not be accepted.

11. All entries will be assigned an ID number and made anonymous upon receipt. The readers will not be privy to the entrants’ names while deciding on the long list and the panel of judges will not be privy to entrants' names during the reading and judging process of the shortlist. Names will be reattributed to entries only after the short list and winner has been decided.

12. If shortlisted, writers should please do their best to attend the special event at UCLan on May 8th 2018 where the winner and highly commended entries will be announced and the eBook launched. The winner will be notified in advance of the ceremony to ensure they are in attendance for the announcement.

13. Postal and electronic entries will only be valid if accompanied by a cover letter containing all the necessary information (see 9).

14. Entries submitted for consideration may be withdrawn from the Competition by entrants by notification in writing (by post or email) to be received by Comma Press.

15. Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted; stories cannot be amended, corrected or substituted. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.

16. Entries will not be returned under any circumstances.

17. Comma Press and UCLan reserve the right to disqualify any entry if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these Rules, or made a false declaration on the entry form.

18. Neither Comma Press nor UCLan will accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the Competition.

19. Comma Press and UCLan will act in accordance with current UK data protection legislation in relation to your personal data.

20. The Competition and Rules will be governed by English Law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

21. Comma Press and UCLan reserve the right to amend these Rules where it is deemed necessary to do so or where circumstances are beyond their control. Any changes to the Rules will be posted on the competition webpage on

22. Submission of an entry will be deemed to imply unqualified acceptance of the Competition's Rules. In the event of any dispute regarding these Rules or any other matter relating to the Competition, the decision of Comma Press and UCLan shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Escape The Slushpile

Novel Fair 2018

What is the Novel Fair?

Described by The Irish Times as a 'Dragon's Den for writers', the Novel Fair is an Irish Writers Centre initiative which aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.

Over the past few years a range of publishers and agents have attended the Fair including Penguin Random House Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, Curtis Brown, New Island Books, O’Brien Press/Brandon, Lilliput Press, Tramp Press, The Book Bureau, John Murray, Tinder Press, Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Lisa Richards Agency, Feldstein Agency and Author Rights Agency as well as New York based agent Regal Hoffmann & Associates.

There have been a number of success stories since the Novel Fair has been established, such as:
Janet E. Cameron’s novel Cinnamon Toast (Hachette)
Niamh Boyce’s novel The Herbalist (Penguin Ireland) which was longlisted for IMPAC 2015
Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran (Liberties Press)
Here In No Place by Alan Timmons' (New Island)
The Reluctant Cannibal by Ian Flitcroft (Legend Press)
Daniel Seery’s novel A Model Partner (Liberties Press)
Susan Lanigan’s White Feathers (Brandon Press)
Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (Liberties Press)
Andrea Carter's novel Death at Whitewater Church (Constable & Robinson)
Swimming on Dry Land by Helen Blackhurst (Seren)

Take a look at our video of Novel Fair 2015 to get a flavour for just how exciting this event can be!

How can I enter Novel Fair 2018?

Novel Fair 2018 was launched on Thursday 13 April 2017 at the Irish Writers Centre.

For more insights into this year's Fair, see our Twitter, or search #NovelFair2018. Or why not hear from a two-time Novel Fair winner about travelling all the way from Canada to participate? Mairéad Rooney gave us some inside tips in a recent blog.

Application Process

The submission period is Thursday 13 April - Friday 20 October 2017.
Entry fee for applications is €50 for non-members and €40 for IWC members and is non-refundable.
There is no limitation on style, genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before i.e. has not previously published a novel with an ISBN.
Applicants are required to send a synopsis of a max. of 300 words and up to five chapters of their novel, which should be 10,000 words (+/- 10%).
Please send two copies of the manuscript and three copies of the synopsis. One copy of the synopsis should be attached to the application form which can be downloaded from our site, the other two should be attached to the copies of your manuscript.
All submissions should be posted or hand delivered to: Novel Fair Competition, Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland.
Entries must be accompanied by an application form.
There is a limit of one entry per applicant.
Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world, however, in order to be eligible, applicants must be available to attend the whole day of the Fair in February 2018.

Before entering the competition, please ensure that you have downloaded and correctly filled in the Novel Fair Application Form. You can download the Novel Fair Application Form here.

Before entering the competition, please ensure that you have read the Novel Fair Terms and Conditions very carefully as the Fair is open to previously unpublished aspiring novelists only. You can download the Terms and Conditions here.

Spoken Word 2017 ​ Call for Submissions ​ €500 Cash Prize

 Do you have a passion for writing and performing? Whether you are a seasoned performer or a spoken word novice, the Westport Arts Festival and Irish literary magazine Cold Coffee Stand invite you to submit a video of your strongest work to their inaugural Spoken Word 2017.

Submissions should run no more than 10 minutes of performance time per piece. Performers can submit up to three entries. The Cold Coffee selection panel will consider the spoken word in any genre, provided it is the work of a single performer and does not exceed the time limit. The first entry will cost €10, for two entries the cost is €15 and €20 for three.

Closing date for submissions is Sunday September 10th. A shortlist of five finalists will be announced on Thursday 14th September. The finalists must be available to perform their submitted work in Westport on Friday September 29 at the inaugural Cold Coffee Stand Spoken Work Slam at the Gallery Wine Bar at 8pm

Use the form below to upload your details. Submit the links to your video submission and pay your entry fee. Links should be to your own website or to a publicly accessible format on a video hosting site such as Vimeo or Youtube. Please note Entries will only be accepted using the form below.

The best received performance on the night awarded a €500 cash prize.

All submissions, whether or not they make the shortlist, will be published on the Cold Coffee Stand website -Click on their icon to see what's in the mix!

Competition Rules

Entries must be the entrant’s own work.

Performances should last for no more than 10 minutes

You may enter up to three performance links provided entries are accompanied by the appropriate fees

The Cold Coffee Stand panel of adjudicators will not enter into any correspondence concerning the shortlist

More Info here

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Honouring the achievements of the founding father of the historical novel, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world. With a total value of over £30,000, it is unique for rewarding writing of exceptional quality which is set in the past.

Sponsored by Sir Walter Scott’s distant kinsmen the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the Prize celebrates quality, and innovation of writing in the English language, and is open to books published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth. Reflecting the subtitle ‘Sixty Years Since’ of Scott’s most famous work Waverley, the majority of the storyline must have taken place at least 60 years ago.

The Prize was founded in 2010, and is awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June every year. The winner receives £25,000 and shortlisted authors each receive £1000.

The 2017 winner has been announced! For more information and a video of the ceremony, see our News page

More about the Walter Scott Prize »
The Young Walter Scott Prize

The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only creative writing prize dedicated to historical fiction. It seeks to connect young people to their world by asking them to investigate their history, their environment and the stories of people. It is named for Sir Walter Scott, who as a young man discovered his inspiration among the hills, people and stories of the Scottish Borders. Alongside the writing prize runs a series of creative writing workshops in inspirational historical venues across the UK, the Imagining History programme.

Stories can be inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person, and can be set at any time in history – as long as it is a period before its author was born, in a world recognisably different from the present. Stories should be between 800 and 2000 words long.

2017 YWSP is open for entries – you can find out how to enter here, and find out more about the Imagining History workshop programme here.

Our two 2016 YWSP winners, Alice Sargent and Demelza Mason,were presented with their prizes at the Borders Book Festival over the weekend of June 17th. Find out all about their trip here.


THE CALEDONIA NOVEL AWARD Welcome to the Caledonia Novel Award, an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and sel...