Tuesday, 23 May 2017



A.M. Heath and Lizza Aiken, Joan’s daughter, are launching a competition to find a standout new voice in middle grade children’s fiction.

Joan Aiken was the prizewinning writer of over a hundred books for young readers and adults and is recognized as one of the classic authors of the twentieth century. Her best-known series was ‘The Wolves Chronicles’, of which the first book The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was awarded the Lewis Carroll prize. On its publication TIME magazine called it: ‘One genuine small masterpiece.’  Both that and Black Hearts in Battersea have been made into films. Joan’s books are internationally acclaimed and she received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction in the UK for The Whispering Mountain. Joan Aiken was decorated with an MBE for her services to children’s books.
Joan Aiken took her craft very seriously – this may be why her books have become classics. She wrote:
“Really good writing for children should come out with the force of Niagara… children’s books need to have everything that is in adult writing but squeezed into smaller compass. Furthermore, as children read their books over and over, a book needs to have something new to offer each time. Richness of language, symbolism, or character may be appreciated for the first time at later readings, while the excitement of the story will only disguise failings at the first.”
The Prize will be judged by Julia Churchill, children’s book agent at A.M. Heath, and Lizza Aiken, daughter of Joan Aiken and curator of her Estate.
Julia Churchill writes: If I think of my childhood reading, it’s the classic 8+ novels that filled so much of my imaginative landscape. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Charlotte’s Web, The Borrowers, Goodnight Mr Tom, The Witches.
We are looking for a standout junior novel. It could be contemporary or magical, it could have the makings of a series, or be one crystalline stand-alone. We know we’re setting the bar high. We hope to find a book that will be in print in fifty years, as Joan achieved with the Wolves series – and many other books.
Lizza Aiken writes: Joan Aiken, if asked to come up with a winning formula for a children’s book, would say it must have three important elements: movement – a really taut narrative to pull the reader away from other distractions, mystery – to increase a sense of wonder, and a marvellous ending that surprises and also satisfies. An example she gave of superb storytelling was Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, where the character of the enigmatic villain – the cat Simpkin – lifts the story from being a simple tale into a dynamic small masterpiece.
The winner will receive £1,000 and a full set of ‘The Wolves Chronicles’.
All shortlisted writers will have the chance to meet with Julia Churchill to discuss their work.
Submission guidelines:
The Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize is open to un-agented children’s book writers resident in the UK or Ireland.
To get a good sense of the voice, concept and where the character is headed, we’d like to see the first 10,000 words PLUS a short description of the book (a few lines) AND a one page outline that shows the spine of the story. Please send this as a Word doc attachment to futureclassics@amheath.com
Entrants will receive an acknowledgement of receipt, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Submissions open on May 8th 2017 and will close on July 31st.
A shortlist of five will be announced on August 28th, and the winner will be announced on September 14th 2017.
A.M. Heath is running the prize in order to support new writing talent, and to find a debut star. We will offer representation if we find an author, or authors, whose writing we love.
Do follow @juliachurchill and @lizzaaiken on twitter for updates. And if you have any questions about submitting, or the prize generally, please send them to futureclassics@amheath.com

Monday, 22 May 2017


Would you like feedback on your novel? Or expert advice on pitching your story to agents?

Agent Ella Kahn of DKW Literary Agency is offering free half-hour feedback sessions by application to at least six London based* aspiring fiction writers who can identify with one of the following criteria:
Currently receive benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Bereavement Support
Have experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. have not been able to study/train to your full potential due to low income, ill health, being a carer etc
Are or have been a carer
Have experienced homelessness
Are a single parent
Have a disability
Are from a black or ethnic minority background

Ella is particularly interested in upmarket contemporary and historical fiction for adults or young adults but is happy to give feedback on anything.

What do we need from you?
A sample of your writing, ideally up to 2000 words from the beginning of your book
A synopsis of the book (no more than 2 sides of A4)
A covering letter that includes:
A) how you meet the criteria for this opportunity
B) what stage you are at with your book i.e.: just started, nearly finished, completed
C) a summary of your writing endeavours to date (e.g. Have you attended Spread the Word courses? Have you mainly been writing on your own at home?)
D) a one/two paragraph blurb pitching what your book is about
E) your London address

NB Your cover letter should emulate to some degree the kind of cover letter you’d usually send to an agent so Ella can give you feedback on how you’re pitching your book.

If you are selected for this opportunity, Spread the Word may ask for proof of how you meet the criteria.

Please apply for this opportunity on Submittable: spreadtheword.submittable.com/submit/85208/fiction-feedback-sessions-with-literary-agent-ella-kahn

The closing date for applications is 9am, Monday 5 June 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by 30 June 2107.

*not sure if your address counts as London? Check here: https://www.doogal.co.uk/london_postcodes.php


Summer 2017 – Open for Entries

Prize fund: £1,750 (approx. $2,220 / €2,050)
Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third
Entry Fee: £7 / $9 / €9
Judge: Vanessa Gebbie

Entries close: May 31, 2017
Judging: June, 2017
Long-list announced: July 1, 2017
Winner published: September 30, 2017

After the long-list has been announced, we’ll publish one story each day culminating in the publication of the winning stories at the end of September.

Sunday, 21 May 2017



We are an online quarterly publication. Please read the site before submitting and do not ask for hard copies of "the magazine"- shows us you've not read the submissions page. Regrettably we cannot pay for new writing. There are many excellent writing magazines who have the funding to pay, at the minute we are not one of them and asking for payment when we contact you to ask if we may use the work you sent us, again, shows you don't read The Irish Literary Review, or the submission page before you clicked send.

Poems should not exceed 40 lines. You may send up to five poems in any one submission. Flash fiction should be under 500 words. Please send no more than one piece of flash fiction at a time. Fiction should be no shorter than 1500 words and no longer than 3000 words. Please send no more than one story at a time.

You may submit in more than one genre at the same time. All submissions must be previously unpublished. We will not accept changes to a submission if we have accepted it in the format you originally sent it, so please make sure what you have submitted is what you would want to be published.

While we accept simultaneous submissions we ask that you let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Unfortunately we cannot pay for publication. If your work is accepted, we accept it as you sent it. Please do not go in to a back and forth with us sending new versions. Please do not send us your work before it is ready.

We are working as fast and as thoroughly as we can to provide a quality publication, publishing new and established writers from around the world. We are only able to respond to those whose work we intend to include. If you have not heard from us 90 days after the submission window closes, you can assume we will not be including your work. Do feel free to submit new material in the next round.

Please include a short cover note in your submission email outlining your publication history and writing experience. Write this short biography in the third person as you see the biographies on the website. If you have not heard from us 2 months after the submission window has closed, please consider your submission unsuccessful.

Please send all work in one single .doc attachment only. Do not copy and paste work in to the body of your email. Address all submissions to editor@irishliteraryreview.com

We look forward to reading your work.

“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.” Dylan Thomas

Friday, 19 May 2017

Red Dragonfly New Playwriting Competition

New Playwriting Competition | Red Dragonfly Productions

After a successful launch in February 2017, Red Dragonfly Productions in association with Grist to the Mill are running Taking Flight Festival 2018 and are looking for new and emerging writers from British East Asian, South Asian and South East Asian communities who are interested in contributing and sharing their contemporary and traditional stories.

Successful applicants will be invited to a free workshop and from that three applicants will be selected to have their plays produced and performed in their festival in July 2018.

There will be a £1000 fee paid to each writer whose play is performed at the festival. Red Dragonfly and in-house dramaturge, Ross Ericson, will support you throughout your script development.
Applicants must be over eighteen and UK based
Submit pitch/idea/story to submissions@gristtheatre.co.uk
Deadline for submission is 1st October 2017
There is no entry fee
Previous applicants are welcome to submit again
Visit www.reddragonflyproductions.co.uk for criteria and more information

Taking Flight New Writing Festival 2018 is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Please note that these schemes are listed here for your convenience. However, they are run by external organisations and unless otherwise noted the BBC has no involvement with them. Therefore the BBC cannot respond to any queries in connection to those and accepts no liability for the accuracy of third party websites and the information contained on them.

B.B.C. Shorts Wanted For I - Player

Fright Shorts | BBC Writersroom, BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC iPlayer | Opening: End May 2017, Deadline: TBC


BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen plan to commission funny, shareable, comedy shorts for BBC iPlayer, and are looking for Northern Ireland talent to write them.

FRIGHT SHORTS follows on from TIGHT SHORTS - the BBCNI comedy strand which started last year during Euro 2016. This time BBCNI, Northern Ireland Screen and BBC Writersroom are looking for 5-minute comedy scripts with a Halloween theme.

A fast-paced, original funny story, told in a hilarious way with brilliant characters is what we’re after - but it must be 5 minutes long and related to Halloween. Scare the life out of us, share a funny tale about a failed fancy dress outfit or something grim that happened at a party. Whatever you like but the main thing is to make us laugh.

The window for submissions from anyone in, or from Northern Ireland will open at the end of May, so get thinking and watch this space.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition 2018

1st Prize: €1,000; 2nd Prize :€500

+chapbook publication with 50 free copies

Winning poets offered a reading and three nights' accommodation
at Cork 2018 International Poetry Festival (www.corkpoetryfest.net)

The competition is open to new, emerging and established poets from any country BUT at least one of the winners will be a debutante (with no chapbook or book published previously). Up to 25 other entrants will be publicly listed as "highly commended".

Manuscripts must be 16 to 23 pages in length, in the English language and the sole work of the entrant with no pastiches, translations or 'versions'. The poems can be in verse or prose. Each chapbook is guaranteed a review in Southword Journal.

The winning chapbooks will be published in February 2018 with ISBNs, barcodes and will be offered for sale internationally through our own website, Amazon, and selected independent book sellers. The winning poets will be offered a reading and given three nights' accommodation at the 2018 Cork Spring Poetry Festival. An entrance fee of €25 will be charged for each manuscript. Entrants may enter more than one manuscript. The winners will be selected by a panel chosen by the management board of Southword Editions.

Closing date for entries is June 30, 2017.

Submission Guidelines & Rules

Chapbook competition rules
Please read the rules carefully before entering the competition.

Your Manuscript

Poems should be in English

Submitted collections may contain poems of any length or style, providing all poems are original work, each page contains no more than 32 lines of poetry and there are no more than 23 pages of poetry in total.

Poems must be typed, single-spaced, on A4 pages.

Entries are judged anonymously, so please do not put your name anywhere on your poems. Send TWO cover sheets: one with your name, contact details, title and contents of your collection (for administrative use); and one with the title of your collection and a list of contents but no name or contact details, if you are a debutant, place the word ‘debutant’ under the title.

Poems submitted may not have been published previously as part of a chapbook/pamphlet or full collection, but poems that have been published in magazines, anthologies, blogs and other media are eligible. Please do not include any information about where any individual poems have been previously published.
Simultaneous submissions of a collection are allowed, provided the winning poet withdraws their work from consideration in other competitions immediately upon notification of success in our competition.

We accept poems from poets of any nationality, from any country. There is no lower age limit but we would point out that very young poets are likely to stand little chance of winning.

No alterations may be made to a collection once it has been submitted.

You may enter any number of collections, each with the requisite entry fee.

Your work will not be returned, so don’t forget to keep a copy. If you want confirmation that we have received your postal entry, please enclose an SAE labelled ‘Acknowledgement’. If you want to be informed of results please sign up for our newsletter here:
Sign up for our Email Newsletter

The winner will be contacted by September 2017. The winning pamphlet will be published by Southword Editions in February 2018 and launched at the Cork International Poetry Festival.

The winning authors will each receive 50 complimentary copies. The first prize winner will receive €1000. The second prize winner will receive €500. One of these winners will be the highest scoring manuscript entered by a debutant poet with no solo collection (full-length or chapbook) previously published. If the winners make their own way to the festival, the Munster Literature Centre will cover the costs of two nights’ hotel accommodation.

How to enter

Send your manuscript by post or enter online.

If entering by post, mark your envelope ‘Fool For Poetry Competition’ and send it postmarked no later than 20 June 2017 to The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House 84, Douglas Street, Cork City, Ireland. You can pay by Irish cheque or postal order or by British cheque (payable to The Munster Literature Centre). If you cannot pay by Irish or British cheque you will need to enter online. The online closing date is ten days later than the postal deadline.

If entering online, please pay the entry fee in euros at the PayPal button below. Then email your manuscript as an attachment as a word document, text file or PDF to foolforpoetrycomp@munsterlit.ie

In the body of the email please copy all of the contact information from the manuscript title page and also copy and paste your PayPal receipt number. Also indicate here also where you are a debutant or not.

The €25/£25 entry fee allows you to enter one pamphlet of 18-23 pages of poems. You may enter as many times as you like, provided each collection is accompanied by the entry fee.

Closing date for online entries: 30 June 2017


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The 2017 Rattle Poetry Prize

The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 Readers’ Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.

Additional poems from the entries are frequently offered publication as well. In 2016 we published 21 poems that had been submitted to the contest from just over 4,000 entries.

With the winners judged in a anonymous review by the editors to ensure a fair and consistent selection, an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a large Readers’ Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—we’ve designed the Rattle Poetry Prize to be one of the most inspiring contests around.

Past winners have included a retired teacher, a lawyer, and several students. It’s fair, it’s friendly, and you win a print subscription to Rattle even if you don’t win.

Rattle Poetry Prize Guidelines

1) The entry fee is a one-year subscription to Rattle (or a one-year extension for subscribers) at our regular $20 rate. Prior to May 1st, new subscriptions will start with the Summer 2017 issue, arriving in June. After May 1st, new subscriptions will start with the Fall 2017 issue, arriving September. Current subscribers will receive a one-year extension.

2) One $10,000 Winner and ten $200 Finalists will be selected in a anonymous review by the editors of Rattle and printed in the Winter 2017 issue; one $2,000 Readers’ Choice Award will then be chosen from among the Finalists by subscriber and entrant vote.

3) Open to writers, worldwide; poems must be written in English (no translations). Rattle’s winter issue must be a potential first publication for all works submitted. No previously published works, or works accepted for publication elsewhere. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but we must be notified immediately if any poems are accepted elsewhere. If you submitted by mail, just call or email to let us know. On Submittable, log in and add a note to your submission (under the “Activity” tab).

4) No identifying personal or contact information should appear on any pages with poems. We can’t know who you are while reading.

5) Entry fees are non-refundable. Send up to four poems per entry. There is no line-limit. Poems may be any length, any style, or any subject. Multiple entries by a single poet are accepted, however each group of four poems must be treated as a separate entry, each with its own cover sheet and an additional $20 fee. Each additional entry will add an extra year to your subscription.

6) Manuscripts will not be returned; include a SASE or email address if you’d like to be notified of the results. Winners will be announced September 15, 2017, and the Readers’ Choice Award Winner will be announced February 15, 2018. Additional entries may also be offered standard publication.

7) Entries may be submitted by Submittable, or in hardcopy within the United States. International entries must be submitted by Submittable. Please note that we’re no longer accepting email entries—all electronic entries must come through Submittable.
Two Options:


Monday, 1 May 2017

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for a first unpublished collection of poems in English is open to poets, born in the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or long term resident in Ireland.

The award is now in its 46th year. Previous winners include Eileán Ni Chuilleanáin, Paul Durcan, Thomas McCarthy, Peter Sirr, Sinead Morrissey, Conor O’Callaghan, Celia de Freine and Joseph Woods.

This year we are delighted to have The Institute of Education as our sponsor. The Institute of Education has been one of Irelands leading school for nearly 50 Years and is honoured to be associated with this wonderful award that recognises great new poetry. The winner of this year’s award will receive €1,000. Closing date for entries is Friday 28th July 2017.

The Award will be presented on the evening of the Friday 29th September 2017 at the opening of the Annual Patrick Kavanagh Weekend in Inniskeen.


Rules and entry form are available here:

Rules Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2017
(Word Document Format)

Rules Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2017(PDF Document Format)

or from the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan.

Tel: 00353(0)429378560,
Fax: 00353(0)429378855
E-mail: infoatpkc@eircom.net

Thanks to our Sponsor
The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is sponsored by The Institute of Education, Ireland’s leading school for exam focused tuition.


£1000 UP FOR GRABS A.M. Heath and Lizza Aiken, Joan’s daughter, are launching a competition to find a standout new voice in middle gr...