Merry Christmas Eve everyone! My gift to you all this year is a new post all about the digital impact of writing competitions and how they could help you get your work out there.

Authors can become recognised due to the digital impact that writing competitions online has had. They have the potential to jump-start anyone’s writing career.

There are many different types of competitions. Poetry writing, short stories and writing challenges (ex. the 100 word story) are among them. The prizes for winning vary but include money, exposure and even a publishing deal. Any type of author can enter a competition due to the variety out here. This gives them (or you) a chance to practice writing for others, get work seen or even published

I have selected my top 5 writing competitions (in no particular order) that I think will be the most beneficial to novice writers who want to practice writing for others and, in turn, gain more experience into the world of writing literature.

1) Costa Short Story Award

This award launched in 2012 to give authors a chance to have their work read by others. Entries are narrowed down to 3 then it’s up to the public to vote for the winner. They can read or listen to the entries and even download them. This is a positive digital impact on writing competitions as it allows the reader to be involved in a process that, in other competitions, they have no control over.

The winner of this award receives £3,500, second place earns £1,000 and third £500.

The winners of this award have previously been successful. For example the 2017 winner, Luan Goldie is now signed to literary agent Eve White. Goldie now has a 2 book publishing deal with Harper Collins and her debut novel ‘Nightingale Point’ is scheduled for release next year (2019).

Please note that this competition is open to UK residents over the age of 18. For more information please go here.


2) 1000 Word Challenge

The 1000 word challenge is a quarterly writing competition which challenges writers to create a very short story based on a theme. The prizes are a sum of money (1st = £150, 2nd = £75 and 3rd = £50) but the winning story is also edited and posted on their website. As this competition is solely online, it shows that technology can have a positive impact on the creativity of writers who wish to do something different.

The appeal of this is to be creative and push yourself to write something you’ve never written before. You can also pay £15 to receive feedback on your story. This is beneficial as many people enter writing competitions for practice and to receive feedback from others regarding their work.

The current theme for the competition is ‘crime’ and it closes on the 28th February 2019. Click here to enter.


3) The National Poetry Competition

The Poetry Society has opened up this competition up every year since 1978. The poems anonymously judged and the winner receives £5000. This is a prestigious competition that is well-known in the poetry world. It has been running for a long time and has given many poets the opportunity they needed to get their work heard.

If you are interested, there are a set of rules for this competition that you can find here.


4) The Bristol Short Story Prize

This international writing competition aims to discover talent that has yet to be found by others. They do this by making the competition as accessible as they can. The international aspect of this competition means it takes place online. This shows a positive digital impact as it gives people all over the world a chance to enter. You may be thinking that this means a lot of applicants but there are no rules as to how many stories you can enter (the fee is £9 per entry, however). By submitting more than one story, chances of winning are increased.

As the top 20 stories are published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, there is a larger chance of being recognised compared to other competitions which is what makes this competition unique.

There are many success stories on the competition’s website if you want to have a look and from there you can access more information about this wonderful competition.


5) The Bare Fiction Prize

The Bare Fiction Prize is hosted by the magazine of the same title and consists of three categories. Flash fiction (a 500 word story), short story (3,000 words) and poetry (40 lines). This allows different types of author to enter as whether you specialise in poetry or fiction, you can enter. Entries of each category have a chance of winning cash prizes and publication in the magazine and on their website.

What is special about this prize is that they usually offer an allocated 50 free entries for authors and writers on low income, therefore more people have the chance to get involved. Thanks to donor support, this year they were able to increase the number from 50 to 196 which could give someone on a low income their big break.

If you want to look more in to the kind of writing they publish, check out the website and read some examples in both poetry and fiction.


I hope you found this list helpful and that you consider entering at least one of these competitions. They can offer you the chance of a lifetime to get work seen and maybe even published.

Why not check out my last blog post? It’s all about self-publishing.

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