Memoirs, Ink. Memoirs Contest

Memoirs, Ink. is a US organisation dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the genre of memoir, to preserving and publishing stories of the past, so those precious human memories are not lost to us all.

They are inviting stories, essays and memoirs based on personal experience written in the first-person (it's all about I, me, my!), but the type, genre and style is up to you.

Entry fee: USD$15 

Prize:  First prize USD$1000, 2nd = USD$500, 3rd = USD$250

Word limit: February deadline up to 1500 words; August deadline up to 3000 words.

Open to: Anyone, anywhere, writing in English
Deadline:  Half-yearly contest: 15th February 2012.  Annual contest: 15 August 2012


Creative Nonfiction 'Australia' Call

US-based Creative Nonfiction, in cahoots with Tashmadada have issued a call out for a special 'Australia' issue of their regular journal.  The brief is fairly wide open, as long as the story is true, and focuses on Australian's landscape, people and culture. Submissions must be previously unpublished. 

They are looking for writing which is 'vivid and dramatic; with a strong and compelling narrative' and with a substantive element of research or information.  If you can also lead the reader to an understanding of a deeper or universal meaning, then you have a better chance of catching their eye and garnering the generous cash prizes. Even if you don't take out the top prize, all submissions will be considered for inclusion in Creative Nonfiction Special Issue #47 on Australia, which will be launched at the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival.

Entry fee: USD$20 reading fee 

Prize:  Best Essay AUD$6,500. Best Essay by an Emerging Australian Writer AUD$2,500

Word limit: 4000 words max

Open to: All writers worldwide - Aussies, expats, tourists, non-residents... anyone!

Deadline:  29th February 2012 


The Next Big Author is a joint initiative by a group of big-name publishers, UK Art Council-funded, and writers themselves.  You submit the opening chapters of your book (completed draft or work-in-progress).   You retain the copyright of your work at all times.  You then review and rate fellow entrants' chapters, and have your own reviewed/rated in turn.  The more reviews you do, the more your own work will be reviewed.  Great practise in giving and receive critiques!

The 10 highest rating entries will then be reviewed by the major publishers, or leading UK literary agents, and feedback provided. Some past winners of this competition, which has a number of entry deadlines throughout the year, are now best selling published authors. It could be YOU!

Entry fee: Free 

Prize:  Top 10 rated chapter entries will be read and feedback provided by some of the world's most well known and high profile publishing groups.

Word limit: Opening chapters of between 5000-7000 words

Open to: Everyone, everywhere!

Deadline:  31st December 2011 (12 noon Greenwich Mean Time!)


The New Writer Prose & Poetry Prize - Closed for this year

The UK based New Writer's Magazine invites writers worldwide to submit 'Fact, Fiction and Poetry' in a range of categories to their 12th annual Prose & Poetry Prize. While themes are wide open, they are particularly keen to receive 'bold and incisive' entries which reflect writing today. Time to exercise your mind and your imagination! 

There will be up to 20 prizes awarded, and all winners will be published in the New Writer 'Special Collection'.  Categories include: Fact, Short Stories, Micro Fiction, Single Poems and Poetry Collections (which may include previously published works). 

Entry fee: GBP5 per entry; GBP12 for poetry collections. 

Prize:  Total prize pool of GBP2000.  First prizes of between GBP150-300 each, Second prizes GBP100 and third = GBP50

Word limit: Fact = 2000 words; Short Stories = 500 to 5000 words; Micro-fiction up to 500 words; Single Poems up to 40 lines; Poetry Collections of 6-10 poems.

Open to: Everyone!

Deadline:  30th November 2011


Closed - Small Wonder Prose Poem/Microfiction Anthology

The Small Wonder Prose Poetry/Microfiction competition is an initiative of Spineless Wonders, a leading edge Australian publishing company focussed on short, quality fiction writing by Australians, wherever they may be. Electronic submissions only, via the website link below. They are happy for you to blur your genres, so if you haven't yet figured out if you are writing prose, poetry, prose poetry, poetic fiction or something new entirely, this is probably the competition for you!

Entry fee: AUD$7 per entry.

Prize:  First Prize AUD$300, Commended entries AUD$100.  All prize winners will be published in the small wonder anthology. 

Word limit: 800 words

Open to: Australian citizens (everywhere) and Australian permanent residents, over 18 years of age.

Deadline:  16 December 2011


Teen Fiction Novel Opportunity

The hottest genre in publishing at the moment is Young Adult, often called "YA".  If you've been considering writing a novel aimed at this age group, now is the time to focus on your opening chapters.

Hardie Grant Egmont is looking for new, previously unpublished voices for their teenage readers. The theme of their new Ampersand Collection is the secret life of teenagers and they want to see your first five chapters.

So if you're an emerging YA writer, this is a great opportunity to show your talent directly to the commissioning editor and perhaps have your first novel published.

Our tip: Commissioning editors always have a huge pile of manuscripts to read through. Give your novel the best chance of success by following the submission guidelines carefully. Write a fascinating synopsis.

Entry fee: Free

Prize: A publishing contract! Books will be first published in Australia.

Open to: Writers from all countries.

Word length: 40,000 - 50,000 words

Deadline:  First submission date is 27 February 2012, but submissions will be accepted after this date until further notice.

Website:   Hardie Grant Egmont


Parenting Express/My Child Short Story Competition

Two Australian publications which focus on parenting, My Child and Parenting Express, are hosting a short story competition on themes relating to pregnancy, birth or the first five years of child raising.  You should aim to 'move the reader emotionally - either to laughter or tears'.... certainly the story of my life as a parent: if I don't laugh, I cry!!!  

The competition opens on 30th November and there is a plethora of goodies for prizes, and importantly, the opportunity for your story to be the featured article in both publications. Three runners up will also be published and received a pile of goodies too.

Entry fee: Free

Prize:  First prize: featured publication, writing course from Sydney Writers Centre, gifts, magazine subscription, book - it's a bonanza!

Open to: Australian residents, ages 18+

Word length: Maximum 850 words

Deadline:  18 January 2012


Closed - 7th Annual Writers Digest Poetry Awards

US-based Writer's Digest runs a series of writing competitions throughout the year for writers worldwide.  If you have something to say in a poem, as long as it is 32 lines or less, they would love to hear it! I managed to pick up a 10th place in the 2009 Awards - so anything is possible!

Entry fee: USD$15 for first poem; USD$10 for each subsequent poem.

Prize:  First Prize of USD$500 and cost-contribution towards attendance at the Writer's Digest Conference to be held in New York in January 2012. Cash prizes for 2nd (USD$250), 3rd (USD$100) and 4th to 10th (USD$25) places and gift certificates for 11th to 25th place.  All winners receive a copy of the 2012 Poets Market. The first 50 place-getters are also published in an annual Awards Collection. 

Open to: Poets everywhere.

Deadline:  1 December 2011


2012 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition

The Munster Literature Centre (based in Cork, Ireland) is calling for poets worldwide to enter the 2012 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition.  Original, unpublished poems in English, up to 40 lines, can be on any theme and in any style.

This new competition honours the late Irish poet, Gregory O'Donoghue, and will be judged by Cork-based writer and publisher, Patrick Cotter - who will read every single entry himself (whew!). The great cash prizes are supplemented by publication Literature Centre's Southword, and first prize could even see you in Cork for the Spring Literary Festival.  What more could you possibly want?!

Entry fee: EUR5 per poem or EUR20 for 5 poems 

Prize:  First Prize: EUR1000, plus publication in Southword and a contribution towards travel costs to attend the Cork Spring Literary Festival. Second prize: EUR500 plus publication, 3rd prize: EUR250 plus publication. Ten runners up will be published and receive EUR30 publication fee.

Open to: Poets worldwide

Deadline:  18 December 2011


Closed - Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards

The Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards have something for everyone!  There are 20 different awards, including full length fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories, anthologies, short stories, scripts, anthologies and group writing. This is definitely an opportunity to flex your writer's muscles.

Entry fee: Free to AUD$15, depending on category.

Prize:  First Prizes in 20 different categories range from AUD$100 to AUD$1000. Major awards also have plaques and medallions.

Open to: Residents of Australia and its Territories, including specific categories for school-age students

Deadline:  30 November 2011


Closed - Inktears Short Story Competition

UK-based Inktears aims to bring readers and writers together and has a very active membership of both. Writers worldwide are asked to submit short stories on any theme, between 1000 and 3000 words - either unpublished or published prior to April 2011.

Apart from the pretty fabulous GBP1000 first prize, all winners will be published to the Inktears readership (online and in hard copy), have their bio published on the Inktears website and, if they have enough quality stories, may even be offered a publishing contract by Inktears! What are you waiting for?!

Entry fee: GBP4.50 

Prize:  GBP1000 first prize, GBP100 runner up, GBP25 highly commended

Open to: Anyone, anywhere, as long as you are 18 years and over

Deadline:  30 November 2011