Myriad First Drafts Competition


Myriad invites entries for its First Drafts Competition (formerly the Writer’s Retreat Competition) for new writers. Now in its sixth year, the competition recognises promising work-in-progress across all forms of prose fiction, be it a short story or the first few chapters of a novel. It is open to all writers who have not yet published or self-published a collection of stories or a novel. The closing date for entries is Monday 2 February 2015; the shortlist will be announced in April 2015 and the winner announced at an event in May 2015.

Myriad’s First Drafts Competition is at the heart of our mission to discover and nurture bold and exciting new writers. The prize is a week-long writing retreat in the luxurious surroundings of West Dean College near Chichester, as well as detailed editorial feedback from industry experts. This year, in addition, the winner will benefit from six months’ mentoring from a Myriad author.retreat

The 2015 judges are bestselling author Lizzie Enfield (author of Living With It), creative writing tutor Greg Mosse, literary agent Hellie Ogden, TV producer Tom Winchester and Myriad Senior Fiction Editor Vicky Blunden. Candida Lacey, Myriad Publisher and MD, says: ‘This is a brilliant opportunity for aspiring authors to get their work noticed by publishers and agents. There are very few competitions for a work-in-progress and this has a track record for spotting talent and launching writing careers. We’re looking for new work that is arresting, original and full of character. And each shortlisted writer will be offered feedback from the judges.’


The competition has a proven track record in launching writers who have gone on to enjoy creative and commercial success. Myriad has published several brought to its attention through the competition in previous years, including past winner Lisa Cutts, crime writer and author of Never Forget (optioned by a major TV company) and Remember, Remember; Nina de la Mer, author of the acclaimed novels 4 a.m. and Layla; and Hannah Vincent, whose debut, Alarm Girl, came out in August 2014.

Other past successes also 2010 winner Kirsty Logan, who used her retreat to write a short story that she later expanded to become her novel, The Gracekeepers (Harvill Secker), Juliet West, whose novel, Before the Fall (Pan), was shortlisted in 2013, and 2013 winner Al Brookes, whose novel The Gift of Looking Closely was Self-published Book of the Month in the Guardian (August 2014).

For information on how to enter:

One for the girls…Mslexia Short Story Competition

A really good competition with a cash prize, writing retreat and day with an editor. Women writers only…sorry boys!myslexia

A competition for unpublished short stories of up to 2,200 words. We accept work on all subjects, so write about anything and everything you fancy – we love to read it.

1ST PRIZE: £2,000
Plus two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at Chawton House
, and a day with a Virago editor

2nd prize: £500, 3rd prize: £250

Three other finalists each receive £100

Judge: Jane Rogers

Closing date: 17 March 2014

All winning stories will be published in the Jun/Jul/Aug 2014 edition of Mslexia

Manchester Writing for Children Prize 2014

The first ever Manchester Writing for Children Prize invites the submission of poetry to be read by children within the age group of 5 to 12. Portfolios should contain three to five poems, totalling together no more than 120 lines.

Prizes include:

  • publication of selected pieces from long-listed entrants in a new anthology;
  • an invitation to appear alongside Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at a special event at the 2014 Manchester Children’s Book Festival for the short-listed entrants;
  • and a cash prize of £2,000 for an overall winner – to be announced at that event.*

Deadline for entries: Friday 28th February 2014
Entry fee: £12

Salt Publishing Novella Competition


Do you want to be part of a new experiment in British fiction? Salt is calling for submissions for a new series of digital-only novellas as an extension of its SALT MODERN FICTION list.

What we’re looking for

Your novella must deal with 18 to 24 year olds living in contemporary inner-city Britain. We want issue-led works that tell the truth about what life is like for the young in these islands. Crime, drugs, fun, hope, immigration, integration, joblessness, laughs, love, loss, loyalty, music, sex, surviving and tragedy in modern Britain. We want to hear the stories that will make us sit up and stare in wonder. Lie awake at night. The stories that will break our hearts. Make us laugh out loud. Make us cry. The stories that tell the truth.

For more info: