Writing Competitions

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Writing Competitions

Blog Post by Iris Carden

When I was much younger, I used to regularly enter writing competitions. Over the years, work, family, a husband who didn’t value my writing, and endless other things got in the way.

Since lupus forced me into early retirement (and a strategic divorce) I’ve had a lot more time to write. After a decade of building my confidence, I have finally started to get back into entering competitions.

I started small, with a few entries in Furious Fiction. It happens four times a year, the next one beginning on the third of June. There’s only 55 hours between when the prompt is released and the deadline for submissions, so if you’re considering entering, it’s best to go to the site and sign up for the email alert when the prompt is released. The prompts are disparate things you have to pull together such as: “It’s an elephant’s birthday, your story must include a toothpick and a stick of dynamite.” It’s fun, it’s free to enter and there’s a $500 first prize.

Yesterday I bit the bullet and entered something big. It was the Best Australian Yarn. This one’s got a $30,000 first prize. I’m not allowed to share the story I wrote for it with you yet, but I’m quite pleased with it. If you are interested in entering this one you will need an unpublished story of 1500-2500 words, and submit it before the end of May. (Australian writers only, sorry to everyone overseas.)

So now I think it’s time to look at what’s left on Mona magazine’s list of 22 writing competitions in the first half of 2022. Many of the deadlines have passed, but there’s still a few to try.

Any writers out there want to share your experience of entering competitions or of competitions still open that are worth entering? Please tell me about them in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

UPDATE: There is now a page on this blog where I will list writing competitions as I find out about them.


By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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