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Following my January post with submission and competition opportunities for the first quarter of 2015, I’ve been asked by Clare O’Dea, for a similar list for the second quarter.  Keeping one eye on deadlines is a great way to stay motivated when writing, maybe even inspired, and I think it’s very sound practice to always have something out there on submission.  As the talented short fiction writer Tania Hershman recently said, it takes a while to get to the point where you can see a rejected piece as being ‘freed up’ to go out somewhere else, but it certainly is an outlook that aids sanity when submitting on a regular basis.  So here are seven opportunities – some with deadlines very soon, others with a bit more breathing space.

Easier in winter than spring?

Easier in winter than spring?

1.  The Francis MacManus Short Story Competition: Deadline 1st May, 1,800-2,000 words. NB: Writers must be born or resident in Ireland

2. The Bridport Prize: Deadline 31st May, Short Stories up to 5,000 words, Flash Fiction up to 250 words, Poems up to 42 lines, international competition with generous prize money.

3. Flash 500 Novel Competition: Opens 1st May and closes 31st October, opening 3,000 words and synopsis.  Also Flash 500 quarterly Flash competition, deadline 30th June, up to 500 words, £500 first prize.

4. WOW! Flash Fiction Prize: Deadline 31st May, up to 1,000 words.

5. The Moth Magazine Competition: Deadline 30th June, up to 6,000 words, judged by Donal Ryan, good prizes plus 3 winners published in Moth’s Autumn 2015 issue.  

And if you have something of around 2,000 to 4,000 words ready for a final polish, you could still enter the following which are very well publicised and promoted competitions:

6. The Bath Short Story Award: Deadline 27th April, up to 2,200 words, 1st prize £1,000.

7. The Bristol Short Story Prize: Deadline 30th April, up to 4,000 words, 20 on short list published in anthology, 1st prize £1,000.

I’m off to fine tune a flash piece for the Flash 500 competition and finish a short story that still needs some work. One thing’s for sure – there is no point rushing to meet a deadline. If you read the previous winners’ work from these competitions, you’ll see that the standard is high. Whether you are a competitive type or not, enjoy the writing and give it your best shot, remembering that wise, oft-quoted advice that writing is mostly about re-writing.

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