Opportunities for Writers
To find out more about opportunities for young writers, click here.
The opportunities listed are not directly associated with Scottish Book Trust. Please check submission deadlines and guidelines carefully before submitting your work.
At Scottish Book Trust we get lots of people telling us about different opportunities for writers in Scotland. Here's the current crop, organised by the month of deadline:
FICTION DESK NEWCOMER PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
The Newcomer Prize is only open to authors who have not been previously published by The Fiction Desk, and who have not yet published a novel or collection of short stories on paper. The first prize is £500, and there is a second prize of £250. The entry fee is £8.
The competition is judged by Rob Redman, editor of the anthology series and founder of The Fiction Desk.
Deadline: Midnight GMT, Wednesday 31 May
THE BRIDPORT PRIZE
One of the richest writing competitions in the UK, the Bridport Prize is open to all nationalities aged 16 years and over. It features short story, poetry, flash and novel awards, allowing you to choose your medium, and its judged by lots of big names.
Deadline: Midnight GMT, Wednesday 31 May
MIDSUMMER WRITING WORKSHOP
A midsummer workshop in an inspiring forest setting for women who write and want to write with greater flow and creativity. It’s led by Jane Cormack (MA in creative writing and author of the book - The Language of the Feminine) and Janis Mackay (MA in creative writing and author of several novels for children). The day will blend writing, movement, feminine embodiment practise, storytelling and sharing. £95 (or £85 if booked before 20 May). The day runs from 10.30am - 8pm.
Workshop: 17 June
AUTUMN VOICES OVER 60 WRITING COMPETITION
This new competition is part of the Autumn Voices project being conducted by author, Robin Lloyd-Jones. The project is funded by Creative Scotland and has the support of Lapidus Scotland and Luminate (Scotland’s Festival of Creative Ageing).
The Autumn Voices Over 60 Writing Competition is hosted by the Scottish Association of Writers and will be one of their several Mid-term Solstice competitions. It is an open competition, so anyone over 60 can enter – you don’t have to be an SAW member, or even live in the UK! Any prose form accepted, 2,000 words maximum, Entry fee is £5.
Deadline: Saturday 24 June
RE-IMAGINING FAIRY TALES: NATIONAL LITERACY TRUST & BLOOMSBURY CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING
The prize asks new children’s fiction writers to recreate a classic fairy tale, with the chance to have their work published.
A new writing competition challenging unpublished authors to capture children’s imaginations with a short story that gives a well-known fairy tale a modern twist. Entries should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words, aimed at children aged 8 to 12. 10 winning stories will be selected for publication and awarded £2,000 each.
Deadline: Sunday 25 June
I MUST BE OFF! TRAVEL WRITING COMPETITION
Time to type up those travel articles, travel anecdotes and travel reflections. I Must Be Off want to read about that place that changed you, about the experiences you can't wait to share with other travellers. Whether your work is humorous, informative, quirky or profound--send it in. This year, submissions are free until May 31; afterward there will be a nominal charge. All proceeds from entry fees will go towards the prize money. Graham Mercer will judge the 2017 Travel Writing Competition.
Deadline: Monday 31 July
STRIKING 13 WRITING CONTENT
A flash fiction contest based in Australia but open to international entries/ This time, the theme is Betrayal and there're a $2 entry fee. The word limit is 513 words, there are three Amazon voucher prizes, for the top 3 entries ($100, $30, $20) and shortlisted authors will recievive free entry to the next content.
Deadline: Monday 31 July
AESTHETICA CREATIVE WRITING AWARD
The 11th Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is now open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world. Prizes include £1,000 awards for fiction and poetry as well as puiblication.
Deadline: Thursday 31 August
2HB SUBMISSIONS OPEN CALL
Following the publication of 20 issues in its current format, 2HB will be back with a new design and with move to a biannual format, allowing for a new biannual sister publication Small Black Reptile, which will specifically focus on critical writing. A journal for experimental art writing, 2HB facilitates a discursive space for writing in contemporary art practice and creates a platform for artists, writers and theorists to realise work that might not otherwise be published.
Texts of up to 2000 words are sought for the next issue, which will be launched at CCA as part of Book Week Scotland in November.
Deadline: Friday 1 September
PLANET ESSAY COMPETITION 2017
Planet welcomes creative and unconventional ways of exploring the essay form as well as a more traditional style. The publication features writing which is in-depth, yet sufficiently accessible for a non-specialist readership. Open to writers under 30, the word limit is 1,500-2,000 and the winner will receive £200, publication and more.
Deadline: Friday 1 September
404 MAGAZINE ISSUE 3 OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS
For issue 3, 404 are all about POWER. Power plays? Super powers? Powers of the electrical variety? The political variety? Maybe even the magical variety? You get the idea. Entries welcome in English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic. Your work must not be previously published in a book, collection or magazine, or be under consideration anywhere else.
Deadline: Sunday 17 September
Whether you’re a published or emerging writer, of fiction or non-fiction, a translator, children’s author, poet or writer for the media, ScotsWrite offers talks and workshops from experts in a variety of areas including marketing, self publishing, changing genre, technology, health and wellbeing, and ergonomics. There will also be a limited number of one-to-one sessions with publishers and agents and attendees can enjoy a gala dinner, Ceilidh and drinks receptions with time to mingle, network and explore the exhibitor stands and the bookshop.
Conference: Friday 22 – Sunday 24 September
HEAT HOLIDAY READS COMPETITION
Simon & Schuster UK has announced an “industry-first partnership” with Heat magazine for the new #heatseeker short story competition. The contest aims to discover the newest and most exciting writing talent and the winning entry will be published in e-book format on S&S UK’s Digital Originals list and the winner will receive an author mentoring session with bestselling writer Paige Toon.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September, 23:00
THE DINESH ALLIRAJAH PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION
Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire are proud to announce the first annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. The theme for this inaugural year will be ‘Café Stories’, in honour of Dinesh’s Café Shorts series. He believed cafes to be “fertile ground for the short story.” In his own words, he said “The reason a café setting works is because we understand what goes on there, without the gauze of a local or historical context.” We would like to see how writers handle this narrative space, and how the writer projects his or her fiction onto it, and so we ask that all submissions are written with this theme in mind.
The prize is open to anyone 18 years or over, and the story you submit must not have been published anywhere else, online or in print. It is free to submit your entry, but only one per writer please.
Deadline: Tuesday 31 October
CALEDONIA NOVEL AWARD 2018
Judged by Madeleine Milburn, literary agent and director at Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency, this novel competition looks for the first 20 pages and 200-word synopsis from an unpublished writer. The winner will receive £1,000 and the Writer of best novel from UK + Ireland will win a free place on a week-long residential course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. Entry fee: £25.
Deadline: Wednesday 1 November
COMISSION GRANTS: THE GAELIC BOOK COUNCIL
The Gaelic Books Council offers assistance to authors who wish to write in Scottish Gaelic. Priority is given to writers who have a publishing agreement in place, as well as to projects that contain a high percentage of Scottish Gaelic content. They support a wide variety of literary genres, and are open to applications in support of digital titles and other formats, as well as traditional printed books.
READING, EDITORIAL AND TUITION SERVICES WITH HELEN BODEN
Writer, editor and experienced arts educator Helen offers the following services for individuals:
Editing and reading - including manuscript appraisal, development editing and proof-reading; student essay and dissertation reading
Tuition and mentoring – from a couple of meetings or conversations to a longer-term programme involving regular submission of work and critique
If you are looking for an objective, professional assessment of your writing, I provide a customised and client-focused approach. We develop a schedule that reflects the client’s needs and is appropriate to the nature of their project. This can include checking for clarity, flow, structure and readability. I work on poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Feedback by mark-up on electronic or hard copy can be supplemented by written reports, or given in person, by telephone or online. My guideline rates are £45ph, but this varies according to the nature of the project.
More information: contact email@example.com
THIRD THURSDAY WRITERS
Ekphrastic (using visual art as a prompt) writing group, facilitated by Helen Boden, which meets once a month in a different Edinburgh gallery or exhibition. Each two-hour workshop moves between viewing, discussion, writing, and constructive critique. We visit most of the free exhibitions at National Galleries Scotland, and have also formed relationships with Fruitmarket Gallery, City Art Centre, Talbot Rice Gallery and Dovecot Studios. Using specially-devised exercises, we respond to art-forms from a range of mediums – painting, drawing, sculpture, video, installation, print-making . . . and from all historical periods.
This supportive tutored group is suitable for all levels of experience, and meets 10.30am-12.30pm on the third Thursday of each month. £12 per session.
More information: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ZOOKER AWARD
A new literary award that aims to encourage disadvantaged authors and reward works of social value. Single prize of £500, plus embossed certificate and featuring. Open to anyone who has published a book through Arkbound or any other publisher.
Entries can be made between 19th May and 10th October each year.
Fee: £4.50 entry fee, unless disadvantaged (same criteria as competitions).
SHIFT CALL FOR SHORT FORM YA SUBMISSIONS
Shift are searching for original fiction and non-fiction for their next and future issues! Fiction and non-fiction submissions welcome. Your piece should be suitable for a YA audience.
FIGMENT CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS, FEEDBACK SESSIONS, AND MASTERCLASSES
Join Figment for their Workshops: for those who enjoy writing fiction, autobiography, travel writing, short stories and poetry; Thursday evenings Feedback Sessions for more experienced writers simply seeking feedback on their work; and Masterclasses: Monthly workshops on specific themes. These offer advice, discussion, writing activities and inspiration that aims to support and enthuse your future writing trajectory. Based in Stirling.
Whilst no theme is specified for the residencies, successful applicants will be expected to reflect some aspect of Iona and an awareness of environmental issues and sustainability in their finished work.
Accommodation is in the Bothy with toilet and kitchen facilities available in the Hostel nearby, or, in the Hostel itself. The Byre (30’ x 15’) will be available as a large studio space. Applicants are asked to submit photographs or details of their recent work and to write a short statement on how they would intend to use their time on Iona. Diversity is welcomed.
Fee: £750.00 for the four week period (28 days) and to confirm reservations I require a non-refundable deposit of 50%. Logs for the Byre cost £5.00 per basket.
Written a play but don't know how to take the first step?
Our free script reading service provides an opportunity for Scotland's writers to receive valuable script feedback from theatre professionals. Plays are read anonymously and extensive script reports provided by experienced practitioners in playwriting, directing, producing or dramaturgy. The feedback about these new plays is then made available to the artistic directors of our partner organisations.
What plays are eligible?
- Plays by writers who are Scottish or based in Scotland
- Plays that have not been produced
- Plays for live performance (not TV, film or radio scripts)
- All genre of plays except musicals
- Plays that have not previously been submitted
- Plays submitted must be 40 pages or more in length.
We are only able to consider one play per writer, per year.
TWEET YOUR PITCH TO CURTIS BROWN
Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh are to host a series of one-day new writing events on Twitter this summer.
The literary agency, which runs Curtis Brown Creative (and which completed its purchase of Conville & Walsh earlier this year), is inviting unpublished writers to tweet one-line pitches for their work, using the hashtag #PitchCB. Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh agents will invite their favourite tweeters to submit directly via the agency's submissions portal, www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk.
Date: On the 4th Friday of every month from 24 July 2015
THE WEEKEND READ
The Weekend Read will publish outstanding fiction by women every Friday. We’ll feature prize-winning stories, stories from published collections and brand new work by established authors as well as showcasing new, emerging voices from across the globe. Read online, or listen to our podcast.
A CALL FOR CHILDRENS FICTION FROM DEBUT BAME WRITERS (NOSY CROW)
I think that it’s incredibly important that our industry represents a wide range of voices, not only so that children from every background can recognise their own lives and experiences in the books that they read, but also simply to enrich the body of children’s literature that we publish, by moving out of a monoculture and embracing a wider world of ideas.
I’m posting this open call for children’s fiction submissions (so, anything in the 5 – 12 age range, but I’d be especially interested in 9 – 12, aka “middle grade”) from BAME writers. I’m very happy to receive submissions from agented and un-agented authors – and although I’d particularly like to see children’s fiction submissions from debut writers, if you’ve already been published, I’d still be very pleased to hear from you!
GET ON TRACK IN 2017: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FOR WRITERS WITH CREATIVE COACH PHILIPPA JOHNSTON
Are you keen to make 2017 your year for moving forward as a writer? I work with writers in Scotland and further afield, helping them to define and prioritize their goals, explore options and then map out a plan of action. I offer two one-to-one services: Professional Development Planning which consists of one (or sometimes two) face-to-face two-hour sessions and Coaching which is available by Skype or telephone (or face-to-face, location permitting) and comprises five or more one-hour sessions. (Some writers like to combine the two services and have a PDP session followed by a coaching series.) I’m an accredited coach and my coaching practice is informed by my work specialising in writer development with NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) and my 30 years of experience working in the arts sector in Scotland and England. I also offer Application Guidance, detailed advice on how to make your application for an award or funding the best it can be, drawing on my extensive experience as a funding assessor and applicant.
COMPLETE BOOK MARKETING TOOLKIT
This is an online course for anyone who would like to create a clear and comprehensive strategy to reach more readers.
It includes professional feedback on your author website and social media accounts as well as dedicated support to help you come up with an effective and achievable marketing plan.
The course is run by experienced literary consultant Claire Wingfield, who is on hand to guide and support you throughout.
The marketing toolkit can be undertaken at your own pace, and gives you access to a supportive Facebook group upon completion, where Claire will continue to share updates to the course and new ways to sell more books.
Fees: Usually £329, but Claire is offering a £50 discount for participants via Scottish Book Trust using the code FRIEND 50.
WORDINESS: OPEN MIC IN INVERNESS
A free event open to poetry, stories, plays, songs, stand-up routines, magic tricks, interpretative dances! Wordiness love storytelling and words and is held on the last Thursday of the month at the Gellions, Inverness.
WEEKLY CREATIVE WRITING CLASSES
Join like-minded wordsmiths to share ideas, work in progress and receive useful tips. The classes are suitable regardless of whether it is the first time you have put pen to paper, or you have been scribing away for years. Age 16 years+. These classes run broadly in line with the school terms and will finish mid-July.
- Mondays: 5.30pm – 7.00pm at Airdrie Library
- Mondays: 6.30pm – 8.00pm at Chryston Cultural Centre
- Wednesday: 1.00pm – 3.00pm at Bellshill Cultural Centre
Fee: £5.00/Concession £4.50