Oh May, the busiest month ever! (Okay, maybe that’s just me. My daughter is May Queen this year and that is a job in itself!) But no matter how busy we are there is always time for working on our craft, right? And if you’ve got some work ready to go there are some great contests coming up. This month’s listing includes opportunities for all genres including screenwriters and illustrators! Yay!
As always, contests are listed by ending dates. See specific guidelines for details, and read About Contests if you’re not sure whether or not entering contests is right for you. Here’s what’s coming up:
4/30: WRiTE CLUB – Enter your 500 word writing sample and chosen pen name and you may get chosen to battle it out in head to head write offs. Agents participating as judges. Sounds like fun! WRiTE CLUB champion will receive a three-chapter critique of their work by several of the judges and free admission to the 2016 DFW Writers Conference. Finalists will also receive a $75 Amazon gift card.
5/1: Slushpile Challenge – Open to current unagented SCBWI members residing in Europe and the UK. Write a “paragraph or two in the voice of your main character about what it is they want most in the world and why. It doesn’t need to give much away, or it can give it all.” Agent Julia Churchill of A.M. Heath will pick a winner and arrange to have a meeting with them by phone or in person for 30 minutes.
5/8: We Need Diverse Books Short Story Contest – Enter your short story for Middle Grade readers ages 8-12. Manuscript must be less than 5,000 words, and can be in an illustrated graphic novel format no longer than 10 pages. Entries must include a bio and headshot. Open to writers of all diverse backgrounds. Writers must not already be published in a “traditional fiction book format.” Winner will receive $1000.00 and have their piece published in the WNDB anthology to be released by Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s Books in January of 2017. Two Runners Up will receive $250.00 each.
5/15: Nickelodeon Script First – Enter your short 3-5 page script for children ages 6 – 11 “that showcases an original show premise and characters in a self-contained story.” Selected submissions will be offered a contract to write an expanded script. They’re looking for work with a “strong comedic backbone.” Enter via form on website.
5/18: May Secret Agent Contest – Open to all genres of Middle Grade and Young Adult contemporary, romance, urban fantasy, or light SF. Enter the first 250 words of your manuscript via web form. 50 entries randomly selected.
5/19: David Fickling Books Master of the Inkpot Competition – Open to picture books (with example illustrations), early readers, young adult, or adult work. The top 5 submissions selected will have a sample of their work and feature a sample of their work featured on the DFB website. One overall winner will be crowned Master of the Inkpot 2015 and will be invited to meet the DFB team for an editorial meeting to discuss their work. More details to come. Opens to submissions 5/5.
5/20: The Writer’s Voice – Enter your MG, YA, NA, or Adult manuscript. Coaches will help chosen entrants polish up their entry before going onto the agent round.
5/22: Query Kombat – Open to Picture Books, MG, YA, NA, and Adult works. Submission window open for one hour only – 5:30 EST and close at 6:30 EST. Enter your title, genre, word count, query (or a pitch from the looks of what they have on the site) and first 250 words. Agents will be participating. Read lengthy information about how the contest works here.
5/27: #KidPit – Pitch your children’s manuscript on Twitter using the #KidPit hashtag between 8:00 a.m. EST and 8:00 p.m. EST. Open to all works for children from board books to young adult. See details on Heidi Nerrod’s post.
6/1: Cheltenham Illustration Awards – Enter your work for the theme ‘Tales of the City’. Chosen entries will be exhibited and published in an awards annual. Be sure to read their specific how to submit guidelines.
6/1: Tony Hillerman Prize – Open to mysteries set in the Southwest. Writer must not have a mystery published. Winner to receive a publishing contract with St. Martin’s Press and $10,000. Website advises to submit your entry as early as possible.
6/4: #PitMad – Twitter Pitch Party open to all genres. 8AM – 8PM EDT on Twitter. Use the #PitMad hashtag.
6/24: #PBPitch – Pitch your picture book on Twitter using the #PBPitch hashtag. Pitch manuscripts only one time before 12 pm and one time after. Subgenres hashtags can be included: #F=Funny, #CD = Character Driven, #NF = Nonfiction, #C= Concept, #L= Lyrical, #I= Interactive.
6/30: Greenhouse Funny Prize – Open to unpublished and unagented writers in the UK, Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and Europe. Enter your funny picture book, middle grade, or YA. Judging is done on the first chapter but you are asked to send the entire manuscript along with a one page synopsis. Judging will be done by the Children’s Editorial team at Faber & Faber Ltd and agent Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency. Winner will be offered representation by Greenhouse.
7/3: Pitch to Publication – Enter your query letter, first five double-spaced pages of your completed manuscript, and fill out a personality questionnaire. Entries will be chosen to work with a freelance editor to prepare for agent and editor rounds.
8/15: Pockets Annual Fiction Contest – Enter your 750 to 1,000 word children’s magazine piece for children age 6-12. Winner to receive $500.00 and publication in Pockets magazine. Submissions at Pockets should support the purpose of the magazine to help children grow in their faith, though all submissions do not need to be overtly religious.
8/17: Pitch Wars – Submission window opens for writers to send in their applications to mentors leading to an agent round 11/3-4.
9/1: The Scholastic Asian Book Award – This contest is open to unpublished manuscripts “written by writers of Asian descent, living in Asia”. Must be a chapter book or novel of no less than 6,000 words. See the Rules and Regulations for details. Top winner will receive a prize of SGD 10,000 and have their manuscript considered by Scholastic Asia for publication. Two runners up will be offered advice by Scholastic Asia on editing their manuscripts to submit for publication.
I’ve also been told that Winchester Writers’ Festival has ten writing competitions coming up http://writersfestival.co.uk/competitions. The deadline for submissions is May 15th.