The Deadline Review: Six Ace Opportunities for Writers

13th Jan 2014

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Welcome back! Made a new year's resolution to get writing this year? Then read on for competitions and calls for submissions you definitely won't want to miss...

Whether you want to write more, write better or get published in 2014, there are plenty of opportunities for writers and poets coming up, so here’s a few of our hand-picked favourites….


Seeking: Poems and stories about journeys
Up for grabs: The glory of being published in arguably Britain’s most beautiful literary zine.
Top tip: Last week they sent an email, saying: ‘we’ve received more than our fair share of poems and short stories that take place on public transport, but there has been a distinct lack of work that has looked at the theme from a more metaphorical angle. The theme leaves itself wide open for diverse interpretation, so feel free to think outside the transport box.’
Deadline: 25th January 2014


Seeking: Columns from the next Caitlin Moran
Up for grabs: £100 a column for six months. There are loads of runners-up prizes too.
Top tip: Don’t try to be the new Caitlin Moran. Judges have provided a whole list of five common mistakes columnists make (which is, frankly, sound advice whether you enter the comp or not).
Deadline: 31st January 2014

Poetry School Pamphlet Competition

Seeking: Ten verses of the highest calibre
Up for grabs: The chance to publish a small book of your writing via Pighog (and runners-up can do an activity with the Poetry School). Poets already published by the Brighton-based indie publisher include Kate White, Iain Sinclair, and Brian Catling. Beyond cool.
Top tip: ‘I love pamphlets that have a sure sense of themselves, a necessity, an urgency,’ says judge Catherine Smith. ‘I like to be surprised, seduced, shaken out of my comfort zone.’
Deadline: 31st January 2014

Litro Magazine

Seeking: Women’s issues for the Women’s Issue
Up for grabs: Your writing published in the magazine, which has previously published work by Eleanor Catton (2013 Man Booker winner) as well as Naomi Alderman and Clare Wigfall.
Top tip: Work should ‘explore the ways in which women continue to inform, address and challenge the balance of power between the sexes.’ Litro welcomes many forms from short fiction to flash/micro fiction and nonfiction, but they’re not interested in poetry for this issue.
Deadline: 11th February 2014


Seeking: Up to 2,200 words for their annual short story competition
Up for grabs: A £2,000 cash prize, plus either a week-long writing retreat or a day with a Virago editor.
Top tip: Mslexia editor Debbie Taylor has actually written a cheat sheet. Don’t submit anything until you’ve read it.
Deadline: 17th March 2014

Salt Modern Dreams

Seeking: Novellas about 18-24 year olds living in contemporary inner-city Britain. Think Shani Solomons, Jenn Ashworth or Polly Courtney.
Up for grabs: E-book publication (with 50% royalties).
Top tip: Salt wants ‘the truth about what life is like for the young in these islands,’ so do your research. Probably the first step to developing your ideas is talking to an 18-24 year old.
Deadline: Ongoing

Please note: For Books’ Sake doesn’t cite the full rules, word counts or cost of these opportunities for writers, so make sure you check these using the links above before you submit. Good luck!

Know of even more opportunities for writers that we should be featuring? Send us an email with your competition or call for submissions and we’ll consider including it our next round-up.

(Image via MaeganMakes)


  • Beulah Devaney says:

    I love this! Such a great way to bring them all together and it’s motivated me to do some fiction writing which basically never happens – thanks Ellie!