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Swap Writer's Block for a Winning Streak

Elizabeth Walsh runs through some of the top writing and poetry competitions to inspire you this summer

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Image Credit: University of York Art Society & Literature Society, 2020

The Covers Album – Art Soc X Lit Soc Collaboration
Book cover design
Deadline: before 1pm on 8th June

Have you ever dreamed of re-designing the cover for your favourite book? Well now’s your chance. An exciting new collaboration has launched between the University’s Art and Literature Societies. The Covers Album is a competition open to members and non-members, in search of the best creative talent. There will be two winners, one chosen by each society, with a yet to be revealed prize up for grabs. Designs must be submitted to the respective societies Instagram or Facebook page with the hashtag #uoybookcovers.

Write Out Loud Beyond the Storm Poetry Competition
Deadline: 19th June 2020

If you are looking for a way to channel your feelings surrounding the pandemic, this is a great opportunity and worthwhile cause. Write Out Loud’s latest poetry competition is in aid of NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal. The theme is ‘beyond the storm’ which is particularly fitting at the moment. Entrants can take whatever stance they choose, from life in lockdown to what the future may hold. Entries will be judged by poet Andrew McMillan alongside a public vote to decide the winner of the “People’s choice” award. The winning work will be included in an anthology. There is no entry fee, although donations to the charity are strongly encouraged.
To enter see:

Hive Young Writers Competition 2020
Poetry and Stories
Deadline:  midnight on 23rd June 2020

If you are looking for a distraction or simply a way to channel your creativity, then look no further. A celebration of home grown talent, Hive Young Writers Competition is open to anybody aged 14-30 from Yorkshire (home or study address). Each applicant can submit up to 3 pieces of poetry or a story. With no set theme, it’s a great way to exercise creative license and go in any direction you choose. Winners will receive professional feedback as well as the opportunity to have their work published in the Hive 2020 young writer’s anthology.
To enter see:

2020 Cerasus Poetry Olympics
Deadline: midnight on 30th June 2020

As the age old saying goes, ‘it’s a marathon not a sprint’. If you’re looking for a creative venture to keep you occupied for the whole of summer, why not try your hand at the Cerasus Poetry Olympics. The competition will take place over a series of 6 heats between July and August. All you need to do is pay the £5 entry fee and submit 6 poems. The winner will undoubtedly get a return on their investment, as the prize is 50% of the entrance fee as well as publication with 10 complimentary copies. The runner up will receive 25% of fees and 5 complimentary copies of their work.
To enter see:

Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize
Short fiction and Poetry
Deadline: 1st July 2020

For those of you looking to take complete free rein of your work and even try something new, this is the perfect opportunity. The emphasis on ‘experimental’ writing is definitely there with this competition. The website states that they are looking for submissions that encompass, “new forms” and “unconventional ideas” including “imaginative presentation” and “strong imagery”. To enter, a single story incurs a charge of £1 and 3 poems cost £2.25. As well as individual prizes that consist of mentoring sessions and written feedback, the winning work will be published in an anthology.
To enter see:

Saveas Writer’s International Writing Competition 2020
Poetry and Prose
Deadline: 31st August 2020

An interesting twist on traditional competitions, the Saveas Writers Competition is looking for poems and short stories that respond to Russell Hoban’s novel, Riddley Walker. It is not a requirement to have read the novel but it could provide a new venture to delve into. The theme of the competition is Post Apocalypse. Entrants can choose to adopt a positive or negative tone, whichever feels most fitting. Cash prizes are up for grabs for poems up to 60 lines (£3 entry) and prose up to 3500 words (£4 entry).
To enter see:

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