Courses and Competitions

Courses and Competitions: Writers & Artists Evening Masterclasses

Writers-and-Artists-logo.wpm_-300x300Writers & Artists are partnering with Book Aid International for the fourth year to bring a small series of evening masterclasses.

On 15th, 22nd and 24th May between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, each masterclass brings something slightly different.

On 15th May, Debut author, Stuart Turton will be in discussion with Joe Haddow on the creative process of writing his first murder-mystery.

On 22nd May, award-winning author, Abi Elphinstone will be in conversation with Writers & Artists editor, Alysaun Owen about the essential elements of writing children’s fiction.

Finally, on 24th May, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Tony Parsons will be talking about his writing career and sharing top writing tips.

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Courses and Competitions: Unicorn Writers’ Conference

Writing conferences are great for new and established writers alike. They are a chance to spend time with like-minded people and to gain inspiration for writing.

Unicorn Writers Confernce

If you find yourself near Purchase, NY on 25th March, the seventh annual Unicorn Writers’ Conference is being held at Reid Castle (Manhattanville College.)

Starting at 7am and ending at 8pm, the conference runs all day with various panels and workshops.

These include sessions on opening scenes, social media, self publishing vs. traditional publishing, dialogue, marketing, plots, setting and outline as well as media training and book publicity.

Speakers on the day include Beatriz Williams, Jason Matthews, Michael Sullivan and Nancy Kress.

Conference registration is $325 for one person with the option of purchasing addition review sessions on varying topics including genre networking and query letters.

You can register online or via post. For more information on the conference and how to attend, visit,


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Courses and Competitions: From First Draft to Final Draft

notebookWriters & Artists and William Ryan have joined together to present a ten-week course called ‘From First Draft to Final Draft.’

Through this course, essential elements of the writing craft and how you can apply it to your own manuscript will be discussed. It also includes exercises that will directly involve your novel-in-progress.

The course consists of evening sessions which take place on Wednesdays for ten weeks (this excludes two reading weeks.) The sessions run from 6pm until 8.30pm.

Held at Bloomsbury in Bedford Square in London, it runs from 15th march 2017 until 31st May 2017 and it is £1250.00.

The course features feedback on your novel’s premise and sample chapters by William and a literary agent, practical sessions based around your own writing, three critiques and twenty-five hours of advice from a combination of authors and publishing professionals. You will also get a copy of The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook which is essential for any writer.

For a more detailed course breakdown, details of who will be speaking and details of how to book (including how you could potentially pay in instalments,) visit:

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Courses and Competitions: Mslexia Short Fiction Competition 2017

sscompprod-500x500Back for its ninth year, the Mslexia short fiction competition is now open for 2017.

The competition is open to women of any nationality and from any country.

All genres are welcome.

The entries should be between 300 and 3,000 words (excluding the title.)

The first prize is £2,000. There are also two optional extras of a writing retreat at Gladstone Library and a day with an editor from Virago Press for the person who wins. Three other finalists will receive £100. All four entries will be published in the June edition of Mslexia.

The judge this year is Deborah Levy.

The closing date is 20th March 2017. The entry fee per story is £10 and they ask that you include a cover sheet with your entry.

For more information on this competition and also the new flash fiction competition, click on this link:


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Courses and Competitions: Chipping Norton Literary Festival 2017

chipping norton literary festivalThe Chipping Norton Literary Festival is back for 2017. 

Chip Lit Fest is due to take place between 27th – 30th April and the box office is open now for the many great events and sessions taking place over the four day event.

This excellent writing festival offers free and paid events featuring many workshops and authors. All venues are within a 10-15 minute walk of each other around the centre of Chipping Norton.

Events include Desert Island Books with Armando Iannucci, a talk with Veronica Henry as well as a writer’s workshop with Clare Bailey. Ian Rankin will be talking to Mark Billington, Nadiya Hussain will be talking about The Secret Lives of the Amir sisters, Sarah Phelps will be talking about writing for the screen and Emily Barr, the author of The One Memory of Flora Banks, will be talking about creating characters.

Each event is individually priced. For more information, call 01608 642350 or visit their website,

You are also able to keep up with all the latest news about the festival on Twitter,


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Courses and Competitions: Writing Courses With The Writing Magazine

writingcoursesOpportunity to enrol on various writing courses with the Writing Magazine. 

It is the new year. If one of your resolutions is to finally write that novel, poem or short story then these courses could be what you need.

The Writing Magazine offers a selection of creative writing courses all of which are available online.

Their courses include fiction (novel-writing,) poetry, scriptwriting, short stories and writing for children. There are discounts on course prices if you subscribe to the magazine.

The advantage of these courses is that you can choose to receive course materials via e-mail or post, there is a 21 day money back guarantee and you get a welcome gift if you join one.

You’ll have up to two years to complete the course of your choosing. There’s a professional writing tutor and you’ll be able to connect with other students via a dedicated welcome page.

For more information on courses and how to enrol, visit


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Courses and Competitions: Travelex Team’s Up With Penguin To Find Aspiring Travel Writers

logo-travel-writerCalling all aspiring travel writers….

Travel can really excite the imagination. The best travel writing can transport us, make us feel as though we are there.

This is why Travelex and Penguin have come together. They want to find the best new writing talent in travel writing.

So whether you’re a student with writing ambition, a well-travelled person who likes documenting your adventures or spend days writing notes on your next trip, Travelex and Penguin are giving you a chance to win a session with a Penguin editor.

They are looking for travel savvy short stories inspired by ‘a travel experience unlike any other.’

What the experience is and how you tell it is entirely up to you as long as the story is up to 1,000 words.

One lucky writer will win an hour with an editor from Penguin and will be able to get tips, advice and feedback. The winner will also receive £1,500.

There will also be an additional £500 bonus prize for the best entry by a current university or college student.

There will also be a chance for the general public to vote for their favourite travel writer through social media. This will be for entries that make the short list.

If you’re planning on entering, you need to be over 18, and a UK resident (exc. NI.) The piece needs to be unique so not something that has been submitted elsewhere.

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Courses and Competitions: WriteInvite

logo_sketch2Write Invite is an initiative to invite anyone to write. 

They welcome writers of all ages, experiences and styles to get involved in their short story competitions.

It’s run online. The write Onsite competition in particular. This opens at 5.30pm every Saturday.

Three themes are given. Choose your theme, pay the entrance fee (which is £4 and you’ll need a PayPal account,) and you’ll then get a certain amount of time to write and submit your entry.

The entries will then be judged and the top three will then be chosen. These three stories will then be made available to the other participants. They will be online to read and be judged from the following Wednesday to the Saturday at 5pm.

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Courses and Competitions: Mslexia’s Children’s Novel Competition 2016

WebsiteimageAre you an unpublished female novelist or are you thinking of writing a children’s novel? Mslexia are now taking submissions for their 2016 Children’s Novel Competition.

This competition welcomes books written for children (who are able to read for themselves) as well as Young Adult and can be in any genre.

The first prize is £5,000 and five finalists will also receive an invitation to a special networking event with literary agents.

It is £25 per novel to enter and you’ll need to submit the first 3,000 words of your completed children’s novel (which needs to be at least 15,000 words to qualify.)

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Courses and Competitions: Creative Writing For Beginners

UntitledHave you always wanted to write a novel but haven’t known where to start? (Yes. I have.)

The Writers’ Academy (Penguin Random House) is running a Creative Writing Course for Beginners.

Through this course you will gain insight into writing techniques employed by best-selling authors, Contributors include Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveller’s Wife,) SJ Watson (Before I Go To Sleep) and Rowan Coleman (The Memory Book.) You will also benefit from the knowledge of the Random House editors.

Rowan Coleman

Rowan Coleman

Whatever genre you’d like to write, this course can help equip you with the literary tools to start writing.

In this course there will be weekly activities that will guide you through topics like character, plot, point of view and description.

There are various start dates throughout the rest of the year. The next course begins on 27th June 2016 so there is still time to enrol. The next available start date after this current run is September.

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Courses and Competitions: Luke Bitmead Bursary 2016


Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Luke Bitmead Bursary.

Luke was the first author to be published by Legend Press and the bursary was set up shortly after his sudden death in 2006. Now in its ninth year it is the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished authors.

It’s an annual award that was set up to support and encourage the work of novel writers whilst also raising awareness of mental health.

The top prize is a publishing contract with Legend Press as well as a £2,500 cash prize.

There is a £10 fee per submission which goes directly to the Luke Bitmead Memorial Fund. This needs to be paid before you submit your entry.

The novel must already completed before you enter and it must be over 60,000 words to be considered. Also, submissions should be from authors who have not been previously traditionally published and who are 16 or over.

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Courses and Competitions: Start Writing Fiction

regular_51dbd3e2-84fa-4356-ad38-6b76738b6b03Future Learn, in association with The Open University is offering this FREE online course called ‘Start Writing Fiction.’ 

This is suitable for anyone who is writing a book or is thinking of writing one. It’s held completely online so all you need is your computer, a notebook and a comfy chair. You’ll have a chance to give feedback on the work of fellow students as well as gain feedback for your own work.

This course focuses on creating characters, developing ideas as well as editing. It will look at the ritual of writing as well as the importance of keeping a journal.

You’ll also hear from writers such as Louis de Bernières, Alex Garland, Monique Roffey and Michèle Roberts as they talk about their approach to things such as research as well as how they got started with writing.

The latest course will run for 8 weeks and begins on 4th April 2016 so there is still plenty of time to sign up. Future Learn recommend that the course will need approximately 3 hours a week.

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Courses and Competitions: Mslexia Woman’s Short Story Competition 2016

MslexiaShortstory2016Mslexia are still excepting entries for their Woman’s short story competition for 2016.

They are welcoming writers of all levels and experiences and you can write on any subject and style as long as it’s within the 2,200 word limit.

First prize not only includes its publication in the June issue of Mslexia, it also includes £2,000 and optional extras of a week’s writing retreat and a day with an editor at Virago Press.

The person who comes second will receive £500 and third place will receive £250. An additional three finalists will receive £100 and all six will be featured in the June edition of Mslexia.

The judge for this year is author, Michele Roberts.

Entry is £10 per story and the closing date is 14th March 2016.

For more information on the competition, how to enter and the terms and conditions, head to


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Courses and Competitions: BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition

500 wordsAre you a budding writer or do you know one who is between 5-13 years? Well, BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words writing competition is back for 2016.

It’s an opportunity for young children to write, submit their story and win an amazing prize.

According to the 500 Words website, the story needs to be an original piece of fiction. It can be on any subject or theme. It just needs to be five hundred words or fewer.

The winning story could be read live on the radio by a superstar celebrity such as Hugh Bonneville, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch or Jeremy Irons (Scar from The Lion King) and it could be heard by the millions of Radio 2 listeners.

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Courses and Competitions: Mslexia Novel Competition 2015

Mslexia CompetitionMslexia’s Women’s Novel Competition is still open. If you’re a previously unpublished woman’s novelist then you can submit your novel for the chance to win £5,000.

Mslexia are looking for novels of 50,000 words and over in any genre as long as it is written for adults or young adults.

The closing date is 21st September 2015. At this point, they are asking for the first 5,000 words by the closing date. The full manuscript will then be required in October if your novel makes the shortlist.

The fee to enter is £25 per novel.

Judging the competition this year is novelist, Marina Lewycka, literary agent, Juliet Mushens and Di Speirs, the Books Editor at BBC Radio & Music.

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