January Opportunities 2020

Published Wed 1 Jan 2020 - By Literature Wales

We have compiled a small list of some exciting opportunities with upcoming deadlines for writers and literary organisations alike. Keep up to date with opportunities for writers by signing up to our newsletter and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Nant Writers’ Retreat – Ongoing

A historical Grade II* listed cottage which has been newly renovated for writing retreats. Based at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, Llanystumdwy, this self-contained, fully equipped cottage provides a comfortable and quiet haven where you can concentrate on your work in progress, add those finishing touches to your writing, or simply revive your creativity.

For more information, visit:


BBC Writersroom’s annual window for unsolicited drama scripts – 9 December 2019, 10 am to 6 January 2020, 5 pm

During the BBC’s open submission period, you can hand in drama scripts written for film, TV, radio or stage, online and children’s TV/radio. Scripts should be finished (no first drafts) and at least 30 pages long. At the end of the process, a group of writers (usually between 10 and 15) will be selected to join the BBC Drama Room writer development group for 2020/21. The group usually meets once a month and receives targeted training and development.

For further information, please visit:


Soho Theatre Verity Bargate Award 2020 – 10 January 2020

The Verity Bargate Award is Soho Theatre’s flagship new writing award. The Award is open to any playwright who has had fewer than three professional productions and who lives in the UK or Ireland. There are no restrictions on subject matter. Musicals and other forms of theatre are welcome but will only be judged on the text that is submitted. The winner receives £7,500 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce the play.

For more information, visit:


Magma 2019/20 Poetry Competition – 11 January 2020

Magma’s Poetry Competition has two contests, one for short poems of up to 10 lines and one for poems of 11 to 50 lines. Poems may be on any subject. They must be in English and your own original work. They must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication before. Prizes range from £150 to £1000.

For more information, visit:


The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing – 13 January 2020

This annual prize is open worldwide and sponsored by the Mogford Hotels and Restaurants Group. To enter, submit an unpublished short story not longer than 2,500 words which revolves in some way around food or drink. The winner will received £10.000 and will be announced at a prize-giving event on 1 April 2020.

For more information, visit:


Alternarratives Prize for Innovation in Storytelling – 13 January 2020

Alternarratives is a £15,000 prize for UK writers to explore innovation in short-form storytelling. In its pilot year, the prize will encourage storytellers to imagine how short fiction can help re-engage young people with reading for pleasure. The opportunity is open to all writers – entries from non-YA writers are strongly encouraged. The prize for the overall winner is £15,000, and 10 longlisted writers will each receive a £1,000 bursary for the realisation of a new or existing project and the opportunity to participate in an ideation workshop.

For more information, visit:


2020 Calibre Essay Prize – 15 January 2020

The Calibre Essay Prize is awarded by the Australian Book Review and is open to all essayists writing in English. To enter, submit an essay of between 2,000 and 5,000 words on any subject. Essays of all kinds are welcome – personal or political, literary or speculative, traditional or experimental. Prizes are $5,000 for the winner and $2,500 for the runner-up. The overall winning essay will be published in the magazine in May 2020 with the runner-up to be published later in the year.

For more information, visit:


Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize – 17 January 2020

The prize is open to women aged 21 who are resident in the UK or Ireland and who have not had a full-length novel published. The work can be on any subject. Novels for young adults or children are accepted if they are mainly word-based; picture books are excluded. To enter, submit the first 40-50 pages of your novel and a synopsis of the remainder (3-5 pages). The winner will receive £1,500 and all shortlisted entrants will receive a one-to-one consultation with an agent at Peters Fraser Dunlop.

For more information, visit:


Influx Press Submissions – 19 January 2020

Influx Press are looking for non-fiction proposals. They will be open for unsolicited submissions from Women and non-binary authors for two weeks from January 5th to the 19th 2020.

They are looking for offbeat non-fiction that explores contemporary life and culture in the UK or beyond. Be as creative with the idea of non-fiction as you like, genre bending, disruptive and innovative work is encouraged.

For more information, visit:


Collaborative Doctoral Award: Writing Pain – 27 January 2020

This is an opportunity for students from the UK and EU to apply for a PhD with the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

Writing Pain is a partnership between the pain management team at Powys NHS Teaching Health Board, Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and the Reading Centre for Cognitive Research.

The project is about practical intervention in pain management – by using creative writing as a tool to communicate, document and manage chronic pain conditions – and is supported by academic research into the way pain is perceived and narrated in the individual and in society. As a PhD student, you would help design and support the project, which will include practice-based research with academic investigation and working with medical staff and practitioners as well as patient users.

For more information, contact Jacqueline Yallop, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University:

Applications are via the website of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.:


Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020 – 30 January 2020

Arts and Cultural organisations from across the UK can now apply to be a Host for the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme. The programme provides an opportunity for talent from socioeconomic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented across the arts to develop and thrive. They are looking to work in partnership with 50 Host organisations to create 50 paid, year-long creative Fellowships to expand their capacity for artistic production and take part in an 18-month Organisational Change programme.

For more information, visit:


Hay Festival Europa28: what does Europe mean to you? – 1 February 2020

Hay Festival Europa28 is a global Hay Festival project exploring the future of Europe and celebrating some of the continent’s most inspiring new thinkers. 28 women writers from the 28 European countries have been commissioned to share their visions for the future in essays and lectures that we’ll be sharing throughout 2020.

For more information, visit:


Spread the Word Life Writing Prize – 3 February 2020, 11 am

The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize is open to writers living in the UK aged over 18 who have yet to publish a full-length work or have a literary agent. The Prize defines life writing as writing that is not fiction but “intended to be true” and reflecting someone’s own life journey or experiences. The winner will receive £1,500, a writing mentor, an Arvon course (subject to availability), two years’ membership with the Royal Society of Literature, and an optional development meeting with an agent and an editor. Two highly commended writers will receive £500 each, two mentoring sessions and an optional development meeting with an agent and/or an editor.

For more information, visit:


Writers’ & Artists’ Short Story Competition – 13 February 2020

Writers’ & Artists’ annual short story competition gives you a chance to win a place on one of Arvon’s residential writing courses (worth £1000, taking place in England) and have your story published on To enter, submit a short story for adults of no more than 2,000 words and with a theme of your choice.

For more information, visit:


2020 Papatango New Writing Prize – 17 February, 9 pm

The Papatango New Writing Prize is the biggest playwriting award in the UK. The competition is open to all residents in the UK and Ireland. To enter, submit an original, unperformed and unproduced full-length play (minimum of 60 minutes or 9,000 words). The winner will develop their play with Papatango over several months and have it performed in London and in a national tour. The script will be published by Nick Hern Books and the writer will receive royalties of ticket sales and a £6,500 commission for their next play.

For more information, visit:


Christopher Tower Poetry Prize 2020 – 2 March 2020

The Tower Poetry competition is free to enter and open to students between 16 and 18 years who are educated in the UK. To enter, submit a poem of up to 48 lines on this year’s topic: trees. Prizes are between £250 and £3,000. Eligible winners are also invited to attend the next biennial Tower Poetry Summer School.

For more information, visit:


New Welsh Writing Awards 2020: Rheidol Prize for Prose with a Welsh Theme or Setting – 17 March 2020

The Award is for short unpublished books (between 5,000 and 30,000 words), either fiction or non-fiction, written in English and with a Welsh theme or setting. Entrants must be resident in the UK or Ireland or must have been educated in Wales for a minimum of six months. The winner will receive a cash prize of £1,000 as an advance against an e-publishing deal and a positive critique from literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown Literary Agency in London. Second prize is a residential course of the writer’s choice at Literature Wales’ Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, and third prize is a two-night stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire.

For more information, visit:


Writing Wizardry Competition – 27 March 2020

A competition for all young writers up to 11 years. To enter, send in a poem or a story of fewer than 500 words. The story can be about anything but must be your own original work. The winner in each category receives a tower of books and three free copies of the anthology in which your poem or story will be published. The runners up receive a £25 book token plus three copies of the anthology. There is also a special school prize for the school which submits the most entries that make it onto the shortlist.

For more information, visit:


Write on Art Prize – 31 March 2020

Write on Art is an annual prize for young writers aged 15 to 18, sponsored by Art UK and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. To enter, pick one artwork featured on the Art UK website and write about it: What does it say to you? What’s the history behind it? How does it make you feel? The winners will receive cash prizes between £100 and £500 and have their essays featured on the Art UK and Paul Mellon Centre websites.

For more information, visit:


Bath Short Story Award – 20 April 2020

The competition is open to all writers, based in the UK or elsewhere, who are 16 years or older.

To enter, hand in a previously unpublished story on any subject of up to 2,200 words. The first prize is £1,200, second prize is £300 and third prize is £100. The Acorn Award for an unpublished writer of fiction will be £100. The entry fee is £8.00 for each submission.

For more information, visit:


Bristol Short Story Prize – 30 April 2020

The Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all writers, whether published or unpublished, UK or non-UK based. 20 stories will be shortlisted and published in an anthology. The winner and two runners up will be selected from the shortlist and announced at an awards ceremony in October 2020. The first prize is £1,000, second prize is £500 and third prize is £250. The remaining shortlisted writers will be presented with 17 further prizes of £100.

For more information, visit:



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