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29th September 2015

Editor’s picks: Upcoming writing competitions

A quick glance at upcoming writing competitions, including cash prizes for the financially-challenged student

Amnesty International Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31st of October

Writers must be Sri Lankan to enter this competition, either living in the country or having emigrated within the last 20 years. There have been enforced disappearances for decades in Sri Lanka, hence the title of the competition: ‘Silenced Shadows’ in order to raise awareness. Entries can only be submitted in English, Tamil, or Sinhala, but can be submitted from anywhere in the world. Entrants must be aged 14 or over when they submit to the competition.

Prizes: There is no cash prize for this writing competition but all the winning poems will be published on the Amnesty website. A book of those winning poems, which will contain all three languages, will also be published by Amnesty International in 2016 and be sent to all their writers. The Panel of Judges will consist of a variety of acclaimed writers and poets of whom a list is available on the Amnesty website.

Entry Fee: Free


SLAMbassadors UK 2015 | Closing Date: 30th of September 2015

SLAMbassadors UK is the national youth slam and the upper age limit is 18 so this is one for you Freshers. Slam is the competitive art of spoken word performed before a buzzing audience. Young adults from all over the UK are invited to enter by filming themselves performing a poem or rap piece and uploading it to their SlamCam Youtube channel.

The theme is ‘identity’, which you may interpret how you like: Cultural identity, national identity, who you are, what you see and how it’s shaped you, human identity, identity crises, etc.

Prizes: Six acts will be chosen from across the UK to take part in an intensive, two-day masterclass with the spoken word artist Joelle Taylor. The best portfolio of three to five poems will win a £10,000 prize. Open to all writers aged 16-18.

Entry Fee: Free


Manchester Fiction Prize | Closing Date: 25th of September 2015

Established by Carol Anne Duffy and run by Manchester Metropolitan University, this is a prize for those who have a cool few pounds to spare in the name of a massive cash prize: £10,000 for the best short story of up to 2,500 words! Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 and over.

Entry Fee: £17.50


National Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 31st of October 2015

This is The Poetry Society’s annual competition for a previously unpublished single poem. It will be judged by Sarah Howe, Esther Morgan, and David Wheatley.

Prizes: 1st Prize: £5,000, 2nd Prize: £2,000, 3rd Prize: £1,000, and seven commendations of £200. The top three winning poems will also be published in the Poetry Society’s leading international journal, The Poetry Review, as well as having the possibility of reading at some of the UK’s most prestigious literature festivals.

Entry Fee: £6.50 for your first poem, and £3.50 per poem thereafter

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