Today’s post contains a conference and a slew of writing contests that will help you get some international recognition. Many of them are for flash and micro fiction (100 words, sometimes called drabbles). And there’s a First Sentence contest – one way to get your elevator pitch… And then there’s the huge New York conference for thriller writers and fans.
ThrillerFest is the annual conference of International Thriller Writers and the premier event of the year for thriller fans, authors, and publishing professionals. There’s probably no other venue that gathers as many thriller and crime writers under one roof. This year’s authors are Diana Gabaldon, Frederick Forsyth, and Alafair Burke, among others. This year’s ThrillerFest is going live again from May 31-June 4 in New York City. If you’re writing or reading thrillers, this one might be for you. The event includes CraftFest and PitchFest, which connect authors with agents and editors as writers pitch their manuscripts. It’s set up like a speed-dating event where attendees pitch completed manuscripts to an agent or an acquiring editor for a few minutes, get the agent’s or editor’s reaction, then move on to the next agent or editor. The session lasts for a total of three-and-a-half hours. Check all the package options here. Save money by booking before February 28.
Last but not least from the ITW – my last post mentioned a first Chapter and first-page contest. ThrillerFest has distilled that down to a Best First Sentence Contest. Each winner will receive a 10-page critique from one of the teachers from their Master Class. Deadline May 1. To enter, email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. To qualify for entry you must be an ITW (International Thriller Writers) member or registered for this year’s ThrillerFest XVII.
Writer’s Digest hosts the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. Win $10,000 in cash, a feature about you in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference! Submit here. Early bird deadline April 1, regular deadline, May 1.
Why not get yourself published in Britain? Here, via Christopher Fielden, are a few more British contests/competitions open to international writers:
Indigo Dreams Publishing, a UK hybrid publisher has opened its Poetry Prize for submissions. They’re asking for unpublished poems on any theme of forty lines max. £5 entry fee. £250 prize. Winners published in their magazine. Closes March 31.
Fiction Factory, a UK group of writers, runs several writing competitions each year, and they have launched a new biannual poetry competition. 40 lines max. £3 entry fee. £100 top prize, plus other prizes in the form of critiques and mentoring. Shortlisted poems are published on their website. Closes May 31.
Michael Terrence Publishing, a hybrid publisher in the UK, has opened submissions to their 2022 short story competition. This includes creative nonfiction (not essays). Open to writers worldwide, there’s a £7 entry fee (£5 early bird). 3,000 words max. £1,000 top prize, plus generous cash prizes for runners-up. They accept fiction and non-fiction. Closes May 31. Prizewinning stories will be published in their 2022 anthology (print and ebook).
The Periscope Prize, a competition for flash fiction, is open for entries until midnight (UK time) on April 2. 900 words max. I have to admit, I was taken by their description of the topic: Fate knocking at the door. “We want your tongue-in-cheek clichés, your desperate reinterpretations, your hopes, dreams, and nightmares. We want your frustrations, your ‘I told you so’s and whatever else your characters might come up with in the struggle for on-page survival, or death. We want precision, perspective, and mind-blowing revelations. Make us see the theme in ways we couldn’t possibly conceive of, without you! In short, we want it all, but we want it short: 900 words – tops. Maximum of three entries per author. Entry fee: £9. The top prize is a whopping £4,000.
The UK’s Wells Literary Festival is running four international writing competitions which open for submissions on April 1 this year and closes on June 30. The open poetry contest is on any subject, no more than 35 lines. Entry fee £6, with prizes: 1st £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250. The short story contest takes entries on any subject, 1-2,000 words. Entry fee, £6, with prizes: 1st £750, 2nd £300, 3rd £200. (The Festival’s website is still showing the details for 2021, but it will be updated before the competitions reopen on April 1.
That’s it, for this month. See you next time, and in the meantime, keep writing!
Oh, and if you feel like it, pre-order my memoir – coming May 7! Thanks