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Literary Contests and Events


Deadline of entries: 2 May 2016

If you’re a self-published author looking for that one big break, here’s your chance to make a name for yourself at the premier competition made exclusively for self-published books: the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. The grand prize winner will get $8,000 in cash, a feature article in the March/April 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest, a press release from Writer’s Digest to be sent—along with a copy of the winning book—to 10 different major publishing review houses, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference, and more!
To learn more about this contest, please visit their website.

Deadline of entries: 30 April 2016

A UK-based short story competition but open to all, the Bristol Short Story Prize accepts short stories that are on any theme or subject. Maximum number of words is 4,000, and entries must be original and unpublished. Cash prizes await the winners, plus a feature in the Bristol Short Story anthology. To learn more, visit

Deadline of Entries: 27 May 2016

The Wigtown Poetry Prize is a Scotland-based competition, but is open to anyone throughout and outside the UK. Poems shouldn’t exceed 40 lines and can be in English, Gaelic, or Scots. There is no required theme, so poems can be in any subject matter. Entries can be sent online or through post.

To know more or to join this contest, visit their website here.

Deadline of Entries: 7 July 2016

The Ledbury Poetry Festival is one of the biggest poetry festivals in the UK. In partnership with the National Writers’ Centre for Wales, the event is looking for poem entries that are not more than 40 lines long, original, and previously published. Although the festival takes place in the UK, writers from anywhere in the world can join this competition.

To know more or to join this contest, visit their website here.

Deadline of Entries: 31 August 2016

Ever dreamt of becoming a scriptwriter for TV or Cinema? Your best chance is to join the Shore Scripts Competition. The competition comes in four different categories: Feature, TV Pilot, Short Film Fund, and Short. Writers from all around the world are welcome to join as long as the entry script is written in English.

Entries will be judged by the most prestigious people in the industry—Oscar, Bafta, Emmy, Golden Globes, and/or Cannes awardees. Top scripts will be sent to over 70 production companies and partner agents around the world. Winners will also receive cash and other prizes.

To know more or to join this contest, visit their website here.

Deadline of Entries: 23 September 2016

The Manchester Writing Competition was established by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy in 2008 to attract the best new writing from anywhere in the world. It is now open in two categories: Poetry Prize and Fiction Prize.

Although a UK-based competition, writers outside the UK can still join as long as they are above 16 years of age. For Poetry Prize entries, poems should be in English and should not exceed 120 lines. For Fiction Prize entries, short stories should also be in English and should not be more than 2,500 words.

To know more or to join this contest, visit their website here.

Conferences and Events

Event is from 10 to 15 May 2016

For 15 years, the Auckland Writers Festival has provided a place for over 22,000 attendees to celebrate the world of books and ideas. It brings together writers from different backgrounds and calibre—contemporary fiction writers, non-fiction writers, poets, journalists, and even economists. The programme is driven to explore ideas and share stories though brilliant conversations.

Learn more about what this festival has in store for you by visiting their page here.

Event is on 24 May 2016

Pop is a series of events that aims to create happiness and spark ideas, new experiences, and meeting connections in your area.

Pop Poetry will be held in Auckland and invites poets, lyricists, and wordsmiths to word up and let their voices be heard. Learn more by visiting their website here.

7th July, 4th August, 1st September, 6th October, 3rd November, 1st December

The Watercooler provides a platform for people from all walks to tell stories both true and imagined. Storytellers are given a simple brief to share a story inspired by the month’s theme, whether based on real-life experiences or entirely fictional.

Past storytellers have been writers, journalists, playwrights, comedians, fashion designers, musicians, poets and more. Each issue features a guest host and is brought together by a guest producer - so you never know which familiar face you might see on our stage.

August 1-31, 2016

Words in Winter is a not-for-profit festival celebrating words, stories and ideas of all manners and forms. The festival is for both locals and visitors, consisting of local and visiting presenters, and including events in writing, readings, poetry, theatre, music, talks, workshops, visiting authors, and exhibitions. Founded by David Hall in 2002, Words in Winter has grown from being a Daylesford-only event into an annual literary and arts festival.

Held every Wednesday from January to December

Every Wednesday at 10:30 AM, a fun story-time and activity session is held at the children’s area of Hasting’s Library. Everyone is welcome to join and take part in storytelling! Visit to know more.

Event is on the first Tuesday of every month

Putting a different spin on tale-telling, the Wellington Storytellers Cafe casts different guest tellers every month to share stories—long or short—for adults. You can visit their Facebook page for updates and more information.

Third Wednesday of Every Month

As a writer, you might benefit from listening and learning from veteran authors who are willing to talk about their literary experiences. At the East Coast Bays Library, listen and learn from authors while they share their knowledge and experiences. The talk officially starts at 10:45, while sharing and sipping of morning tea starts at 10:30!

To learn more, visit

Duration: November 6, 2016

Writers are invited to enjoy a whole day of writing in Melbourne. Enjoy a metropolitan retreat that will include coffee, proper tea, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Practice your writing with writing prompts. Study excerpts from published works highlighting different aspect of writing. Enjoy various journals and publications.

Duration: November 24, 2016

Take part in a celebration of H.G. Wells and his classic novel War of the Worlds. Enjoy an improve performance of this science fiction classic at the Space Place planetarium, at Kelburn, Wellington.