Novel Competitions 2021

An overview of novel competitions across the UK with closing dates for submissions.

CompetitionWhat they sayClosing Date Website




The Bridport Prize


 A prestigious annual prize with categories for poetry, short stories, flash fiction and the novel  31st May 2021 Meet the Judges

The Bridport Prize:

The Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel

Your novel doesn’t have to be finished. We initially need only 5,000 to 8,000 words plus a 300 word synopsis. If you’re long listed we’ll ask for a total of 15,000 words, including your original word count. Shortlisted? Then we need a total 30,000 words, again including your original entry and long listed word count. It all adds up to an incredible opportunity


31st May 2021Bridport Prize
Bath Novel AwardThe Bath Novel Award is a £3,000 international prize for emerging writers of adult fiction 

Caroline Ambrose from the Bath Novel Award is a guest speaker at Novel Nights in Bath on 6th Sept 2019 

Entry Fee £28 with sponsored places for writers on low income 

31st May 2021Bath Novel Award
Bristol Short Story Prize
May 5th 2021Bristol Short Story Prize
BBC National Short Story Award Top Prize of £15,000. Entrants must have been previously published. 9a.m. Monday 15th March 2021BBC National Short Story Award
Claymore Award

The Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors to get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales.

Genre fiction including Action, Adventure, Alternate History, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Suspense, Thriller, and Western manuscripts. $40 per entry 

1st April 2021Claymore Award
 Times Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 




Competition for unpublished and unagented writers of children’s fiction. Prize: a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House and a royalty advance of £10,000 plus an offer of representation from a top literary agent14th May 2021


Good luck

  • Inevitably, this list will be incomplete. If there are other competitions for novelists you think should be on the list, please let me know and email
  • Colette Hill is a reader for the Bridport Prize and co-hosts Novel Nights Bath. Read her blog here on what she looks for in a manuscript.