Writing competitions

Below is a list of non-fiction, essay, memoir and life writing competitions, awards and prizes from UK, Ireland and Europe — although some are open to writers internationally. 

For non-fiction writing contests and awards from Canada and America, and mostly aimed at North American writers, click here. For Australia and New Zealand, click here

Competitions whose terms and conditions request copyright in entries submitted — or make other unreasonable demands — are not included. T&Cs are usually checked, but some copyright-grabbers may slip through. Please check carefully. 



25th July
Young Economist of the Year Competition
Open to A Level Students. Up to 1,000 words on one of five set questions. 



1st August
Park Publications Article Writing Competition
‘My Writing Inspiration’. 1,500 words. £3 entry. £50 / £25 / £15. 

AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award
Various categories. 



1st September
Planet New Writers Article Competition
Broad brief. 1,500–2,000 words. For “lively, well-crafted essays which leave a lasting impression”. £200 prize. 

3rd September
Hubert Butler Essay Prize
Theme: ‘Who or what benefited from Covid 19?” £1,000 top prize; 2 x £500. 

15th September
Moth Magazine Nature Writing Prize
Ages 16 and over. Euro 15 per entry (unlimited entries permitted). 4,000 words max. A week at Circle of Masse plus Euro 1,000 prize. 

17th September
RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction
For non-fiction books in progress to support talented writers’ completion of their projects. £10,000 / £5,000 / £2,500. 

19th September
The National Geographic Traveller Travel Writing Competition
“500 words on an inspiring travel experience”. Prize: 8-night stay in Kenya. 

25th September
Beechmore Books Writing Competition
On the theme of ‘perspective’. £200 / £100. Any form, including non-fiction. 



29th October
The RUSI’s Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize
For essays on “any topic related to national or international defence and security”, including but not limited to the re-emergence of economic warfare, deglobalisation and food security, and migration in a global pandemic. 4,000 words max. Two categories (one for those in F/T education; one open). £1,000 prize in each. 



NB: Most of the following are included on the basis of having run in the previous year, but are provisional or as yet unconfirmed for the upcoming date specified.

August 2021
Eyewear Publishing’s Beverly Prize for Literature
The Biographers Club’s The Tony Lothian Prize
MTP Agency Short Story Competition
Mountaineering Scotland Mountain Writing Competition
Canal and Rivers Trust ‘Words on the Waterway’

September 2021
Deborah Rogers Foundation 2022 Writers Award
La Piccioletta Barca Contest
Future Potentialis / Alexandria Essay Prize
The Garden Media Guild Awards
MsLexia Memoir & Life Writing Competition
The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize
Style Magazine / Black Writers Guild Fashion & Beauty Essay Prize
Journal of Ecclesiastical History’s Eusebius Essay Prize
FT Bracken Bower Prize
British Guild of Beer Writers’ Awards
SWWJ’s John Walter Salver 2020

October 2021
The Philosophical Quarterly Essay Prize
RSTMH Student Essay Competition
The Bergen International Essay Competition
The Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize
The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize
The Barbellion Prize
The Oldie’s Jeremy Lewis Memorial Prize

November 2021
Transitions Abroad Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest
The Philosophy Essay Prize
Guardian Weekend x gal-dem memoir writing competition
The Somerset Maugham Awards
The Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism
Wisden Almanack Writing Competition

December 2021
Royal Historical Society’s David Berry Prize
vLex International Law and Technology Writing Competition
RSL Ondaatje Prize
Jhalak Prize
Women’s History Scotland Essay Prize
Wild Words Winter Writing Competition 

January 2022
Ian Bell New Writing Award
The Nine Dots Prize
Amnesty Media Awards
Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize
Rose Mary Crawshay Prize 
The Writers College My Writing Journey Competition

February 2022
Tacchi-Morris The Page is Printed Prize
St Gallen Symposium Essay Competition
Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize
The Guild of Food Writers Awards
Past Forward Essay Competition
Association of British Science Writers Awards
The Society for Army Historical Research Essay Prize
World Bank Blog Writing Contest
Northern Writers Awards
Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival / Bipolar Scotland Writing Competition

March 2022
Borough Press Of This Our Country Essay Competition
Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law Essay Competition
Fitzcarraldo Editions Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize
New Welsh Review Welsh Writing Awards
NAWG Members Writing Competitions
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History World Christianities Essay Prize 

April 2022
The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize
Keats-Shelley Essay Prize
Together in the UK Creative Writing Competition

May 2022
Mavis Batey Essay Prize
Wild Atlantic Creative Nonfiction Award
MTP 2021 Short Story Competition
National Centre for Writing’s Young Norfolk Writing Competition
Queen Mary Wasafiri Writing Prize
The Writers College Free Writing Competition

June 2022
Libra Education Essay Prize
Love Books Competition
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
Paul Mellon Centre Write on Art Prize
John Locke Institute Essay Competition
Write on Art Prize

July 2022
Dartington Trust Schumacher College Essay Competition
Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award
Sustainable Futures Sustainability First Writing Prize
Young Wild Writer Competition

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