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. 



31st January
The Writers College My Writing Journey Competition
600 words on ‘The best writing tip I’ve ever received’. Winner: NZ$200 / R2,000 / £100. 

Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize
4,000 words max. Euro 18 entry fee. Euro 1,000 / 200 + course / 200, for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. 

Guild of Food Writers Awards
Various categories. 

Association of British Science Writers Awards
Various categories. 



1st February 2022
St Gallen Symposium Essay Competition
Topic: Collaborative Advantage: what should be written into a new intergenerational contract? For graduates / post-graduates under 30. 2,100 words max.



22nd March 2022
Pugmill Press Hidden Gem Prizes
Two prizes: Essay Prize and Synopsis Prize. Essay prize is 1,500–2,000 words on any aspect of local history — prize is £75 plus publication. The Synopsis Prize is for the best 300-word synopsis in relation to a book proposal on a local history topic — prize is £25 plus book deal. 



17th May 2022
Globe Soup Short Memoir Competition
Memoir up to 3,000 words. Theme: Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me. Prize £1,000. Entry: £3 members; £5 early entry; £12. 



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.

February 2022
Tacchi-Morris The Page is Printed Prize
Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize
The Society for Army Historical Research Essay Prize
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
Quiet Man Dave Prize

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
Jancis Robinson Wine Writing Competition

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

August 2022
Park Publications Article Writing Competition
AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award
Anne Brown Essay Prize / Wigtown Book Festival
EmpowerHerVoice’s Creative Writing 2021 Competition

September 2022
Planet New Writers Article Competition
The Garden Media Guild Awards
Hubert Butler Essay Prize
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Ghosts of the Landscape Nature Writing Competition
Moth Magazine Nature Writing Prize
RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction
The National Geographic Traveller Travel Writing Competition
The Future Places Environmental Essay Prize
British Guild of Beer Writers’ Awards
Beechmore Books Writing Competition
FT Bracken Bower Prize
The Future Places Environmental Essay Prize
Style x Black Writers’ Guild Essay Competition

October 2022
The Nan Shepherd Prize
Hamer Writer’s Over 40s Non-Fiction Writing Competition
The RUSI’s Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize
The Barbellion Prize
The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize

November 2022
Mountaineering Scotland Mountain Writing Competition
The Somerset Maugham Awards
The Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism

December 2022
The Philosophy Essay Prize
Women’s History Scotland Essay Prize
RHS David Berry Prize

January 2023
Barbara O’Neill Local History Writing Competition — Past Forward Essay Competition

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