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Mslexia Competition Entry
MSLEXIA WOMEN'S WRITING COMPETITIONS
Mslexia runs four writing competitions: the poetry competition, established in 2004, for poems of up to 40 lines; the short story competition for stories of up to 2,200 words; since 2011, the unpublished women's novel competition for full-length novels (which shifts focus each year and was for any genre of novel for adults in 2011, and children's novels in 2012); and, in its second year in 2013, the women's pamphlet competition.
Prizes for all of the competitions are substantial and past judges include Helen Simpson, Tracy Chevalier and Jackie Kay for the short story competition; Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope, Jo Shapcott and Ruth Padel for the Poetry Competition; and judging panels including Jenni Murray, Malorie Blackman, Sarah Waters, Val McDermid, Julia Churchill and Clare Alexander for the Novel Competition. Winning entries to the short story and poetry competitions are all published in the magazine, and all winners are celebrated within the pages of Mslexia.
The 2013 Women's Poetry Competition is for previously unpublished poems of any length and in any style and is now open for entries. Judge: Kathleen Jamie. First prize is £2,000 plus two optional extras: a week at the idyllic poets' retreat of Cove Park, and a mentoring session with the editor of Poetry Review; 2nd prize: £400; 3rd prize: £200; 17 runners-up will receive £25 each. All winning poems will be published in Mslexia. Closing date: 17 June 2013. Read the rules ≫
The 2013 Women's Pamphlet Competition is for collections of 20-24 pages of 18-20 poems by women poets who have not previously had a full-length collection published. Prize: publication by Seren Books, plus £250, plus 25 copies of the pamphlet, plus ten per cent royalties from all subsequent sales. Judge: Amy Wack, poetry editor at Seren Books. Closing date: 17 June 2013. Read the rules ≫
The 2013 Women's Novel Competition for unpublished women writers is for fiction novels of at least 50,000 words in any genre for children who are able to read for themselves. Prize £5,000. Judging panel: Kirsty Lang, Val McDermid, Charlotte Robertson. Closing date: 23 September 2013. Read the rules ≫
The 2013 Women's Short Story Competition is for previously unpublished stories of up to 2,200 words. Judge: Janice Galloway. First prize: £2,000, Second prize: £500, Third prize: £250, Three other finalists win £100 each. All winning stories will be published in Mslexia. Closing date: 18 March 2013. Read the rules ≫
NINE YEARS OF THE MSLEXIA WOMEN'S POETRY COMPETITION
Clare by Jo Haslam (Gillian Clarke – 2012)
The war years by Jane Satterfield (Jo Shapcott – 2011)
The widower and his clothes by Margaret Livingston (Vicki Feaver – 2010)
The Inland Waterways (IW) by Sarah Roby (Ruth Padel – 2009)
A Song of Jean by Sibyl Ruth (Carol Ann Duffy – 2008)
Too close by Ann Alexander (UA Fanthorpe and RV Bailey – 2007)
For a plain man by Marianne Burton (Wendy Cope – 2006)
Buffalo Mozarella by Polly Clark (Jo Shapcott – 2005)
Women by Polly Clark (Selima Hill – 2004)
FOUR years of the MSLEXIA WOMEN'S SHORT STORY COMPETITION
What goes around by Tamsin Cottis (Tessa Hadley – 2012) » Listen to this Story
Concessions by Cate Bailey (Jackie Kay – 2011)
Love: A Painting by Sarah Klenbort (Tracy Chevalier – 2010)
Wiggy by Beda Higgins (Helen Simpson – 2009)
TWO YEARS OF THE MSLEXIA WOMEN'S NOVEL COMPETITIONS
Deep Water by Lu Hersey (Children's Novel Competition: Malorie Blackman, Julia Churchill, Julia Eccleshare – 2012)
The Palace of Curiosities (formerly The Beast In All Her Loveliness) by Rosie Garland (Adult Novel Competition: Clare Alexander, Jenni Murray, Sarah Waters – 2011) » More information
ONE YEAR OF THE MSLEXIA WOMEN'S POETRY PAMPHLET COMPETITION
Shadow Dispatches by Polly Atkin (Amy Wack – 2012) » Buy this pamphlet
"It has given me a new confidence in my writing" - Margaret Livingston
Read what the short story winners say about their experience of the 2012 Mslexia Short Story competition; and what the poets say about being placed in the 2012 Mslexia Poetry Competition by judge Jo Shapcott.
For more information please call +44 (0) 191 204 8860 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New writing exercises are devised as inspiration for competition entries each year. Polish up your novel manuscript with suggestions by Rose Gaete in Quick Fix Fiction, have a go at our 'Stealing Stories' writing exercises devised by Sarah Salway especially for the 2012 short story competition, or try your hand at our series of poetry workshops devised by Pascale Petit.
An exercise devised by MARGARET WILKINSON to kickstart a story
A short story should chronicle a change.
- Visualise an object in your hand (a hat, a pencil, a book…), then imagine it transformed in some way (squashed, broken, painted blue…). Now create a story that contains and explains the transformation.
- Write a story in which a character makes a prediction – and then the opposite happens.
- Skim-read a newspaper for a headline that intrigues you. Construct a series of events leading up to that headline, and write about them.
- Imagine yourself alone and happy in a place you love. A person you know but dislike interrupts to tell or give you something.
What happens next?