News and Opportunities for Writers: December 2018 & January 2019


Birmingham-based independent publisher Emma Press are in November publishing Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain. This anthology is co-edited by Richard O’Brien, recently announced as Birmingham’s Poet Laureate. Order your copy here.

Mslexia have released the 2nd edition of their Indie Press Guide, a comprehensive catalogue of independent presses operating in the UK and ROI. Listing publishers of all forms of writing, the IPG is an invaluable resource for writers. Buy here.


The West Midlands Readers’ Network share new work from some of the region’s most exciting writers in their 2018 Short Story Showcase on 5th December at the BMI. Kate Innes, Susan James, Alison Lester, Paul McDonald and Ashok Patel will be reading as well as discussing their work with Roz Goddard. Tickets here.

Room 204 writer Naomi Paul is performing her solo show Despite Everything, Price Still Includes Biscuits on Monday 18th February at The Cosy Club  as as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival. Find out more here.

Competitions and opportunities:

There’s still time for publishers to send in entries for the YA Book Prize 2019! English language YA fiction titles aimed at 16-24 year olds can be submitted until Friday 7th December. Click here for more information.

The Royal Society of Literature have opened their Ondaatje Prize 2019 for full length works of fiction evoking the spirit of a place. Books may be entered only by publishers based in the UK. Find out more here. Deadline: 12 December 2018.

Loughborough University will again be running the Overton Poetry Prize competition this year. The winner will have the opportunity for their work to be published. Click here for more information. Deadline: 20th December 2018.

Holland Park Press are running a Brexit in Poetry Competition. Love it or hate it most people have strong opinions about the whole Brexit issue. Why not channel your thoughts by writing a poem about it? To enter email your entry to: and follow the submission guidelines carefully. Deadline: 31st December 2018.

The Eccles Centre for American Studies invite applications for researchers from academic or creative backgrounds to spend time exploring British Library’s North American collections. Seeking those that will produce exciting and challenging work as a result. More details can be found here. Deadline: 4th January 2019

Birmingham-based independent publishers Emma Press will be accepting picture book proposals for children from the 14th of January 2019. Successful authors will be matched with an illustrator; authors who illustrate their own work are also welcome to submit. Find out more here. Deadline 20th April 2019

The Royal Society of Literature have launched their Poems for Peace competition for 11-18 year olds. Entrants will write poetry that explores what peace means to them for a chance to win a signed copy of the Peace Poetry anthology and National Book Tokens for themselves and their school. Details here. Deadline: 25th January 2019

Spread the Word have opened their Life Writing Prize. Free to enter, it’s open to emerging writers from across the UK. Prizes include £1,500, publication, an Arvon course, RSL membership and development meetings with an editor and an agent. Deadline is Feb 1st. 

The 2019 Bristol Short Story Prize is now open for entries. This competition is open to all writers published or unpublished, UK or non-UK, and announcements will happen in October 2019. More information here. Deadline 1st May 2019.

Workshops / writing courses:

Rob Gee and Michael Supple guide writers in devising, developing and delivering workshops in their training course for artists this November and December. These sessions are part of the Write On programme of practical advice for artists. Find out more here.

LouDeemY Productions are offering an afternoon of development and fun with a Creative Writing Taster Workshop on 1st December. Meet new people and expand your skill set through a range of writing activities. Tickets available here.

Flash Fiction Workshop, Afternoon Tea and Reading with poet and fiction writer Tania Hershman. Roz Goddard hosts this treat of an afternoon on December 8th at Birmingham and Midland Institute. Book Here.

Writing West Midlands has released its Autumn/Winter programme of short courses, which include Writing a Page-Turner with Liam Brown, and Introduction to Writing for Film & TV with Hayley McKenzie. You can view them all here.


Categories: News