Opportunities: August 2020

A curated roundup for August 2020 of submission opportunities for short stories, poetry, and non-fiction writing.

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It’s been a curious few months, hasn’t it? Hopefully you’ve been able to keep writing during these unprecedented times and those creative juices are still flowing. So, without further ado, here’s August’s roundup of different writing opportunities where you can submit your writing. Of course, Thanet Writers is still open to submissions for poetry, short stories, essays and book reviews from writers with a connection to Thanet. You can submit your work here.


Let’s start this month off with some poetry opportunities. The first of which is the Women Poets’ Prize for 2020. This prize is every two years to three different female poets and it provides a good mix of different awards for those three women, a poetry mentor, pastoral coaching, professional development opportunities with its partners – Faber and Faber, Bath Spa University, The Poetry School and more. On top of all that, there’s a £1000 bursary for each of the three winners.

You can enter through their website where you can also find all of submission guidelines, but they’re looking for three poems, a statement about why you write poetry and a statement explaining what you think you’d gain from winning the prize. The closing date for submissions is the 14th of August.

The second poetry opportunity comes courtesy of Oxford Brookes University’s International Poetry Competition who are looking to showcase and celebrate the wonderful power that poetry has across the globe. There are two categories for entry; an open one for all poets aged over 18 and one for poets write in English as a second language. There’s £1000 on offer to the winner both categories and £200 for the runner ups. There is an entry fee and it is a bit of a complicated entry process but you can find all the details here; if you’re interested. The deadline for submissions isn’t until the 14th of September so there’s a bit more time for this one.

Short Stories

The first short story opportunity comes from The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. This year’s prize is looking for short stories between two and six thousand words on the theme of home, is free to enter and there’s a £500 prize on offer for the winner as well as all ten short listed entries being published in an anthology. These must be previously unpublished pieces of writing and submissions are open until 23rd of October. Plenty of time to get those short stories put together. For more information and guidelines on how to submit visit their website here.

The second opportunity is Rock and Sling who are looking for slightly longer fiction for their upcoming issue. They don’t exactly specify what counts as long fiction but do state it should be closer to ten thousand than five and up to fifteen thousand words. They also have a good ethos behind their work:

We seek the witness, the experience, the art of Black and indigenous people and people of color. We seek the witness of genderqueer, gender fluid, and all people along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. We seek the witness of immigrants and refugees, of people with disabilities, of women, and all those often marginalized by the literary and publishing communities.

Submissions are open until the 1st of September and can be done through Submittable here. They’re also open to a lot of different creative endeavours like poetry, art and photography so it’s worth a look even if you’re not interested in long fiction.


The first non-fiction opportunity is with The Lindenwood Review who are looking for a wide range of submissions, including personal essays, with very relaxed guidelines on what they’re looking for. The size of the piece should be between one paragraph and fifteen pages – standard sized font – and they want the non-fiction to be well-crafted and fiercely honest but, other than that, it’s up to you. Successful submissions will be published in the review in the spring. It’s free to submit but there isn’t any payment for accepted submissions. Submission is through Submittable here and submissions are open until October.

The second non-fiction opportunity is The Burningword Literary Journal who are looking for flash non-fiction for their next issue. They’re looking for previously unpublished non-fiction between three and five hundred words and you can submit up to two pieces per issue. Submissions are open until the 10th of September, full terms and how to submit can be found here.


For August’s highlight we have the annual Costa Coffee Short Story Award. This competition is for unpublished short stories and they’re judged by members of the public reading and voting on the top three stories. For those top three there’s also prizes of £3500, £1000 and £500, plus it’s free to enter. The closing date of the 28th of August is approaching and you can submit on their website here.


That’s everything for August. Hopefully there’s something here that takes your fancy and good luck with your submissions!

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