Opportunities: October 2020

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

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October is upon us. This year has seemingly gone extremely quickly and slowly at the same time so far – if that’s even possible – and with lockdown restrictions expanding across the country, it’s important that we all keep our creative juices flowing. So, to that end, here is a curated list of different opportunities that you could submit your writing to. Of course, Thanet Writers is still open to submissions and you can submit your writing here.


The first poetry opportunity comes from The Globe Soup Autumn 2020 Poetry Competition. They’re looking for unpublished poetry of up to 50 lines around the theme of Poetry with a Sense of Place and are offering a whopping £1000 prize for the winner and is open until the end of November. Their ethos is about creating an online space about the world around us.

Globe Soup is an online space for creativity inspired by the world around us.

If this tickles your fancy, the full details and details on how to submit can be found on their website here.

The second poetry opportunity this month is the Wales Poetry Award, which is open until the 27th of November. They want poetry of up to 70 lines and they don’t have a theme to write to, all they’re looking for the very best international contemporary poet. You can submit up to 5 poems and there is an entry fee of £5. However, if you are in a low-income household it is free entry. There is a £250, £50 and £25 award for first, second and third respectively as well as a whole host of extra goodies for those three and 10 highly commended entries.

Full details of the prizes and how to enter can be found on their website here.

Short Stories

The first short story opportunity this month is for school children. There are three categories for the Canterbury Tales Writing Competition ranging from 5 years old to 18. The writing should invoke the spirit of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, be under 500 words and be submitted before the 31st of January 2021. There are prizes for the top three entry in each category for the entry as well as the entrant’s school library. It’s also open to those being home schooled or other young people’s community organisations. The theme this year is Be Careful What You Wish For.

To have a look or submit, full details can be found on their website here.

The second fiction opportunity comes from the Young Walter Scott Prize. This is open to young writers aged between 11 and 19 with the focus being on historical fiction between 800 and 2000 words. It’s only open until the 31st of October and it has to be submitted by post. All of the winning stories will be published in an anthology and the winner will receive a £500 travel grant and a two-day trip to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland next June. Runner ups will also receive a £100 book token.

For full details, and to download their entry form – which is required when you post your entry – can be found here.


The first non-fiction opportunity is Dame Magazine. The magazine takes an unabashed look at issues our readers are really talking about. It’s a women owned and edited magazine that provides critical context around political, cultural, and societal issues of our time. They’re open to pitches for content and pay between $200 and $400 depending on what type of feature you pitch.

Full details can be found on their website here.

The second non-fiction one comes from Creative Nonfiction who are looking for a couple of different types of non-fiction for their magazine. They want experimental work and pieces from older writers as well as being open to pitches for columns. There is a cost of $3 to submit unless you subscribe to the magazine, in which case submission is free. The Creative Nonfiction Foundation’s objectives are:

…to provide a venue, through the magazine Creative Nonfiction, as well as through the In Fact Books imprint, for high quality nonfiction prose (memoir, literary journalism, personal essay); to serve as the singular strongest voice of the genre, defining the ethics and parameters of the field; and to broaden the genre’s impact in the literary arena by providing an array of educational services and publishing activities.

If you’re interested you can find out more and submit through their submittable here.


The highlight for October is the2021 St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. The competition is open to authors who have never published a novel, this, unusually, includes self-published authors as long as the entry has not been self-published before. They want a completed novel that has a serious crime or murder at the core of the story and they have a very nice prize for the winner: a publishing contract with a $10,000 advance. The competition is open until the 1st of January 2021 so, if you’ve been working on a novel that fits there’s still enough time to get it finished and sent off, if you want to.

For full terms and submission guidelines you can have a look at their website here.


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

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