In case you hadn’t noticed it’s the School Easter holidays for us family-types, so I thought it might be nice to take the children out from the cupboard under the stairs and take them somewhere… Poor mites have been in there so long they’re in danger of turning into those creatures from The Descent. Oh, that reminds me:

The Campaign For Real Fear

Has mainstream horror lost its way? The marvellous Maura McHugh, aka Splinister on Twitter thinks so – and she’s looking for new, scary voices and 500 word stories on the theme of REAL FEAR. If you think you can shock this self-confessed horror nut’s socks off, ENTER NOW. Deadline April 16th. HURRY.

Oklahoma Film Festival

Whilst we’re on the subject of horror, the Oklahoma Film Festival wrote to me today to let us all know they’re inviting screenplay and film submissions – also trailers and graphic novels! Definitely worth a look if you’re into the genre. Final deadline – July 3rd, 2010.

The Bridport Prize

Short story, poetry and flash fiction competition. I entered this competition lots of times as a new writer and always found working to its deadline invaluable, even though I didn’t win – which is why I think contests are great for focusing. Zoe Heller and Michael Laskey judging this year. Final deadline: 30th June, 2010.

A Very Comprehensive List of Short Story Competitions

I should say I just stumbled across this tonight, so no idea if the comps on here are your thing, but defo worth a look – all sorts of different contests: some with fees, some free; some with feedback, some not – lots offer a small cash prize and/or publication in magazines/online. Definitely worth a look and maybe saving to your favourites.


Do you know about East of the Web? This is a great website for short stories – I discovered it in my early days of becoming a teacher and used it frequently in the classroom, but it’s great for writers too. The site has gone strength to strength – it now includes games and interactive material, plus it’s possible now to read stories via your iPhone or iPod Touch. What’s more, you can submit stories for publication. Check it out!

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