skip to main content
Competitions Header Image



Seven career-changing opportunities

Over the years Mslexia has developed a portfolio of highly respected competitions that have propelled many women’s writing careers to the next level. 

Winners, and finalists have discovered that being placed in a Mslexia competition can make a huge difference to how their work is perceived. Our finalists have signed multi-book deals, been awarded grants, achieved agent representation and had their entries broadcast on national radio. Just mentioning a Mslexia longlisting in a cover letter will make the recipient sit up and take notice.

As well as generous cheques, the prizes we offer include publication, career mentoring, manuscript feedback, pitching workshops, and personal introductions to agents and editors. For many the results have been life-changing.

‘The Mslexia Novel Competition was my first big ‘yes’ as a writer, and this summer my agent sold it in a 10-house auction’ Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock

‘My winning pamphlet led to the publication of my first full collection The Disappearing Room (Arc Publications), and my second, The Night We Were Dylan Thomas, published in May 2021. I feel sure that had I not won the Mslexia competition, many of the poems in these books would not have been written.' Mara Bergman

We currently run two annual poetry competitions (for single poem and poetry pamphlet), two annual short fiction competitions (for short story and flash fiction), two biennial novel competitions (for adult novels and novels for children and young adults), and one biennial memoir competition. Scroll down to the Explore panel for details and entry instructions. We operate a sponsored entry scheme for low-income women. 


Open for Entries

Our 2023 poetry competitions are open! Send us your best poems, of any length, in any style to win the top prize of £2,000, plus publication in Mslexia. Do you have a poetry collection? The winner of our Pamphlet Competition will be published by Bloodaxe Books, and receive £250. Closing date for both categories: 4 December. So what are you waiting for? Get submitting!

Novel (Adult)

Our 2023 competition is now closed. Longlisted entrants will be notified in February 2024 and results will be published in the June 2024 edition of Mslexia.

Short Story

Our 2023 short story competition is now closed. Entrants will be notified of the outcome of their work in November 2023. The winner and finalists will be published in the December issue of Mslexia.

Flash Fiction

Our 2023 flash fiction competition closed. Entrants will be notified of the outcome of their work in November 2023. The winner and three finalists, will be published in the December issue of Mslexia.

Novel (Children's & Young Adult)

Our 2022 competition is now closed. Entrants will hear back from us regarding the outcome of their novel in February 2023. The winner will then be announced in the June 2023 edition of Mslexia.

Poetry (Single Poem)

Our 2023 poetry competition is now open! Send us your unpublished poems of any length, on any subject. First prize: £2,000. Closing date: 4 December.

Poetry (Pamphlet)

Our 2023 pamphlet competition is now open. Send us up to 24 pages of poems. The winning pamphlet will receive £250 plus publication by Bloodaxe Books. Closing date: 4 December.

Entry Instructions

Are self-published manuscripts eligible? How do you define ‘unpublished’? We spell out the eligibility criteria and instructions for entering all of our competitions.

Meet the Winners

Browse the most recent winners of our seven main competition categories: a snapshot of excellence as assessed by the individual criteria and idiosyncratic tastes of our latest group of expert judges.

Competitions Policy

What happens to my manuscript? We treat your work with the same respect we would wish for our own writing.