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Competitions

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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. 

Explore

Open for Entries

Our 2021 competitions have now closed. Read the winners of our short story and flash fiction competitions in issue 92 of Mslexia, or in our inaugural anthology Best Women's Short Fiction 2021. The results of our poetry competition will be announced in March 2022 and our novel competition winner will be announced in June 2022. Check back in June 2022 for information on next competitions.

Novel (Children's & Young Adult)

We run our Children’s & Young Adult Novel Competition for women writers every two years. The competition will open again on 1 June 2022. Past judges include Malory Blackman, Anne Fine, Katherine Rundell and Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

Short Story

Our 2021 short story competition is now closed. Check out the winners in Issue 92 of Mslexia and check back in June 2022 for details on our next competition.

Flash Fiction

Our 2021 flash fiction competition is now closed. Check out the winners in Issue 92 of Mslexia and check back in June 2022 for details on our next competition.

Meet the Judges

Meet the judges of our 2021 Mslexia Fiction Competition: Hilary Mantel DBE, Marianne Tatepo, Jo Unwin, A L Kennedy and Jude Higgins.

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

Can I enter another competition at the same time? What happens to my manuscript? Do you announce the names of shortlist? We treat your work with the same respect we would wish for our own writing.

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.