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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. 


Open for Entries

Our 2024 fiction competition is now open in the three categories: flash fiction (submit up to 300 words); short story (submit up to 3,000 words), and children’s & YA novel (submit the first 3,000 words of your manuscript). Closing date for all categories: 23 September.

Novel (Adult)

Our 2023 competition is now closed and will reopen again on the 1 June 2025.

Short Story

Our 2024 short story competition is open! Submit stories no more than 3,000 words. Judge: Leone Ross. Prize: £3,000. Entry fee: £12. Closing date: 23 September.

Flash Fiction

Our 2024 flash fiction competition is now open; submit stories no more than 300 words. Judge: Mary-Jane Holmes. Prize: £500. Entry fee: £6. Closing date: 23 September.

Novel (Children's & Young Adult)

Our 2024 Children’s & YA novel competition is open! Submit the first 3,000 words of your novel for children or young adult readers. Judges: Elle McNicholl, Caroline Carpenter, Clare Wallace. Prize: £5,000. Entry fee: £26. Closing date: 23 September.

Poetry (Single Poem)

Our 2023 poetry competition is now closed! Everyone will be notified of the outcome of their entry in February 2024. The winners will be published in the March 2024 edition of Mslexia.

Poetry (Pamphlet)

Our 2023 competition is now closed and the results are published in the June 2024 edition of Mslexia. Our 2024 competition will open on the 1 September.

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 & Rules

Read our competition rules before submitting. Plus what happens to my manuscript? We treat your work with the same respect we would wish for our own writing.