Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Here are four competitions you may well be interested in:

Lightship Short Story Competition,
Lightship Poetry Competition,
Lightship Flash Fiction Competition
and the Lightship First Chapter Competition.

All four competitions have been organised by, yes, you guessed, Lightship Publishing, a new independent publishing company based in Hull, northern England, headed up by writer and creative writing teacher Simon Kerr.

Now, before you decode 'new', 'independent', and 'northern England' as 'flaky', 'under-funded' and 'provincial', be aware that Lightship has managed to corral some heavyweight support from literary luminaries, both as patrons of the whole endeavour and as judges for the respective competitions.

Remember Sir Andrew Motion, the former Poet Laureate? Well, he's involved as a patron, as are novelist Hilary Mantel and poet Christopher Reid. And, Lightship has managed to retain novelist Tibor Fischer, well-known agent Simon Trewin (United Agents), writer Toby Litt, poet Jackie Kay, publisher Alessandro Gallenzi, and Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner Kachi A. Ozumba as competition judges.

All prize-winners will be published by respected literary publisher Alma Books in 2011. The winner of the Flash Fiction competition will receive £500, while all the other prize winners will receive £1000.

But, that's not all, the winner of the First Chapter competition will receive three professional mentoring sessions over the course of a year from Tibor Fischer, Simon Trewin and Alessandro Gallenzi. They will also receive editorial support from author, and Lightship editor, Simon Kerr. And, if, after the mentoring process, the First Chapter winner's finished novel is as enthralling as the first chapter, Simon Trewin will represent their work and Lightship Publishing and Alma Books will publish it. Thus, the hope is that with a quote from Tibor Fischer on the cover, people will pick up your novel in a bookshop, and buy it. 

The organisers say, "If your work is of the highest quality your mentors may become your champions. Winning First Chapter is a fantastic publicity platform to launch your novel and achieve the acclaim and sales that could secure you a career as a novelist in a highly competitive market."

The closing date for all entries for all competitions is June 30th, 2011.

The competions are open to all writers writing in English regardless of nationality or place of residence.

So, there you go, you have plenty of time and no excuses, except, perhaps, not being able to afford, or organise, the £15 Sterling online entry fee for the First Chapter competition, or the £12 for the Short Story competition, the £10 fee for Flash Fiction or the £8 fee for the Poetry competition.

Go HERE for all the details and rules etc.
Best of luck.


  1. Can't connect to the link for the 4 comps. Has the Lightship sunk?

  2. Don't think so - links in opening paragraph now fixed. Thanks for calling in. Regards.