Prose comp prizes

Our prose competition is now open for entries: See our dedicated blog page for entry details.

This year we have once again received generous sponsorship for our national prize and regional prizes from two excellent literary organisations: Hosking Houses Trust and Gold Dust. See below for details. 

Hosking Houses Trust is sponsoring our national prize for women writers over 40 for the second year running. The prize, which has been enabled by The Foyle Foundation's Skoyles Bursaries Fund, offers our national winner up to a month-long writing retreat and a £1,000 grant.  

Church Cottage 
The Hosking Houses Trust has been operable since 2002. It offers residencies supported by bursaries in Church Cottage in the village of Clifford Chambers which is within two miles of Stratford-upon-Avon. It hosts women writers over the age of forty who have a contract for publication or some form of public dissemination of original work on any subject whatsoever. Residencies are usually between two/three weeks and two/three months and there are no duties. The Trust selects according to professionalism and need and has hosted over seventy writers. 

Church Cottage, where our national winner will take up their residency, is designed for one person, is private and comfortable, and equipped for work and a simple domestic life. There's access to another nearby garden beside the River Stour and a rowing boat. Pets are welcome.

More information about the Trust can be found here

Conditions for this prize: The prize money and residency for the national prize will only be offered in conjunction with one another. The prize money is a condition of the writer taking up the residency and will be transferred to the winner's bank account in April 2018.  The winner will be obliged to pay any expenses - travel, subsistence etc - incurred when taking up the residency. The winner will be put in contact with Hosking Houses Trust in January 2018 to arrange the residency. It is hoped that the residency will take place within 12 months of the prize being awarded. The winner will be able to determine the length of their residency with Hosking Houses Trust. It can be for up to one month or less. Last year's national winner Deborah Arnander opted to spend two weeks at Church Cottage because this suited her work and domestic arrangements best. 

The East of England prize for women writers over the age of 16 from this region offers the winner £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust. 

Jill Dawson
Jill Dawson is the author of nine novels, including the best-selling Fred and Edie, (short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize) and Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange Prize). Her novel The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read.   Her latest is The Crime Writer, about Patricia Highsmith. Jill is the founder of Gold Dust, a high calibre mentoring scheme. 

The mentoring session offered by Jill to our winner will be held either in Cambridge or Ely. During the session Jill will provide detailed input and advice, including suggestions of which agents our winner should approach. Prior to the meeting Jill will read two chapters or stories of the winner's work-in-progress, a brief 1-2 page synopsis and a letter for prospective submission to agents.

All entrants to our prose competition  will receive a code which will enable them to get a 10% discount off Gold Dust's full fee should they wish to apply for  the Gold Dust mentoring scheme.

Gold Dust is an invaluable resource for new and emerging novelists and authors of non-fiction. The Gold Dust mentoring scheme offers eight hours of face-to-face meetings with an established novelist, biographer or short-story writer, usually taking place over a year. In between meetings the mentor will read your work for a further eight hours, and offer feedback on the writing, as well as an insider’s advice on the publishing world and finding an agent.

More information about Gold Dust can be found at

Conditions for this prize: The mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust will take place in Cambridge or Ely where Jill will provide the winner with detailed advice, on receipt in advance of two chapters of a work-in-progress, a brief 1-2 page synopsis & a letter for prospective submission to agents.  The winner will be put in contact with Jill in January 2018 to arrange the mentoring session. It is hoped that the session will take place within 6 months of the prize being awarded. The winner will be responsible for any personal - e.g. travel and subsidence costs etc - incurred when attending the session. It is not a condition of the regional prize that the writer attends the mentoring session. 

Finally both national and regional winners will be published in the Words and Women Compendium. The anthology will be launched on International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2018. The winners will be invited to read at the launch too.

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