Category Archives: Writing competitions

Aesthetica creative writing award

“The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is an international literary prize that is a hotbed for new talent in Poetry and Short Fiction.

The Prize, now in its 13th year, is organised by the art and culture publication, Aesthetica Magazine.

Every year, we support both emerging and established writers and through the Prize, we offer publication in an anthology that is an inspiring collection of narrative and poetic forms”.

To read more, or to enter please visit

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Ilkley Literature Festival

Get Writing: Our 2019 Competitions Are Open

We are pleased to announce that our hotly anticipated annual poetry
and short story writing competitions are now open for entries.

2019 Walter Swan Poetry Prize

Now in its fourth year, the Walter Swan Poetry Prize is open to all writers of poetry aged 18 and over. Previous prize winners have been praised for their unique voices, precise use of language, powers of observation and use of fresh imagery, and qualities such as lyricism and musicality.

The prize will be judged by the 2019 Festival Poet-in-Residence, who will be announced shortly. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed poems will win a share of prize money totalling £375 and be invited to read their poems on stage at an event at 2019 Ilkley Literature Festival this October.

  • Entries can be on any subject.
  • Poems should be no longer than 30 lines.
  • Entry fees: £5 per poem for entrants aged over 25, and £2.50 per poem for entrants aged under 25
  • 1st prize winner will receive £200, 2nd prize £100 and 3rd prize £75

Closing date for receipt of entries: Wednesday 31 July 2019, 11.30pm

Click here for full terms and conditions and to enter the 2019 Walter Swan Poetry Prize

Aged 18-25? Keep reading…

The poetry prize is run by Ilkley Literature Festival in partnership with The Walter Swan Trust. Established in memory of writer Walter Swan, the Trust promotes all forms of creative writing and has a particular interest in providing opportunities to young and new writers.

In this spirit, the 2019 Walter Swan Poetry Prize is providing extra incentives for poets aged 18-25 years to enter the competition. Firstly, we’re making it easier for younger writers to enter the competition by reducing the entry fees for those aged 25 and under to just £2.50 per poem.

Secondly, for no additional fee, entrants aged 18-25 will automatically be entered into consideration for a brand new subcategory prize for young adult writers, as well as for the main prize (it will be possible for an eligible entrant to win both!).

The top placed poems within the 18-25 years subcategory will be decided by festival’s 2019 Apprentice Poet-in-Residence, usually an emerging young poet themselves.

The winners of the subcategory will be invited to read their poems on stage at a 2019 Ilkley Literature Festival event, showcasing a new generation of rising poets, and will share £225 of total prize money (1st prize £100, 2nd prize £75, 3rd prize £50).

Click here for full terms and conditions and to enter the 2019 Walter Swan Poetry Prize

2019 ILF Short Story Competition

Last year’s short story competition prize winners featured an eerie masterclass in ghostly tension, a guttural family story of absence and the unsaid, and a tale simultaneously bizarre comedy and heart-wrenching psychodrama.

What surprises, narrative invention and beautiful crafted voices will the 2019 competition bring?

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges, with the final decision being made by a head judge (a professional fiction writer soon to be announced) and will be judged on literary merit, originality and readability.

The winning author, plus the shortlisted runners up, will be invited to read at the 2019 Ilkley Literature Festival in October. The winner will also take home a prize of £200.

  •   Entries can be on any subject
  •   Short stories should between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length
  •   Closing date for receipt of entries: Wednesday 31 July 2019, 11.30pm

Click here for full terms and conditions and to enter the 2019 Short Story Competition

Volunteer at ILF19

Would you like to join our team of volunteers that help make the Ilkley Literature Festival happen each year?

During the Festival, and in the run-up to October each year, the ILF team is helped by a small army of volunteers without whom the Festival wouldn’t be possible. Our volunteers help the festival run in many ways, including:

  • Setting out venues ready for events
  • Greeting ticket holders, answering queries and giving directions
  • Taking tickets on venue doors
  • Seating the audience when venue doors open
  • Working the microphones during Q&A sessions
  • Sitting in on events
  • Serving refreshments at special events or in one of our café bars

Applications to join the volunteer team are open now and until Friday 2 August 2019Click here for more information and to apply

Dates For Your Diary:

Ilkley Literature Festival 2019: 4 – 20 October
Programme announced: 14 August
Tickets on sale: 27 August

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Copyright © 2019 Ilkley Literature Festival, All rights reserved.

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