LGBTQ+ Creative Writing Competition: “Body, Mind, Spirit”

Encompass in partnership with Cambridge University Press (CUP) and the Kite Trust is proud to announce our 2021 History Month LGBTQ+ Creative Writing Competition. There are categories for under-16s and all ages, poetry and short stories, and each category will have a first prizes of £50 and a runner-up prize of £25 in a combination of CUP vouchers and book tokens! The prizes are generously sponsored by the Kite Trust, Cambridgeshire’s leading organisation working with LGBT+ young people, and the CUP, the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. 

Open to all, we ask you to submit your writing on on the theme of 2021’s LGBTQ+ History Month, “Body, Mind, Spirit”. At the Prize Ceremony, at 6pm on Friday 26th February on Zoom, we will hear extracts from the winning entries.  

Our judges are prolific LGBTQ+ authors Paulina Palmer and Tom Denbigh. Paulina has taught literature and gender studies at Warwick University and Birkbeck College, London. She currently teaches classes on contemporary fiction at City Lit College. Her publications include Lesbian Gothic: Transgressive Fictions (1999), The Queer Uncanny (2012) and Queering Contemporary Gothic (2016). She is a trustee of Encompass Network. Tom Denbigh lives in Bristol, and is the first Bristol Pride Poet Laureate and a BBC 1Extra Emerging Artist Talent Search winner. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and festivals around the UK, and has brought poetry to Brighton and London Prides. His publications include …and then she ate him and USE WORDS FIRST.   

To use your winnings, book tokens are accepted by all good bookshops for any book purchase. The CUP vouchers work for their full catalogue of scholarly and general interest books: you could buy a couple of Cambridge Shakespeare plays or All the Sonnets of Shakespeare; Companions like The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies; or other non-fiction books like Female Husbands: A Trans History, There Is No Planet B, Brexitland, or The Body Image Book for Girls – the list goes on! 

See also  Talks LGBTQ+ History Month

How to enter 

The LGBTQ+ Creative Writing competition will be open for entries from Monday 25th January at 12 noon until Monday 15th February at 12 noon. Please submit short stories or poetry on the theme of 2021’s LGBTQ+ History Month, “Body, Mind, Spirit”. There are four categories. Under-16 categories are open to aged 16 and below.   

Category A: Under-16s’ poetry Open to young people up to and including 16 years-old, with an upper limit of 2 sides of A4, no smaller than size 12 font.  

Category B: Under-16s’ short stories Open to young people up to and including 16 years old, with an upper limit of 4,000 words. Please submit your entry in a plain font size 14, double spaced with the word count at the end of your entry.   

Category C: Open poetry Open to all, with an upper limit of 2 sides of A4, no smaller than size 12 font.  

Category D: Open short stories Open to all, with an upper limit of 4,000 words. Please submit your entry in a plain font size 14, double spaced with the word count at the end of your entry.   

To enter, download and fill in this form:  The easiest way to fill in a PDF form is to open it in Adobe Acrobat (free software) and use the Fill and Sign feature (you will need to save the document before you exit).  

Email [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Writing Entry” and attach the completed form and your creative writing entry as a Word document (or non-Office equivalent) or PDF. DO NOT include your name anywhere in your creative writing document. If you wish, you may enter a maximum of one poetry submission and one prose submission.  By submitting your creative writing, you agree for it to be read out at the prize ceremony and published on our websites if you win or are a runner-up, alongside the name you have chosen to be credited by.  You also agree for us to use the email address you contacted us with to inform you of details of the prize ceremony and the outcome of your entry.   

See also  LGBTQ+ Creative Writing Competition 2021 Winners

In order to be as open as possible, we are not requesting parents’ permission for under-16 entries, in line with many other writing competitions. In this case, we have chosen to do so to enable young people who are not out to participate in the competition without risk of outing. Similarly, we ask for a name that you wish to be credited as to allow entrants to use a pen-name to keep anonymity if they wish.   

You will receive an email to confirm that your entry has been received.  

Entries must be received by 12:00 noon Monday 15th February to be accepted.