Sunday Culture: European Writing Competitions

Editors notes:

It is culture that unites Europe, and it is culture that can alleviate the current crisis with some sustainable jobs and growth.

Even the EU has recently made a surge and focus on culture, as a way to keep the continent together in these times of crisis, austerity, lack of trust between nations and emerging nationalists and populists:

"And never has the European Union needed culture, in this root sense of the term, more than at the present time of deep crisis we face today, with all the doubts and fundamental questioning it has brought.President Barroso, 04/04/13

Not only can it keep our struggling continent from breaking apart and going at each others throats, it can also alleviate the economic crisis and the unemployment crisis.

"Never has there been a greater need for us to take good care of our economy ... And that means also support for the cultural activities that generate new ideas, innovation and social cohesion. That is why the European Commission believes that, even at these difficult times of budget constraints, Europe must not hesitate to invest in culture, a growth sector for new jobs, jobs with a future. This is precisely the spirit behind our new programme, “Creative Europe”." President Barroso, 04/04/13

You can see the full speech "Culture: the cement that binds Europe together" here.

It is good to see, at last, a pro-active approach in tackling unemployment, the economic crisis, and most of all, the crisis of confidence and trust. It is good to see something else, rather than just austerity.

As one of our small contributions to the "Creative Europe" programme, OneEurope will continue to feature the Sunday Culture section, and present news, opportunities and events from the world of Culture: 

European Writing Competitions 

If you like writing and would like to give yourself a challenge and at the same time an opportunity, this is for you.

In Portugal there are 2 competitions running at the moment: Book It and FNAC Literature New Talents. About these two I’ll explain in more detail further down.

If you are not a Portuguese native, or live in another country, you can compete in the Bridport Prize.


This competition exists since 1973 and was founded in Bridport Art Centers. Its mission is to encourage emerging writers and promote literary excellence through its competition structure. 

There are three categories in which you can compete:

- Poem

- Short Story

- Flash Fiction

The poem and short story categories each have a first prize of £5,000, second prize £1,000 and third prize £500. An additional 10 supplementary prizes (for each category) of £50 each are awarded. Flash Fiction was launched in 2010 and has a first prize of £1,000. There is a second prize of £500, 3rd prize of £250 and 3 supplementary prizes of £25.

The top winning stories, poems and flash fiction will be published in the Bridport Prize 2013 anthology and the top thirteen eligible stories are submitted to the BBC National Short Story Award (£15,000) and The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award (£30,000).

You can find more info about the rules of the contest here:


This one is only for those that are living in Portugal and do not have any book published.

You can compete with a short story, flash fiction, romance, and a number of other categories. Poetry seems not to be included in this one.

Every work should be delivered with a historical summary and with the file on a CD-ROM until 31 of May of the current year. 

You can find more info about this contest here:ário-bookit


This contest is for everyone above 18 years old and you only can participate with a short story. Every short story has to be within 10 and 15 pages and 25 000 characters maximum.

There are two phases, in the first the juries will select 10 works that will be divulgated in the site and their facebook page. In the second and final phase, the 5 works with the most votes from the web will win the contest. 

The prize for the 5 winners is the publishing of their works and the deadline for the contest is the 20 of May 2013.

More info can be found here: