new writing competition

BlackInk New Writing Competition 2024

Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage and Writing East Midlands are looking for creative writers from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora who identify as women to submit short stories for the 2024 edition of BlackInk Writing Competition.

The initiative seeks to showcase new short fiction; applicants are invited to submit stories of up to 2,000 words for consideration. Two winning short stories will be published in issue five of BlackInk magazine for Black History Month in October 2024 and each writer will receive £500 in prize money.

In addition, both writers will be given free entry to The Writers’ Conference, which is organised annually by Writing East Midlands to give new writers access to leading publishing industry professionals.

This year, BlackInk Issue 5 is focusing on amplifying the voices of Black women, exploring the theme Black Women: Invisible Power. The judges are looking for stories that celebrate Black women, harnessing joy, humour and tenacity.

The judges for the 2024 edition are to be confirmed.

To apply for this competition applicants should:

  • Write a short story addressing the theme Black Women: Invisible Power.
  • Complete the application form including a short biography.
  • Submit a finished short story, a maximum of 2,000 words. The story should be fiction, written as prose, previously unpublished and the applicant’s own original idea.
  • Deadline for applications: 28 March 2024, 5pm (BST)

Eligibility and Guidelines

  1. Two awards of £500 are available, winning stories will be published as part of BlackInk magazine in October 2024.
  2. We welcome applicants from those who identify with our aim of celebrating and supporting women telling their stories in ways that reconcile with their understanding of their own gender identity. This includes trans women, non-binary and cis women.
  3. Applicants must be from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora.
  4. Applicants must be over 18 years old.
  5. The competition is open to applicants internationally.
  6. The selection panel alongside representatives from Serendipity and Writing East Midlands will be responsible for choosing the winners. The organisers reserve the right to select different winners if those initially chosen do not confirm their participation within 10 days of notification.
  7. Only one submission per applicant is allowed.
  8. Entries received after the deadline will not be accepted.
  9. Submissions should be final drafts, in prose and written in English as the main language (the use of dialects and other languages as a narrative device or in speech is allowed).
  10. All short stories must be the entrants own original work, be 2,000 words or less and the story should be previously unpublished (this includes self-published).
  11. For the purposes of this competition, the definition of short story is a work of self-contained prose fiction. Entries of poetry, scripts, non-fiction and essays are not eligible for this competition.
  12. Writers will retain all copyright in your submission. Serendipity will retain publishing rights for the winning entries.
  13. By entering this competition, you are agreeing that, if you win, your name, photograph and entry may be a) used for the purpose of announcing the winner and/or distributed to individuals who request details of the winner and/or b) in any related publicity by Serendipity and its partners, without additional payment or permission.
  14. All data collected will be processed in accordance with privacy policies, available to view at By submitting your short story, you agree that Serendipity may share your submission with their affiliates for the purpose of reviewing it.
  15. Serendipity will not be responsible unless required by law, for any loss, changes, costs or expenses, which may arise in connection with this competition and Serendipity can cancel or alter the competition at any stage.
  16. Any dispute relating to the competition shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
  17. Applicants will expect to hear a decision in June 2024.