BlackInk New Writing Competition 2023

BlackInk New Writing Competition 2023

Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage and Writing East Midlands are looking for creative writers from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora to submit short stories for the 2023 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 four BlackInk magazine for Black History Month in October 2023 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.

To apply for this competition applicants should:

  • 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 The story should be fiction, written as prose, previously unpublished and the applicant’s own original idea.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: Monday 27 March 2023, 5pm (BST)

Application Form




Rashida Seriki

Rashida Seriki is a writer, director, and BFI-supported filmmaker. Her award-winning short, The Fence, screened internationally, and won the New Talent Award at the BFI Future Film Festival.  Her pilot script, The Four, was a finalist for the Triforce Amazon Studios Writerslam scheme and the All3Media New Script Award at the Edinburgh TV Festival New Voice Awards. She has written several episodes of Eastenders and recently directed on CBBC/Netflix’s Get Even and was selected for the Royal Court’s New Writers Programme.

Mike Gayle

Mike Gayle is a journalist and novelist, having written for a variety of publications, such as The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and Cosmopolitan.  To date, Mike is the author of twelve novels, including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty, Wish You Were Here, and Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend. His books have been translated in over thirty languages.

Jacob Ross

Jacob Ross is an award-winning author, his crime novel The Bone Readers won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017 and his collected short fiction Tell No-One About was listed by the 2017 Bocas Literary Prize among the best Caribbean fictional works. His most recent crime novel Black Rain Falling was published in spring 2020.

Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage

Serendipity is an internationally connected arts and heritage organisation that actively changes the UK artistic and cultural landscape with an innovative and inspiring high-quality programme. Serendipity fosters innovative new work from artists, both emerging and established, bringing diversity to the forefront of cultural experiences for all.

Writing East Midlands

Writing East Midlands is the literature development agency for the region.  They support writers at various stages in their careers, connecting them with opportunity, and helping them to help themselves.  They do this by running workshops and writing courses, arranging mentoring relationships and manuscript appraisals, offering one-to-one career development sessions, organising conferences and helping with festivals and events around the region.


Eligibility and Guidelines

  1. Two awards of £500 are available, winning stories will be published as part of BlackInk magazine in October 2023.
  2. As the award aims to redress the underrepresentation of Black writers, applicants must be from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora.
  3. Applicants must be over 18 years old.
  4. The competition is open to applicants internationally.
  5. 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.
  6. Only one submission per applicant is allowed.
  7. Entries received after the deadline will not be accepted.
  8. 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).
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. Writers will retain all copyright in your submission. Serendipity will retain publishing rights for the winning entries.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Applicants will expect to hear a decision in June 2023.





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