From The Bridport Prize press release:
The Bridport Prize is the richest open writing competition in the English language - with £5000 first prize for a short story (of up to 5000 words); and £5000 first prize for a poem (of up to 42 lines). The new category of Flash Fiction attracts £1,000 to be won for the best short, short story of under 250 words.Full details are available at The Bridport Prize website. Note that this is a UK contest but is open worldwide.
The Bridport is also known as a tremendous literary stepping stone - the first step in the careers of writers such as: Kate Atkinson, Tobias Hill, Carol Ann Duffy and Helen Dunmore.
Anyone can enter - so long as the work is previously unpublished. It costs £7 per story, £6 per poem or £5 per flash fiction and the closing date is 30th June 2011.
I like writing contests because I work best with a deadline (I try to enter 3-4 contests a year). And I like this writing contest because it has excellent judges, a low entry fee (just over $10 for a short story), and a great payoff if you win (both monetary and reputation). The competition is tough so it challenges me to send my very best work in. I haven't been short-listed yet but I will keep trying!
So if you are a short-story writer, or need a deadline to get you writing daily, this is a great one to check out.