This Award honors the talents of local writers of prose and poetry while promoting the love of literature throughout Indiana. The Jerome Foundation funds the NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship, which awards nine fiction writers who have submitted the best works of fiction. The annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest awards a cash prize of $1,000 to the first place winner of the best humor poem, and $100 each to ten honorable mentions. The Sullivan Poetry Award is open to all K-State students and the winning poem will receive a $2,000 prize. Each year Lotus Press sponsors the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, which awards a cash prize of $500 to an African-American poet with the strongest collection of poetry.
The Milton Kessler Poetry Award offers a cash prize of $1,000 to a poet who has written the best book of poems, 48 pages or more in length. The Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is open to all poets who reside in Midwestern United States. The Griffin Trust for Excellence sponsors the annual Griffin Poetry Prize, known as Canada's biggest award for an original compilation of poetry. Blue Mountain Arts, a publisher of distinct greeting cards, is seeking rhyming and non-rhyming poems from poets for its Poetry Card Contest.
Poets who reside in North Carolina can enter the NC Poetry Contest for a chance to receive a cash prize of $500 for the best poem.
The Critical Pass Review will begin to accept entries to its annual Critical Junior Poet's Award in November. Write This Speculative Fiction Novel Contest highlights a contemporary story from today's headlines and challenges writers to craft a speculative fiction story derived from it. The Waterston Desert Writing Prize recognizes literary nonfiction that represents creative distinction, sensibility to place, and desert literacy.
America Media is inviting writers to enter this year's Foley Poetry Award, bestowed in honor of William T. The Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest will award one writer who has written the best short fiction story with a complimentary three-week Key West travel package with a 10-day residency at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.
The National Indigenous Writing Contest, sponsored by Thunderbird Stories, is accepting short stories written by Canadian writers. Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, sponsored by the creative writing program at Binghamton University, recognizes an outstanding collection of poems published in the previous year.
The Lakefly Writers Conference is hosting a short story writing contest which will award the first-place winner with a cash prize of $100 for the best fiction or flash fiction story. The Writer's Center is inviting authors or their publishers to enter this year's McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize. The NEA Literature Fellowships (sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts) provide a $25,000 stipend to a creative writer of fiction, non-fiction or poetry.
The Writers' Trust of Canada welcomes Canadian writers to enter its annual Award for the chance to win a stipend of $5,000 for his or her poetry.
The Binghamton Center for Writers at Binghamton University is accepting submissions to the John Gardner Fiction Book Award (est.
Central PA Magazine Writing Contest, sponsored by witf and funded by York College of Pennsylvania, is accepting submissions of short stories on any theme.
Cal Humanities invites story proposals for centered works that will create local and national interest and reveal the cultures and lifestyles of Californians.
The Medill School of Journalism is accepting entries for the annual Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism (est. The judges want original, unpublished fictional stories, written in English, with Little Tokyo has the main backdrop.
The Writers' Union of Canada is accepting entries from publishers to this year's Danuta Gleed Literary Award (est. Bethesda Literary Festival welcomes local prose writers to enter its Essay, Poetry, and Short Story Contests. The Journey Prize, offered by Writers' Trust of Canada and McClelland & Stewart, seeks entries of short fiction stories or excerpts from a book of fiction. The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) is inviting writers to submit non-fiction stories for its annual Family History Writing Contest.
The BCALA Self-Publishing Literary Award celebrates the best self-published ebooks in fiction and poetry written by an African American author. Creative writers are encouraged to enter the Steinbeck Fellows Program (sponsored by San José State University) to complete a notable writing project while in residence at SJSU. The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award praises an exceptional debut novel released in the previous calendar year. University of Notre Dame Press is accepting entries for the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award recognizes the purpose that science fiction serves in evolving real science. When I was about 12, I saw an ad in a magazine for a poetry contest that sounded fancy and impressive, something like “International Library of Poetry.” I bled poetry at that age, so I crossed my fingers and sent in a poem I’d been slaving over for weeks. And, lo and behold, the people behind the contest quickly wrote back to tell me my poem had been selected as a winner! Of course, I had to pay $50 if I wanted to see my work in print in the anthology, and I had to pay another $100 if I wanted the plaque. Sadly, not much has changed when it comes to companies trying to take advantage of writers who want a chance at recognition and maybe a little bit of money.
Here are 29 reputable, well-reviewed, free writing contests for poets, fiction writers, essayists and more. Submissions must be short stories or novelettes (up to 17,000 words) in the genre of science fiction or fantasy, and new and amateur writers are welcome to apply. Awarded to “the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre,” this prize provides a $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press. You can win $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press with this prize, awarded for a collection of short fiction. You may submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories, two or more novellas or a combination of novellas and short stories.


This biannual prize honors mid-career writers who have recently published their third, fourth or fifth work of fiction. This $10,000 award recognizes “young authors,” which the rules define as any author aged 35 or younger. Presented by Lee & Low Books, an award-winning children’s book publisher, this award is given for a previously unpublished children’s picture book manuscript (of no more than 1,500 words) written by a writer of color.
This contest aims to provide visibility for emerging African American fiction writers and to enable them to focus on their writing by awarding a $10,000 cash prize.
Honoring the best work of fiction published by an American author in a single calendar year, this award has been given to the likes of John Updike, Philip Roth and Ann Patchett. The winner receives $15,000 and an invitation to read at the award ceremony in Washington, DC.
Submissions should be four to 10 pages (up to 2,500 words), and five authors will be chosen to read and discuss their submissions at the annual December event. Fiction and nonfiction writers who have recently published a book that “contributes to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures” are eligible for this award, which offers $10,000 cash as well media and publicity opportunities. Submissions must be published in the prior year (so books published in 2015 are eligible for the 2016 award). Authors must reside in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin — or they must set their book in one of those locations. Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to medical humanities, offers two prizes annually for essays of no more than 1,600 words in two categories. The Grand Prize of $1,200 is given for an essay suited for their Famous Hospitals section, while a Silver Prize of $1,000 is given to the best essay suited for the sections of Art Flashes, Literary Vignettes, Moments in History or Physicians of Note. Presented by the Chicago Tribune, this award presents $3,500 to one grand prize winner, $1,000 to four finalists and $500 to five runners-up for a short fiction story of less than 8,000 words. You may submit up to two short stories, but note that your name must not appear anywhere on your submission as the process is anonymous. Writers 18 and older who have never had a novel published (in any genre) are eligible for this prize, awarded for an original book-length manuscript where “murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.” The winner receives a publication contract with Minotaur Books and an advance of $10,000 against future royalties. This biennial prize of $10,000 honors an American author whose work has had an impact on a critical social justice issue (as did Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin).
In addition to submitting a copy of your book or written work, you must also complete a 250-word statement that describes the tangible impact your piece has made in the world and outlining any social justice work you perform outside of your writing. Submissions must have been previously published in a newspaper, local or national magazine, or on a news website and must contain at least one quote from the Bible. Prizes are given for winners of first through fifth prizes (in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $2,000), plus 10 “outstanding merit” awards of $1,000 each. Creative nonfiction essays of no more than 5,000 words on any subject, are eligible for consideration for this award, whose winner receives $250 and publication in Lunch Ticket, the literary and art journal produced by the MFA community of Antioch University Los Angeles.
Open to African American poets, previously published or not, this award provides a $500 prize and publication by Boardside Lotus Press for the best book-length collection of poems (approximately 60 to 90 pages). If you’re already a published poet, this is the award for you; it’s given for a second book of poetry due to come out in the forthcoming year.
The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets gives $1,000 and a publication contract for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry by an African author. The Brunel University African Poetry Prize is a new prize that grants ?3,000 to a poet who was born in Africa, is a national of an African country or has African parents, who has not yet had a full-length book of poetry published. Claremont Graduate University presents two awards each year to poets they deem to be “outstanding.” The Kate Tufts Poetry Award grants $10,000 for a published first book of poetry that shows promise. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award grants a mammoth $100,000 for a published book of poetry by an an established or mid-career poet. Deadline: Books published between September 1 and June 30 of each year are eligible for the following year’s prize. Some contests accept submissions in multiple categories, so you could submit a novella as well as a poem or other work.
Sponsored by the Binghamton Center for Writers — State University of New York, this competition offers a $1,000 prize for work published in the previous year in two separate categories. The Grand Prize winner gets $5,000, a feature in Writer’s Digest magazine, a paid trip to a writing conference and more. Flex your creative muscles and try out different forms with this weekly challenge based on a wide variety of prompts.
Writing a great book is only half the battle; you also need a fantastic marketing plan to make sure it gets in front of the right eyes.
A number of the contests found on our list came highly recommended by this site, which compiles some of the best free literary contests out there. They also offer a handful of contests themselves, including the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (which sounds delightful). Another fantastic source for legitimate writing contests I consulted when compiling this list, Poets & Writers vets competitions, contests, awards and grants to make sure they’re following legitimate practises and policies. Writer, poet and editor Cathy Bryant sources legitimate, free-to-enter writing contests and calls for submission. About the Author: Kelly GurnettKelly Gurnett runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits and is growing her own freelance writing, editing and blogging empire day by day. Our university just launched a new competition (no entry fee, no gimmicks) called FutureScapes. And if you were to submit something previously published on Kindle or Smashwords or the like – could you take it down for a period and still be considered? I’m not sure about pulling down something that HAS previously been published, however.
When I was a college student, I had written some poems and essays, and was encouraged by friends to get them published.
Sadly, there are all sorts of ways writers and wannabe writers can fall into the wrong hands, from scam competitions to content mills that pay pennies per word. You’ll have to check with the individual competitions to see whether they allow worldwide entries.
15 Wily Ways to Write Better Stories - a big 10,000 word ebook that comprises 15 practical chapters on the craft of writing successful fiction, including:How To (Really) Sell Your Novel - The Shocking Truth, A Secret Way To Find A Literary Agent, How To Romance Your Readers - And Sell More Stories, plus 12 further 'must have' articles.


2012) will award a cash prize of $500 and publication on the website to a promising poet who has submitted the best piece of poetry on the theme of place.
Plonsker Residency accepts entries of prose on even residency years and poetry on odd residency years. 2008) is hosting its annual poetry contest, which will offer cash prizes of $200, $150, and $100 for first, second, and third place prizes. The finalist will receive a publishing deal with Realmwalker Publishing Group, along with a $5,000 cash advance, plus a three book deal valued at an extra $5,000 advance. The finalist will receive a $1,500 cash prize, a four-week residency, and an invitation to read at a social event.
1996), which offers a $10,000 prize in recognition of the best collection of fiction short stories in English. Sci-Fi One-Act Play Festival's writing contested called The Roswell Award for Short Fiction.
1987) is accepting prose and poetry book submissions from Ontario publishers to honor literary excellence, assist with marketing, and promote public interest of the quality and diversity of Ontario writers and writing. The judges want well-written stories with unforgettable characters that can artistically and reflectively ensnare the virtuality of how sin contorts work. Writers must inspire or integrate scientific thinking, philosophies, exploration, or principles via their poetry. Writers can submit their best fiction stories (up to 8K words per story), that explores the near future of manned space exploration. Of the thousands of poets who must have submitted to the contest — no doubt many of them adults much wiser and more skilled than me — my poem had been chosen to be featured in an exclusive, hardcover anthology! Google the term “writing contests,” and you’ll come up with approximately 7.9 million results. Some legitimate contests do charge a small entry or “reading” fee, but often a fee can be a red flag for a scam, so you may want to stick to free writing contests — and there are certainly enough of them. Whether you’re a newbie or more established writer, you’re likely eligible for a few of these contests. Ron Hubbard’s work and philosophy, the prizes for this regular contest are nothing to sneeze at.
Martin’s Press and WORDHARVEST, this prize awards the best first mystery novel set in the Southwest with $10,000 and publication by St. Submit any novel or short story published or scheduled to be published in the calendar year.
If you have, and you can write a compelling personal essay about it in no more than 1,500 words, you may be able to win $3,000 in Real Simple’s annual essay contest. Eligible authors should submit a work of fiction, such as a novel or short story collection, published in the calendar year.
The deadline for 2016 awards has passed; the deadline for 2017 awards has not yet been announced. Columns and opinion pieces will be considered, but preference is given to news or feature article with original reporting. The Glenna Luschei Prize for Afican Poetry gives $5,000 for a book of original African poetry published in the prior year.
The John Gardner Fiction Book Award goes to the best novel or collection of fiction, while the Milt Kessler Poetry Book award goes to the best book of poems. This contest sponsored by Brigantine Media awards writers who submit a well-edited manuscript (for a book in any genre) along with a detailed promotional strategy.
You can sort contests by recommendation level (Highly Recommended, Recommended or Neutral), view plenty of info on requirements and even see which contests are better for beginners, intermediate writers and pros. She releases a new list of contests and calls each month, so check back monthly for new opportunities. Paul Jarvis, who’s been freelancing for 16+ years, shares his advice on pricing, positioning and more. When it comes to short stories, I never think about competitions and always look for publications instead. Another reader brought this to our attention as well, and I’ve added a note to the post. Sharks and charlatans all, but the good thing is that you didn’t give up on your dream of writing, so you go girl -go for gold and more power to you!
I quite often scour Poets & Writers for possibilities and have heard of some of the others, like Story Circle Network, but some of these were quite new to me. Although I include many international calls, it is UK-centric, simply because that’s my largest area of knowledge. It can be hard for a writer to know where to start looking for competitions, and how to tell if they’re legitimate or not. Every three months, winners earn $1,000, $750 and $500, or an additional annual grand prize worth $5,000. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY to deliver a talk on their work and teach a mini-workshop in fiction to St. Award winners are required to submit a 100-word biography, recent photo and a short note thanking the Woods family for their generosity and support.
In addition, copies of her book are distributed to the 1,000 members of the Academy of American Poets. Thank you too for the mention of Comps and Calls – I love finding free writing competitions, and some of them have very impressive prizes. If the guidelines don’t go into any detail on that, you could always try contacting the organization sponsoring the contest.




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