Writing contests provide steps up for a writer – especially a struggling writer. A portfolio that contains contest wins means more than many clips. Can’t afford the entry fees? Consider entering one contest a quarter or something more amiable to your pocketbook. A few are free. Contests provide prizes, prestige and usually publication with many offering book contracts. Denouncing contests from your writing repertoire is like discounting an entire genre or refusing to eat yellow vegetables. You’re giving up something valuable that may serve you and your career well.
MIAMI BOOK FAIR/DE GROOT PRIZE
$50 ENTRY FEE.
For an author for an unpublished novella. The winner will receive a $6,000 cash award, publication by Melville House, a critically acclaimed independent press, an expense-paid (hotel, travel, per diem) trip to the Miami Book Fair after publication, and a chance to read/participate in programs at the fair. The two runners-up will each receive $2,000, an expense-paid (hotel, travel, per diem) trip to the Miami Book Fair, and a chance to read/participate in programs at the Fair. The three winners’ work will be publicized in print and online media. Deadline midnight EST on June 15, 2017. The three finalists will be notified once the jury has made its decision on or before October 20, 2017. The winners of the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize will be publicly announced on or before November 1, 2017.
HOURGLASS LITERARY MAGAZINE WRITING COMPETITION (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 31, 2017)
$15 ENTRY FEE.
The deadline to enter Hourglass Literary Magazine’s International Writing Contest has been extended to May 31st! Categories: Best Essay, Best Short Story, Best Poem. The Winning Entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artefact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. Additional prizes: The Jury Award, Special prize of the Literature and Latte (Scrivener Award), The Literary Encyclopedia Award. Work must be original and unpublished. One author can compete in all categories, for all three awards respectively. Multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous submissions). The competition is international and is open to all authors writing in English. There are no theme or genre limitations and boundaries. Important Notice: why the deadline is postponed. The reason for this is that the low number of submissions in English language, compared with the nearly 2,000 submissions in the BCMS languages, along with the absence of submitted entries in BEST ESSAY category, would make evaluating and judging process biased and unfair against authors writing in English. Therefore, submissions from authors writing in BCMS are no longer accepted.
AMERICAN SHORT FICTION CONTEST
$20 ENTRY FEE.
The 1st place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication. One runner-up will receive $500, and all entries will be considered for publication. All entries must be single, self-contained works of fiction, between 2,000-6,500 words. Deadline June 1, 2017.
TWO SYLVIAS PRESS POETRY PRIZE
$28 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline June 30, 2017. Winner receives $1,000, publication, and 20 author copies. Submit 60-90 pages of poetry.
BIOM NARRATIVE MEDICINE ESSAY CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE.
The Bureau of International Osteopathic Medicine (BIOM) at the American Osteopathic Association is proud to announce its inaugural narrative medicine essay competition. Narrative medicine is a form of creative nonfiction that reflects on the lived experience of illness, healing, and clinical care. BIOM invites submissions of narrative medicine essays focused on global health or an international experience of healthcare. BIOM will award $750 for the first-prize winner, $500 for second prize, and a single award of $1500 grand prize across all competition plus public presentation at the annual BIOM International Seminar in Philadelphia, PA, in October 2017. This competition is only open to students and recent graduates (medical residents) of American colleges of osteopathic medicine. Deadline September 5, 2017.
LOUISE MERIWETHER FIRST BOOK PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE.
The Louise Meriwether First Book Prize is open to women of color and nonbinary writers of color who are residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia, and US territories and possessions; 18 years of age or older at time of entry; and who have not had a book published or have a book under contract at the time of submission. First time authors, submit your complete manuscript, either fiction or nonfiction, of 30,000 to 80,000 words, and you could receive a $5,000 advance and publication by the Feminist Press. Deadline July 31, 2017.
THE GAR LASALLE STORYTELLER AWARD IN FICTION
NO ENTRY FEE.
The Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award in Fiction is an unrestricted award of $10,000 given to a Washington State artist who is engaged in storytelling through their work in various artistic disciplines. The award recognizes an artist who demonstrates excellence in storytelling through their primary artistic discipline. Deadline June 26, 2017.
V.S. PRITCHETT MEMORIAL PRIZE
£5 ENTRY FEE.
The author of the winning entry will be awarded a prize of £1,000 and have their short story published in Prospect online and in the RSL Review. There will be an opportunity to appear at an RSL event with established short story writers in autumn 2017. Deadline June 14, 2017. Entrants must be resident in the UK and likely to be available for a prizegiving event in autumn 2017. Any story submitted should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length.
MACGUFFIN NATIONAL POET HUNT CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE.
Each entrant will receive one FREE issue of The MacGuffin that includes the winners of 22nd National Poet Hunt Contest. First prize $500. An entry consists of three poems with each poem up to 400 lines long. Deadline June 3, 2017.
REFLEX FLASH FICTION COMPETITION
£7 / $9 / €9 ENTRY FEE.
Entries must be fiction but can be on any subject, and written in any style or form. We do not recommend poems and stories written for children. Please, no fan fiction or use of copyrighted material, characters, song lyrics etc. The flash fiction competition is international and welcomes entrants from all countries. Entries must be at least 180 words but no more than 360 words. Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third. Deadline: May 31, 2017.
THE PUBLISHING LABORATORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS
$18 ENTRY FEE.
The selected author will receive $1,000 advance on royalties and a contract to publish with UNO Press. The work does not have to be regionally focused. UNO Press is based at the University of New Orleans and distributed by Hopkins Fulfillment Services. There is no word limit. There is no limit on subjects covered. Works of fiction (novels and short story collections) only. The contest is open to all authors, regardless of publishing history. The finalists are read by students at our publishing institute in the fall of 2017, and one is chosen to become a book. The class will focus on making the book a critical and commercial success upon its release in the spring of 2018. Deadline August 15, 2017.
$3 ENTRY FEE.
Categories: poetry, flash story, creative nonfiction, literary fiction. $400 prize given in each genre. Flash limited to 750 words. Creative nonfiction limited to 3,300 words. Literary fiction limited 8,000 words. For poetry, no word limit. Just a well-wrought poem in any form or genre that intrigues us, moves us, surprises us with stunning imagery, lyricism, soundplay, structure. Deadline May 31, 2017.
LUCILLE CLIFTON POETRY PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE.
The Lucille Clifton Annual Poetry Contest, held each spring, honors the prolific work of poet great Lucille Clifton. Widely celebrated for her unpretentious and unapologetic poems, Clifton’s unique free verse was free of punctuation, taut, and always recognizably her. When submitting think: humanness, struggle, adversity, resilience. Deadline May 31, 2017. The winning poem will be published via our website and receives a prize of $500.
2017 ADVENTURE WRITERS COMPETITION
$25 ENTRY FEE.
The 2017 Adventure Writer’s Competition is sponsored by the Clive Cussler Collector’s Society. If your novel has sold or given away less than 5,000 copies, you can enter it! Read the complete rules to make sure you qualify! Even if you wrote a million seller before, enter your new book. There is no synopsis round this year. Instead, there is an “Opening Round” where judges read the first 3,000-5,000 words and score the manuscript based on that opening section. Top ten scores (semi-finalists) will then go to the full “Manuscript Round” where judges can read as much as they want/need to score the manuscript. The top three from the manuscript round are our finalists. We are the only contest we know of that focuses on Adventure Writing. No vampires or romance novels to compete with here! The competition is open to all writers over the age of 18 as of March 1, 2017. Deadline June 30, 2017. The winner will be announced at the Clive Cussler Collector’s Society Dinner in October and by press release to the general media as well as receive a $1,000 prize.
THE NEWCOMER PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
£8 ENTRY FEE.
We’re always working to discover new authors and new stories to publish alongside our regular contributors. The Newcomer Prize is part of this: It’s only open to authors who have not been previously published by The Fiction Desk, and who have not yet published a novel or collection of short stories on paper. This deadline for this year’s competition is midnight (UK time) on 31 May 2017. The first prize is £500, and there is a second prize of £250. The entry fee is £8. Stories should be between 1,000 and 7,000 words in length. The competition is judged by Rob Redman, editor of the anthology series and founder of The Fiction Desk.
BOA SHORT FICTION PRIZE
$25 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline May 31, 2017. $1,000 and book publication. As with all BOA fiction titles, our prize-winning short story collections are more concerned with the artfulness of writing than the twists and turns of plot. It is our belief that short story writing is a valuable and underserved literary form that we are proud to support, nurture, and celebrate. Minimum of 90 pages; maximum of 200 pages.
THE HOPPER POETRY PRIZE
$25 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline July 1, 2017. This contest is open to poets with an identified interest in the natural world and whose work explores issues tied to our ever-changing environment. The winning poetry manuscript will be selected by the editors of The Hopper in collaboration with Dede Cummings, publisher of Green Writers Press, to be published by Green Writers Press as a collection in the spring of 2018. The winning poet will also receive $250 in prize money. The competition is open to all poets, regardless of publication history. Publication is contingent on the poet’s agreeing to the terms of the publishing agreement. The manuscript must be a minimum of 45 pages and a maximum of 90 pages in length. All manuscripts must be paginated. Each new poem must start on a new page.
£8 to £20 ENTRY FEE.
The poem and short story categories each have a first prize of £5,000, second prize £1,000 and third prize £500. An additional ten highly commended prizes (for each category) of £100 each are awarded. All 13 winning entries in both categories are published in the anthology each year. A new category for flash fiction with a prize of £1,000 was launched in 2010. There is a second prize of £500, 3rd prize of £250 and three highly commended prizes of £100. The six winning entries are published in the anthology each year. The first prize for novel is £1,000 plus a up to a year’s mentoring from The Literary Consultancy through their Chapter & Verse scheme. A runner-up prize of £500 is also offered. Three shortlisted writers will receive £100. The opening chapters from the winning novel and the runner-up novel will be published on the website. The Dorset Award is a prize specifically for Dorset writers. Thanks to the sponsorship of The Book Shop of Bridport, £100 is awarded to the highest placed Dorset writer in the Bridport Prize each year. Judges 2017: Lemn Sissay – poetry; Peter Hobbs – short stories; Kit de Waal – flash fiction; and Nathan Filer – first novel award. Deadline May 31, 2017.
THE REHOBOTH BEACH READS SHORT STORY CONTEST
$10 ENTRY FEE.
The goal of the Rehoboth Beach Reads contest is to showcase good writing while creating a great book for summer reading. One of the most popular activities for residents and visitors is reading on the beach, and the contest seeks to collect the kinds of short, engaging stories that help readers relax, escape, and enjoy their time at the beach. Theme: BEACH LIFE. Length must be 500–3,500 words. Deadline July 1, 2017.
WUNDOR POETRY CONTEST
£10-20 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline May 31, 2017. The winner will receive £500. The winner and two runners up will have their poems published on the Wundor website. Their work will be strongly considered for publication in print, too. The prize is open to anybody writing in English, aged 16 or over. Poems may be of any length.
EMERALD THEATRE 10-MINUTE PLAY CONTEST
$10 ENTRY FEE.
Theme: “That’s so gay.” The words, “That’s so gay.” Must be spoken by a character. Every script must have two to four characters. No children’s shows or musicals. Ten pages (10 minutes) max. Will be staged in strict “black box” style. Deadline June 30, 2017. 1st prize $300 – plus a trophy. 2nd prize $200 – plus a medal. 3rd prize $100 – plus a medal.
ST MARTIN’S MINOTAUR/MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA FIRST CRIME NOVEL COMPETITION
The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Novel (in any genre)(except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. Deadline in December each year.
EMERGING PLAYWRIGHT AWARD
NO ENTRY FEE.
Plays MAY HAVE BEEN developed or produced elsewhere, BUT NEVER PRODUCED in New York City. There is no limit to submissions. Subject matter and character variations are open. There is no submission fee. It usually takes up to six months for us to read and process your script. Plays from overseas and throughout the United States are accepted and considered. BUT special attention will be given to playwrights who live in or near New York. No deadline. Year-round submissions accepted. Our $500 Emerging Playwright Award (coupled with press coverage) is given to playwrights who show excellence and dedication throughout this process – from development to the stage.
$5 ENTRY FEE (approx £3).
We hold a monthly Writing Maps Writing Contest to coincide with the launch each month of a new Writing Map product. We challenge you to write and share a 150-word piece in response to our Prompt of the Month. Each month’s two winning entries will be published in The A3 Review, the new Writing Maps Journal, a fold-out literary magazine to be published every six months. The contest closes at midnight (GMT) on the fourth Saturday of the month. There is no restriction on theme or style. We encourage prose, poems, prose poems, graphic stories and hybrid forms. First prize £150, second prize £75, third prize £50.
NOTE: See more contests by joining our newsletters. We can keep you loaded with contests without you looking anywhere else!
Please remember to read ALL guidelines for a contest. FundsforWriters tries to research contests to the best of our ability, but we cannot confirm the credibility of each and every one without entering them ourselves. Be informed and be alert as you would with any market, publisher, agent or competition.
Dear Hope, The Emerald Theatre Company’s 10-minute play fest is going into its second year. Without you, and FundsforWriters, the first year might not have been possible. Thanks to the publicity from your newsletter, our little Memphis, Tennessee event received scripts from Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, the UK and New Zealand.
This wealth of wonderful material yielded quality vignettes that made the best local actors and stage directors (including a popular local radio personality) eager to donate their time and talent – their presence, in turn, sold tickets. We played to packed houses and everyone had a great time. To our astonishment, Vermont Pride Theatre got wind of the show and asked to put it on in its entirety this coming July – meaning the playwrights who won prizes and recognition in our fest, will now receive additional recognition along with royalties.
The bottom line is, without you, we would have had something rinky dink – with you we had something substantial. The publicity you provided on the front end made all the difference in the world! ~Caroline Sposto, www.whycaroline.com, (610) 597-9803
Hi Hope, we met at the SCWW conference in Myrtle Beach last October, and I was so impressed with your lecture that I subscribed to FFW as soon as I got home. I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that because of FFW, I submitted AND WON The 2008 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers! My novel will be finished this week, and next weekend I’m going to Malice Domestic to accept the award. Thanks you, and keep up the great work.