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you a line to let you know that because of FFW, I submitted AND WON The 2008 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers!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.
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.
$25 ENTRY FEE.
The Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize is awarded annually by Writers & Books for an outstanding unpublished book-length collection of poetry. The poet will receive an honorarium of $1,000, publication of the collection (in paperback, in the fall following the award, with Big Pencil Press), and a one-week fellowship at the Gell Center of the Finger Lakes. Open to poets who are citizens or legal residents of the United States, who are at least 18 years of age. Deadline December 31, 2015.
YEMASSEE WRITING PRIZES
$10-$15 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline January 15, 2016. The 2016 Yemassee Fiction Contest will be judged by Claire Vaye Watkins (Battleborn, Gold Fame Citrus). $1,000 prize. The 2016 Yemassee Poetry Contest will be judged by Catie Rosemurgy (The Stranger Manual). $1,000 prize. The 2016 Yemassee Nonfiction Contest will be judged by Matthew Gavin Frank (Preparing the Ghost, The Mad Feast). $500 prize.
LITERAL LITERARY POSTCARD STORY CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE.
Send us a story and a postcard — the relationship can be as strong or as tangential as you like, so long as there is a clear connection between the story and the image. The story can be fiction or nonfiction; maximum length is 500 words. First Prize: $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $150. All winning entries will be published in Geist and on geist.com
THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS POETRY CHAPBOOK CONTEST
$25 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline December 16, 2015. The selected manuscript will be determined in the spring of 2016 and will be awarded with the publication of a beautifully designed, letterpress-printed, limited-edition chapbook printed and bound by artists at the Center for Book Arts. The edition is limited to 100 signed and numbered copies, ten of which are reserved for the author and the remainder of which will be offered for sale through the Center. The selected poet will also receive a cash award of $500, and a $500 honorarium for a reading, to be held at the Center in the fall of 2016, as well as an exclusive opportunity to stay at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York as one of their Winter Shakers.
$8 ENTRY FEE.
The winning entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive $1,000, a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. Winning entries will be published in the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine, in the original language (English / BCMS languages) and translated (BCMS/English). Authors will also receive three printed copies of the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. The jury has the right to give a special prize of $500 in each category. Ten Finalists in each category will be published in the first issue of the literary magazine. All published works will be financially compensated and finalists will be provided with one copy of the printed edition of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. Deadline December 31, 2015.
NO ENTRY FEE.
Deadline November 16, 2015. $200 + Publication in our Spring 2016 Issue. Two Runners-Up receive publication in Spring 2016 issue plus Split Lip swag bag. Memoir/Personal Essay of 750 words or less.
$24 ENTRY FEE.
$1600 is the top prize short stories in the Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award. The second prize is $800, third prize $400 and five runner up prizes of $80. Ten further Highly Commended entrants will have their stories acknowledged at the site and gain a free entry in the next round. Everyone wins because every contestant, win or lose, gains feedback on how their stories were graded – plus tips for improvement. Any genre of prose fiction may be submitted up to 3,000 words, except playscripts and poetry. Entries are welcomed world-wide. Deadline November 30, 2015.
$20 ENTRY FEE.
For an upcoming issue, Creative Nonfiction is seeking new essays that explore the joys and struggles, the indignities and infinite possibilities of childhood. Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1,000 for Best Essay and $500 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special “Childhood” issue of the magazine to be published in summer 2016. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. Deadline November 16, 2015.
$20 ENTRY FEE.
For an upcoming issue, Creative Nonfiction is seeking new essays that explore the joys and struggles, the indignities and infinite possibilities of childhood. Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1000 for Best Essay and $500 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special “Childhood” issue of the magazine to be published in summer 2016. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. Deadline November 16, 2015.
$20 ENTRY FEE.
The natural world has long been a source of inspiration. We’re interested in stories about how we learn from nature—whether it’s airlines developing boarding methods based on movement in ant colonies or aviation engineers studying eagles’ wings in order to build more aerodynamic planes; new-age fabric inspired by pine cones or energy-efficient skyscrapers modeled after termite mounds. We’re looking for well-crafted narratives that will illuminate the relationship between humans and the environment, particularly as we face the challenges of climate change. Creative Nonfiction editors will award $5,000 for best essay and $1,000 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special “Learning from Nature” issue of the magazine to be published in fall 2016. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. Multiple submissions are welcome, as are entries from outside the United States. Deadline February 1. 2016.
SCHLAFLY BEER MICRO-BREW MICRO-FICTION CONTEST
$10-$20 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline January 1, 2016. Entry fee includes a subscription or one issue depending on amount of entry fee paid. Please submit up to three stories of 500 words or less each. All stories will be considered for publication. $1,500 first prize plus one case of micro-brewed Schlafly Beer.
IT WAS A BLESSING AFTER ALL
$20 ENTRY FEE.
We are not looking for a perfect grammar; we are looking for an amazingly inspirational story! Have you ever been in a bad situation that turned out to be for the better at the end? Share your story and take a swing at monetary prices and a chance for your story to be featured in an upcoming book! Deadline December 31, 2015. First place winner will receive $500. Second place winner will receive $300 and third place $100. First 100 most inspiring stories will be printed in a book.
RESTLESS BOOKS PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE.
The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing will alternate yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions, beginning with fiction in 2015. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction. Candidates must be first-generation residents of the United States. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated to the U.S., or to American-born residents whose parents were born elsewhere. Candidates must not have previously published a book in English. The winner will receive a $10,000 advance and publication by Restless Books in print and digital editions. Deadline December 31, 2015.
NARRATIVE Fall 2015 Story Contest
ENTRY FEE $23.
Deadline November 30, 2015. Looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. First prize $2,500. Second prize $1,000. Third prize $500. Up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries considered for publication. (All entries are eligible for the $4,000 Narrative Prize and for acceptance as a Story of the Week.)
SANDY CUMMINS NATIONAL PRIZE FOR POETRY
$12 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline November 15, 2015. All entrants will receive a complimentary one-year membership to Philadelphia Stories. Poets currently residing in the United States are eligible. We will accept up to five pages of poetry. You may submit one 5-page poem, five 1-page poems, or any other combination within the five-page restriction. No more than one poem per page. The first-place winning poet will receive a $1,000 cash award for an individual poem, an invitation to an awards event in Philadelphia and publication in the Spring issue. Three runners up will receive $100 cash awards for individual poems as well as publication in our Spring issue. The winning poet and runners up are invited to submit chapbooks to be considered for publication by PS Books.
DZANC NON-FICTION PRIZE
$25 ENTRY FEE.
Second annual Non-Fiction Award. All authors with a non-fiction manuscript are eligible. Subjects may include but are not limited to memoir, political, historical, biographical, and will be vetted by our Dzanc Books editors. Deadline December 31, 2015. All entrants will receive a copy of the ebook of the winner when it is published as well as a complimentary copy of one of a trio of Dzanc’s titles — we will email you the choices upon your entering. The winning manuscript will be selected by February 2016 and the title will be published in 2017. It will go through our full editing process and the author will receive a $1,000 advance.
MASTERS REVIEW FALL FICTION CONTEST
$20 ENTRY FEE.
The winning story will receive $2,000 and publication on the site. Second and third place stories will receive $200 and $100, publication, and all story winners will receive a letter from Jeff and Ann about their piece, and why it was chosen. Fifteen finalists will be recognized online and have their stories read by the VanderMeers. Deadline October 31, 2015. 7,000-word limit.
TETHERED BY LETTERS’ FALL 2015 LITERARY CONTEST
ENTRY FEES: $15 Short Story; $7 Flash Fiction/$15 three Flash Fictions; $7 poem /$15 for three poems.
We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction contest (55, 250, or 500 words), and poetry contest (maximum of three pages per poem). TBL strives to publish writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. All winners will be published in F(r)iction. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. The prizes are $500 (USD) for the short story winner, $150 (USD) for the flash fiction winner, and $150 (USD) for the poetry winner. Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. Deadline December 1, 2015.
ODDCONTEST by ODYSSEYCON
YOUTH NO ENTRY FEE.
ADULTS $5 ENTRY FEE.
Sponsored by Odysseycon, a science-fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, April 8–10, 2016. Send 500 words max of speculative (science-fiction, fantasy, or horror) fiction or prose poetry. Deadline January 15, 2016. Youth: under 18 as of Jan. 1, 2015. Send only ONE entry. Prize $50 to first place. Adults multiple entries allowed. Prize $500 to first place. OddCon membership and books to top 3 places in both divisions. Winning poems/stories will be read at OddCon, published in the program, and posted on the OddCon site.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY FLASH FICTION AWARD
$10 ENTRY FEE.
Entries for the Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize should be approximately 1,500 words or less. Deadline December 1, 2015. All entries will be considered for publication in Fiction Southeast. Winner – $200 and publication in Fiction Southeast. Runners-up – publication in Fiction Southeast
MISSISSIPPI REVIEW CONTEST
$16 ENTRY FEE.
Our annual contest awards prizes of $1,000 in fiction and in poetry. Winners and finalists will make up next summer’s print issue of the national literary magazine Mississippi Review. Contest is open to all writers in English except current or former students or employees of The University of Southern Mississippi. Fiction entries should be 1,000-8,000 words; poetry entries should be three to five poems totaling ten pages or less. Please attach as one document. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit. Each entrant will receive a copy of the prize issue. Deadline is January 1, 2016.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS LITERARY FESTIVAL FICTION COMPETITION
$25 ENTRY FEE.
The winning story receives a prize of $1,500, a reading at the Festival, and publication in Louisiana Literature. Plus – this is a huge plus – a domestic economy flight to New Orleans and hotel accommodation at the very historic and very literary Hotel Monteleone! The top nine finalists will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to the Festival. Their names will be published on the site. This contest is open only to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Published books include self-published books with ISBN numbers. Those who have published books in other genres besides fiction remain eligible. A submission is one original short story, written in English, up to 7,000 words. Deadline November 30, 2015.
MAGIC OXYGEN LITERARY PRIZE
£5 ENTRY FEE.
Accepts short stories up to 4,000 words (not including the title). Poetry up to 50 lines (not including title or lines between stanzas). The theme is open. Electronic uploads are preferred but written entries are also accepted. The competition is open to writers all over the world. Entrants must be 16 or over at the time of submission. Entries must be written in English. Deadline December 31, 2015. Short story: 1st prize £1,000, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100, Highly Commended 2 x £50. Poetry: 1st prize £1,000, 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £100, Highly Commended 2 x £50.
O BHEAL FIVE WORDS INTERNATIONAL POETRY COMPETITION
At around noon each Tuesday (GMT), five words are posted on the competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit poems that include all five words given for the week. The competition runs for 41 weeks, until the last week of January 2016. A prize of 500 euros will be awarded to one winner, and if available, invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s ninth anniversary event on Monday 11th of April, 2016 (an additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this). The shortlisted poems and winning entry will also be published in Five Words Vol IX – the next annual anthology of five word poems, launched at the same event. Entry is open to all countries. Poems cannot exceed 50 lines in length (including line breaks), and must include all five words listed during this week. A modicum of poetic license is acceptable.
ENTRY FEE £7.
With a first prize of £5,000 for the best single poem embracing ecological themes, the award ranks amongst the highest of any English language single poem competition. Second prize is £2,000 and third prize £1,000. Deadline November 1, 2015. Poets may submit as many poems as they wish but each poem must not be more than 54 lines in length.
JAMES HEARST POETRY PRIZE
$20 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline October 31, 2015. All winners and finalists will be published in the Spring 2016 issue. First Prize $1,000. Second Prize $100. Third Prize $50. All entry fees include a one-year subscription. You may enter up to five poems in one file.
$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.