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.
THE BBC NATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 12, 2018. Award of £15,000 for the winner, and £600 for four (4) further shortlisted stories. A maximum of 8,000 words. One entry only. English only. Open to British nationals and UK residents who have a prior record of publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom.
DAVID NATHAN MEYERSON PRIZE FOR FICTION
$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 1, 2018. The prize consists of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review. Open to any writer who has not published a book of fiction (either a novel or collection of stories). Writers are free to enter as many times as they wish. Each entry should be one unpublished piece of fiction (8,000 words maximum).
PEGGY CHAPMAN ANDREWS AWARD FOR A FIRST NOVEL
£20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 31, 2018. Open to writer in Britain, aged 16 years and older. Open to a novel in any adult fiction genre including YA providing there is a genuine crossover for adult readership. No nonfiction. Must not have published a novel (although self-published are accepted). Entrants must not be represented by an agent. Entries will be the first chapters of the novel, a minimum of 5,000 words and a maximum of 8,000 words in total, plus a synopsis of 300 words. First prize receives £1,000 plus mentoring with our partner TLC. Second £500 plus manuscript assessment. Third – three x £100 for shortlisted writers.
KATHERINE PATERSON PRIZE FOR YA AND CHILDREN’S WRITING
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 15, 2018. One first place winner receives $1,000 and online publication. One runner-up receives $100 and online publication. Any writer residing in any country or U.S. state is eligible to enter. Please enter your original, unpublished piece under 10,000 words. Your entry may be a short story or a novel excerpt, but if it’s a novel excerpt it should really stand alone.
DIVINE CONNECTIONS SPECIAL EVENTS ESSAY CONTEST
$8 ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 30, 2018. The topic for this Essay is “What Would Life Be Like Without the Arts & Entertainment”. Cash prizes (First, $500; Second, $100; Third, $50) will be awarded for the best essays in 500 words or less. First Place Winner will also have their essay published on our website along with their photo and bio. Entries must be yours, original, and unpublished.
BRISTOL SHORT STORY PRIZE
£8 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 1, 2018. The maximum length of submissions is 4,000 words (does not include title); there is no minimum length. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Children’s etc.). Open to all published and unpublished writers. There is no geographical restriction on entry. All entrants must agree to have their work published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 11, in both print and ebook formats, should they be the author of one of the 20 stories that are shortlisted for the 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize. First prize £1,000, second prize £700, third prize £400. Each of the 17 remaining shortlisted writers will receive £100.
2018 LUMMOX 7 CONTEST & POETRY ANTHOLOGY
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 31, 2018. Starts accepting entries on April 1, 2018. The winner will receive a cash prize of $500 and the option of a chapbook, published by Lummox Press (20 copies are given as part of the prize – but if you don’t have a manuscript, you can opt for just the money); plus a mini-feature (along with first and second runners up) in the anthology. Contact for questions. There is no theme for LUMMOX 7 or the Poetry Contest.
2018 PRIME NUMBER MAGAZINE AWARDS FOR POETRY AND SHORT FICTION
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 15, 2018. Submit one unpublished poem or story. Poems should be no more than three pages in length, spaced according to the poet’s intended style. Short story should be 53 to 5,300 words, double-spaced in 12-pt. type with numbered pages. Writers may enter either or both categories. Open to any writer anywhere in the world whose entry is unpublished and written in English. Each poem will contain no more than 80 lines (including spaces between title and stanza/verses).
STORYHOUSE NONFICTION CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 31, 2018. Stories must be between 1,000 – 10,000 words in length. This year we will have prizes for four categories of nonfiction: Biographical Nonfiction, General Nonfiction, Travel Nonfiction, and Animal Nonfiction. Just to be clear, we claim no rights to your stories. They are published with your name as copyright holder. However, since our object is to preserve these stories for future generations, not to put them up one year and take them down the next, all contest entries will be posted on our web site and must remain on the site for as long as the Preservation Foundation exists. We will, however, have no objection to the stories being published elsewhere. First prize in each category will be $200. Runner-ups will receive $100.
WELSH POETRY COMPETITION
£6 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 27, 2018. The Welsh Poetry Competition offers a chance for budding writers and published authors from all over the world to compete on an equal footing and be recognized for their work. First Prize – £500. Second Prize – £250. Third Prize – £100. Plus 17 runners-up, specially commended entries. Each poem must be no more than 50 lines in length.
BLACK CAUCUS ALA AWARDS
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 28, 2018. The Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) honors the best self-published ebooks by an African American author in the U.S. in the following genres: Fiction and Poetry. Two (2) $500.00 awards: one for adult fiction, one for adult poetry; Formal recognition at the Black Caucus of ALA Literary Awards; BCALA Literary Award Seal to use in marketing. Entries must have been written by an African American author born in the U.S. The competition is open to all English-language self-published ebooks for which the author is the copyright holder of the work and holds the rights to digital distribution. The awards will be presented in New Orleans, LA during ALA’s Annual Conference in June 2018.
EVERYTHING CHANGE CLIMATE FICTION CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 28, 2018. We are looking for stories that illustrate, explore, or illuminate the impact of climate change on humanity and/or the Earth. We enthusiastically invite submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, hybrid forms, and more. The winning story will receive a $1000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $50 prizes. Selected work will be published in an anthology by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University. Submit up to one (1) work of short fiction with a maximum length of 5,000 words.
LUNE SPARK YOUNG WRITERS’ SHORT STORY CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 28, 2018. Limit 1,500 words. Up to 25 stories will be published on Amazon.com and Kindle through Lune Spark Books’ independent publishing. Winners in both categories will have option to enroll in free (remote) novel-writing workshops. Category A is 10 years old to 13 years old. Category B is 13 years old to 16 years old. Three prizes in each category: $500, $250, and $100.
SMOKELONG QUARTERLY AWARD FOR FLASH FICTION
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 20, 2018. There’s $1,500 on the line–both to celebrate SmokeLong Quarterly‘s 15th anniversary (yay!) and our first-ever flash fiction competition. Starting February 5, 2018, our general submission queue will be transformed into a contest submission portal. For 15 weeks, we will be accepting only submissions for the inaugural SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (the Smokey, if you will). The winner will receive $1,500, automatic nomination for The Best Small Fictions series, the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and other awards, plus publication in our 15th-anniversary Issue in June. Llimit 1,00 words. At least 14 finalists will receive a cash prize as well and publication in SmokeLong’s 15th-anniversary issue.
DEL SOL PRESS FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
$30 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 15, 2018. The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence and is available to published and unpublished authors alike. Genres we are looking for include literary and upmarket fiction, mainstream or general fiction, mystery/thriller or speculative fiction with a literary edge, serious women’s fiction, and unique experimental work. The winner receives a $1,500 honorarium and book publication by Del Sol Press. Submit 200-450 typed manuscript pages.
THE NANCY D. HARGROVE EDITORS’ PRIZE FOR FICTION AND POETRY
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 25, 2018. One winner in fiction and one in poetry each receive $500 and publication in Jabberwock Review. All finalists are considered for publication. All entrants receive a one-year (two-issue) subscription beginning with the prize-winning issue. Each fiction entry should consist of a single short story of any length—though please keep in mind that our entire journal runs 90-100 pages. (Novel excerpts may be submitted if they are self-contained.) Each poetry entry should consist of onen to three poems. The winning entry may be for a single poem or group of poems.
EYELANDS 1st INTERNATIONAL FLASH FICTION CONTEST
ENTRY FEE 5€. Deadline March 20, 2018. Theme of the contest: “Dreams.” First prize: A week holiday on the island of Crete (for two people). Three prize winners: publication in anthology, handmade ceramic gift, certificate, complimentary copy of the anthology. Shortlisted stories are published in the anthology. Limit 500 words. See the beach house and the area here http://three-rock.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_17.html
NOWHERE TRAVEL-WRITING CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 1, 2018. Nowhere is proud to announce our inaugural “This Land Is…” travel-writing contest! We are seeking nonfiction and essay submissions from writers whose story is deeply, clearly connected to a protected place, whether here in the United States or elsewhere in the world. Entries should be between 800 and 5,000 words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. The winner will receive $250, with publication in Nowhere granted under First North American Serial Rights (FNASR). Up to five finalists also will be published, and we’ll award them a 2018 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass ($80 value).
GINOSKO FLASH FICTION CONTEST
$5 ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 1, 2018. Pays a $500 first prize. The Ginosko Flash Fiction Award is for an unpublished work of flash fiction. Submit up to two pieces, 800 words maximum each piece.
THE MEMOIR MAGAZINE #METOO TRIGGER WARNING NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST
$12 ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 28, 2018. The theme for the #MeToo Trigger Warning Nonfiction Essay Contest is Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse. Pseudonyms are allowed. The winning story receives $500 and publication in Memoir Magazine, and a note from our judge on why the story was chosen. Short and Long listed applicants will receive publication. Limit 100 words to 7,000 words. Nonfiction only. Open to all writers internationally.
IRENE ADLER PRIZE FOR WOMEN WRITERS
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 30, 2018. A $1,000 scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada, based on an essay competition. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or Canadian citizens. Submit a 500-word essay in English on one of the following three topics (but with an original title):
“Which female writer has influenced you the most?”
“What is the biggest improvement in women’s lives that you’d like to see in the next five years?”
“What is your most important writing project for 2018?”
TO HULL AND BACK SHORT STORY CONTEST
£9 ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 30, 2018. Christopher Fielden’s Annual Short Story Competition “To Hull And Back” is a humorous writing contest. First Prize: £1,000. Second Prize: £500. Third Prize: £250. Three Highly Commended: £50. Fourteen Shortlisted: £25. All winners and shortlisted entries will be published in the To Hull And Back Short Story Anthology. This will be available as a professionally published, printed book and as a Kindle download. The book will have an ISBN number. If you’re published in the book, a writer’s profile will appear alongside your story and on the website.
BATH CHILDREN’S NOVEL AWARD
£25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 2018. Opens in May 2018. The Bath Novel Award is a competition open to novelists, of any nationality, who have yet to sign a traditional publishing deal for a novel. Submit a novel extract (up to the first 5,000 words) and synopsis (one page). Novels can be in any genre written for middle grade or young adult readers. Picture books are not eligible. The winner will receive £2,000. One shortlisted writer will receive a £500 voucher from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy which may be exchanged for editorial reports and / or mentoring hours to the value of £500 in either of Cornerstones’ US or UK houses. There is no cash alternative to this prize. Shortlisted writers will also be offered the opportunity to be introduced to an individually tailored list of literary agents by email or other means. This is an entirely free and optional service.
FLASH 500 SHORT STORY CONTEST
£7 ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 28, 2018. This contest is for stories between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Prizes are £500, £200, £100.
REFLEX FLASH FICTION
ENTRY FEE £7 / $9 / €9. Deadline February 28, 2018. 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.
WOMEN’S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION WRITING CONTEST
$15-$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 1, 2018. Categories poetry, fiction, nonfiction and YA fiction. Pays $250 for winner in each category as well as publication in The Bookwoman. Limit 3,000 words for fiction and YA fiction,. Limit 2,500 words for nonfiction. Limit three to five pages of poetry.
2018 TEN-MINUTE PLAY FEST
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 1, 2018. Theme: GAYDAR. Every script must have two to four characters. No children’s shows or musicals. Ten pages (ten minutes) maximum. Will be staged in strict “black box” style with modest technical support. First prize $300 plus a trophy. Second prize $200 plus a medal. Third prize $100 plus a medal.
PALOOKA PRESS CONTEST
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 15, 2018. The press was founded to offer a publishing opportunity for writers seeking a home for shorter manuscripts. We consider manuscripts of all types, styles, and genres and aren’t looking for a particular aesthetic. We’re willing to give anything a fair chance. All pieces within entries are also considered for publication in the magazine. Please send your best fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic narrative, or hybrid genres. Manuscripts should be roughly 30-50 pages, but we’re flexible. Winner receives publication by book, $300, and 20 free copies of the book.
EVERYTHING CHANGE CLIMATE FICTION CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline February 28, 2018. Submit one piece of fiction up to 5,000 words using the impact of climate change. The winning story will receive a $1000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $50 prizes. Selected work will be published in an anthology by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University.
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.