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.
PIGEON PAGES FLEDGLING PROSE CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2017. We seek previously unpublished prose pieces of up to 4,000 words. We will accept submissions from any genre or hybrid-genre, with lyric or experimental prose welcome. The author of the winning submission will receive $250 cash, with two runners-up receiving $50 cash each. All three winners will be published in Pigeon Pages, and all entries—winning or not—will be considered for publication. One entry per person.
CAFE WRITERS OPEN POETRY COMPETITION 2017
£4 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 30, 2017. First prize £1,000. Second prize £300. Third prize £200. Six Commended Prizes of £50. Funniest Poem £100. The Norfolk Prize of £100 is awarded to the best poem from a permanent Norfolk resident not winning another prize. Maximum of 40 lines (excluding title) on one side of A4. The prize is open to anyone other than Café Writers’ committee members. Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published,self-published, published on any website or broadcast.
ONE-ACT PLAY COMPETITION
$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 31, 2017. On March 17 and 18, 2018, 30 by Ninety Theatre will present four original one act plays! Submit your one act play to us and you could be one of the finalists to see their play brought to life before a live audience at the Louisiana Northshore’ s Best Live Local Theater as voted by the public in Sophisticated Woman Magazine. Submissions will be accepted from October 1 through October 31, 2017. Electronic submissions only, please. Plays should be approximately 10-20 minutes when performed. The finalists will be announced in January. After performances on both March 17 and 18, the audience will vote and declare one play the winner of a $500 grand prize!
STRINGYBARK MALICIOUS MYSTERIES SHORT STORY AWARD
A$12 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 5, 2017. Any tale with a mysterious element and perhaps a sting-in-the-tail is wanted for this intriguing short story competition. The prize value for this competition is more than $1,000 in cash and books. International entries are most welcome. Limit 1,500 words. (Note the dollars are in Australian.)
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2017. We are looking for new and emerging writers from East Asian, South Asian and South East Asian communities* in the UK who are interested in contributing. For Taking Flight 2018 we are looking for a thirty minute to an hour stage play, the subject of which can be anything you want – from something contemporary to more traditional folk and fairy tales – as long as it is family friendly – and we mean the whole family not just small children. The play should be written for a cast of up to five actors – although they can double up on characters if you want. There will be a £1,000 fee paid to each writer whose play is performed at the festival.
WRITING PITTSBURGH CREATIVE NONFICTION PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 23, 2017. The Writing Pittsburgh Book Prize will recognize one book focusing on a subject of regional and national significance, by a writer with a meaningful Pittsburgh connection. The author of the winning manuscript will receive a $10,000 honorarium; publication of their book by CNF’s independent book imprint, In Fact Books (IFB); national distribution; and a marketing and publicity campaign. The winning author will work with CNF/IFB’s editorial staff to refine and polish the manuscript. Publication will occur between one year and 15 months from the announcement of the prize.
FRONTIER POETRY AWARD FOR NEW POETS
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2017. The winning poet will be awarded $2000 and publication on Frontier Poetry. Second and third place will win $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication. The top fifteen finalists will also be recognized. We do not hold preference for any particular style or topic—we simply seek the best poem we can find. Submissions are open to new and emerging writers (poets with no more than two full-length published works forthcoming at the time of submission).
LASCAUX REVIEW CONTESTS
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2017. The Lascaux Prize in Poetry is presently open for submissions. Poems may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000, a bronze medallion, and publication in The Lascaux Review. The winner and all finalists will be published in the 2018 Lascaux Prize Anthology. Two copies of the anthology will be supplied to every poet appearing in it.
THE SHARED DREAM CHAPBOOK CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline: November 30, 2017. In times of anti-immigrant sentiment and racial intolerance, Backbone Press is pleased to announce The Shared Dream Chapbook Contest for immigrant poets. The winning manuscript with be published by Backbone Press, and the author will receive a prize of $250. Submit chapbook-length manuscripts, 18-30 pages.
THE TWO SYLVIAS PRESS 2017 WILDER SERIES POETRY BOOK PRIZE
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 30, 2017. The Wilder Series Book Prize is open to women over 50 years of age (established or emerging poets) and includes a $1,000 prize, publication by Two Sylvias Press, 20 copies of the winning book, and a vintage, art nouveau pendant. Women submitting manuscripts may be poets with one or more previously published chapbooks/books or poets without any prior chapbook/book publications. Length: 60-100 pages of poems.
PICTURE BOOK PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 29, 2017. The award is open to all unpublished and unagented writers and is an opportunity for you to submit your picture book texts. We are not looking for illustrated stories or accompanying sample illustrations – please just send the story text. The first prize winner will be offered a lunch consultation with top children’s fiction agent Julia Churchill, a year’s subscription to Writing Magazine and £200. The second prize winner will be offered a picture book critique by Amy Sparkes through Writing Magazine Writing Courses, a year’s subscription to WM and £50. The third prize winner will win a year’s subscription to WM. The story should be fiction and can be rhyming or non-rhyming. The word count should be no more than 800 words. Your story can be split up into spreads (usually 12-14 spreads) or be one continuous piece of writing.
SOLUTION LOANS SHORT STORY COMPETITION
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2017. The winner will receive £200 and publication on the Solution Loans website, with £50 and publication for three runners-up. We’re looking for short stories with the theme of “coins.” Stories should be works of fiction, not personal accounts or experiences. You may choose to interpret the theme however you wish. Send us your story, between 1,000 to 2,000 words. Entry is open to UK writers aged 18 or over.
THE LARRY BROWN SHORT STORY AWARD
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 31, 2017. Submit a short story less than 4,000 words. First place $250, second place $75, third place $25.
HUB CITY SHORT STORY BOOK PRIZE
$25 ENTRY FEE.
The contest includes book publication and will be judged in its first year by Lee K. Abbott, author of seven collections of short stories. Submissions open on August 1, 2017 and will close January 1, 2018. The new prize is open to emerging writers in thirteen Southern states. Submitters must currently reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia, and must have no previously published books. The first winning book will be published in Spring 2019.
SAINTS AND SINNERS FICTION CONTEST
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 3, 2017. The winner will be selected from this year’s submissions of original, unpublished short stories between 3,000 and 7,000 words with LGBT content on the broad theme of “Saints and Sinners.” One grand prize of $500 and two second place prizes of $100 will be awarded. In addition, the top stories will be published in an anthology from Bold Strokes Books. There will also be a book release party and reading held during the 15th annual Saints and Sinners Literary Conference in New Orleans in 2018. A list of the top ten finalists will be posted on our website and in our e-newsletter. Word Count: 3,000 to 7,000.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FESTIVAL VERY SHORT FICTION CONTEST
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 8, 2017. Grand Prize $500, passes to Panels and Master Classes ($200 Value), public reading at a literary panel at the next Festival, and publication in New Orleans Review Web Features. The top nine finalists will have their names published on this 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 1,000 words.
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 13, 2017. FutureScapes asks writers to envision a particular future, and tell its story. Theme is “Blue Sky Cities.” We’re seeking stories set in a near-future city where significant strides have been made toward improving air quality, climate adaptation, or even net positive impacts on climate and air quality. Submit fiction up to 8,000 words. Prizes are $2,000 first place, $500 to each of the five runners-up. An anthology will be published and distributed to mayors, governors and members of the US Congress.
ROYAL DRAGONFLY BOOK AWARD
$60 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2017. Honors published authors of all types of literature — fiction and nonfiction — in 66 categories. The grand prize winner receives $500, a certificate commemorating their accomplishment, and 100 Grand Prize seals. All first place book contest winners of all categories will be put into a drawing for a $100 prize. In addition, each first place winner in each category receives a certificate commemorating their accomplishment, and 25 award seals.
WRITING PITTSBURGH BOOK PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE.
Deadline October 23, 2017. The Writing Pittsburgh Book Prize will recognize one book focusing on a subject of regional and national significance, by a writer with a meaningful Pittsburgh connection. The author of the winning manuscript will receive a $10,000 honorarium; publication of their book by CNF’s independent book imprint, In Fact Books (IFB); national distribution; and a marketing and publicity campaign. The winning author will work with CNF/IFB’s editorial staff to refine and polish the manuscript. Publication will occur between one year and 15 months from the announcement of the prize.
$15 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline October 16, 2017. The Talking Writing Prize is an annual contest that celebrates the diversity online of original, personally driven writing. This year’s Talking Writing Prize for Personal Essay will spotlight our annual holiday theme. We’re looking for honest, unsentimental nonfiction about soul searching through words. How do you tackle life’s Big Questions? Writers are invited to address mortality, belief, culture of origin, atheism, or any other issues connected to making meaning in a complicated world. Length: Up to 2,000 words. Include only the story title (not your name or affiliation) on the first page and in the page headers. Prize: $500 and publication in Talking Writing.
WINCHESTER POETRY PRIZE
£5 ENTRY FEE.
First Prize: £1,000. Second Prize: £500. Third Prize: £250. Deadline July 31, 2017. In addition to receiving cash prizes winners will be invited to read at a special prize-giving event at Winchester Poetry Day on Saturday October 14, 2017. Winning and commended poems will also be published in a competition anthology.
ST MARTIN’S MINOTAUR/MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA FIRST CRIME NOVEL COMPETITION
NO ENTRY FEE. 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.