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.
LET DOWN YOUR HAIR CONTEST
$32.95 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 20, 2017. Any genre. Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and anything in between is welcome as long as it is speculative fiction. We just ask that you keep your piece under 1,800 words. Prize $1,000. Second prize will receive $150. Both winning entries will be published in an upcoming issue of EVENT. All entries will be considered for publication. Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to EVENT.
TISHMAN REVIEW POETRY PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 15, 2017. Send up to five poems per entry. No line limit. Any style or subject. First place receives $500 and publication. All submissions considered for publication.
LITERARY DEATH MATCH BOOKMARK CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 21, 2017. The winner will receive $1,000. The two runners-up will receive $100. All finalists will be invited to read at LDM events near where they live. Our live events average 10,000 attendees annually. We want these people leaving our around-the-globe shows with award-winning stories they’re certain to read. (Everyone can spare 250 words worth of reading.) The rules are simple: write a story that is no longer than 250 words.
INTO THE VOID POETRY COMPETITION
$5 CAD ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 31, 2017. Poems must be unpublished. There is no theme for the competition and there are no restrictions on style or genre. First Place $200 CAD and published on website. Second Place $100 CAD and published on website. Third Place $50 CAD and published on website. Three Runners-up: A copy of a boy named jane and published on website. Maximum 60 lines per poem.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: ANTHOLOGY COMPETITION
$5 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 10, 2017. Theme: TABLE FOR TWO. Whether it’s a first date, worst date, blind date or special celebration, some of our most memorable meals involve dining with another person. Of the 20 best personal essays chosen by our judges for publication, the top three will respectively receive $200, $150 and $100 and a feature interview.
$3 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 15, 2017. Sand Hills is now accepting work from all artists and writers in the U.S. Our first national publication will debut in Spring 2018. We seek to publish the best drama, poetry, prose (creative nonfiction and fiction), and visual art created by U.S. residents. We also have an ongoing interest in and commitment to publishing work by Augusta University students. Prizes of $200 are awarded in each genre.
NOWHERE MAGAZINE TRAVEL CONTEST
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 1, 2018. Stories can be fiction, nonfiction or essay, but please indicate which genre at the top of your manuscript. Entries should be between 800 and 5,000 words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted, but again, please indicate this. The winner will receive $1,000, with publication in Nowhere granted under First North American Serial Rights (FNASR). Up to ten finalists also will be published.
FOREIGN VOICES POETRY COMPETITION
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 30, 2017. Theme is migration. The author of the winning poem will receive £200. The winning poem and runners-up will be published in our online magazine. We accept poems from authors of all nationalities and based anywhere in the world provided you comply with the guidelines. Your poem has to be written in English. Translations are not accepted. Poems should not exceed 50 lines. The poem must be the original work of the entrant. The poems must not have been previously awarded or published. You can only send in one poem per entrant. You must be 18 or older.
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.
FOURTH RIVER FOLIO CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 15, 2017. The winning entry will be published as a 20-25-page feature in our fall, 2018 online issue. The author will also receive a cash prize of $500, and a subscription to The Fourth River’s print edition. For all our submissions, themed or otherwise, we especially welcome work by writers who are part of marginalized groups: immigrant and indigenous writers; writers of color; women, non-binary, LGBQA and trans writers; writers with disabilities both visible and invisible. No racist, misogynistic, homophobic or otherwise gratuitously hateful work will be considered.
CAFE WRITERS OPEN POETRY COMPETITION
£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 £100 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.
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 30, 2017. Lex:lead is a group of international lawyers and friends who support economic development focusing on the world’s least developed countries. We offer an annual essay competition on topics of law and development to the world’s least developed countries. In this way we transfer one-time US$500 awards to students addressing our fundamental question: What can law do to reduce poverty and foster economic growth? Candidates must have citizenship in an eligible country and be a law student enrolled in studies in an eligible country at the time of award. Up to ten awards will be granted in February 2018.
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.
PSYCHOPOMP MAGAZINE SHORT FICTION AWARD
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 31, 2018. The Psychopomp Magazine Short Fiction Award recognizes outstanding pieces of fiction that push the boundaries of genre and/or form. First prize $500 and issue publication. Submit up to 6,000 words.
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.
NOWHERE FALL TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 1, 2018. We are looking for young, old, novice and veteran writers to send us stories that possess a powerful sense of place. Stories can be fiction, nonfiction or essay, but please indicate which genre at the top of your manuscript. Entries should be between 800 and 5,000 words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted, but again, please indicate this. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in Nowhere. Up to ten finalists also will be published. Brush off your manuscripts or write something new and send it to the only literary travel magazine going.
TISHMAN REVIEW’S EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY POETRY PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 15, 2017. Open to writers worldwide, from new to established. First place wins $500 and publication in the January 2018 issue. All submissions will be considered for possible publication. Your submission gives consent to publish selected poems in future issues. There is no line-limit. Poems may be any length, any style, or any subject. Please, no translations for the contest.
DISQUIET LITERARY PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 31, 2018. Multi-genre award for the best poetry, fiction, or nonfiction on any subject. Entries must be in English. Entries may not be previously published. The winner in each genre will be published. The grand prize winner will also receive a full scholarship, including tuition, lodging, and a $1,000 USD travel stipend, to attend the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. Runners-up will also be considered for merit-based scholarships. One entry may include up to six poems (to a maximum of ten pages) or a single prose piece up to twenty-five double-spaced pages in length.
ST. MARTIN’S MINOTAUR/MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA FIRST CRIME NOVEL
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 12, 2018. 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). All manuscripts submitted: a) must be original works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. If a winner is selected, Minotaur Books will offer to enter into its standard form author’s agreement with the entrant for publication of the winning manuscript. After execution of the standard form author’s agreement by both parties, the winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. On the condition that the selected winner accepts and executes the publishing contract proposed by Minotaur Books, the winner will then be recognized at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City in April 2018.
THE SHELTERBELT PRESS FICTION PRIZE
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 31, 2017. The winning book will be published by Shelterbelt Press, housed at the University of Illinois Springfield, in Spring of 2019. Winners receive a $500 award, 25 copies of their book, plus a trip to the University of Illinois Springfield for a reading and launch party. Manuscripts should be between 120-200 pages.
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.
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.
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.
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.