Creative Writing Contests

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Creative Writing Contests
Fiction, Nonfiction
Adult, Young Adult, Children
Mainstream and Genre


Updated June 13, 2013

 

Note: A listing on this page does not constitute endorsement.


Writers: Do your research before investing time/money. (What are the credentials of the person(s) judging the contest? Is it an online poll that may be a popularity contest?)

Places to start your research:

Preditors and Editors

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$100 Teen Writing Contest.  Submit your first-person essay and the Next Step Magazine to win $100 and get published.

Christian Writing Contest Promoting Christianity Through Literature.

24-hour Short Story Contest

AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards Competition - Prizes awarded to reporters for excellence in science writing in each of the following 7 U.S. categories: large newspaper (over 100,000 daily circulation), small newspaper (under 100,000 circulation), magazine, radio, Television - Spot News/Feature Reporting, Television - In-depth Reporting, and online. An additional category, in Children's Science News, is open to reporters around the world across all news media. Online entry form must accompany all submissions. PRIZE: $3,000 in each of 8 categories.

Adventure Writers Competition. Clive Cussler Collector's Society.

Albedo One -Ireland's magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

American Poets Society 

Annual Essay Contest on Ayn Randís Novel Atlas Shrugged   Essay   Annual

Annual Essay Contest on Ayn Randís Novel The Fountainhead   Essay  Annual

Annual Essay Contest on Ayn Randís Novelette Anthem   Essay   Annual

Apex Awards for Excellence in Publication

Arizona Authors Association. Literary.

Arts Awards - Cash/Opportunities for Writers Poets Graduating HS. Awards for young artists.

Ascent Aspirations Magazine. Borderlines. Poetry/Flash Fiction Contest.

Atlanta Fiction Writing Contests

Author-Network (mainly UK)

awomanswrite is a quarterly writing contest for women, featuring a critique for every entrant, and a cash prize for the best submission.

Bella Online Contest Listing

Benu Prize for Creative Nonfiction - Social justice and equity.

Best Free Poetry Contests

Best New Sci Fi and Fantasy

Bluecat Screenplay Competition. $10k grand prize.

BOOKJOBBER.com Science Fiction Short Story Contest. Writing contest for Science Fiction short stories between 7500 and 15000 words.

Boston Review -  A political and literary forum. Short story and poetry contess.

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

Cadenza Magazine Short Story Competition - Seeks original, unpublished stories, not exceeding 4,000 words. Open theme (but no children's stories). Cash prizes total 350 English pounds. Entry fee: 5 pounds (or equivalent). Deadline: March 31.

Campbell River Online Story Contest. Two $150 prizes, plus gift packs including books, art, CDs, tours, and gift certificates

Canadian Writer's Journal Semi-annual Short Fiction Contest  Short Fiction  Semi-annual

Carve Magazine Short Story Contest - The Raymond Carver Short Story Award at Carve Magazine is one of the world's premier fiction awards for original, unpublished short stories. Maximum length: 10,000 words. Prize money totals $2,000. All submissions are considered for publication. International entries welcome. Entry fees: $15 (one), $25 (two), $30 (three). Only three entries per author are permitted. Closes: February 1.

Chistell Writing Contest. Poetry, Short Story. Open to 18 years and older.

Christian Writing Contest

Communicator Awards An international competition honoring excellence in communications. Print, video, and audio. Categories: Advertisement | Annual Report | Brochure | Employee Publication |  Magazine | Marketing/Promotion | Media Kit | Newsletter | Publicity | Public Relations/Communications | Public Service/Pro Bono | Radio | Television | Video/Film/Multi-Media |  Web Site | Design | Photography | Writing.

Conversely Magazine Antidote Essay Contest  Non-fiction essay    Annual

Con-Version 20 Short Story Writing Contest -- Held each year in conjunction with the ConVersion science fiction and fantasy convention in Calgary, Alberta (http://www.con-version.org).

Cowboy Logic.  "This site is dedicated to a peer group of writers who hold up a mirror when you want a slap on the back. We tend to scrape the sugar off our peer reviews and the result has been a strong and steady growth in our skills as story tellers and poets."

Diamond Cutters International/Marriage Proposal Essay - No Deadline

DMOZ Open Directory Project: Contests

Earth Vision Nature Writing Contest

Fanstory.com - various contests with varying deadlines. 

Fish Publishing's Writing Contests Fish Publishing runs three annual writing contests - the Fish Short Story Prize, the Fish One-Page Prize and the Fish Poetry Prize. We are honoured to have had renowned authors and poets lend their time and wisdom to the judging process. It is they who select the final shortlist of stories and poems from the three writing competitions to be published in the annual Fish Anthology. The anthology is launched during the West Cork Literary Festival.

The aim of the Fish writing competitions is to get new authors and poets into print.

Since the first Fish writing contests in 1994, Fish has published over 300 new authors. For many, Fish has been a stepping stone to further publication and a successful writing career. See Alumni for past winners of the Fish Writing Contests.

Fanstory Contests

Florida Freelance Writer's Contest. The contest is open to all writers. You do not have to be a member of Florida Freelance Writers Association (FFWA) or a resident of Florida. Nonfiction, fiction, children's literature, poetry divisions.

Flyway -  Fiction, nonfiction (maximum: 4,000 words) and poetry. Reading fee: $18. Deadline March 1st.

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award - The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to announce it will be offering a prize of 50,000 Euros for the best original collection of Short Stories published in English, anywhere in the world.

Freelance Writing Contests

Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine Contest - Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine seeks short stories in the mystery genre of 5,000 words or less.

George A Birmingham Short Story Competition

GiGi Books LLC, a Children's Audio and Picture Book Publisher, Children's Book Writing Contest. Grand prize: published story and $250. Submissions must be 400 words or less.

Glacier Press Fiction Writing Contest - Invites entries (maximum: 20,000 words) to a number of categories, including Short Story, Novel/Novella, and Children's Works. Prize: $500, plus publication. Deadline: April 30. Entry fee: $25.

Glimmer Train Awards for Fiction - Glimmer Train Press offers a number of awards for literary short fiction each year. The prize money for short stories less than 2,000 words, for example, totals $2,000. A reading fee of $10 is required. The Press is also open for submissions where no upfront fees are charged.

HOLLIS SUMMERS POETRY PRIZE COMPETITION - The competition is open to both those who have not published a book-length collection and those who have. Entry fee: $15. The winning manuscript will be published by Ohio University Press the following year and will be awarded a cash prize of $500. Deadline: October 31.

Intergeneration Foundation's Annual Storytelling Contest - Open to all ages, this short story contest is designed to promote intergenerational understanding. Maximum length: 750 words. Cash prizes total $700. No entry fees.

International Annual Fish Short Story Prize  Original, unpublished short stories, less than 5,000 words, on any theme, are sought. Deadline: November 30, each year. Entry fees: $16 for one, $11 each additional. First Prize: $2,500. The best eighteen short-listed stories will be published in an anthology, read by leading literary agents.

JBWB Competition  Several Genres  Quarterly

JMW Publishing   Poetry   Monthly

Just a Contest (justacontest.com) Welcome to Just a Contest, the website dedicated to writing contests. Browse pages, you'll find dozens of competitions, grouped by genre (fiction, non-fiction or poetry, with or without entry fee) and by deadline. Use our calendar, selecting your favorite category.
- Are you a United States Writer?
Click here and see our competitions list. You'll find what you are looking for.
- Are you a Worldwide Writer?
Click here and see our competitions list. You'll find what you are looking for.

Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction - Seeks manuscripts, between 27,500 and 50,000 words, made up of short stories and/or novellas. Prize: $1,000, plus publication. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: August 29.

KIDSPEAK WRITING CONTEST. The American Dream Group offers a variety of contest to encourage people to pursue their dreams.  We are currently offering a children's story writing contest that can be accessed through our main contest site at http://achieve-the-dream.net/contests.htm.

Literati Writing Competition - Realistic fiction, non-fiction, fiction, horror/paranormal.

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition - An annual contest for original, unpublished stories up to 3,000 words in length, open to writers who have not yet achieved major market success. Cash prizes total $2,000. Entry fee: $10. Deadline mid-May.

Love Poems and Quotes Contest   Monthly

MARGARET REID POETRY CONTEST FOR TRADITIONAL VERSE - Fifth year. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250. Top prize $2,000. Submit poems in traditional verse forms, such as sonnets and free verse. Winning entries published online. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: June 30. Judges: J.H. Reid, D.C. Konrad. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007). More information and past winning poems: www.winningwriters.com/margaret 

Munster Literature Centre - Details the Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition with two thousand Euros in prizes. Limit: 3,000 words. Deadline: July 31.

My Romance Story - Are you good at trivia? Do you like to write? Start playing today at MyRomanceStory.com to win cash & prizes .

Narrative Travel Writing Contest Professionals, freelancers, and aspiring travel writers are invited to write articles which describe how traveling in a slower manner and adapting to the space and time of natives has deepened your experience of both the people and the destination.  

National Novel Writing Month

National Writing Contest - Fountainhead Productions -- submit full-length novel manuscripts.

NATJA Awards   Travel Journalism    Annual

Never Ending Story Contest   Fiction   Monthly

New Century Writer Awards -- annual screenwriting, playwriting and fiction writing competition.

New Millennium Writings - Semi-annual. Eight $1000 prizes awarded per year

Park Publications UK - The short story magazine. Fiction, articles, and poetry.

PARSEC Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest. The contest is open to non-professional writers (those who have not met membership requirements for SFWA or equivalent).

Perugia Press Prize for a First or Second Book by a Woman 

Photo Review International Photography Competition

Poem Kingdom  Poetry  Varies

Pomegranate Words - Offering distance learning classes in poetry and fiction, critiquing services, forums, contests, and other resources for teen writers.

Pronghorn Press  Short Story  Annual

Prose-n-Poetry

Reaching Common Ground Essay Contest. Open to 16 to 22-year olds., 2,500 words or less. Sponsored by the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies.

Read my Words. Short fiction. 2,500 words max. $5 reading fee. See site for prizes.

Rosebud's XJ Kennedy Award for Creative Nonfiction

Sally Odger's Contests  Varies  Regularly

Santa Fe Writers Project - Resources, awards, and support for writers.

Screenwriter Showcase

Screenwriting Contest $10,000 in cash. $8,000 in prizes.

Screenwriting Contests and Markets

Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition

 

Shriekfest - Los Angeles International horror/Thriller/Science Fiction Film Festival & Screenplay Competition

Songwriting Contests

Southword Editions Poetry Chapbook Competition (Entry fee 10 euros by credit card or 10 euros, £10 or US15 by cheque)                   

Spring into Romance Contest

Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival Annual Poetry, Fiction, and One-Act Play Contests.  Please visit our website for further details and deadlines.  Small entry fee.  $1000 prizes.

TenTen Fiction Competition - Annual. Literary fiction. A Short Story in exactly 1,010 words.

Tickled by Thunder - Fiction.

Toasted Cheese Fiction Contests - Toasted Cheese Literary Journal currently offers three short story contests on given themes, each year. No entry fees. Modest prizes. Deadlines vary.

TOM HOWARD/JOHN H. REID POETRY CONTEST - Sixth year. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250. Top prize $2,000. Submit poems in any style or genre. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Winning entries published online. Entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: September 30. Judges: J.H. Reid, D.C. Konrad. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: Tom Howard Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007). More information and past winning poems: www.winningwriters.com/tompoetry

Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest -- We want your best mystery short story, set in the Western or Southwestern United States. The story must include at least one cowboy and/or Native American character. Weíre looking for compelling, original, well-written stories that have not been previously published. The contest is jointly sponsored by Cowboys & Indians Magazine and Wordharvest.

Vestal Review  (short stories)
The reading for our first contest begins October 1 and lasts until November 15. Winners will be announced by November 30. The awards will be: $150 for the 1st place, $50 for the 2nd, $20 for 3rd, and $15 to three finalists. $5 fee per entry.

The Vocabula Well-Written Writing Contest

Voices Anthology  Poetry, haiku and short story  Quarterly

WAR POETRY CONTEST - Seventh year. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,000. Top prize $2,000. Submit 1-3 unpublished poems on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in all. Winning entries published online. Sponsored by Winning Writers. $15 entry fee, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: May 31. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Include cover sheet with contact information. No name on poems. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: War Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007). More information and past winning poems: www.winningwriters.com/war 

Warren Adler Short Story Contest

Wattpad Contest Listings 

Whisper Stories - sponsored by Purple Pen. All genre except adult. $15 entry. Completion of a story for which the opening line is already provided.

Whisper Stories Contests - Promotes writing contests in which authors are asked to complete a story from a set opening sentence. Current deadlines: January 31 and April 30. Prize money: $500 and $5,500 respectively. Entry fees: $5 and $15 respectively.

Wild Violet Writing Contests

William Saroyan International Prize for Writing The Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation jointly award the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, a competition for newly-published books. The prize commemorates the life, legacy and intentions of William Saroyan - author, artist, dramatist, composer - and is intended to encourage new or emerging writers, rather than to recognize established literary figures.

Women Writers of the Desert

Word Smitten Flash Fiction Competition - Word Smitten offers a Flash Fiction Contest of 500 words or less. Prize: $150.

Words Magazine - Seeks original short stories for various themed contests throughout the year. Limit: 2,000 words. Accepts IRCs for entry fees.

WOW! Women On Writing

Write Angle Playwriting Contest  Play writing  Monthly

Writers Digest Contests - Ongoing

Writers Notes Annual Writing Contest. Fiction and nonfiction.

Writers of the Future   L Ron Hubbard site. Science Fiction / Fantasy  Quarterly

Writers' Spot  Short Story  Semi-annual

WriterSpace Book Contests - Ongoing

WritersWeekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest - Ongoing quarterly contests require entrants to submit a short story within 24 hours of the topic's notification. $5 entry fee. Cash prizes total $750 for first, second and third places.

Writing Contests

Zoetrope: Literary Short Fiction Contest - All entries must be unpublished; no longer than 5,000 words; postmarked by October 1; accompanied by a $15 entry fee per story. 1st Prize: $1,000. 2nd Prize: $500. 3rd Prize: $250.

WAR POETRY CONTEST - Seventh year. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,000. Top prize $2,000. Submit 1-3 unpublished poems on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in all. Winning entries published online. Sponsored by Winning Writers. $15 entry fee, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: May 31. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Include cover sheet with contact information. No name on poems. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: War Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007). More information and past winning poems: www.winningwriters.com/war 

TOM HOWARD/JOHN H. REID POETRY CONTEST - Sixth year. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250. Top prize $2,000. Submit poems in any style or genre. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Winning entries published online. Entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: September 30. Judges: J.H. Reid, D.C. Konrad. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: Tom Howard Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007). More information and past winning poems: www.winningwriters.com/tompoetry

 

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A listing on this page does not constitute endorsement. Please report scams to the webmaster.


Writers: Do your research before investing time/money. (What are the credentials of the person[s] judging the contest? Is it an online poll that may actually be a popularity contest?)

Places to start your research:

Preditors and Editors

Writers Weekly