Search for writing contests in your genres

Discover the finest writing contests of 2019 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters below as you browse. Manage a contest? Submit it here

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We found 370 contests that match your search 🔦



WOW! Women On Writing Q3 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Seeking creative nonfiction essays on any topic and in any style--from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid and more! The mission of this contest is to reward bravery in real-life storytelling and create an understanding of our world through thoughtful, engaging narratives.

WOW! Women On Writing

📆 Deadline April 30, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $12

Genres: Non-fiction,

TOP PRIZE

$500

Additional prizes

Publication, interview, and gift card good for one item from CreateWriteNow's Store

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Nutshell Narratives 2 - Early Spring

We invite you to create a very short story (350 words or less) that fits the “nutshell narrative” of any flower/haiku prompt on the contest page. Use your imagination, and see what stories you see in a picture and a few words! Our ongoing Nutshell Narratives contests are open to all, including past winners. Judge is writer/editor Regina Higgins, from Louisville Kentucky.

Zen Garden

📆 Deadline May 15, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $0

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$50

Additional prizes

Permanent publication on our online site

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Eyelands 9th International Short Story Contest

We’re looking for short stories, of 2.500 words maximum in any genre on the theme of “Luggage.” Every year, we are delighted to give the opportunity to writers from all over the world to see their work published in English and Greek and also to enjoy a week's holiday in a beautiful beach house on the island of Crete!

Eyelands Magazine

📆 Deadline June 20, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $10

Genres: Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

Publication in Eyelands Magazine

Additional prizes

Holiday in Crete

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Inkitt Novel Competition

Do you have the next great novel? Submit it to Inkitt's Novel Competition for the chance to win their prize including: a $300 cash prize, promotion on a special Novel Contest Winner's List, a contest Winner Badge for your Inkitt cover picture, as well as eligibility for a future publishing deal. Each month a winner is selected for the cash prize ‹ so submit your story by the end of this month!

Inkitt

📆 Deadline March 31, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: FREE

Genres: Fiction,

TOP PRIZE

$300

Additional prizes

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The Scriptation Showcase

The Scriptation Showcase is the screenwriting competition that circulates winners’ scripts to the widest range of Hollywood directors, showrunners, and producers. 15 scripts will be featured for a full year in Scriptation, the script app used on thousands of film and TV productions.

Showcase

📆 Deadline April 30, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $29

Genres: Script Writing,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

1 Year Scriptation Showcase

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Gemini Magazine 10th Annual Short Story Contest

In celebration of our tenth year, we have increased first prize from $1,000 to $5,000. Second place: $250. Three honorable mentions: $50 each. Entry fee: $10. We are open to any subject, genre or length. All five finalists will be published online in the June 2019 issue. Both new and experienced writers have won our contests. All entries are read blind. Deadline: April 1.

Gemini Magazine

📆 Deadline April 01, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $10

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$5,000

Additional prizes

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The Meyerson Prize for Fiction

The David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction is named for the late David Nathan Meyerson (1967–1998), a therapist and talented writer who died before he was able to show to the greater world the full fruits of his literary potential, the prize consists of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review.

Southwest Review

📆 Deadline May 01, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $25

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

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Louise Bogan Award

The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence includes $1,000, publication, and twenty books. The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence is open to ALL poets, regardless of publication history.

Trio House Press

📆 Deadline April 30, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $25

Genres: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

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Trio Award for First or Second Book

The Trio Award for First or Second Book includes $1,000, publication, and twenty books. The Trio Award for First or Second Book is only open to poets with less than two books published.

Trio House Press

📆 Deadline April 30, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $25

Genres: Fiction, Novel,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

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Fischer Prize 2019

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem. The winner also receives $500 in travel expenses to attend the Telluride Literary Arts Festival in Colorado in May.

Telluride Institute

📆 Deadline May 01, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $9

Genres: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

Attendance at Telluride Literary Arts Festival

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Supernatural Fiction Award 2019

Twice each year TGS awards $1,000 and both online and print publication to the winner of our short story competition.

The Ghost Story

📆 Deadline April 30, 2019 (Expired) – 💰 Entry Fee: $20

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

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Drue Heinz Literature Prize 2019

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize recognizes and supports writers of short fiction and makes their work available to readers around the world. The award is open to authors who have published a book-length collection of fiction or at least three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals.

University of Pittsburgh Press

📆 Deadline June 30, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $25

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$15,000

Additional prizes

Publication in University of Pittsburgh Press

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Submitting to free writing contests in 2019 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

While you’re submitting to writing competitions in 2019

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether.

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses:

Blog posts:

After you submit to a writing competition in 2019

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners.

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

  • Many writing competitions don’t have time to respond to each entrant with feedback on their story. However, it never hurts to ask! Feel free to politely reach out requesting feedback — but wait until after the selection period is over.

  • If you’ve submitted the same work to more than one writing competition or literary magazine, remember to withdraw your submission if it ends up winning elsewhere.

  • After you send a submission, don’t follow it up with a rewritten or revised version. Instead, ensure that your first version is thoroughly proofread and edited. If not, wait until the next edition of the contest or submit the revised version to other writing contests.

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