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DIRECTORY

Best Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 383 contests that match your search.

Genres: Fiction and Short Story

Every Friday, Reedsy sends out five writing prompts. Enter your response within a week for a chance at $250. Winners may also be included in a future issue of Reedsy’s literary magazine, Prompted.

Top Prize:

$250

Additional prizes:

$25 credit toward Reedsy editorial services

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: December 31, 2024

ABC Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Write an ABC Poem. That's a poem with five lines that follows the alphabet. Cash prize!

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: July 25, 2024

Share Your Story

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Essay and Memoir

Write about an event in your life. Everyone has a memoir. Not an autobiography. Too much concern about fact and convention. A memoir gives us the ability to write about our life with the option to create and fabricate and to make sense of a life, or part of that life.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: August 13, 2024

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Genres: Fiction and Novel

The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction recognizes daring, original, and innovative novels (generally over 40,000 words, but there is no hard minimum). A $5,000 advance and publication by Dzanc Books will be awarded to the winner. Finalists will be compiled in-house and passed along for evaluation to this year’s judges: Alan Michael Parker, Chika Unigwe, and Sarah Yahm, author of The Moveables, which was chosen as the winner of last year’s Prize for Fiction.

Top Prize:

$5,000

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

First Pages Prize

First Pages Prize

Genres: Fiction and Non-fiction

First Pages Prize invites you to enter your first 5 pages of a longer work of fiction or creative nonfiction. Prizes in both fiction & creative nonfiction. Open to un-agented writers worldwide, the prize supports emerging writers with cash awards, developmental mentoring, & agent consultation. This year our judge is Edwidge Danticat! Opens March 2024!

Top Prize:

$2,000

Additional prizes:

Agent Consultation, Developmental Mentorship

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: April 24, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction and Short Story

Our quarterly short story competition is open for entries all year round. The competition is open to any theme or genre, but your story must be a maximum of 1,500 words (not including the title). You can enter up to three stories in each quarterly competition.

Top Prize:

£150

Additional prizes:

£75 for 2nd, £30 for 3rd

💰 Entry fee: $7

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Flash Fiction, Short Story, and Fiction

This Prize is free to enter. 2-4 Winners are published. We Shortlist 10-20 writers. Seeking stories 0-5000 words. Judges’ feedback available. Open to writers from anywhere in the world, with no theme or genre restrictions. Judged blind. All entries considered for publication + submission to Pushcart.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication by The Letter Review

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, and Romance

An interactive narrative writing contest. Four categories, capped at 20 participants in each category, and 3 prizes for the winners in each. No need to write a complete novel, just 3 shorts "episodes". We're hosting the contest to find amazing writers and get feedback on our interactive narrative writing tool!

Top Prize:

$250

Additional prizes:

2nd: $150 | 3rd: $100

📅 Deadline: May 22, 2024 (Expired)

Goldilocks Zone

Sunspot Literary Journal

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Script Writing, and Short Story

Sunspot Lit is looking for the perfect combination of craft and appeal in stories, CNF, novel or novella excerpts, artwork, graphic novels, poems, scripts/screenplays. Literary and genre accepted. Enter through Submittable or Duotrope.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

The Raven Short Story Contest

Pulp Literature Press

Genres: Fiction

This contest is for previously unpublished short fiction between 250 and 2500 words in length. Multiple entries welcome. Total entries limited to 300. Show us your most scintillating treasures in the form of short fiction up to 2500 words in length and you could be the one bringing home $300 CAD to line your nest!

Top Prize:

$230

Additional prizes:

Publication in Pulp Literature

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: October 15, 2024

Genres:

Established in 2001, The Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize highlights one book a year that excels in the chapbook format. Since 2019 the Prize comes with $500, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

A Standard Royalty contract, 20 copies of the book published

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024 (Expired)

Solar Flare

Sunspot Literary Journal

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, and Short Story

Sunspot Lit is looking for one work, including a novel or novella excerpt, that provides a flare of creative energy. Literary or genre accepted. Enter through Submittable or Duotrope. Learn more: https://sunspotlit.com/contests

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: May 31, 2024 (Expired)

The Hudson Prize

Black Lawrence Press

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or prose. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $28

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024 (Expired)

Rattle Poetry Prize

Rattle Foundation

Genres: Children's and Poetry

The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $15,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $500 each and publication, and be eligible for the $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.

Top Prize:

$15,000

💰 Entry fee: $30

📅 Deadline: July 15, 2024

Genres: Novel

Open to all poets over 18 years old writing in English. Collaborations, hybrid works, and simultaneous submissions are welcome. Please notify Diode Editions if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Top Prize:

$1,500

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: July 15, 2024

Genres: Poetry

The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

Top Prize:

€6,000

Additional prizes:

3x runners up: €1,000 | 8x further prizes of €250 | Publication online in Irish Times

💰 Entry fee: $16

📅 Deadline: December 31, 2023 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction

Salamander Magazine's annual fiction contest will be open to submissions from May 1 - June 1. The first prize story will win $1,000 and publication; the second place story will win $500 and publication. Kevin Wilson will judge. Using only the online submission system, submit a story of up to 30 pages or 7500 words with a $15 entry fee - entry fee includes a one-year subscription. All entries are considered for publication. Visit salamandermag.org/contests for complete guidelines. Contact salamandereditors@gmail.com with questions.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: $500 | Publication

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: June 01, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Memoir

Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours? Authors are invited to share a unique life experience. Whether your memoir recounts a transformative journey, a poignant moment, or a life-altering event, we welcome your story. The Anthology Personal Memoir Competition is open to original and previously unpublished memoirs in the English language by writers of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.

Top Prize:

€500

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2024

Solas Awards

Best Travel Writing

Genres: Essay, Non-fiction, and Travel

Extraordinary stories about travel and the human spirit have been the cornerstones of our books since 1993. With the Solas Awards we honor writers whose work inspires others to explore. We’re looking for the best stories about travel and the world. Funny, illuminating, adventurous, uplifting, scary, inspiring, poignant stories that reflect the unique alchemy that occurs when you enter unfamiliar territory and begin to see the world differently as a result. We hope these awards will be a catalyst for those who love to leave home and tell others about it.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: September 21, 2024

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize is a writing competition sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts. Selected Shorts is recorded for Public Radio and heard nationally on both the radio and its weekly podcast. This years entries will be judged by Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House, Her Body and Other Parties).

Top Prize:

$1000 + free 10 week course with Gotham Writers

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Flash Fiction

The Berkeley Fiction Review is a UC Berkeley undergraduate, student-run publication. We look for innovative short fiction that plays with form and content, as well as traditionally constructed stories with fresh voices and original ideas. Currently seeking flash fiction submissions of 1000 words or fewer.

Top Prize:

$150

Additional prizes:

2nd: $100 | 3rd: $50 | Honorable mentions: $25 | Publication

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: April 01, 2024 (Expired)

Black River Chapbook Competition

Black Lawrence Press

Genres: Poetry

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or prose between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

Top Prize:

$500

💰 Entry fee: $18

📅 Deadline: June 01, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction and Flash Fiction

Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. True stories are welcome as long as they’re written in a narrative style. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in The Lascaux Review.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Finalists: $100

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

Genres: Poetry

Open to all poets over 18 years old writing in English. Collaborations, hybrid works, and simultaneous submissions are welcome. Please notify Diode Editions if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Top Prize:

$750

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: July 15, 2024

The Fountain Essay Contest

Fountain Magazine

Genres: Essay and Non-fiction

“Home” holds a special place in our lives. Our earliest memories form inside its walls; we utter our first words and take our first steps there. Does everyone feel the same about home? Is it where you were born or where you earn your bread? Is home a physical place? In a world that moves faster than ever and is confined to small screens, how do perceptions about "home" change? Where is home for people who are forced to leave their homes? Where is your home?

Top Prize:

$1,000

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

Louise Bogan Award

Trio House Press

Genres: Poetry

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.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: March 15, 2024 (Expired)

The Lascaux Prize in Poetry

The Lascaux Review

Genres: Poetry

Poems may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000, a bronze medallion, and publication online in The Lascaux Review. The winner and all finalists will be published in the annual print journal.

Top Prize:

$1,000

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024 (Expired)

Anthology Flash Fiction Award

Anthology Magazine

Genres: Fiction, Short Story, and Flash Fiction

The Anthology Flash Fiction Competition is open to original and previously unpublished flash fiction on any theme in the English language by writers of any nationality. We are looking for writing that is clever and unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling story. Max 250 words.

Top Prize:

€300

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

Winchester Poetry Prize

Winchester Poetry Festival

Genres: Poetry

Winchester Poetry Prize is our globally popular, annual poetry competition, which began in 2016. The competition attracts entries from all over the world and is judged blind. It opens in April, and closes in July. ​

Top Prize:

$1,000

💰 Entry fee: $6

📅 Deadline: July 31, 2024

Genres: Fiction

Open to writers across Canada. Short prose in English, 2,500-5,000 words in any fiction genre. We actively encourage submissions from all writers who are 18 years of age or older.

Top Prize:

$1,000 CAD

Additional prizes:

2nd: $600 CAD | 3rd: $400 CAD

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: February 15, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Short Story

Awarded for the best piece of writing on the theme of the Alpine Fellowship 2023 - Flourishing. The winner of the Writing Prize will receive a cash prize, and the runners up will receive travel expense support that must be used to attend our 2023 symposium which will be held from 10th-13th August 2023 in Fjällnäs, Sweden

Top Prize:

£3,000 cash grant

Additional prizes:

2nd: £1,000 travel expense | 3rd: £1,000 travel expense

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

Writers of the Future

Writers of the Future

Genres: Fiction, Short Story, Fantasy, and Science Fiction

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new writers of science fiction and fantasy to have their work judged by some of the masters in the field and discovered by a wide audience. Prizes of $1000, $750 and $500 are awarded every three months. From the four 1st Place winners each year, one story is selected as the grand prize winner and the author receives an additional $5000 cash prize.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

$750 for 2nd place, $500 for 3rd, £5000 annual grand prize

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Children's, Poetry, Romance, Short Story, Suspense, and Travel

Can you write a story using 100 words or less? Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. The first-place prize has doubled to $2,000 USD.

Top Prize:

$2,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: writing coach package

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2024

Askew's Word on the Lake Writing Contest

Shuswap Association of Writers

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Essay, Memoir, and Short Story

Whether you’re an established or emerging writer, the Askew’s Word on the Lake Writing Contest has a place for you. Part of the Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival in Salmon Arm, BC, the contest is open to submissions in short fiction (up to 2,000 words), nonfiction (up to 2,000 words), and poetry (up to three one-page poems).

Top Prize:

$200 CAD

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $11

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Short Story

Voice.club Writing Contests: Express yourself in a supportive international community, as you develop your writing skills. We invite you to write a story of 350 words or less, based on our current prompt. Our monthly contests are open to writers aged 13 and older from any country, but each story must be written in English. Our April prompt is "Magic."

Top Prize:

$25 USD Amazon Gift Card

Additional prizes:

Publication

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

Discover the finest writing contests of 2024 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 as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2024 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!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2024

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

On Writing:

On Editing:

Blog posts

Bonus resources

After you submit to a writing competition in 2024

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.

Prompts | Prompts Sans Serif | 2024-03

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