The Best Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 502 contests


The Reedsy Prompts Contest

Reedsy

Respond to one of Reedsy's weekly writing prompt newsletters with a short story for the chance to win $250 and be featured on the Reedsy Blog!

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication on Reedsy Blog

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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ScienceQuest NextGen Science Literary Writing Competition

Zoomcatchers

Established to recognize and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, this science literary competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Writing samples submitted must be from the genres of: Science fiction, Dystopian, Futuristic, Fantasy, Paranormal ​​ We accept essay, short story, and novel submissions up to 15 pages in length, double-spaced.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Consultation with literary agent Leticia Gomez

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: September 05, 2022


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Novel, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Young Adult

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Flash Fiction Battle

Writing Battle

Writing Battle is a creative writing competition for writers, by writers. Light on battle. Heavy on fun and friendship (but still somewhat battle-like). Receive prompts, write a short story, then judge each other's stories. Win cash and get feedback from your peers. Join the battle!

Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

Feedback by industry professionals. Guaranteed feedback by at least 5 of your peers.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: August 05, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Editor's Prize - Work Anthology

Unleash Press

Writers are invited to submit creative interpretations on Work for an upcoming anthology and the chance of winning the editors' prize. Essays, fiction, drama, and poetry interpretations of the theme will be accepted. Submissions should have a total word count of no more than 5,000 words. All authors chosen for the anthology will receive a paperback copy of the book. Only one editor’s prize will be selected.

Top prize

150

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: December 30, 2022


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller

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The Bedford Competition

The Bedford Competition

We are an International Competition with prizes totalling £3000 including special awards for 17-25 year olds. All winning and shortlisted entries are published by our partners, Ostrich Books. We donate proceeds to charities that support literary and literacy skills.

Top prize

$1,221

Additional prizes

2nd: $244 | 3rd: $122

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Myth: SaveAs Writers' International Writing Competition 2022

SaveAs Writers

National and International entries are welcome.  SaveAs Writers invite entries of poetry and prose for their annual competition. 2022 celebrates the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. In the tradition of Joyce's novel, the work should display a link to myth, Greek, Roman, Norse, Indian, Icelandic or any other, and may be set in any period.

Top prize

245

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry, Short Story

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Monthly Short Story Contest

Olde Wolf

Here at Olde Wolf, we love seeing writers show off their skills. Whether you’re a seasoned author or up-and-coming talent, we encourage you to enter our monthly writing contest!

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Featured on Olde Wolf's website

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: August 05, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction

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Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Winning Writers

Now in its 21st year, this contest seeks today's best humor poems. No fee to enter. Submit published or unpublished work. $3,500 in prizes.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Two-year gift certificate for Duotrope | 2nd: $500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: April 01, 2023


Genres

Humor, Poetry

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Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest

Tallahassee Writers Association

The Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest (collectively, “the Contest”) is sponsored annually by the Tallahassee Writers Association. The contest is open to English-language entries from around the world. For the first time, we are open to published entries as well as unpublished entries.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Published in the Seven Hills Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Children's, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Competition 11-13

Free Flash Fiction

The Bi-monthly Free Flash Fiction Competition promotes the work of flash fiction authors. The winner of the current competition will be invited to be the judge for the next competition. Submit a flash fiction piece between 100 and 300 words, on any theme. Comp 11 ends 23rd Aug | Comp 12 ends 23rd Oct | Comp 13 ends 23rd Dec 2022.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

Books & Publication on website

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: December 23, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction

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Tom Howard / Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Winning Writers

Welcome to the 20th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $3,000 for a poem in any style or genre. $3,000 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

$200 for 10 honorable mentions

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Haiku Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Share a Haiku! That's a poem with only three lines that generally follows the 5-7-5 syllable count. So the first line of your poem will have three syllables. Second line seven. Final line five!

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $13

Deadline: April 15, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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Minds Shine Bright Storm

Minds Shine Bright

Mind Shine Bright has two writing competitions annually a revolving theme competition which for 2022 is Storm and Confidence.

Top prize

$500 (AUS)

Additional prizes

2nd: $400 (AUS) | 3rd: $300 (AUS)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story

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New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2022

New Writers UK

The New Writers Flash Fiction Competition is open for submissions. The competition seeks to reward authors of the most imaginative, moving or just downright brilliant flash fiction entries of up to 300 words. With a prize pool of £1,000 and £1 from each entry going to a creative writing charity, it's time to get involved.

Top prize

$717

Additional prizes

2nd: $240 | 3rd: $120

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction

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MacQ-15 Ekphrastic Writing Challenge: "The Question of Questions"

MacQueen's Quinterly

For our tenth themed writing challenge, MacQueen’s Quinterly is calling for literary works in multiple genres: flash and micro-fiction, nonfiction, poetry, prose poetry, and poetic hybrids. Each piece entered must include one “q” word and must address the theme described in our contest guidelines and publisher's commentary.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication in Issue 15 of MacQueen's Quinterly online

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: August 21, 2022


Genres

Essay, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing

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Henshaw Short Story Competition

Henshaw Press

A short story on any subject up to 2000 words. Results announced by the end of October 2022. Prize winners published on the Henshawpress website and in our next Anthology. Optional Critiques a further £14. Free critiques for authors aged sixteen and under.

Top prize

$237

Additional prizes

2nd: $118 | 3rd: $60

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Suspense, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Travel

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Alone Writing Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Write a story where the main character is alone. Fiction and non-fiction welcomed. Maximum words 5,000. The winner takes away a $100 cash prize. All writers will receive feedback for their submission.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: January 29, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction

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George Garrett Fiction Prize

Texas Review Press

Established in 1998, The George Garrett Fiction Prize highlights one book a year for excellence in a short story collection or novel. Since 2019 the Prize comes with a $1,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Standard royalty contract with TRP and 20 author copies of the published book

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: October 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Calvino Prize

University of Louisville

The Calvino Prize is an annual fiction competition sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the English Department of the University of Louisville. They will be awarded to outstanding pieces of fiction in the fabulist experimentalist style of Italo Calvino. The first place entry will be published in Miracle Monocle journal at the University of Louisville.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Miracle Monocle

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

Novel, Novella, Short Story

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Narrative Prize

Narrative Magazine

The Narrative Prize is awarded annually for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative. The submission system is open all year.

Top prize

$4,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $27

Deadline: June 15, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Short Story Award for New Writers

The Masters Review

Welcome to our Short Story Award for New Writers, an bi-annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers. Judging this year’s contest is Ye Chun, author of Hao, a collection of stories recently longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. Entries must be under 6,000 words.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Publication online, agency review, $300, $200

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: August 28, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Writers of the Future

Writer's of the Future

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Fantasy, Science Fiction

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Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (WAWA)

Ireland Writing Retreat

Welcome to the fifth ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA) competition to welcome the New Year which we hope will provide challenge, diversion and enjoyment for you over the holidays and into next year as well. As with all our competitions, there will be two separate categories - flash fiction and creative nonfiction. And we’ve decided on an intriguing theme for both - TIME. ​

Top prize

€1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: September 09, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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Annual Flash Fiction Competition

Flash 500

This quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. The results will be announced about six weeks after each closing date and the three winning entries each quarter will be published on the website.

Top prize

£300

Additional prizes

£200, £100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Flash Fiction Award

Bath Flash Fiction Award

In addition to winning cash prizes, entrants have the opportunity to appear in our print and digital anthology collections. Our books are published by the award-winning small press Ad Hoc Fiction, and are available to buy from their own independent bookshop as well as worldwide from Amazon. 300 word limit.

Top prize

£1000

Additional prizes

£300 for 2nd, £100 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: October 09, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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The Bath Children’s Novel Award

The Bath Novel Awards

The Bath Children’s Novel Award is an annual international prize for emerging novelists writing for children or teens. Submissions are the first 5,000 words plus one page synopsis. A children’s literary agent will judge the winning manuscript from a shortlist chosen by Junior Judges aged seven to seventeen.

Top prize

£3000

Additional prizes

Manuscript feedback from junior judges, literary agent introductions, novel editing course

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $34

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Young Adult

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Fiction Factory Flash Fiction

Fiction Factory

We welcome previously unpublished stories (max 1,000 words) on any theme. Our judge is looking for freshness, originality and strongly drawn characters.

Top prize

£200

Additional prizes

£50, £25

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Crime, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Etched Onyx and the Story Discovery Podcast

Onyx Publications

The Fall Edition Contest is an open, mixed-category contest. In other words, we have no limitations or expectations on which types of works will win awards. Selections are based on originality, voice, and style. Last year's contest had 4 prose winners and 2 poetry winners. (An early bird entry fee of $7.50 runs till July 31)

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Second Prize $250 | Third Prize $100 | 3 Honorable Mentions $50 each

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: August 28, 2022


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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Write a letter to your younger self

The Unsealed

Write an open letter to your younger self or the next generations as a whole.

Top prize

$400

Additional prizes

2nd: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: August 15, 2022


Genres

Non-fiction

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Write a letter to your children/future children

The Unsealed

Write an open letter to your children/child or future children/child about what you want them to know about you.

Top prize

$350

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: October 03, 2022


Genres

Non-fiction

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TLOP Anthology of Contemporary Writers 2022

The League of POETS

The League of POETS is proud to announce our 2022 anthology contest. This year we are looking for poetry and short story entries that edify the theme of industrialism. We want entries that defines the new age of our global village.

Top prize

Publication and Certificate of Distinction

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $2

Deadline: September 25, 2022


Genres

Poetry, Short Story

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Elegant Literature's Contest For New Writers

Elegant Literature

We are the first magazine to pay professional rates and only accept submissions from new writers. We don't allow pros to submit, so your work has a better chance to be selected. Each month we hold a contest based on a short fiction prompt. You write a wonderful story and enter the contest. We choose the winner who receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: July 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Voice.Club - Flash Fiction Writing Contest

Voice.Club

Express yourself in a supportive, family-friendly community, as you develop your writing skills. Voice.club is a family-friendly platform where creators can express themselves in a supportive environment. Our recurring writing contests have attracted talented writers from all over the world, and invite you to write a story of 350 words or less, based on our current prompt.

Top prize

$50 Amazon Gift Card + Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: July 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Writing LOVE

Sadie Tells Stories

Writing LOVE is a 500 word short story contest. The story can be fiction or non-fiction as long as it includes an element of love. A love for life, for nature, for someone, for peace, for a passion..

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

$150 to the runner up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: August 15, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

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Sadie Tells Stories

Sadie Tells Stories

Are you an author who loves magic? Do you have an idea for a super short story that needs to be shared with the world? If you answered yes to both of those questions this contest is for you! The story can be about anything magical. Maybe it’s something that you’ve experienced in real life or it’s something you’ve created. Maybe it’s the start of a great idea. Maybe it’ll be the thing that inspires you to finally publish your book. Sadie Tells Stories loves all things magic and wonder. And she loves not just the magic she can create but sharing the magic that others do as well. She can’t wait to read your stories!

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

$150 USD for second prize

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Short Story

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Discover the finest writing contests of 2022 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 2022 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 2022

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 2022

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:

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