The Best Writing Contests of 2024

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 320 contests


The Reedsy Prompts Contest

Reedsy

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: December 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Anthology Nature Writing Competition 2024

Anthology Magazine

The Anthology Nature Writing Competition is created to celebrate the beauty of the natural world, inspire literary excellence and encourage Anthology’s readers to explore the great outdoors. Whether it’s the wonder of life right in your own garden, an encounter with wildlife, the serenity of a forest, a reflection on environmental challenges, or the healing power of nature, we welcome your stories.

Top prize

€500

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 30, 2024


Genres

Non-fiction

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Anthology Personal Memoir Competition 2024

Anthology Magazine

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 The Anthology Personal Memoir Competition is open to original and previously unpublished memoirs in the English language by writers of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.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 requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: August 31, 2024


Genres

Memoir

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Anthology Travel Writing Competition 2024

Anthology Magazine

The Anthology Travel Writing Competition is open to original and previously unpublished travel articles in the English language by writers of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. We are looking for an engaging article that will capture the reader’s attention, conveying a strong sense of the destination and the local culture. Max 1000 words.

Top prize

€500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: November 30, 2024


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction, Travel

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Anthology Flash Fiction Award

Anthology Magazine

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

€500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: September 30, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Flash Fiction

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Ironclad Creative Short Story Competition

Ironclad Creative CIC

We are looking for short stories that respond in any way to: 7:12am. You can use that in the text, as a theme, or any way you want. We accept any prose genre and any length of story up to 6k words. We’re looking for writers who have exciting voices and can move us - that can happen in any genre of prose. We’re not accepting plays or poetry for this competition.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

2nd: £50 | 3rd & 4th: £25 | 10 short-listed entries: publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: April 30, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novella, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

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International Voices in Creative Nonfiction Competition

Vine Leaves Press

Small presses have potential for significant impact, and at Vine Leaves Press, we take this responsibility quite seriously. It is our responsibility to give marginalized groups the opportunity to establish literary legacies that feel rich and vast. Why? To sustain hope for the world to become a more loving, tolerable, and open space. It always begins with art. That is why we have launched this writing competition.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Book publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: July 01, 2024


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel

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Young Sports Journalist 2024

Pitch

The Young Sports Journalist Competition, 2024, seeks well-argued articles from aspiring journalists aged 14-21. Winning entries will be published online and printed in the Summer Issue of Pitch. Critiqued by our panel of accomplished judges, winners will also receive a £50 cash prize and offered work experience here at PITCH HQ. The competition runs from 7 February 2024 to 5 April 2024. And winners will be announced in May.

Top prize

£50

Additional prizes

Publication in magazine and online

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: April 05, 2024


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction

Not Quite Write

The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction challenges writers to create an original piece of flash fiction based on two typical writing prompts plus one ""anti-prompt"". An anti-prompt is a challenge to break a specific “rule” of writing while telling a great story. Participants compete for AU$2,000 in cash prizes, including AU$1,000 for the winner, cash prizes for the entire shortlist and two bonus ‘wildcard’ prizes. Winners are read aloud on the Not Quite Write podcast, where the judges share in-depth analysis about the entries and offer free writing advice. The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction is hosted in Australia and open to all writers of any age and level of ability around the world.

Top prize

$1,000 AUD

Additional prizes

Publication on the Not Quite Write website and podcast

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: April 21, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult

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Write By The Sea Literary Festival 2024

Write By the Sea

Write By The Sea is a dynamic boutique literary festival set in the beautiful fishing village of Kilmore Quay, County Wexford. The independent panel of judges will select the winners of each category and winners will be invited to read their work as part of the Festival.

Top prize

€500

Additional prizes

2nd: €300 | 3rd: €200 | Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: June 21, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Poetry

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The Free Verse Prize

Poetry Society

The Free Verse Prize is a new poetry prize, which supports the Free Verse Poetry Book and Magazine Fair. The judge is poet and former Poetry Book Fair director, Chrissy Williams. Poems can be on any theme, and should have fewer than 40 lines.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Publication in Poetry News and the Poetry Book Fair programme

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: March 18, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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Kinsman Poetry Slam

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

Poetry entries wanted for the upcoming collection, SLAM! Up to $300 in cash prizes. We are looking for captivating rhythm, form, hard-hitting themes of culture, resilience, passion, and justice. BIPOC Poets are encouraged to submit. Entries should have unpredictable patterns of rhyme and explore free verse and playfulness with language.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Publication in Kinsman Quarterly and the "SLAM" anthology.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: April 30, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Wasafiri

The 2024 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the fifteenth edition of the prestigious prize, is open from 1 February to 1 July 2024. Exceptionally international in scope, the prize supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication in Wasafiri magazine.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: June 30, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest

Arizona Mystery Writers

Every year the Arizona Mystery Writers hosts the Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest. Naturally, since we’re the Arizona Mystery Writers, we want a mystery story, but we’re flexible about the boundaries of that category, and we also accept thrillers and suspense stories. It doesn’t matter if your story’s characters are in outer space, riding horses, or living underground. Costumes and settings don’t matter as long as the story is a mystery, thriller, or suspense tale as described.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

2nd: $100 | 3rd: $75

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: August 01, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Short Story

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Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers

University of Tulsa

The Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers honor the work of writers at the beginning of their careers. $500 prizes will be awarded in both the fiction and poetry categories, and the winning manuscripts will appear in the spring issue of Nimrod. Winners will have the chance to work with the Nimrod board of editors to refine and edit their manuscripts before publication.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: July 15, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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HG Wells Short Story Competition

HG Wells Competition

There are two different competitions in 2024: one for those 21 and under, and one for those over 21. The competition for those 21 and under is free to enter and has a prize of £1,000 for the winning entry. All shortlisted entries will also be published in a quality, professionally published paperback anthology.

Top prize

Under 21: £1,000 | Over 21: £500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: July 08, 2024


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story

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42 Miles Press Poetry Award

42 Miles Press

The 42 Miles Press Poetry Award was created in an effort to bring urgent and original voices to the poetry reading public. The prize is offered annually to any poet writing in English, including poets who have never published a full-length book as well as poets who have published several. New and Selected collections of poems are also welcome.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 15, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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Tusculum Review Nonfiction Chapbook Prize

The Tusculum Review

A prize of $1,000, publication of the essay in The Tusculum Review’s 20th Anniversary Issue (2024), and creation of a limited edition stand-alone chapbook with original art is awarded. Editors of The Tusculum Review and contest judge Mary Cappello will determine the winner of the 2024 prize.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 15, 2024


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize

Marsh Hawk Press

Beginning December 1, 2023, Marsh Hawk Press is accepting submissions of poetry manuscripts to the annual Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prizes. Deadline is April 30, 2024. We welcome submissions from emerging as well as established poets. The winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize receives $1,000.00, book publication and promotion. Winners of the Robert Creeley and Rochelle Ratner prizes, selected from finalists, receive $250.00 each.

Top prize

$1000 + publication

Additional prizes

$250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: April 30, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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Maggie Award for Prepublished Writers

Georgia Romance Writers

The purpose of the Prepublished Maggie Award for Excellence is to encourage, recognize, and reward the mastery of romance writing by Prepublished authors of romantic fiction. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) to bring special attention to these writers. The Maggie Award, a silver medallion commissioned by GRW, receives national attention.

Top prize

Trophy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 21, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Romance

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Fabula Press Short Story Contest

Fabula Press

Fabula Press’ annual short story competition has two segments – a free section, and a paid section. At least 3 submissions from the free section will be selected for publication in the Fabula Press Anthology and on the Fabula Press website; for paid submissions, at least twelve entries will be included in the anthology on the website. There is no theme for our contests; also, barring a few exceptions, we are flexible about genre

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $100 | Stories selected for publication: $75

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: June 07, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Maggie Award for Published Writers

Georgia Romance Writers

The purpose of the Published Maggie Award for Excellence is to recognize the achievements of published authors of romantic fiction. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) to bring special attention to these authors. The Maggie, a silver medallion commissioned by GRW, receives national attention. Books will be ranked by librarians, booksellers, and other professionals in the publishing industry.​​

Top prize

Trophy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 05, 2024


Genres

Novel, Romance

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Creative Nonfiction Prize

Indiana Review

Send us one creative nonfiction piece, up to 5000 words, for a chance at $1000 + publication. This year's contest will be judged by Lars Horn.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2024


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction

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Indiana Review Poetry Prize

Indiana Review

For our Poetry Prize, send no more than three poems in a single document. The winner will be awarded $1000 and publication in an upcoming issue of Indiana Review. This year's contest will be judged by Oliver Baez Bendorf.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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Self-Publishing Literary Awards

Black Caucus

Through this contest, the BCALA honors the best self-published ebooks by an African American author in the U.S. in both fiction and poetry genres. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora. The purpose is to encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and scholarly research including biographical, historical, and social history treatments by African Americans.

Top prize

$2,500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 29, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry

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Jane Martin Poetry Prize

Girton College

The Jane Martin Poetry Prize is a national poetry competition, established in 2010, in memory of Girton alumna, Jane Elizabeth Martin (1978 Classics) through the generous support of Professor Sir Laurence Martin. Now in its 14th year, this national prize for young poets is a key part of the College’s support for poetry and will be of interest to all those who are serious about literary excellence. The competition is judged by experts drawn from across the literary world and academia. We are thrilled that this year the panel will be led by two judges – Abigail Parry and Bohdan Piasecki.

Top prize

£700

Additional prizes

2nd: £300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 15, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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Inception 2024: $500 for Best Opening

Sunspot Literary Journal

Beginnings have the power to spark passion or curiosity. They might immediately connect a specific place and time with an emotional tone. The best openings offer a feeling, atmosphere, action, or image that is gripping, and hints at more to come. Meaning, thoughtfulness, emotions, or tone draw audiences into the moment. For Sunspot Lit’s Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: March 31, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Poetry

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Elegant Literature's Award For New Writers

Elegant Literature

One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers, and the only one closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, putting over $100k into the hands of emerging talent around the globe. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors professional rates, and publish them in our magazine.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD | Free entry to Novelist Accelerator

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: February 29, 2024


Genres

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

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The Pinch Literary Awards & Page Prize

The Pinch Literary Journal

The 2023 Pinch Literary Awards accepts poetry and fiction. The 2023 Page Prize accepts non-fiction.

Top prize

$2000 for poetry & fiction winners

Additional prizes

$1000 for Page Prize winner

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: February 29, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Non-fiction

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Novel Fair 2025

Irish Writers Centre

Now in its 13th year, the Novel Fair is an annual competition initiated by the Irish Writers Centre. Described by The Irish Times as ‘A Dragons’ Den for writers’, each year the Fair introduces twelve up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of industry professionals.

Top prize

Present your novel to leading publishers and agents at the Irish Writers Centre

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $59

Deadline: September 30, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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The Heartland Review Open Calls

The Heartland Review

Founded in 2000, The Heartland Review (ISSN: 2473-9545) is published in the spring and fall as an imprint of The Heartland Review Press. Our biannual journal publishes fiction, creative nonfiction/fiction, and poetry of any all subcategories, styles, and voices. Our writers have ranged in age from 15 to 80+ from around the world. We consider established writers as well as emerging writers. In the past we have reserved space for student writers and emerging artists. We are currently accepting poetry.

Top prize

Publication in The Heartland Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: April 15, 2024


Genres

Poetry

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High School Academic Research Competition

Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal

The High School Academic Research Competition is where talented students from around the world compete to publish high-quality research on any topic. SARC challenges students to sharpen their critical thinking skills, immerse themselves in the research process, and hone their writing skills for success.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Indigo Research Intensive Summer Program

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 20, 2024


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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Annual Student Essay Contest

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

For this year’s Essay Contest, we are asking students to think about why the story of the Oklahoma City bombing is important today.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 04, 2024


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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Solas Awards

Best Travel Writing

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: September 21, 2024


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction, Travel

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Creative Writing Award for Short Fiction

Aesthetica Magazine

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding writers. The Award was launched after the publication of Aesthetica Magazine, as a way to support the next generation of literary talent. The Creative Writing Award is open to Poetry and Short Fiction submissions on any theme, however, we are particularly interested in works that reflect upon our ever changing world.

Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual | A five-day course from Arvon | Consultation with Redhammer Management | Six-week writing short stories course from Curtis Brown Creative

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $22

Deadline: August 31, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

View contest

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:

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