The Best Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 481 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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CAS Short Story Competition

CAS

Short story competition open to all writers all over the world. There is no theme and all subjects and genres are welcome. Entries must be written in English and be at least 2,000 words in length and no more than 4,000 words.

Top prize

$968

Additional prizes

$484 second place, $242 third place and $36 for 7 runners up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: July 01, 2022


Genres

Short Story

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Hastings Book Festival - Short Story

Hastings Book Festival

Short Story Competition judged by VG Lee. Enter a short story in with any theme within a 2500 word limit. The winning entries in each category will receive a cash prize of £250. The runner up in each category will receive a cash prize of £50. Prizes will be presented in person at the festival closing celebration in Hastings on Sunday 25th September. There are a limited number of bursaries available for low income or unemployed writers.

Top prize

$302

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: July 31, 2022


Genres

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writing and provide a platform for publication, this science literary competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.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: July 15, 2022


Genres

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

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Best Indie Book Award

Best Indie Book Award

The annual Best Indie Book Award® (or BIBA®) is an international literary awards contest recognizing self-published and independently published authors from all over the world. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

Top prize

Trophy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $65

Deadline: October 01, 2022


Genres

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

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Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

Oxford Flash Fiction

Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. For centuries, the greats have come to Oxford to ink masterpieces. Now, in one of the oldest towns, where the history of the English language can be traced back to its ancient streets, we want to celebrate one of the newest forms in literature – flash fiction.

Top prize

$1,300

Additional prizes

2nd Prize: $243 | 3rd Prize: $122

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Travel

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Hysteria Writing Competition

Hysteria Writing

The Hysteria Writing Competition showcases writers from all over the world. Past winners have come from countries as far apart as UK, Canada, Australia and Nigeria. Its purpose is to help writers get their work in front of a new, different audience.

Top prize

$364

Additional prizes

Publication in Hysteria 9 anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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THE MONO POETRY PRIZE 2022

MONO

We are thrilled to invite you to enter our 2022 Poetry Prize judged this year by Joelle Taylor. This competition is completely unthemed. Why? Because we want you to go off-piste, totally off the beaten track. Word limit? You choose. Line count? Enough. You can enter up to three poems at a cost of £6 per poem (just adjust the quantity at checkout if necessary).

Top prize

$606

Additional prizes

2nd: $243 | 3rd: $122

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: August 01, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest

Wine Country Writers' Festival

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

2nd Place: $75 | 3rd Place: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: July 29, 2022


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred

Center for Interfaith Relations

For over thirteen years, the Poetry of the Sacred contest has received thousands of submissions touching every aspect of spiritual life. Poetry has been called ‘the language of the soul’ and this annual contest encourages poets to awaken the reader to the deep meaning and beauty of a contemplative life. Poems are evaluated based on literary excellence, authenticity and spiritual tenor. 

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Three honorable mentions to receive $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: August 01, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Tales By Moonlight

Ankara Circle

The Tales By Moonlight Contest is a novella writing competition. The genre for the competition is fiction and the theme is magic. Contest entries can range from 7,500 - 40,000 words in length. Winners will be decided by a public voting system.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication on platform

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 15, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Novella

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Time Travelers Contest

Neovel

The theme of this contest is Time travel. To respect the theme of the contest, the main character or characters of your entry must go through a change of temporality and must have a significant impact on the plot. This change must occur in the story before the end of the fourth chapter and must be mentioned in your book description.

Top prize

€2000

Additional prizes

2nd: €750 3rd: €250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 25, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Beagle North Competition

Beagle North

The theme for Beagle North's short story competition changes quarterly. - Your story must be no longer than 2,500 words (not including the title) - Only one story permitted per person, each quarter - Stories must be in English

Top prize

£20 Amazon Voucher

Additional prizes

£10 Amazon voucher for 2nd and 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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M&P High School Essay Contest

McMillan & Phillips Digital Creative Agency

McMillan & Phillips is an award winning creative digital agency on the search for the next generation of marketers who want to shake up the status quo, and usher in a new era. The contest is open to United States high school students in grades twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools.

Top prize

3 month remote editorial internship with M&P

Additional prizes

2nd place: $155 USD | 3rd place: one year subscription to Sanvello

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 16, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay

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Black Voices in Children's Literature

Free Spirit Publishing

Seeking Black Midwestern writers 18 years and older to submit an original fiction or nonfiction children’s story for a picture book. Manuscripts 300–800 words (ages 4–8) or 50–125 words (ages 0–4) in length. Must feature contemporary Black characters and culture.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Meeting with Strive and Free Spirit; 2nd $500; 3rd $250, t-shirt and totebag for all winners

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: July 24, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

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The Poetry.com Contest

Poetry.com

Poetry.com offers monthly contests for poets worldwide to gain motivation, inspiration and exposure, while building passion and enjoyment for the written creative process! How are winners chosen? Our contest boasts a clever twist: poems remain anonymous whilst applicants vote on what they believe should be the winning entry.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd place: 300 USD | 3rd place: 200 USD | Runner up personalized Poetry.com mug

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Rotary Club of Stratford Short Story Contest

Rotary Club of Stratford

Tell us your story! Short story (no more than 2500 words) contest open to residents of Ontario and Michigan; both adult and youth categories.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Adults: 2nd $250; 3rd $100 | Youth: 1st $250; 2nd $100; 3rd $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Four Line Poem

FanStory.com Inc.

Write a four line poem that has a specific syllable count. The first line has 1 syllable, the second line has 5 syllables, the third line has 5 syllables, and the last line has 9 syllables. The subject can be anything.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: December 22, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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YeahWrite Super Challenge

YeahWrite

The Super Challenge is a prompted, 48-hour flash competition alternating between fiction and creative nonfiction. Prompts are released on a Friday night; writers have 48 hours to craft a response in 1,000 words or fewer. Professional editors read all entries and provide detailed feedback on each. The top writers move on to round 2 with new prompts.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

$100 for second place | $50 for third place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: December 23, 2022


Genres

Essay, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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March Micro Writing Competition

Globe Soup

We accept: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Each month has a theme. You have just 100 words to write something interesting, unique, and impactful based on the theme. Entry to your first contest is £3, after that you can enter all subsequent contests for free each month. You can get peer feedback on your entry too. The theme this month is: Yellow/Orange.

Top prize

$133

Additional prizes

Publication on our website

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: March 14, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

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Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award

Plough Publishing

This award honors the achievements of the great Dominican-American poet, translator, and public school teacher Rhina Polonia Espaillat. The Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award will be awarded for an original poem of not more than fifty lines that reflects her lyricism, empathy, and ability to find grace in everyday events of life.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Plough Quarterly. Two finalists will receive $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: March 30, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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Geminga: $250 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art

Sunspot Lit

Authors and artists eligible. Sunspot Lit’s Geminga contest honors the power of the small. No restrictions on theme or category. $250 cash, publication for the winner, and publication offered to runners-up and finalists. Enter as many times as you like, but only one piece per submission.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication in digital and print

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media

The Dante Rossetti Awards Categories are: Contemporary Young Adult; SFF & Paranormal; Dystopian/Edgy/Urban; Mystery/Thriller/Suspense; Historical Young Adult; YA Adventure/Romance. The Chanticleer Prize Package includes: A Prize Ribbon to use in promotion at book signings and book festivals Digital Badges for display on your website or incorporation into book covers Book stickers to identify your print books to bookstore shoppers as they browse.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $99

Deadline: August 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

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Travel Writing Award

Ottawa Tourism

Ottawa Tourism offers an annual $500 CAD prize for outstanding travel writing featuring Canada’s Capital Region. Eligible entries include items in English or in French that have appeared in magazines, newspapers, or online media in 2022 that highlight Ottawa as a travel destination.

Top prize

$395

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 03, 2023


Genres

Travel

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National Geographic Traveller Travel Writing Competition

National Geographic

Do you have a way with words? Love to regale your friends and family with tales from your travels? If that’s a yes, then our Travel Writing Competition is just the thing for you. For your chance to win, simply write no more than 500 words on an inspiring travel experience, which could be anything from mountaineering in Patagonia to a hike in Pembrokeshire.

Top prize

Luxury expedition cruise to Greenland for two people

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: July 23, 2022


Genres

Travel

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On the Far Side Contest

Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers

Write fantasy, futuristic, or paranormal? Then the On the Far Side Contest is for you!! Welcome dragons, witches, ghosties, psychics, vampires, shapeshifters, unicorns, and any creature your imagination can conjure up in a galaxy far, far away, in a time long past, or in your very own backyard.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: July 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Romance

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The Masters Review Short Story Contest

The Masters Review

Summer is for Short Stories! The Masters Review’s Short Story Award for New Writers is a bi-annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers. The winner receives a $3,000 prize and agency review, and their story will be published online in late winter/early spring. Second and third place finalists will be awarded publication, agency review and $300/$200 prizes. Entries must be under 6,000 words.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Second and third place prizes ($300 / $200, publication, and agency review)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: August 28, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction, Short Story

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International Novel Prize

Grindstone Literary

The 2022 Grindstone International Novel Prize is open to authors from all around the world, and is aimed at discovering and elevating new and unsung authors. Authors may submit finished or part-finished manuscripts providing they are not currently represented by an agent. We forward all longlisted works to some of the best agencies in the UK such as Curtis Brown Books, Conville and Walsh, Janklow & Nesbitt, the Paper Literary Agency, the Good Literary Agency, and so many more.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

Runner Up: £500 | 4x Shortlist: £125 | Longlist: Entries forwarded to affiliated agents.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 01, 2022


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novel, Thriller

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Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

Created in 2009, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors to get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

Top prize

Possible contract with Mystery Writers of America

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 01, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Rattle Young Poets

Rattle Foundation

Rattle is a publication of the Rattle Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the practice of poetry, and is not affiliated with any other organization. The author of the poem must have been age 15 or younger when the poem was written, and 18 or younger when submitted.

Top prize

Publication in Rattle Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: November 15, 2022


Genres

Children's, Poetry

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Miami University Novella Prize

Miami University

The Miami University Novella Prize is awarded annually to a novella-length manuscript of original fiction (18,000–40,000 words). The winner receives $750, a standard contract, publication and 10 copies of the book.

Top prize

$750

Additional prizes

Publication through the University of Miami Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: August 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novella

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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 years contest had 4 prose winners and 2 poetry winners.

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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Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

University of North Texas Press

The University of North Texas Press announces the 2023 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. The winner of this annual award will receive $1000 and publication by UNT Press. Entries will be judged by an eminent writer.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by UNT Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Novella, Short Story

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Flash Fiction Competition

Globe Soup

Globe Soup are looking for the best flash fiction of no more than 800 words. The competition features a secret location in which all participants must set their story. Participants can get extensive feedback on their entry by joining Globe Soup's writing group and free entry to their monthly micro fiction contests and other opportunities to win cash prizes!

Top prize

£1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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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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