The Best Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 537 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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2022 Paranormal Flash Fiction Challenge

Globe Soup

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a paranormal entity. As soon as you receive your assignment, you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of no more than 1,000 words. All we ask is that your story has your assigned paranormal entity woven into the plot somehow. How much prominence you give to the assigned paranormal entity is up to you, but it must be part of the plot.

Top prize

$1,226

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $18

Deadline: December 12, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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Annual Cultural Heritage Writing Contest

The Trailblazer Review

Founded in November 2022, The Trailblazer Review is an international high school literary magazine dedicated to celebrating and honoring indigenous culture through creative writing. Its Annual Cultural Heritage Contest accepts submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction under 4000 words from middle and high school students (13-18 years old) on the subject of native culture and heritage.

Top prize

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 20, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story, Young Adult

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The Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize

Texas Review

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

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The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize

Texas Review

Established in 2001, The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize highlights one book a year that excels in the novella 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 novella published

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novella

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Stringybark Open Short Story Award 2023

Stringybark Publishing

Our annual flagship competition, the Stringybark Stories Open Short Story Award 2023, is now bigger than ever! Thanks to Graeme Simpson and Anne Buist, a record prize pool of over $1300 is on offer. The theme is open, the only constraint is that there must be a reference to Australia somewhere in the story. It doesn't matter how small a link there is (it could be a jar of vegemite on the counter), there just needs to be one!

Top prize

$560

Additional prizes

2nd: $360 | 3rd: $210 | 4th: $110

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: February 12, 2023


Genres

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

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Elegant Literature's Contest 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, paying new authors over $50,000 this year. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. December's head judge is Creag Munroe.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: January 01, 2023


Genres

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

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Promising Young Writers Contest

National Council of Teachers of English

Through collaboration and community, shared stories and shared experiences, NCTE supports teachers and their students in classrooms, on college campuses, and in online learning environments. The Promising Young Writers Program stimulates and recognizes the writing talents of eighth-grade students and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students.

Top prize

The NCTE Certificate of Recognition

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: February 15, 2023


Genres

Children's

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Desert Writers Award

Ellen Meloy Fund

The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers grants one $5,000 award in the spring of each year. Only proposals for literary or creative nonfiction book projects will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed.

Top prize

$5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: January 15, 2023


Genres

Non-fiction

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The Big Moose Prize

Black Lawrence Press

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication. The Big Moose Prize is open to traditional novels as well as novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, and other hybrid forms that contain within them the spirit of a novel.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication, 10 copies of your book

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $27

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Poetry, Short Story

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Annual Poetry Contest

Third Wednesday

Each year Third Wednesday awards 3 $100 prizes in its annual poetry contest. For this year's contest, entries will be accepted from November 1, 2020 through February 15, 2021. We will accept contest entries of up to 3 previously unpublished poems of any style and subject matter. There is no limit on length.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

print copy of the 3rd Wednesday contest issue

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: February 15, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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Trio Award for First or Second Book

Trio House Press

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

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: April 30, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Winning Writers

Welcome to the 30th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $8,000 in prizes.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Two-year gift certificate from Duotrope; 10 Honorable Mentions will receive $300 each

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: April 30, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story

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Louise Bogan Award

Trio House Press

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: April 30, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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Anthology Short Story Award

Anthology Magazine

Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, this short story 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. There is no restriction on theme or style. Stories submitted must not exceed the maximum of 1,500 words.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $150 | 3rd: $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: August 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Bridport Poetry Prize

Bridport Arts Centre

You don't have to be Tennyson. Just talented. All we ask is that you please keep poems to 42 lines, max. You can, of course, write less. In addition to the prize money, the top three poems are automatically entered into the Forward Prize For Poetry’s best single poem competition, with the chance to win a further £1000. This exclusive award is not open to the public. You can write about absolutely anything but whatever your rhyme or reason, we want to read your poetry.

Top prize

£5000

Additional prizes

£1000 for 2nd, £500 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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Bridport Short Story Prize

Bridport Arts Centre

Gail Honeyman was shortlisted in our competition and went on to write Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, winning the Costa debut novel award. All the winning and highly commended pieces are entered into the Sunday Times Audible competition, top prize £30,000. UK based writers are entered into the BBC short story competition. That's not all, literary agent A.M. Heath reads all the shortlist and considers representation. Long story short? You are 5,000 words away from success.

Top prize

£5000

Additional prizes

£1000 for 2nd, £500 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Bridport Flash Fiction Prize

Bridport Arts Centre

It may be the sprint of creative writing but that doesn’t mean you can rush the creative process. Take us somewhere fast then let your story marinade in the reader's mind. Make every one of your 250 words count. There is no minimum number of words, just like there is no limit to your imagination. They say lightning doesn't strike twice but we want to feel the electricity in your story right from the beginning through to the very end.

Top prize

£1000

Additional prizes

£500 for 2nd, £250 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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Bridport Novel Award

Bridport Arts Centre

Your novel doesn't have to be finished. We initially need only 5,000 to 8,000 words plus a 300 word synopsis. If you're long listed we'll ask for a total of 15,000 words, including your original word count. Shortlisted? Then we need a total 30,000 words, again including your original entry and long listed word count. It all adds up to an incredible opportunity.

Top prize

£1500

Additional prizes

£750 for the runner up and three prizes of £150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $29

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition

Writer's Digest

Enter our 91st Annual Writing Competition for the chance to have your work be seen by editors and agents! Almost 500 winners will be chosen. The top winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection. [$20 for a poetry entry, $30 for a manuscript entry]

Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: May 05, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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$1000 for 1000 Words Contest

The Layla Beban Young Authors

The $1000 for 1000 Words fiction writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 6-12. Each entrant may submit a fiction piece consisting of exactly 1,000 words (not including title or author’s name). The fiction piece can be on any topic, as long as it is not vulgar or offensive, does not use inappropriate profanity, and is the original work of the entrant not previously published.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 01, 2023


Genres

Children's, Short Story

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CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition

Crime Writers Association

Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery — one that fits into legendary crime writer Margery’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Two passes to Crimefest & a selection of books

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Oscar's Book Prize

Evening Standard

Oscar’s Book Prize is an annual prize for the best under-fives book of the year. It is awarded in memory of Oscar Ashton and in partnership with Amazon, the Evening Standard and the National Literacy Trust.

Top prize

£5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: January 16, 2023


Genres

Fiction

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The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

The Ghost Story

We’re interested in flash fiction pieces of between 250 and 1,000 words. We’re seeking the finest work we can find that incorporates an uncanny element. Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is superb writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

print and online publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Short Story, Thriller

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swamp pink Prizes

crazyhorse

From January 1st to January 31st, submit short stories and essays of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Winners in each genre will receive $2,000 and publication.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Creative Writing Award for Short Fiction

Aesthetica

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is a celebration of innovative new writing from across the globe. Each year, the competition invites submissions of short fiction that redefine the parameters of form, concept and technique.

Top prize

$3,068

Additional prizes

Publication + Consultation

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $22

Deadline: September 08, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships

Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are $50,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities.

Top prize

$50,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 17, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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The Restless Books Prize For New Immigrant Writing

Restless Books

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing was created in 2016 to honor outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books.

Top prize

$10,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Restless Books

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction

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The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

Chicken House Books

We're looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love! To enter, you must have written a full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged between 7 and 18 years. We suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts do not exceed 80,000 words. The IET 150 Award will be awarded to a manuscript that celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Top prize

A worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House & royalty advance of £10,000

Additional prizes

An offer of representation from a top literary agent

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 01, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Young Adult

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The Kurt Brown Prizes

Association of Writers & Writing Programs

AWP will offer three scholarships of $500 each to be awarded to three first-place winners in the genres of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. These scholarships must be used to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency at one of the AWP member programs in the Directory of Conferences & Centers. All winners and six finalists will also receive a one-year individual membership.

Top prize

$500 scholarship

Additional prizes

one-year membership

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Short Story

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Creative Writing Award for Poetry

Aesthetica

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is a celebration of innovative new writing from across the globe. Each year, the competition invites submissions of poetry that redefine the parameters of form, concept and technique.

Top prize

$3,068

Additional prizes

Publication + Membership + Course

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 08, 2023


Genres

Poetry

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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: December 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction

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AIIRA Writing Contest

AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture

We invite contestants to submit writing that imagines the world in the year 2050 and explores the relationship between humans, technology, and their food: what will food look, taste, and feel like; where will it come from; who will produce and transport it; and how will we access and consume it? The world you bring to light should be believable and probe the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the future of agriculture. Your submission can be fiction or creative non-fiction, but keep in mind that the strongest submissions will use research to support the reality described. Contestants must be undergraduate students to submit to this contest.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $1,500 | 3rd: $1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

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NOWW 25th International Writing Contest

Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW)

A Canadian contest with an international flair. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we have increased the prize total to $1800 over six major categories: poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, crime fiction, literary critical writing, and The Bill MacDonald prize for prose (A Northwestern Ontario setting must be central to the work).

Top prize

$150 CAD

Additional prizes

Publication in NOWW magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, 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: December 31, 2022


Genres

Flash 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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