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DIRECTORY

Best Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 328 contests that match your search.

Genres: Fiction and Short Story

Exeter Writers runs an annual short story competition. The competition began in 2009 and is very popular, receiving entries from all over the world. The maximum word count is 3,000.

Top Prize:

$900

💰 Entry fee: $9

📅 Deadline: February 28, 2021 (Expired)

Short Story Contest

Writers' Mastermind

Genres:

You’ve got something special. We want to get it out into the world. The Writers’ Mastermind is holding a short story contest for writers of all levels and all genres. 1K-5K words. Previously published work is accepted.

Top Prize:

$100

Additional prizes:

Publication and social media promotion, 6 months free membership to the Writers' Mastermind

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)

Genres: Christian

The Christian Author Awards recognizes preeminent new Christian authors who are independently published. Xulon Press, host and sponsor of the Christian Author Awards, is excited to once again extend the opportunity to Christian authors to have their work recognized and given due credit. The Christian Author Awards exists to honor exceptional books written by Christian authors like you that are published independently by nontraditional publishers.

📅 Deadline: September 21, 2021 (Expired)

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First Book Award

Academy of American Poets

Genres: Poetry

The First Book Award is a $5,000 first-book publication prize. The winning manuscript, chosen by an acclaimed poet, is published by Graywolf Press. The winner also receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, in the Umbrian region of Italy.

Top Prize:

$5,000

Additional prizes:

Publication by Graywolf Press

💰 Entry fee: $35

📅 Deadline: October 01, 2021 (Expired)

Genres:

The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize recognizes 12 emerging writers for their debut short story published in a literary magazine, journal, or cultural website. The 12 winning stories are selected by a committee of three judges who are well-respected experts in the art of the short story. The winning writers each receive a $2,000 cash prize and will be published by Catapult in their annual anthology.

Top Prize:

$2,000

Additional prizes:

Publication in Catapult

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: November 15, 2021 (Expired)

Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition

Minotaur Books & Malice Domestic

Genres: Mystery and Novel

Welcome to the Tony Hillerman Prize for Best First Mystery Set in the Southwest Competition! The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Mystery Novel (including self-published works and ebooks), as defined by the guidelines below, and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a mystery novel.

Additional prizes:

Contract with Minotaur Books

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2021 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction and Short Story

Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication in The Lascaux Review

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)

Amazing Women’s Edition Contest

National Youth Foundation

Genres: Children's

Founded by Black women with a vision for change, the mission of the National Youth Foundation is to promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality through innovative literary programs. To honor the vast accomplishments of women in the United States, the National Youth Foundation is pleased to announce the Amazing Women’s Edition (AWE) competition. This writing contest is open to students in grades K to 8 residing in the United States.

Top Prize:

$500

📅 Deadline: January 07, 2022 (Expired)

#GWstorieseverywhere

Gotham Writers

Genres: Fiction and Flash Fiction

Each month we invite you to post a story on Twitter using #GWstorieseverywhere for a chance to win a free class. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag #GWstorieseverywhere.

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)

First 5 Pages Prize

Stockholm Writers Festival

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

SWF is proud to launch the First 5 Pages Prize to mark our 5th anniversary. Dazzle us with your brilliance. Delight us with your wit. Deceive us with your dastardly plot-twists. There will be one Grand Prize winner chosen from all entries. The winner will receive: $1000 cash, a ticket to SWF22, a pitch meeting with an agent conducted over Zoom, two night’s accommodation at a boutique hotel, and a full developmental edit donated by Reedsy, the industry’s leading platform for writing services.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

A full developmental edit donated by Reedsy & pitch meeting with an agent

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)

Faith Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

The theme for this poetry contest is "faith". We are looking for poems that in some way pertain to this theme. It doesn't matter if it's spiritual, political, intellectual or emotional as long as faith is clearly represented.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: April 19, 2022 (Expired)

Tanka Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

For this contest you are challenged to write a Tanka poem. Tanka is a form of poetry that often follows a specific syllable count. That count is 5-7-5-7-7. So your first line has five syllables, second has seven, third has five and the last two lines each have seven syllables. Cash prize!

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2022 (Expired)

Non Fiction Writing Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Non-fiction

We are looking for personal essays, memoirs, and works of literary non-fiction on any topic. It doesn't matter if it's spiritual, political, intellectual, emotional, funny, serious, or an essay about your DVD player.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: May 08, 2022 (Expired)

3 Line Poetry Contest

Fanstory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Write a poem that has a syllable count of either 5-7-5 or 5-7-7. It does not rhyme. But the poem must address a loved one.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: May 12, 2022 (Expired)

The 2022 First Chapter Book Contest

TheNextBigWriter, LLC

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Have a book or a novel idea you've been noodling? Enter your first chapter into the Booksie First Chapter Contest and see how it does. You don't need to have finished the book. You don't even need more than the first chapter. We're looking for a start that will grab our attention, that is original, that is well written, and that makes us want to beg you to see what comes next. And for those we find, we'll provide some awards to inspire you to finish writing the book or, if finished, to help get it published.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Gold contest badge.

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: May 14, 2022 (Expired)

True Story Flash

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Flash Fiction and Non-fiction

Share your flash fiction story. But for this contest we aren't looking for fiction. Rather share your true story with only 100 words. Cash prize!

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: May 27, 2022 (Expired)

Rhyming Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Write a poem of any type that has a rhyme scheme.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: May 30, 2022 (Expired)

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Short Story, and Thriller

Can’t decide between the headstrong alpha or the hunky omega? Us either. We’re seeking stories featuring steamy werewolf romance, perfect for reading under a full moon. Whether you’re Team Jacob Black or Team Alcide Herveaux…we’re all Team Awoooo. Works up to 3,000 words will be considered.

Top Prize:

$600

Additional prizes:

2nd place: $300; 3rd place: $100

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: May 31, 2022 (Expired)

Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest

Jane Austen Society of North America

Genres: Children's and Essay

JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest to foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's works in new generations of readers. Students world-wide are invited to compete for scholarship awards in three divisions: high school, college, and graduate school.

Additional prizes:

Two nights’ lodging for JASNA’s Annual General Meeting

📅 Deadline: June 02, 2022 (Expired)

ABC Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

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

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: June 11, 2022 (Expired)

Genres: Children's

The Celebration Day Competition gets children to connect with the oldest person they know and interview them about the person who inspired them most growing up. They will retell the story in a creative way to win their work being read out on camera by a star-studded collection of celebrity guests, an iPad, and a £100 Amazon voucher. You must be aged between five and 18 to enter the competition, or be a teacher, and can live anywhere in the world.

Additional prizes:

Celebrities reading out winning entries, publication on website.

📅 Deadline: June 21, 2022 (Expired)

Love Poem Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Write a love poem. All forms of poetry accepted. Your love poem can be fictional or non-fictional. It can be humorous or serious. The choice is yours. But it must clearly be a love poem.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)

Annual Short Story Contest

Rotary Club of Stratford

Genres: Fiction and Short Story

English language submissions of original, unpublished works of up to 2,500 words will be accepted until October 31. Submissions are processed by a two-tiered system of readers and judges. Winners will be announced on December 10, 2021.

Additional prizes:

2nd prize $250, 3rd prize $100.

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)

One Line Poem Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Share a one line poem to enter this poetry contest. Cash prize to the winner. How creative can you get with one line to work with.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: July 07, 2022 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, and Novella

We are seeking fiction and creative nonfiction of every genre. The contest is open to authors who have not been published by a major press. We publish in English, but the contest is open to writers from anywhere in the world. The early-bird entry fee (December 15th-February 15th) will be $25.

Top Prize:

$1,500

Additional prizes:

Two runner ups will be selected, each receiving $700.

💰 Entry fee: $30

📅 Deadline: July 15, 2022 (Expired)

Genres: Script Writing

The Scriptation Showcase is the screenwriting contest that circulates winners’ scripts to Hollywood directors, showrunners, and producers. 15 scripts get featured for one year in Scriptation, the Emmy® Award winning app used on film and TV productions. The earlier you apply, the lower the entry fee will be.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

1 Year Scriptation Showcase, 1 year industry pro access

💰 Entry fee: $74

📅 Deadline: July 24, 2022 (Expired)

Free Verse Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres:

Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry, which does not essentially follow any structure or style. There is no fixed meter and no structure regarding rhyme and lines in each stanza.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: August 22, 2022 (Expired)

Take a Photo Poetry

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Go out for a walk and take a camera, smartphone or tablet with you. Snap a picture of something interesting and write a poem about it when you get home. Post the photo along with the poem.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2022 (Expired)

Share Your Story

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Essay and Memoir

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

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: September 15, 2022 (Expired)

3-6-9 Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

This poem has three stanzas. Each stanza has three lines that follows the 3-6-9 syllable count. The first line has 3 syllables, the second line has 6 syllables and the last line 9 syllables. The subject can be anything.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: September 20, 2022 (Expired)

Writers of the Future

Writer's of the Future

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

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

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

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

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)

Nonet Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc

Genres: Poetry

A nonet is a poem with only 9 lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line has eight, the third has seven and so on until line 9 which has one syllable. It's a fun and challenging poem to write. Enter this contest for a chance at the cash prize.

Top Prize:

$100

Additional prizes:

Winning poems will be featured on the FanStory.com welcome page.

💰 Entry fee: $9

📅 Deadline: October 04, 2022 (Expired)

Acrostic Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

To enter this poetry contest share an acrostic. That's a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word (downwards). Cash Prize

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: October 16, 2022 (Expired)

Genres: Essay, Memoir, and Non-fiction

This month, dear writers, ahead of COP27, help us raise the voices of young people in this urgent fight. In a piece of personal narrative, tell the world’s leaders gathering in how climate change impacts you. How has this crisis changed your environment, your community, your sense of the future? Storytelling, after all, plays a critical role in helping us grasp the emergency through which we are all living, igniting empathy in readers and listeners—itself a precursor to action.

Top Prize:

$100

Additional prizes:

Runner-up: $50

📅 Deadline: October 18, 2022 (Expired)

Horror Writing Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Fiction, Horror, and Short Story

Share a horror or thriller story to enter this writing contest. Write about anything but the object is to terrorize or thrill your reader. Cash prize!

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: October 27, 2022 (Expired)

Discover the finest writing contests of 2024 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2024 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2024

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether. 

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses

On Writing:

On Editing:

Blog posts

Bonus resources

After you submit to a writing competition in 2024

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

  • Many writing competitions don’t have time to respond to each entrant with feedback on their story. However, it never hurts to ask! Feel free to politely reach out requesting feedback — but wait until after the selection period is over.

  • If you’ve submitted the same work to more than one writing competition or literary magazine, remember to withdraw your submission if it ends up winning elsewhere.

  • After you send a submission, don’t follow it up with a rewritten or revised version. Instead, ensure that your first version is thoroughly proofread and edited. If not, wait until the next edition of the contest or submit the revised version to other writing contests.

Prompts | Prompts 3 Copy test | 2024-02

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