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Writing Prompts Inspired Short Story Contest

Reedsy

Respond to one of Reedsy's weekly writing prompt newsletters with a short story for the chance to win $50 and get featured on the Reedsy Medium Blog!


Deadline January 01, 2020

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Top prize

$50

Additional prizes

Publication on Reedsy Blog

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

Inkitt's Writing Contest

Inkitt

Inkitt’s writing contest runs quarterly and gives authors the chance to win an exclusive GALATEA publishing deal and the chance to showcase their book to the world. Monthly, alongside the quarterly publishing deal prize draw, cash prize contest winners are announced, determined on how many likes the author has received on their book. Monthly these winners will receive $150. Authors can also use Inkitt’s Writing app — found in the app store under ‘Inkitt Writing” — to draft up their novels!


Deadline October 31, 2019

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Top prize

Publishing contract with GALATEA

Additional prizes

$150

Genres

Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

IndieReader Discovery Awards 2020

IndieReader

Where talented authors meet publishing professionals with the power to make a difference in the success of their books. Every author who enters a title in the 2020 IR Discovery Awards will receive a verdict, written by an IndieReader reviewer and based on their assessment after reading the complete book.


Deadline February 28, 2020

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Top prize

First look consideration by a top, NYC-based literary agency

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $149

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition

Crab Orchard Review

Two volumes of poems will be selected from an open competition of manuscripts submitted online through Submittable October 1 through December 3, 2019. The winners will each receive a publication contract with Southern Illinois University Press. In addition, both winners will be awarded a $1000 prize and $1500 as an honorarium for a reading at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. [Submissions open October 1, 2019]


Deadline December 03, 2019

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Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

Publication

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $20

WTP Hamptons Literary Competition

Woven Tale Press

Cash prizes, and first place award, a one-week stay in our WTP expanded 1909 charming cape in the legendary Hamptons, NY, destination to writers from around the world; home to Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, and Truman Capote. [Submissions open August 15, 2019]


Deadline October 15, 2019

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Top prize

One-week retreat

Additional prizes

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Willow Run Poetry Book Award

Hidden River Arts

Hidden River Arts offers a yearly prize of $1000 and publication in Hidden River Press for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry of 75 to 100 pages. The editors will judge. [Submissions open August 15, 2019]


Deadline February 15, 2020

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Top prize

Additional prizes

Publication by Hidden River Press

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $22

Thomas Paine Award

Hidden River Arts

Hidden River Arts offers an award of $1,000 and publication by Defarge Press, an imprint of Hidden River Publishing, for an original book-length manuscript of political or social activist writing. This may be a full-length work, or a collection of essays/articles. This competition is open to international submissions for all writers in English.


Deadline August 30, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Defarge Press

Genres

Essay,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $22

Sandy Run Novella Award

Hidden River Arts

The Sandy Run Novella Award is offered for an unpublished novella. This competition is open to international submissions for all writers in English. All submissions must be between 17,500 and 40,000 words. The winning manuscript will be published by Hidden River Press and will receive $1000.


Deadline September 30, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Hidden River Press

Genres

Fiction, Novel,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $22

Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award

Red Hen Press

Established in 1998, in honor of the poet Benjamin Saltman (1927–1999), this award is for a previously unpublished original collection of poetry. Top prize is $3000 and 4-week residency at PLAYA arts and sciences program. The winner of the 2019 Benjamin Saltman Award will be announced in 2020.


Deadline October 31, 2019

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Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

4 week PLAYA residency and publication by Red Hen Press

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Quill Prose Award 2019

Red Hen Press

LGBT+ literature is often found in the side stacks, in the back of the bookstore, under “Gay and Lesbian.” These authors are put into a genre that barely fits them, excluded from mainstream funding, and more. Red Hen Press seeks to work against the politics of labeling while honoring and empowering authors who identify as LGBT+ through this contest.


Deadline August 31, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Genres

Fiction, Novel,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $10

Red Hen Press Fiction Award

Red Hen Press

The Red Hen Fiction Award is for a fresh and original story of fiction with a minimum of 150 pages. The awarded manuscript is selected through an annual submission process which is open to all authors. Award is $1000 and publication of the awarded manuscript by Red Hen Press.


Deadline September 30, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Genres

Fiction, Novel,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Writer's Digest Poetry Awards

Writer's Digest

Calling all poets! We’re on the look out for poems of all styles–rhyming, free verse, haiku, and more for the Annual Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards! This is the only Writer’s Digest competition exclusively for poets. Enter any poem 32 lines or less for your chance to win $1,000 in cash.


Deadline October 01, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Writer's Digest

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $20

Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards

Writer's Digest

Submit your best short stories in the Annual Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards for a chance to win $2,500 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City.


Deadline September 16, 2019

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Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

Interview in Writer's Digest and paid trip to their annual conference

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Flash 500 Short Story Competition

Flash 500

This is an open-themed competition that accepts all genres, including those written by or for children. Stories should range between 1,000 and 3,000 words, with strong characters, a well-crafted plot and realistic dialogue (where used). As the website says, "Make us laugh, make us cry, but most of all, make us feel!"


Deadline February 28, 2020

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Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $7

Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition

Flash 500

We welcome published, self-published and unpublished novelists. The only stipulation is that the entry must be unpublished. We are looking for an opening chapter up to 3,000 words, plus a one page synopsis outlining the balance of the story.


Deadline October 31, 2019

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Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $13

Law & Technology International Writing Competition

Justis Publishing

The Justis International Law & Technology Writing Competition 2020 is launching this coming autumn with a grand prize of £2,000! The competition is open to all college and university students around the world. This year we are giving you more time to start writing and planning so you can be ready to submit your entries once the competition opens on the 1st October 2019.


Deadline December 01, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Essay, Non-fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest

Moment Magazine

Moment Magazine is now accepting submissions for the 2020 contest. Moment will award up to three prizes to outstanding works of unpublished short fiction with Jewish content, including $1,000 for first place.


Deadline March 31, 2020

Learn more
Top prize

Publication in Moment Magazine

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Novella-in-Flash Award

Ad Hoc Fiction

The goal of the Novela-in-Flash Award is to promote flash fiction for both writers and readers and to bring the genre to a wider audience. There is a 6000 to 18000 word limit and each flash should not be more than about 1000 words.


Deadline January 12, 2020

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Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Genres

Novel, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

Flash Fiction Award

Bath Flash Fiction Award

Entrants have the opportunity to appear in our print and digital books. We own a small press, Ad Hoc Fiction, which publishes quality books and also runs a weekly micro-fiction contest. In addition, we organize the UK's annual Flash Fiction Festival.


Deadline October 13, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

The Bath Spa University Writing Award

Bath Spa University

With the support of Jack and Audrey Ladevèze, the University has established an award for students studying for a Master’s in Creative Writing, Travel and Nature Writing or Writing for Young People. Each year the Award will be made to a student who has demonstrated outstanding talent in writing and for whom this award will make a significant difference in enabling them to further their studies at a Master’s level.


Deadline September 07, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Essay,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition

Flash 500

Now in its tenth year, this quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December 2019.


Deadline December 31, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $6

UNO Press Publishing Lab

UNO Press

We are looking to publish the best novel/short story collection written this year. he selected author will receive a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) advance on royalties and a contract to publish with UNO Press.


Deadline August 31, 2019

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Top prize

$10,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $28

St. Lawrence Book Award

Black Lawrence Press

Black Lawrence Press awards The St. Lawrence Book Award for an unpublished first collection of poems or short stories. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book.


Deadline August 31, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Poetry, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Dzanc Novella Prize

Dzanc Books

The Dzanc Books Novella Prize seeks innovative and well-crafted works of fiction in the short form (18,000 to 40,000 ords). In the tradition of Elle Nash's Animals Eat Each Other, Lindsey Drager's The Lost Daughter Collective, and Lisa Birnbaum's Worthy, this contest honors writers who have honed their craft to deliver an outsized punch in a small package. A $1,500 advance and publication in Fall 2020 by Dzanc Books will be awarded to the winner.


Deadline September 30, 2019

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Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

Publication in Fall 2020 by Dzanc Books

Genres

Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Literary Awards Writing Competition

Tucson Festival of Books

Fiction, non-fiction and poetry entries are now being accepted for the sixth annual writing competition, which offers more than $5,000 in prize money. Submit five poems of any length, a short story or novel chapter, or a nonfiction piece or book chapter per submission. Maximum length for prose is 5,000 words per submission. No limit to number of entries. Submissions must be in English and unpublished. Authors retain all rights to submitted work.


Deadline October 31, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $2

Frank McCourt Memoir Prize

The Southampton Review

In honour of Frank McCourt's writing, the Southampton Review is looking for prose that reveals humour in even the bleakest of situations. In their words, "We want to be unsure whether to laugh or cry." Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words. READING PERIODS: JANUARY 1 – FEBRUARY 1 and AUGUST 1 – SEPTEMBER 1.


Deadline September 01, 2019

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Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Memoir, Non-fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $15

Gemini Magazine 11th Annual Flash Fiction Contest

Gemini Magazine

In celebration of our tenth year, we have increased first prize from $1,000 to $5,000. Second place: $250. Three honorable mentions: $50 each. Entry fee: $10. We are open to any subject, genre or length. All five finalists will be published online in the October 2019 issue. Both new and experienced writers have won our contests. All entries are read blind.


Deadline August 31, 2019

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Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Flash Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $10

Henshaw Short Story Competition

Henshaw Press

Entries to the Henshaw Short Story Competition must be an unpublished work of fiction any theme. The length limit is 2,000 and the September Competition will open shortly.


Deadline September 01, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $5

Exeter Story Prize

Creative Writing Matters

The competition is for stories of up to 10,000 (no minimum) on any theme. Includes the Trisha Ashley Award for humor.


Deadline August 31, 2019

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Top prize

$620

Additional prizes

Trophy

Genres

Fiction, Short Story,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $15

Writers of the Future

L. Ron Hubbard

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 every three months: $1,000, $750, $500. Annual Grand Prize: $5,000 additional!


Deadline September 30, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Fantasy, Science Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: FREE

2019 Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Contest

Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association

The 2019 SFPA speculative poetry contest is open to all poets, including non-SFPA members. Prizes will be awarded for best unpublished poem in 3 categories: Dwarf (poems 1–10 lines), Short (11–49 lines), and Long (50 lines and more). Speculative poetry includes fantasy, science fiction, horror, and their subgenres.


Deadline August 31, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Genres

Fantasy, Poetry, Science Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $2

Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize

Marsh Hawk Press

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Marsh Hawk Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Manuscripts should be between 48 to 84 pages. [Submissions open December 1, 2019]


Deadline April 30, 2020

Learn more
Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Marsh Hawk Press

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Exeter Flash Fiction Competition

Creative Writing Matters

The competition is now accepting submissions for a story of not more than 750 words on any theme.


Deadline August 31, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Trophy

Genres

Flash Fiction,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $7

Trisha Ashley Award

Creative Writing Matters

Sunday Times Bestselling author, Trisha Ashley is once again offering an award for the best humorous story. Stories should be unpublished and up to 10,000 words. Part of the 2019 Exeter Story Prize.


Deadline August 31, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Genres

Humor,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $15

Ex Ophidia Fourth Annual Poetry Prize

Ex Ophidia Press

Manuscripts should be between 64 and 84 numbered pages including a title page and a table of contents. Single-spaced Word documents ONLY. The winning author shall receive a $1,000 cash prize and 15 author copies of the book.


Deadline August 31, 2019

Learn more
Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication and 15 author copies

Genres

Poetry,

Entry fee

💰 Entry Fee: $25

Submitting to free writing contests in 2019 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!

While you’re submitting to writing competitions in 2019

Every competition 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:

Blog posts:

After you submit to a writing competition in 2019

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.

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