The Best Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

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Showing 512 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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The Letter Review Prize for Poetry

Letter Review

Letter Review is offering $1100 USD total prize pool in the Letter Review Prize for Poetry for poems of not more than 70 lines. There are no subject or style restrictions. Twenty entries will be longlisted, and ten shortlisted. All entries are considered for publication.

Top prize

$1000 and publication

Additional prizes

2nd & 3rd: $50 and publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

100 words per entry. Submit as many entries as you’d like. All ages. All genders. All nationalities. All writers welcome. This year's theme is the power of words. The words we write, the words we say, the words we keep to ourselves. They make a difference in the lives of those around us. How can you use your words to instill a sense of calm, of hope, of community? To remind one another of the beauty of diversity. To encourage us to support, love, and inspire one another.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: writing coach package 3rd: developmental or diversity editing package.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult

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Dream Quest One Poetry

Dream Quest One

This poetry contest is open to everyone and international. We hope that you are inspired to display the beauty and art of poetry for the entire world to see your "gift of a dream."

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

$125 for 2nd place, $50 for 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Dream Quest One Writing Contest

Dream Quest One

The mission of this contest is to inspire, motivate and encourage anyone having the desire or love of poetry and writing, to continue doing so without fear of failure or success! Remember, in whatever you do, "it's okay to dream," for dreams do come true...

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

$250 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Halloween Horror Contest

Halloween Horror Contest

The spooky season is almost upon us. We're looking for your creepiest horror stories. The ones that make us lay awake in bed at night gnashing our teeth, wondering about the sound coming from under the bed. The story can be a maximum of 5,000 words. There is no minimum.

Top prize

$25

Additional prizes

Two runner-ups: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: November 11, 2022


Genres

Horror

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The Perito Prize

CIEDA C.I.C

The Perito Prize is designed to be accessible to entry and isn't based solely on grammar and expert prose but more about the narrative. The aim is to encourage people from everywhere to entry and express themselves through the theme of inclusion and accessibility.

Top prize

$287

Additional prizes

Anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: October 02, 2022


Genres

Short Story

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Rebekah Pace's Faith Poetry Contest

Level 4 Press

Prayer can lead us on a very difficult journey, but a journey that turns out to be exactly the path we needed to be on in order to arrive where God wants us to be. The most inspiring souls are those who have overcome painful journeys with renewed faith. Often it is at our lowest when we find God. Now let's hear your story. How has God worked in mysterious ways in your life?

Top prize

Poem recorded as a professional song by Gilad Hesseg

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: November 28, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Post-Apocalyptic Media's 2nd Annual Short Story Writing Contest

Post-Apocalyptic Media

We’re looking for a short story (between 2k-5k words) within the post-apocalyptic genre. Your story can be fiction, non-fiction, past, present, or future, but it MUST take place after some sort of global catastrophe. Contest open to anyone 18 years or older worldwide.

Top prize

$300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 16, 2022


Genres

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

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George Garrett Fiction Prize

Texas Review Press

Established in 1998, The George Garrett Fiction Prize highlights one book a year for excellence in a short story collection or novel. Since 2019, the prize comes with a $1,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Standard royalty contract with TRP and 20 author copies of the published book

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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The Open Theme Contest

WriteFluence

The best stories will be published in a book to be released thereafter – All writers will win a special author feature in the book and a merit certificate (virtual) from WriteFluence.

Top prize

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $2

Deadline: October 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction

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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 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. August's Judge is author Nicky Shearsby.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

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

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The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

SmokeLong Quarterly

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey) is a biennial competition that celebrates and compensates excellence in flash.

Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

2nd: $1000 | 3rd: $500 | Finalists: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: November 15, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction

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Inception 2022: $250 for Best Opening

Sunspot Lit

Beginnings weight one moment with a particular power. A poem handles this differently than flash fiction, a novel, a graphic novel or an art series. Send your best opening. No restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Publication will be offered to runners-up and finalists.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication in digital and print editions

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

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

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Youth Voices Contest

Strategies For Youth

Today about 52% of public schools in the United States employ a full-time School Resource Officer (SRO). In the aftermath of the Uvalde massacre, once again, many people are questioning the value and purpose of having SROs in school. For almost 20 years, research has documented that students of color are disproportionately arrested by SROs, and many students of color say they do not feel safe in the presence of SROs. As a student between the ages of 12-18 years old we want to know about your experiences with, and thoughts about, having SROs in your school. Please respond to one of the following questions in your essay.

Top prize

$750

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: January 06, 2023


Genres

Essay

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Martha Richardson Poetry Prize 2022

Ballarat Writers Inc

The Martha Richardson Poetry Prize 2022 is now open for entries on the theme ‘INFLATE.‘ In 2022 the judge is ANDY JACKSON; Andy is a award-winning poet and creative writing teacher, and was awarded the inaugural Writing the Future of Health Fellowship. The competition is open to international writers over 18, writing in English.

Top prize

$680

Additional prizes

2nd: $260 | 3rd: $68

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: October 01, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (WAWA)

Ireland Writing Retreat

Welcome to the sixth ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA) competition to welcome the summer season, which we hope will provide challenge, diversion, and enjoyment for you over the holidays and into the start of Autumn. As with all our competitions, there will be two categories: flash fiction and creative nonfiction. And we’ve decided on an intriguing theme for both - BEAUTY.

Top prize

€1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: September 09, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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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: September 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction

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She Writes Press and SparkPress Towards Equality in Publishing (STEP)

SparkPoint Studio

The STEP contest awards female BIPOC authors a publishing package to publish on either She Writes Press or SparkPress. The purpose of this contest is to support inclusivity across our own lists, and to fortify our own mission to give voice to women writers.

Top prize

Publishing package valued at $8500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Fish Flash Fiction Prize

Fish Publishing

The Fish Flash Fiction Prize is an opportunity to attempt one of the most interesting and rewarding tasks – to create, in a tiny fragment, a completely resolved and compelling story in 300 words or less. The top ten stories will be published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2022.

Top prize

€1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: €300 + Online Writing Course | 3rd: €300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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Fish Short Memoir Prize

Fish Publishing

Everyone has a memoir in them. Go for it! Write a piece of your life, send it to Fish. Qian Julie Wang, author of her memoir Beautiful Country, will select 10 short memoirs to be published in the Fish Anthology 2022, which will be launched during the West Cork Literary Festival.

Top prize

€1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: Writing Course (online) + €300 | 3rd: €300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $18

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

Memoir, Non-fiction, Short Story

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Fish Short Story Prize

Fish Publishing

The Fish Short Story Prize was started in 1994, and has become an established event on the literary calendar. This year’s judge is Sarah Hall. Her critically acclaimed second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, was nominated for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. Sarah will select 10 short stories to be published in the Fish Anthology 2022, which will be launched during the West Cork Literary Festival.

Top prize

€3,000

Additional prizes

2nd: €300 + Writers’ Retreat | 3rd: €300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

Killer Nashville

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award is committed to discovering new writers, as well as superlative books by established authors and, upon discovery, sharing those writers and their works with new readers. There are a large number of both fiction and non-fiction categories you can enter.

Top prize

$250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $79

Deadline: June 15, 2023


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller

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WOW! Women On Writing Quarterly Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

WOW! Women On Writing

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! The contest is open globally. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond!

Top prize

$400

Additional prizes

Publication, interview, and gift card good for one item from CreateWriteNow's Store

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Non-fiction

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TSR Short, Short Fiction Contest

The Southampton Review

Here's your chance to test your creative mettle by writing a contained and compelling story (of any genre) using no more than 350 words! First prize is $500.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in the fall issue.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: September 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Academy of American Poets First Book Award

Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets First Book Award is a $5,000 first-book publication prize. The winning manuscript, chosen by an acclaimed poet, is published by Graywolf Press, an award-winning independent publisher. The winner also receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a 15th century castle in the Umbrian region of Italy.

Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

Publication through Graywolf Press & 6-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: September 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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The Larry Brown Short Story Award

Pithead Chapel

We’re pleased to announce the sixth annual Larry Brown Short Story Award. The winners will receive the following prizes: 1st $500 USD, 2nd $50 USD, 3rd $50 USD, and 4th and 5th will receive a copy of the book Tiny Love: The Complete Stories by Larry Brown. Each prize winner will be published in the January 2022 issue of Pithead Chapel.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $50 | 3rd: $50 USD

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest

Fiction Collective Two

The FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest is open to any writer in English who has not previously published with FC2. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

Publication by FC2

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: November 01, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story, Novella

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Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize

Fiction Collective 2

The FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize is open to any writer in English with at least three books of fiction published. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length.

Top prize

$15,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: November 01, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Short Story

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Brick Road Poetry Book Contest

Brick Road Poetry Press

The first place winner receives a publication contract with Brick Road Poetry Press and $1000 prize, publication in both print and ebook formats, and 25 copies of the printed book. We may also offer publication contracts to the top finalists.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication contract with Brick Road Poetry Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: November 01, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomer Plus

Stories Through The Ages

Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomers Plus 2023 is open to people born 1966 or earlier. The deadline for entries is June 15, 2023. There is no prompt for the contest. Authors may write about any topic. The entry fee is $25 ($20 if submitting more than one story). The word count for this contest is 900 - 5000 words. Cash prizes of $500, $200 and $100 will be awarded. There will be a minimum of 15 finalists whose story will appear in the book.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $200 | 3rd: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 15, 2023


Genres

Short Story, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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The Hal Prize

Peninsula Pulse

The contest was created to encourage and appreciate artistic expression through various literary forms and photography. The contest has showcased works from individuals of all ages and backgrounds – novice writers and photographers to professionals.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

2nd: $100 | 3rd: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

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The One Page Poetry Contest

One Page Poetry

One Page Poetry is dedicated to the art of expressing a poetic theme on a single page, whether your poem is four lines or forty, whether yours is a love poem, inspirational poem, philosophical poem, or just one that is fun or whimsical. We welcome any and all poetic forms, as long as they fit on a single page.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $1000 | 3rd: $500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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The First Page Challenge

The Darling Axe

If you want a reader to buy your book or an agent to offer you representation, then it only makes sense to have a stunning first page. That's what the First Page Challenge is all about—we're open to fiction or narrative nonfiction, short stories or full-length manuscripts. Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: "How likely am I to turn this page and keep reading?"

Top prize

$700 CAD

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Short Story

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Writing Contest 2023

BooksShelf

We look for an original and captivating work of fiction or nonfiction. The genre is not important - the story is. We're looking forward to reading your amazing books!

Top prize

$200 USD Fiction | $100 USD Nonfiction

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, 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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