Search for writing contests in your genres

Discover the finest writing contests of 2019 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 below as you browse. Manage a contest? Submit it here

Hide expired contests

We found 393 contests that match your search 🔦 reset


2019 African American Voices in Children’s Literature: Writing Contest

Eligible entries will include original fiction or nonfiction board books for ages 0–4 (50–125 words) and picture books for ages 4–8 (300–800 words) featuring contemporary African American characters and culture and focusing on one or more of the following topics: character development, self-esteem, diversity, getting along with others, engaging with family and community, or other topics related to positive childhood development.

Free Spirit Publishing

📆 Deadline June 30, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $0

Genres: Fiction,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

View contest

Eyelands 9th International Short Story Contest

We’re looking for short stories, of 2.500 words maximum in any genre on the theme of “Round Midnight” Every year, we are delighted to give the opportunity to writers from all over the world to see their work published in English and Greek and also to enjoy a week's holiday in a beautiful beach house on the island of Crete!

Eyelands Magazine

📆 Deadline June 20, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $10

Genres: Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

Publication in Eyelands Magazine

Additional prizes

Holiday in Crete

View contest

Inkitt Novel Competition

Do you have the next great novel? Submit it to Inkitt's Novel Competition for the chance to win the grand prize: a publishing deal! Each month, a new winner is selected for the prize — so submit your story by the end of this month!

Inkitt

📆 Deadline June 30, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: FREE

Genres: Fiction,

TOP PRIZE

Publishing contract

Additional prizes

View contest

The Wise Writer Award

The contest is open to original and unpublished fiction short stories of up to 2,500 words. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality aged 16 or over (no upper age limit).

Wise Writer Award

📆 Deadline July 31, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $13

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$2,000

Additional prizes

View contest

Nowhere Magazine Spring 2019 Travel Writing Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a travel-specific short story, long-form creative nonfiction piece, poem or essay that possesses a powerful sense of place, character or time. Unpublished and published pieces that have not previously been chosen as a contest winner are eligible. Submit your 800- to 5,000-word piece with a $20 entry fee by July 1, 2019.

Nowhere Magazine

📆 Deadline July 01, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $20

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

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

View contest

$100 for 100 Words

Microfiction, micro essay, micro memoir, short poem, micro script, micro screenplay... if it is 100 words or less, it might be worth $100.

Sunspot Literary Journal

📆 Deadline June 30, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $5

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$100

Additional prizes

View contest

Acrostic Poetry Contest

Share an Acrostic poem to enter this poetry contest. See an example in the contest announcement. Cash prize.

FanStory

📆 Deadline November 08, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $9

Genres: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$100

Additional prizes

View contest

Nonet Poetry Contest

Share a Nonet. This is a poem with nine lines and a specific syllable count. It's a fun poem to write. Cash prize to the winner. See the details and a sample poem in the contest announcement.

FanStory

📆 Deadline November 14, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $9

Genres: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$100

Additional prizes

View contest

2-4-2 Poetry Contest

Share a 2-4-2 poem to enter this poetry contest. A 2-4-2 is a three line poem that has a 2-4-2 syllable count.

FanStory

📆 Deadline November 30, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $9

Genres: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$100

Additional prizes

View contest




TWF Fiction Contest 2019-2020

This contest is open only to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Published books include self-published books with ISBN numbers. Those who have published books in other genres besides fiction remain eligible.

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

📆 Deadline October 01, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $25

Genres: Fiction,

TOP PRIZE

$1,500

Additional prizes

Publication in Louisiana Literature

View contest

Saints & Sinners Fiction Contest 2019-2020

The winner will be selected from this year’s submissions of original, unpublished short stories between 3,000 and 7,000 words with LGBT content on the broad theme of “Saints and Sinners.” This contest would not be possible without a generous grant from The John Burton Harter Foundation.

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

📆 Deadline October 01, 2019 – 💰 Entry Fee: $20

Genres: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology from Bold Strokes Books

View contest

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 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:

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.

×
Enter our short story competition