The Best Essay Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 30 contests


Dandy Writers Short Story Contest

Dandy Writers

Submit a story of no more than 200 words. Your submission must be in line with the theme of the month. A writer is only permitted to submit one application per month. No more than one application. No plagiarism, even if it’s your work already published. Your work must be yours. Your data entered must be accurate. You must pay the entry fee. Note: Failure to comply with these rules will result to your application cancelled. And your entry fee will not be refunded. Thanks as you obey these rules.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Writing Job

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 30, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Short Story

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Share Your Story

FanStory.com Inc.

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 15, 2022


Genres

Essay, Memoir

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FemmeFluenza 2.0

WriteFluence

Become a published woman author by this International Women’s Day! Announcing our second exclusively-for-women-writers story-writing international contest FemmeFluenza 2.0 ‘Cos life is all about celebrating womanhood and surviving through various challenges it brings along! Theme: Survival stories through various challenges faced by women – be it prejudices, physical or emotional abuse, sexual harassment, corporate biases, denied education, breast cancer, female infanticide, gender discrimination, single-parenthood, divorce, social stigmas and taboos, etc.

Top prize

Publication

Additional prizes

Author features and Merit certificates (digital)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $2

Deadline: February 15, 2022


Genres

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

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Hispanic Culture Review – Literary and Photographic Contest 2021-2022

Hispanic Culture Review

If the past year has taught us anything, it is that circumstances are always changing. Just as the world inevitably changes around us, we, too, go through various cycles of transformation in our lifetimes. Our identities are not static but evolve as we experience life and confront obstacles that come our way. Who we are is not fixed but rather a reflection of ourselves at a certain point in time and the journey it took to get there. As Maya Angelou once stated, “we delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” This year, we invite you to reflect on the following questions: What does the phrase “ever-changing” mean for you or your community with respect to the journey of transformation? What has made you the person you are today? 1 work will be awarded in each category: 1) photography & visual arts, 2) poetry, and 3) narrative/essay/academic investigation. The selected works will be published in our magazine, and winners will receive a monetary prize of $100 dollars and a certificate of recognition, and will be notified through email as well as on our Facebook page (Hispanic Culture Review GMU). Prizes will be issued in the Spring of 2022.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in print and electronic magazine, Certificate of recognition

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 06, 2022


Genres

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

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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. You can write in any genre, but the theme is abundance. Give us a glimpse of something that reveals the abundance of this big, beautiful, unexpected life that we’ve got. Make us “see a World in a Grain of Sand.”

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: April 30, 2022


Genres

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

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The Fountain Essay Contest

Fountain Magazine

We want to hear your COVID-19 story. What has the virus taught you about life? If you were not infected, what has your experience been like as an “outsider?” We encourage our contestants to explore this issue in a way that is most meaningful to them, and to do so while making sure to avoid speculative narratives and political polarization.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

$500, $300, $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: April 01, 2022


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

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2022 Short Memoir Competition

Globe Soup

We’re looking for the best Short Memoir of no more than 3,000 words. A short memoir is a piece of creative nonfiction in which the writer explores a single episode of their life or a small selection of vignettes, connected by a common theme. The theme for this year’s competition is 'Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me'. All participants can get extensive feedback on their entry and take part in our free Monthly Micro Writing Contests.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: May 17, 2022


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

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Crazyhorse Prize Series

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, 2022


Genres

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

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Between Man and God

Arts Lounge NYC

In most West African countries, queer people live in constant fear, abused by both public and private agencies that refuse to acknowledge their rights to live and love freely. This contest and anthology celebrates their tenacity and their refusal to be silenced. Honorarium will be given to the top three best selected entries to acknowledge the excellency of their craft and to encourage visibility through writing. All shortlisted submissions will be published.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

$750 for second place, $500 for third

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: September 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, LGBTQ, Non-fiction

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Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest

Jane Austen Society of North America

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.

Top prize

$1,000 scholarship

Additional prizes

Two nights’ lodging for JASNA’s Annual General Meeting

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: June 02, 2022


Genres

Children's, Essay

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World Historian Student Essay Competition

World History Association

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international competition open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs. Membership in the World History Association is not a requirement for submission. Past winners may not compete in the same category again.

Top prize

$500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 01, 2022


Genres

Children's, Essay

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We the Students Essay Contest

Bill of Rights Institute

The Bill of Rights Institute engages, educates, and empowers individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society. Students in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Armed Forces schools abroad, and students in United States territories are eligible to participate in its contest.

Top prize

$7,500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: April 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Children's, Essay

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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, 2022


Genres

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

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Annual Contest Submissions

So to Speak Journal

So to Speak seeks work by writers who want to challenge and change the identity of the “canonical” writer. Our mission is to amplify voices of BIPOC, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, women, neurodivergent people, people of different religions or none, migrants, refugees & immigrants (regardless of citizenship), and incarcerated writers. Free submissions for Black and Indigenous Writers.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication for winner and runner-up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: November 14, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest

Lazuli Literary Group

We are not concerned with genre distinctions. Send us the best you have; we want only for it to be thoughtful, intelligent, and beautiful. We want art that grows in complexity upon each visitation; we enjoy ornate, cerebral, and voluptuous phrases executed with thematic intent.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in "AZURE: A Journal of Literary Thought"

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: October 21, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Fall Travel Writing Contest

Nowhere Magazine

We are looking for young, old, novice and veteran writers to send us stories that possess a powerful sense of place. Stories can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry or essay.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: December 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction, Poetry, Fiction

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2022 Book Prize

Unleash Press

Writers are invited to submit novels, short story collections and creative nonfiction manuscripts. The Editors' Prize winner receives a publication contract with Unleash Press and $1000 prize, along with 10 printed copies of the final book. We may also offer publication contracts to additional outstanding manuscripts.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publishing contract

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: January 05, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Novel, Short Story

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Justice Centre Essay Contest

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms asks Canadian students to answer (in 1000-2500 words) the following question: Should citizens who refuse to get vaccinated have the same rights and freedoms as those who do get vaccinated? This contest is open to all Canadian youth who will be between the age of 15–24 on the date they submit their essay.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

$1000 for 2nd, $500 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: October 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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The Tamaqua Award for a Collection of Essays

Hidden River Arts

Hidden River Arts offers an award of $1,000 and publication by Hidden River Press, an imprint of Hidden River Publishing, for an original collection of essays. Previous publication of individual essays is acceptable, as long as you include the list of the published essays, the journals and magazines where they appeared, and authorize that the publication rights have reverted to you, as author.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Hidden River Arts

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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The Hal Prize

Peninsula Publishing & Distribution

The Hal Prize offers publication to a readership of more than 25,000 and cash awards for winners. The contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and to photographers throughout the United States. Prose should be no more than 4,000 words and poetry no longer than a page. The annual literary and photography contest is presented by the Peninsula Pulse and Write On, Door County.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, publication in 8142 Review, and a handmade mug

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Vocal Challenges

Creatd

Enter themed storytelling contests to put your creativity to the test and be in with a chance of winning cash prizes and more. To submit, you'll need to sign up for a monthly fee of $9.99, or $4.99/month for 3 months.

Top prize

$1,000 — $5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Youth Writing Contest

The Vancouver Writers Fest

The Vancouver Writers Fest's annual youth writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 8-12 in British Columbia. Entries will be accepted for previously unpublished short stories (fiction or non-fiction) and personal essays: 1,500 word limit. The first-prize winner will receive a $200 cash prize and the second-prize winner, a $100 cash prize.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Short Story, Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction

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Nowhere Magazine Spring 2021 Travel Writing Contest

Nowhere Magazine

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 June 30, 2021.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Nowhere magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Nowhere Emerging Travel Writers' Prize

Nowhere Magazine

We are looking for never-been-published travel writers from anywhere in the world to send us stories—fiction, nonfiction, essay or poetry—that possess a powerful sense of place, people and time.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in Nowhere Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Irene Adler Prize

Lucas Aykroyd

The Irene Adler Prize offers a $1,000 US scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada, based on an essay competition.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: April 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay

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Juniper Prizes

University of Massachusetts Press

The Juniper Prizes for Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction are awarded annually to original manuscripts: two books of poetry, one work of creative nonfiction, one short story collection, and one novel. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by University of Massachusetts Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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The Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction

The Lascaux Review

The Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction opens 1 April. Creative nonfiction may include memoirs, chronicles, personal essays, humorous perspectives, literary journalism—anything the author has witnessed, experienced, learned, or discovered. Pieces 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 requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

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Red Hen Press Women's Prose Prize

Red Hen Press

Established in 2018, the Women’s Prose Prize is for previously unpublished, original work of prose. Novels, short story collections, memoirs, essay collections, and all other forms of prose writing are eligible for consideration. The awarded manuscript is selected through a biennial competition, held in even-numbered years, that is open to all writers who identify as women.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: February 28, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story, Essay, Memoir, Novel

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Emerging Writer's Contest

Ploughshares

In the spirit of the journal 's founding mission, the Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. One winner in each genre per year will receive $2,000 and publication in the literary journal. Authors are considered "emerging" if they haven 't published or self-published a book.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Ploughshares

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $24

Deadline: May 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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2021 Nervous Ghost Press Book Prizes

Nervous Ghost Press

The 2021 Nervous Ghost Press Book Prizes are open to outstanding works of poetry and prose by anyone living in the United States of America. ​All work and all writers, from any point in their careers, are welcome to submit their work and get a chance of publication. Please submit a completed a manuscript (50,000-100,000 words for prose, 48-128 pages for poetry).

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication and a Californian reading tour

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $24

Deadline: January 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Humor, Young Adult

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