The Best Memoir Writing Contests of 2022
Writing competitions curated by Reedsy
Manage a competition? Submit it here
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.
💰 Fee: $5
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.
💰 Fee: $10
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.
💰 Fee: $5
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.
💰 Fee: $2
IML Publications, LLC
We are looking for high quality, 50-page double submissions + 1 page synopsis of memoir and fiction. Finalists will be asked for complete manuscripts 1 month later and will be judged by author Jacqueline Gay Walley.
💰 Fee: $35
Darling Axe Editing
A writing contest for querying authors! Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: "does this query letter convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?" Optional feedback available.
💰 Fee: $4
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.”
💰 Fee: $10
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.
💰 Fee: $0
Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.
💰 Fee: $125
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.
💰 Fee: $16
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.
💰 Fee: $79
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.
💰 Fee: $9
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.
💰 Fee: $21
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.
💰 Fee: $35
Rubery Book Awards
The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges. Through our reputation of finding quality and outstanding books we aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten an author's profile.
💰 Fee: $60
Hastings LitFest ltd.
A contest for poetry, short stories & life writing based on current events. Up to 12 winners will be invited to an all-day workshop in Hastings on 23/09/21, working with editors to prepare their pieces for publication. Three prizes of £100 will also be given. The resulting anthology Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 will be published two days later at a launch event with Hastings Literary Festival patron Sir David Hare.
💰 Fee: $14
The Daisy Pettles House
Women writers who are age 40 or older are invited to submit up to 20 pages of a work in progress to win a chance for a month-long residency in a house where you can focus on your writing. First prize comes with a $1000 cash prize. Fee reductions and hardship wavers can be granted.
💰 Fee: $45
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.
💰 Fee: $15
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.
💰 Fee: $15
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.
💰 Fee: $30
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.
💰 Fee: $15
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.
💰 Fee: $25
One grand prize winner will receive $5,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value). Please submit between February 15 and June 30, 2021.
💰 Fee: $65
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).
💰 Fee: $24