The Best Memoir Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 42 contests


Clash of the Query Letters

Darling Axe Editing

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?

Top prize

CAD $700

Additional prizes

CAD $200 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel

View contest

Medical Student Essay Contest

Hektoen International Journal of the Medical Humanities

Students currently enrolled in a medical school or program are encouraged to submit to our Medical Student Essay Contest. Essays can be on any topic as it relates to medicine. Art, history, and literature topics are preferred.

Top prize

$3,500

Additional prizes

Runner-ups: $2,500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 15, 2023


Genres

Essay, Memoir

View contest

The Goldilocks Zone

Sunspot Lit

Inspired by the search for Goldilocks Zone planets, Sunspot Lit is looking for one short story, CNF, artwork, poem, graphic novel, or script that combines excellence with appeal. Literary and genre works accepted; feedback available.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: December 19, 2022


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

View contest

The Nervous Ghost Press Book Prize

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: FREE

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

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

View contest

Climate Change Writing Competition

Write the World

This month, dear writers, ahead of COP27, help us raise the voices of young people in this urgent fight. In a piece of personal narrative, tell the world’s leaders gathering in how climate change impacts you. How has this crisis changed your environment, your community, your sense of the future? Storytelling, after all, plays a critical role in helping us grasp the emergency through which we are all living, igniting empathy in readers and listeners—itself a precursor to action.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Runner-up: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: October 18, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

View contest

Leiby Chapbook Contest

The Florida Review

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Florida Review is given annually for a chapbook of short fiction, short nonfiction, or graphic narrative. Submit a manuscript of up to 45 pages with a $25 entry fee by December 31. All entries are considered for publication. All entrants receive a 1-year subscription. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

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

View contest

Story Unlikely's Short Story Contest

Story Unlikely

Short Story contest with $1,000 prize package and NO entry fee. Fiction or memoir, up to 4,500 words. Looking for well-written, expertly told stories, regardless of genre.

Top prize

$1,000 total package

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

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

View contest

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: October 09, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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

View contest

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

View contest

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

View contest

The Annual Writerwerx University Short Story Contest

Writerwerx University

Submit your piece of 2,000 words or less to compete with writers all over the country for cash, prizes, and bragging rights! There are no theme or topic restrictions. Erotic, religious, and technical shorts are welcome.

Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

2nd: $1500 | 3rd: $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: August 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

View contest

Editor's Prize - Work Anthology

Unleash Press

Writers are invited to submit creative interpretations on Work for an upcoming anthology and the chance of winning the editors' prize. Essays, fiction, drama, and poetry interpretations of the theme will be accepted. Submissions should have a total word count of no more than 5,000 words. All authors chosen for the anthology will receive a paperback copy of the book. Only one editor’s prize will be selected.

Top prize

150

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: December 30, 2022


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller

View contest

MacQ-15 Ekphrastic Writing Challenge: "The Question of Questions"

MacQueen's Quinterly

For our tenth themed writing challenge, MacQueen’s Quinterly is calling for literary works in multiple genres: flash and micro-fiction, nonfiction, poetry, prose poetry, and poetic hybrids. Each piece entered must include one “q” word and must address the theme described in our contest guidelines and publisher's commentary.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication in Issue 15 of MacQueen's Quinterly online

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: August 21, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing

View contest

Writing LOVE

Sadie Tells Stories

Writing LOVE is a 500 word short story contest. The story can be fiction or non-fiction as long as it includes an element of love. A love for life, for nature, for someone, for peace, for a passion..

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

$150 to the runner up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: August 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

View contest

Geminga: $250 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art

Sunspot Lit

Authors and artists eligible. Sunspot Lit’s Geminga contest honors the power of the small. No restrictions on theme or category. $250 cash, publication for the winner, and publication offered to runners-up and finalists. Enter as many times as you like, but only one piece per submission.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication in digital and print

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

North Street Book Prize

Winning Writers

One grand prize winner will receive $8,000, 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, 2022.

Top prize

$8,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $70

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry

View contest

International Amy MacRae Award for Memoir

Memoir Writing Ink

Original, unpublished works of memoir writing to a maximum of 2000 words are accepted. Submission guidelines are available on our website: www.amyaward.com. Winner receives $1000, plus an additional $1000 off a Mindful Memoir Writing Retreat in southern France with award-winning author, playwright, and writing coach Alison Wearing. Shortlisted stories will be published in the annual Amy Award Anthology and featured in the Memoir Writing Ink program. This award has been created in celebration of the life of Amy Macrae and in support of her living legacy to improve the outcomes of women with ovarian cancer.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

$1,000 US towards a Mindful Memoir Writing Retreat in Southern France with award-winning author, playwright, and writing coach, Alison Wearing

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 21, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Memoir

View contest

The Synopsis Skirmish—a contest for querying authors

Darling Axe Editing

Summarize your novel in 500 words for a chance at a $1000 CAD prize pool! Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: "Does this synopsis convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?"

Top prize

$560

Additional prizes

$200 for second place, $100 for third

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

Teen Angst: Mix Tape Vol 2

4 Horsemen Publications, Inc.

Poetry, Journals, Diaries & Love Letters, we all have them collecting dust on a shelf, in a box under your bed, or hidden away in the attic where no one can find them. That journal, diary, or even composition book full of your teen angst. We want them. In the raw, unedited, all the teen angst you can hit us with. Take a picture of the journal, the page, angsty doodles,love letters and more. We will share them to the world, all backgrounds, all ages and generations (including our own)! This project is co-hosted between 4 Horsemen Publications and Battle Goddess Productions.

Top prize

Publication in anthology

Additional prizes

Access to buy author copies at a discounted rate

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry

View contest

2023 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: December 31, 2023


Genres

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

View contest

Memoir/Fiction Book Contest for IML Publications

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.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Possible published book

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: June 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

View contest

Six Word Wonder Contest

Six Word Wonder

To win, write a six word story, poem, memoir, or joke. Free to enter, with the chance to get your tiny creation published, and you crowned as the Six Word Wonder - winning $100. Last year's contest had over 3,300 entries, with over 100 short-listed. Every writer gets six free entries to play with.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in next book in the Six Word Wonder series

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: November 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Short Story

View contest

The Writerwerx University Novel Opening Contest

Writerwerx University

Submit the first 1,000 words of your published book.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd Place: $1,000 cash/prizes, 3rd Place $100 cash/prizes

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir

View contest

The 2022 First Chapter Book Contest

TheNextBigWriter, LLC

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.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Gold contest badge.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 14, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Writer's Digest

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.

Top prize

$8,000

Additional prizes

A feature in Writer's Digest

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $125

Deadline: May 02, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Novel

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

View contest

Find the perfect editor for your next book

1 million authors trust the editors on Reedsy, come meet them.