The Best Memoir Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 24 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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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


Genres

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

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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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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: February 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Memoir

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Clash of the Query Letters

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.

Top prize

$700

Additional prizes

Publication on the Chopping Blog, plus free entry into one of our online courses

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel

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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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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


Genres

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

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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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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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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 place receives €200 and an online writing course

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $21

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Memoir, Non-fiction, Short Story

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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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The Rubery Prize

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.

Top prize

£2000

Additional prizes

£200, a write-up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $60

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

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

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Dateline Hastings 23-09-21

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.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

workshop & publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: July 24, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Daisy Pettles' Writing Residency

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.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Month-long writer's getaway

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $45

Deadline: December 12, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, 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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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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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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North Street Book Prize

Winning Writers

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.

Top prize

$5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $65

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry

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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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