Looking to publish? Meet your dream editor, designer and marketer on Reedsy.

Find the perfect editor for your next book

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

DIRECTORY

Best Mystery Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 55 contests that match your search.

Genres: Mystery and Short Story

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story. Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

Top Prize:

£500

Additional prizes:

Two weekend passes to CrimeFest

💰 Entry fee: $16

📅 Deadline: February 29, 2024 (Expired)

First 5 Pages Prize

Stockholm Writers Festival

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

SWF is proud to launch the First 5 Pages Prize to mark our 5th anniversary. Dazzle us with your brilliance. Delight us with your wit. Deceive us with your dastardly plot-twists. There will be one Grand Prize winner chosen from all entries. The winner will receive: $1000 cash, a ticket to SWF22, a pitch meeting with an agent conducted over Zoom, two night’s accommodation at a boutique hotel, and a full developmental edit donated by Reedsy, the industry’s leading platform for writing services.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

A full developmental edit donated by Reedsy & pitch meeting with an agent

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature

Tim Saunders Publications

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature, established in 2023 by Tim Saunders Publications, is in memory of Paul Astley Cave-Browne-Cave (1917 to 2010), a hugely inspirational magazine and book publisher. What we are looking for All forms of poetry: haiku, free verse, sonnet, acrostic, villanelle, ballad, limerick, ode, elegy, flash fiction, short stories and novellas. Work must be new and unpublished. International submissions welcome.

Top Prize:

£100

Additional prizes:

Best Short Story: £50 | Best Flash Fiction: £25 | Best Poem: £25

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

Craft your masterpiece in Reedsy Studio

Plan, write, edit, and format your book in our free app made for authors.

Learn more about Reedsy Studio.

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult, Flash Fiction, and Science Writing

One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers and closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, putting over $150k into the hands of emerging talent around the globe so far. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. June's theme is Secret Societies.

Top Prize:

$3,000

Additional prizes:

10x Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD | Free entry to Novelist Accelerator

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: July 01, 2024

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a genre pairing. As soon as you receive your ‘smashed’ genres you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of any length up to 5,000 words, that perfectly and seamlessly combines both genres into one amazing short story.

Top Prize:

£1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $11

📅 Deadline: October 23, 2023 (Expired)

A Warm Mug of Cozy Anthology

Warm Mug of Cozy

Genres: Crime, Flash Fiction, Mystery, and Short Story

Do you like writing short cozy mysteries? If so, we would love to invite you to submit your work for potential inclusion in our first Warm Mug of Cozy Anthology. Theme: No restriction, as long as your story follows the classic rules of Cozy Mystery.

Top Prize:

2% royalties per published story ($)

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Indignor House Publishing is proud to announce that our annual writing competition (INDIGNOR PLAYHOUSE Short Story Annual Competition) is officially open with expected publication in the fall of 2024. Up to 25 submissions will be accepted for inclusion in the annual anthology.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $150

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Young Adult

We aim to assist writers in the completion of an important literary project and vision. The Unleash WIP Award offers writers support in the amount of $500 to supplement costs to aid in the completion of a book-length work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Writers will also receive editorial feedback, coaching meetings, and an excerpt/interview feature in Unleash Lit.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Coaching, interview, and editorial support

💰 Entry fee: $35

📅 Deadline: July 15, 2024

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize is a writing competition sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts. Selected Shorts is recorded for Public Radio and heard nationally on both the radio and its weekly podcast. This years entries will be judged by Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House, Her Body and Other Parties).

Top Prize:

$1000 + free 10 week course with Gotham Writers

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Letter Review Prize for Books is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Seeking most unpublished (we accept some self/indie published) novels, novellas, story collections, nonfiction, poetry etc. 20 entries are longlisted.

Top Prize:

$1000 USD shared by 3 winners

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

The 2022 First Chapter Book Contest

TheNextBigWriter, LLC

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

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 fee: $5

📅 Deadline: May 14, 2022 (Expired)

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

Free to enter. Seeking 0-5000 word (poetry: 15 pgs) excerpts of unpublished books (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction), including most self-published and indie-published works. 2-4 Winners (publication of extract is optional). We Shortlist 10-20 writers. Open to writers from anywhere in the world, with no theme or genre restrictions. Judged blind.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Optional Publication of Excerpt, Letter of Recommendation

📅 Deadline: May 01, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Storytrade Book Awards recognizes excellence in small and independent publishing. Open to all indie authors and publishers including self-published authors, university presses, and small or independent presses, our annual awards program spotlights outstanding books in a number of fiction and nonfiction categories.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Medal, Book Stickers, Digital Seal

💰 Entry fee: $75

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction challenges writers to create an original piece of flash fiction based on two typical writing prompts plus one ""anti-prompt"". An anti-prompt is a challenge to break a specific “rule” of writing while telling a great story. Participants compete for AU$2,000 in cash prizes, including AU$1,000 for the winner, cash prizes for the entire shortlist and two bonus ‘wildcard’ prizes. Winners are read aloud on the Not Quite Write podcast, where the judges share in-depth analysis about the entries and offer free writing advice. The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction is hosted in Australia and open to all writers of any age and level of ability around the world.

Top Prize:

$1,000 AUD

Additional prizes:

Publication on the Not Quite Write website and podcast

💰 Entry fee: $16

📅 Deadline: July 21, 2024

Edinburgh Short Story Award

Scottish Arts Trust

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Suspense, Thriller, and Young Adult

£3,000 first prize for writers worldwide and stories on any topic up to 2,000 words. We welcome stories in all genres: literary, historic, crime, romance, gritty realism, contemporary, humour and more.

Top Prize:

£3,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: £500 | 3rd: £250 | Publication

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: February 29, 2024 (Expired)

Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, and Thriller

Created in 2009, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors to get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

Top Prize:

Possible contract with Mystery Writers of America

💰 Entry fee: $40

📅 Deadline: April 01, 2025

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to our world. In 2,500 to 5,000 words, show us the world you dream of building. A great Imagine story is not afraid to explore the challenges ahead — the path to climate progress will involve struggle and adaptation, and we invite you to show that — but ultimately offers hope that we can work together to build a more sustainable and just world. We want to see stories that incorporate real world climate solutions and climate science, as well as cultural authenticity (a deep sense of place, customs, cuisine, and more) and characters with fully-fledged identities.

Top Prize:

$3,000

Additional prizes:

Publication in magazine

📅 Deadline: June 24, 2024

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Short Story

The Future Scholar Foundation's (FSF) monthly short story competitions are designed to enhance students' communication skills and foster impactful self-expression in their daily lives. The FSF's competitons have reached over 1,500 students in over 8 US states and were featured in The Seattle Times and Northwest Asian Weekly. Participate now for the chance to earn prizes up to $25 and publication on the Future Scholar Foundation's website!

Top Prize:

$25 Amazon gift card

Additional prizes:

Publication on website

📅 Deadline: May 28, 2024 (Expired)

Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition

Minotaur Books & Malice Domestic

Genres: Mystery and Novel

Welcome to the Tony Hillerman Prize for Best First Mystery Set in the Southwest Competition! The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Mystery Novel (including self-published works and ebooks), as defined by the guidelines below, and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a mystery novel.

Top Prize:

$10,000 advance

Additional prizes:

Contract with Minotaur Books

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2021 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Novel, Thriller, and Mystery

Any novels between 50,000 and 200,000 words that are in the realm of action/adventure/thriller/mystery - and chocked-full of adventure - are welcome. New and previously published books welcome, though you must have sold or given away less than 10,000 books of the title(s) you enter. We do not accept sci-fi, fantasy, horror or young children's books. See our website for info on rules and entering.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Two AWC Finalist Awards: $500

💰 Entry fee: $50

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

Season Themes

HAVOK Publishing

Genres: Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Story, and Thriller

HAVOK is a constant flash fiction contest, with rolling deadlines. Each season is split into monthly competitions with thematically connected prompts in a range of genres.

Top Prize:

$100

Additional prizes:

Publication in an anthology. Potential for larger gift card wins.

📅 Deadline: June 28, 2024

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

Two days to write a 500 word short story. The peer-powered quarterly writing contest where every story receives oodles of feedback. Write one. Read ten. Win thousands.

Top Prize:

Genre Winner (x4): $1,500

Additional prizes:

Genre Runner-up (x4): $375 | Feedback by industry professionals

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: May 03, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Short Story, and Thriller

We’re interested in flash fiction pieces of between 250 and 1,000 words. We’re seeking the finest work we can find that incorporates an uncanny element. Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is superb writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

print and online publication

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, and Thriller

The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today’s romantic suspense. The writing contest is for published authors of mystery, suspense, and thrillers with or without romantic subplots.

Top Prize:

Award

💰 Entry fee: $30

📅 Deadline: March 15, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Thriller

Inspiring Fiction’s first crime and speculative fiction short story contest is on the theme ‘Secrets’. The winner and shortlisted entries will be published in the fourth issue of Tangled Web Magazine.

Top Prize:

£100

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $6

📅 Deadline: July 31, 2023 (Expired)

Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest

Arizona Mystery Writers

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, and Short Story

Every year the Arizona Mystery Writers hosts the Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest. Naturally, since we’re the Arizona Mystery Writers, we want a mystery story, but we’re flexible about the boundaries of that category, and we also accept thrillers and suspense stories. It doesn’t matter if your story’s characters are in outer space, riding horses, or living underground. Costumes and settings don’t matter as long as the story is a mystery, thriller, or suspense tale as described.

Top Prize:

$200

Additional prizes:

2nd: $100 | 3rd: $75

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: August 01, 2024

The Book of the Year Awards

The Independent Author Network

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, and Short Story

The Independent Author Network presents the 10th Annual IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 55 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes of $6,000 USD. Open to all English language print and eBooks available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors.

Top Prize:

$2,500

Additional prizes:

$6,000.00 USD in total cash prizes

💰 Entry fee: $49

📅 Deadline: August 16, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Short Story, Crime, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Our annual flagship competition, the Stringybark Stories Open Short Story Award 2023, is now bigger than ever! Thanks to Graeme Simpson and Anne Buist, a record prize pool of over $1300 is on offer. The theme is open, the only constraint is that there must be a reference to Australia somewhere in the story. It doesn't matter how small a link there is (it could be a jar of vegemite on the counter), there just needs to be one!

Top Prize:

$560

Additional prizes:

2nd: $360 | 3rd: $210 | 4th: $110

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: February 25, 2024 (Expired)

Black Orchid Novella Award

Wolfe Pack & Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Genres: Crime, Mystery, and Novella

Novellas are an important part of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe's opus. To celebrate this format, the Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine have partnered to sponsor the Black Orchid Novella Award. Each entry must be an original, unpublished work of fiction that conforms to the literary tradition of the Nero Wolfe series.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

📅 Deadline: May 31, 2024 (Expired)

Debut Dagger

Crime Writer's Association

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Suspense, and Thriller

The Debut Dagger is a competition for the opening of a crime novel by a writer who isn’t represented by an agent by the time the competition closes, and who has never had a traditional contract for any novel of any length, or who has never self-published any novel of any length in the last 5 years. Writers submit their opening 3,000 words and a 1,500 word synopsis. Entries from shortlisted writers are sent to UK literary agents and publishers. Every year, authors find representation this way.

Top Prize:

$577

💰 Entry fee: $41

📅 Deadline: February 29, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Short Story, and Thriller

Our contest provides a First, Second, and Third prize for both prose and poetry. There are no themes or special requirements so just send us your best work. We recommend you read through previous editions or listen to the works and author interviews on our Story Discovery Podcast to get a sense of the range of creativity we enjoy.

Top Prize:

$500 + publication and author interview on Story Discovery podcast

Additional prizes:

2nd: $150 | 3rd: $75

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: May 05, 2024 (Expired)

Goldfinch Books Novel Award

Goldfinch Books

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Goldfinch Books, an independent bookshop, café and event space in Alton, Hampshire, UK has announced a UK nationwide literary competition to coincide with the inaugural Alton Arts Festival. The Goldfinch Novel Award 2024 is a prize for emerging authors (aged 16+) with completed young adult or adult novels. This competition is open to authors in the UK and will have a prize of £300 for the winning novel, chosen by judge Kiya Evans, Associate Literary Agent at Mushens Entertainment.

Top Prize:

£300

Additional prizes:

Goldfinch Membership

💰 Entry fee: $14

📅 Deadline: May 27, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, and Thriller

Three days to write a 1000 word short story. The peer-powered quarterly writing contest where every story receives oodles of feedback. Write one. Read ten. Win thousands.

Top Prize:

Genre Winner (x4): $2,000

Additional prizes:

Genre Runner-up (x4): $500 | Feedback by industry professionals.

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: February 01, 2024 (Expired)

Frightening First Line Contest 2023

Gotham Writers Workshop

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Short Story, and Thriller

Autumn is the season of rustling leaves, a chill in the air, and, of course, Halloween. In that spirit, we invite you to create the first line of a frightening story. But we want that first line to be so intriguing or chilling or scary that it makes our skin tingle and our nerves twitch.

Top Prize:

Free Gotham Writers class

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2023 (Expired)

Writer's Games

The Writer's Workout

Genres: Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Writer's Games is a free competition with six surprise challenges over six weeks, designed to help each individual writer improve his or her craft fast. ​FREE registration is required in advance (opens May 1, 2024). Every entry from a registered participant receives honest, unbiased feedback from multiple judges. There's no elimination; push yourself to try each challenge and see what you alone can do in 72 hours each week. The top five winners each week are published in a competition anthology (that's 25 chances, plus the Judges' Choice!).

Top Prize:

Publication in anthology, 72 Hours (26+ spaces)

📅 Deadline: July 22, 2024

Discover the finest writing contests of 2024 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 as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2024 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!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2024

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

On Writing:

On Editing:

Blog posts

Bonus resources

After you submit to a writing competition in 2024

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.

Prompts | Prompts Sans Serif | 2024-03

Join our weekly contest

Get 5 new writing prompts every Friday. Write and submit a story for a chance to win $250.

Reedsy Marketplace UI

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

Enter your email or get started with a social account: