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DIRECTORY

Best Mystery Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 55 contests that match your search.

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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: 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

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

We are seeking the year's best original short stories (fiction) devoted to the theme of global climate change and its human impact. We are interested in literary interpretations of how individuals and families, cities and nations are bearing the brunt of a world dominated by new extremes of weather, seasons, and eco-disasters. All genres welcome.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $250 | Publication in anthology

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

North Street Book Prize

Winning Writers

Genres: Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Children's, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Submit a self-published or hybrid-published book, up to 200,000 words in length. One grand prize winner will receive $10,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, three months of Plus service (a $207 value) and a $500 account credit from Book Award Pro, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value)

Top Prize:

$10,000

Additional prizes:

$1,000 for top winner in each category | $300 for honorable mentions

💰 Entry fee: $75

📅 Deadline: May 01, 2024 (Expired)

The Rubery Prize

Rubery Book Awards

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

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 fee: $60

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024 (Expired)

100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Children's, Poetry, Romance, Short Story, Suspense, and Travel

Can you write a story using 100 words or less? Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. The first-place prize has doubled to $2,000 USD.

Top Prize:

$2,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: writing coach package

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: November 30, 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: 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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Writing MAGIC

Sadie Tells Stories

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, and Young Adult

Are you an author who loves magic? Do you have an idea for a super short story that needs to be shared with the world? If you answered yes to both of those questions this contest is for you! The story can be about anything magical. Maybe it’s something that you’ve experienced in real life or it’s something you’ve created. Maybe it’s the start of a great idea. Maybe it’ll be the thing that inspires you to finally publish your book.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

$150

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: April 01, 2024 (Expired)

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)

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: 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)

Summer Nanofiction Battle

Writing Battle

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

Two days to write a 250 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: August 02, 2024

Oxford Flash Fiction Prize 2024

Oxford Flash Fiction

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

Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. For centuries, the greats have come to Oxford to ink masterpieces. Now, in one of the oldest towns, where the history of the English language can be traced back to its ancient streets, we are celebrating one of the newest forms in literature – flash fiction.

Top Prize:

£1000

Additional prizes:

2nd Prize: £200 | 3rd Prize: £100 | New Voice Prize: £200

💰 Entry fee: $9

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Prompts | Prompts Sans Serif | 2024-03

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