The Best Non Fiction Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 101 contests


Annual Cultural Heritage Writing Contest

The Trailblazer Review

Founded in November 2022, The Trailblazer Review is an international high school literary magazine dedicated to celebrating and honoring indigenous culture through creative writing. Its Annual Cultural Heritage Contest accepts submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction under 4000 words from middle and high school students (13-18 years old) on the subject of native culture and heritage.

Top prize

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 20, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story, Young Adult

View contest

Desert Writers Award

Ellen Meloy Fund

The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers grants one $5,000 award in the spring of each year. Only proposals for literary or creative nonfiction book projects will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed.

Top prize

$5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: January 15, 2023


Genres

Non-fiction

View contest

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Winning Writers

Welcome to the 30th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $8,000 in prizes.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Two-year gift certificate from Duotrope; 10 Honorable Mentions will receive $300 each

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: April 30, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story

View contest

Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition

Writer's Digest

Enter our 91st Annual Writing Competition for the chance to have your work be seen by editors and agents! Almost 500 winners will be chosen. The top winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection. [$20 for a poetry entry, $30 for a manuscript entry]

Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: May 05, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

View contest

swamp pink Prizes

crazyhorse

From January 1st to January 31st, submit short stories and essays of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Winners in each genre will receive $2,000 and publication.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2023


Genres

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

View contest

The Restless Books Prize For New Immigrant Writing

Restless Books

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing was created in 2016 to honor outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books.

Top prize

$10,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Restless Books

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction

View contest

The Kurt Brown Prizes

Association of Writers & Writing Programs

AWP will offer three scholarships of $500 each to be awarded to three first-place winners in the genres of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. These scholarships must be used to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency at one of the AWP member programs in the Directory of Conferences & Centers. All winners and six finalists will also receive a one-year individual membership.

Top prize

$500 scholarship

Additional prizes

one-year membership

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Short Story

View contest

AIIRA Writing Contest

AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture

We invite contestants to submit writing that imagines the world in the year 2050 and explores the relationship between humans, technology, and their food: what will food look, taste, and feel like; where will it come from; who will produce and transport it; and how will we access and consume it? The world you bring to light should be believable and probe the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the future of agriculture. Your submission can be fiction or creative non-fiction, but keep in mind that the strongest submissions will use research to support the reality described. Contestants must be undergraduate students to submit to this contest.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $1,500 | 3rd: $1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

View contest

NOWW 25th International Writing Contest

Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW)

A Canadian contest with an international flair. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we have increased the prize total to $1800 over six major categories: poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, crime fiction, literary critical writing, and The Bill MacDonald prize for prose (A Northwestern Ontario setting must be central to the work).

Top prize

$150 CAD

Additional prizes

Publication in NOWW magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

View contest

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

Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomer Plus

Stories Through The Ages

Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomers Plus 2023 is open to people born 1966 or earlier. The deadline for entries is June 15, 2023. There is no prompt for the contest. Authors may write about any topic. The entry fee is $20 ($15 if submitting more than one story). The word count for this contest is 900 - 5000 words. Cash prizes of $500, $200 and $100 will be awarded. There will be a minimum of 15 finalists whose story will appear in the book.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $200 | 3rd: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 15, 2023


Genres

Short Story, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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

Human Rights Essay Contest for High School Students

RICHARD M KEMPER FOUNDATION

Respect for human rights seems to be eroding in many countries. Do you agree? If so, provide examples and explain what you think is the major cause of the problem and how it should be addressed? If you disagree, explain the reason you disagree.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $1500 | 3rd: $750

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 10, 2022


Genres

Non-fiction

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

Global Warning Contest

Effective Altruism at UC Berkeley

What are the large-scale problems that the world is facing over the next 20 years? People frequently express concern about climate change as one of the largest existential risks and potential sources of suffering for humans and other animals in the coming decades. The Global Warning Contest hopes to create more awareness around it and reward people for thinking critically about the future.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $300 | 4x runner-up: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: November 20, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Non-fiction

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

Writing MISCHIEF

Sadie Tells Stories

For Sadie's final writing competition of 2022 she wanted to inspire you to have a little fun, mischievous fun that is. One of the definitions of mischief is: irresponsibly playful. Writing MISCHIEF is a 500 word short story contest. The story can be fiction or non-fiction as long as it includes an element of mischief. As usual, it does not need to be about mischief, it just needs to have an element of it somewhere in the story.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: November 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, 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

Story of the Year Contest

Storyshares

The annual Story of the Year Contest is coming back for the sixth year, and we are searching for fresh, diverse stories that are "easy to read and hard to put down." The 2022 competition will run from October 4 to December 27 and will feature 4 distinct categories. Winners will receive $12,000 in cash prizes, plus publication in both digital and print form. Entry will be free, unlimited, and open internationally.

Top prize

Diversity $3,000

Additional prizes

Tough Topics $2,000 | For Teens By Teens $2,000 | People’s Choice $1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: December 27, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story, 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

Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest

Lazuli Literary Group

We are not concerned with genre distinctions. Send us the best you have; we want only for it to be thoughtful, intelligent, and beautiful. We want art that grows in complexity upon each visitation; we enjoy ornate, cerebral, and voluptuous phrases executed with thematic intent.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in "AZURE: A Journal of Literary Thought"

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: February 22, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Novella, Script Writing

View contest

Seán O'Faoláin International Short Story Competition

Munster Literature Centre

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.

Top prize

€2,000

Additional prizes

Residency at Anam Cara Retreat, Featured reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival, Publication in Southword

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $22

Deadline: July 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story

View contest

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Cleveland Foundation

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of cultural diversity. Awards are given for fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

Top prize

$10,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

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

Post-Apocalyptic Media's 2nd Annual Short Story Writing Contest

Post-Apocalyptic Media

We’re looking for a short story (between 2k-5k words) within the post-apocalyptic genre. Your story can be fiction, non-fiction, past, present, or future, but it MUST take place after some sort of global catastrophe. Contest open to anyone 18 years or older worldwide.

Top prize

$300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 16, 2022


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

View contest

Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (WAWA)

Ireland Writing Retreat

Welcome to the sixth ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA) competition to welcome the summer season, which we hope will provide challenge, diversion, and enjoyment for you over the holidays and into the start of Autumn. As with all our competitions, there will be two categories: flash fiction and creative nonfiction. And we’ve decided on an intriguing theme for both - BEAUTY.

Top prize

€1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: September 09, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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

WOW! Women On Writing Quarterly Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

WOW! Women On Writing

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! The contest is open globally. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond!

Top prize

$400

Additional prizes

Publication, interview, and gift card good for one item from CreateWriteNow's Store

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: October 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Non-fiction

View contest

The Hal Prize

Peninsula Pulse

The contest was created to encourage and appreciate artistic expression through various literary forms and photography. The contest has showcased works from individuals of all ages and backgrounds – novice writers and photographers to professionals.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

2nd: $100 | 3rd: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

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

Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest

Tallahassee Writers Association

The Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest (collectively, “the Contest”) is sponsored annually by the Tallahassee Writers Association. The contest is open to English-language entries from around the world. For the first time, we are open to published entries as well as unpublished entries.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Published in the Seven Hills Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Children's, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

View contest

Find the perfect editor for your next book

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