The Best Novel Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 80 contests


Chapter One Prize

Gutsy Great Novelist

The Gutsy Great Novelist Chapter One Prize is awarded for an outstanding first chapter of an unpublished novel. The prize is open internationally to anyone over 18 writing a novel in English in any genre for adult or YA readers. Winners will be announced March 31, 2023.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $500 |3rd: $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 01, 2023


Genres

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

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Superhero Competition

Green Stories project at University of Southampton

Organised by the University of Southampton, Green Stories is a ‘free’ writing competition project with a range of categories for novelists and short story writers. Entries should conform with positive visions of more sustainable futures and/or the inclusion of green solutions but needn’t have an explicitly green theme.

Top prize

£500 prize

Additional prizes

A scene from the winner’s story turned into a 1-page comic strip, made by a professional artist.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: April 15, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story

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Jim Duggins, PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize

Lambda Literary

Dedicated to the memory of author and journalist Jim Duggins, this prize honors LGBTQ-identified authors who have published multiple novels, built a strong reputation and following, and show promise to continue publishing high quality work for years to come.

Top prize

$5000 (x2)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 17, 2023


Genres

Fiction, LGBTQ, Novel

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AWP Prize for the Novel

Association of Writers & Writing Programs

AWP sponsors the Award Series, an annual competition for the publication of excellent new book-length works. The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and is available to published and unpublished authors alike.

Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

Publication by New Issues Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: March 03, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Nimrod Literary Awards

Nimrold International Journal of Prose and Poetry

All finalists in fiction and poetry will be published and paid at our standard publication rate. Semi-finalists in poetry will also be published and paid at our standard publication rate.

Top prize

$2000 + Publication

Additional prizes

2nd: $1000 + Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: April 01, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Novel

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The Adventure Writers Competition

Adventure Writers

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $50

Deadline: April 30, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Thriller, Mystery

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Fiction Factory - Novel - First Chapter

Fiction Factory

The maximum length of the chapter must not exceed 5000 words (not including synopsis). If the chapters are short, we can except more, provided they remain within the word limit. The winning entry will be read by literary agent Joanna Swainson of the Hardman & Swainson Agency. Winning chapters (with the authors permission) will be published on our website. Results published: June 2023

Top prize

$610

Additional prizes

A reading by a top London Literary Agent plus publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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The 2023 Bloom Writing Contest

The European Society of Literature

The 2023 Bloom Writing Contest is a writing competition that seeks to find hidden talent in the literary scene. The contest will place heavy emphasis on works of deep meaning, aesthetic beauty and literary quality—just as Harold Bloom did. The 2023 Bloom Writing Contest accepts submissions of all types, whether it be an essay, a poem, a short story.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $3

Deadline: May 01, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Memoir, Novel, Poetry

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Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Ayn Rand Institute

The Atlas Shrugged novel essay contest is open to all students globally. Atlas Shrugged is a heroic mystery novel written by Ayn Rand. Choose a prompt and write a 800-1,600 word essay.

Top prize

$10,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $2,000 (x3) | 3rd: $1,000 (x5) | 25 finalists: $100 | 50 semifinalists: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: November 06, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Thriller, Young Adult

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Quill & Ink Literary Festival

Grassroots Literary Magazine

Three awards will be given out to authors in categories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, with a special fourth award being given to a standout self-published work. Each winning author will be awarded $1,500, given the author attends the festival to host a workshop decided by the festival staff. A two-night hotel stay will be provided.

Top prize

$1,500 x4

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: February 19, 2023


Genres

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

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The Big Moose Prize

Black Lawrence Press

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication. The Big Moose Prize is open to traditional novels as well as novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, and other hybrid forms that contain within them the spirit of a novel.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication, 10 copies of your book

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $27

Deadline: January 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Poetry, Short Story

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Bridport Novel Award

Bridport Arts Centre

Your novel doesn't have to be finished. We initially need only 5,000 to 8,000 words plus a 300 word synopsis. If you're long listed we'll ask for a total of 15,000 words, including your original word count. Shortlisted? Then we need a total 30,000 words, again including your original entry and long listed word count. It all adds up to an incredible opportunity.

Top prize

£1500

Additional prizes

£750 for the runner up and three prizes of £150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $29

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

Chicken House Books

We're looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love! To enter, you must have written a full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged between 7 and 18 years. We suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts do not exceed 80,000 words. The IET 150 Award will be awarded to a manuscript that celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Top prize

A worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House & royalty advance of £10,000

Additional prizes

An offer of representation from a top literary agent

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 01, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Young Adult

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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

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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 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel

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Debut Dagger

Crime Writer's Association

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $41

Deadline: February 28, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Suspense, Thriller

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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

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James Jones First Novel Fellowship

Wilkes University

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not published a novel. Runners-up will receive $1000. A selection from the winning work is published in Provincetown Arts.

Top prize

$10,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $33

Deadline: March 15, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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The Killer Nashville Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

Every year, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. While we cannot guarantee that winners and finalists of this award will receive publication, dozens of winners & runners-up of the Claymore award have gone on to find great success in their careers and many of them attribute that success to this award.

Top prize

Publishing contract

Additional prizes

Discounted admission to Killer Nashville, introductions to agents/editors

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 01, 2023


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Novel Writing Competition 2022

Write the World

Novel writing is about personally inhabiting the world of your characters. And yet a novel also requires looking inward—reflecting on your own experience and interior life to develop authentic, three-dimensional characters. This November, join thousands of other writers in the honorable pursuit of novel writing (it’s National Novel Writing Month!) and then submit an excerpt to us.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Runner-up: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: November 22, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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HFC Book of the Year Contest

The Historical Fiction Company

An exclusive book contest for Historical Fiction, including all subgenres of historical romance, mystery, fantasy, time travel, alternate history, YA/children, non-fiction, and novellas. We have sixteen categories with gold, silver, and bronze winners in each category. The top prize is chosen from the gold category winners and receives $1000 in cash plus a stunning crystal trophy and our new prize - a one-of-a-kind leather-bound book of the winning book.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $50

Deadline: November 29, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, Young Adult

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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

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George Garrett Fiction Prize

Texas Review Press

Established in 1998, The George Garrett Fiction Prize highlights one book a year for excellence in a short story collection or novel. Since 2019, the prize comes with a $1,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Standard royalty contract with TRP and 20 author copies of the published book

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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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

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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, 2023


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller

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Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest

Fiction Collective Two

The FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest is open to any writer in English who has not previously published with FC2. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

Publication by FC2

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: November 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story, Novella

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Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize

Fiction Collective 2

The FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize is open to any writer in English with at least three books of fiction published. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length.

Top prize

$15,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: November 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Short Story

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The First Page Challenge

The Darling Axe

If you want a reader to buy your book or an agent to offer you representation, then it only makes sense to have a stunning first page. That's what the First Page Challenge is all about—we're open to fiction or narrative nonfiction, short stories or full-length manuscripts. Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: "How likely am I to turn this page and keep reading?"

Top prize

$700 CAD

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Short Story

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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 (Expired)


Genres

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

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ScienceQuest NextGen Science Literary Writing Competition

Zoomcatchers

Established to recognize and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, this science literary competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Writing samples submitted must be from the genres of: Science fiction, Dystopian, Futuristic, Fantasy, Paranormal ​​ We accept essay, short story, and novel submissions up to 15 pages in length, double-spaced.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Consultation with literary agent Leticia Gomez

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: September 05, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Novel, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Young Adult

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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

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Calvino Prize

University of Louisville

The Calvino Prize is an annual fiction competition sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the English Department of the University of Louisville. They will be awarded to outstanding pieces of fiction in the fabulist experimentalist style of Italo Calvino. The first place entry will be published in Miracle Monocle journal at the University of Louisville.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Miracle Monocle

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Novel, Novella, Short Story

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The Bath Children’s Novel Award

The Bath Novel Awards

The Bath Children’s Novel Award is an annual international prize for emerging novelists writing for children or teens. Submissions are the first 5,000 words plus one page synopsis. A children’s literary agent will judge the winning manuscript from a shortlist chosen by Junior Judges aged seven to seventeen.

Top prize

£3000

Additional prizes

Manuscript feedback from junior judges, literary agent introductions, novel editing course

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $34

Deadline: November 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Young Adult

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Best Indie Book Award

Best Indie Book Award

The annual Best Indie Book Award® (or BIBA®) is an international literary awards contest recognizing self-published and independently published authors from all over the world. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

Top prize

Trophy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $65

Deadline: October 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Time Travelers Contest

Neovel

The theme of this contest is Time travel. To respect the theme of the contest, the main character or characters of your entry must go through a change of temporality and must have a significant impact on the plot. This change must occur in the story before the end of the fourth chapter and must be mentioned in your book description.

Top prize

€2000

Additional prizes

2nd: €750 3rd: €250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 25, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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