The Best Novel Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 73 contests


Caledonia Novel Award

Caledonia Novel Award

Now in our ninth year of competition, we are an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. This year's judge is Charlotte Seymour, literary agent at Johnson & Alcock. On top of the £1,500 top prize, the best entry from the UK and Ireland will receive a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Top prize

£1, 500

Additional prizes

Free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: November 01, 2022


Genres

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

View contest

First 5 Pages Prize

Stockholm Writers Festival

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

Quill Prose Award 2020

Red Hen Press

Queer literature is often found in the side stacks, in the back of the bookstore, under “Gay and Lesbian.” These authors are put into a genre that barely fits them, excluded from mainstream funding, and more. Red Hen Press seeks to work against the politics of labeling while honoring and empowering authors who identify as queer through this contest.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

UNO Press Publishing Lab

UNO Press

We are looking to publish the best novel/short story collection written this year. The selected author will receive a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) advance on royalties and a contract to publish with UNO Press.

Top prize

$10,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story

View contest

Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction

Dzanc Books

The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction recognizes daring, original, and innovative writing in novel form.

Top prize

$5,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Dzanc Books

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

Grindstone International Novel Prize

Grindstone Literary

The 2022 Grindstone International Novel Prize is open to authors from all around the world, and is aimed at discovering and elevating new and unsung authors. Authors may submit finished or part-finished manuscripts providing they are not currently represented by an agent. We forward all longlisted works to some of the best agencies in the UK such as Curtis Brown Books, Conville and Walsh, Janklow & Nesbitt, the Paper Literary Agency, the Good Literary Agency, and so many more. A full list can be found on our Affiliated Agents Page.

Top prize

$1,300

Additional prizes

Cash prizes and manuscripts forwarded to UK agencies

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $26

Deadline: October 01, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

The Synopsis Skirmish—a contest for querying authors

Darling Axe Editing

Summarize your novel in 500 words for a chance at a $1000 CAD prize pool! Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: "Does this synopsis convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?"

Top prize

$560

Additional prizes

$200 for second place, $100 for third

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

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

View contest

Fiction Factory - Novel - First Chapter

Fiction Factory

Have you completed the first draft of your novel? Are you ready to pass it on to a fresh pair of eyes, to see if you are on the right track? Is your all-important first chapter ready for submission to an agent? Whatever your plans, your first chapter must shine – it must grab your readers or quickly lose their interest.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

A reading by a top London Literary Agent plus publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

Passionate Plume

Passionate Ink

Contest is open to all erotic fiction works published the previous year (eg 2021). Erotic romance stories have HEA and the romantic relationship grows through sexual interaction. Erotic fiction entries do not require an HEA/HFN.

Top prize

Engraved award

Additional prizes

Newsletter/Social Media promotion

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: March 21, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, Short Story

View contest

2023 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: December 31, 2023


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Novel, Short Story

View contest

The Writerwerx University Novel Opening Contest

Writerwerx University

Submit the first 1,000 words of your published book.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd Place: $1,000 cash/prizes, 3rd Place $100 cash/prizes

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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

$675

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $49

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Suspense, Thriller

View contest

First Novel Award

Blue Pencil Agency

The Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors for a novel in any adult fiction genre. The winner and runners-up will receive an agent introduction and possibly a manuscript review.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

Agent introduction, manuscript review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $27

Deadline: May 29, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

Red Hen Press Fiction Award

Red Hen Press

The Red Hen Fiction Award is for a fresh and original story of fiction with a minimum of 150 pages. The awarded manuscript is selected through an annual submission process which is open to all authors. Award is $1000 and publication of the awarded manuscript by Red Hen Press.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story, Essay, Memoir, Novel

View contest

Red Hen Press Novella Award

https://redhen.org/awards/

Established in 2018, the Novella Award is for a previously unpublished, original work of fiction between 15,000 and 30,000 words. Beginning in 2021, the Novella Award will be held biennially in even-numbered years. The award will open for submissions on January 31, 2022.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: July 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella

View contest

Quills Award

League of Utah Writers

The Quills Awards are open to League of Utah Writers members who have published a book in the past year.

Top prize

Trophy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: May 13, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella

View contest

Chapter One Prize

Gutsy Great Novelist

Submissions open Feb 1 – Mar 1. The Gutsy Great Novelist Chapter One Prize is awarded for an outstanding first chapter of an unpublished novel. First prize is $1,000; 2nd is $500; and 3rd is $250. The prize is open to anyone over 18 writing a novel in English in any genre for adult or YA readers. Winners announced Mar 15, 2022 on prize website and via social media.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd is $500; and 3rd is $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Young Adult

View contest

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

View contest

The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media

The Dante Rossetti Awards Categories are: Contemporary Young Adult; SFF & Paranormal; Dystopian/Edgy/Urban; Mystery/Thriller/Suspense; Historical Young Adult; YA Adventure/Romance. The Chanticleer Prize Package includes: A Prize Ribbon to use in promotion at book signings and book festivals Digital Badges for display on your website or incorporation into book covers Book stickers to identify your print books to bookstore shoppers as they browse.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $99

Deadline: June 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel

View contest

Annual Novel Opening Competition

Flash 500

We are looking for an opening chapter up to 3,000 words, plus a one page synopsis outlining the balance of your story of any genre, so long as it's unpublished.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

2nd Place: £200

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $13

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

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 (Expired)


Genres

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

View contest

FHL Readers' Choice Awards

Faith, Hope, Love Christian Romance Writers

The FHLRCA is open to all writers, members of FHL as well as non-members, who are published in Christian fiction. Books entered in the FHLRCA must be written from a Christian worldview.

Top prize

Certificate and engraved box

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: March 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Christian, Romance, Novel, Novella, Short Story, Suspense

View contest

Maggie Award for Published Writers

Georgia Romance Writers

The purpose of the Published Maggie Award for Excellence is to recognize the achievements of Published authors of romantic fiction. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) to bring special attention to these authors. Opens February 14th, 2022.

Top prize

Medallion

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: March 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Romance, Novel

View contest

Inkitt Thriller Contest

Inkitt

Submit your mystery, thriller, suspense, or horror novel for the chance to become a published author and win huge cash prizes!

Top prize

$20,000

Additional prizes

2nd prize: $10,000 3rd prize: $5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Novel, Thriller

View contest

The Bath Novel Award

The Bath Novel Awards

The Bath Novel Award is a £3,000 international prize for emerging writers of adult fiction. Submit the first 5,000 words plus a one page synopsis of your novel for adults or young adults. Shortlisted entries will receive manuscript feedback and literary agent introductions.

Top prize

£3,000

Additional prizes

literary agent introductions

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $38

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Young Adult

View contest

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

Consideration by Braveship Books for publishing/promotion, free book trailer, free editing sample

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: April 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Thriller, Mystery

View contest

Nimrod Literary Awards

Nimrold International Journal of Prose and Poetry

The Awards are among the most distinguished literary prizes in the country. Past judges include Karen Russell, Stanley Kunitz, Marvin Bell and Mark Doty. Poetry submissions should be 3-10 pages of poetry (one long poem or several short poems), and fiction submissions should be 7,500 words maximum (one short story or a self-contained excerpt from a novel).

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: April 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Novel

View contest

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: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

View contest

Crucible First Novel Award

Grindstone Literary

The Crucible First Novel Award is a brand new, free to enter competition for unrepresented authors. We are looking for the best new novels in crime, mystery, and thriller, and are asking entrants to submit the first 5,000 words of their manuscripts, along with a 150 word 'elevator pitch'. We will choose the best 20-30 entries, and compile them into the Crucible Chapbook, which will be sent to a list of agents and agencies.

Top prize

Published in chapbook & sent to agencies

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novel, Thriller

View contest

Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition

Minotaur Books & Malice Domestic

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: November 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Novel

View contest

Tony Hillerman Prize for Best First Mystery set in the Southwest

Minotaur Books

Welcome to the Tony Hillerman Prize for Best First Mystery Set in the Southwest Competition! Please read all of the rules and guidelines before submitting your entry. You can find the complete rules and guidelines on our website.

Top prize

$10,000 advance

Additional prizes

Contract with Minotaur Books

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Novel

View contest

Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller

View contest

Find the perfect editor for your next book

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