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DIRECTORY

Best Novella Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 24 contests that match your search.

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

The Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction) is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Three Winners are awarded, and 20 entries are Shortlisted.

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: February 29, 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 Seeking most unpublished (we accept some self/indie published) novels, novellas, story collections, nonfiction, poetry etc. 20 entries are longlisted.

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: October 31, 2023 (Expired)

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story, and Novella

Geminga is a neutron star so small it was difficult to detect. With Geminga: $500 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art, Sunspot Lit honors the power of the small. No restrictions on theme or category. Word limit is 100 for fiction and nonfiction. Micropoetry is limited to 140 characters. Graphic novels should be 4 pages or less.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication in digital and print

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

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Best Indie Book Award

Best Indie Book Award

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

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.

💰 Entry fee: $65

📅 Deadline: August 15, 2024

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)

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

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 fee: $15

📅 Deadline: March 24, 2024

Genres: Christian, Fantasy, Novel, Novella, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, and Young Adult

The Christy Award® was established in 1999 to acknowledge the value and impact of the novel of faith in contemporary culture. Since that time, the Christys have been a focal point for the writers and publishers in our community.

💰 Entry fee: $175

📅 Deadline: March 31, 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: 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

Passionate Plume

Passionate Ink

Genres: Fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, and Short Story

The 2024 Passionate Plume celebrates the best in erotic fiction, both long and short, and features a special category for emerging authors.

Additional prizes:

Publication in the Passionate Ink Charity Anthology

💰 Entry fee: $40

📅 Deadline: March 21, 2024

Genres: Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Travel

GVCA is excited to announce the ninth annual New Deal Writing Competition! This competition challenges writers to use a painting chosen by the staff at GVCA as inspiration for a short story. This year’s painting is “Playtime” by Fred Ross.

Top Prize:

$200

Additional prizes:

Publication in newsletter

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: March 15, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, and Novella

We are seeking fiction and creative nonfiction of every genre. The contest is open to authors who have not been published by a major press. We publish in English, but the contest is open to writers from anywhere in the world. The early-bird entry fee (December 15th-February 15th) will be $25.

Top Prize:

$1,500

Additional prizes:

Two runner ups will be selected, each receiving $700.

💰 Entry fee: $30

📅 Deadline: July 15, 2022 (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.

Additional prizes:

£200, a write-up

💰 Entry fee: $60

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Script Writing, and Short Story

Literary or genre works accepted. Winner receives $500 plus publication, while runners-up and finalists are offered publication. No restrictions on theme or category. Closes: February 29. Entry fee: $12.50. Enter as many times as you like through Submittable or Duotrope

Additional prizes:

Runners-up and finalists are offered publication

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: February 29, 2024 (Expired)

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

We are looking for short stories that respond in any way to: 7:12am. You can use that in the text, as a theme, or any way you want. We accept any prose genre and any length of story up to 6k words. We’re looking for writers who have exciting voices and can move us - that can happen in any genre of prose. We’re not accepting plays or poetry for this competition.

Additional prizes:

2nd: £50 | 3rd & 4th: £25 | 10 short-listed entries: publication

💰 Entry fee: $8

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024

Ghost Novellas for the "Presence" Collection

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Novella, and Thriller

Ghost novellas wanted from (but not limited to) underrepresented authors by April 31, 2024. Entries must be between 15,000-25,000 words, incorporating BIPOC cultures, traditions, and histories. Selected submissions receive $1000 USD and publication within Kinsman Quarterly’s journal and the “Presence” collection. $25 submission fee required.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication in the Kinsman Quarterly and the "Presence" collection

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024

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)

Clash of the Query Letters

Darling Axe Editing

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

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?

Additional prizes:

CAD $200 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place

💰 Entry fee: $4

📅 Deadline: January 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, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Reader Views Literary Awards program helps level the playing field for self-published authors, recognizing the most creative and exciting new books in the industry. Our awards program is recognized industry-wide as one of the top literary awards programs for independent authors.

Top Prize:

$2,500

Additional prizes:

Several marketing prizes (e.g. book review)

💰 Entry fee: $89

📅 Deadline: December 15, 2024

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.

Additional prizes:

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

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Young Adult

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.

Additional prizes:

An offer of representation from a top literary agent

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: June 01, 2024

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

Genres: Fiction and Novella

Established in 2001, The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize highlights one book a year that excels in the novella format. Since 2019 the Prize comes with $500, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

A Standard Royalty contract, 20 copies of the novella published

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: March 31, 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 3 Copy test | 2024-02

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