The Best Novella Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 35 contests


The Book of the Year Awards

The Independent Author Network

The Independent Author Network presents the 2024 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 requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: August 15, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Indignor Play House Annual Short Story Competition

Indignor House Publishing

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $20

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, Young Adult

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Inception 2023

Sunspot Lit

Beginnings have the power to spark passion or curiosity. They might immediately connect a specific place and time with an emotional tone. The best openings offer a feeling, atmosphere, action, or image that is gripping, and hints at more to come. For Sunspot Lit’s Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in digital and print editions

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: July 31, 2023 (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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Miami University Novella Prize

Miami University

The Miami University Novella Prize is awarded annually to a novella-length manuscript of original fiction (18,000–40,000 words). The winner receives $1,000, a standard contract, publication and 20 copies of the book.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication through the University of Miami Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: August 30, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novella

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Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

University of North Texas Press

The University of North Texas Press announces the 2024 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. The winner of this annual award will receive $1000 and publication by UNT Press. Entries will be judged by an eminent writer.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by UNT Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 30, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Novella, Short Story

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Novella Competition

Weatherglass Books

Write a work of literary fiction of novella length (20k-40k words) and be published by Weatherglass Books. Ali Smith will judge the short list.

Top prize

Advance of £1000 | Published by Autumn 2024

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $19

Deadline: August 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novella

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The Paul Cave Prize for Literature

Tim Saunders Publications

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.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2023


Genres

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

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Quill and Keyboard Teen International Writing Competition

Quills and Keyboard

We are made of students hosting a contest for teen & YA authors. There are 15 categories, from journalism to a section for novelists’ favorite chapters. Qualified judges will send feedback on each piece. We partnered with many writing organizations such as Teen Author Boot Camp and Newpages and recognized by non-profits such as Polyphony Lit.

Top prize

Publication in Under the Madness and Skipping Stones

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 20, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Reader Views Literary Awards

Reader Views

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $89

Deadline: December 31, 2023


Genres

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

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Black Orchid Novella Award

Wolfe Pack & Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novella

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The Synopsis Skirmish—a contest for querying authors

Darling Axe Editing

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?" According to literary agent Sarah Davies, a good query submission can be described in terms of concept and craft. In other words, you want to convey an original idea or fresh take and demonstrate a mastery of narrative structure. These elements are both important in your pitch, but even more so in your synopsis. So lay out your story's chain of consequence, and demonstrate character, context, and conflict—with style but without gimmick. And may the best plot summary win!

Top prize

$700 CAD

Additional prizes

2nd: $200 CAD | 3rd: $100 CAD

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: May 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

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

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The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize

Texas Review

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novella

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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 (Expired)


Genres

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

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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 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Suspense, Thriller

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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 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novella, Short Story

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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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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 (Expired)


Genres

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

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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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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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Gothic Novella Contest

Briar Press NY

Briar Press NY is looking for a Novella in the Gothic tradition, previously unpublished and set in any historical time period and place/culture up until 1970. We are looking for beautiful writing, an engaging plot, memorable characters, and that authentic Gothic atmosphere (classic tropes are welcomed, but we also want substance and depth!) 75 to 150 pp long (18,000 to 38,000 words)

Top prize

Publication with Briar Press NY in Autumn 2022

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: July 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novella, Romance, Thriller

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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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Tales By Moonlight

Ankara Circle

The Tales By Moonlight Contest is a novella writing competition. The genre for the competition is fiction and the theme is magic. Contest entries can range from 7,500 - 40,000 words in length. Winners will be decided by a public voting system.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication on platform

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Novella

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Novella-in-Flash Award

Bath Flash Fiction Award

The goal of the Novella-in-Flash Award is to promote flash fiction for both writers and readers and to bring the genre to a wider audience. There is a 6000 to 18000 word limit and each flash (or chapter) should not be more than about 1000 words.

Top prize

£300

Additional prizes

£100 for two runners-up, publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $19

Deadline: January 15, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Novel, Short Story, Novella

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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

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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

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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 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella

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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

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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 (Expired)


Genres

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

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MBF/de Groot Prize

Miami Book Fair

The Miami Book Fair has partnered with The de Groot Foundation to launch the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize to be awarded to an author for an unpublished novella. We created the MBF/de Groot Prize to fan the flame in emerging writers who yearn to be published. We want the prize to bring out the best in new authors who have a story that needs to be heard.

Top prize

$6,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Melville House & an expense-paid trip to the Miami Book Fair

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novella

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SFWP Literary Awards

SFWP

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: July 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella

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The Rubery Prize

Rubery Book Awards

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 requirements

💰 Fee: $60

Deadline: March 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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First Chapters Contest

CRAFT

We are looking for excerpts of book-length fiction, up to 5,000 words total. Please submit the first chapter (or chapters) of your unpublished novels/novellas, completed or in progress. Masie Cochran of Tin House is our guest judge.

Top prize

$2,800

Additional prizes

publication in CRAFT magazine + manuscript critique

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Novella

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