The Best Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

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Showing 548 contests


The Exeter Novel Prize

Creative Writing Matters

We accept the first ten thousand words including synopsis of a novel that has not been accepted for publication by a traditional publishing house. We are delighted to welcome Kate Nash of the Kate Nash Literary Agency as our final judge.

Top prize

£500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $23

Deadline: January 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Self-Publishing Literary Awards

The Black Caucus of ALA

The Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) honors the best self-published ebooks by an African American author in the U.S. in the Fiction and Poetry genres.

Top prize

$500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Poetry

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Tusculum Review Poetry Chapbook Prize

The Tusculum Review

A prize of $1,000, publication of the chapbook in The Tusculum Review’s 2022 issue, and creation of a limited edition stand-alone chapbook is awarded for the winning collection of poems.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in The Tusculum Review, creation of a limited edition chapbook

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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The Gabo Prize in Translation & Multilingual Texts

Lunch Ticket

The Gabo Prize is funded by writers, translators, and Antioch University Los Angeles MFA Alumni, who launched the prize to support the work of peer translators. This cycle, we are seeking works dealing with the theme of "yet to emerge." Please send us works of translation less than 3,500 words long, that are fresh, current, and showcasing underrepresented authors, languages, and cultures.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication in Lunch Ticket

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Diana Woods Memorial Award

Lunch Ticket

Twice each year, in memory of Diana Woods, a work of creative nonfiction (3,500 words or less) is selected for the DWM award, and published in Lunch Ticket alongside two finalists. This cycle, we are seeking work on the theme of Openings. Send us your memoir, personal essays, and flash nonfiction that meets, exceeds, or explodes our expectations of how openings look, feel, and sound.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication in the Lunch Ticket Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Non-fiction

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The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award

The Ghost Story

The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award competition for full-length short stories on a supernatural theme is now open for submissions! Twice each year TGS awards $1,500 and both online and print publication to the winner of our short story competition.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

online and print publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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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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PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

PEN America

The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize recognizes 12 emerging writers for their debut short story published in a literary magazine, journal, or cultural website. The 12 winning stories are selected by a committee of three judges who are well-respected experts in the art of the short story. The winning writers each receive a $2,000 cash prize and will be published by Catapult in their annual anthology.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Catapult

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: November 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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All-Story Short Fiction Competition

Zoetrope

The three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation by a number of literary agencies. Guest Judge: Daniel Mason, finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd $500; 3rd $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: October 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Baton Rouge Area Foundation

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence honors Louisiana’s revered storyteller, Ernest J. Gaines, and serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level. Authors may submit a work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that will be published in 2021. Galleys for a 2021 publication are also accepted. The cash prize is to support and enable the writer to focus on writing.

Top prize

$15,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: August 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story

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1/2K Prize

Indiana Review

Send us up to 3 pieces of no more than 500 words each in any genre for a chance to win $1000 + publication. This year’s final judge is Taylor Johnson. Submit your work from July 1 through August 15!

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: August 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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Dateline Hastings 23-09-21

Hastings LitFest ltd.

A contest for poetry, short stories & life writing based on current events. Up to 12 winners will be invited to an all-day workshop in Hastings on 23/09/21, working with editors to prepare their pieces for publication. Three prizes of £100 will also be given. The resulting anthology Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21 will be published two days later at a launch event with Hastings Literary Festival patron Sir David Hare.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

workshop & publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: July 24, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Dillydoun International Fiction Prize

The Dillydoun Review

International fiction contest open to all genres, themes, and subjects. 8,000 word max / no minimum. Short story, flash fiction, self-contained excerpts from longer works welcome. Entries must be written in English.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd $1,000, 3rd $500, Honorable Mention $50, Publication in Print Anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Page One Prize for Novelists

Gutsy Great Novelist

The Page One Prize, brought to you by award-winning novelist Joan Dempsey, is open to all writers over 18 who are working on an as-yet-unpublished novel. This prize aims to find the best FIRST PAGE written in the English language. Any genre for adults or young adults is eligible.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd $500; 3rd $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: July 07, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Justice Centre Essay Contest

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms asks Canadian students to answer (in 1000-2500 words) the following question: Should citizens who refuse to get vaccinated have the same rights and freedoms as those who do get vaccinated? This contest is open to all Canadian youth who will be between the age of 15–24 on the date they submit their essay.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

$1000 for 2nd, $500 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: October 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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The Tamaqua Award for a Collection of Essays

Hidden River Arts

Hidden River Arts offers an award of $1,000 and publication by Hidden River Press, an imprint of Hidden River Publishing, for an original collection of essays. Previous publication of individual essays is acceptable, as long as you include the list of the published essays, the journals and magazines where they appeared, and authorize that the publication rights have reverted to you, as author.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Hidden River Arts

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Non-fiction

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Poetry Competition

Globe Soup

We’re looking for the best POEM of up to 50 lines. The theme for Globe Soup Poetry Competitions is always: ‘Poetry with a Sense of Place’. We accept all forms and styles of poetry. We can’t wait to see where this competition takes you!

Top prize

£1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: August 24, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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Put Your Heart in a Book Contest

New Jersey Romance Writers

Submissions will consist of a FIRST chapter, not to exceed 30 pages, and a PROJECTED WORD COUNT of the completed manuscript. A prologue may be included as part of the first chapter, if within page total guidelines. An UNJUDGED SYNOPSIS must be included at the end of the submission, clearly defined with a page break and titled "SYNOPSIS". The synopsis will not count toward the page count.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Social media promotion, feedback from 2 published authors

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: August 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Novel

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IFW Sci-Fi First Pages Contest

Institute for Writers

Can you establish your science fiction world and pull a reader into your story in the first 1,000 words? Submit the first 1,000 words of your unpublished sci-fi manuscript aimed at an adult (or young adult) audience for your chance to win the grand prize.

Top prize

$650

Additional prizes

Critique from an IFW Instructor

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $19

Deadline: August 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Science Fiction

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Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Contest

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. This year's genre is sweet romance, and the theme is first love.

Top prize

Publication by Freedom Fox Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Science Fiction, Romance

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Edinburgh Award for Flash Fiction

Scottish Arts Trust

The Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award is open to writers worldwide, published and unpublished, and for stories on any topic up to 250 words. Chief judges are the celebrated authors Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh. The top twenty authors will be given free tickets to our annual Flash Bash at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh, where everyone will present their stories and the prize-winners will be announced.

Top prize

£1000

Additional prizes

Second £300, Third £150, Publication for top twenty in our next anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: August 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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Short Story Contest

Writers' Mastermind

You’ve got something special. We want to get it out into the world. The Writers’ Mastermind is holding a short story contest for writers of all levels and all genres. 1K-5K words. Previously published work is accepted.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication and social media promotion, 6 months free membership to the Writers' Mastermind

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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Dialogue Only

The Write Contest and Community

The Write Contest and Community is now accepting entries to our Dialogue Only Contest. The Dialogue Only Contest is an opportunity to create a clear and compelling story using nothing but dialogue. Your entry can be up to 250 words.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Cash prizes for top three entries.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 18, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story

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The Jericho Prize for Children's Writing

Jericho Prize

The Jericho Prize for Children's Writing is a brand-new competition, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It’s open to unpublished and self-published Black-British writers over the age of 18. This year, they’re looking for writers with great stories to inspire children aged 4 years plus and 7–9.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Exclusive access to publishing professionals.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: September 02, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction

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Horizons

SaveAs Writers

2021 marks the centenary of T S Eliot’s visit to Margate, where he wrote part of The Waste Land. To celebrate his work and the views from our coastline, SaveAs Writers launch their annual international creative writing competition, this year asking for poems and short stories on the theme of Horizons. The theme can be literal, figurative, a celebration of views, a reflection on Eliot and his work, or a broader take on the theme.

Top prize

£200

Additional prizes

£100 second place, £50 third place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: August 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry, Short Story

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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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Grindstone Short Story Prize

Grindstone Literary

The Grindstone Short Story Prize returns this year, seeking out the best short fiction writers from around the world. Writers are asked to submit a piece of short fiction between 1000 and 3000 words, of any genre, aimed at adult readers.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

£200 runner-up, £50 four shortlisters

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: August 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Short Story

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Impress Prize

Impress Books

The Impress Prize for New Writers is part of the Untold Publishing Group, and the winner of the prize will be published by one of Untold Publishing’s imprints. Entries should comprise of a book proposal and a sample chapter. We accept both fiction and non-fiction across most genres (excluding poetry and children 's fiction, however we will consider Young Adult submissions).

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Possibility of a publishing contract with one of Untold Publishing's imprints

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Young Adult

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Annual Short Story Contest

Flash 500

We are looking for stories (of any genre) ranging between 1,000 and 3,000 words, with strong characters, a well-crafted plot and realistic dialogue (where used). Make us laugh, make us cry, but most of all, make us feel!

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

£200 for 2nd place, £100 for 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Vocal Challenges

Creatd

Enter themed storytelling contests to put your creativity to the test and be in with a chance of winning cash prizes and more. To submit, you'll need to sign up for a monthly fee of $9.99, or $4.99/month for 3 months.

Top prize

$1,000 — $5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Youth Writing Contest

The Vancouver Writers Fest

The Vancouver Writers Fest's annual youth writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 8-12 in British Columbia. Entries will be accepted for previously unpublished short stories (fiction or non-fiction) and personal essays: 1,500 word limit. The first-prize winner will receive a $200 cash prize and the second-prize winner, a $100 cash prize.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Short Story, Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction

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Typehouse Literary Magazine Open Fiction Contest

Typehouse Literary Magazine

We are pleased to announce Typehouse Literary Magazine 's third biennial Open Fiction Contest! All pieces must be between 1000-6000 words, entries must be previously unpublished and all genres are accepted.

Top prize

$175

Additional prizes

$100 for second place and $50 for third place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Nowhere Magazine Spring 2021 Travel Writing Contest

Nowhere Magazine

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a travel-specific short story, long-form creative nonfiction piece, poem or essay that possesses a powerful sense of place, character or time. Unpublished and published pieces that have not previously been chosen as a contest winner are eligible. Submit your 800- to 5,000-word piece with a $20 entry fee by June 30, 2021.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Nowhere magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Jane Martin Poetry Prize (UK)

Girton College

A UK-only competition for young poets (aged 18-30 years). The winners receive a cash prize of £700 and have an opportunity to give a reading at a celebratory event at Girton College.

Top prize

£700

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: March 05, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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Colorado Gold Writing Contest for Unpublished Writers

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

Offers emerging writers a chance to get their work seen by acquiring agents and editors. For unpublished writers of novel-length commercial fiction.

Top prize

$150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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