The Best Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

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Nowhere Emerging Travel Writers' Prize

Nowhere Magazine

We are looking for never-been-published travel writers from anywhere in the world to send us stories—fiction, nonfiction, essay or poetry—that possess a powerful sense of place, people and time.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in Nowhere Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Juniper Prizes

University of Massachusetts Press

The Juniper Prizes for Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction are awarded annually to original manuscripts: two books of poetry, one work of creative nonfiction, one short story collection, and one novel. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by University of Massachusetts Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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The Don Belton Fiction Reading Period

Indiana Review

Indiana Review and Indiana University Press are proud to present the Don Belton Fiction Reading Period. Between May 1 and June 30, we will read fiction manuscripts of up to 80,000 words. The winning manuscript will be published by IU Press and the author will receive $1,000 against future royalties and a standard publication contract with IU Press.

Top prize

Publication by IU Press

Additional prizes

$1,000 against future royalties, a standard publication contract with IU Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Edwin Markham Prize for Poetry

Reed Magazine

The Edwin Markham Prize honors outstanding works of poetry. Our taste is eclectic and celebrates the wonderful diversity of forms, styles, and levels of diction available to the contemporary poet. Writers may submit up to five (5) poems per submission.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: November 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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John Steinbeck Award for Fiction

Reed Magazine

Awarding one of the richest purses among literary magazines—$1,000 for the winning story—the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction recognizes exceptional works of fiction. Aesthetically, we are open to most styles and approaches. All works should be stand-alone short stories, not chapters of a longer work. Please limit prose submissions to 5,000 words.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: November 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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"Matter" Anthology Poetry Contest

Oprelle

Oprelle's monthly poetry contest is for all of you out there who carry a scrappy notebook full of poems. Your soul is on that paper, and your words matter. Your poem, based on that month's theme, can be simple and uplifting, or complicated and metaphorical; any style works, if you follow the rules and write 14 or less lines. Oh, and make sure your poetry is 100% original. We will consider both published and unpublished poems.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication in Matter Anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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The Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction

The Lascaux Review

The Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction opens 1 April. Creative nonfiction may include memoirs, chronicles, personal essays, humorous perspectives, literary journalism—anything the author has witnessed, experienced, learned, or discovered. Pieces may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in the Lascaux Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

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The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction

The Lascaux Review

Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in The Lascaux Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Dzanc Books Nonfiction Prize

Dzanc Books

The Dzanc Books Nonfiction Prize honors an innovative and inspiring long-form works of nonfiction.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

Publication by Dzanc Books

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Non-fiction

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The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry

African Poetry Book Fund

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry is awarded annually to an African poet who has not yet published a collection of poetry. Along with $1,000, the winner recives book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. Poetry manuscripts should be at least 50 pages long. [Submissions open September 15, 2021]

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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An Axe to Grind - Flash Fiction Contest

The Darling Axe

Tell us a story in fewer than 1000 words for a chance to win from a growing prize pool, plus publication on the Chopping Blog.

Top prize

$700

Additional prizes

Publication on the Chopping Blog

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Flash Fiction

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Lighthouse Poetry Series

Cleveland State University Poetry Center

The Cleveland State University Poetry Center welcomes submissions for the Lighthouse Poetry Series. The Lighthouse Poetry Series publishes contemporary poetry from poets with any history of publication. The winner will receive $1,000, publication, and a standard royalty contract. This year’s contest will be judged by Randall Mann.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Royalty contract

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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Rattle Poetry Prize

Rattle

The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $15,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $500 each and publication, and be eligible for the $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.

Top prize

$15,000

Additional prizes

Published in the Winter 2020 issue of Rattle

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: July 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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SFPA Poetry Contest

Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA)

The annual SFPA Speculative (Dwarf/Short/Long) Poetry Contest is open to all poets, including non-members of the SFPA. Awards will be given across 3 categories.

Top prize

$150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $3

Deadline: August 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry, Fiction

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Zizzle Literary Flash Fiction Contest

Zizzle Literary

Every week during our submission period, we’ll post one-sentence dialogue writing prompts on our social media platforms. Choose a dialogue prompt that inspires you and write a story that includes the prompt.

Top prize

Additional prizes

1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: March 15, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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Women's National Book Association Writing Contest

Women's National Book Association

Do you want to show the world your writing? Then enter the 2020 WNBA Writing Contest! You can enter your work in four categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, flash prose, and poetry.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publishication in an anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: December 01, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Short Story Competition 2021

Exeter Writers

Exeter Writers runs an annual short story competition. The competition began in 2009 and is very popular, receiving entries from all over the world. The maximum word count is 3,000.

Top prize

$900

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: February 28, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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2021 Microfiction Contest

River Styx

500 words maximum per story, up to three stories per entry fee. (Additional stories are accepted with additional fees.)

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 31, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction

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Chalk Circle Short Story Competition

Chalk Circle

Whether you are creating a dystopian nightmare, revelling in absurdist humour, or writing stories to celebrate what you love, or have discovered, and fear to lose, we invite you to submit your story to our inaugural short story competition. The word limit is 2,000.

Top prize

$240

Additional prizes

Publication on website or anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: August 31, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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The Milt Kessler Poetry Award

Binghamton University

$1,000 Award for a book of poems written in English, 48 pages or more in length, selected by our judges as the strongest collection of poems published in 2019.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 01, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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Dartmouth Poet-In-Residence Award

Frost Place

The aim of this program is to select a poet who is at an artistic and personal crossroads, comparable to that faced by Robert Frost when he moved to Franconia in 1915, when he was not yet known to a broad public.

Top prize

$2,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: January 05, 2019 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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Atlantis Short Story Contest

Atlantis Short Story Contest

In its seventh year, the Atlantis Short Story Contest accepts entries from unpublished authors around the world who write their short stories in English and do not exceed the length of 2,500 words. They are looking for short stories that create exciting new worlds with dynamic characters.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

In-depth feedback

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: February 25, 2018 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Nelson Algren Short Story Award

Chicago Tribune

The 2018 Nelson Algren Literary Awards is sponsored by Chicago Tribune. Stories must be written in English, double-spaced, and no longer than 8,000 words. A total of 10 prizes will be made available during Contest: One Grand Prize: $3,500, Four Finalist Prizes: $1,000, Five Runner-up Prizes: $500.

Top prize

$3,500

Additional prizes

Publication in Printers Row

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 07, 2018 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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