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Best Science Writing Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 17 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

Free to enter. Seeking 0-5000 word (poetry: 15 pgs) excerpts of unpublished books (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction), including most self-published and indie-published works. 2-4 Winners (publication of extract is optional). We Shortlist 10-20 writers. Open to writers from anywhere in the world, with no theme or genre restrictions. Judged blind.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Optional Publication of Excerpt, Letter of Recommendation

📅 Deadline: May 01, 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

Genres: Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, Crime, Humor, and Science Writing

2-4 Winners are published. We Shortlist 10-20 writers. Seeking Nonfiction 0-5000 words. Judges’ feedback available. Open to writers from anywhere in the world, with no theme or genre restrictions. Judged blind. All entries considered for publication + submission to Pushcart.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication by The Letter Review

💰 Entry fee: $2

📅 Deadline: May 01, 2024 (Expired)

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100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Children's, Poetry, Romance, Short Story, Suspense, and Travel

Can you write a story using 100 words or less? Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. The first-place prize has doubled to $2,000 USD.

Top Prize:

$2,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: writing coach package

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Short Story

CAPTRS is building a catalog of threats, called the “Universe of Threats,” which will be used to prepare decision makers for future threats. We invite you to submit a 2,500 word or less story describing a threat scenario related to natural disasters, including floods, wildfires, hurricanes or another natural disaster of your choosing.

Top Prize:

$5,000

Additional prizes:

2nd: $2,500 | 3rd: $1,000 | Publication on CAPTRS website

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

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

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Short Story

The Future Scholar Foundation's (FSF) monthly short story competitions are designed to enhance students' communication skills and foster impactful self-expression in their daily lives. The FSF's competitons have reached over 1,500 students in over 8 US states and were featured in The Seattle Times and Northwest Asian Weekly. Participate now for the chance to earn prizes up to $25 and publication on the Future Scholar Foundation's website!

Top Prize:

$25 Amazon gift card

Additional prizes:

Publication on website

📅 Deadline: May 28, 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.

Top Prize:

$1000 USD shared by 3 winners

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

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, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult, Flash Fiction, and Science Writing

One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers and closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, putting over $150k into the hands of emerging talent around the globe so far. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. June's theme is Secret Societies.

Top Prize:

$3,000

Additional prizes:

10x Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD | Free entry to Novelist Accelerator

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: July 01, 2024

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing, and Short Story

The Brink Literary Journal Award for Hybrid Writing will be administered to the winner of a literary contest designed to champion innovative hybrid and cross-genre work.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $22

📅 Deadline: February 16, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction challenges writers to create an original piece of flash fiction based on two typical writing prompts plus one ""anti-prompt"". An anti-prompt is a challenge to break a specific “rule” of writing while telling a great story. Participants compete for AU$2,000 in cash prizes, including AU$1,000 for the winner, cash prizes for the entire shortlist and two bonus ‘wildcard’ prizes. Winners are read aloud on the Not Quite Write podcast, where the judges share in-depth analysis about the entries and offer free writing advice. The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction is hosted in Australia and open to all writers of any age and level of ability around the world.

Top Prize:

$1,000 AUD

Additional prizes:

Publication on the Not Quite Write website and podcast

💰 Entry fee: $16

📅 Deadline: July 21, 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.

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 fee: $25

📅 Deadline: June 01, 2024 (Expired)

Summer Nanofiction Battle

Writing Battle

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

Two days to write a 250 word short story. The peer-powered quarterly writing contest where every story receives oodles of feedback. Write one. Read ten. Win thousands.

Top Prize:

Genre Winner (x4): $1,500

Additional prizes:

Genre Runner-up (x4): $375 | Feedback by industry professionals

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: August 02, 2024

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Storytrade Book Awards recognizes excellence in small and independent publishing. Open to all indie authors and publishers including self-published authors, university presses, and small or independent presses, our annual awards program spotlights outstanding books in a number of fiction and nonfiction categories.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Medal, Book Stickers, Digital Seal

💰 Entry fee: $75

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Science Writing, and Science Fiction

Share a Science Fiction themed story to enter this writing contest with a cash prizes. Let your imagination fly and enjoy sharing your writing.

Top Prize:

$100

Additional prizes:

Winning entries will be features on the FanStory.com welcome page.

💰 Entry fee: $9

📅 Deadline: April 12, 2023 (Expired)

Genres: Essay, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Short Story

There is no topic relating to technology that brings more discussion than artificial intelligence. Some people think it does wonders. Others see it as trouble. Let us know your opinion about AI in this competition. Include experiences you have had with AI. 300-word limit. Winners will be selected January 1, 2024. Open to anyone, anywhere.

Top Prize:

$100 CA

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: December 15, 2023 (Expired)

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 Sans Serif | 2024-03

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