The Best Suspense Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 8 contests


Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction Prize

North American Review

The Vonnegut Prize is an annual fiction competition intended to recognize the finest speculative fiction, which can include, but is not limited to, work influenced by the postmodern science-fiction of Kurt Vonnegut. We love Vonnegut’s dark humor, but please avoid mere imitation. We are enthusiastic about all work painted with speculative fiction’s broad brush: fairy tale, magical realism, fabulism, the fantastic, horror, Afro-futurism, science fiction hard and soft, and everything in between. The winning entry will appear in the North American Review's annual summer issue, and all finalists will be considered for publication.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $23

Deadline: November 01, 2023


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense

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100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

100 words per entry. Submit as many entries as you’d like. All ages. All genders. All nationalities. All writers welcome. The theme is using humor as healing.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: writing coach package 3rd: developmental or diversity editing package.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: April 30, 2023 (Expired)


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, Travel

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The Christy Award

The Christy Award

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, symbolizing the best aspirations and accomplishments of writers who write from a perspective of faith and who create stories with matters of belief at their core.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $175

Deadline: March 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Christian, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, 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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The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media

The Dante Rossetti Awards Categories are: Contemporary Young Adult; SFF & Paranormal; Dystopian/Edgy/Urban; Mystery/Thriller/Suspense; Historical Young Adult; YA Adventure/Romance. The Chanticleer Prize Package includes: A Prize Ribbon to use in promotion at book signings and book festivals Digital Badges for display on your website or incorporation into book covers Book stickers to identify your print books to bookstore shoppers as they browse.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $99

Deadline: August 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

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Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition 2022

Creative Writing Ink

We're looking for short stories of up to 3000 words. Stories can be any theme, genre, or subject - the world is your oyster! Top prize is £1000, plus a free creative writing course of your choice and publication on our site. Two runners-up will receive £200 each."

Top prize

$1,333

Additional prizes

Free creative writing course, publication online

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Daphne du Maurier Award For Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Unpublished Division

RWA Kiss of Death Chapter

The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today’s romantic suspense. The writing contest is for unpublished authors of mystery, suspense, and thrillers with or without romantic subplots.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: March 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller

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The Daphne du Maurier Award For Excellence in Mystery/Suspense (Published Division)

RWA Kiss of Death Chapter

The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today’s romantic suspense. The writing contest is for published authors of mystery, suspense, and thrillers with or without romantic subplots.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: March 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller

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