The Best Thriller Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 52 contests


International Novel Prize

Grindstone Literary

The 2022 Grindstone International Novel Prize is open to authors from all around the world, and is aimed at discovering and elevating new and unsung authors. Authors may submit finished or part-finished manuscripts providing they are not currently represented by an agent. We forward all longlisted works to some of the best agencies in the UK such as Curtis Brown Books, Conville and Walsh, Janklow & Nesbitt, the Paper Literary Agency, the Good Literary Agency, and so many more.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

Runner Up: £500 | 4x Shortlist: £125 | Longlist: Entries forwarded to affiliated agents.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novel, Thriller

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Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

Created in 2009, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors to get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

Top prize

Possible contract with Mystery Writers of America

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 01, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Flash Fiction Competition

Globe Soup

Globe Soup are looking for the best flash fiction of no more than 800 words. The competition features a secret location in which all participants must set their story. Participants can get extensive feedback on their entry by joining Globe Soup's writing group and free entry to their monthly micro fiction contests and other opportunities to win cash prizes!

Top prize

£1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Caledonia Novel Award

Caledonia Novel Award

Now in our ninth year of competition, we are an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. This year's judge is Charlotte Seymour, literary agent at Johnson & Alcock. On top of the £1,500 top prize, the best entry from the UK and Ireland will receive a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Top prize

£1, 500

Additional prizes

Free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: November 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Romance, Suspense

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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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2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest

Wine Country Writers' Festival

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25. See the contest rules and enter now. Blind Judging.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

Publication in an anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: July 29, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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As Bright as the Moon

Tales

Can’t decide between the headstrong alpha or the hunky omega? Us either. We’re seeking stories featuring steamy werewolf romance, perfect for reading under a full moon. Whether you’re Team Jacob Black or Team Alcide Herveaux…we’re all Team Awoooo. Works up to 3,000 words will be considered.

Top prize

$600

Additional prizes

2nd place: $300; 3rd place: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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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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Imagine 2200

Grist

The Imagine 2200 contest calls for short stories that envision the next 178 years of equitable climate progress. We seek cultural authenticity, rich characters with intersecting identities, and stories that challenge the status quo (which accepts extraction, oppression, and violence).

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $2000, 3rd: $1000; finalists will receive $300.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 05, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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Olive Woolley Burt Awards For Creative Writing

League of Utah Writers

The Olive Woolley Burt Awards are open to the general public for previously unpublished work. Discounts for entry given to members of the League of Utah Writers.

Top prize

$150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: May 13, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, 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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The 2022 First Chapter Book Contest

TheNextBigWriter, LLC

Have a book or a novel idea you've been noodling? Enter your first chapter into the Booksie First Chapter Contest and see how it does. You don't need to have finished the book. You don't even need more than the first chapter. We're looking for a start that will grab our attention, that is original, that is well written, and that makes us want to beg you to see what comes next. And for those we find, we'll provide some awards to inspire you to finish writing the book or, if finished, to help get it published.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Gold contest badge.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 14, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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The George Floyd Short Story Competition Vol2

Nottingham Writers' Studio

We’ll be taking stories of up to 5,000 words, on the theme of the environment and the ongoing climate crisis. Entrants can write in any genre. There is no fee to take part and we’re offering cash prizes to every successful applicant plus publication in our next anthology. 1st - £250 2nd - £125 3rd - £75 Runner up - £15

Top prize

£250

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology - Earth 2.0

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Inkitt Thriller Contest

Inkitt

Submit your mystery, thriller, suspense, or horror novel for the chance to become a published author and win huge cash prizes!

Top prize

$20,000

Additional prizes

2nd prize: $10,000 3rd prize: $5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Novel, Thriller

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Season Themes

HAVOK Publishing

HAVOK is a constant flash fiction contest, with rolling deadlines. Each season is split into monthly competitions with thematically connected prompts in a range of genres.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in an anthology. Potential for larger gift card wins.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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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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