32 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes

32 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes

Before you submit your work, run it through a grammar checker!
Here are several grammar checkers to choose from.

When I was about 12, I saw an ad in a magazine for a poetry contest that sounded fancy and impressive, something like “International Library of Poetry.” I bled poetry at that age, so I crossed my fingers and sent in a poem I’d been slaving over for weeks.

And, lo and behold, the people behind the contest quickly wrote back to tell me my poem had been selected as a winner!

I was speechless with honor. Of the thousands of poets who must have submitted to the contest — no doubt many of them adults much wiser and more skilled than me — my poem had been chosen to be featured in an exclusive, hardcover anthology! And honored on a something-karat-gold plaque!

Of course, I had to pay $50 if I wanted to see my work in print in the anthology, and I had to pay another $100 if I wanted the plaque. Those were the only “prizes.”

Even as a pre-teen, I sensed a scam.

Sadly, not much has changed when it comes to companies trying to take advantage of writers who want a chance at recognition and maybe a little bit of money. Google the term “writing contests,” and you’ll come up with approximately 128 million results. It can be hard for a writer to know where to start looking for writing competitions, and how to tell if they’re legitimate.

So we’ve done the legwork for you.

We found 32 reputable, well-reviewed, free writing contests for poets, fiction writers, essayists and more. Some legitimate contests do charge a small entry or “reading” fee, but often a fee can be a red flag for a scam, so you may want to stick to free contests — and there are certainly enough of them.

Fiction and nonfiction writing contests

Ready to share your novel or personal essay with the world? Whether you’re a newbie or more established writer, you’re likely eligible for a few of these contests.

Here are some fiction and nonfiction writing contests worth considering.

1. L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

Whatever your feelings about L. Ron Hubbard’s work and philosophy, the prizes for this regular contest are nothing to sneeze at. Every three months, winners earn $1,000, $750 and $500, or an additional annual grand prize worth $5,000.

Submissions must be short stories or novelettes (up to 17,000 words) in the genre of science fiction or fantasy, and new and amateur writers are welcome to apply.

Deadlines: Quarterly on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

2. fresh.ink

fresh.ink (that’s an intentional lowercase), a new platform that connects writers with beta readers, is offering a writing contest with $7,500 in prizes. Submissions will be judged by readers on the fresh.ink mobile app, based on how many people finish reading your work and how they rate it. 

The prizes are spread across four fiction categories:

  • Short story (under 7,500 words): $1,000 prize
  • Novelette (7,500-17,499 words): $1,500
  • Novella (17,500-39,999 words): $2,000
  • Novel (40,000+ words): $3,000

It’s free to enter; the company is offering the contest to help their platform gain traction. Authors who submit retain ownership of their work.

Deadline: December 1, 2019

Disclosure: fresh.ink is an advertising partner of The Write Life. We hold our advertisers to high standards and vetted this contest just like the others on this list. 

3. Inkitt

This boutique publishing firm offers a prize of a publishing contract to its contest winner. Submit a novel of 20,000 words or more in any fiction genre (no fanfic, short stories or poetry).

Inkitt’s writing contest runs quarterly and gives authors the chance to win an exclusive GALATEA publishing deal and the chance to showcase their book to the world. Monthly, alongside the quarterly publishing deal prize draw, cash prize contest winners are announced, determined on how many likes the author has received on their book.

Deadline: See individual contest pages.

Disclosure: Inkitt is an advertising partner of The Write Life. We hold our advertisers to high standards and vetted this contest just like the others on this list. 

4. Drue Heinz Literature Prize

You can win $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press with this prize, awarded for a collection of short fiction.

You may submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories, two or more novellas or a combination of novellas and short stories. Your total word count should be between 150 and 300 typed pages. You must also have already published a novel or book-length work of fiction “with a reputable publisher,” or no fewer than three short stories or novellas in nationally-recognized journals.

Deadline: Annual submissions must be postmarked between May 1 through June 30.

5. Poetry Foundation Emily Dickinson First Book Award

If you’re an American poet who’s already celebrated their 40th birthday and has yet to publish your first collection, you’re in luck: you’re eligible to submit your manuscript to the Poetry Foundation’s first book contest, honoring Emily Dickinson — whose work, of course, also went unpublished for far too long.

The prize is offered on an “occasional” basis, but it’s worth checking back for updates: the winner receives $10,000 as well as publication and promotion by Graywolf Press.

Deadline: TBD

6. St. Francis College Literary Prize

This biannual prize honors mid-career writers who have recently published their third, fourth or fifth work of fiction. The winner receives $50,000 and may be invited to the St. Francis College campus in Brooklyn, NY to deliver a talk about their work or teach a mini fiction workshop to St. Francis students.

Deadline: Biennially; the deadline for prize submissions this year is May 15, 2019. (The shortlist will be announced by August 15.)

7. Young Lions Fiction Award

This $10,000 award recognizes “young authors,” which the rules define as any author aged 35 or younger. Submit any novel or short story published or scheduled to be published in the calendar year. Works must be written for adults; children’s or YA pieces are ineligible.

Deadline: Annually in the fall (most recently in August or September). Deadline for submissions for 2019 awards was August 31, 2018. Deadline for 2020 awards TBA.

8. Graywolf Press Walt Whitman Award and Non/fiction Prizes

One of the best-loved small presses in the creative writing world, Graywolf Press host a variety of contests for both established and up-and-coming writers. The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 prize awarded, along with publication, to an American poet with a winning first book manuscript. He or she also receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, and a trip to New York City to attend the American Poets Prizes ceremony.

Graywolf also offers smaller fiction and nonfiction prizes, with genres rotating by year; 2018 was a nonfiction year, so fiction is up in 2019. These awards include a sizable advance — $12,000 in previous years — as well as publication with Graywolf.

Deadline: Contest is held annually with rotating genres; the 2018 deadline (for nonfiction) has passed, and 2019 information has not yet been published.

9. The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans

Hosted by the prestigious Iowa Review, the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award is offered to U.S. military veterans and active-duty members writing in any genre about any subject. Manuscripts of up to 20 pages will be accepted, and the first-prize winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the Review. A second place prize of $750 is also available, as well as three runner-up prizes of $500 each.

Deadline: Biennially. The next contest will be held in 2020, and submissions will be read between May 1 and May 31.

10. New Voices Award

Presented by Lee & Low Books, an award-winning children’s book publisher, this award is given for a previously unpublished children’s picture book manuscript (of no more than 1,500 words) written by a writer of color.

The winner receives $2,000 cash and a standard publication contract, and an additional Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000. You may submit up to two manuscripts.

Deadline: Submissions must be postmarked between April 1, 2019, and August 31, 2019.

Woman writing at a table, wearing black jacket

11. Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

This contest aims to provide visibility for emerging African American fiction writers and to enable them to focus on their writing by awarding a $10,000 cash prize. Eligible authors should submit a work of fiction, such as a novel or short story collection, published in the calendar year. (Galleys for publication within the year are also accepted.)

Deadline: The contest runs annually, but this year’s deadline is August 15, 2019.

12. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Honoring the best work of fiction published by an American author in a single calendar year, this award has been given to the likes of John Updike, Philip Roth and Ann Patchett. Novels, novellas, and collections of short stories are all eligible.

The winner receives a hefty cash prize — up to $15,000 in the past — and an invitation to read at the award ceremony in Washington, DC. Plus, there are no submission fees or application forms to deal with; just mail four copies of your book (or bound proofs) to the organization to be considered.

Deadline: Annually on October 31 for books published that calendar year.

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

This contest is a little different, because it requires you to already have published a short story in a literary journal or cultural website. But if you’ve made your debut (but gone no further), you may be eligible for the generous cash prize of $2,000, which is annually awarded to 12 emerging writers, whose works are then published together in an anthology.

Short stories of up to 12,000 words are eligible and must be published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is given.

Deadline: Contest is open annually between June and November.

14. Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Fiction and nonfiction writers who have recently published a book that “contribute[s] to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of cultural diversity” are eligible for this award, which offers $10,000 cash as well media and publicity opportunities.

Submissions must be published in the prior year (so books published in 2019 are eligible for the 2020 award).

Deadline: Annual submission window is September 1 through December 31.

15. Marfield Prize (a.k.a. National Award for Arts Writing)

Presented by the Arts Club of Washington, this award seeks to honor nonfiction books that deal with the “visual, literary, media, or performing arts.” The prize is $10,000 and may be awarded to works of criticism, art history, memoirs and biographies, and essays.

Deadline: Annually in the last quarter of the year; the 2019 deadline has not yet been announced. (If you have questions, reach out to to Briones, Chair of the Marfield Prize 2018, at itobriones@gmail.com.)

16. W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

If you’re a war buff, this competition is for you. It awards $5,000 — and a 24-karat-gold-framed citation of achievement — the best piece of fiction set during a period when the U.S. was at war (war may either be the main plot of the piece or simply provide the setting). Submissions may be adult or YA novels.

Deadline: Annually on December 1.

17. Friends of American Writers Chicago Awards

FAW presents two annual awards: an Adult Literature Award for literary fiction or nonfiction, and a Juvenile Literature Award for a children’s/YA book.

Authors must reside in the state of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin — or they must set their book in one of those locations. Prize amounts vary from year to year, but all winners are celebrated at the organization’s May luncheon.

Deadline: Annually at the end of the year; 2019 deadline has not yet been announced.

18. Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest

Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to medical humanities, offers two prizes annually for essays of no more than 1,600 words in two categories: $3,000 is awarded to the winner and $800 to the first runner-up. Eligible topics are broad so long as they have a relation to medicine, and may include art, history, literature, education and more.

Deadline: Annually; April 15, 2019 is the most current deadline.

19. Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest

There’s no denying it: social media is a huge part of our 21st-century lives. It’s easy to get used to limit our communications to 140-character, emoji-strewn snippets, which is why this marketing firm is hosting an essay writing contest to “remind people of the benefits of writing.”

Essays of up to 5,000 characters (roughly 1,000 words) will be accepted, and can tackle just about any topic you want. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000, and three runners-up will be awarded $200 each.

The contest is free to enter, but you’ll need to register for a Biopage account to be eligible.

Deadline: Recurrent contests throughout the year — be sure to check the website for deadlines!

20. Minotaur Books / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Writers 18 and older who have never had a novel published (in any genre) are eligible for this prize, awarded for an original book-length manuscript where “murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.” The winner receives a publication contract with Minotaur Books and an advance of $10,000 against future royalties.

Deadline: Annually in the last quarter of the year. The deadline for 2019 awards was January 11; the deadline for 2020 awards has not yet been announced.

21. ServiceScape Short Story Award

ServiceScape, a platform matching freelance writers, editors, and graphic designers with clients (i.e., a great place to look for paid writing work!) offers a yearly Short Story Award of $1,000 to a winning fiction or non-fiction work of 5,000 words or fewer. The winner will also have their story featured on the ServiceScape blog, which sees thousands of readers each month.

Deadline: November 29, 2019.

22. Stowe Prize

This biennial prize of $10,000 honors an American author whose work has had an impact on a critical social justice issue (as did Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin).

Deadline: Biennially; although there will be no winner for 2019, nominations for the 2020 prize will be accepted “very soon.”

23. The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Non-Fiction

Creative nonfiction essays of no more than 5,000 words on any subject are eligible for consideration for this award, whose winner receives $250 and publication in Lunch Ticket, the literary and art journal produced by the MFA community of Antioch University Los Angeles.

Works must not have been published elsewhere. Award winners are required to submit a 100-word biography, recent photo and a short note thanking the Woods family for their generosity and support.

Deadlines: Biannual reading periods are the month of February for the Summer/Fall issue and the month of August for the Winter/Spring issue.

24. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms Essay Contest

Each year, this Canadian organization offers three prizes, ranging from $500 to $1,500, to the essay with the most thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments around a specific human-rights theme. (For example, 2018’s prompt was, “Should Canadians be required by law to use gender-neutral pronouns? Why or why not?”

The contest is open to Canadian college and university students, and essays should be 2,500 words or less in length.

Deadline: Annually; 2018’s deadline was October 31st.

25. Write the World

For young writers ages 13-18, these cool contests also serve as mini workshops. Recognizing that “a first draft is never perfect,” submissions actually receive peer review by authors, writing teachers and other experts and writers are given the chance to revise their pieces based on this feedback before submitting them for final prize consideration.

Contests vary each month, but there’s a $100 prize for the winner and $50 for the runner-up (plus $50 for the best peer-reviewer). All three are featured on Write the World’s blog alongside comments from a guest judge. And since each month’s prompt is from a different genre, developing writers get a chance to test out different styles.

Deadline: Monthly.

26. Prose.

Stuck with writer’s block and looking for a way to jumpstart your escape? Prose offers weekly challenges meant to spark your creativity; many are just for fun, but look for the weekly numbered challenges posted by Prose (rather than community members or sponsors) for a chance to win money.

Prizes are typically between $100 – $200 and word counts are low — some as low as under 150, some as high as 500, but all say “quality beats quantity.” So even if all you get from the prompt is a chance to flex your brain, it’s not a bad deal.

Deadline: Weekly.

Poetry contests

Curious about opportunities for poets? Your stanzas — rhyming or not — could be worth a fair amount of money in these poetry competitions.

Check out these poetry writing contests.

27. Free Spirit Publishing African American Voices in Children’s Literature ContestTony Hillerman Prize

Open to writers of African American heritage who are over the age of 18 and Minnesota residents, this contest, hosted by Free Spirit Publishing, seeks to fill the need for African American representation in children’s and young adult books. Original board and picture books for children aged 0-8 are eligible, provided they feature contemporary African American characters and culture and focus on character development, self esteem, community, and other aspects of positive childhood development.

Three prizes, ranging from $250 to $1,000, will be awarded, and the first place winner will be “seriously considered” for publication, though it’s not guaranteed.

Deadline: June 30, 2019

28. James Laughlin Award

If you’re already a published poet, this is the award for you; it’s given for a second book of poetry due to come out in the forthcoming year. The winner receives $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid week-long residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. In addition, copies of her book are distributed to approximately 1,000 members of the Academy of American Poets.

Deadline: Annual submission window is January 1 through May 15.

29. African Poetry Book Fund Prizes

The APBF awards three prizes annually for African Poetry. The Glenna Luschei Prize for Afican Poetry gives $1,000 for a book of original African poetry published in the prior year.

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets gives $1,000 and a publication contract for a book-length collection of poetry by an as-yet-unpublished African author.

The Brunel University African Poetry Prize is a new prize that grants £3,000 to a poet who was born in Africa, is a national of an African country or has African parents, who has not yet had a full-length book of poetry published. (U.S. citizens qualify.) To submit, you’ll need 10 poems.

Deadlines: See individual prize pages.

30. Tufts Poetry Awards

Claremont Graduate University presents two awards each year to poets they deem to be “outstanding.” The Kate Tufts Poetry Award grants $10,000 for a published first book of poetry that shows promise.

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award grants a mammoth $100,000 for a published book of poetry by an established or mid-career poet.

Deadline: Books published between July of the previous year and June 30 of the current year are eligible for the following year’s prize. For example, books published between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 will be eligible for the 2020 award; an entry form must be completed and submitted by no later than July 1, 2019.

31. The Restless Books Prize For New Immigrant Writing

First-generation immigrants have a chance to win $10,000 and publication by Restless Books for telling their stories (real or imagined). The contest alternates annually between fiction (novel or short story collection) and nonfiction (memoir, essay collection, narrative nonfiction). In 2019, it will go to a work of nonfiction of at least 25,000 words; 2020 will be nonfiction.

Deadline: Annually; submissions for the 2019 Prize in Nonfiction will be accepted from September 1, 2018 until March 31, 2019.

Writing contests with multiple categories

Some contests accept submissions in multiple categories, so you could submit a novella as well as a poem or other work.

32. Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

(Editor’s note: We were so excited to include this competition that we overlooked its entry fees. We’ll leave it in the post for those interested in submitting their work, but please note that this contest is not free.)

One of the longest-running writing competitions — it’s now in its 88th year — this contest spotlights up and coming writers in a number of categories, including Memoirs/Personal Essay, Print or Online Article and Genre Short Story.

The Grand Prize winner gets $5,000, a feature in Writer’s Digest magazine, a paid trip to a writing conference and more. Runners-up earn prizes in first through tenth places.

Deadline: Annually; (The deadline for 2019 was May 6th.)

Where to find more legitimate, free writing contests

Looking for more opportunities to submit your work? Here are a few great sites to keep an eye on for writing contests.

Winning Writers

A number of the contests found on our list came highly recommended by this site, which compiles some of the best free literary contests out there. Along with a wide range of recommended contests for writers of all stripes, Winning Writers also lists some contests and services to avoid — which is just as useful!

They also offer a handful of contests themselves, including the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (which sounds delightful).

Poets & Writers

Another fantastic source for legitimate writing contests we consulted when compiling this list, Poets & Writers vets competitions, contests, awards and grants to make sure they’re following legitimate practices and policies. It’s worth checking out regularly as it features both annual and one-time contests.

The original version of this story was written by Kelly Gurnett. We updated the post so it’s more useful for our readers. 

Photo via Viktoriia Hnatiuk Shutterstock  

Filed Under: Craft
Free Newsletter

Enjoyed that post? Subscribe for more:

367 comments

  • Cathy Bryant says:

    What a brilliant list! Thank you. Thank you too for the mention of Comps and Calls – I love finding free writing competitions, and some of them have very impressive prizes. I’m one of those old-fashioned writers who think that we should be paid for our work – and free comps are a great way of achieving that.

    • I’m with you on that “old-fashioned” notion. 🙂

    • Luke P says:

      Our university just launched a new competition (no entry fee, no gimmicks) called FutureScapes. We’re an innovation office, and we’re looking for help from writers to help us envision cities of the future. Hugo-Award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal will be our judge this inaugural year. $2,000 for first place.

      http://www.futurescapescontest.com/

    • MJYoung says:

      Old fashioned notions were/are just once legitimate notions of claims for money or what else, when in a time there were hardly or very little amount of writing gigs to get; let alone having someone getting paid for it. Now it is like there are too many people as working in the business here of transposing things across for a living. That really the only thing these vetted competitions do now is, just bunch up a bunch of people who cannot write, among judges judging as judges cannot much write either, and they sit around give a small vagabond gift amount of money in discovery for those who suck less at it. As really a sign should go up before hand about how real writers we really need not to apply here anymore. As none of the spirit of writing is left of writing. Everyone writes politically correct as only to affirm the lack for want of any real creativity getting dispersed.

      • Terri says:

        Amen to that! I’ve read winners’ stories of a certain contest that is held by a magazine every year which I will not name and when I see the judges’ names, I think “Well, they don’t know anything about writing!” No wonder this was chosen.

      • Mimi says:

        Speak for yourself, honey. I’ve got a very politically INCORRECT story I’m working on right now. Who knows if anyone will publish it, though. It’s satirical and quite offensive.

        • unanimous says:

          While I like how your not afraid to speak your mind, and I really have no say in what you put in your books, could you please try not to offend too many people? This is just a suggestion, so feel free to do whatever you like.

        • Ronda Mecum says:

          My mind is full of stories to tell.. I am an idea person. Is there a place in this writers world for one like myself? Perhaps a writer lacking an idea? My mind screams..my voice mute. 🙁

    • Were do I find the legitmate ways to to get paid for entering contests? many are
      scams so far that I researched, and entered. please let me know thanks.
      I would like to find work online and get paid weekly by check through the mail
      do you know of such?

    • leeza says:

      can i participate from sri lanka??

    • Ginny Swart says:

      I see you havent included the South African Writers college competition – held annually..its free to enter and the 1st prize is R10,000..
      The theme this year is “A person’s world is only as big as his heart”
      Deadline April 30th
      Only open to South African writers who have not been published.
      Send entries to Nichola@sawriterscollege.co.za

      • Cathy Bryant says:

        Contests with a deadline past 1st April haven’t gone up yet – I put them up monthly at Comps and Calls. Is there an URL with guidelines?

        • Ginny Swart says:

          Yes, the URL for the College is :www.sawriterscollege.co.za
          Its only for unpublished SA writers but the prizes are pretty darned good: R10,000. R5,000 and R2000… and its free to enter..! Cheers Ginny

    • Kf says:

      Im an indian Is it possible to take part in poetry competition I have not published even 1 book

    • Steve Silver says:

      Great List of Writing Contests!! Thank you very much for putting this together. As a aspiring beginner writer this is great place to decide,what contest to enter!

    • Folks might also want to check out Stories to Change the World, a short story contest for youth and adults about positive and possible futures. Deadline is approaching, check it out!

  • Here’s another competition for your list, this one for women only, memoir and contemporary/historical fiction: http://www.storycircle.org/SartonLiteraryAward/

    For guidelines for this year’s competition: http://www.storycircle.org/SartonLiteraryAward/guidelines.php

    Susan Wittig Albert
    Sarton Award Coordinator

  • Jodie Renner says:

    Thanks for this excellent list, Kelly!

    I’ll be adding a direct link to it to my recent post over at The Kill Zone called “Indie Book Contests 2015” http://killzoneblog.com/2015/02/indie-book-contests-2015.html

    and I’ll also add a link on my ongoing, continually updated list of Writers’ Conferences & Book Festivals in North America:

    http://jodierennerediting.blogspot.ca/2014/08/writers-conferences-book-festivals-sept.html

  • Dave says:

    Apologies for the n00b question but out of interest – when they say ‘unpublished’ – do they mean unpublished which would include self published ebooks?

    And if you were to submit something previously published on Kindle or Smashwords or the like – could you take it down for a period and still be considered?

    Cheers Dave

    • I’d check the specific guidelines for each contest. Some specify whether situations like self-publication are acceptable or not. If the guidelines don’t go into any detail on that, you could always try contacting the organization sponsoring the contest.

      I’m not sure about pulling down something that HAS previously been published, however. That feels like a risky gamble that might get you in trouble.

  • Thanks for posting this list. When it comes to short stories, I never think about competitions and always look for publications instead.

    This is a great reminder of another valid option.

  • Francis H. Geis says:

    Thanks, Kelly, for this interesting article and list. One does have to watch out for scams and ineffective ways of publishing your work. And entering legitimate writing contests sounds a lot more challenging and rewarding.

    When I was a college student, I had written some poems and essays, and was encouraged by friends to get them published. Being the babe in the woods I was at the time, I got about 30 to 40 copies published through a local “vanity press,” which cost me about $80 at the time. Learned my lesson to avoid being so vain.

  • Hello Kelly! Thank you for providing us with this awesome list! 😀

  • A.B.Kar says:

    Good compilation, will be of great help to me.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Correction: the Writer’s Digest contests are NOT free to enter. There are different fees listed on the site, as follows:

    “Early-Bird Entry fees are $25 for the first manuscript; $20 for each additional entry submitted during the same transaction. Poems are $15 for the first entry; $10 for each additional poem submitted submitted during the same transaction. Entries submitted after the May 4, 2015 Early-Bird deadline are $30 for the first manuscript; $25 for each additional entry submitted during the same transaction. Poems are $20 for the first entry; $15 for each additional poem submitted submitted during the same transaction.”

  • Sue Coletta says:

    This was a lot of work, but such a great resource for writers. Thanks for sharing this!

  • I’m just so stunned that the horrid poetry-competition people had so little concern for such a young aspirant poet, what a sick twisted lot they are, and you’re right, this kind of dream-baiting continues. Sharks and charlatans all, but the good thing is that you didn’t give up on your dream of writing, so you go girl -go for gold and more power to you!

    • Sadly, there are all sorts of ways writers and wannabe writers can fall into the wrong hands, from scam competitions to content mills that pay pennies per word. It’s all about knowing where to look for the legitimate resources. (This site is a great place to start.) 🙂

      • Lisa says:

        I wrote a piece to this site called the Eber & Wein publishing.
        how well do you know about them? is this site scam? I never
        sent in any money I was told I could win cash, and prizes, and
        my name can be in this analogy. then you have to buy that.

    • ohita says:

      Thanks for the list. Please can you give more lists for contests for African writers?

  • Great list of resources for free contests. I quite often scour Poets & Writers for possibilities and have heard of some of the others, like Story Circle Network, but some of these were quite new to me. Appreciate the time it takes to curate such a list and so glad you shared it with us. I’ll be passing it along to some of my friends and followers.

  • Sucharita Mukherjee says:

    Can I join this Writing Contests ? I live in India.
    Kindly respond me.

    Thanks.

    Date..19/02/2015.
    Sucharita Mukherjee

    prithakaur19@gmail.com

  • Ian Kalman says:

    This is a great list but is this just for writers in the US. I am in the UK.

  • Robin Botie says:

    Thank you so much. I’m so inspired seeing these all lined up in one place. Cheers!

  • Jessica Jacob says:

    This is well time for me and I am excited. I’m looking for ways to gain money for my Master’s and get recognized for the love of my heart: writing. I’m applying to some now and even composing new pieces. I’ve even set aside a certain amount of money that I’m writing to give to enter.

    • Cat Lover says:

      I love to write as well! I am only ten years old though, so I probably won’t be able to enter many contests even if I wanted to. I’m writing a novel called Cat Quest. Its not childish and stupid. I’m actually serious. I work on it about every other day or when I get time. I’m not lying. Could you experienced authors give me some tips?

  • Appreciate this list, my writing goal for this year- well, one of them, is to seek new writing and publishing opportunities and challenges. Thank you.

  • We provide a contest where you get paid either way, so long as you make the cut. It’s a bit different from the average writing contest, in that it is a public head to head battle. Check out thewritersarena.com for more info.

  • Here’s another one that’s totally free to enter: http://culturedvultures.com/poem-week/

  • marta says:

    Thanks for sharing, posted your site on my blog: hoyeocmova.com

  • Tom Ens says:

    At FanStory.com we have a membership fee $6.95 per month (or $48 for one year or $67 for two years). With the membership fee you can enter all of our contests at no charge. That’s over 50 contests every month. Some have a cash prize ($100) and others are just for the fun of the competition.

  • Amata says:

    Wish to get info on free contests for poets in Nigeria.

    • Elizabeth Mines says:

      Hey.. I have a short story of my stolen childhood.. Its a memoir.. It has touched a lot of ppl nd its very deep.. A lot of ppl who have read it has gained goose bumps nd a lot of others has related a lot to it.. I have councillors stating I should get it published as its very helpful to thoughts who have been through similar.. I write a lot about life nd the deeper I go with my words the more ppl feel it.. I have had a few ppl state they felt like it was happening to them the words stand out so much.. The only problem is as u see here with this paragraph I’m not so good with my editing.. I don’t know how or where to start with getting my writing seen to for hell in weather I can get my words out there.. I wouldn’t mind starting with competitions but its also great to have someone around that knows where nd how to help me start to get this out there.. My email is mines_l@yahoo.com I got a feeling this is a long shot but I’m keen to start somewhere.. It would be a great honor if u could pls give me some advice on where or how to start.. If u could pls email me I will be an honour

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.