38 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes

38 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes

If you’re organizing a writing contest and want to get the word out, contact us here.

Have you ever Googled “writing contests”? In less than one second, 172 million results immediately populate and you’re left to wade through countless options that may not even be right for you.

And something you’ll notice in your search is many of these writing contests require “reading fees” or prizes — like seeing your work in print — that you can only receive if you pay for it

Some legitimate contests do charge small entry fees, but often a fee can be a red flag for a scam, so those might be the ones you want to stay away from. 

Besides, there are plenty of free writing contests that encourage and inspire boundless creativity with real cash prizes and career-advancing opportunities! Since it can be hard for a writer to know where to find them, we did the legwork for you.

We found 38 reputable, well-reviewed, free writing contests for poets, fiction writers, essayists and more. With thousands of dollars in cash prizes and numerous opportunities to secure a publishing contract, you’re sure to find the right free writing contest for your work.

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, plus 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 March 31, June 30 and September 30.

2. Inkitt

This boutique publishing firm offers cash prizes and promotional packages to winning authors. Submit a novel of 7,500 words or more in any fiction genre (no fanfic, short stories or poetry).

Inkitt’s writing contest runs monthly and gives authors the chance to win cash prizes, exclusive book badges and promotional packages while showcasing their books to Inkitt’s audience of 2 million users. Winners are determined by Inkitt’s unique algorithm based on overall reader engagement.

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. 

3. 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.

4. St. Francis College Literary Prize

Since 2009, this biennial literary award has honored 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 2021 is TBA. 

5. 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 collection of short stories 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); the deadline for 2021 is TBA. 

6. Graywolf Press Non/fiction Prizes

One of the best-loved small presses in the creative writing world, Graywolf Press hosts a variety of contests for both established and up-and-coming writers. Graywolf also offers smaller fiction and nonfiction prizes, with genres rotating by year; 2020 was a nonfiction year, so fiction is up in 2021. 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 2021 deadline is TBA.

7. 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 2022, and submissions will be accepted between May 1 and May 31.

8. 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 and Native nations who are a resident of the United States..

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: August 31, 2020. 

9. Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

For 13 years, this contest has provided visibility for emerging African American fiction writers and enables them to focus on their writing by awarding a $15,000 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: Annually; the deadline for 2020 is TBA. 

10. 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 five copies of your book (or bound proofs) to the organization to be considered.

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

11. 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. Additionally, keep this in mind: Submissions are only eligible if submitted by an editor. Authors may not submit their own work.

Deadline: Contest is open annually between June and November.

12. 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. Plus, winners receive their prize at a ceremony in Cleveland.

Submissions must be published in the prior year (so books published in 2020 are eligible for the 2021 award).

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

13. 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 2021 deadline is TBA. . (If you have questions, reach out to Ito Briones, Chair of the Marfield Prize, at itobriones@gmail.com.)

14. 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 — to 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.

15. 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 you don’t have to bother with an application and all winners are celebrated at the organization’s May luncheon.

Deadline: Annually between August and December; the 2021 deadline is TBA.

16. 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: $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 — this year’s topic was blood!

Deadline: Annually; January 15, 2020 is the most current deadline.

17. 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 limiting our communications to 280-character and 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 you 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: July 31, 2020. 

18. 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 to 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 first quarter of the year; the deadline for 2021 is TBA. 

19. 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, 2020.

20. Stowe Prize

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

Deadline: Biennially; the 2022 deadline is TBA. 

21. 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 in February for the Summer/Fall issue and in August for the Winter/Spring issue.

22. 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, 2019’s prompt was, “Should universities police student behavior at private events?”

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

Deadline: Annually in October. 

23. 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.

24. 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 to $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 and monthly.

25. The Fountain Essay Contest

The Fountain, a bimonthly magazine that explores themes such as philosophy, science, and spirituality, is holding its annual essay competition and is awarding $1,000 for first place; $500 for 2nd; $300 for 3rd; and $150 each for two honorable mentions. Open to participants of all ages from across the globe, this year’s competition is about your challenges; what they are and how you mentally, physically, and/or spiritually overcome them. 

Deadline: Annually; the deadline for 2021 is TBA.

26. 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 2020, it will go to a work of nonfiction of at least 25,000 words; 2021 will be nonfiction.

Deadline: Annually; the deadline for 2021 is TBA.

27. LiteraTea Spring Short Story Contest

What does community mean to you? LiteraTea, a supportive online platform for writers and readers, is awarding The Commonwealth Prize of $345 to the winning short story that best captures the theme of ‘community’ in 1,200 to 3,000 words. Whether your take on community is an ant or nudist colony, all topics are welcome. 

In addition to the cash, winners also receive a free, six-month placement in LiteraTea’s Advanced Writers’ Program and will be showcased on the website.

Deadline: The most recent deadline was 5/7/2020; the deadline for 2021 is TBA.

28. AFSA National High School Essay Contest

The U.S. Institute of Peace and the American Foreign Service Association sponsor this annual high school essay contest, where the winner receives a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet U.S. Department of State and USIP leadership, and a full-tuition paid voyage with Semester at Sea upon the student’s enrollment at an accredited university. Essays shouldn’t exceed 1,250 words and have to answer all aspects of the prompt as well as demonstrate an understanding of the Foreign Service

Runners-up get a pretty sweet deal, too — a $1,250 cash prize and a full scholarship to participate in the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leadership Conference.

Deadline: The 2021 deadline is TBA. 

29. Science-me a Story

Born in 2017, the Society of Spanish Researchers invites talented and original writers to write a 100-word blurb for a hypothetical novel. This might sound really easy, but your blurb has to quickly hook readers and make them want to read more. Open to anyone over 18 anywhere in the world, your real or fictional short story for this competition must be either in English or Spanish and “conceived from the objective of scientific dissemination to primary school” to qualify for the cash prizes: £150, £100 and £50. 

Deadline: The 2021 deadline is TBA.

30. Cabell First Novelist Award

Virginia Commonwealth University sponsors this award that honors an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year. While you may have published previous books in a different form, the submission must be your first published book marketed as a novel.

The award is a $5,000 cash prize, and the winning author must agree to attend the award event, usually scheduled for November, where you will appear at a public reading and Q&A session, followed by a book signing and reception, that focus on the creation, publication, and promotion of a first novel.

Deadline: Annually; the 2021 deadline is TBA.

31. Daisy Utemorrah Award

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples currently living in Australia. Generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the State Government of Western Australia, the winner of the award receives $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.

Deadline: May 31, 2020.

32. Ultimate Meal Plans Nutrition Scholarship

College students studying nutrition, kinesiology or exercise-science field, you’re going to be all over this one. Twice per year, the Ultimate Paleo Guide (AKA the best paleo resource on the internet) awards $500 scholarships to two deserving students who meet all eligibility requirements — as well as write an 800-word essay about why you chose your field, an impact you’d like to make in your career, a challenge you’ve faced and more.

Deadlines: January 30 (awards in March) and July 31 (awards in September).

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.

33. African American Voices in Children’s Literature Contest

Open to writers of African American heritage who are over the age of 18 and Minnesota residents, this contest, hosted by Strive Publishing and 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 22, 2020. 

34. 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 the winning book are distributed to 1,000 members of the Academy of American Poets.

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

35. 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, 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.

36. 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: July 1, 2020; books or first books of poetry must be published between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. 

37. Graywolf Press Walt Whitman Award 

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 Press is also one of the publishers of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, “a first book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets.” Winners receive $1,000 and Graywolf publishes every third winner of the prize.

Deadline: Submissions are accepted between September 1 and November 1 of each year.

38. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Now in its 20th year, this humor contest wants your best published or unpublished work for a grand prize of $1,000; runners-up are awarded $250 and 10 honorable mentions will receive $100 each. Writers of all ages from eligible countries can submit an original, humorous poem with 250 lines or less, and it must be an English.

Deadline: April 1, 2021.

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 North Street Book Prize .

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.

Reedsy

Since 2014, Reedsy has built a network of world-class publishing professionals and helped produce more than 10,000 books. An ecosystem for authors and publishing professionals, Reedsy prides itself on providing help at every stage of your publishing journey — it even curates writing contests. 

Right now, for instance, The Narrative Prize will award $4,000 to a writer with the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative. 

(This listing contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!)

Don’t forget to set your filter accordingly to find all the contests with fee-free entries!

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

378 comments

  • Donna says:

    On your last list, there was a place that you had listed, called “the mix” I sent them 2 samples of my work a month ago. I haven’t heard anything yet. Will they get back with me? And if I were to be lucky enough for them to use one or both of my stories, would there be a problem if I were to add these stories to my blog?
    Thank you!

    • Lisa Rowan says:

      Donna, I’ve heard of writers waiting for several weeks before finding out whether they’ve been invited to participate in The Mix. If they invite you to participate, you’ll have to follow the rules they outline re: reposting on their blog.

      Good luck!

      Lisa
      TWL Editor

  • Eric Gibson says:

    I have a book that I think that you would like and I really think that It could go far.

  • Nick says:

    This listing has really directed towards becoming the writer that I would like to be. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to create this list and really think your an amazing individual or organization.

    Thanks!!
    Nick

  • Great resource!

    Free entry available over here at Cultured Vultures: http://culturedvultures.com/poem-week/

    • G.C.Gobin says:

      As the founder, writer and editor of Chatterboxchapel.com, I can assure you and many who are skeptical about contests requiring a fee, that our website contests are legitimate and have strictly enforced rules determining eligibility.

      We do understand that there are “scammy contests” as you say, that will actually accept any entrance fee regardless of the laws in specific states. What makes us different Mr. Donnellan is that we actually abide by all of the laws and had to void our contests in certain areas due to strict state laws rather than just accept money from all participants whether valid or invalid.

      There have actually been a list of participants that I personally have had to refund money to based on ineligibility according to their state’s laws.

      It is common for contests to charge entrance fees for many reasons and we do understand feelings of resent and animosity that may derive from those websites trying to stay afloat add provide opportunities. We understand your position and feelings, we are aware that it can be tedious for outsiders to try and understand the end goal of every website, foundation, organization, or business. For an outsider it is overwhelming to try to analyze their behind the scenes operation without even having the slightest clue of all of the leg work, and effort it entails to manage and run.

      We are aware that there are many scams who just enjoy collecting money by promoting dreams and empty promises to gullible candidates, and it is unfortunate that their immoral means of business practices have to indirectly sabotage the names of upcoming businesses that have the potential to become part of the list of legitimate and reputable resources. All we can ask is that you not allow one rotten apple to be a representative for the entire apple family.

      Thank you kindly in advance for your reevaluation on the subject.

      Sincerely,

      G.C.Gobin

      • Lisa Rowan says:

        Gregory, I believe Jimmy’s only sin in this thread was posting a link to his own website twice — I don’t think he even commented about the website you run. This might be a case of, “Be curious, not furious!”

        Lisa
        TWL Editor

  • melissa says:

    Thank you for all the info. Been out of writting for awhile in the working world. Thought since I have some free time again I would like to get back into it. Have really missed the freedom of writting.

  • As a creative writer I have been through the ups and downs of writing. The major downside being a lack of financial opportunities. This can be very discouraging for the writer and may cause them to divert in other paths of life just to satisfy a deficit in income. I created a website for creative writers (shorty story and poetry enthusiasts) to give them an extra incentive to continue writing.

    Whether they are jobless, going to school, ex-writers who desperately need to reengage in the art, or writers with jobs who need extra money, our goal is to show these writers that we are willing to help. We host contests weekly and generate new topics to spark their originality and creativity and pay cash prizes to the first and second prize winners. We are a fairly new site and can only issue so much but we are hoping that along the way of our growth the prize purse for each contest would increase.

    We are an easy to use, ad-free, writing website that offers a multitude of resources for creative writers. From blogs on writing tips to writing contests we wish to expand our network and branch out to every single creative writer who is looking for some extra cash. If you wish to extend a helping hand to writers in dire need of other opportunities and are an advocate for the fine art of creative writing, we ask that you please help us spread the word of our website. http://www.chatterboxchapel.com/Writing_Contest.html

    We thank you all who are actively involved in encouraging writers to continue honing their creativity with this wonderful and rewarding craft.

    Thank you,
    G.C. Gobin

  • I am amazed to see English poetry contest is only for American/ African writers.
    I am an Indian can I participate any contest???????????

    • Lisa Rowan says:

      M.J.,

      Each contest has its own rules, and since we’re based in the U.S. we tend to focus on “local” competitions and opportunities. But we’re always looking at ways to include more international content!

      Lisa
      TWL Team

  • Juliana Herrera says:

    i would like to join the contest

  • Jamie says:

    What a helpful article! For those of you who are looking for ongoing writing competitions on a new innovative platform, come check us out at http://www.theprose.com

  • cheri says:

    I appreciate all the information guys but does anyone happen to know any fiction contests with no entry fee?

  • Thanks for putting together this list. As social media manager for the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild, I have begun looking for information about contests and conferences to add to the guild’s website. I have mentioned your list, included your name and the link to the list of the site. Your list is a great beginning for providing information to our members.

  • Anonymous says:

    Do you have an updated list of upcoming contests? I’m just now re-learning about writing contests and entry requirements but some of the deadlines have already passed or contests are closed. Any updates would be greatly appreciated.

    • Lisa Rowan says:

      We’ll refresh this post over the winter to make sure the contests we included are still active, and update any rule/date changes. For now, please be sure to check the submission dates of the contests you’re interested in!

      Lisa
      TWL Team

  • tobyo says:

    Thank you for a great list!! I just have a comment about Real Simple’s contest. The theme you note in your bullet above is actually an expired theme. They change the theme each year. I thought I’d point it out in case you want to change your wording to a more generic type?

  • Molly B. says:

    Okay, I have a question. I entered a contest a while back, somewhere in April I think, and a few weeks ago I got a letter saying that my poem is going to be in a book in September, and more prizes will be awarded in the future. The contest is being held by The American Library of Poetry, and I was wondering if you knew anything about it before I pay for the book. It doesn’t say I have to pay to see my work in print, and it doesn’t say I really have to buy the book at all (though they do recommend it). I just want your opinion before sign anything. Thanks!

    • Shade says:

      Do not pay for this book. They’ve been doing this scam for years. I paid for the so-called book when I was in high school and never received it.

  • Shelley says:

    Please do not consider the L.Ron Hubbard Sci-Fi contest either ethical or “legitmate.” As a fourth year English student at SFU, I submitted a story I was writing for one of my creative writing classes. These were the early 80’s-days before word processors and the internet. My paper had been typed by hand- and a copy had been submitted and assessed by the (then) head of the SFU English Dep’t, the late Prof. Temple Maynard.
    Other than a “please subscribe to Church of Scientology” mail-outs I never heard from this organization in regard to the contest. The Scientology propaganda continued for years. I DO NOT recommend this contest for legitimate writers of Sci-Fi.

    • Nancy87 says:

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, but respectfully, you might want to get more current insight before discrediting a competition that you entered 30 years ago. I’ve submitted to the Writers of the Future Contest a number of times over the past five years and I’ve never received one word from them on scientology, or anything not related to the contest. It’s a legitimate and well-respected award and anthology within the scifi community; you discredit not only the contest itself but those who’ve worked hard to place in it. I recommend picking up one of their recent anthologies when you have time, it will give you an idea of what the contest is about these days.

  • Jim Gil says:

    Hello Kelly,
    Great list of contests. I’ve entered one and hope the submission does well. I have been watching for the 2015 Real Simple Essay contest. I cannot find anything on this year’s contest. I think it starts in May each year. Do you have any information about it? Thank you – Jim
    PS – The NFB Writers Division has an annual contest for blind or visully impaired writers. You may want to look at that too.

  • I have been searching for a list of poetry competitions that cater to international poets, you have given me a blessing. i deeply appreciate this. i intend to post some of your lists here on my blog, Poetry, My Love. i will also link my post back to this site. Thanks once again.

  • Salvatore Valentine says:

    Hey Ms. Kelly,
    I really need advice. I’m a produced playwright who recently
    completed a minute guide to better grooming, etiquette and something I call. “The Man Rules.” My manuscript owes much of its existence and tone to Giovanni Della Casa’s sixteenth century classic “Galateo” or the Rules of Polite Behavior. Published posthumously in 1558 it was written primarily to his nephew Annibale as a sort of road map of life from a loving uncle.
    Where do I go with a book of this nature?

  • Tara says:

    Thanks! Really helpful 🙂

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