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The Benefits of Writing Documents for Free
In today’s digital world, writing documents is an essential part of any business or organization. Whether it’s a proposal, report, or presentation, having the ability to write and share documents quickly and easily is key to staying competitive. Fortunately, there are a number of free tools available that make document writing easier and more cost-effective. Here are some of the benefits of using free document writing software:
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Another benefit of using free document writing software is the cost savings it provides. Most paid software can be expensive and require a subscription or license fee. With free tools, however, you don’t have to worry about these costs and can use them as often as you need without worrying about additional fees. This makes them ideal for businesses or individuals who need to write documents but don’t have a large budget for software.
Finally, free document writing software is also highly accessible. Many of these tools are cloud-based, which means they can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. This makes them ideal for remote teams or individuals who need to collaborate on documents from different locations. Additionally, most free document writing tools are compatible with popular file formats such as Microsoft Word and PDFs, making it easy to share documents with others without worrying about compatibility issues.
Overall, using free document writing software can provide significant time and cost savings while also making documents more accessible and easier to share with others. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual looking for an easy way to write documents quickly and efficiently, these tools are worth considering.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
MORE FROM ASK.COM
THE BIG LIST OF INTERNATIONAL WRITING COMPETITIONS
An extensive list of the best international writing competitions. free to enter contests in yellow. new contests added regularly. if you run a writing competition and would like it added to the list, submit it here., advertise with globe soup we’ll send a dedicated email about your contest to our 36,000 email subscribers. our audience is made up entirely of writers interested in writing competitions find out more..
Competitions are a great way to get your work out there and to challenge yourself as a writer. If you're looking for some international writing competitions to enter, look no further. Whether you’re looking for short story contests, essay or memoir competitions, novel awards, flash fiction, or poetry; we’ve got it covered. This list includes competitions open to writers from all over the world. So get your entry ready and start crossing your fingers that you'll be one of the lucky winners!
Why You Should Enter Writing Competitions
Here are some great reasons to start entering your writing into contests:
The prize. Most contests have a pretty good cash prize on offer. Since a lot of organisations will publish the winning entry, it’s important to choose a writing contest with a prize worthy of handing over publishing rights to your story. Some contests will also offer other great prizes like mentoring sessions or introductions to agents.
The prestige and status of winning. This isn’t just for bragging rights, winning writing competitions can look really good when you come to query editors, agents, or publishers.
The exposure. It’s important to get your name out there. A competition win will help spread the word about a new name in the industry.
The opportunity to challenge yourself to write in new styles and genres, or to explore themes and topics you wouldn’t otherwise write about. Many writing competitions have interesting themes or prompts., this can push your writing in new and exciting directions.
Motivation to write. The thrill and excitement of a writing contest can sometimes spur you on with your writing. Submitting your new story for a contest can really help keep you going when otherwise you might start to flag. And the looming deadline can also be a great motivator!
They’re a great way to get unblocked. Writing competitions with prompts can be really effective at getting rid of writers’ block.
A chance to get feedback on your writing. Some competitions offer judges’ critique or the opportunity to get feedback from your peers. This can be invaluable because getting feedback on your writing is one of the surest ways to see your work improve.
How to Choose the Right Competition
Here are some factors to consider when deciding which contest to enter:
Is there an entry fee? There’s nothing wrong with companies charging entry fees. These are not lotteries where the winning entry is pulled out of a hat! Putting on writing contests takes an awful lot of work and we should know! Money from entry fees will go towards the administrative costs of running the contest, compensating the judges for their time and, of course, to fund the prize. That being said, you should still factor in the entry fee when making your decision. Is it a fair amount? Is it something you can afford to lose? Is the prize worth the fee?
The prize. Is the prize worthy of your time, effort, or money spent on fees? For example, if a contest is only offering publication as a prize and they expect you to pay to enter, you’re being taken for a ride. You’re essentially giving them money to take your story from you.
Are they offering a way to get feedback on your story? Let’s face it, there are going to be a lot more losers than winners at the end of a contest. What are you getting out of it, besides the chance of winning? Some contests will provide judges’ feedback for an additional fee. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, the judges should be compensated for their time. However, judges’ feedback can be pretty expensive and the value of that feedback can vary dramatically from judge to judge, contest to contest. You’ll usually end up paying quite a lot of money for one judge’s opinion on your story. We believe that peer feedback can be much more valuable. All our contests offer the chance to get free feedback from as many other participants in the contest as you want. Very often some of the other participants taking part in writing contests are just as qualified to give feedback as any judge.
How prestigious is the contest? This will determine how valuable winning the contest will be for furthering your writing career. However, very prestigious writing competitions will often have more participants and a much higher standard of entry. This makes these competitions the hardest ones to win.
Can you submit an existing story or will you have to write something new? In our opinion, the best contests to enter are the ones you’ll have to write a new story for. It can be tempting to take one story and enter it in as many contests as you can, but we think you should only do this if you’re really busy with other writing projects and you’re being as prolific a writer as you could wish to be. If this isn’t the case and you know you should (and want to be) writing more often, try to only enter contests that will see you write something new each time. The more you write, the better you become. Don’t miss out on any opportunities to write more and add to your canon of work!
How to Win a Writing Competition
Here are our top tips for winning a writing competition:
Choose the right contest. If winning is your goal, choose a contest you think suits your strengths. If pushing yourself as a writer is more important, choose the contest you think will challenge you the most. If you’re a new writer, choose a less well-known contest, but make sure they’re still offering a good competition! Don’t underestimate yourself and start entering any contest that will take your money!
Read the rules! All reputable contest will have official rules. Read them carefully! If you don’t follow the rules, you’re likely to be disqualified. Most organisations won’t inform participants if this happens. The worst outcome would be that you pay an entry fee, get disqualified without your knowledge and instead just assume you didn’t win because your story wasn’t good enough.
Read the submission instructions very carefully before you choose to take part and then make sure you read them again very carefully when you’re ready to submit. Don’t think you’ll just remember them from reading them once. Also, don’t think of the instructions as ‘suggestions’ on how to submit. They are instructions! Follow them to the letter or risk getting kicked out of the contest and not even knowing that your entry wasn’t considered.
Follow the theme. If the contest has a particular prompt, theme, or calls for a specific style of writing or genre, make sure your entry meets the requirements. Don’t assume the judges will love your story so much it won’t matter that it doesn’t fit within the parameters of the competition. Don’t forget, they’ll probably be publishing the winning entry alongside details of the theme or prompt. They won’t risk their credibility by choosing an entry that doesn’t fit. So don’t waste your time and money by submitting an old and unsuitable story, instead take this as an opportunity to write something new!
Don’t be afraid to interpret the theme or prompt in your own way. Although judges will probably disregard any entry that clearly doesn’t fit the theme, they will be on the lookout for a unique take.
Make sure your story is as good as it can be. This means that it has been properly edited. You don’t need to hire a professional editor or proof-reader, but you should edit it yourself many, many times over. You should also try uploading your entry to different devices because new formats can help you spot errors you would otherwise miss. You should also put your writing through editing software and ask friends or family to read it for errors. Most competitions will only permit you to enter your story once and won’t allow you to resubmit if you spot errors later. Make sure you only submit when it’s completely ready and check and double check you submit the correct file!
Check out the previous winners. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how few participants actually do this! We know this because we know how many people enter our contests and we can see how many people visit our winners’ page! Read the winning entries and look out for commonalities between the way they are written. This is not to say that you should copy the style, but instead figure out what these writers are doing that is impressive and make sure you’re doing the same sort of thing, but in your own way.
Make sure you really understand whichever style of writing you are hoping to submit. If you’re entering a short story competition, make sure you know the fundamentals of short story writing. There are plenty of resources online with tips for writing great short stories. In any contest you’ll be up against a certain amount of seasoned writers, writers who have studied creative writing, or even people who write as their profession. However, the majority of participants will be beginner writers who haven’t studied how to write short stories and some who may have actually never written a short story before. If you’re a beginner too, give yourself an advantage over these other new writers by teaching yourself the basics of short story writing before you begin. Of course, with writing, there are no hard and fast rules, but there are writing conventions and it can be a really good idea to brush up on them. There’s also a lot of resources online about what typically constitutes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ writing and the kinds of things judges and editors love to see (as well as plenty of things that can turn them off a story). For example, did you know that most writing competition judges will be put off by stories that begin with descriptions of weather? And yet, about 80% of stories submitted will begin in this way. These are the kinds of things it’s invaluable to know before you begin writing for contests. We even wrote a whole blog post called ‘Common Writing Mistakes in Entries to Our 7 Day Story Writing Challenges’ that addresses those common ‘errors’ new writers often make. Feel free to check it out, there’s plenty in there that will be applicable to any fiction contest.
The Big List of No-Fee Literary Magazines
100 awesome flash fiction prompts, prize: £500 each challenge.
Register now for our next 7-day story writing challenge. A secret theme, a randomly assigned genre and just 7 days to write a story of no more than 2,000 words. Our 7 day story writing challenges take place throughout the year. The challenges are free and you can even get feedback on your story. Take part in one challenge or take part in all of them!
2023 GENRE SMASH SHORT STORY CHALLENGE
For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a genre pairing. As soon as you receive your ‘smashed’ genres, you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of any length up to 5,000 words, that perfectly and seamlessly combines both genres into one amazing short story.
Deadline: 23rd Oct, 2023
2023 OPEN SHORT STORY COMPETITION!
We’re looking for short stories of up to 6,000 words. Your entry can be any genre, any style, but it must be fiction! Participants also receive our 18 lesson PDF course ‘How to Write Stories That Win Contests’.
Deadline: 31st July, 2023
The New Writers Poetry Competition 2023 is open for entries of up to 40 lines on any theme and from anywhere in the world (though entries must be written in English).
There's a £1,500 prize pool with £1,000 for the winner (2nd: £300 and 3rd: £200).
£1.00 from each entry will be donated to First Story, England's leading creative writing charity for young people.
Deadline: 12th July 2023
For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a science fiction trope. As soon as you receive your assignment you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of no more than 5,000 words. The science fiction tropes chosen for this year’s challenge are:
2. Space Piracy
5. Time Travel
Deadline: 6th Mar, 2023
For our 13th annual Poetry Open, we consider previously unpublished poems of any subject, style or length. Submit up to three poems. Six cash prizes plus online publication.
Deadline: 3rd Jan, 2023
Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. 1000 words, no minimum word limit.
Deadline: 31st Jan, 2023
One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers, and the only one closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, paying new authors over $50,000 this year. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. December's head judge is Creag Munroe.
Deadline: 1st Jan, 2023
From January 1st to January 31st, submit short stories and essays of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Winners in each genre will receive $2,000 and publication.
this year we invite you to reflect on the following questions: How do you or your community celebrate these connections? How do you value those experiences with those people who leave a mark on your life? 1 work will be awarded in each category: 1) photography & visual arts, 2) poetry, and 3) narrative/essay/academic investigation.
Deadline: 1st Feb, 2023
Established in 2001, The Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize highlights one book a year that excels in the chapbook format. Since 2019 the Prize comes with $500, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.
Deadline: 31st Mar, 2023
The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partners with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) on the annual National High School Essay Contest. The contest engages high school students in learning and writing about issues of peace and conflict, encouraging appreciation for diplomacy’s role in building partnerships that can advance peacebuilding and protect national security.
Deadline: 3rd Apr, 2023
Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication. The Big Moose Prize is open to traditional novels as well as novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, and other hybrid forms that contain within them the spirit of a novel.
Oscar’s Book Prize is an annual prize for the best under-fives book of the year. It is awarded in memory of Oscar Ashton and in partnership with Amazon, the Evening Standard and the National Literacy Trust.
Deadline: 16th Jan, 2023
This $1,000 award recognizes a poetry collection translated from any language into English and published in the previous calendar year. Established in 1976, it is given annually. A noted translator chooses the winning book.
Deadline: 15th Feb, 2023
The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is a celebration of innovative new writing from across the globe. Each year, the competition invites submissions of poetry that redefine the parameters of form, concept and technique.
Deadline: 8th Sept, 2023
Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.
Deadline: 19th Mar, 2023
Extraordinary stories about travel and the human spirit have been the cornerstones of our books since 1993. With the Solas Awards we honor writers whose work inspires others to explore. We’re looking for the best stories about travel and the world funny, illuminating, adventurous, uplifting, scary, inspiring, poignant stories that reflect the unique alchemy that occurs when you enter unfamiliar territory and begin to see the world differently as a result.
Deadline: 21st Sept, 2023
Prize: $150 CAD
A Canadian contest with an international flair. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we have increased the prize total to $1800 over six major categories: poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, crime fiction, literary critical writing, and The Bill MacDonald prize for prose (A Northwestern Ontario setting must be central to the work).
Deadline: 28th Feb, 2023
The Trailblazer Review is an international high school literary magazine dedicated to celebrating and honoring indigenous culture through creative writing. Its Annual Cultural Heritage Contest accepts submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction under 4000 words from middle and high school students (13-18 years old) on the subject of native culture and heritage.
Deadline: 20th Feb, 2023
Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, this short story competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. There is no restriction on theme or style. Stories submitted must not exceed the maximum of 1,500 words.
Deadline: 31 Aug, 2023
Every year, the EngineerGirl website sponsors a contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. The topic and detailed instructions for the contest are posted in September with a deadline for submissions on February 1st of the following year. Winners are announced in the spring.
The $1000 for 1000 Words fiction writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 6-12. Each entrant may submit a fiction piece consisting of exactly 1,000 words (not including title or author’s name). The fiction piece can be on any topic, as long as it is not vulgar or offensive, does not use inappropriate profanity, and is the original work of the entrant not previously published.
Indignor House Publishing is proud to announce that our annual writing competition (INDIGNOR PLAYHOUSE Short Story Annual Competition) is officially open with expected publication in the fall of 2023.
We are not concerned with genre distinctions. Send us the best you have; we want only for it to be thoughtful, intelligent, and beautiful. We want art that grows in complexity upon each visitation; we enjoy ornate, cerebral, and voluptuous phrases executed with thematic intent.
Deadline: 22nd Feb, 2023
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company is launching a new playwriting initiative for historically marginalized artists. The "Muse Of Fire Playwriting Festival'' invites playwrights of the global majority to create a full-length play that reimagines Shakespeare’s themes and plots through the lens of BIPOC America.
Deadline: 15th Apr, 2023
A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not published a novel. Runners-up will receive $1000. A selection from the winning work is published in Provincetown Arts.
Deadline: 15th Mar, 2023
Write a short story, 5 pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, fiction, non-fiction, creative nonfiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries, short stage plays, screenplays, and screenwriting). All entries must be either typed or legibly hand printed. Multiple and simultaneous poetry and short story entries are accepted.
Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomers Plus 2023 is open to people born 1966 or earlier. The deadline for entries is June 15, 2023. There is no prompt for the contest. Authors may write about any topic. The entry fee is $20 ($15 if submitting more than one story). The word count for this contest is 900 - 5000 words. Cash prizes of $500, $200 and $100 will be awarded. There will be a minimum of 15 finalists whose story will appear in the book.
Deadline: 15th Jun, 2023
It may be the sprint of creative writing but that doesn’t mean you can rush the creative process. Take us somewhere fast then let your story marinade in the reader's mind. Make every one of your 250 words count. There is no minimum number of words, just like there is no limit to your imagination. They say lightning doesn't strike twice but we want to feel the electricity in your story right from the beginning through to the very end.
Deadline: 31st May, 2023
You don't have to be Tennyson. Just talented. All we ask is that you please keep poems to 42 lines, max. You can, of course, write less. In addition to the prize money, the top three poems are automatically entered into the Forward Prize For Poetry’s best single poem competition, with the chance to win a further £1000. This exclusive award is not open to the public. You can write about absolutely anything but whatever your rhyme or reason, we want to read your poetry.
The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international competition open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs. Membership in the World History Association is not a requirement for submission. Past winners may not compete in the same category again.
Deadline: 1st May, 2023
Our Flash contest is now open and will run until 1st January 2023. The Short Story contest begins on the same date and will run until 31st May 2023.
The Ambroggio Prize is a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, publisher of literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Hispanics.
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.
Prize: $700 CAD
Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: does this query letter convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?
Prize: Royalty advance of £10,000
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.
Deadline: 1st Jun, 2023
The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers grants one $5,000 award in the spring of each year. Only proposals for literary or creative nonfiction book projects will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed.
Deadline: 15th Jan, 2023
Welcome to the 30th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $8,000 in prizes.
Deadline: 30th Apr, 2023
Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story. Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.
Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery — one that fits into legendary crime writer Margery’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”
Enter our 91st Annual Writing Competition for the chance to have your work be seen by editors and agents! Almost 500 winners will be chosen. The top winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.
Deadline: 5th May, 2023
Our annual flagship competition, the Stringybark Stories Open Short Story Award 2023, is now bigger than ever! Thanks to Graeme Simpson and Anne Buist, a record prize pool of over $1300 is on offer. The theme is open, the only constraint is that there must be a reference to Australia somewhere in the story. It doesn't matter how small a link there is (it could be a jar of vegemite on the counter), there just needs to be one!
Deadline: 12th Feb, 2023
The Shepton Snowdrop Festival is inviting poets, young and old, to pen a poem that reflects the power of nature, its reawakening, and the hope it brings. ‘Hope in nature’ is the theme for the 2022 Poetry Competition. During the short days and long evenings of winter, the green tips and delicate flowers of the snowdrop emerge to give hope and a sense of renewal.
Deadline: 8th Jan, 2023
We’re interested in flash fiction pieces of between 250 and 1,000 words. We’re seeking the finest work we can find that incorporates an uncanny element. Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is superb writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises.
Gail Honeyman was shortlisted in our competition and went on to write Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, winning the Costa debut novel award. All the winning and highly commended pieces are entered into the Sunday Times Audible competition, top prize £30,000. UK based writers are entered into the BBC short story competition. That's not all, literary agent A.M. Heath reads all the shortlist and considers representation. Long story short? You are 5,000 words away from success.
The 2021 Nervous Ghost Press Book Prizes are open to outstanding works of poetry and prose by anyone living in the United States of America. All work and all writers, from any point in their careers, are welcome to submit their work and get a chance of publication. Please submit a completed a manuscript (50,000-100,000 words for prose, 48-128 pages for poetry).
Your novel doesn't have to be finished. We initially need only 5,000 to 8,000 words plus a 300 word synopsis. If you're long listed we'll ask for a total of 15,000 words, including your original word count. Shortlisted? Then we need a total 30,000 words, again including your original entry and long listed word count. It all adds up to an incredible opportunity.
The contest is a loving tribute to Anne Marie Gracie, who died of cancer. All profits from the competition will go to Ayrshire Cancer Support.
Share a 2-4-2. What's that? That's a poem with only three lines that has 8 syllables total! So the first line of your poem will have two syllables. The second line will have four. And the final line will have two again. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline: 11th July, 2023
Hidden River Arts offers a yearly prize of $1000 and publication in Hidden River Press, an imprint of Hidden River Publishing, for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry between 75 and 100 pages long.
Deadline: 21st Feb, 2023
Prize: publishing contract
Every year, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. While we cannot guarantee that winners and finalists of this award will receive publication, dozens of winners & runners-up of the Claymore award have gone on to find great success in their careers and many of them attribute that success to this award.
Deadline: 1st Apr, 2023
The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence includes $1,000, publication, and twenty books. The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence is open to ALL poets, regardless of publication history.
Students currently enrolled in a medical school or program are encouraged to submit to our Medical Student Essay Contest. Essays can be on any topic as it relates to medicine. Art, history, and literature topics are preferred.
Prize: $500 scholarship
AWP will offer three scholarships of $500 each to be awarded to three first-place winners in the genres of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. These scholarships must be used to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency at one of the AWP member programs in the Directory of Conferences & Centers. All winners and six finalists will also receive a one-year individual membership.
The Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are $50,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities.
Deadline: 17th Feb, 2023
The challenge of this writing contest is to share a story that uses exactly 100 words. Write about anything but can you share a complete story with only 100 words?
Deadline: 8th July, 2023
Established in 2001, The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize highlights one book a year that excels in the novella format. Since 2019 the Prize comes with $500, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.
Through collaboration and community, shared stories and shared experiences, NCTE supports teachers and their students in classrooms, on college campuses, and in online learning environments. The Promising Young Writers Program stimulates and recognizes the writing talents of eighth-grade students and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students.
The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing was created in 2016 to honor outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books.
As we adjust to new realities, inflationary pressures, geo-political tensions, environmental challenges and more it’s time to imagine and explore. The Minds Shine Bright writing competition Confidence 2023 is open and calling for entries of short stories, short scripts, flash fiction and poetry which explore the theme of confidence in some way.
The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is a celebration of innovative new writing from across the globe. Each year, the competition invites submissions of short fiction that redefine the parameters of form, concept and technique.
The Trio Award for First or Second Book includes $1,000, publication, and twenty books. The Trio Award for First or Second Book is only open to poets with less than two books published.
Write a true story about a pet in 300 words or less! To make it extra enjoyable, please show us a picture of your pet if you can! It can be silly, sad, scary, or any adjective so long as it involves your furry or scaly friend.
We accept stories of any length, written in English, that fit the theme ‘Fiction about a Stranger’.
Each year Third Wednesday awards 3 $100 prizes in its annual poetry contest. For this year's contest, entries will be accepted from November 1, 2020 through February 15, 2021. We will accept contest entries of up to 3 previously unpublished poems of any style and subject matter. There is no limit on length.
Prize: Possible contract with Mystery Writers of America
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.
Writers are invited to submit novels, short story collections and creative nonfiction manuscripts. The Editors' Prize winner receives a publication contract with Unleash Press and $1000 prize, along with 10 printed copies of the final book. We may also offer publication contracts to additional outstanding manuscripts.
Deadline: 31st Dec, 2023
A competition for humorous short stories. 2,500 words max, no minimum. Total prize pot: £3,860. 40 prizes: 1st 1,200, 2nd £600, 3rd £300, 3x highly commended £150, 14 x shortlisted £75, 20 x longlisted (free early bird entry into next comp = £13 in value).
In addition to cash prize, the winner’s head appears on the front cover of the To Hull And Back Anthology. They are depicted riding a flaming motorcycle and holding a quill of wrath. The winner’s copy of the book is strapped to a Harley Davidson and filmed being ridden to Hull. And back. The winner can make the journey on Hilda the Hog if they wish, and appear in the video. All shortlisted stories published in anthology.
Deadline: 30th Jun, 2023
Ottawa Tourism offers an annual $500 CAD prize for outstanding travel writing featuring Canada’s Capital Region. Eligible entries include items in English or in French that have appeared in magazines, newspapers, or online media in 2022 that highlight Ottawa as a travel destination.
Deadline: 3rd Feb, 2023
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.
Subscribe to Fanstory for $9.95 a month and enter as many contests as you like from their list of writing and poetry contests, updated daily. All participants receive feedback from a community of writers, and the winner of each contest receives a cash prize of up to $100.
Entry: $10 monthly subscription
Prize: $1,000- $5,000
Enter themed storytelling contests to put your creativity to the test and be in with a chance of winning cash prizes and more. To submit, you'll need to sign up for a monthly fee of $9.99, or $4.99/month for 3 months.
Entry: $9.99 monthly subscription
Prize: $50 Amazon gift card
Voice.club has a strong commitment to writers and writing. Our monthly Flash Fiction writing contests are a wonderful opportunity for writers to practice their craft, share their stories and win prizes! Each entry must be 350 words or less, be family-friendly, and include some reference to the month's theme.
Oprelle's monthly poetry contest is for all of you out there who carry a scrappy notebook full of poems. Your soul is on that paper, and your words matter. Your poem, based on that month's theme, can be simple and uplifting, or complicated and metaphorical; any style works, if you follow the rules and write 14 or less lines. Oh, and make sure your poetry is 100% original. We will consider both published and unpublished poems.
Prize: Gotham writers workshop
Each month we invite you to post a story on Twitter using #GWstorieseverywhere for a chance to win a free class. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag #GWstorieseverywhere.
The contest is open to Black authors who at the time of entry are at least 18 years of age and residing anywhere in the United States. As always, the contest’s mission is to elevate authentic, culturally relevant children’s stories written by and about Black people.
Deadline: July 24, 2023
Judged by Kirstin Valdez Quade. All entries will be considered for publication. All entries will be considered anonymously. Send no more than one story per entry. Each story must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages in 12 point font. Contest reading fee of $15 includes a one-year subscription.
Deadline: June 01, 2023
The Paul Cave Prize for Literature, established in 2023 by Tim Saunders Publications, is in memory of Paul Astley Cave-Browne-Cave (1917 to 2010), a hugely inspirational magazine and book publisher. What we are looking for All forms of poetry: haiku, free verse, sonnet, acrostic, villanelle, ballad, limerick, ode, elegy, flash fiction, short stories and novellas. Work must be new and unpublished. International submissions welcome.
Deadline: 30 Sep, 2023
Poetry.com offers monthly contests for poets worldwide to gain motivation, inspiration and exposure, while building passion and enjoyment for the written creative process! How are winners chosen? Our contest boasts a clever twist: poems remain anonymous whilst applicants vote on what they believe should be the winning entry.
Deadline: 31 Dec, 2023
Deadline: 15 Dec, 2023
Short stories, any theme up to 3000 words. Poems up to 40 lines. Judges: short story Tim Jarvis, poetry Kirsten Norrie/MacGillvray.
Deadline: 31 Oct, 2023
Dazzle, delight, and entice us. We offer tiered fees, cash prizes, publication, and optional feedback.
Deadline: 2 Jun, 2023
We’re looking for first chapters that grab our attention and leave us wanting more. Your chapter should set the stage for the story to come, establishing key elements like character, world and conflict. All finalists will receive $50 and anthology publication. Word count: 3,000. Must be 18 or older to enter.
Deadline: 20 Jun, 2023
One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers, and the only one closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, paying new authors over $50,000 last year. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. May's head judge is Richie Billing of The Fantasy Writer's Toolshed.
Deadline: 1 Jun, 2023
We are excited to introduce the 2023 MONO. Poetry Prize judged by Instagram poet and influencer, Blake Auden. This year we are offering the highest prize fund to date, and one of the largest prizes for a single poem in the UK. We're looking for your short-form poetry - send us your Haikus, Sonnets, Tankas, Acrostics, Limericks and any other short-form poem up to 14 lines. The theme is 'BEAT' - which is open to wide interpretation. Please be as creative as you wish.
Deadline: 1 Aug, 2023
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Edinburgh Short Story Award 2024
The Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2024
Magma 2023/24 Poetry Competition
The Bridport Prize 2024
2024 Calibre Essay Prize
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest 2023/2024
Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition 2024
The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2023
The 2024 Colorado Prize for Poetry
The Moth Poetry Prize 2023
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Writing Competitions – Weekly Updates
Opportunities for aspiring and experienced writers..
Welcome to the most comprehensive list of writing competitions available online. Our list includes short story , poetry , and flash fiction competitions, as well as some events for essay writers, screenwriting , and even entire novel manuscripts. Each item on our list includes basic information about max word count , entry fees , submission deadlines , and the first place prize .
Please do your own research before deciding to enter any event. In case of questions about a particular event, please reach out to the event organizer .
Use our online form to submit a new event to our list.
We are keen to encourage quality submissions, so suggest writers to check their stories before submitting using Prowritingaid . They have free and paid versions and are the best writing software we know to help improve grammar, readability and check for repetition, ‘sticky’ sentences and suggest alternatives. We also suggest checking out our article about the Best Apps for Creative Writing .
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mon 04 dec All Day Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £10 Max word count No limit? (confirm with organizer) Top Prize £2,000 and publication
sun 10 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Skobeloff Love and Romance Anthology Category Short Story UK Entry Fee Free Max word count 5000 Top Prize Publication
thu 14 dec All Day The Latin Programme Poetry Prize 2024 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £14 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £200
sun 17 dec All Day The Masters Review Chapbook Open 2023 Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 45 pages Top Prize $3000, manuscript publication, and 75 contributor copies
mon 18 dec All Day ReadWrite Strategies Funny Workplace Anthology Contest Category Non-fiction USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 1200 Top Prize $500
sat 23 dec All Day FFF Competition Nineteen Category Flash Fiction International Entry Fee £3.80 Max word count 300 Top Prize £150
sun 31 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! The Auroras & Blossoms Magazine Issue 2 Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee Free Max word count 1000 Top Prize Royalties to those who are published and donate
sun 31 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Wiingy Future STEM Leaders Scholarship Category Essay USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 600 Top Prize $1200
sun 31 dec All Day Valorious Awards Category Novel International Entry Fee $35 Max word count No limit Top Prize $500 (US), Valorious Award trophy
sun 31 dec All Day The Letter Review Prize Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee $20 Max word count Depends on category. Check with organizer. Top Prize $333 and publication
sun 31 dec All Day The Moth Poetry Prize 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee €15 Max word count No limit Top Prize €6,000
sun 31 dec All Day The 2023 Society of Classical Poets Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 108 lines Top Prize $2,000
sun 31 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! My Writing Journey Competition Category Essay International Entry Fee Free Max word count 600 Top Prize $200
sun 31 dec All Day The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 100 pages Top Prize $2,000 and book publication
sun 31 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Lilith Magazine Annual Fiction Contest Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee Free Max word count Depends on category. Check with organizer. Top Prize $300 and publication
sun 07 jan All Day The Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee £4 Max word count 30 lines Top Prize £300 and publication
mon 08 jan All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Quantum Shorts - Flash Fiction Category Flash Fiction International Entry Fee Free Max word count 1000 Top Prize $1500
sun 14 jan All Day The Page is Printed 2024 Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee £5 Max word count one side of A4 paper Top Prize £100
sun 14 jan All Day The 2024 Colorado Prize for Poetry Category Poetry International Entry Fee $28 Max word count 100 pages Top Prize $2,500 honorarium and publication
mon 15 jan All Day Georgia Review Prose Prize Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee $30 Max word count 9000 Top Prize $1500
mon 15 jan All Day Winter Anthology Contest: Compelling First Chapters Category Novel USA Entry Fee $20 Max word count 3,000 Top Prize $1000 and anthology publication. All finalists will receive $50 and anthology publication.
mon 15 jan All Day Rattle Chapbook Prize Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 30 pages Top Prize $5,000 and 500 author copies of their chapbook
fri 19 jan All Day Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction Category Flash Fiction Australia Entry Fee $25 Max word count 500 Top Prize $1000
mon 22 jan All Day 2024 Calibre Essay Prize Category Essay International Entry Fee $20-30 Max word count 5,000 Top Prize $5,000 and publication
wed 31 jan All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Cheshire Prize for Literature 2023 Category Multiple categories UK Entry Fee Free Max word count Depends on category. Check with organizer. Top Prize Depends on category. Check with organizer.
wed 31 jan All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Story Unlikely's Annual Short Story Contest Category Multiple categories USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 4500 Top Prize $750
wed 31 jan All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Discourse Literary Journal Monthly Writing Competition - February Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee Free Max word count 5000 Top Prize Publication
wed 31 jan All Day Oxford Flash Fiction Prize 2024 Category Flash Fiction UK Entry Fee £7 Max word count 1000 Top Prize £1000
wed 31 jan All Day Clash of the Query Letters Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee $5 Max word count 500 Top Prize $700
wed 31 jan All Day New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024 Category Flash Fiction UK Entry Fee £10 (£8 early bird price until 30th November 2023) Max word count 300 Top Prize £1,000
wed 31 jan All Day Magma 2023/24 Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 10-50 lines Top Prize £1,000
wed 31 jan All Day Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition 2024 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £1,000
fri 23 feb All Day The Elmbridge Literary Competition 2023-24 Category Multiple categories UK Entry Fee £5 Max word count 1500 Top Prize £250
thu 29 feb All Day Edinburgh Short Story Award Category Short Fiction International Entry Fee $10 Max word count 2000 Top Prize £3,000
thu 29 feb All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! THE CANTERBURY TALES WRITING COMPETITION Category Poetry International Entry Fee Free Max word count 500 Top Prize £300
fri 01 mar 1:00 am fri 1:00 am Best Short Stories on the Human Impact of Climate Change Category Short Story USA Entry Fee $10 Max word count 3,000 Top Prize $1,000
sun 31 mar All Day Minds Shine Bright Seasons Writing Competition Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee $5 Max word count Depends on category (check organizer's website) Top Prize $500 and publication
mon 01 apr All Day The Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2024 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £7 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £1000
fri 31 may All Day The Bridport Prize 2024 Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee £11-£24 Max word count Depends on category (check organizer's website) Top Prize £5,000
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- Search Results
Writing prizes and opportunities
There are many awards and development schemes available for authors at all stages of their careers. Below is a list of monetary awards, sponsored retreats, mentorships and training opportunities.
If you're looking for help both in development or funding from organisations near you, find information about local support here.
Take a look through the opportunities for new writers:
- Opportunities from Penguin - From other organisations - For published writers - Writing retreats
For new writers
WriteNow is run by Penguin Random House and aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves. It offers workshops and feedback, and includes the chance to join a year-long programme.
#Merky New Writers' Prize
#Merky Books is a home for underrepresented voices and provides a platform where their stories can be told, heard and uplifted. The winner of the New Writers’ Prize receives a publishing contract. All longlisted writers are invited to our Writers’ Camp, where they participate in writing workshops, panel talks, editorial one-to-ones, and meet the #Merky Books team.
Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize
The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers and to encourage and support the next generation of literary translators. It focuses on a different language each prize year and is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no more than one full-length translation published.
From other organisations
The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize
Awarded for the best piece of writing on an annual theme. The winner of the Writing Prize receives a cash prize, and the runners-up receive travel expense support that must be used to attend their annual symposium which is hosted in a European country. All genres of writing are permitted, including fiction, non-fiction and non-academic essays. Open to unpublished writers only.
Anthology Poetry Competition
Established to recognise and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing and to provide a platform for publication, the Anthology Poetry Competition is open to original and previously unpublished poems in the English language.
Anthology Short Story Competition
Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, the Anthology Short Story Competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.
Aurora Prize For Writing
The Aurora Prize for Writing is a national competition run by Writing East Midlands, in partnership with the Society of Authors. It seeks outstanding new writing in short fiction and poetry.
The Bracken Prize
The Financial Times and McKinsey want to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes and ask entrants to submit a business book proposal. The prize aims to encourage a new generation of business writers and has already seen a number of shortlisted and longlisted proposals emerge as published books.
The Bath Novel Awards
The Bath Novel Award and The Bath Children’s Novel Award spotlight emerging writers, and are open to unpublished and independently published novelists worldwide.
Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award
The First Novel Award is open to unrepresented and unpublished authors for a novel in any adult fiction genre.
Breakthrough Writers' Programme
Curtis Brown Creative, supported by the Curtis Brown and C&W agencies, run a programme of creative writing courses, mentoring opportunities and scholarships for under-represented writers – with all opportunities fully funded for the writers taking part.
Curtis Brown Creative, supported by the Curtis Brown and C&W agencies, regularly offer funded places on their courses to talented writers facing barriers to entry.
Breakthrough Mentoring Programme
This mentoring programme is for talented writers who fulfil the eligibility criteria and are seeking targeted, detailed one-to-one feedback on a work-in-progress, plus industry advice. You can apply to be mentored for a project at any writing stage.
Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize
Entries of original short fiction between 1000 and 5000 words can be entered into the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize. The winner will receive £1,000 and 12 shortlisted writers will be included in an anthology.
The Bridport Prize
The Bridport Prize has a number of categories: novel, poetry, short story and flash fiction. All the awards are for work which has not previously been published, while the novel award is only open to writers who are not represented by a literary agent.
The Bristol Short Story Prize
This is an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK-based writers.
The Caledonia Novel Award
An Edinburgh-based, international writing competition for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize
The prize is open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 18 and over entering a story of between 2,500 and 5,000 words. The regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives a total of £5,000. The winning stories are published online by Granta and in a special print collection by Paper + Ink.
Creators of Justice Literary Awards
The Creators of Justice Literary Awards is an annual, international contest featuring works which highlight the struggle for human rights and social justice across the world. Writers can submit one poem, essay, or short story on an annual theme.
The Creative Future Writers’ Award
The Creative Future Writers’ Award (CFWA) is a national writing development programme which celebrates talented, underrepresented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance. Prizes include £20,000 of cash and top writing development prizes supplied by prominent publishers and development agencies.
Criptic x Spread The Word
CRIPtic Arts x Spread the Word collaboratively produce a range of activities including salons, a retreat and research for deaf and disabled writers. Their work together aims to offer a range of activities to support, develop and empower deaf and disabled writers.
The Women’s Prize Trust, NatWest, Curtis Brown Literary Agency and Curtis Brown Creative Writing School have partnered to create Discoveries, a unique initiative searching for the most talented and original new female writing voices in the UK and Ireland. The winner will be offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000.
Footnote x Counterpoints Writing Prize
Footnote Press and Counterpoints Arts have partnered to launch the Footnote x Counterpoints Writing Prize for writers from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The £15,000 award, which includes an advance of £5,000 and a publication agreement with Footnote Press, is for narrative non-fiction centred around themes of displacement, identity and/or resistance. Writers can be published or unpublished.
Green Stories Writing Competitions
Green Stories writing competitions are a series of free writing competitions open to all across various formats to solicit stories that showcase what a sustainable society might look like.
Grindstone Literary International Novel Prize
The 2023 Novel Prize is open to authors from all countries, provided their submissions are in English. To be eligible to enter, authors must be unrepresented . Entrants are asked to submit the first 5,000 words of their manuscript.
The London Library Emerging Writers Programme
Geared towards supporting writers at the start of their careers, the programme includes writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the Library’s resources. With its extensive open-access book collection, dedicated writing spaces and diverse community of established writers, the benefits of Library membership are very valuable.
The London Writers’ Awards
This is a development programme run by Spread the Word which aims to increase the number of writers from under-represented communities being taken up by agents and publishers. The awards support 30 London-based writers of colour and working class, LGBTQ+ and disabled writers each year, and bursaries are available for writers in need. There is also an Access Fund for disabled writers. Writers on the awards scheme take part in group feedback sessions on their work and also attend one-to-one professional development sessions.
Mairtín Crawford Awards
The Mairtín Crawford Awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers are invited to submit between 3-5 poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.
The Malorie Blackman Scholarships for Unheard Voices
City Lit’s Malorie Blackman Scholarships for Unheard Voices provide three annual awards worth up to £1000 each, to fund one year’s study within the Creative Writing department at City Lit.
The Manchester Writing Competition
The Manchester Writing Competition for poetry and fiction, offers the UK’s biggest literary awards for unpublished work, with each category awarding £10,000.
Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing
The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing is an annual short story competition open to writers across the globe. The prize awards £10,000 to the best short story that has food and drink at its heart.
Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour
Jointly run by Morley College London and the Rachel Mills Literary Agency, the prize is awarded to unpublished aspiring authors of colour. There are two prizes – one for works of fiction and one for Life Writing and Creative Non-fiction.
The Moth Prizes
The Moth Magazine runs an annual short story prize, nature writing prize and poetry prize open to anyone from anywhere in the world, as long as their writing is original and previously unpublished.
The National Poetry Competition
The National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines, open to anyone 18 or over.
New Writers Poetry Competition
Open to poets from around the world, the winner receives £1,000, with a second prize of £300 and a third prize of £200.
The Nine Dots Prize
The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. Entrants are asked to respond to a question in 3,000 words, with the winner receiving $100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas. The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. Its name references the nine dots puzzle – a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box.
The Oxford Poetry Prize
The winner of the Oxford Poetry Prize receives £1,000, the runner-up £200, and third place £100. The winning poets are also offered publication in Oxford Poetry.
Poetry London Prize
The Poetry London Prize is a major, internationally renowned award for a single outstanding poem. The first prize is £5,000.
Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
Run by Wasifiri , the magazine of international literature, in conjunction with Queen Mary University, this prize supports new writers.
Rhys Davies Short Story Competition
The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition is a distinguished national writing competition for writers born or living in Wales. The first prize is £1,000 and publication in a short story anthology to be published by Parthian Books.
The Royal Society of Literature V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize
The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of the year. The winning entry is also published in Prospect magazine and the RSL Review.
Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards
The New Writers Awards is an annual awards programme supporting individuals committed to developing their writing. The award includes a cash award, a week-long retreat, training and mentoring.
Scottish Book Trust Next Chapter Award
The Next Chapter Award is an annual award supporting an emerging writer over the age of 40. The Award includes a cash reward, 2-week writing retreat, training and mentoring.
The Society of Authors' Awards
The Society of Authors runs annual awards, which are open to writers at all stages of their careers. Among them is The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award for a short story (applicants need to have had at least one short story accepted for publication); and The McKitterick Prize, which is given annually to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel, published or unpublished.
Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition
The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The first prize is €2,000 and a one-week residency at Anam Cara Retreat.
Searchlight Writing for Children Awards is an international competition for aspiring authors writing for children or young adults. Categories are 'Best Children’s Picture Book Text' and 'Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults'.
The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition
Chicken House are looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, and a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love! They'd particularly like to encourage entry from writers from underrepresented backgrounds. The first prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus an offer of representation from an agent.
The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize
The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an international prize that supports and celebrates the best adventure writing today. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. Awards are presented in three categories: Best Published Novel, New Voices and Author of Tomorrow.
W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize
Writers & Artists run the W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize – a celebration of stories as a mode of communication, and a reminder of how vital it is that everyone can share their ideas and experiences via the written word. The prize includes a cash prize and mentoring sessions with an acclaimed author.
The Writers Award
Run by The Deborah Rogers Found - set up in memory of a late literary agent - The Writers Award gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book. It is run biannually.
For published writers
These awards are for published writers only, and in order to be considered books must be nominated by their publisher or agent - authors cannot usually enter themselves (with the exception of the fellowships). However, as a writer looking to get published, it's always worth taking stock of the titles being longlisted and shortlisted for some of the top literary awards to give you a sense of which types of books are receiving critical acclaim. We've included prizes for fiction and non-fiction titles here.
Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
The Baillie Gifford Prize rewards excellence in non-fiction writing across current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.
BBC National Short Story Award
An annual prize, entrants must have a prior record of publishing creative work in the UK. Stories up to 8,000 words are accepted and may be submitted by the author or by their agent. Shortlisted stories are awarded a prize of £600.
The Booker Prize
The leading literary award in the English-speaking world, which has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over 50 years. Awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. Although you have to be nominated by your publisher, many debut novels have been longlisted and shortlisted in the past.
The Desmond Elliot Prize
The Desmond Elliott Prize encourages publishers from across the UK and Ireland to submit literary fiction debuts for consideration, awarding one winning author £10,000 to shape their developing career.
Forward Prizes for Poetry
The Forward Prizes for Poetry honour excellence in contemporary poetry published in UK and Ireland.
FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year
This prestigious £30,000 prize goes to the book that is judged to have provided the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, with £10,000 awarded to each runner-up.
Nero Book Awards
Celebrating outstanding writing by great authors living in the UK and Ireland, these awards list the best books of the year for their quality of writing and readability. There are four categories: Children’s Fiction, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction. An overall winner, given the Nero Gold Prize for the “Book of the Year”, is also be named.
Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize
Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama. The winner receives a prize of £30,000.
The Royal Society of Literature Christopher Bland Prize
The RSL Christopher Bland Prize is an annual award of £10,000 to a debut novelist or non-fiction writer first published aged 50 or over.
The Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize
The annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place.
Scottish Book Trust Ignite Fellowship
The Ignite Fellowship supports established writers who are embarking on or working through a significant project. You can apply whether the project is in its very earliest stages or already a work in progress.
Women's Prize for Fiction
The Women's Prize for Fiction is the UK's most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women.
Arvon runs an annual programme of creative writing courses and retreats for schools, groups and individuals. Their courses, tutored by leading authors, are held at three rural centres and include a mix of workshops and individual tutorials, with time and space to write, free from distractions of everyday life. Arvon courses are in a range of genres and they have different styles of courses. Grants are available to help with course fees.
The Garsdale Retreat
The Garsdale Retreat is a creative writing centre in the Yorkshire Dales. It provides inspirational courses tutored by professional writers, enabling participants to develop their individual creativity in a place of peace and tranquillity, away from the distractions and stresses of everyday life.
Gladstone's Library is a residential library and meeting place which is dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research. They offer a programme of courses and events that keep them connected with a wide range of writers and thinkers.
Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre
Moniack Mhor is Scotland’s National Writing Centre. Based in the Scottish Highlands, they run courses in a range of genres tutored by some of the finest authors in the UK and beyond. They also sponsor awards, bursaries, and professional residencies to develop works in progress and a programme for young writers.
The River Mill
This former flour mill in South Down, Northern Ireland is now a boutique reading and writing retreat. They offer individual residencies and workshops.
Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre
Tŷ Newydd is the National Writing Centre of Wales, run by Literature Wales specialising in residential creative writing courses.
Urban Writers Retreat
Providing residential retreats in Devon and one-day courses in London, they offer guidance and space away from everyday life.
We will keep this page updated with new opportunities as and when they become available. If you want to let us know about a new opportunity, please email us: [email protected]
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All the top writing contests.
Writing Competitions 2023
Writing contests are a great way to practice your skills, hone your craft and get your name out there among fellow fiction writers. They’re also fantastic opportunities for those working in creative nonfiction, poetry, scripts and sometimes even hybrid writing or multimedia projects.
As well as helping establish your name, many emerging writers and seasoned pros alike find writing contests a refreshing way to tackle a topic or theme that’s less familiar to them, or think more laterally about the topics they do like to write about. Plus, there’s often a nice cash prize and/or publication in a literary magazine to incentivise you!
There’s a competition for every kind of writer
Best of all, there are writing contests for all kinds of writing – poets can find many an annual poetry contest to enter, essayists will never be short of a stimulating essay contest, and there is every manner of creative writing contest that fiction writers could hope for.
Maybe you hope to write a short story or flash fiction, or perhaps you’re looking to enter something longer form into a writing contest. Whether you write for a young adult audience or you write more traditional adult fiction, whether your work is in literary fiction, science fiction, mystery or any other genre, you can bet there’s a great literary contest for you.
And it doesn’t matter where you are in your writing career because there are writing contests designed for young writers and emerging writers, others that cater to previously published authors, and plenty that will accept entries from everyone!
If you’re not quite earning a living from writing, don’t worry: there are lots of free writing contests you can enter.
Our selection of writing awards
Of course, all of this variety means that there are hundreds of writing contests you could consider. To try and make it easier for you, we’ve put together this list of writing contests for you to compare so that you can find the one best suited to you.
Because we’re all about novels at The Novelry (the clue is in the name), the focus of this blog will be on competitions centred around short stories and longer-form fiction, but you’ll find a couple of poetry contests and some creative nonfiction gets a mention, too!
Read on for our round-up of awards and competitions, as well as some sage advice on entering writing contests. We’ve included the opening dates and/or deadlines where they have been advertised, but be sure to check any you like the look of throughout the year if the dates aren’t yet published.
Questions to ask yourself before entering a writing contest
If you’re looking into competitions, you’re probably raring to get started. You’re all set to select the writing contests you want to enter and start to put together submission packages. You can already imagine how you’ll feel when you win cash prizes and get published in the literary magazine of your dreams.
But before you scramble to send out your applications, it’s worth pausing to ask yourself some key questions. Here are a few of the ones we ponder before we dive into writing contests.
Should I be entering my novel into writing contests and prizes?
‘It’s not about winning, it’s the taking part that counts’ – how many times did you hear that growing up? And yet, it’s true – often the experience of entering a competition can reap greater rewards than securing a place on the podium.
Entering your work for a writing contest takes courage; you’re putting yourself, and the creation to which you have no doubt dedicated hours of time, out into the world and you have no control over what happens once it’s out there. Is it me, or does that sound like… publishing a novel ?
The trusty team of writing coaches at The Novelry have shared their thoughts on entering writing competitions, and we were struck by the various reasons given for (but mainly, for not ) submitting. A common thread was interrogating the motive for entering in the first place, and this is something I’d recommend any writer considering submitting to a writing contest should do.
Entering your work for a writing contest takes courage; you’re putting yourself and your creation out into the world and you have no control over what happens once it’s out there.
Why do you want to enter writing contests?
Are you submitting to writing contests for a chance to get feedback? To make early industry connections? For potential prize money? Are you looking for validation?
All of these are completely legitimate reasons but being honest with yourself about why you’re putting yourself forward will help you deal with the (potential) rejection that might come.
How will you feel if you don’t win?
If you aren’t someone who deals well with rejection (*shy wave*) then maybe a writing contest isn’t the right avenue for you to be getting feedback on your work . Consider, too, what stage you’re at with your writing – there’s a reason why here at The Novelry we don’t recommend sharing your writing when you’re at first draft stage.
A competition is also an unknown scenario – you have no control over what happens once you’ve hit send. While this is true of any type of submission, whether for a prize, competition or to your dream literary agent , submitting to agents does come with a degree of control. You research and curate the agents you think will like your work, based on their stated interests or other authors on their lists, and so eliminate the potential bias that comes with submitting your romance novel to someone who lives for political thrillers.
Remember: not winning a writing contest does not mean you’re a bad writer. All it means is that on this one specific day, a specific person decided they preferred what someone else had written.
Because remember: not winning a writing contest does not mean you’re a bad writer. All it means is that on this one specific day, a specific person decided they preferred what someone else had written. That does not mean no one will ever prefer your work. Even the most beloved bestselling writers get 1-star reviews.
Alternatives to entering writing competitions
How about entering a different sort of ‘competition’ – one that might bag you the ultimate prize, a world-class literary agent? A great literary agent can represent you and your writing with a view to a career as a published author securing you publishing contracts with major publishers and even foreign rights, audio, TV and film.
At The Novelry, we ensure our writers develop the storytelling skills that will help them achieve their ambition to become published authors with the complete pathway through to our carefully managed bespoke literary agent submission service via our Finished Novel program, available in instalment payment plans from $299 or $239 monthly including one-to-one coaching with a bestselling author. Or, to get started you could apply for our scholarship program, offering a 25% discount to those accepted onto our Novel Kickstarter Scholarship program. With an easy application process and you’ll get to find out if you’ve nailed it within 2 days. Worth a shot for a few minutes of your time!
Bag the ultimate prize! Get a literary agent.
Get on the pathway to becoming a published author with our bespoke literary agency submission service for those who have taken our courses. With affordable instalment payment plans. Choose your course here .
Benefits of entering writing contests
A grand prize winner can often hook an agent’s interest. Being placed in a competition, particularly a well-regarded prize, can be a great way to ‘jazz up’ your writing CV, though it’s not a requirement – no agent or editor worth their salt is going to discard your novel because it hasn’t won, or been shortlisted for, a prize. The novel manuscript is always the most crucial part of any query package .
From a craft perspective, entering a competition can be a productive process, because it will make you review your work in a different light – you know your work is going to be read by strangers, which forces you to consider it with a third party in mind. As we often say – a first draft is for you, the second draft (and third, fourth etc) is for your reader. Polishing up a competition entry with a new reader in mind is no bad thing.
From a craft perspective, entering a competition can be a productive process, because it will make you review your work in a different light.
It’s also great for shifting your mindset. Getting your novel ready for writing contests is a step towards seeing your novel as one among many. This is only ever a good thing! (Think about walking into a bookshop and being confronted with shelves upon shelves of beautiful books! Your novel will be one among many.)
When drafting, the writer is often (and quite rightly) solipsistic; your novel is the only story in the world that matters, you think about it upon waking and dreaming... But putting it amid a competitive field reveals the unvarnished truth: you may love your story, but you might not have given readers a reason (yet) to love it, too.
There are hundreds of legitimate writing contests out there – always read through the fine print carefully to confirm eligibility and to check the terms and conditions around copyright before applying.
Bath Novel Award
This is a great novelist award if you have a completed book to submit! The Bath Novel Award is an international annual prize for emerging novelists, open worldwide. Entry closes on 31st May, and for a chance to win you must submit a single document which includes the opening of your novel up to a maximum word count of 5,000 words (the entire novel must be at least 50,000 words long), along with a one-page synopsis.
Unlike many writing contests, entries aren’t limited to unpublished work: the novel you enter may be unpublished, self-published or independently published. However, if you have accepted an offer of publication with an advance for either the novel you’re submitting or any other novel then sadly you’re not eligible.
Past winners include Abi Daré for the manuscript of international bestseller The Girl with the Louding Voice; new James Bond author Kim Sherwood for Testament and Struan Murray for Orphans of the Tide.
This book award also includes a cash prize of £3,000, along with manuscript feedback and literary agent introductions for those on the shortlist. The entry fee is £29 per novel, with sponsored places available for writers on a low income.
The Bridport Prize
With annual prizes for novels, flash fiction, short stories, memoir and poetry, The Bridport is one of the most prestigious writing contests around.
For the Peggy Chapman-Andrew First Novel Award, they ask for 5,000–8,000 words plus a 300-word synopsis. The novel does not have to be finished, though if you’re shortlisted you’ll need to submit 30,000 words.
Winners receive a cash prize of £1,500 with mentoring and literary agent introductions. The entry fee is £20 per novel.
The Lucy Cavendish Prize
This competition is open to any woman over the age of 18 who’s writing a novel. They welcome entries that are literary fiction or genre fiction, and are open to novels written for a young adult audience or even children’s literature , as long as they aren’t picture books.
The great thing about entering this fiction contest is that you’re not just in with a chance to win the grand prize, you receive a valuable half-hour one-to-one consultation with competition sponsors PFD (subject to not already having an agent) if you make the shortlist! During the consultation, professional agents will give editorial feedback and discuss the marketability of the work you’ve submitted. In addition, the winner receives £1,500 in prize money.
To be considered, you need to pay the £12 entry fee (although there is a low-income option) and submit the first 40–50 pages of your novel along with a synopsis (3–5 pages long). Your novel need not be completed at the time of submission. However, here it does need to be entirely unpublished work: having posted even one chapter on a public blog, for example, disqualifies you.
The college also has other writing awards including an environmental essay contest, although several of the awards are only for students enrolled on courses at the college.
SI Leeds Prize
The SI Leeds Literary Prize is a biennial prize for unpublished fiction by UK Black and Asian women. To enter, you need to submit your full manuscript with a 500-word synopsis and a £10 entry fee. Both published and unpublished writers are eligible, but the manuscript submitted cannot have been published.
There is a cash prize and the opportunity for a manuscript assessment through The Literary Consultancy. Shortlisted entrants are supported through the Prize Plus programme of writer development.
The Page Turner Awards
This is a great collection of writing contests, comprising:
- The Book Award for authors with a published book (mainstream or independently published)
- The Screenplay Award for screenwriters with a completed script
- The Writing Award for unpublished, completed manuscripts
- The Young Writer Award for writers aged between 18 and 25
- The Writing Mentorship Award for uncompleted manuscripts
Plus, there are lots of great subcategories, boosting your chance to win!
A panel of literary agents and publishers chooses a winner in each category in September, and entries open in January. You can win mentorship, editing support, manuscript evaluations and much more, making this an invaluable writing competition for those looking to develop their craft. The entry fee is £30.
First Pages Prize
This is another writing contest with an array of opportunities, awarding prizes in several categories of creative nonfiction and fiction.
It’s open to un-agented writers worldwide and invites you to enter your first five pages (1,250 words) of a longer work of fiction or creative nonfiction.
The winners receive cash prizes (1st place gets $2,000, 2nd get $1,500, 3rd gets $1,000, and 4th and 5th each receive $750 in US dollars), a tailored edit up to the first 100 pages to support the completion of their full manuscript (must be completed before the end of the prize year) and a consultation with an agent.
Entries open on 1st March 2023.
CWA Debut Dagger
The Debut Dagger is a competition for the opening of a previously unpublished crime novel by a writer who:
- isn’t represented by an agent by the time the competition closes
- has never had a traditional contract for any novel of any length
- has not self-published any novel of any length in the last 5 years
Entries from shortlisted writers are sent to UK literary agents and publishers. Every year, authors find representation this way. There’s also a £500 cash prize!
Entries open on 1st October and close on the last working day in February, and there is a £36 entry fee.
And if you’re looking for a short story prize, you can also consider the Short Story Dagger – although rather than celebrating previously unpublished short stories, this one identifies the best crime short stories that have been published in the UK in English during the Judging Period, whether as standalones or within an anthology or short story collection. To be considered, short stories must have been for sale to the public, either in print or e-book.
Future Worlds Prize
Founded by Ben Aaronovitch in conjunction with publisher Gollancz, this fiction prize aims to find the best new talent for writers of colour in the fantasy and science fiction genres . Not only is this one of the best free writing contests, but here we have another of our honourable mentions for short story competitions, because this award allows you to enter either a novel or short story as long as it’s science fiction, fantasy, dystopia or broadly speculative fiction.
Whatever you submit, you must provide a 5,000–10,000 word extract along with a covering letter/personal essay and a synopsis of your work (no more than 1,000 words).
The winner receives a prize of £4,000, while a runner-up gets £2,000. All those shortlisted, as well as the runner-up and winner, receive mentoring from the prize’s publishing partners.
Submissions close on 6th February.
Manchester Writing Competition
The Manchester Writing Competition offers the UK’s biggest literary awards for unpublished work. The Competition was established in 2008 by Carol Ann Duffy (UK Poet Laureate 2009-19) and has awarded more than £220,000 to writers. Each year two £10,000 prizes are awarded: the Manchester Poetry Prize for best portfolio of poems and the Manchester Fiction Prize for best short story. Designed to encourage and celebrate new writing across the globe, the competition is open internationally to new and established writers. Deadline 1st September.
The Morley Prize
This is an annual contest from Morley College and Rachel Mills Literary Agency for previously unpublished writers of colour. There are two award categories: one for a novel and the other for life writing/creative nonfiction.
The date for entering writing contests offered by Morley College 2023 is 4th August. Shortlisted entrants get feedback from Rachel Mills Literary Agency (RML) and the winners receive £500 plus editorial consultations with an agent from RML. There are no entry fees. It is a fantastic opportunity for new writers!
The Cheshire Novel Prize
This prize is open to unagented authors around the world and accepts submissions in all genres, including memoirs and fictional memoirs. They don’t accept children’s fiction though.
One of the great things about the Cheshire Novel Prize is that every entrant receives feedback on their submission, making this a great opportunity to tighten up your writing whether or not you make the longlist or the shortlist.
The entry fee is £27, and you need to submit the first 5,000 words of your work (which should total at least 60,000 words in its complete form). Below your 5,000 words, you should provide a 500-word synopsis (in the same document) – including spoilers!
Entries close on 1st April 2023, so now is a great time to start preparing your submission.
Mslexia List of Writing Contests
Mslexia also offers a range of opportunities in the world of creative writing competitions, so whether you’re looking for a flash fiction contest or a poetry competition – and of course if you’re working on a novel – you’ll want to look over these amazing writing prizes.
The awards are:
- Two annual poetry competitions (for single poem and poetry pamphlet)
- Two annual short fiction competitions (for short story and flash fiction)
- Two biennial novel competitions (for adult novels and novels for children and young adults)
- One biennial memoir competition
To be eligible, you must self-identify as a woman, but there aren’t really any other criteria: Mslexia accepts entries from women of any nationality and age, including under-18s – making this a great opportunity for young adult writers and even high school students.
If you submit short fiction (i.e. a short story or flash fiction), other works you have written can be published, but you can only submit previously unpublished short stories/flash fiction.
However, for the novel and memoir prizes, any authors who have had a novel/memoir published in any country by traditional means are ineligible. Authors who have self-published can submit their work as long as it has not sold more than 500 copies.
For the poetry contest in the pamphlet category, the manuscript may include previously published individual poems and individual poems that have won or been placed in previous competitions, but the poet cannot have a full-length collection (of over 48 pages) published.
Entries for 2023 close on the 18th of September. Entry fees vary, but the fee for the Adult Novel contest is £26.
There is a sponsored entry scheme for low-income women. As well as generous cheques, the prizes include publication, career mentoring, manuscript feedback, pitching workshops, and personal introductions to agents and editors.
Anthology magazine runs a handful of writing awards, covering short stories, flash fiction, poetry and travel writing. Each competition comes with a cash prize and publication in the internationally-distributed magazine. Entrants are welcome from all over the world, provided their writing is in English. For the short story competition, your submission must be previously unpublished and a maximum of 1,500 words.
The entrance fee is €12 until the 30th April 2023, and then €18 until the 31st August 2023.
Bristol Short Story Prize
If you want a short story competition, this is one of the best. This annual international short story prize is open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK-based writers. The 1st prize for the short story award is £1,000, 2nd prize is £500, and 3rd prize is £250.
Twenty stories will be shortlisted and published in the next volume of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology , which is circulated to agents. The remaining shortlistees receive £100.
The entry fee is £9, though there are 250 free online entry places available . The closing date is 26th April 2023.
The maximum word count is 4,000 words, and there is no minimum length. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse, prose poetry or genre-based (e.g. crime, science fiction, fantasy, historical, horror, romance, children’s).
The Orna Ross Green Stories Novel Prize
Organised by the University of Southampton, Green Stories is a free writing competition project with a range of categories for novelists and short story writers. They have quite unique entry criteria – chiefly that in place of an entry fee, entrants have to read at least one of the books from the project that provide an example of entertaining fiction showcasing green solutions (not just problems). They even discount the e-books by 25% for entrants!
Unsurprisingly, the entries themselves should also conform with positive visions of more sustainable futures and/or the inclusion of green solutions, but needn’t have an explicitly green theme.
To enter, you should submit three chapters (4,000–10,000 words, though they do allow you to submit more than three chapters if necessary to reach 4,000 words).
In a single document, you should submit:
- The first chapter
- Another chapter that best showcases how your novel meets the green stories criteria
- A third chapter (the final chapter if possible)
- A synopsis between 500 and 1,000 words that covers genre, plot, characters , and details of how it meets the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.
The deadline for this year is 26th June 2023, and the prizes are £1000 or $1200 for the winner and £500/$600 for the runner-up. Plus, the top three entries get access to a half-price appraisal by Daniel Goldsmith literary consulting!
Newfound Prose Prize
The Newfound Prose Prize is an annual prize for chapbook-length works of exceptional fiction or creative nonfiction. You can submit work in the form of a long story or essay, or a collection of short pieces (60 pages max).
Other than the page limit, the only requirement is that writing should somehow explore the effect of place on identity, imagination and understanding.
These rather generous requirements mean that simultaneous submissions and previously published work are acceptable.
The entry fee is $15, although you can get in touch to arrange a waiver if necessary. The deadline to submit is 15th March 2023.
Clay Reynolds Novella Prize
This novella prize for short fiction – longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel – was established in 2001. The winner receives a cash prize of $500, a standard royalty contract and 20 copies of the published book.
Submissions open each year on 1st January and close on 31st March.
Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
For poetry writers who hope the next contest they enter has a big grand prize to get excited about, the Tufts are an excellent option.
Each year, two outstanding poets are chosen to win the Kingsley and Kate Tufts awards, awarded for poetry volumes published in the preceding year.
Not only are they highly prestigious prizes, they also come with hefty cash prizes: $100,000 for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and $10,000 for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This makes the Kingsley Tufts award the world’s largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry.
The Kingsley Tufts is generally for more experienced writers, while the Kate Tufts poetry contest is for the first book of poetry published by a writer.
Cabell First Novelist Award
This is a great fiction prize for new writers who have published a novel – the submission must be the author’s first novel, and it must have been published in this calendar year. If you’ve published previous books in a different form (e.g. poetry collections or short stories), you’re still eligible.
The book award is co-sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University, which also sponsors the Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize if you’re looking for a short story contest!
Submissions close at the end of 2023, with winners announced in the summer of 2024.
Drue Heinz Literature Prize
This is another great short story award with a sizeable cash prize. The award is open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or at least three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals. The award is open to any writers working in English – you needn’t be a citizen of the United States.
Manuscripts are judged anonymously by nationally known writers. Past judges include Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Raymond Carver, Russell Banks, Robert Penn Warren and Joan Didion.
Winners receive a cash prize of $15,000, publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press, and support in promoting their book.
The submissions window runs from the start of May until the end of June.
The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction
If you love to work with short fiction, this biennial flash fiction contest is a good bet!
It offers the grand prize winner $2,500, second place $1,000 and third place $500, as well as $100 for all other finalists. On top of that, all finalists and placers get to be published in the SmokeLong Quarterly!
Entrance is fairly accessible: it’s open to anyone on the planet aged over 18, as long as the flash fiction you submit is previously unpublished. You can write in any language – you just need to make sure an English translation accompanies your entry.
Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Novel Competition
Another great writing competition for first-time novelists working in the crime genre, the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition is open to any writer of any nationality as long as they’re over 18 and have never had any novel published.
The prize is publication of the submitted novel, with an advance against future royalties of $10,000.
The Bedford Writing Competition
If you want short story contests or poetry prizes, look no further. This is a wonderful way to get published, earn some money and be charitable, all at once!
This international competition is open to anybody aged 17 or over and offers prizes totalling £3,000, including special awards for young writers.
All winning and shortlisted entries are published by Ostrich Books, and all proceeds are donated to charities that support literary and literacy skills.
The short story competition is for stories up to 3,000 words. Poems submitted to the poetry competition can be up to 40 lines.
And you have some time to prepare – submissions open on 1st May 2023.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023
This short story contest is open to citizens of any country in the Commonwealth, and currently receives submissions from nearly all 56 such countries!
There is never any entry fee and stories can be submitted in Bengali, Chinese, Creole, English, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish and the Creole languages of the Commonwealth, as well as in translation into English from any language.
Around twenty unpublished short stories are shortlisted, from which five regional winners are chosen. Each regional winner is awarded £2,500, and they get their short stories published online by Granta, the magazine of new writing. One of the regional winners is then selected as the overall winner. On top of online publication, the winner receives £5,000 – one of the highest amounts for an international prize for unpublished short stories.
Moth Short Story Prize
This is another international short story contest, run by Moth Magazine. It’s open to anyone from anywhere in the world, provided the story they submit is original and unpublished and they are at least 16 years of age. Short stories also need to be within the 3,000-word limit.
There’s a€15 entry fee per story and the deadline for submissions is 30th June 2023.
Excitingly, this year’s entries will be judged by New York Times bestselling author Ottessa Moshfegh! The winning story will be published as part of the summer fiction series in the Irish Times and receive €3,000. The 2nd and 3rd-place stories will be published in the Irish Times online, and the 2nd-place story also gets a week at Circle of Misse and an open travel stipend, while 3rd prize is €1,000.
Masters Review Novel Excerpt Award
Do you hate the idea of having to submit only the opening of your novel? The Masters Review might have the perfect option for you. They welcome excerpts from any point in your novel (note they recommend the excerpt should make sense without needing a synopsis to explain) – and the work can be completed or still in progress. What they’re looking for is style and craft in your narrative , characters and plot . Your submission has to be from an unpublished novel and less than 6,000 words.
The winner receives $3,000, publication and consultation with an agent, while second and third place get $300 and $200 respectively, publication and agent feedback.
Globe Soup Competitions
Globe Soup offer a range of great competitions with prizes ranging from £200 to £1,500. Some are genre-specific, requesting science fiction or historical stories, for example. Others are broader, like their Titles and Book Cover competition, or the Show Don’t Tell prize. Plus, several of them are free to enter!
2023 dates haven’t yet been released, so if this sounds like your cup of tea be sure to check their website.
Grindstone Literary International Novel Prize
This prize is open to authors from anywhere in the world, with a focus on providing a platform for emerging authors.
You’re welcome to submit a completed manuscript, or one that’s still in progress. The only stipulation is that you don’t currently have a literary agent – you’re allowed to have had one in the past. And securing representation is something that this competition can help with, as they forward all longlisted works to top UK agencies! If you’ve been traditionally published or self-published , that’s okay too – it doesn’t disqualify you. Of course, the work you submit must be unpublished.
The work should total (or be projected to total) at least 50,000 words, and you’ll need to submit the first 5,000 plus a brief synopsis.
The prizes are £1,000 for the winner, £500 for the runner up and £125 for four shortlisted writers (plus referral to an agency).
2023 dates have not been announced, but in 2022 Super Early Bird submission ended on 1st May (entry fee £16), then there was Early Bird submission until 1st July (entry fee £18), and the final submission deadline was 1st October (entry fee £20), so you likely have some time to put together your material.
Aurora Prize for Writing – Writing East Midlands
The Aurora Prize seeks outstanding new writing in short fiction and poetry.
Since 2016, Aurora has provided a platform for writers, offering a prize that is truly national (and international) with its heart in the East Midlands.
Their judges have included some of the region’s leading literary lights, with names such as Mahsuda Snaith, Alison Moore, Jon McGregor, Malika Booker, Helen Mort, Debris Stevenson, Shreya Sen-Handley and Georgina Wilding.
The judges for 2023 will be bestselling author Joanna Cannon and writer, poet, performer and Birmingham Poet Laurate in 2022, Casey Bailey.
As well as receiving a cash prize, winners receive feedback on a piece of work of their choice from a matched literary agent or editor.
They receive hundreds of entries each year, with the best 25 in each category making it to a published longlist and the best 10 in each category on published shortlists.
There are also prizes for second and third places in each category, plus prizes for the best work from the East Midlands region.
New for 2023 – they will be running two online masterclasses, one with each of the judges. Shortlisted writers will receive a free ticket to the masterclass relating to their category.
The prize will close for submissions on Wednesday 19th July, 2023.
The Letter Review Prizes
Letter Review believes in the power of literature, and the importance and magic of new writing and they offer writing prizes in three categories every two months: short fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Their prizes are open to all writers worldwide and offer a range of cash sums for winners and runners up.
All entries are considered for publication, submission to the Pushcart Prize, and for further anthologies. The contests are judged blind to ensure fairness. Visit their website to get the next prize entry dates and details.
Don’t shape your writing life around these competitions
While having your work recognised – and remunerated – is undeniably wonderful, it’s important not to let writing competitions rule your writing life or dictate your sense of self-worth as a writer. Plus, remember that this is by no means even close to an exhaustive list of the countless great prizes out there, so feel free to do your own research to find a competition that better fits your needs; be that in terms of timing, word count, experience, award or anything else!
If you do decide to enter, try not to get too disheartened if you don’t take the top spot (or indeed any spot). Remember that rejection is part and parcel of the life of a creative, as many young artists learn in their fledgling days. Developing resilience is a key part of the writing process , and having a strong community to support and buoy you through the ups and downs is crucial.
Also keep in mind that there are lots of other routes to publication, and other channels to get professional feedback on your work. You can submit fiction to literary magazines even when they aren’t running competitions, and many of them will pay to publish your work. You can also look at online fiction writing courses to get some guidance as you write, or editing courses where professional editors provide feedback and suggestions for your manuscript . Plus, if you opt for The Novelry’s offerings, you also get the benefit of our partnership with leading literary agencies , who love to receive our submissions (and often take on our graduates as clients!)
So while writing competitions are extremely rewarding in all kinds of ways, the most important thing is always your writing, and the joy it brings you.
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