Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions
– Offers $25,000 in prize money for original, unpublished work in ten categories including poetry, short stories, plays, television scripts, articles, and children’s fiction. Deadline: mid-May. Also provides separate annual awards for short short stories, screenplays and self-published books.
Arizona Authors Association Awards – AAA requires entries for unpublished poetry, short stories, essays/articles, and novels. Cash prizes of $100 in each category, plus publication, are offered. Deadline: July 1, annually. Entry fees vary from $10 (poetry) to $30 (novels).
Associated Writing Programs Awards – Annual awards of $2,000 (plus publication) are offered for original, unpublished, book-length work in each of three categories: novels, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Reading fee: $20. Deadline: February 28. Open to U.S. residents only.
AwardWeb – Information on major literary awards throughout the USA and other countries, particularly focusing on (though not limited to) science fiction and fantasy.
Boston Review Annual Short Story and Poetry Contests – Contests for original, unpublished short stories (up to 4,000 words) and poems (no more than 10 pages) in any genre. Closing dates: September 1, and June 1, respectively. Entry fees: $20, and $15, respectively.
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest – San Jose State University sponsors this yearly challenge “to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels”. No entry fee. Official deadline: April 15.
ByLine Magazine Contests – Writers magazine offers a large number of contests throughout the year, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction. Open to all. Modest cash prizes.
Communicator Awards, The – Annual competitions honoring excellence in all areas of communication, with separate categories for print (177 sub-categories), video (216 sub-categories) and audio (140 sub-categories).
Flyway – 6th Annual Flyway Sweet Corn Prize. $150 and a book bag of Iowa sweet corn for top entries in each category: fiction, nonfiction (maximum: 4,000 words) and poetry. Reading fee: $18. Deadline March 1st.
Foster City International Writer’s Contest – Seeks entries in four categories: short stories (limit: 3,000 words); poetry (limit: 2 pages); children’s stories (limit: 2,000 words); humor or personal essay (2,000 words). Entry fee: $12. Total prize money: $1,500. Deadline: December 31.
Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award – Provides a $25,000 award, plus a 3-month residency at Stanford University. Applicants must be 40 years of age or younger and have published no more than one book at the time of application. This award is for fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Deadline: November 15.
Mid-List Press First Series Awards – Offers annual awards for novels, short fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Reading fee: $30. Deadlines vary. Open to unpublished writers only. The award includes publication and an advance against royalties.
Milkweed Editions – Milkweed Editions is a non-profit publisher of literature for adults and young adults based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Milkweed National Fiction Prize is awarded annually for the best fiction manuscript submitted by an author not previously published by Milkweed.
The New Writer Magazine Annual Prose and Poetry Prizes – Offers prize money totalling 2,500 pounds for essays (maximum 2,000 words), short stories (maximum 4,000 words), serials or novellas (up to 20,000 words), and poetry (maximum 100 lines). Closes November 30. Modest entry fees.
Page One Contests – A writing contest, in which readers are urged to write 100 words on a given theme, in order to win a copy of a current book.
Painted Bride Fiction and Poetry Contests – Literary short stories (maximum 5,000 words) and poetry are sought in contests sponsored by Rutgers University. Reading fees: $10 and $5 respectively. Deadline: September 30. $1000 prize in each category, plus publication in PBQ.
Park Publications U.K. – Publishers of the magazines, “Scribble” and “Countryside Tales”, holding quarterly competitions for original, unpublished short stories and poems, some open, some limited to specific themes.
Peralta Press Writing Awards – Annual contest seeks poetry (maximum: 30 lines), short stories and non-fiction (both maximum: 2,000 words). Minimum entry fee: $10. Cash prizes total: $750. All entries considered for publication. Deadline: August 15.
Playwriting Contest – Annual contest seeks original, unproduced plays, open in theme, but suitable in both subject, and language, for family-oriented amateur groups. The winner receives a $1,000 royalty advance, and publication.
Pronghorn Press Publishing – Promotes annual prose (up to 5,000 words) and poetry (no more than 60 lines) contests relating to contemporary life in three specific regions, namely, the Rockies, the Desert Southwest, and the Northwest Coast.
Richard J. Margolis Award – A $4,000 prize, awarded annually to a promising non-fiction writer whose work combines “wisdom, humor, warmth, and concern, combined with social justice.” Deadline: July 1.
River City Writing Awards in Fiction and Poetry – A journal based at the University of Memphis, offers annual cash awards for both original, unpublished short stories (maximum 7,500 words) and poetry (maximum 2 pages). Closes March 1. Entry fees: $12 and $5, respectively.
Santa Fe Writers Project – SFWP provides resources for authors and features online fiction as well as an annual writing contest for prose, both fiction and non-fiction, including short stories, essays and sample chapters of novels. $6,000 in cash prizes. Deadline: mid-January.
SAY Writing Contests – Writing contests open to all types of entries including essays, short stories, and poetry. Maximum length: 700 words. Entries are published in a book and readers determine the winners.
Southeastern Writers Association Contests – These contests and awards are restricted to writers attending the annual week-long Southeastern Writers Conference, held in June at St. Simons Island, Georgia. .
Tickled by Thunder fiction magazine – Sponsors quarterly poetry contests (closing February 15, et seq) and an annual fiction contest (closing February 15). A $10 subscription to the quarterly magazine offers one free entry to both contests.
Tundra Memorial Poetry and Short Fiction Contest – Offers a contest for short stories (500 to 2,000 words) and rhyming poetry (up to 100 lines), inspired by and using similar themes to the works of Emily Chesley. Prize: $100 (US). Entry fee: $5. Deadline: mid-October.
The University of Michigan Press – Annual awards, worth $1,000 each and publication, for literary fiction in the form of both a novel and a short story collection. Entrants must have at least one publication credit in the realm of literature. No entry fee. Deadline: July 1.
We Love Writers Writing Contests – Conducts regular contests on-line for poetry, short stories and essays. No entry fees. Modest cash prizes. Deadlines: June 1 and December 1.
Writers Notes Book Awards – Annual awards are granted to qualifying small-press and self-published books in eleven categories. $100 cash prize in each category. Entry fee: $40 per book. Deadline: January 15, 2005.