Writing Contests

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Submit your contest for possible posting. But first, please read what we DON'T post. Then if your contest appears to meet our guidelines, submit your contest. (We need the basics: Name of contest, brief description of what is to be submitted, awards, entry fee, deadline, website URL, and contact email for our follow-up questions.)

Most recently added contest(s) noted in pink -- Contests posted by deadline date.

Read Writing Contest Cautions by Dana K Cassell.

 

Learn when contests are posted - Follow https://twitter.com/danakcassell

 

Winners List: 2016 Writers-Editors Network Competition

 

Writing to Win by Moira Allen
The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests details on more than 1200 contests
Kindle edition

 

Contest judges reveal how they pick the winners - and mistakes you want to avoid with your next contest entries.
Judges Q & A posted here.

 

SSA 2016 Writing Contest; categories: Short Story (to 2,500 words), Personal Essay/Memoir (to 2,500 words), Poetry (to 40 lines). Awards: $250, $125, $75, $25 plus publication in each category. Entry fee: $15. Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2016. Info: http://ssa-az.org/contest.html

The Fabula Press Aestas Short Story Contest 2016. No specific theme or genre; we are open to literary fiction, suspense, horror, stories with a historical or mythological bent, so long as the story fits the theme. However, this contest is not for science fiction, fantasy or chick-lit. Length: 1500 to 7000 words. Awards: $250 and 2 copies of the anthology, $150 and 2 copies of the anthology, $100. Plus, all longlisted entries (top 10-15) get published in the anthology, with non-prize winners receiving $50 for publication rights. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: September 30, 2016. Info: www.fabulapress.com/the-contest/

Clue Awards - Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring suspense, thrilling adventure, detective work, private eye, police procedural, and crime solving. Categories: Detective/Crime, Suspense/Thriller, Private Eye/Noir, Legal/Medical/Police Procedural, Spy/Espionage. Length 40,000 words minimum. Books may be published, unpublished - indie or traditional. Awards: Chanticleer Book Review Package, category and genre cash prizes; $28,980 in reviews, prizes and promotional opportunities. Entry fee; $55. Deadline: September 30, 2016. Info: http://bit.ly/28YfvDM

Little Peeps Awards - Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring stories of all shapes and sizes written to an audience between the ages of about eight to twelve. Categories: Story Books, Chapter Books, Picture Books, Activity Books & Educational Books. Length 40,000 words minimum. Books may be published, unpublished - indie or traditional. Awards: Chanticleer Book Review Package, category and genre cash prizes; $28,980 in reviews, prizes and promotional opportunities. Entry fee; $55. Deadline: September 30, 2016. Info: https://chantireviews.com/services#!/Little-Peeps-Fiction-Writing-Contests-Ch anticleer-Book-Reviews/p/58078150/category=5193080

Ozama Awards - Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring magic, the supernatural, imaginary worlds, fantastical creatures, legendary beasts, mythical beings, or inventions of fancy that author imaginations dream up without a basis in science as we know it: Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Dragons, Unicorns, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Gaslight Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, or other out of this world fiction. Categories: Magic, Heroes & Villains; Coming of Age; Steampunk/Dieselpunk/Gaslight Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Modern/Urban Fantasy; Fairy Tale, Fable,Myth & Legend. Length 40,000 words minimum. Books may be published, unpublished - indie or traditional. Awards: Chanticleer Book Review Package, category and genre cash prizes; $28,980 in reviews, prizes and promotional opportunities. Entry fee; $55. Deadline: September 30, 2016. Info: https://chantireviews.com/services#!/Fantasy-Writing-Contests-Sword-&-Sorc ery-Fiction-Chanticleer-Book-Reviews/p/57162380/category=5193080

Writer's Digest 12th Annual Popular Fiction Awards for short stories to 4,000 words. Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, Young Adult, Romance, Mystery/Crime, Horror. Awards: Grand Prize $2500, Category First Prize $500. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: October 14, 2016. Info: www.writersdigest.com/popularfictionawards

11th Annual Writer's Digest Poetry Awards - 32 lines or fewer. Awards: $1000, $250, $100, $25, plus other prizes. Entry fee: Early-Bird: $15 first poem, $10 each additional. Regular: $20 first poem, $15 each additional. Deadlines: Early-Bird: October 3, 2016. Regular: November 1, 2016. Info: www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/poetry-awards

Saints and Sinners Festival Short Fiction Contest for original, unpublished short stories between 4,000 and 7,000 words with LGBT content on the broad theme of "Saints and Sinners." Awards: Grand prize of $500 and two second place prizes of $100. In addition, the top stories will be published in an anthology from Bold Strokes Books. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: October 3, 2016. Info: http://sasfest.org/#contest

International Call For Writers by ArtAscent Theme is "Spooky." Eerie, haunting, sinister, ghostly, uneasy, frightening, uncanny, dark, hidden, unearthy, mysterious or weird. Spookiness can be expressed in symbolic, literal, modern, traditional, abstract, and completely unique ways. Share your interpretation of Spooky. Entries may include fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations (up to 900 words). Previously published or unpublished are eligible. Awards: The Gold Writer will be featured in the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal complete with a profile review written about you and your work. Up to ten writers in total will be published in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal; showcased, along with website links, in an online exhibition on the ArtAscent website for at least two years; and, promoted on the ArtAscent Facebook and Twitter feeds. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: October 31, 2016. Info: https://artascent.com/the-call-for-artists-and-writers/

Paranormal Awards - Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring magic, the supernatural, weird other worldly stories, super humans, magical beings and supernatural entities, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, Fairy, Magical systems and elements. Categories: Adventure/Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Magical Beings & Creatures, Strange and Unexplained, Supernatural Powers. Awards: Chanticleer Book Review Package, category and genre cash prizes; $28,980 in reviews, prizes and promotional opportunities. Entry fee; $55. Deadline: October 31, 2016. Info: http://chantireviews.com/services/#%21/Paranormal-Writing-Competition/p/2 5917402/category=5193080

Tethered by Letters' Fall 2016 Literary Contests - Short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction contest (limit of 750 words), and poetry contest (max of three pages per poem). International submissions welcome. Awards: $1000 for Short Story, $300 for Flash Fiction, $300 for Poetry. All winners will be published in F(r)iction. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. Entry fees: $15 per Short Story; $8 per Flash Fiction OR $12 for three Flash Fictions; $8 per poem OR $12 for three poems. Deadline: November 1, 2016 Info: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest/

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival One-Act Play Contest. Submit unpublished, never publicly performed one-act plays up to one hour in length. Awards: Grand Prize: $1,500, staged reading at the next Festival, VIP All-Access Festival pass ($500 value), publication in Bayou Magazine. Top nine finalists will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to the Festival.  Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 1, 2016. Info: www.tennesseewilliams.net/2015-16-one-act-play-contest

The Writer's "Our Darkest Hours" (as the days grow darker) contest. Write a 2,000-word short story using any nuance, definition, or understanding of the word "dark." Award: $1,000, $500, $250 plus publication. Entry fee: $25, additional entries $15 each. Deadline: November 15, 2016. Info: https://writermag.submittable.com/submit

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Contest for 2-4 original, unpublished poems of any style or theme, written in English, with a combined length of up to 400 lines. Open only to writers who have not yet published a book of poetry with an ISBN number. Awards: Grand Prize: $1,000, VIP All-Access Festival pass ($500 value), publication in Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine, reading at the next Festival. Top nine finalists will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to the Festival. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: November 15, 2016. Info: www.tennesseewilliams.net/2015-16-poetry-contest

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Fiction Contest for original short story up to 7,000 words. Open to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction with an ISBN number. Awards: Grand Prize: $1,500, domestic airfare (up to $500) and French Quarter accommodations to attend the Festival in New Orleans, VIP All-Access Festival pass ($500 value), publication in Louisiana Literature. Top nine finalists will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to the Festival.  Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 30, 2016. Info: www.tennesseewilliams.net/2015-16-fiction-contest

Atlantis Short Story Competition 2016 No theme or genre restrictions. Up to 2,500 words. Awards: $300, $100, $50 + in-depth feedback; Top 40: Name and story's title posted on website. Entry fees: $10, $15, $25 depending on level of feedback wanted when story does not place. Deadline: November 30, 2016. Info: http://atlantis-shortstorycontest.com/

The Signo Novella Prize for an unpublished novella in English, 15,000-40,000 words. Awards: A first prize of 350, runner-up prize of 100, plus publication in print & e-book for winner with editiorial support, cover design, and royalties as per our standard contract. Entry fee: 5. Deadline: November 30, 2016 @ 23:59 hrs GMT. Info: www.artificium.co.uk/#!competition---the-signo-novella-prize/huq88

Themed Anthology: Submit your short stories and poetry for our next anthology, theme: TIME. Theme to be interpreted as the author sees fit. No genre restrictions. Please write for an adult audience - no children's/YA works. To be published in print and/or ebook formats.
Unpublished and previously-published works accepted (first anthology/anthology rights required). No submission fee. Deadline: November 30, 2016. Info and submissions: editor@artificium.co.uk

Somerset Awards - Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring contemporary stories, literary themes, adventure, satire, humor, magic realism or women and family themes. Categories: Contemporary Theme, Adventure/Suspense, Literary, Women's Fiction, Satire, Magic Realism. Awards: Chanticleer Book Review Package, category and genre cash prizes; $28,980 in reviews, prizes and promotional opportunities. Entry fee; $55. Deadline: November 30, 2016. Info: http://chantireviews.com/services/#!/Contemporary-&-Mainstream-Novel-Writi ng-Contest/p/21521214/category=5193080

The Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize for the best original and unpublished essay in the English language, of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, on any subject. Awards: 20,000. Five runners-up will each receive 1000. Entry fee: 20. Deadline: January 9, 2017. Info: www.nottinghilleditions.com/essay-prize

Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest Previously published work accepted. Poems must be 30 lines or fewer on any subject. All stories may be on any subject or theme. For example, any fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction stories, essays, short screenplays, diary, blog and journal entries are accepted; 5 pages maximum length on any theme. Awards: Poetry Contest: $250, $125, $50; Story Writing Contest: $500, $250, $100. Entry fees: $5 per poem, $10 per story. Postmark and electronic deadline: January 31, 2017. Info: www.dreamquestone.com/rules.html

34th Annual Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition - Fiction, Nonfiction, Children's Literature and Poetry categories. Must be unpublished or self-published. Awards: $150 + WEN membership, $100, $75 plus certificates. Entry fees: $5, $10 or $20 depending on category and membership status. Deadline: March 15, 2017. Click for Guidelines and Entry Form

International Rubery Book Award for Book of the Year for self-published and independently published books. Awards: Book of the Year 1500 (approx $2000 US; 1800€). The winning book will be read by a top London Literary Agent. Plus a minimum of the 3 category winners each winning 150 (approx $200, 180€). Entry fee: $60. Deadline: March 31, 2017. Info: www.ruberybookaward.com

 

Our Contest Posting Rules & Guidelines

We will NOT knowingly post or leave posted contests that retain all rights to either submitted or winning entries. Nor will we knowingly post contests that retain ownership to all entries or assume the right to publish all entries, either on the Web or in print, thereby costing the creators the ability to eventually sell first rights. Such contests are simply attempting to get free content or, even worse, are getting the writers to pay for their content. If winners only are posted or published, the writer can determine prior to entering whether or not the winning prize money is sufficient for transferring first or one-time rights.

Thus, we will not post contests where entries are posted for general judging by site visitors.

We do not post "sweepstakes" - or contests where winners are determined by drawings or chance. Our intent is to publish only those contests where the writing itself is judged against other entrants; not where the luck of the draw determines winners.

Similarly, we will not post contests where the entrants must post their entries on their own sites or blogs, or get them published on others' sites or blogs, with the intent of linking back to the sponsor's directed Web site or blog, and particularly using key words that will be of benefit to the sponsor. Our feeling is that if an author or Web site owner wishes to use others' material to drive traffic to them, or to rev up their ad click revenues, they should simply pay writers for their promotional or content writing.

Also, we do not post contests sponsored by book publishers that have entry or reading fees, with the reward being a published book and/or advance. Viable publishing houses treat manuscript reading and advances as costs of doing business, and do not charge authors for submissions.

We do not knowingly post contests sponsored by or promoting websites or services that offer writing of academic essays, term papers, or other assigned papers for enrolled students or applicants for enrollment..

We also do not knowingly post contests requesting material that is pornographic or promotes violence.

We do not post contests where the "prize money" is really a certificate or credit toward products or services that will cost the writer additional money in order to accept the prize.

We post literary contests that offer cash, publication, or book (or related) prizes, but not those where the prize is a house or other property. These contests are illegal in a number of locations.

We may post "Calls for Anthology Submissions" on our Contests page; however, we will not post anthology notices if (1) there is a submission fee required, (2) rights to *entries* are retained, or (3) rights to *winning entries* extend beyond one-time use in that anthology. This also applies to magazine contests with the "prize" being publication in an upcoming "contest" issue.

If your contest appears to meet our guidelines, submit the following basic information: Name of contest, brief description of what is to be submitted, awards, entry fee, deadline, website URL, contact email in case we have follow-up questions, to contestadd@writers-editors.com.

    

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