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.


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Winners List: 2014 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.


What is your biggest frustration/problem as a writer?
Click here to take survey 

Social Publishing House First Chapter Contest. Submit first chapter of a completed/working memoir manuscript of no more than 4000 words. Awards:
1. Comprehensive Feedback for all entrants regardless of placing
2. Cash prizes for the top three: $150, $100, $50
3. Winner featured on the company blog
4. Winning submission featured on the company website
5. Consideration for invitation into the Social Publishing House community
6. Front row seat with a company editor for possible publishing
Entry fee: $20 until July 10, 2014, $25 thereafter. Deadline: July 31, 2014. Info: http://socialpublishinghouse.com/writing-competition/ Company page: http://socialpublishinghouse.com

2014 InkTears Flash Fiction Competition 500 words or less, any theme. Stories may have been previously published, providing the author still owns the copyright and there is no exclusivity with the prior publication, or unpublished. Awards: 250, 50, 4 x 25. All prize winners will have their story published to the InkTears Readership and their bio published on the InkTears website. Entry fees: 1 entry 3 GBP, 2 entries 5 GBP, 3 entries 6.50 GBP, 4 entries 7.50 GBP. Deadline: July 31, 2014. Info: www.inktears.com/Inktears/WritersNewWritersContest.html

Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or Write a short story, 5 pages maximum length on any theme. Awards: Poetry Contest: $250, $125, $50; Writing Contest: $500, $250, $100. Entry fees: $5 per poem, $10 per story. Postmark deadline: July 31, 2014. Info: www.dreamquestone.com

The Word Hut 14th Short Story Writing Competition - Short stories up to 1000 words on any theme or in any genre. Previously blogged stories may be entered. Awards: 70, 35, 15 plus winning story published on website. Entry fee: 4 per entry via PayPal. Deadline: August 3, 2014. Info: www.thewordhut.com

What Could Possibly go Wrong? anthology themed contest. Any genre, but this exact sentence must appear in the story: "I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?" Must be between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Awards: $200, $100, $50 or credit toward a writing course, plus publication in anthology and e-book. No enry fee. Deadline: August 9, 2014. Info: https://creativewritinginstitute.submittable.com/submit

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition for previously unpublished poems in English language, in any style, on any subject. Maximum Length: 50 lines. Awards: 200, 75, 50, and 20 x 3 (High Commendation). All winning and commended poems receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. Copyright to poems remains with the authors. Entry fee: 4 (one poem), 7 (2 poems), 9 (3 poems) 11 (4 poems), 12 (5 poems), 16 (7 poems), 22 (10 poems). Deadline: August 31, 2014. Info: www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition for previously unpublished short stories, any style, any subject. Maximum Length: 1500 words. Awards: 200, 75, 50, and 20 x 3 (High Commendation). All winning and commended stories receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. Copyright to stories remains with the authors. Entry fee: 5 per story, 8 for 2, 10 for 3. Deadline: August 31, 2014. Info: www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories

Sixth Annual Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction Contest. Maximum length 1,000 words. Any subject, style or genre: experimental, mainstream, noir, fantasy, humor, erotica. Awards: $1,000, $100, four Honorable Mentions $25 each. All six finalists will be published online in the October 2014 Issue of Gemini. Entry fee: $4 ($3 for each additional entry). Deadline: September 2, 2014. Info: www.gemini-magazine.com/contest.html

Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards for short stories to 4,000 words. Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller, Young Adult, Romance, Crime, Horror. Awards: Grand Prize $2500, Category First Prize $500. Entry fee: $20 Early Bird; $25 Regular. Deadlines: September 15, 2014 Early Bird; October 15, 2014 Regular. Info: www.writersdigest.com/popularfictionawards

Bartleby Snopes 6th Annual Dialogue Only Contest Compose a short story entirely of dialogue; under 2000 words. Awards: Minimum $500 awarded, with at least $300 going to grand prize winner; plus publication for five finalists. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: September 15, 2014. Info: www.bartlebysnopes.com/contests.htm

Past Loves Day Story Contest. Write your true story of a former sweetheart, in 700 words or less. Awards: $100, $75, $50. No entry fee. Authors retain all rights. Deadline: September 17, 2014. Info: www.ourpastloves.com/contest

Lucille's Legacy Publishing's 2014 Storytelling Competition. Stories should be unpublished, true, or written as though they were true. We are looking for inspiring, motivational or humorous tales about such subjects as overcoming adversity, an extraordinary act of kindness, about defeating odds, etc. Basically anything that touches our hearts and evokes strong, positive emotion. We are looking for a range of stories from all walks of life. We seek an authentic, unique voice, and a compelling story. Entries may be religious or secular in nature, about any family-friendly subject. Awards: $1000, $750, $500. All 3 top prize winners & up to 100 Honorable Mentions will have their stories published in a book to be distributed nationally. Entry Fee: $20. Deadline: September 30, 2014. Info: www.peacedancers.org

Shelf Unbound Third Annual Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book any genre. This year the competition also introduces the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and nonfiction sports-related books. Awards: The top five books, as determined by the editors of Shelf Unbound, will receive editorial coverage in the December/January 2015 issue of Shelf Unbound. The author of the book named as the Best Independently Published book will receive editorial coverage as well as a year's worth of full-page ads in Shelf Unbound (rate card value $6,000). Entry fee: $40. Deadline: October 1, 2014. Info: www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html

Atlantis Short Story Competition 2014 - 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, 2014. Info: http://atlantis-shortstorycontest.com/

2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for independently published books; 70+ categories. Awards: $1,500, $750, $500, $100 plus trophies and recognition. Entry fee: $75 for the first category; special rates for entering a book in multiple categories. Deadline: February 13, 2015. Info: www.indiebookawards.com/entryguidelines.php

Annual Writers-Editors International Writing Competition. Nonfiction (Previously Published and Unpublished); Fiction (Short Story and Novel Chapter); Children's Literature; Poetry. Awards: $100, $75, $50. Entry fee: $3$20. Deadline: March 15, 2015. Info: Click for Guidelines and Entry form


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 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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