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: 2015 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.

Illinois State Poetry Society 22nd Annual Contest. Categories: Free verse, Formal verse, Haiku, A Happy Memory, Enjoy Illinois, Summertime an Etheree, Hope, and Coffee. Awards: Cash prizes up to $60 depending on category. Entry fee: $10 (members $8) for up to 8 poems; $1 each additional poem. Deadline: September 10, 2015. Info: www.illinoispoets.org/pdf/2015-isps-contest-brochure.pdf Send submissions to Illinois State Poetry Society Contest, c/o Judith Tullis, 6455 Big Bear Drive, Indian Head Park IL 60525.

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, 2015 Early Bird; October 15, 2015 Regular. Info: www.writersdigest.com/popularfictionawards

Bartleby Snopes 7th 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, 2015. 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, 2015. Info: www.ourpastloves.com/contest

The Fabula Press Aestas Short Story Contest 2015. Theme: None. No specific 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. Minimum 2000 words, maximum 7000 words. Awards: $150 and 2 copies of the anthology, $100 and 2 copies of the anthology, $100. Plus, all finalists (varies between 10-15 depending on average word count of stories) get an opportunity to be published in the Nivalis 2015 anthology. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: September 30, 2015. Info: www.fabulapress.com

2015 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Submit 48-70 pages of poetry. Award: $1,000 + publication by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies Press, and 50 author copies. Entry fee: $25 ($20 for NFSPS members). Deadline: October 1, 2015 (submission period September 1 October 1). Submission via Submittable or U.S. Mail. Info: http://nfsps.com/ or send SASE to Wilda Morris, NFSPS Stevens Manuscript Competition, Box 1669, Bolingbrook IL 60440; or email stevens.nfsps@gmail.com

"Picture Worth 1000 Words" Autumn 2015 Essay Contest. Highfield Press invites writers to submit an unpublished essay (500-1000 words) inspired by the theme, "Autumn Leaves," and the photo shown on our website. Submission may be personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, commentary, travel piece, historical account, biography, or short story. Awards: $1,000 Grand Prize and online publication. Two runners up receive Highfield Press gifts. Writers retain all rights. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: October 15, 2015. Info: http://highfieldpress.wix.com/contests#!autumn-2015-contest/cn2c

Writers' Village International Short Fiction Award winter 2015. Any genre of prose fiction may be submitted up to 3000 words, except playscripts and poetry. Entries are welcomed worldwide. Awards: $1600, $800, $400, plus five runner-up prizes of $80. Ten further Highly Commended entrants will have their stories acknowledged at the site and gain a free entry in the next round. Everyone wins because every contestant, win or lose, gains feedback on how their stories were graded - plus tips for improvement. Winners will see their work showcased online. (Runners-up have choice of whether or not to be showcased online.) Entry fee: $24 and multiple entries are permitted. Deadline: Midnight November 30, 2015. Info: www.writers-village.org

Atlantis Short Story Competition 2015 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, 2015. Info: http://atlantis-shortstorycontest.com/

Annual Writers-Editors Network Writing Competition. Nonfiction; Fiction; Poetry. Awards: $100, $75, $50. Entry fee: $3$20. Deadline: March 15, 2016. 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 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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