Competitions from around the world for both established and emerging writers.
Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions and be aware that entry fees are payable in many cases.
Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
is one of Australia’s most lucrative prizes for an original short story. Open to writers worldwide, the prize is worth a total of AUD$8000 with a first prize of $5000 and supplementary prizes of $2000 and $1000. Entries close 1 May.
Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest
is for new writing that takes risks. Submission may include any combination of flash fiction or short stories up to 7500 total words.The winner receives US$500 and publication. Entries close 1 May.
Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize
is a biennial competition for the best essay in English between 2000 and 8000 words. Entries may be published or unpublished, and on any subject. The winning essay receives £20,000 and there are five runners-up prizes of £1000. Entries close 1 May.
Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
award up to five fellowships of US$35,000 each year. This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship. The regular entry deadline is 10 April, with late entries accepted until 1 May.
David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction
is only open to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, either a novel or collection of stories. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Southwest Review. Stories can be up to 8000 words in length and all entries will be considered for publication. The deadline for entries is 1 May.
We Need Diverse Books Short Story Contest
is open to emerging diverse writers from all diverse backgrounds (including, but not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural and religious minorities) who have not been published in a traditional print fiction book format, including self-published, independents, small and medium publishing houses, in all genres whether for the children’s or adult market. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in the “Stories For All Of Us” anthology. Entries open on 27 April and close on 8 May.
is an organisation devoted to promoting the empowerment of women, both in the media and in their everyday lives and endeavors. It’s second literary contest is open to stories between 1000 and 3000 words that have a woman protagonist. The winner will receive US$125, publication and have a long form interview featured on the Legendary Women website. Closes 8 May.
is seeking new work for an upcoming issue dedicated to the theme ‘weather’.The magazine’s editors will award US$1000 for Best Essay and $500 for Runner-up and all entries will be considered for publication. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4000 words. Entries close 11 May.
Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest
is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish a book. The winner in each genre will be awarded US$1000. Entries close 15 May.
Winchester Writers’ Festival
is running ten writing competitions in 2015, with categories ranging from writing for children to pitching a tv drama. Writers do not need to attend the Festival in order to enter. The deadline for submissions is 15 May.
James Laughlin Award
is given to recognise and support a second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. The winner receives a prize of US$5000, an all-expenses-paid week long residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and distribution of the winning book to approximately one-thousand Academy of American Poets members. Entries close 15 May.
Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
is dedicated to recognising and supporting the work of emerging writers whose fiction has not yet achieved success. Entries must be less than 3500 words and the competition is open to writers based anywhere is the world. The winner receives US$1500 and publication. The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition first ran in 1981; entries for the 2015 prize close on 15 May (discounted entry available before 1 May).
Sonora Review Nonfiction Contest
is open to miniature non-fiction up to 800 words. First prize is US$1000 and all finalists will be considered for publication. Entries close 15 May.
Spokane Prize for Short Fiction
is open to book-length manuscripts of stories. Manuscripts must include at least three short stories and be no less than 98 pages. There is no maximum page count and stories may have been previously published in journals, anthologies or limited edition volumes. The winner receives US$2000 and publication of their manuscript by Willow Springs Editions. Entries close 15 May.
Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
is open to writers from around the world. First prize is US$1000 and this year’s guest judge is Andre Dubus III is the author of six books including House of Sand and Fog. Entries close 15 May.
A Very Short Story Contest
sets writers the challenge of creating a great short story in ten words or fewer. There is no entry fee and the winner receives a free writing class. Closes 18 May.
Griffith Review’s The Novella Project Competition
offers a prize pool of AUD$25,000. While there is no firm word length requirement, writers are advised that works between 10,000 and 25,000 words are preferable; 35,000 words is the maximum. Entrants must be from either Australia or New Zealand. Closes 29 May.
London Magazine’s Poetry Competition
is open to original poems up to 40 lines on any subject or theme. All works must not have been published before in any form (including being self-published or published online) and entrants can be based anywhere in the world. Closes 31 May.
Frome Short Story Competition
is an international competition open to all unpublished and published writers. Stories on any theme of between 1000 and 2200 words are invited. The guest judge is Samantha Harvey and entries close 31 May.
Inspired by Gandhi International Writing Competition
is open to short stories, poems and reportage up to 400 words and all entries must be inspired by Gandhi. Writers can be from anywhere in the world and there is no entry fee. Closes 31 May.
Baltimore Review’s Summer Contest
has the theme ‘Crime’. Three winners will be selected from among all entries. There is a 3000 word limit for fiction and creative non-fiction, and one to three poems can be included per entry. All entries considered for publication. Closes 31 May.
Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
is for manuscripts between 40,000 and 75,000 words and may include long stories or novellas. Two winning manuscripts receive US$1000 and publication by the University of Georgia Press under a standard book contract. Writers must be residents of North America. Entries close 31 May.
Grist: The Journal for Writers
is running its first annual contest: ‘Pro Forma.’ It welcomes submissions of unpublished creative work: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and/or hybrids that explore the relationship between content and form, whether the approach is experimental or conventional. First prize is US$750. Entries close 31 May.
Tuesday; An Art Project
is an unbound journal of poetry, photographs, and prints released twice per year. Entries are now open for its issue 12 “Samsara” Themed Poetry Contest. Closes 31 May.
Cinnamon Press’s Annual Short Story Competition
is open to all writers, published and beginners. First prize is £500 plus publication, with up to 10 runners-up also be published. Entries close 31 May
Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
is one of Australia’s richest and the most prestigious awards for an unpublished manuscript. The winner receives publication by Allen & Unwin, with an advance against royalties plus prize money totalling AUD $20,000. Entrants must be aged under 35 and previous recipients include Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and Gillian Mears. Entries close 31 May.
(previously known as MMU Novella Award) is a literary competition which celebrates new writing in the novella form. Entries must be unpublished, written in English and between 20,000 and 40,000 words. Entries close 5 June.
awards a US$4000 new and emerging writers’ prize for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published in the magazine. The deadline for the 2015 award is 15 June.
Mslexia Women’s Pamphlet Competition
is for short collections of 20-24 pages of 18-20 poems. To enter, you need to be a women poet who does not have full-length collection published. First prize is publication plus £250, 25 complimentary copies of the pamphlet and a 10 per cent royalty on sales. One or more poems from the pamphlet will be published in Mslexia magazine. The competition close on 15 June.
Norton Writer’s Prize
is will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate student. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more are eligible provided they were completed for an undergraduate writing class. Entries close 15 June.
S.D Harvey Short Story Award
is presented by the Australian Crime Writers Association and Melbourne-based literary journal Kill Your Darlings. Entries can be submitted by published and unpublished writers and can be either fiction or nonfiction stories. Closes 15 June.
American Short Fiction Contest
is open to entries between 2000 and 6500 words. It offers a first prize of US$1000 prize and publication and all entries will be considered for publication. Closes 15 June.
Newcastle Poetry Prize
is one of Australia’s oldest literary prizes and has an AUD$20,000 prize pool. The entry must be a poem, or suite of poems, by a single author totalling no more than 200 lines and all entries will be considered for inclusion in an anthology. This prize is open to Australian residents only. Entries close 19 June.
Greenhouse Literary Agency Funny Prize
is open to unpublished and unagented authors writing fiction for children – from picture books through middle grade novels to sophisticated teen fiction – who are based in the UK, Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and Europe. Entries close 30 June.
Earl Weaver Baseball Writing Prize
is accepting entries until 30 June. The judges are seeking “creative non-fiction/essays that come hard and straight down the pipe; fiction that throws us a curveball; and poetry that reinvigorates our love for the game. Any written work (including scholarly essays) on the amazing game of baseball are welcomed.”
Books Ireland Short Story Competition
is open to all writers of any nationality writing in English. There is no restriction on style or theme but entries must be under 2600 words. First prize of €400, a place at a Kiltrumper Writing Workshop facilitated by Niall Williams and publication. Entries close 30 June.
Helen Sheehan Book Prize
is open to unpublished YA manuscripts of at least 50,000 words. The winning writer will receive US$1000 and a book publishing contract with Elephant Rocks. Entries close 30 June.
Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize
is run by Vermont-based journal Hunger Mountain. The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Stories can be up to 10,000 words and entries close on 30 June.
For publication opportunities in May and June 2015 please click here.