March and April is a busy time for writers with lots of deadlines for competitions, publication opportunities, fellowships and more. Please check the relevant websites for full terms and conditions, and don’t forget that entry fees are applicable in some cases.
Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award
will award one grand prize winner a publishing contract with a US$50,000 advance, and four first prize winners will each receive a publishing contract with an advance of $15,000. There are five categories: general fiction, romance, mystery/thriller, science fiction/fantasy/horror and young adult fiction. The competition is open to writers around the world (except Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) and there is no entry free. Entries close on 2 March.
Dundee’s International Book Prize
is for an unpublished novel on any theme and in any genre. The winner will receive a £10,000 cash prize, together with a contract with Cargo Publishing. Entries close 3 March.
Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
is open to Canadian writers aged under 35. Candidates should submit 5 – 10 pages (up to 2500 words) of previously unpublished fiction. First prize is CA$5000 and there is no entry fee. Entries close 7 March.
is accepting submissions for its winter 2014 issue. Fiction and nonfiction of up to 8000 words will be considered and poets should send between 3 and 6 poems per submission. All work must be previously unpublished. Submissions close 10 March.
is an all-day, all-night celebration of storytelling on Twitter running from 12 to 16 March.
James Jones First Novel Fellowship Contest
is open to American authors with a first fiction novel in progress. A two-page outline of the entire novel and the first 50 pages of the novel are to be submitted. The original entry deadline of 1 March has now been extended to 14 March.
The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
is offered each year by Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing. The winner receives a $2000 honorarium and publication in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be under 50 pages. Entries close 14 March.
The Hodson-Brown Fellowship
supports work by academics, independent scholars and writers working on significant projects relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. The fellowship is also open to filmmakers, novelists, creative and performing artists, and others working on projects that draw on this period of history.The 2014-15 fellowship award supports two months of research and two months of writing. The stipend is US$5,000 per month for a total of $20,000, plus housing and university privileges. Applications close 14 March.
is running two writing competitions: the Waasnode Short Fiction Prize for writing up to 10,000 words and the Neutrino Short-Short Prize for writing up to 1000 words. Both competitions have a US$1000 first prize. Entries close 15 March.
is a literary magazine based in Christchurch, New Zealand. takahē publishes fiction, poetry, nonfiction and interviews and accepts submissions year round. It also runs an annual short story competition for pieces up to 2000 words; entries close 15 March.
The Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest
is for new writing that takes risks. The winner receives US$500 and publication. Entries close 15 March. The Conium Review is also open to general submissions.
The Crime Writers’ Association (UK) Margery Allingham Short Story Competition
is open to all writers around the world. They encourage entries from both published and unpublished writers. Stories must be no longer than 3500 words and the winner will receive £1,000. Entries close 16 March.
Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition
is open to stories up to 2200 words in length and can be on any subject. Women writers from all countries are eligible to enter. Closes 17 March.
Jane Austen Short Story Award
is for short fiction inspired by Austen’s novels. It is open to entries from all over the world and stories must be between 2000 and 2500 words. First prize is £750 and the chance to discuss your current writing project with editor Caroline Oakley of Honno. The three finalists will also win a week’s writers’ retreat at Chawton House. Closes 31 March.
SA Writers’ College Annual Short Story Award
is open to emerging writers in South Africa. The Award has two categories: literary fiction and popular fiction. The theme for the 2104 contest is ‘the world can be divided into givers and takers, and always the two shall meet.’ Entries close 31 March.
Vela’s Nonfiction Contest
is looking for creative nonfiction, written by women, with a strong voice, a compelling narrative, and/or a powerful driving question. First prize is US$500 and publication. Entries close 31 March.
The Sitcom Mission
is an international sitcom writing competition. It showcases 15-minute sitcom scripts at The New Diorama Theatre in London in front of the British TV and radio comedy industry. Entries close 31 March.
The Masters Review
is accepting submissions for its printed anthology. The guest judges is Time magazine book critic and New York Times bestselling author Lev Grossman. The anthology is open to fiction and narrative nonfiction from students currently enrolled in MA, MFA, and PhD creative writing programs. Submissions close 31 March.
The Poetic Republic Short Story Prize
is quite unique – the prize will be judged by the participants through an anonymous peer review process which will take place over 7 weeks in April and May 2014. Stories may be on any subject but must be between 500 and 3000 words, and be previously unpublished. The project also includes an eBook publication featuring up to 21 of the entered stories. The deadline for entries is 31 March.
Narrative Magazine Winter Story Contest
is open to short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished and no longer than 15,000 words. First prize is US$2500. The contest closes on 31 March.
The Incubator Journal
is a new journal for writing from Ireland and North Ireland. Throughout March they are accepting submissions of fiction and memoir for the June issue. The maximum length is 3000 words.
Grain Magazine’s Annual Short Grain Writing Contest
offers prizes for both fiction and poetry and is open to writers worldwide. A total of CA$4500 in prize money is on offer. Entries close 1 April.
is accepting submissions of fiction and poetry from students currently enrolled in a creative writing program for a special online edition to be published in Spring 2014. Submissions close 1 April.
The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
is for unpublished manuscripts by writers from Australia and New Zealand. The winner receives AUD$10,000 and a publishing contract with Text Publishing. Entries close 4 April.
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. All entrants must be aged over 18. The regular entry deadline is 10 April, with late entries accepted until 1 May.
The Writers’ Couch
invites writers to pitch feature film projects. To apply you must have completed a feature-length screenplay for the project you wish to pitch; be over the age of 18; live in the UK; and not have literary representation. Applications for the April round close on the 14th.
The Nick Darke Award
celebrates the best writing for stage, screen and radio, awarding the winner £6,000 to allow them to complete their script. It is open to all writers aged over 16. The first submission stage involves outlining an idea in the form of a 25 word or less pitch, followed by an outline for the story idea in 750 words, suggesting character, plot and structure. Applicants are asked to also submit 20 pages that represent their writing, either in the form of a new or existing piece. Entries close 14 April.
The Waterman Fund Essay Contest
has a theme centred on the value and identity of wilderness fifty years after the Wilderness Act of 1964. Personal, scientific, adventure, or memoir essays, as well as any and all combinations within the nonfiction genre, are highly encouraged. Entries close 15 April.
MacDowell Colony Fellowships
support residences of up to eight weeks for writers and other artists. Located in New Hampshire, studios, room and board are provided. Applications for Fall 2014 residences (1 October to 31 January) close on 15 April.
Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition
is being offered for the first time in 2014 and will be judged by bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith. First prize is £300 and a trip to the Edinburgh Festival. A maximum of 500 entries will be accepted and so writers are encouraged to submit their work as soon as possible. The final entry deadline is 16 April.
The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony
offers Summer Fellowships for fiction, nonfiction and poetry writers during the second half of 2014 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Five applicants (one from the State of Utah) will be chosen for this in-residence program. Each successful Fellow’s award will cover full tuition and housing for the entire three week period of residency. Applications close 18 April.
English Composition I: Achieving Expertise
is a MOOC (Mass Open Online Course) offered by Duke University. The course covers reading critically, writing effective arguments, understanding the writing process, and crafting powerful prose that meets readers’ expectations. For experienced writers, this may be a useful refresher. The course commences on 21 April.
Bristol Short Story Prize
is an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished writers. A total of twenty entries will be published in the prize’s seventh anthology. Cash prizes are also awarded for first, second and third place. Entries close 30 April. The 2013 Anthology eBook is available here.
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
is open to original short stories and essays on any theme. The winner in each category receives US$3000 and there are a total of 10 minor prizes of $100. Entries should be maximum of 6000 words. Closes 30 April.
Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships
in the amount of US$25,800 each will be awarded to five young American poets. Entrants must be US citizens and aged between 21 and 31. Applications close 30 April.
Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading
publishes one story a week and reopens for submissions on 1 May. Previously unpublished fiction ranging in length from 2,000 to 10,000 words will be considered and each contributor is paid US$300.
One Teen Story
is a literary magazine for young adult readers of every age. They are currently accepting submissions from writers of all ages. Contributors are paid US$500 and 25 copies of the issue in which their work appears.
Iowa Summer Writing Festival
is now in its 28th year. Running from 8 June to 25 July, workshops on offer include novel, short story, flash fiction, fabulist fiction, gothic fiction, historical fiction, prose poetry, long poems, documentary poetics, essay, memoir, family history, humor, writing from the body, writing about art, food writing, review writing, hybrid forms, unwriting, and more. Workshops are limited to 12 people each and early registration is strongly encouraged.
features new and classic stories (and story collections) from publishers and writers around the world. They are looking for great storytelling across a diverse range of topics and genres. All stories should be over 1500 words. They are currently looking for non-fiction, fiction, in-depth interviews, magazine features, ebooks and anthologies, book chapters or excerpts, and academic or professional research.
Red Sofa Literary
a Minnesota-based literary agency, is open to submissions. Categories that will be considered include creative nonfiction, biography, graphic novels, science fiction and young adult fiction. They strongly encourage that you first send a query letter, before sending a full book proposal or sample chapters.
is a project of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. They are looking for essays, cultural commentary dealing with issues of race, immigration and transnationalism, literary criticism, in-depth interviews, reviews, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry.
is accepting expressions of interests from travel writers. Send your résumé and writing clips, together with a cover letter explaining your qualifications and areas of expertise, to email@example.com.
Random House Australia’s Hooked
is a new digital-first romance imprint for readers aged 15+. Hooked is currently considering manuscripts between 60,000 – 80,000 words. Authors who are published will receive a standard royalty.