May and June is a busy time for writers and editors alike, with lots of submission deadlines before the northern hemisphere summer holidays. Below are over 90 writing competitions, publication opportunities, fellowships and more to get you motivated. As always, please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions and be aware that entry fees are payable in many instances.
The O. Henry Prize Stories
is an annual collection of the year’s twenty best stories published in American and Canadian magazines. Entries must be submitted by the magazine’s editors and should reach the series editor, Laura Furman, by 1 May. The 20 stories selected for the 2013 O. Henry Prize collection are available here.
Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
awards 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 final entry deadline is 1 May.
is accepting unsolicited submissions of fiction for a limited time only. There are no style restrictions and McSweeney’s are keen to discover and nurture new and developing writers, but writers should be aware that the response time can be fairly lengthy.
Southwest Review’s 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.
is a literary magazine founded by writers in January 2009. They publish fiction, non-fiction, and poetry works as well as photo-essays and visual media. The editors proudly highlight that pieces submitted to Armchair/Shotgun are assessed anonymously, without regard to an author’s name or bio.
Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
is open to writers outside Australia for the first time in 2014. A total of AUD$8000 will be awarded with prizes for first, second and third place. Entries must be a single-authored short story of between 2000 and 5000 words, written in English. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August. Entries close 1 May.
The CBS Diversity Institute’s Writers Mentoring Program
aims is to provide access and opportunities for talented and motivated diverse writers. The program is held in Los Angeles but writers do not need to be American residents to apply (there are no travel grants or subsidies though). Applications close 1 May.
Penguin Australia’s Monthly Catch
occurs every month between the 1st and the 7th. During this time Penguin will accept unsolicited manuscripts, both fiction and non-fiction. Submissions are only accepted electronically and interested authors should send their manuscript together with a short synopsis and biography.
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.
Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize
awards $2500 and publication by the Kent State University Press to a poet who has not previously had a collection published. Entrants should submit 50 – 70 pages of poetry. Closes 1 May.
The Penny Dreadful
is accepting submissions for its fourth issue They welcomes stories (up to 2 of up to 3000 words each) and poetry (6 of any length). Closes 4 May.
The Walt Disney Studios’ Feature Writers Program
is a paid one year residency housed in Disney’s live-action production group that provides up-and-coming feature writers with development and mentorship opportunities. Submissions close 5 May.
The Linda Bromberg Award for Prose Poetry
is for a single prose poem. The winner recevies a first prize of US$500, publication and broadcast on public radio; honourable mention poems may also be considered for publication and broadcast. Entries close 5 May.
is a literary journal that publishes writers who use English, Tex-Mex, and Spanish and who discuss ‘border life while not excluding voices from other areas.’ Fiction and poetry submitted before 10 May will be automatically entered in their current contest with a US$1000 first prize. There are no entry fees.
The Guardian’s Creative Writing Weekend with MJ Hyland
is aimed at serious writers who have either studied creative writing before, received positive feedback from a publisher or agent, or been committed to writing regularly for at least two years. The course takes place at the University of Salford (Salford, UK) on 10 and 11 May.
Writers’ & Artists’ Writing Historical Fiction Competition
is for original unpublished prose of 1,000 words or fewer. There are no entry fees but writers must be registered on the Writers’ and Artists’ website. Entries close 11 May.
The Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime
is accepting submissions for their second anthology, The Whole She-Bang 2, mystery short stories by members of Sisters in Crime in Canada. The collection will be published, in print and as an eBook) in November 2014. Submissions close 11 May.
a arts and media collaboration project founded by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is looking for writers to contribute fake movie synopses to a new postcard project. HitRecord is based around collaboration and the site has a lot of different projects writers can contribute to.
Sonora Review Nonfiction Contest
is open to essays and non-fiction up to 6000 words, with hybrid projects warmly welcomed. First prize is US$1000 and all finalists will be considered for publication. Entries close 15 May.
Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
is a Hong Kong-based journal dedicated to publishing quality poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, drama, and reviews written in English, as well as photography and art. It has a strong focus on Asian-themed creative work or work done by Asian writers and artists. It also publishes emerging writers around the world. Submissions are currently open for CHA’s September 2014 issue.
The Review Review
is looking for new reviewers of literary magazines. Writers can express their interest by completing a form on their website and supplying two writing samples.
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 2014 prize close on 15 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.
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.
The Scotland Writing Residency
is located in Brora, a coastal village in the east of Sutherland in the Highland area of Scotland. The writer resides, for one week during summer or fall, in a furnished and recently renovated, traditional croft cottage, containing three-bedrooms. There is no cash prize. Applications close 15 May.
Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
is open4, to writers from around the world and is known to award top prizes to virtual unknowns and never-been-published writers. First prize is US$1500 and stories must be less than 6000 words. Entries close 15 May.
Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans
is a creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel and is hosted by The Iowa Review. Writing can be in any genre and about any subject matter. The prize is $1000 and publication in the Spring 2015 issue of The Iowa Review. Entries close 15 May.
The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition
has been revamped for 2014 with the inclusion of a brand new Under 21 Prize, and an increased total prize fund of £5000 now on offer. Both competitions are open to all writers born in or currently living in Wales. Entries close 16 May.
The Next Chapter Award
will support an emerging Scottish writer aged over 40 who is yet to publish a full-length work. The selected writer will be offered nine months of mentoring to be arranged by Scottish Book Trust, four weeks on retreat at Moniack Mhor and a £1000 bursary. Applications close 16 May.
is a literary journal based in Tasmania, Australia, that features short stories, poetry, extracts from forthcoming novels. Fiction submissions close on 18 May.
Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools
is a free, open online course presented by the European Journalism Centre. Instructors include Simon Rogers, Data Editor at Twitter and former editor of the Guardian’s award-winning Datablog, and Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication of Arizona State University and 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner. The program commences on 19 May and continues until 31 July.
The Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program
aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship. Grants are given in five project types: articles, blogs, books, new and alternative media, and short-form writing. Applications close 21 May.
Emerging Writers Getaway Contest for Unpublished Writers of Crime Novels
is open to writers who have not yet published a book and have completed a crime novel manuscript (mystery, suspense, thriller). Submissions should consist of the opening of the novel (up to 5000 words) and a synopsis (up to 500 words.) First prize is a 5-day residency (tuition and lodging) at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ MFA program on Whidbey Island, Washington (travel, meals and expenses not included), a critique from and possible representation by a literary agent, and US$300 cash . Entries close 23 May.
Emerging Writers’ Festival
takes place in Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature, between 27 May and 7 June. The program includes workshops, lectures, panels, launches and original performances. Many of the events are free or low cost.
Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story Competition
is open to all English-speaking writers aged 16 or over. First prize is £500 and at least five finalists will receive £100. All prizewinners will also be published in a Fiction Desk anthology. Fiction Desk advises that ’ghost story’ can mean a lot of different things, from an encounter with an actual phantom to more unusual paranormal phenomena and unexplained events. All types are welcome and writers are free to experiment. Entries close 30 May.
Little Bird Writing Contest
is open to stories up 2500 words but must incorporate one of the daily writing prompts from site. First prize is CA$1000. Entries close 31 May.
The Antigonish Review
is running two writing competitions: the Great Blue Heron Poetry Prize and the Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize. Total prize money of CA$2400 is on offer, with first, second and third prizes winners in both categories to be published. Fiction entries must be postmarked by 30 May and poetry must be postmarked by 30 June.
NBCUniversal’s Writers on the Verge
is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. They are looking for writers who are ‘almost there’ but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. The program consists of two weekly night classes to be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA. Applications close 30 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 30 May.
The Baltimore Review’s Summer Contest
has the theme ‘How To’. 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.
Yeovil Literary Prize
is open to aspiring writers from around the world. There are categories for novel, short story and poetry, as well as a local writer award. Writing in all genres is welcomed and entries close 31 May.
Cinnamon Press’s Annual Short Story Competition
is open to all writers, published and beginners. First prize is £700 plus publication, with up to 10 runners-up also be be published. Entries close 31 May.
publishes short fiction, poetry, essays, drama, and book reviews. Writers at all stages of their careers are invited to submit their work; however, the editors warn they can only publish a very small fraction of the material the receive. The reading period runs until 31 May.
is seeking new work for an upcoming issue dedicated to memoir. The magazine’s editors will award US$1000 for Best Essay and $500 for Runner-up. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4000 words. Submissions close 31 May.
The Warner Bros Writers’ Workshop
is for new writers looking to start and further their career in the world of television. Graduates include Terrance Winter (Boardwalk Empire), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl) and Felicia Henderson (Soul Food). Applications close 31 May.
is a literary magazine that contains, simply, one story. Approximately every three-four weeks, subscribers are sent One Story in the mail, or on their digital devices.Submissions are open between 1 September and 31 May. Stories must be between 3,000 and 8,000 words and can be in any style on any subject.
The 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 Lesley Pearse and entries close 31 May.
Tell It Strange Essay & Story Contest
is for pieces up to 1000 words written in response to one of three selected Annie Proulx quotes. First prize is US$1000, publication in The Writer magazine and a creative writing workshop offered in New York City or online by Gotham Writers Workshop. Entries close 31 May.
The 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.
The Florida Review
publishes fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, graphic narrative, interviews, and book reviews. There is no word or page limit, though they prefer prose that is between 3 and 25 manuscript pages. The Florida Review’s reading period is August through May, although subscribers’ submissions will be read year-round.
Cold Mountain Review
publishes poetry, creative non-fiction, interviews with creative writers, fiction and art. Submissions are read between August and May each year.
Woman’s Weekly UK
accepts submissions of commercial fiction for publication in the weekly magazine and its fiction specials (featuring at least 20 stories and produced 12 times per year). For the weekly, short stories should be between 1000 and 2000 words, and serials should be in three to five parts of 3,300 words each. For the fiction special, stories can be between 1000 and 8000 words.
is a quarterly print and online publication. Submissions for their 14th issue on the theme ’danger’ close on 1 June. They are seeking flash fiction (up to 1000 words), short fiction (up to 3000 words), and creative non-fiction (up to 3000 words), as well as poetry and art.
The Broken City
is currently accepting submissions for their summer 2014 edition with the nautical theme, Avast! Submissions of poetry, fiction, essays, comics, illustrations, photography and music/book reviews should be made by 1 June.
The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
is accepting submissions for its third annual edition. The theme is the creative process. The journal accepts submissions of poetry, creative non-fiction, short fiction, original artwork, and/or photography related to the theme. Submissions close 1 June.
Sonora Review Short Fiction Contest
is open to stories up to 1000 words. First prize is $1000 and all finalists will be considered for publication in issue 66 of Sonora Review. Entries close 1 June.
is based at the University of New Orleans. They publish fiction and non-fiction up to 7500 words, as well as poetry. The reading period closes on 1 June.
Ernest Hemingway Foundation Of Oak Park’s Writer In Residence Program
is seeking applicants for a year-long program designed to give writers ‘what they most need in order to create great work: space and inspiration.’ The successful writer will be given use of the workspace for one year at no cost (see application for details), and will be asked to provide cultural programming – lectures, workshops, presentations, or other programs – to the general public. Applications close 1 June.
The 2nd Annual ScreamCraft Horror Script Contest
is open for entries. First prize is US$2000 cash and a phone consultation with writer-director Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose). The final entry deadline is 1 June.
The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
is accepting submissions for its third. The theme is the creative process. The journal accepts submissions of poetry, creative non-fiction, short fiction, original artwork, and/or photography related to the theme. The deadline is 1 June.
The Big Issue Australia
is seeking stories for its popular annual fiction issue. Submissions must be less than 2500 words and only hard-copy versions will be accepted. Closes 6 June.
Amtrak Residencies for Writers
are designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program.
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 2014 award is 15 June.
Fifth Wednesday Journal
is open to submissions for their Fall 2014 issue. They accept fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays and black-and-white photography. Submissions close 15 June.
Nowhere Spring Travel Writing Contest
is open to fiction and non-fiction between 800 and 5000 words. First prize is US$1000 and publication literary travel magazine Nowhere. Entries close 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 by Seren Books in 2015 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 16 June.
is a collection of short work by writers based in Tasmania and London, on the theme of cities and islands. It will be published in book form in late 2014. All writers published in the collection will receive AUD$300 or the equivalent in Sterling for their work. All work submitted should be less than 5000 words in length and on the theme of cities and islands. Submissions close 18 June.
The First London Short Story Festival
will take place between 20 and 22 June. The program features panel events, workshops and masterclasses, author Q&As, readings and inspiring writing activities. It will also host the launch of the London Short Story Prize.
M Literary Residency Program
sponsored by the M Restaurant Group, offers two three-month-long writers’ residencies in Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. The resident receives transportation, housing, food and a US$1000 stipend. Applications for the 2015-16 residencies close on 20 June.
Newcastle Poetry Prize
is one of Australia’s oldest literary prizes. The 2014 award 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 20 June.
The Stoneslide Story Contest
is open to any kind of story up to 10,000 words in length. The judges are seeking stories that ‘use character, plot, description, humour, and concept to open new emotional and cognitive territory for readers.’ First prize is US$3000 and publication. Entries close 21 June.
The Puritan: Frontiers of New English
is an online, quarterly publication based in Toronto. They publish new fiction, poetry, interviews, essays and reviews. Submissions received before 25 June will be considered for the fall issue. The Puritan also runs a literary competition that closes in September; one of the judges this year is Margaret Atwood.
Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference
runs from 27 to 29 June and features panels, workshops, and presentations by educators, speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing.
One Stone Magazine
is holding their inaugural 24 hour writing contest on 28 June. On this day registered entrants will be emailed a first and last sentence, Each must then write a story that bridges the two in under 750 words. One Stone is also accepting general submissions for publication.
One Teen Story’s Teen Contest
is open to original, unpublished fiction written by people aged between 14 and 19. The contest is open to all genres including literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories and horror. The winning story will be published in the May 2015 issue of One Teen Story. Contest winners will receive US$500, 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work and a poster of the cover featuring their story. The winner of the contest will also have the opportunity to edit his/her story for publication with a One Teen Story editor. No entry fee or form is required. The contest opens on 1 May and close 30 June.
The Cowley Literary Award
is a global short story competition with both fiction and non-fiction categories. First prize is AUD$5000 with a runners-up prize of AUD$1000. Stories to be a maximum of 1000 words. Closes 30 June.
Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize
is for original stories uo to 10,000 words. First prize is US$1000 and publication. Two runners-up will also be published as well as receiving $100 each. Entries close 30 June.
International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest
is for short stories in any speculative fiction genre including fantasy, science fiction and horror. The contest has been running since 2004 and has a Grand Prize of €1000 (US$1300). Entries must be less than 10,000 words and must not have been previously published. The contest opens on 1 January each year, and runs for four rounds throughout the year. The submission deadline for the second round is 30 June, the third round 30 September and the final round 30 November.
London Magazine’s Poetry Competition
is open to poets of all ages from around the world. The winning poem will be published in The London Magazine, the UK’s oldest literary magazine. There are also cash prizes for first, second and third places. Closes 30 June.
an imprint of Penguin Random House, is giving new writers the chance to submit their unpublished manuscripts. Unsolicited submissions will be open between 1 June and 30 June. To submit their work writers are asked to supply an initial 50 pages of prose fiction These pages can be part of a novel or novella, or they can be short stories.
Sangam House Residencies
are now accepting applications for the winter (3 November to 25 January) and summer (3 May to 31 May) sessions. Sangam House is located in is now open. Sangham House is located in Nrityagram, 40 kilometres outside the south Indian city of Bangalore. Applications close 30 June.
BorderSenses Literary and Arts Journal
seeks to provide a venue for emerging and established writers and artists from the U.S.–Mexico border area and beyond. They seek poetry, fiction, non-fiction and book reviews in both Spanish and English from every corner of the world. Submissions for volume 20 close on 30 June.
Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award
is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30, and to offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting. The winner will be flown to New York City to be presented with an award and a US$2500 prize at the International Emmy® World Television Festival. The deadline for submissions is 1 July.
Yale Drama Series
is an annual, international competition for emerging playwrights. The winner is awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of US$10,000, publication of the winning play by Yale University Press and a staged reading. The reading of the 2014 winning play will take place at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City. Submissions for the 2015 Competition open on 1 June and close 15 August.
Allen & Unwin
publishes many bestselling authors including Christos Tsiolkas and Alex Miller. They accept unsolicted fiction and non-fiction submissions each Friday via the ‘Friday Pitch’. Authors are asked to provide the first chapter or section of their manuscript and a short synopsis (of no more than 300 words) or an outline of their chapters and contents.
Atlas and Alice Magazine
is a new publication interested in the intersection between literature science. They are currently accepting submissions for their second issue. Both longer (up to 4500 words) and shorter (500 words for fiction) pieces are welcomed.
Collidor: The Future Present
is a new science fiction appzine. They are currently seeking work between 2000 and 18,000 words in length. All writers published are paid for their work (original fiction – $0.25 per word for the first 5000 words, $0.20 per word for the next 5000 and $0.10 per word up to 18,000 words). They are also interested in original art.
is an online literary magazine sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire. They accept submissions of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
a prestigious journal first published in 1970, considers submissions of poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, plays, essays, interviews, musical scores and visual presentations. Descant pays a CA$100 honourarium upon publication.
welcomes submissions of essays, fiction, memoirs and other prose pieces of between 1500 and 6000 words. According to their website their “natural constituency of writers and material are African or Diasporan but [they] will publish any writer who writes into the African Condition (please interpret boldly).”
WIPs (Works [of fiction] in Progress)
seeks to publish works of fiction that are part of a greater book project. In most cases that means a novel excerpt, or a short story headed for a collection, but WIPs is open to any piece of literary fiction that fits the bill. Submissions should be between 1500 and 7500 words. Authors whose excerpts are accepted will also be interviewed about their work and novels or collections in progress.
Arsenal Pulp Press
is a Canadian independent publisher producing up to 20 new books each year. They accept manuscripts in a range on categories including literary fiction, young adult fiction, graphic novels and gay and lesbian fiction and non-fiction.
is a storytelling website which now has over 30,000 contributors.The site is free to use, though members can become ‘citizens’ for $5 per month.
is a quarterly magazine of culture and literature. They are currently reading submissions for issues five through eight. They will consider all types of writing – articles, reviews, interviews, artwork, video, essays, stories, poems, songs, lists, manifestos, tirades, games and more – and there are no word limits.
is a graphic novel and children’s book publisher in Portland, Oregon with a particular interest in science and natural history. They are currently accepting manuscript submissions and project pitches. They are looking for stories that are geared towards children and young readers and especially in earth science and geology themes.