Competitions for Writers: March and April 2015

Competitions for Writers in March and April 2015

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. 

Bath Flash Fiction Award
is a rolling competition. Each award ends when 1000 entries are received. Judging takes place soon afterwards, with a top prize of £1000. Maximum story length is 300 words and entrants can be from anywhere in the world.

Enizagam Literary Awards in Poetry and Fiction
will award two prizes of US$1000 and publication. Poets should submit poems totalling no more than 10 pages; short stories may be up to 4000 words. Entries close 1 March.

Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition
awards a prize of US$1000 with a total of 20 entrants to be published in a contest issue of Atlanta Review. Entries close 1 March.

CBC Creative Nonfiction Competition
is open to all Canadian residents. The competition is for original, unpublished work of creative nonfiction between 1200 and 1500 words and carries a grand prize of CA$6000. Entries close 1 March.

Gordon Burn Prize
is open to fiction books that challenges perceived notions of genre and make people think again about just what it is that we are reading and non-fiction book that explore in innovative and exciting ways topics that reflect Gordon Burn’s interests such as social history, sport, true crime, music, celebrity and art. The winning writer will receive a cheque for £5000 and be offered the opportunity to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Borders. The deadline is 2 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 Candidates should submit 5 – 10 pages (up to 2500 words) of previously unpublished fiction.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 2 March.

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award
is inviting entries from Irish writers with a previously of unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words. There is no entry fee, no age limit and no restriction on the subject matter. Entries close 6 March.

Fresher Writing Prize
aims to offer a platform for new writers, giving them the opportunity to be published and have their work read by major industry figures. There are various categories to enter (short story, poetry, scriptwriting and creative non-fiction), and the prizes on offer are aimed at helping new writers to launch their careers. Closes 8 March.

Room Creative Nonfiction Contest
is open to until 8 March. Room is Canada’s oldest literary journal by and about women. The winner receives CA$500 and publication.

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
is offered each year by Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing. The winner receives a US$2000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be under 50 pages. Entries close 14 March.

Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series
welcomes manuscripts from all living writers, including non-US citizens, writing in English. Winners will receive $3000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press.The editors prefer that fiction manuscripts be at least 150 pages long and poetry manuscripts at least 50 pages long. Novels are not considered; manuscripts should be comprised either entirely of short stories or one novella along with short stories. Entries close 15 March.

Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
offers a prize of US$1000 and the winner and many runners-up will be published in the Spring 2016 print edition of Bellingham Review. Entries close 15 March.

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize
is awarded by Selected Shorts with partner Electric Literature. The judge of the prize in 2015 is Karen Russell. The winning entry will receive US$1000 and the work will be performed and recorded live at the Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space, and will be published on electricliterature.com. The winning writer will also earn free admission to a 10-week course with Gotham Writers Workshop. Closes 15 March.

Missouri Review
is looking for short audio documentaries, stories, poems, and humor pieces for its 2015 Miller Audio Prize. A US$1000 prize will be awarded to the winner in each category. Closes 15 March.

James Jones Fellowship Contest
is now in its 24th year. It awards $10,000 to an American writer with a first fiction novel in progress in 2015. Two runners-up will each receive $1000. Entries close 15 March.

Annie Dillard Award For Creative Nonfiction
offers a prize of US$1000 and the winner and many runners-up will be published in the Spring 2016 print edition of Bellingham Review. Entries close 15 March.

Willow Springs Fiction Prize
awards a first prize of $2000 and publication. There is a $15 entry fee for which every entrants receives a subscription to Willow Springs. Closes 15 March.

Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition
is open to stories up to 2200 words in length and can be on any subject. The winner receives £2000 plus two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre and a day with a Virago editor. Women writers from all countries are eligible to enter. Closes 16 March.

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.

Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction
is named in honour of Lip Magazine’s founding editor. Lip is a feminist magazine and  the theme of the 2015 competition is ‘privilege’, with a focus on women’s stories. Anyone is eligible to enter and the organisers are looking for creative, insightful fiction that addresses the theme in any kind of way. Closes 23 March.

SA Writers’ College Annual Short Story Award
is open to emerging writers in South Africa who have had fewer than four stories/articles published in any format (print or digital). First prize is R 10 000.00 and entries may be up to 2000 words in length. Closes 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.

Bath Novel Award
is an international competition for unpublished or self-published novels with a £1000 prize. Submissions should include up to the first five thousand words of a novel plus a one page synopsis. Entries close 31 March.

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition
offers a first prize of £800. The competition is open to all writers over 16 the chairman of the judging panel is Alexander McCall Smith. Stories should be under 1500 words and can be on any topic. Closes 31 March.

Caterpillar’s Inaugral Poetry Competition
is for a single poem written by an adult for children (aged 7–11). The competition is open to all and there is no line limit. The winner receives €1000 and publication. Entries close 31 March.

Short Fiction
is a UK-based visual literary journal. It’s annual Short Fiction Prize is open to stories in any genre up to 6000 words. The winner receives £500 and publication. Entries close 31 March.

CutBank Chapbook Contest
offers the winner publication, US$1000 and 25 copies of the finished book. Manuscripts should be 25-40 pages in length of poetry (a cohesive poetry manuscript), fiction (either a short fiction collection or novella), or creative nonfiction (one long essay or a short collection of essays). Entries close 31 March.

North American Review’s Torch Prize for Creative Nonfiction
offers a first prize of $500. Writers may submit only one piece of creative nonfiction, no longer than 30 pages. Entries close 1 April.

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.

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 2 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. The regular entry deadline is 10 April, with late entries accepted until 1 May.

Waterman Fund Essay Contest
invites emerging writers to explore the question of who the stewards of wilderness are. Statistically, more men than women explore professional careers in the stewardship of wilderness and public land management. What, if any, bearing does the gender of stewards have on our shared and individual perceptions of, and relationship to, wilderness? The winning essayist will be awarded $1500 and published in Appalachia Journal. Entries close 15 April.

New South Writing Contest
will be judged by Roger Reeves in the genre of poetry and Rebecca Makkai in the genre of prose. The contest awards $1000 the winners in each category as well as two $250 runner’s up prizes. Entries close 15 April. 

Event Magazine’s Non-Fiction Contest
is open to creative non-fiction up to 5000 words in length. There is US$1500 prize money available in addition to the regular publication payment. The $34.95 entry fee includes a 1-year subscription. Entries close 15 April.

Eyelands International Short Story Contest
has the theme ‘on the verge. The contest is open to unpublished stories of any genre up to 2500 words. The winner receives a one week holiday on the island of Crete and the top three entrants will be published in anthologies in both Greek and English. Closes 20 April.

Passages North
is running two writing competitions: the Thomas J. Hrushka Memorial Nonfiction Prize is for writing up to 10,000 words and the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize for poems up to 1000 words. Both competitions have a US$1000 first prize. Entries close 20 April.

Bristol Short Story Prize
is open to  stories up to 4000 words. Entries can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (crime, science fiction, fantasy, historical, romance, children’s etc). Twenty stories will be shortlisted and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8. Entries close 30 April.

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$1500 and there are a total of 10 minor prizes of $100. Entries should be a maximum of 6000 words. Closes 30 April.

Exeter Story Prize
is accepting entries up to 10,000 words and stories may be on any theme. The winner receives £500 and a trophy, and there is an additional prize on offer for best humorous story. Closes 30 April.

Redivider’s Beacon Street Prize
is open to fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The winner in each category will receive $500 and publication in the winter 2015 issue of Redivider. The winning pieces will be selected by guest judges: James Scott (fiction), Laura Kasischke (poetry), and Susannah Cahalan (nonfiction). Closes 30 April. 

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.

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.  

 

For publication opportunities in March and April 2015 please click here.

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7 Comments

  1. 20 February 2015 / 11:51 pm

    pity that all but one of those are entry free. (not complaining about the blog — you do an incredible work here and i’m very appreciative of it. just complaining about how the business works, i guess)

    • Sam
      27 February 2015 / 3:32 pm

      Well, it does cost money to run the competitions, It in no way means they aren’t legit — in fact, many of them actually lose money because the entry fees only partially offset the administration costs. While I win some contests and lose others, in balance I’ve always come out ahead to the tune of a few thousand dollars a year, so I tend to feel like I’m playing with “house money” anyway, and at worst the entry fee is going to supporting small/literary presses and organizations I believe in. Admittedly, I’ve met a few writers in my writers’ groups who’ve never won a *single* contest they’ve entered, and just keep dumping money down the drain! They really need to take the hint that their work isn’t ready, if they can’t out-write other amateurs. (Of course, these are always the same writers who decide to self-publish because “the evil gatekeepers” are blind to their genius!)

  2. Hugh Honea
    22 February 2015 / 4:37 pm

    Wish I had known about this earlier. My story will not be ready by March 1

  3. 23 February 2015 / 1:30 am

    this is wonderful! thank you so much for putting this together! 🙂

    • Gail Tucker
      23 February 2015 / 6:11 pm

      Hope you hear this sincere echo echo echo of kiaraworth’s appreciation!!

  4. jill
    5 March 2015 / 11:56 am

    “Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction
    is named in honour of Lip Magazine’s founding editor. Lip is a feminist magazine and the theme of the 2015 competition is ‘privilege’, with a focus on women’s stories. Anyone is eligible to enter and the organisers are looking for creative, insightful fiction that addresses the theme in any kind of way. Closes 23 March”.

    This should specify only for Australian residents.

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