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23 Writing Competitions to Enter Before the End of the Year

Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites for all the latest terms and conditions. For more writing competitions and writing-related news follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Indiana Review Fiction Prize
This competition is open to short stories up to 8000 words in length. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Indiana Review. The final judge is author Caitlin Horrocks and all entries will be considered for publication. Entries close 31 October.

We Need Diverse Middle Grade Short Story Contest
We Need Diverse Books™, a grassroots organisation dedicated to promoting literature that reflects the lives of all young people, is inviting entries from unpublished writers for its middle grade short fiction contest. The winning entrant will receive a US$1000 prize and their story will be included the Heroes Next Door Anthology. Entries close 31 October.

Barry Hannah Prize in Fiction
Named in memoriam, the Barry Hannah Prize in Fiction celebrates writing that captures the strange, surreal, absurd, and magical. Open to stories up to 5000 words, entry is free and the first prize winner will win US$500 and publication in the winter issue of Yalobusha Review. Entries close 31 October.

Commonwealth Short Story Prize
This highly regarded competition aims to bring stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience. Open to citizens of the 53 Commonwealth countries, the prize covers the five Commonwealth regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. The overall winner will receive £5000 (US$6250) and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries close 1 November.

John Steinbeck Short Story Award
This is one of three prizes offered by Reed Magazine, California’s oldest literary magazine. The John Steinbeck Short Story Award is for a work of fiction up to 5000 words. The winner receives a prize of US$1000 and all entries are considered for publication. Entries close 1 November.

Gabriele Rico Challenge for Nonfiction
Also offered by Reed Magazine, this award is for a work of creative nonfiction up to 5000 words. The winner of the Rico Challenge receives a prize of $1,333. Entries close 1 November.

Robert J. Demott Short Prose Contest
welcomes previously unpublished pieces of 500 words or fewer and writers may submit up to three works with each entry. First prize is US$1008.15 and publication in Quarter After Eight. Entries open on 1 November (closing date TBC).

Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award
is run by Mid-American Review and is open to stories up to 6000 words in length. The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Entries close 15 November.

Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest
The Masters Review Contest is open to unpublished stories up to 7000 words. Entrants must be emerging writers who have not published a novel at the time of submission. First prize is US$2000. Entries close 15 November.

Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize
is for original, unpublished pieces up to 3000 words in length. The prize is open to writers from around the world and at any stage of their career. The winner receives AUD$4000 (US$3100) and publication in Overland. There are also two runners-up prizes of $500 each. Entries close 19 November.

Museum of Words Flash Fiction Contest
Administered by the Museo de las Palabras (Museum of Words) in Madrid, this competition is for very short fiction pieces of up to a maximum of 100 words. The winner will receive a prize of US$20,000, with three runners-up each receiving $1000. Entries close 23 November.

Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction
The Lascaux Prize is open to stories up to 10,000 words in all genres and styles. The winner will receive US$1000 and the winner and all finalists will be published in a special anthology. Entries close 30 November.

Fish Publishing International Short Story Prize
This prize is open to stories up to 5000 words. First prize is €3000 (US$3600) plus a 5 day Short Story Workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival. Ten short stories will be published in the 2017 Fish Anthology. Entries close 30 November.

Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition
Ireland’s Munster Literature Centre is inviting entries from emerging and established poets from all over the world for its annual poetry competition. The winner will receive €1000 (US$1200), a week’s residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, publication in Southword and a trip to Cork to attend the Cork International Poetry Festival. Entries close 30 November.

Baltimore Review’s Winter Contest
This annual contest is open to short stories, poems and creative non-fiction. The theme for the contest is ‘Food’. Prizes of US$500, $200, and $100 will be awarded and all entries are considered for publication. Entries close 30 November.

Fiddlehead’s 27th Annual Contest
This contest has both fiction and poetry categories. Each will winner receive CA$2000 (US$1600) and publication. Entries must be unpublished and fiction entires can be up to 6000 words. Entries close 1 December.

Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story Competition
Alongside a cash prize, the winners of Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story Competition will also be published in an 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. Entries open on 1 November (closing date TBC).

Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story
This competition will award US$2000 and publication in Beloit Fiction Journal to the top unpublished story on any theme. The judge for this year’s contest is Rebecca Makkai, author of Music for Wartime. Stories may be up to 7000 words. Entries close 10 December.

Deborah Rogers Foundation Writer’s Award
This £10,000 (US$13,300) is open to unpublished writers residing within the British Commonwealth and Eire. Submissions should take the form of 20-30,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not under option or contract. Entries close 13 December.

River Styx Micro-Fiction Contest
This contest carries a first prize of US$1500. Writers may submit stories of up to 500 words and up to three stories with each entry. First, second and third place winners and honourable mentions will be published in the 100th issue of of River Styx. Entries close 31 December.

Danahy Fiction Prize
The Danahy Fiction Prize is an award of US$1000 and publication in Tampa Review given annually for a previously unpublished work of short fiction. Manuscripts between 500 and 5000 words, but stories falling slightly outside this range will also be considered. Each entrant receives a one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries close 31 December.

Nowhere Magazine’s Fall Travel Writing Contest
Nowhere Magazine is seeking stories that possess a powerful sense of place. Entries can be fiction, nonfiction or essay and first prize is US$1000. Stories should be between 800 and 5000 words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted. Entries close 1 January.

Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction
This short fiction prize is offered annually by The Madison Review. The winning story will be awarded US$1000 and publication. Entries may be up to 30 pages. The Madison Review also runs the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry. Poetry entries close 1 December and fiction entries close 21 December.