31 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.

The Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest
is open to emerging writers only. Entries may be up to 6000 words. The winner will receive US$2000 and publication. Entries close on 30 November.

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

Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition
is run by Ireland’s Munster Literature Centre. The Centre invites entries from emerging and established poets from all over the world for its annual poetry competition. The winner will receive €2000, a week’s residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, publication in Southword and four nights accommodation in Cork city during the Cork International Poetry Festival. Entries close on 30 November.

Fish Publishing International Short Story Prize
is open to stories up to 5000 words. First prize is €3000 plus a five-day Short Story Workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival. Ten short stories will be published in the 2020 Fish Anthology. The entry deadline is 30 November.

Robert J. Demott Short Prose Contest
welcomes 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 close on 30 November.

Headlight Review Chapbook Prize
offers a first prize of US$500. The winning manuscript will be published and the winning writer will receive 25 copies of the resulting chapbook. The prize is open to writers worldwide. Entries close on 1 December.

Porter House Review Editor’s Prize in Fiction
open to pieces up to 8000 words. The contest will be judged by Carmen Maria Machado, the author of Her Body and Other Parties (a finalist for the National Book Award). The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Entries close on 1 December.

Fiddlehead’s Annual Poetry Contest
offers a first prize of CA$2000. With each entry, poets may submit up to 3 poems, maximum 100 lines each. Entries close on 2 December.

RSL’s Literature Matters Awards
aim to reward and enable literary excellence and innovation.  The Awards are given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. Applicants must be UK permanent residencies. The deadline is 5 December.

Strokestown International Poetry Competition
offers a first prize of €2000 plus publication. Ten shortlisted poets will be invited to the Strokestown Poetry Festival in County Roscommon in the west of Ireland to read their work, plus each receives a €300 reading fee and publication in the Festival’s anthology. Entries close 6 December.

Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story
awards US$2000 and publication in Beloit Fiction Journal to the best story on any theme. Stories may be up to 7000 words. Postmark deadline is 10 December.

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing
is open to Australian writers and offers prizes for both fiction and non-fiction. First prize for the open division of each category is AUD$5000. Entries close on 12 December.

The Sunday Times Short Story Prize
is the world’s richest short story competition, with the winner receiving £30,000 (approx US$39,000). There are also runners-up prizes of £1000, plus a £1000 fee for inclusion in an Audible anthology of the shortlisted entries. Entries close on 13 December.

Penguin Literary Prize
endeavours to find and develop new Australian literary fiction novelists. To enter, writers must submit a synopsis, a pitch and a complete, unpublished manuscript. The Prize value is AUD$20,000, with the winner to also receive a book every month for a year and the potential for publication with Penguin Random House Australia. Entries close on 13 December.

Amsterdam Open Book Prize
is open to manuscripts in any genre, between 25 and 80 pages. Hybrid, experimental, and collaborative works are encouraged. The winning manuscript will be the first title of the new Versal Editions. Entries close on 15 December.

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 on 15 December.

James Wright Poetry Prize
is also run by Mid-American Review and is open to up to 3 poems per entry. The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Entries close on 15 December.

Columbia Journal’s Winter Contest
will award three 1st place winners (fiction, nonfiction and poetry) will US$1000 each and publication. At least two additional runner-ups will be selected in each genre. Entries close on 15 December.

Iceland Writers Retreat
is accepting entries up to 350 words inspired by a photo published on their website. The winner will receive a place at the Retreat and four nights accommodation at Radisson Blu Saga Hotel in Reykjavík. Entries close on 16 December.

Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition
is open to short fiction in any genre up to 1000 words. The competition is run by InterAct Stroke Support, a charity dedicated to supporting stroke recovery by using professional actors to deliver reading material specially selected to suit the needs of stroke patients. The winner, to be chosen by Margaret Drabble, will receive £1000 and will be asked to write a further four stories for the charity. Entries close on 22 December.

Danahy Fiction Prize
is an award of US$1000 and publication in Tampa Review given annually for 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 on 31 December.

The Moth Poetry Prize
is one of the richest prizes for a single poem in the world. The winner receives €10,000, with three runners-up to receive €1,000 each. Poems may be any style all length. Entries close on 31 December.

George Garrett Fiction Prize
is for novels or short story collections with a total word count of between 40,000 and 120,000 words. Run by Texas Review Press, the winner will receive a US$1000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book. Entries close on 31 December.

Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
is open writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. Stories may be up to 8000 words and must be previously unpublished. The winner will receive US$1500 and have his or her story published in the magazine. Entries close on 31 December.

River Styx Micro-Fiction 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 will be published in the 104th issue of River Styx. Entries close on 31 December.

Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize
is run by Michigan Quarterly Review. The judge for the 2019 prize is Linda Gregerson and the winner will receive $500 plus publication in MQR. Entries close on 31 December.

Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry
is offered annually by The Madison Review. Poets should submit three poems, up to a total of 15 pages. The winner receives US$1000 and publication. Entries close on 1 January.

Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction
is also offered annually by The Madison Review. The winning story will be awarded US$1000 and publication. Entries may be up to 30 pages.  Entries close on 1 January.

Bayou Magazine’s James Knudsen Prize for Fiction
is open to unpublished pieces up to 7500 words in length including novel excerpts if the submission stands alone as a complete short story. The winner receives US$1000 and all submissions will be considered for publication. Entries close on 1 January.

Nowhere Magazine’s Fall Travel Writing Contest
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 previously published work is accepted. Entries close on 1 January.

Disquiet Prize
is open to fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and offers a grand prize of a full fellowship (airfare stipend, tuition, and housing included) to the 2020 Disquiet International Program in Lisbon, Portugal. Submissions may be up to 25 pages. The entry fee is $15. Entries close on 3 January.

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