Competitions for Writers in May and June 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. 

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.

Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest
is for new writing that takes risks. Submission may include any combination of flash fiction or short stories up to 7500 total words.The winner receives US$500 and publication. Entries close 1 May.

Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize
is a biennial competition for the best essay in English between 2000 and 8000 words. Entries may be published or unpublished, and on any subject. The winning essay receives £20,000 and there are five runners-up prizes of £1000. Entries close 1 May.

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.

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.

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.

Legendary Women
is an organisation devoted to promoting the empowerment of women, both in the media and in their everyday lives and endeavors. It’s second literary contest is open to stories between 1000 and 3000 words that have a woman protagonist. The winner will receive US$125, publication and have a long form interview featured on the Legendary Women website. Closes 8 May.

Creative Nonfiction
is seeking new work for an upcoming issue dedicated to the theme ‘weather’.The magazine’s editors will award US$1000 for Best Essay and $500 for Runner-up and all entries will be considered for publication. Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4000 words. Entries close 11 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.

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The London Magazine Poetry Competition 2015

The London Magazine is England’s oldest literary periodical, with a history stretching back to 1732. It has published the likes of William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas and John Keats. More recent contributors include Christopher Reid and Orange Prize winner Helen Dunmore.

A current competition is offering emerging writers the chance to be published in this prestigious magazine.

The London Magazine Poetry Competition is open to original poems up to 40 lines on any subject or theme. All works must not have been published before in any form (including being self-published or published online) and entrants can be based anywhere in the world.

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19 Short Story Competitions in 2014

UPDATE: For our 2016 short story competitions list, please click here

The Sunday Times Short Story Prize
is the world’s richest short story competition with the winner receiving £30,000 (US$47,000). In 2014 the prize was won by Adam Johnson for his story ‘Nirvana’. The longlist for the 2015 Sunday Times Short Story Prize will be announced in February and the winner in April. Entries for the 2016 prize are expected to open in July 2015. The six stories shortlisted for the 2014 prize are available here.

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.

Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest
has the aim of seeking out and encouraging talented writers, with the winning and runners-up’s work being forwarded to leading literary agents. A first prize of US$1000 is also offered. Stories can be up to 5000 words. Entries open on 1 July and are expected to close on 1 October.

A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest
is open to both fiction and creative non-fiction. Stories must be between 1000 and 5000 words and there are no entry fees. Entries are accepted between 1 April and 21 June each year.

PRISM International Short Fiction Contest
offers a CA$2000 (US$1800) first prize for stories up to 6000 words in length. The 2014 prize was judged by novelist Joseph Boyden. Entries close 23 January. View Post

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Museum of Words Flash Fiction Contest

The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation’s fourth ‘Museum of Words’ international flash fiction contest is now accepting entries. The competition is for very short fiction pieces of up to a maximum of 100 words. The winner will receive a prize of $20,000, with three runners-up each receiving $2000.

This contest is open to writers from all countries and entries are accepted in four languages: English, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew. The slogan for the 2014 contest is  ‘Mandela: Words and Concord’ but there are no subject or genre restrictions. All stories entered must be original and unpublished.

With such a generous prize on offer, the contest is extremely competitive. The last Museum of Words contest attracted 22,571 entries from writers in 119 countries.

The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation is based in Spain and is a private, not-for-profit foundation. The foundation’s aim is to encourage dialogue between different cultures, ideas, religions and sensibilities.  View Post

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