A great way to gain credibility as a writer/author is by submitting to writing contests. Maybe you haven’t finished your book yet or are in between books. There are lots of great contests and journals that are accepting submissions right now for many different types of work, including fiction, non-fiction, fan and flash fiction, essays, short stories, and poetry. These types of contests can help you keep your writing and publishing momentum going. Below is a list that we put together to help you as you think about submitting your work. The following contests have submission deadlines in October, November, and December. We will continue to keep you updated on writing contests in the coming months.
Some of the contests have nominal entry fees and specific deadlines for entry, which you need to pay attention to. We’ve tried to include them here to the best of our ability.
Nonfiction Contest, Judged by Cheryl Strayed
Online deadline: October 15, 2013
“…the raw truth of life: it isn’t always simple or pretty.” -Geoff Bendeck, LUMINANonfiction Editor. Each year, LUMINA hosts a national literary contest in a single genre. This year’s contest genre is nonfiction and the winner will be chosen by Cheryl Strayed. Grand prize: $500 and publication in LUMINA Volume XIII. We’re looking for pieces under 5,000 words and there is an entry fee of $12. Send us your best work and surprise us with your form. For further guidelines, information and to read more about what our nonfiction editor is looking for, go towww.luminajournal.com/contest.
The Briar Cliff Review poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction contest
Deadline: November 1, 2013
$1000 & publication. Submit unpublished story, essay or 3 poems w/ $20. Entrants receive issue. No name on mss. Include cover page with title(s), name, address, email, phone. Deadline: Nov. 1. SASE for results only. Briar Cliff Review Contest, 3303 Rebecca St., Sioux City, IA 51104. www.briarcliff.edu/bcreview
Dogwood Multi-genre contest, $1000 grand prize
Online submission deadline: October 15, 2013
Dogwood welcomes entries in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for its annual contest with a $1000 grand prize for one winning entry. The grand prize winner will be chosen from winners in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Winners in the other two genres will receive prizes of $250. Entry fee is $15; all submissions considered for publication in the 13th annual edition of this print and e-pub journal. Only anonymous submissions accepted. Submissions accepted online between August 1 and October 15, 2013. Please use our online submission manager for your submissions at dogwood.submittable.com/submit.
Submission deadline: Family Matters: October 31, 2013
Short Story Award for New Writers: November 30, 2013 (open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000)
One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry, New Stories from the South, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Submit online: www.glimmertrain.org.
$5,000 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize
Postmark deadline: October 31, 2013
The University of Arkansas Press will accept submissions for the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize in September and October. One winner and up to three finalists will be published. In addition to publication, the winner will receive $5,000. The series is open to all book-length manuscripts by a single author of 60 to 90 pages, except translations. Individual poems may have been published in chapbooks, journals, and anthologies. There is a $25 reading fee. For more information, visit www.uapress.com or call 800-626-0090.
Truman State University Press
Poetry Prize & Short Fiction Prize
Online/Postmark deadlines: October 31, 2013 (poetry)
T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry: annual award for the best unpublished book-length collection of poetry in English. The winner will receive $2,000 and publication of the winning collection. All entrants receive a copy of the winning book. Reading fee: $25.
The Chariton Review Short Fiction Prize: annual award for the best unpublished short fiction, any theme up to 5,000 words in English. The author will receive $1,000, and the winning story, along with finalists, will be published in the spring issue of The Chariton Review. All U.S. entrants receive a copy of the prize issue. Reading fee: $20. tsup.truman.edu/prizes.asp
Creative Nonfiction: Mistakes Wanted for Themed Issue
Online/Postmark submission deadline: November 1, 2013
For a special issue, Creative Nonfiction is seeking new essays about mistakes—major or minor, tragic or serendipitous, funny or painful. $1,000 for Best Essay & $500 for runner-up. Essays must be true stories, factually accurate, previously unpublished, and no longer than 4,000 words. There is a $20 reading fee (or send a reading fee of $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction—US submitters only). Submit online or by regular mail. Full guidelines at www.creativenonfiction.org/mistakes.
Coal Hill Review Chapbook Competition
Submission deadline: November 1, 2013
Coal Hill Review is interested in publishing a wide range of poetry. We ask that all submissions come through our annual contest. Please review the complete guidelines on our website carefully before submitting. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in an edition of 200 copies available through Autumn House Press, as well as online in the Spring issue of Coal Hill Review. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically or through the US mail from August 1 to November 1. The final judge is Michael Simms, founder and editor-in-chief of Autumn House Press.
Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Writing Contests
Online/Postmark submission deadline: November 1 and November 15, 2013
One-Act Play and Short Fiction. $1,500 prize each, plus VIP passes ($500 each), reading/staged reading at 28th annual Festival (March 19-23, 2014), and more. $25 entry fee. Deadlines: 11/1 and 11/15 (postmarked). Writing Contest, 938 Lafayette St, Suite, 514 New Orleans, LA 70113. Guidelines and online submissions: www.tennesseewilliams.net/contests.
Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize 2013
Postmark deadline: November 15, 2013
Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize 2013 on the Jewish experience. Please submit 1-2 one-page poems, single space, submit in quadruplicate hard copy, cover page with contact information and list of poems. No email submissions. Deadline: November 15, 2013. NO FEE. For more information, visit www.poeticamagazine.com.
The Fiddlehead: Special Subscription Offer & Annual Contest
Postmark Deadline: December 1, 2013
Special Subscription Rate for Creative Writing Faculty & Students: Subscribe now to The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada’s International Literary Magazine, and save an additional 25%! Click on the image to access the .pdf order form. But hurry—this special offer ends January 31, 2014. Take a shot at literary fame & fortune! Enter The Fiddlehead’s 23rd annual contest in poetry and short fiction. Prizes: $2000 CAD for the winners + publication payment and $250 CAD for the honourable mentions + publication payment. Entry fee: $30 for Canadian residents/$36 all others. Visit thefiddlehead.ca for more details.
The Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize
Deadline: December 13, 2013
The Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize is open to published and novice writers alike. Entrants should submit an original short story (up to 3,000 words) on the subject of ‘spring.’ http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/going-out/who-what-where/short-story-competition
Press 53 Award for Short Fiction
Online submission deadline: December 31, 2013
Awarded to an outstanding, unpublished collection of short stories. Reading Fee: $30. Award: Publication of winning short story collection, $1,000 cash advance, travel expenses and lodging for a special reading and book signing party at Press 53 headquarters at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attendance to the 2014 Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers, and ten copies of the book. Enter September 1, 2013–December 31, 2013; finalists announced March 1, 2014; winner announced on May 3, 2014 (National Press 53 Day). Complete details at www.Press53.com.
Tartt First Fiction Award, Livingston Press
Postmark deadline: December 31, 2013
Tartt First Fiction Award’s tenth annual contest is now open. American authors who have not yet published a story collection are eligible. One thousand dollar award, plus publication in trade paper, hardcover, and Kindle. Author receive 100 copies. Manuscript should fall between 150-275 pages. Open to all themes, styles. Twenty-dollar entry fee. Mail to Livingston Press, Station 22, The University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL 35470. We notify all entrants of receipt in January, of the winner in late May. Keep a copy of your manuscript, as we do not return entries. www.livingstonpress.uwa.edu
If you’re interested in learning more about how to maximize your exposure and gain credibility through third-party reviews or by entering contests, contact SDP Publishing. We have extensive experience working with authors to submit their work to third-party reviewers and contests to help expand their marketing potential.
To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!
SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!