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. Why enter writing contests, you ask?
Entering these types of contests can help you keep your writing and publishing momentum going.
Submitting to writing contests is a great way to gain credibility as a writer/author.
They can help create interest in your work, leading to other opportunities and potentially, to sales.
An award will give you an edge, which may be all the difference needed to propel your work into bestseller territory.
When you win or get placed, you can say you are an “award-winning author,” giving your writing a boost that comes from a third-party endorsement.
Awards can help you gain credibility with readers, reviewers, reporters, agents, and publishers.
Below is a list of writing contests for the fall that we put together to help you submit your work. Now get submitting!
Les Figues Press: NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) Book Contest
Online Deadline: September 15, 2014
Guest judge Fanny Howe will select a manuscript of 64-250 pages for publication by Les Figues Press. Eligible submissions include previously unpublished manuscripts of poetry, novellas, prose poems, innovative novels, anti-novels, short story collections, lyric essays, hybrids, and work not-otherwise-specified. Prize: publication and $1,000. There is a $25 submission fee; all entrants receive a Les Figues title of their choosing. Multiple and simultaneous submissions allowed. See www.lesfigues.com/submit for full guidelines.
Creative Nonfiction contest: $1,000 for Best Essay on “Waiting”
Online/Postmark submission deadline: September 22, 2014
Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking new essays for an upcoming issue dedicated to “Waiting.” They are looking for well-crafted true stories of delays, postponements, and pauses that explore and examine our relationship with time. $1,000 for best essay and $500 for runner-up. Guidelines at www.creativenonfiction.org/submit.
Margaret Atwood, Zsuszi Gartner Judge The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize!
Online submission deadline: September 30, 2014
The Puritan is accepting entries to The Third Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence. The prize is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The prize is open for submissions until September 30th through our online manager (www.puritan-magazine.com/submissions). The judges for this year’s prize are celebrated writers Margaret Atwood (poetry) and Zsuzsi Gartner (fiction). In addition to publication in Issue 27: Fall 2014, each winning author receives $1000 as well as a prize pack of books drawn from 18 donating publishers, each valued at approximately $800+. Entry fee is $15.
Green Rose Prize
Online/Postmark deadline: September 30, 2014
$2,000 and publication for a book of poems by an established poet. Eligibility: Poets writing in English who have already published one or more full-length collections of poetry. Besides the winner, New Issues may publish as many as three additional manuscripts from this competition. Please include a $25 reading fee. Checks should be made payable to New Issues Press. Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2014. The winning manuscript will be named in January 2015 and published in the spring of 2016. To submit online visit: www.newissuespoetryprose.submittable.com/submit. For complete guidelines, visit: www.wmich.edu/newissues.
Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Competition
Deadline: September 30, 2014
1st place has been increased to $1,500 and includes publication in Glimmer Train. 2nd/3rd: $500/$300, consideration for publication. Results announced on December 1. Open to stories about family in all its configurations. Word count generally ranges 1500-5000, though up to 12,000 is fine. 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.
The Editors’ Prize in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry
Deadline: October 1, 2014
Enter the 24th Annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry! Winners in each genre will receive $5,000, publication in the spring 2015 issue of The Missouri Review, and be brought to Columbia, Missouri, for a reading and reception. Please submit no more than 25 typed, double-spaced pages for fiction and nonfiction. Poetry entries can include any number of poems up to 10 pages in total. Each story, essay, or group of poems constitutes one entry. The entry fee is $20, which entitles the entrant to a one-year subscription. Entries must be previously unpublished and will not be returned. Winners will be announced in January 2015.www.missourireview.com
2014 In Cahoots Contest – $50 Cash Prize
Submission deadline: October 1, 2014
There is no entrance fee. Simultaneous submissions are okay (but if your submission is published elsewhere first, it will be disqualified for First Prize, so please notify them immediately if it is picked up elsewhere). Submissions must be new collaborative work only. This means all submissions must be created by 2+ people. Submit 1-3 pieces in a single email. Each piece may have a different collaborative team. All submissions must include a literary component but may include or be paired with a visual or audio component. All submissions will also be considered for normal publication. Read more here:
New Delta Review Short Fiction Contest
Online submission deadline: October 4, 2014
New Delta Review seeks entries for the second annual Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Short Fiction, a contest judged by the amazing Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist. They are looking for a full narrative in a small package (1500 words or less). Winner will receive a $500 prize and publication in the winter issue of New Delta Review. All submissions will be considered for publication. Deadline for entry is October 4, 2014. Enter with $10 fee through Submittable at: newdeltareview.submittable.com/submit.
Gerald Cable Book Award
Deadline: October 15
This award is offered annually for the best previously unpublished debut poetry collection. This prize is awarded annually to a book-length manuscript of original poetry by an author who has not yet published a full-length collection. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter; translations are not acceptable. Top prize is $1,000, publication, and 25 copies of the book. http://www.silverfishreviewpress.com/?page=award
Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
Deadline: October 24
This contest is offered annually to encourage analytical thinking and excellence in writing-open to high school seniors, undergrads, and graduate students. More than 80 cash prizes, including a $10,000 top prize. http://essaycontest.aynrandnovels.com/AtlasShrugged.aspx?theme=blue
Indiana Review Fiction Contest
Deadline: October 31
This contest is offered for the best previously unpublished short story. The winner receives $1,000, publication, and contributor copies. http://indianareview.org/prizes/2014-fiction-prize/
Walt Whitman Award
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted online only September 1 through November 1, 2014
The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 first-book publication prize given to an American poet to honor a poet’s first book. The winning manuscript, chosen by an acclaimed poet, is published by Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. http://www.poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/walt-whitman-award
Flash Fiction Contest
Email submission deadline: November 15, 2014
Now accepting submissions for the Flash Fiction Contest for issue 5 of The Lindenwood Review. No entry fee. Winner receives $50, publication, and three contributor copies. Please read full submission guidelines here:
Visit our TLR website here: www.lindenwood.edu/lindenwoodReview.
The Jane Lumley Prize for Emerging Writers is now open!
Online submission deadline: November 30, 2014
Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal announces its first annual Jane Lumley Prize for Emerging Writers. The contest seeks to recognize the works of writers who have not yet published a full-length book. The prize alternates each year between poetry and prose, and this year we seek to recognize an exceptional piece of poetry. There is no entry fee for the contest. The winner will receive a prize of $300 and publication in our January 2015 issue. Publication will also be awarded to the first two semi-finalists. In order to submit, please visitwww.hermeneuticchaosjournal.com/contest.html.
The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction
Deadline: September 1 – December 31, 2014
Publication of winning short story manuscript. $1,000 advance plus travel to Winston-Salem, NC, for a launch party weekend, plus attendance as our special guest to the annual Gathering of Writers in October. Finalists announced by March 1. Winner announced on May 3 (National Press 53 Day). Publication date October at annual Gathering of Writers. Reading fee: $30. Judged by Press 53 publisher Kevin Morgan Watson and fiction editor Christine Norris.
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