Writing Contests

The following is a list of upcoming writing contests. Be sure to carefully review any contest before entering. Pay close attention to the terms, rights, fees, prize money, judges and rules. You can also view a list of just the poetry contests and a list of writing contest for kids. You can also view a list of established awards and prizes here.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest
The quarterly contest awards cash prizes of $1000, $750 and $500 are awarded every three months. It is open to orginal science fiction, fantasy and dark fantasy up to 17,000 words in length.
Deadline: December 31, 2018
Prizes: $1,000 cash top prize
Entry Fee: No entry fee


Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card Contest
Blue Mountain Arts is running its 33rd Biannual Poetry Card Contest. You can enter as many times as you like through the submission form or via snail mail. There are three prizes including a $350 first prize.
Deadline: December 31, 2018
Prizes: $350 first prize
Entry Fee: No entry fee


Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest
This fiction contest is for stories about families of all configurations. Most stories are 500 to 5000 words but any lengths up to 12000 words are welcome.
Deadline: January 2, 2019
Prizes: $2500 first place prize.
Entry Fee: $18 entry fee


Nelson Algen Literary Award
The contest for original short fiction was named in honor of Chicago literary great Nelson Algren. It has been held every year since 1981.
Deadline: January 31, 2019
Prizes: $3,500 grand prize
Entry Fee: No entry fee


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest
This poetry contest from Winning Writers offers $2,250 in prize including a $1,000 first prize. The judge is Jendi Reiter, assisted by Lauren Singer.
Deadline: April 1, 2019
Prizes: $1,000 cash first prize
Entry Fee: No entry fee


2019 New Ohio Review Contest
The contest is open to fiction, nonfiction and poetry with a $1,000 prize in each genre. This year's judges are Claire Vaye Watkins (fiction), Kiese Laymon (nonfiction) and Tyehimba Jess (poetry).
Deadline: April 15, 2019
Prizes: $1000 prize in each genre
Entry Fee: $20 entry fee (includes 1-year subscription)


The Iowa Poetry Prize
The prize is open to new and established poets for a book-length collection of poems. Manuscripts should be 50 to 150 pages in length.
Deadline: April 30, 2019
Prizes: Publication by University of Iowa Press under a standard royalty agreement
Entry Fee: $20 reading fee


Nimrod Literary Awards 2019
The Nimrod Literary Awards are looking for previously unpublished poetry and ficiton. Fiction can be up to 7,500 words. Poem entries can be one long poem or several short poems (3 to 10 pages).
Deadline: April 30, 2019
Prizes: $2000 first prize
Entry Fee: $20 entry fee (includes 1-year subscription)


Writer's Digest 88th Annual Writing Competition
Writer's Digest is running its 88th annual writing competitioni. WD says nearly 500 winners will be chosen.
Deadline: May 6, 2019
Prizes: $5,000 Grand Prize. Multiple prizes in each category.
Entry Fee: $30 for first manuscript entry, $20 for first poetry entry


The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
The contest is in its 18th year. Short stories with a maximum 10,000 word count. There are cash prizes ranging from $125 to the first prize of $1500.
Deadline: May 15, 2019
Prizes: $1,500 cash top prize
Entry Fee: $17 online or $15 if mailed


2019 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize
The Georgia Review is accepting entries for the 2019 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize. Stephen Dunn will serve as the final judge for this year's prize.
Deadline: May 15, 2019
Prizes: $1500 plus publication in The Georgie Review
Entry Fee: $15 entry fee (no charge for subscribers)


Note: If you are entering a short story contest be sure to read Alex Keegan's article, Short Story Contests: Increase Your Chances of Winning. Some of his advice can also be applied to poetry and essay contests.