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: September 30, 2018
Prizes: $1,000 cash top prize
Entry Fee: No entry fee


Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
This annual contest is run by the Boston Review. It is open to previously unpublished short stories under 5,000 words. The winner will be notified in Spring 2019.
Deadline: October 1, 2018
Prizes: $1,500 and publication
Entry Fee: $20 fee


Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize
The Wheelbarrow Book Poetry Prize is open to manuscripts by authors that have published at least one full-length collection of poetry in English. It is run by the RCAH Center for Poetry at Michigan State University, in cooperation with the MSU Press.
Deadline: October 1, 2018
Prizes: $1000 and publication
Entry Fee: $25 reading fee


Writer's Digest Poetry Awards
This is the 13th annual Writer's Digest Poetry Awards. Enter any poem 32 lines or less. There are cash prizes for first, second and third place.
Deadline: October 1, 2018
Prizes: $1,000 first prize plus publication
Entry Fee: $20 entry fee


Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Competition
This is the 22nd annual Zoetrope short fiction contest with three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions. Entries must be 5,000 words or fewer.
Deadline: October 1, 2018
Prizes: $1,000 first prize
Entry Fee: $30 entry fee


Glimmer Train
The Short Story Award for New Writers contest is held three times a year and is open to submissions . The upcoming deadline is October 31, 2018. There are three prize levels.
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Prizes: $2,500 first prize
Entry Fee: $18 reading fee


John Steinbeck Award for Fiction 2018
Reed magazine is running the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction 2018. Submissions must be 5,000 words or fewer. Submit through Submittable.
Deadline: November 1, 2018
Prizes: $1,000 prize
Entry Fee: $20 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


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.