Writing Contests You Need to Enter Now and in 2019

Ask any seasoned authors, how to push yourself to finish that never-ending wip and they’ll likely say the same thing: writing contests. Nothing pushes anyone to get work done like a deadline. Add a monetary award to the competition and the starving artist’s hunger pains begin to subside.

Ask your friends and loved ones what they think of your writing and unless you’re lucky enough to have Pulitzer Prize-winning authors for friends, they’ll probably say how relatable your writing it is, how it brought them to tears. While they may be the best people to go to for the relentless support you need on tough days, when you want to up your game, you’ll need more critical feedback from experts, who don’t know you and don’t care about your feelings. You need to start submitting your work to writing contests.

 

Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

Check out our lists of over 100 writing contests. Below you’ll find opportunities for students, first-time authors, and published authors. Have your writing read by experts and maybe even get some recognition or a book seal for your work. We’ve organized them by category and deadlines, to make sure you don’t miss a date.

 

  • Awards

Good luck! And when you win, you don’t have to give us a cut, but if you buy us each a cup of coffee, we’d be ecstatic.

poetry

October 2018

  1. The Poetry Society logo National Poetry Competition 2018 First prize winner receives £5,000 with monetary prizes also up-for-grabs for 2nd and 3rd prizes as well as commendations. Eligibility: Anyone over 17 years. Restrictions: Submitted story must be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: £7 for 1st poem; £4 for further poems.
  2. PLOUGH The Plough Poetry Prize 2018 First prize award is £1,000 in each category, with 2nd and 3rd prizes also available. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Submitted poems must be original and unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: £5 per poem.
  3. Bare Fiction Magazine logo Bare Fiction Prize 2018 First prize winner receives £500, with 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commended awards. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries should be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: Flash Fiction Entries: £6 per entry / £4 for subscribers Short Story Entries: £8 per entry / £6 for subscribers Poetry Entries: £5 per entry / £3 for subscribers.

November 2018

  1. writers digest Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition The Grand Prize winner gets $5,000, a feature in Writer’s Digest magazine, a paid trip to a writing conference and more. Runners-up earn prizes in first through tenth places. Eligibility: Able to attend the conference on May 4. Deadline: November 1, 2018 (Poetry). Entry fee: Free.
  2. The Honickman Foundation Charles Causley International Poetry Competition 2018 First place winner receives £2,000 and a one-week writing residency. Other prizes for runner-up entrants are also available. Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished. Deadline: November 4, 2018. Entry fees: £7.50 for 1st poem; £5 for subsequent entries in same submission.
  3. Cafe Writers Café Writers Open Poetry Competition 2018 First place winner receives £1,000, with other cash prizes available to 7 runners-up. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Poems should be in English and unpublished. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: £4 per poem.
  4. wundorWundor Poetry Contest 2018 The winner will receive £500, and have their work published on the Wundor website. Two runners-up will also have their work published on the Wundor website. Eligibility: Anyone writing in English and over the age of 16. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished. Deadline November 30, 2018. Entry fees: £5 for one poem or £10 for six poems.

December 2018

  1. Australian Book Review Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets Winners receive $1,000 and a publication contract for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry by an African author. Eligibility: Poets from the African continent. Restrictions: Open only to unpublished African poets. Deadline: December 1, 2018. Entry fees: Free.
  2. ABR Peter Porter Poetry Prize 2019 The lucky winner receives £5,000 with all poems by the winner and the runners-up being published. Eligibility: All poets writing in English. Restrictions: All entries should be previously unpublished. Deadline: December 3, 2018. Entry fees: $25AUD; $15AUD for current ABR subscribers and students.
  3. Holland Park Press Logo Brunel University African Poetry Prize Winners receive a grant of £3,000. Eligibility: Poets of African heritage (who were born in, are nationals of, or whose parents are from Africa). Restrictions: Only poets who have previously been unpublished. Deadline: December 12, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  4. 11 Brexit in Poetry Competition Taking on a political theme, you can win yourself £200 and have your work published in the award’s online magazine. Runners-up will also have their work published online. Eligibility: Any author aged over 18. Restrictions: Entries must not have been previously published or awarded. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fees: Free.
  5. the moth The Moth Poetry Prize 2018 Winners gain a €10,000 cash prize with 3 runners up winning €1,000 each. Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 16. Restrictions: The poem should be previously unpublished. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fees: €15.

January 2019

  1. Academy of American Poetry On Teaching Poem Prize The winning poem will be award a $1,000 prize and will be published in the Academy of American Poets in May. Eligibility: Applicants must be over 18 years old and be a US resident. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished. Deadline: January 1, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.
  2. Bayou Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry The winner will receive $1,000 and a year’s subscription to Bayou Magazine. Finalists will also be named on the website, and all entries will be considered for publication. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries must be unpublished original work. Deadline: January 1, 2019. Entry fees: $20 (includes contest issue).
  3. 15 Magma Poetry Competition 2018-2019 First prize for the Judge’s and Editors’ Prize is 1000 GBP (approx. 1,295 USD), second prize 300 GBP and third prize 150 GBP. The six prize-winning poems will be published in Magma and there will also be five special mentions for the Judge’s Prize and for the Editors’ Prize. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: All work must be previously unpublished. Deadline: January 12, 2019. Entry fees: £5 for 1st poem, £4 for 2nd and £3.50 for 3rd and each subsequent poem. Magma magazine subscribers benefit from reduced fees.
  4. Colorado Poetry Colorado Prize for Poetry 2019 The winning book-length collection of poems will be published in the Autumn of 2019. Eligibility: Anyone except for those with ties to the Colorado State University. Restrictions: Individual poems may have been published, but the whole manuscript should be unpublished. Deadline: January 14, 2019. Entry fees: $28 (includes 1-year Colorado Review subscription).
  5. kent and sussexThe Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition First place winner receives £1,000, with other cash prizes available to 6 runners-up. Eligibility: Open to anyone over 16. Restrictions: Poems should be in English and unpublished. Deadline: January 31, 2019. Entry fees: £5 per poem, or £4 each for 3 or more poems.

February 2019

  1. Academy of American Poetry Ambroggio Prize The winning entry receives a $1,000 publication prize and must be a book-length poetry manuscript in Spanish with an English translation. Eligibility: Applicants must be over 18 years old and be a US Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished (the prize money must also be shared with the translator). Deadline: February 15, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.

March 2019

  1. Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2019 Cash prizes of varying amounts are available for lucky winners. Eligibility: There are several different criteria for who can enter, depending on the category. Restrictions: All entries should be in English. Deadline: March 1, 2019 (for International Young Poet Award). Entry fees: Young Poets Category: £2 per entry.

May 2019

  1. cbc The CBC Poetry Prize The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Their winning submission will be published on CBC Books, amongst other perks. Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: May 31, 2019. Entry fees: $25.

TBA

  1. Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award Winners receive a $500 prize and publication by Broadside Lotus Press. Eligibility: Open to African American poets only who are as yet unpublished. Deadline: TBA. Entry fees: FREE.

Published Poetry Books

  1. Academy of American Poetry Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize The winner receives $25,000 in prize money, with distribution of the winning book to Academy of American Poets Eligibility: US citizens and residents only. Restrictions: Books must be published in the US and submitted in the year after their publication. Self-published books are not eligible. Deadline: May 15, 2019. Entry fees: $75 per entry.
  2. Australian Book Review Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry The winner receives $5,000 for their original work. Eligibility: Poets from the African continent. Restrictions: Only work published in the previous year. Self-published work is not eligible. Deadline: October 1, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.

Short Stories

October 2018

  1. writing contestThe Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction The winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an ebook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online. The winner will also have their story published online by our media partner Northern Soul. Eligibility: Anyone over 18 years who is a permanent UK Restrictions: Submitted story must be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 26, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  2. Australian Book ReviewNew Letters Publication Award in Fiction The winner receives a $750 cash prize and has their story published in the New Letters. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Submitted stories must be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 28, 2018. Entry fees: $20 per manuscript.
  3. cbcThe 2019 CBC Short Story Prize The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have their story published on CBC books, amongst other highlights. Four finalists receive $1,000 each and get their story published. Eligibility: All Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: $25.
  4. Bare Fiction Prize 2018 First prize winner receives £500, with 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commended awards. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries should be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: Flash Fiction Entries: £6 per entry / £4 for subscribers Short Story Entries: £8 per entry / £6 for subscribers Poetry Entries: £5 per entry / £3 for subscribers.

November 2018

  1. reedJohn Steinbeck Award for Fiction 2018 First Prize is $1000 Prize and publication in Reed Magazine. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: November 1, 2018. Entry fees: $20.
  2. cw2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize There will be five winners from each relevant region, with an overall winner receiving £5,000. The remaining four regional winners will receive £2,500 each. Eligibility: Entrants must be over 18 on November 1, 2018, and be from the Commonwealth region. Restrictions: Entries must be unpublished. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. odysseyOdyssey House Victoria Short Story Competition Odyssey House Victoria invites all writers to enter in their annual Short Story Competition. This year’s theme is “Reflection”, an essential process for transforming experiences into genuine learning. There must be a reference to alcohol or drugs. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries must be unpublished and original. Deadline: November 2, 2018. Entry fee: $10 per submission.
  4. ServiceScapeServiceScape Short Story Award 2018 Along with receiving an award for 1,000 USD, the winner will have his or her short story featured on ServiceScape’s blog, which reaches thousands of readers per month. Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  5. InkTearsInkTears Short Story Contest There are seven prizes in these awards, ranging from small cash prizes to larger ones – all prize winners will have their entry published by InkTears. Eligibility: Anyone over 18. Restrictions: American citizenship. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: £7.50.
  6. reflexReflex Fiction First place winner wins £1,000 with second and third place prizes also available. Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 16. Restrictions: Submitted entries should not have been previously published. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: $9.
  7. society of authorsThe Somerset Maugham Awards A £10,000 is for the winning entry. Eligibility: Published authors under 35 years who are resident in the UK. Restrictions: Short stories are not eligible for this award. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  8. reflexReflex Fiction First place winner wins £1,000 with second and third place prizes also available. Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 16. Restrictions: Submitted entries should not have been previously published. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: $9.
  9. fishFish Short Story Prize First prize winner receives €3,000 plus a 5 day Short Story Workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival. There are also 2nd and 3rd place prizes. Eligibility: Writers who publish in English. Restrictions: Entries must not have been previously published. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: €20 (€10 subsequent entries).

December 2018

  1. The Royal Society of LiteratureRSL Ondaatje Prize The first prize winner receives £10,000 as a reward for their fine work. Eligibility: Residents of the UK, Northern Ireland or the Commonwealth. Restrictions: There are a number of restrictions on what can be entered, so check out their website for updates and further info. Deadline: December 12, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  2. New Media Writing PrizeNew Media Writing Prize 2018 Several awards and cash-prizes are available to winning entries, including £1,000 for the New Media Writing Prize. Eligibility: Open. Restrictions: For the Gorkana Journalism Award, entries must incorporate new media technologies and platforms. Deadline: December 14, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. writers digestWriter’s Digest Annual Writing Competition The Grand Prize winner gets $5,000, a feature in Writer’s Digest magazine, a paid trip to a writing conference and more. Runners-up earn prizes in first through tenth places. Eligibility: Anyone except for entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea or Sudan. Held annually on May 4. Deadline: November 1, 2018 (Poetry). Entry fee: Free.
  4. blue mountain Blue Mountain Arts Although prize money is smaller (First Prize is $350), this is a great start for upcoming writers. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  5. boulevardShort Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers The first prize includes $1,500 and publication in Boulevard. Eligibility: Open to unpublished writers. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fees: $16 per submission.

January 2019

  1. BayouJames Knudsen Prize for Fiction The contest winner will receive $1,000 and a year’s subscription to Bayou Magazine. Finalists will be named on the website, and all entries will be considered for publication. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries must be unpublished original work. Deadline: January 1, 2019. Entry fees: $20 (includes contest issue).

February 2019

  1. baenJim Baen Memorial Award The first place prize features the entry being published (and paid) on the main Baen Books website. Second and third prizes are also available. Eligibility: Open. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: February 1, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.
  2. hunter2019 Newcastle Short Story Award A range of cash prizes, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Eligibility: Anyone over 18. Restrictions: Entries must be unpublished. Deadline: February 4, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. MTP Short Story Competition Aside from cash prizes, winners also get their work published. Eligibility: New authors who are 16 years or older and have not been published. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: February 17, 2019. Entry fees: £6.
  4. flashShort Story Competition Cash prizes including £500 for First Place. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries must be unpublished and original. February 28, 2019. Entry fees: Entry fees £7/€9 for one £12/€15.50 for two £16/€21 for three £20/€26 for four.

April 2019

  1. Fiction open The First Place prize includes a $3,000 cash award and publication in Glimmer Train Stories, with 10 copies for the winning author. Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: April 30 and August 31, 2019. Entry fees: $21 per submission.

August 2019

  1. Fiction open The First Place prize includes a $3,000 cash award and publication in Glimmer Train Stories, with 10 copies for the winning author. Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: April 30 and August 31, 2019. Entry fees: $21 per submission.
  2. sweekSweek Flash Fiction First place winner receives £50, with the entry published. Eligibility: Entrants must be over 13 years. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: Weekly deadlines. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. short story awardSunday Times EFG Short Story Award The first prize winner gains £30,000, with five shortlisted authors receiving £1,000 each. Eligibility: Any UK published novelist or short story writer. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: TBA. Entry Fees: FREE.

writing contests nonfiction

  1. sartonSarton Women’s Book Awards Winners receive cash prizes as well as silver and virtual seals for their publication and website, amongst other perks. Eligibility: Entries should be in English and published by smaller print houses and academic printers. Restrictions: Books should have been published between 2015 and 2018, have an ISBN, and be in print form only. Deadline: November 16, 2018. Entry fees: $110.
  2. bookThe 16th Annual “Best Book” Awards Winners in each category receive a multitude of benefits, including help with promotion, and publishing industry exposure to name just a few benefits. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Open only to books published between 2017 and 2019. Deadline: September 30, 2019. Entry fees: $59 per entry per category (until November 30, 2018); after that $79 per book/per category.
  3. 53Adult Literature Award Winners are celebrated and feted at the Award’s May lunch. Eligibility: Quite a few restrictions apply so please check the full outline online. Restrictions: See webiste. Deadline: December 10, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  4. The Royal Society of LiteratureRSL Ondaatje Prize The first prize winner receives £10,000 as a reward for their fine work. Eligibility: Residents of the UK, Northern Ireland or the Commonwealth. Restrictions: There are a number of restrictions on what can be entered, so check out their website for updates and further info. Deadline: December 12, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  5. New Media Writing PrizeNew Media Writing Prize 2018 Several awards and cash-prizes are available to winning entries, including £1,000 for the New Media Writing Prize. Eligibility: Open. Restrictions: For the Gorkana Journalism Award, entries must incorporate new media technologies and platforms. Deadline: December 14, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  6. chanticleerChanticleer Genre Writing Competitions and Book Awards There are several quite substantial prizes available, including cash prizes of up to $1,000 and a powerful promotional boost for winning work. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Copyright must be within the last 3 years and have an ISBN/ASIN designation. Deadline: December 30, 2018. Entry fees: $75 per entry per category.
  7. 57Stowe Prize The first prize winner receives a $10,000 cash prize. Eligibility: US authors only. Restrictions: US authors whose written work has made a tangible impact on a social justice issue critical to contemporary society. Takes place on June 31 of every year. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  8. Reader Views Literary Awards Winners receive cash prizes and, above all, exposure, as well as potential for representation by a leading literary agent. Eligibility: All authors who have published in English between 2017 and 2019. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fees: $89.00 per title (for the initial category) if postmarked before October 31, 2018. $110 if postmarked between November 1 and December 31, 2018. $25 for each additional category or regional/global entry.
  9. mipaMidwest Book Awards There are three categories with 3 finalists chosen from each category, and one winner. All three from each category are given certificates and two tickets to the Midwest Book Awards gala. Who can enter; Only authors and publishers from the Midwest (US). Restrictions: Geography based restrictions do apply (only authors from the American Midwest); only entries with ISBNs and a 2018 copyright can apply. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fee: Non-MIPA member: $169 per title; $45 for each additional category.
  10. writing contestsThe Eric Hoffer Award Winners receive major international accolades as well as media exposure. Eligibility: By nomination. Restrictions: Entries must be from academic, small or micro presses or from self-published authors. Deadline: January 1, 2019. Entry fees: Regular category registration: $42 Chapbook registration: $62.
  11. The Fresher Writing Prize Winners gain feedback on their work as well as literary agents and professionally produced podcasts. Eligibility: Any up-coming unpublished writer over 16 and who is not represented by an agent. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished. Deadline: January 2, 2019. Entry fees: £6 per entry.
  12. Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards Winners gain widespread publicity and online listings to highlight your win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only independently published books from 2018. Deadline: January 15, 2019. Entry fees: $99 per entry; $79 per additional category.
  13. eLit Book Awards Winners gain increased industry-wide awareness of their work. Eligibility: Publishers and authors creating ebooks in English. Restrictions: Only titles released in 2017 and 2018. Deadline: January 31, 2019. Entry Fee: Early Bird #2 entry September 1 – November 30, 2018, $80 per title per category. Regular entry December 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019, $90 per title per category.
  14. Next Generation Indie Book Awards The big winner receives a cash prize as well as opportunities at industry exhibitions and other opportunities. Eligibility: Self-publishers, small presses, and hybrid publishers. Restrictions: Published books from 2017 and 2018. Deadline: February 15, 2019. Entry fees: $75 per title for the first category entered, and $60 for each additional category entered.
  15. writing contestsInternational Excellence Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards Winners gain help with publicity for their book, as well as help with publicity and marketing. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only titles, with ISBN numbers, published from 2017 to the present. Deadline: February 15, 2019. Entry fee: $75 per category.
  16. MTP Short Story Competition Aside from cash prizes, winners also get their work published. Eligibility: New authors who are 16 years or older and have not been published. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: February 17, 2019. Entry fees: £6.
  17.  IPPY Awards Winners gain feature articles on the IndependentPublisher.com website, as well as promoted press releases and 2 free passes to BookExpo America. Eligibility: All members of the independent publishing industry. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: February 23, 2019. Entry fees: $85 per category.
  18. IRIndieReader Discovery Awards Depending on your placing, you can make use of tailored consultations with publicists, as well as custom websites. Eligibility: Indie authors with self-published books. Restrictions: Books with valid ISBN or ASIN numbers, and no restrictions on publication date. Deadline: February 28, 2019. Entry Fee: $150 per entry; then $50 per additional entry.
  19. nieaNational Indie Excellence Book Awards Winners and finalists garner more attention and an opportunity to receive valuable prizes from sponsors. Eligibility: Indie and self-published authors. Restrictions: All titles must have an ISBN and be published books available for sale. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry Fees: $75.
  20. independentIndependent Press Awards Winners gain help with promoting their materials, as well as easy to download seals for the winning manuscript. Eligibility: Independent authors and press books. Restrictions: All books must be in final published form and include ISBNs. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry Fee: $95 per entry per category; then $75 per additional entry per category.
  21. writing contestsThe International Rubery Book Awards First place winner receives a £1,500 prize with their work guaranteed a read by a top London literary agency. Category winners receive £150 each. Eligibility: Indie writers, self-published authors and books printed by independent presses. Restrictions: Only published books and ebooks. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry Fees: $60.
  22. Global eBook Awards Winners gain widespread publicity and online listings, as well as discounts on author and publisher services, to highlight your win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only independently published books from 2017 or later. Deadline: April 30, 2019. Entry fee: $79 per title.
  23. ibaInternational Book Awards Winners gain “more prestige” with industry leaders through their win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only titles with a 2017-2019 publication date, with an ISBN number, and in English. Deadline: April 30, 2019. Entry Fee: $69.

  24. Readers’ Favorite Contest First and second prize winners receive cash prizes and publicity. Third prize winners win honorable mentions. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Works already published by major publishers are not eligible; entries must also have a 2018 copyright. Deadline: April 1, 2019. Entry fees: Early Bird deadline – April 1 ($99), Regular Deadline – May 1 I($109), Final Deadline – June 1 ($119).

Students

  1. writing contestsYoung Writers Awards First-place winners in each category are awarded a prize of $500; second-place winners receive $250; third-place winners receive $125. Eligibility: Students in the final three grades of high school (US). Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: November 1, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  2. New Media Writing PrizeNew Media Writing Prize 2018 – Unicorn Student Award Several awards and cash-prizes are available to winning entries, including £1,000 for the New Media Writing Prize. Eligibility: Open. Restrictions: For the Gorkana Journalism Award, entries must incorporate new media technologies and platforms. Deadline: December 14, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets 2019 Cash prizes of varying amounts are available for lucky winners. Eligibility: Age 14 – 18. Restrictions: All entries should be in English. Deadline: March 1, 2019 (for International Young Poet Award). Entry fees: Young Poets Category: £2 per entry.
  4. Claudia Ann Seaman Award A $200 cash award as well as 2 honorable mentions for each genre. Eligibility: High school students worldwide. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: May 31, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.
  5. 77 Write the World Competition Aside from cash prizes for three prize winners, they also get a feature on the blog. Eligibility: Any young writer between 13 and 18. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: Monthly. Entry fees: FREE.
  6. Sweek Flash Fiction First place winner receives £50, with the entry published. Eligibility: Entrants must be over 13 years. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: Weekly deadlines. Entry fees: FREE.

writing contests other

  1. Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2019 Cash prizes of varying amounts are available for lucky winners. Eligibility: There are several different criteria for who can enter, depending on the category. Restrictions: All entries should be in English. Deadline: February 14, 2019 (for Open International and International Health Professional Awards; March 1, 2019 (for International Young Poet Award). Entry fees: Open Category and Health Professional Category: £7 per entry; Young Poets Category: £2 per entry.
  2. The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing 2019 The winner receives £10,000, with three runner-up entrants receiving £250. Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: January 7, 2019. Entry fees: £10 per entry.
  3. The CBC Non Fiction Prize The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Their winning submission will be published on CBC Books, amongst other perks. Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents. Restrictions: Work must be original and unpublished. Deadline: February 28, 2019. Entry fees: $25.
  4. Short Story Award for New Writers The First Place prize includes a $2,500 cash award and publication in Glimmer Train Stories, with 10 copies for the winning author. Eligibility: Emerging writers who are unpublished. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: February 28, June 30 every year, October 31. Entry fees: $18 per submission.
  5. words brushesWords and Brushes Winners receive $350 and a spot in a future art book showcasing their work. Eligibility: Anyone, whether published or not. Restrictions: Work submitted must be original, in English and previously unpublished. Deadline: TBA Entry fees: FREE
  6. Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Literary ContestNelson Algren Short Story Award The winner receives $3,500, with $1,000 to four finalists and $500 to five runners-up. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: None. Deadline: TBA. Entry Fees: FREE

Book Awards

Unpublished Authors

October 2018

  1. Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competition First place winner wins £500, with the runner-up receiving £200. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Submitted story must be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: £10.
  2. brownThe Carter Brown Mystery Writing Awards The winning entry will be published in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in May 2019. Eligibility: Anyone over 18. Restrictions: Submitted work must be original and in English. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. Bare Fiction Prize 2018 First prize winner receives £500, with 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commended awards. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Entries should be previously unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: Flash Fiction Entries: £6 per entry / £4 for subscribers Short Story Entries: £8 per entry / £6 for subscribers Poetry Entries: £5 per entry / £3 for subscribers.
  4. Honickman First Book Prize The prize is $3,000, with an introduction by the judge and distribution of the winning book by Copper Canyon Press through Consortium, will be awarded in 2019 with the publication of the book in the same year. The winner will give a reading as a guest of the University of the Arts Visiting Writers Series in 2020. Eligibility: Open. Restrictions: Poets who are unpublished. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: $25.

November 2018

  1. Academy of American Poetry Walt Whitman Award The first prize winner receives a $5,000 first-book publication prize, with the winning manuscript printed by the Graywolf Press, amongst other perks. Eligibility: US citizens only. Restrictions: Entrants must have been previously unpublished and living in the US. Deadline: November 1, 2018. Entry fees: $35.
  2. alice james writing logoThe 2019 Alice James Award Winners receive $2,000, a book publication deal, and distribution through consortium, amongst other perks. Eligibility: US residents who are emerging or well-established poets. Restrictions: Although individual poems may be previously published, the whole collection should have been previously unpublished. Deadline: November 1, 2018. Entry fees: $30.
  3. The Caledonia Novel Award The First Prize is £1,000, and a trophy especially designed by Edinburgh artist Astrid Jaekel. There is also a Special Prize of a free place on a writing course. Eligibility: Unpublished and self-published authors. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: November 1, 2018. Entry fees: £25.
  4. fc2Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize First prize winner receives $1,500 and publication. Eligibility: Open to any English-language writer who has not been previously published by Fiction Collective Two. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: November 15, 2018. Entry fees: $25.

December 2018

  1. Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets Winners receive $1,000 and a publication contract for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry by an African author. Eligibility: Poets from the African continent. Restrictions: Open only to unpublished African poets. Deadline: December 1, 2018. Entry fees: FREE
  2. bathThe Bath Children’s Novel Award The winner receives £2,500, and shortlisted entries will receive introductions to literary agents and manuscript feedback. Eligibility: Unpublished or independently published authors worldwide. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: December 2, 2018. Entry fees: £25.
  3. FutureScapes Writing Competition First place wins $2,000; and up to five runners-up will get $500 each. The publication in the anthology will be distributed to mayors, governors and U.S. Congress members. Eligibility: Anyone except professional authors. Restrictions: Unpublished, upcoming authors. Awarded every year on December 31. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.

January 2019

  1. The Fresher Writing Prize Winners gain feedback on their work as well as literary agents and professionally produced podcasts. Eligibility: Any up-coming unpublished writer over 16 and who is not represented by an agent. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished. Deadline: January 2, 2019. Entry fees: £6 per entry.
  2. Tony Hillerman Prize First prize award receives $10,000 and publication by the St. Martin’s Press. Eligibility: Open only to US residents over 18 years. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished. Deadline: January 2, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition The winner receives a publication contract with Minotaur Books and an advance of $10,000 against future royalties. Eligibility: Writers 18 and older who have never had a novel published (in any genre) are eligible for this prize, (except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: January 11, 2019. Entry fee: FREE.

March 2019

  1. The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing The winner will receive a $10,000 advance and publication by Restless Books in print and digital editions. Eligibility: Residents who are first generation residents of the country they currently reside in. Restrictions: Must not have previously published work in English. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry fee: FREE.

Unpublished Entries

 

  1. society of authorsThe Betty Trask Prize and The Betty Trask Awards A pretty tide £20,000 sum for the lucky winner. Eligibility: A UK or Commonwealth unpublished author under the age of 35. Restrictions: Work must have been previously unpublished. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.
  2. Colorado Prize for Poetry 2019 The winning book-length collection of poems will be published in the Autumn of 2019. Eligibility: Anyone except for those with ties to the Colorado State University. Restrictions: Individual poems may have been published, but the whole manuscript should be unpublished. Deadline: January 14, 2019. Entry fees: $28 (includes 1-year Colorado Review subscription).
  3. Academy of American PoetryAmbroggio Prize The winning entry receives a $1,000 publication prize, and must be a book-length poetry manuscript in Spanish with an English translation. Eligibility: Applicants must be over 18 years old and be a US Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished (the prize money must also be shared with the translator). Deadline: February 15, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.

Independently Published

 

  1. writing contestsThe Eric Hoffer Award Winners receive major international accolades as well as media exposure. Eligibility: By nomination. Restrictions: Entries must be from academic, small or micro presses or from self-published authors. Deadline: January 1, 2019. Entry fees: Regular category registration: $42 Chapbook registration: $62.
  2. Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards Winners gain widespread publicity and online listings to highlight your win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only independently published books from 2018. Deadline: January 15, 2019. Entry fees: $99 per entry; $79 per additional category.
  3. IPPY Awards Winners gain feature articles on the IndependentPublisher.com website, as well as promoted press releases and 2 free passes to BookExpo America. Eligibility: All members of the independent publishing industry. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: February 23, 2019. Entry fees: $85 per category.
  4. National Indie Excellence Book Awards Winners and finalists garner more attention and an opportunity to receive valuable prizes from sponsors. Eligibility: Indie and self-published authors. Restrictions: All titles must have an ISBN and be published books available for sale. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry Fees: $75.
  5. The International Rubery Book Awards First place winner receives a £1,500 prize with their work guaranteed a read by a top London literary agency. Category winners receive £150 each. Eligibility: Indie writers, self-published authors, and books printed by independent presses. Restrictions: Only published books and ebooks. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry Fees: $60.
  6. The Firecracker Awards Winners receive a national publicity spotlight, as well as work with the American Booksellers Association. Eligibility: Independent publishers and self-published authors. Restrictions: All books with a 2018 publication date. Deadline: April 1, 2019. Entry fees: $75 ($60 for CLMP members).
  7. Readers’ Favorite Contest First and second prize winners receive cash prizes and publicity. Third prize winners win honorable mentions. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Works already published by major publishers are not eligible; entries must also have a 2018 copyright. Deadline: April 1, 2019. Entry fees: Early Bird deadline – April 1 ($99), Regular Deadline – May 1 I($109), Final Deadline – June 1 ($119).
  8. Global eBook Awards Winners gain widespread publicity and online listings, as well as discounts on author and publisher services, to highlight your win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only independently published books from 2017 or later. Deadline: April 30, 2019. Entry fee: $79 per title.

Published

October 2018

  1. Faulkner Award for Fiction The winner receives $15,000 and an invitation to read at the award ceremony in Washington, DC. Four finalists also each receive a $5,000 award. Eligibility: US citizens with a book published in 2018. Restrictions: Entrants should be US citizens. Deadline: October 31, 2018. Entry fees: FREE.

November 2018

  1. Christian Indie Awards Winners in each category will receive a Christian Indie Awards emblem for use on book covers, websites and other promotional materials, Winning titles will be announced to the press and the book trade industry. Eligibility: Publishers with annual revenues of under $450,000. Restrictions: Books published in 2017-2018. Deadline: November 15, 2018. Entry fee: $45.00 (in US funds) per title nominated.
  2. The 5th Annual Book Pipeline Competition First prize winner receives $10,000 and circulation to major publishers. Eligibility: Entrants over 18 years. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: November 15, 2018. Entry fees: $70.

December 2018

  1. W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction First prize winner receives a $5,000 award. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Novels should be Young Adult and Adult novels only and must have been published during the year prior to the award. Held annually on December 1. Deadline: December 1, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  2. 53Adult Literature Award Winners are celebrated and feted at the Award’s May lunch. Eligibility: Quite a few restrictions apply so please check the full outline online. Restrictions: See website. Deadline: December 10, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  3. 53Juvenile Literature Award Winners are celebrated and feted at the Award’s May lunch. Eligibility: Quite a few restrictions apply so please check the full outline online. Restrictions: See website. Deadline: December 10, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  4. Reader Views Literary Awards Winners receive cash prizes and, above all, exposure, as well as the potential for representation by a leading literary agent. Eligibility: All authors who have published in English between 2017 and 2019. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fees: $89.00 per title (for the initial category) if postmarked before October 31, 2018. $110 if postmarked between November 1 and December 31, 2018. $25 for each additional category or regional/global entry.
  5. The Ben Franklin Awards Winners receive a Gold award, with other winners receiving a Silver award. Eligibility: Print/audio-book publishers. Restrictions: Books or audio books with a 2018 copyright may enter. Deadline: December 15, 2018. Entry fees: IBPA member: $95 per title, per category Non-IBPA member: $225 for the first title, which includes a one-year membership in IBPA; $95 per title, per category for second and subsequent entries.
  6. Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards First prize winner receives $10,000 in cash as well as media and publicity opportunities. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Books must be written in English and published and copyrighted in 2018 to be eligible for the 2019 prize. Deadline: December 21, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.
  7. writing contestsStowe Prize The first prize winner receives a $10,000 cash prize. Eligibility: US authors only. Restrictions: US authors whose written work has made a tangible impact on a social justice issue critical to contemporary society. Takes place on June 31 of every year. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fee: FREE.

January 2019

  1. Axiom Business Book Awards Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded in each category. Winners also receive personalized certificates and foil award stickers. Eligibility: Any published authors in English. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: January 12, 2019. Entry fee: October 14, 2018 – January 12, 2019, $95 per title per category.
  2. eLit Book Awards Winners gain increased industry-wide awareness of their work. Eligibility: Publishers and authors creating ebooks in English. Restrictions: Only titles released in 2017 and 2018. Deadline: January 31, 2019. Entry Fee: -Early Bird #2 entry – September 1 through November 30, 2018 – $80 per title, per category. Regular entry December 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019, $90 per title per category.

May 2019

  1. Academy of American PoetryLenore Marshall Poetry Prize The winner receives $25,000 in prize money, plus distribution of the winning book to Academy of American Poets members. Eligibility: US citizens and residents only. Restrictions: Books must be published in the US and submitted in the year after their publication. Self-published books are not eligible. Deadline: May 15, 2019. Entry fees: $75 per entry.
  2. Academy of American PoetryJames Laughlin Award The winner receives a prize of $5,000, an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and distribution of the winning book to approximately one thousand Academy of American Poets members. Eligibility: Published poets. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: May 15 every year. Entry fees: FREE.
  3. St. Francis College Literary Prize 2019 The winner gains $50,000 in prize money and is given a platform to talk about their work and present a mini-workshop on fiction at St. Francis College. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Only work published between June 2017 and May 2019. Deadline: May 15, 2019. Entry fees: FREE.

February 2019

  1. Nautilus Book Awards Winners gain cash prizes as well as exhibiting opportunities at national and international trade shows amongst other wonderous opportunities. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only books published during 2017 and 2018 can apply. Deadline: February 8, 2019. Entry fees: Sept 21– Oct 31, 2018 (Wed.) Early Bird Entry Fee: $165 USD for one Category in which your Title is entered + $125 USD for any additional Category for the same Title. Note: all books for Children & Young Adults have $125 Early Bird Entry Fee. Nov 1 – Dec 31, 2018 (Mon.) Regular Entry Fee ($10 increase per category)
    2 – Feb 8, 2019 (Fri.) Final Entry Fee ($10 increase per category).
  2. Next Generation Indie Book Awards The big winner receives a cash prize as well as opportunities at industry exhibitions and other opportunities. Eligibility: Self-publishers, small presses, and hybrid publishers. Restrictions: Published books from 2017 and 2018. Deadline: February 15, 2019. Entry fees: $75 per title for the first category entered, and $60 for each additional category entered.

September 2019

  1. bookThe 16th Annual “Best Book” Awards Winners in each category receive a multitude of benefits, including help with promotion, and publishing industry exposure to name just a few benefits. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Open only to books published between 2017 and 2019. Deadline: September 30, 2019. Entry fees: $59 per entry per category (until November 30, 2018); after that $79 per book/per category.
  1. writing contestsYoung Lions Fiction Award First prize winner receives a $10,000 award. Eligibility: Anyone under 35 at the time of the book’s publication and must be a US citizen.  Restrictions: Adult books (not children or YA) and 2019 publication date. Deadline: TBA (Annually in August).
  2. Madeline P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize The winner will receive housing and campus meals, $10,000 and publication of their manuscript. Eligibility: An emerging writer under forty years old with no major book publication. Restrictions: N/A. Deadline: TBA. Entry fee: FREE.
  3. Marfield Prize First prize winner receives a cash prize of $10,000. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Previously published works must be nonfiction titles in English, and originally published in the US. Deadline: TBA. Entry fees: FREE.
  4. writing contestsBeverly Hills Book Awards You’ll get the chance to win a contest winner sticker to place on your book cover. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Books published between 2016 and 2018, and written in English. Deadline: TBA. Entry fees: $75.
  5. writing contestsErnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence First prize winner receives a $10,000 cash prize. Eligibility: Upcoming African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level. Restrictions: Eligible authors should submit a work of fiction published in the calendar year. Dates: TBA. Deadline: As yet not announced. Entry fee: FREE.

ISBN Required

 

  1. sartonSarton Women’s Book Awards Winners receive cash prizes as well as silver and virtual seals for their publication and website, amongst other perks. Eligibility: Entries should be in English and published by smaller print houses and academic printers. Restrictions: Books should have been published between 2015 and 2018, have an ISBN, and be in print form only. Deadline: November 16, 2018. Entry fees: $110.
  2. International Excellence Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards Winners gain help with publicity for their book, as well as help with publicity and marketing. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only titles, with ISBN numbers, published from 2017 to the present. Deadline: February 15, 2019. Entry fee: $75 per category.
  3. writing contestsIndieReader Discovery Awards Depending on your placing, you can make use of tailored consultations with publicists, as well as custom websites. Eligibility: Indie authors with self-published books. Restrictions: Books with valid ISBN or ASIN numbers, and no restrictions on publication date. Deadline: February 28, 2019. Entry Fee: $150 per entry; then $50 per additional entry.
  4. Midwest Book Awards There are three categories with 3 finalists chosen from each category, and one winner. All three from each category are given certificates and two tickets to the Midwest Book Awards gala. Who can enter; Only authors and publishers from the Midwest (US). Restrictions: Geography based restrictions do apply (only authors from the American Midwest); only entries with ISBNs and a 2018 copyright can apply. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Entry fee: Non-MIPA member: $169 per title; $45 for each additional category.
  5. independentIndependent Press Awards Winners gain help with promoting their materials, as well as easy to download seals for the winning manuscript. Eligibility: Independent authors and press books. Restrictions: All books must be in final published form and include ISBNs. Deadline: March 31, 2019. Entry Fee: $95 per entry per category; then $75 per additional entry per category.
  6. International Book Awards Winners gain “more prestige” with industry leaders through their win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Only titles with a 2017-2019 publication date, with an ISBN number, and in English. Deadline: April 30, 2019. Entry Fee: $69.
  7. bookThe 2019 American Fiction Awards Winners gain widespread international exposure through their win. Eligibility: Published authors. Restrictions: Entries must have an ISBN and have been published between 2017 and 2019. Deadline: May 31, 2019. Entry fees: $69.
  8. chanticleerChanticleer Genre Writing Competitions and Book Awards There are several quite substantial prizes available, including cash prizes of up to $1,000 and a powerful promotional boost for winning work. Eligibility: Anyone. Restrictions: Copyright must be within the last 3 years and have an ISBN/ASIN designation. Deadline: Check website as there are different deadlines for different genres. Entry fees: $75 per entry per category.

 

Again, good luck! And don’t forget that cup of coffee.

 

You may also like

Writers’ Retreats You Don’t Want to Miss

The Zen of Writing: Tools for Writing

EPUB vs PDF: The Battle of the Formats