The 270+ Best Writing Contests



A successful entry in a writing competition can be a significant boost for an author's career, providing exposure and potentially even leading to a publishing deal. They also provide fantastic motivation to get a work finished, to hone your writing, and to test yourself against your peers. Some also offer cash prizes—always welcome! In this list, we showcase over 270 of the best writing contests out there, in a variety of genres.



Categories

Adventure Writing

Chapbooks

Children's Fiction & Nonfiction

Children's & Young Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

Creative Nonfiction

Crime Novel

Essay

Fable

Fiction

Fiction & Creative Nonfiction

Fiction & Essay

Fiction & Nonfiction

Flash Fiction

Historical Fiction

Historical Nonfiction

Long Story

Memoir

Nature Writing

Nonfiction

Novel

Novella

Open-Form

Poetry

Query Letters

Science Fiction

Script Writing

Short Story

Thriller

Multiple/All Genres



Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Adventure Writing


Adventure Writers Competition

Adventure Writing


Rattle Chapbook Prize

Chapbooks


Black Voices in Children’s Literature Writing Contest

Children's Fiction & Nonfiction


Mslexia Children’s & Young Adult Novel Competition

Children’s & Young Adult Fiction


Searchlight Writing for Children Awards

Children’s & Young Adult Fiction


Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

Children's Fiction


Bath Children’S Novel Award

Children's Fiction


Cherished Children's Story Contest

Children's Fiction


New Voices Award

Children's Fiction


AAWP Slow Canoe Creative Nonfiction Prize

Creative Nonfiction


Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction


WOW! Women on Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Creative Nonfiction


Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award

Crime Novel


St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Crime Novel


Brandon Langhjelm Memorial Essay Contest

Essay


Calibre Essay Prize

Essay


Alpine Fellowship Academic Writing Prize

Essay


Kemper Human Rights Education Essay Contests

Essay


KSCPP Essay Contest Essay


NCH Essay Competition

Essay


Biopage Storytelling Writing Contest

Essay


Fable Competition

Fable


Blue Pencil Agency Pitch Prize

Fiction


Breakwater Fiction Contest

Fiction


Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest

Fiction


Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Fiction


Killer Nashville Claymore Award

Fiction


Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

Fiction


Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize

Fiction


Minds Shine Bright Writing Competition

Fiction


Mslexia Adult Novel Competition

Fiction


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Fiction


Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest

Fiction


Si Leeds Literary Prize

Fiction


Virginia Prize for Fiction

Fiction


Young Lions Fiction Award

Fiction


Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize

Fiction


First Pages Prize

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction


Friends of American Writers Chicago Adult Literature Award

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction


Friends of American Writers Chicago Young People's Literature Awards

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction


SFWP Literary Awards

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction


Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Fiction, Essay


Richell Prize for Emerging Writers

Fiction, Nonfiction


Stowe Prize

Fiction, Nonfiction


Book Pipeline Unpublished Contest

Fiction, Nonfiction


Chanticleer International Book Awards

Fiction, Nonfiction


Daisy Pettles Writing Contest

Fiction, Nonfiction


Impress Prize for New Writers

Fiction, Nonfiction


New Media Writing Prize

Fiction, Nonfiction


Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

Fiction, Nonfiction


Desert Writers Award

Fiction, Nonfiction


Smokelong Quarterly Comedy Prize

Fiction, Nonfiction


Aniko Magazine Flash Fiction Competition

Flash Fiction


Bath Flash Fiction Award

Flash Fiction


Bridport Flash Fiction Prize

Flash Fiction


Cranked Anvil Flash Fiction Competition

Flash Fiction


Fish Flash Fiction Prize

Flash Fiction


Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition

Flash Fiction


Fusilli Writing Flash Fiction Competition

Flash Fiction


Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

Flash Fiction


PNM Flash Fiction Prize

Flash Fiction


Quantum Shorts Flash Fiction Contest

Flash Fiction


Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

Flash Fiction


Voice.Club Flash Fiction Contest

Flash Fiction


WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest

Flash Fiction


Bet Tuppi’s Ancient Near Eastern Historical Fiction Prize

Historical Fiction


Saudi Historical Fiction Awards

Historical Fiction


Van Diemen History Prize

Historical Nonfiction


Bridport Memoir Award

Memoir


Fish Short Memoir Prize

Memoir


Mslexia Memoir & Life Writing Competition

Memoir


Lustrous Long Story Contest

Long Story


Moth Nature Writing Prize

Nature Writing


Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize

Nonfiction


Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prizes

Nonfiction


Marfield Prize (aka National Award for Arts Writing)

Nonfiction


A Woman's Write Annual Writing Competition

Novel


Bath Novel Award

Novel


Betty Trask Prize

Novel


Big Moose Prize

Novel


Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award

Novel


Booksie First Chapter Novel Contest

Novel


Bridport Novel Award

Novel


Caledonia Novel Award

Novel


Exeter Novel Prize

Novel


First Novel Prize

Novel


Flash 500 Novel Opening & Synopsis Competition

Novel


Grindstone International Novel Prize

Novel


Inkitt's Writing Contest

Novel


James Jones First Novel Fellowship

Novel


McKitterick Prize

Novel


Meet Me at 19th Street’s Competition

Novel


New Voices Competition

Novel


Spotlight First Novel Award

Novel


VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

Novel


Black Orchid Novella Award

Novella


Bath Novella-in-Flash Award

Novella


Exisle Academy "Passed Down" Writing Competition

Open-Form


Academy of American Poets First Book Award

Poetry


Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

Poetry


Alpine Fellowship Poetry Prize

Poetry


Anthology Poetry Award

Poetry


Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry

Poetry


Black Ink Poetry Competition

Poetry


Blake Poetry Prize

Poetry


Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Contest

Poetry


Bridport Poetry Prize

Poetry


Brotherton Poetry Prize

Poetry


Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Poetry


Colorado Prize for Poetry

Poetry


Donald Hall Prize for Poetry

Poetry


Fish Poetry Prize

Poetry


Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition

Poetry


Ginkgo Prize Ecopoetry

Poetry


Guernsey International Poetry Competition

Poetry


Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

Poetry


Jack Grapes Poetry Prize

Poetry


James Laughlin Award

Poetry


Joan Eardley Centenary Poetry Competition

Poetry


Judith Wright Poetry Prize

Poetry


Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition

Poetry


Live Canon International Poetry Competition

Poetry


Luschei Prize for African Poetry

Poetry


Magma Poetry Competition

Poetry


Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize

Poetry


Michael Waters Poetry Prize

Poetry


Miller Williams Poetry Prize

Poetry


Moth Poetry Prize

Poetry


Mslexia Women's Pamphlet Competition

Poetry


Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition

Poetry


Nature and Place Poetry Competition

Poetry


Never Such Innocence Poetry Competition

Poetry


Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Poetry


Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition

Poetry


Parkinson’s Art Charity Poetry Competition

Poetry


PenFluenza Short Story Contest

Poetry


Peseroff Prize Poetry Contest

Poetry


Plough Poetry Prize

Poetry


Poetry d’Amour Love Poetry Contest

Poetry


Poetry London Prize

Poetry


River Styx International Poetry Contest

Poetry


Robyn Mathison Poetry Prize

Poetry


Ros Spencer Poetry Prize

Poetry


SAETA Spring Poetry Festival Contest

Poetry


Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition

Poetry


Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival Poetry Competition

Poetry


Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

Poetry


The Caterpillar Poetry Prize

Poetry


Third Wednesday Annual Poetry Contest

Poetry


Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Poetry


Trio Award for First or Second Book

Poetry


Tufts Poetry Awards

Poetry


Tusculum Review Poetry Chapbook Prize

Poetry


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Poetry


Willow Run Poetry Book Award

Poetry


Winchester Poetry Prize

Poetry


Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry

Poetry


Clash of the Query Letters

Query Letters


Roswell Award & Feminist Futures Award

Science Fiction


Tomorrow Prize & Green Feather Award

Science Fiction


Taking Flight 2022 New Writing Competition

Script Writing


Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest

Short Story


Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Short Story


Stony Brook $1,000 Short Fiction Prize

Short Story


Drue Heinz Literature Prize

Short Story


Mary Mccarthy Prize In Short Fiction

Short Story


CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Short Story


53-Word Story Contest

Short Story


AlburyCity Short Story Award

Short Story


Anthology Short Story Award

Short Story


Bath Short Story Award

Short Story


Blackwater Press Short Story Contest

Short Story


Bridport Short Story Prize

Short Story


Bristol Short Story Prize

Short Story


City Academy Short Story Writing Competition

Short Story


Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Short Story


Djillong Short Story Competition

Short Story


Écrire! Words Alike Short Story Competition

Short Story


Ethos Literacy Annual Short Short Story Contest

Short Story


Exisle Academy ‘Undiscovered Gems’ Writing Competition

Short Story


Fish Short Story Prize

Short Story


Flash 500 Short Stories Competition

Short Story


George Floyd Short Story Competition

Short Story


Grindstone International Short Story Prize

Short Story


Henshaw Short Story Competition

Short Story


Jane Austen Literacy Foundation Writing Competition

Short Story


Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

Short Story


Mary River Press Services Short Story Competition

Short Story


Masters Review Winter Short Story Award for New Writers

Short Story


MiNDFOOD Short Story Competition

Short Story


Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing

Short Story


Moth Short Story Prize

Short Story


Mslexia Short Story Competition

Short Story


Olga Masters Short Story Award

Short Story


Parracombe Prize

Short Story


Parsec Short Story Contest

Short Story


PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

Short Story


Rhiza Edge Short Story Competition

Short Story


River Styx Microfiction Contest

Short Story


Science-me a Story

Short Story


Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition

Short Story


Seán O'Faoláin International Short Story Competition

Short Story


ServiceScape Short Story Award

Short Story


Shimmering Short Story Contest

Short Story


Shooter Flash Competition

Short Story


Shooter Short Story Competition

Short Story


Southport Writers’ Circle Short Story Competition

Short Story


Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomers Plus

Short Story


Stringybark Times Past Short Story Award

Short Story


Val Wood Prize

Short Story


Wenlock Writers-on-the-Edge Short Story Competition

Short Story


Swoop Books Writing Competitions

Short Story


Do Wha(TS) Creative Writing Contest

Short Story


Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Short Story


Story of the Year Contest

Short Story


To Hull And Back Humorous Short Story Competition

Short Story


Turn Off The Lights Thriller Contest

Thriller


Unleash Press Book Prize

Novel, Short Story, Personal Essays, Reimagined Fairytales, Narrative Nonfiction


Yeovil Literary Prize

Novel, Short Story, Poetry, Prose


Pen Nib International Writing Competition

Poetry, Essay


Orison Prizes in Poetry & Fiction

Poetry, Fiction


Manchester Writing Competition

Poetry, Fiction


Lascaux Prizes in Poetry and Flash Fiction

Poetry, Flash Fiction


Black River Chapbook Competition

Poetry, Prose


Boroondara Literary Awards

Poetry, Prose


SaveAs Writers' International Writing Competition

Poetry, Prose


VISIBLE Poetry and Prose Submissions

Poetry, Prose


Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Poetry, Short Fiction


Prime Number Magazine Awards for Poetry & Short Fiction

Poetry, Short Fiction


Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest

Poetry, Short Story


Hudson Prize

Poetry, Short Story


Polar Expressions National Poetry and Short-Story Contest

Poetry, Short Story


St. Lawrence Book Award

Poetry, Short Story


Bedford Writing Competition

Poetry, Short Story


Well’s Festival of Literature

Poetry, Short Story, Children's Book


AWP Award Series

Poetry, Short Story, Creative Nonfiction, Novel


Create the Future Writing Competition

Poetry, Short Story, Creative Prose


Red Hen Press Women’s Prose Prize

Prose


Joe O’Sullivan Writers Prize

Prose, Fiction, Nonfiction


L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest

Science Fiction, Fantasy


Globe Soup Writing Competitions

Short Memoir, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Travel Writing


F(r)iction’s Writing Contest

Short Story, Flash Fiction, Poetry


Accenti Writing Contest

Short Story, Nonfiction, Creative Nonfiction


Narrative Prize

Short Story, Novel, Poetry, Literary Nonfiction


Writing Magazine Grand Prize Short Story and Poetry Writing Competition

Short Story, Poetry


Cinnamon Literature Award

Short Story, Poetry, Novel


Fall Travel Writing Prize

Travel Writing, Narrative Nonfiction, Fiction, Essay, Poetry


City of Fremantle Hungerford Award

Adult fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction


Fogarty Literary Award

Adult fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction


What's Your Story? Writing Competition

Adult Short Story, Adult Poetry, Children's Story, Teen's Story


Green Stories Writing Competitions

Adult Short Story, Children's Short Story


North Street Book Prize

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Poetry, Children's Book, Graphic Novel & Memoir


Bacopa Literary Review Contest

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Prose Poetry


Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award

Fiction, Nonfiction, Children Story, Short Story


Port Writers Open Literary Competition

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Southeast Review Writing Contest

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Wild Words Competition

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

Nonfiction Essay, Short Story, Literary Short Story,

Poetry, Script, Children’s/Young Adult Fiction


Write the World Monthly Competitions

Poetry, Fantasy, Sports Journalism, Flash Fiction


Eyelands Book Awards

Poetry, Novellas, Short Story Collections, Novels, Children's Books, Historical Fiction/Memoir, Graphic Novels


Mississippi Review Contest

Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction


Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) Self-Publishing Literary Awards

Fiction, Poetry


Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Fiction, Poetry


Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

All Genres


Anansi Archive Writing Awards

All Genres


Fanstory Writing Contests

All Genres


Gulf Coast Writers Association Writing Contest

All Genres


Jhalak Prize

All Genres


​Rubery Book Award

All Genres


Tadpole Press 100 Word Writing Contest

All Genres

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