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Writing Contests, Grants & Awards

The Writing Contests, Grants & Awards database includes details about the creative writing contests—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, and more—that we’ve published in Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it. Ours is the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

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Sponsor and Award Entry Fee Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadlinesort icon
Summer Literary Seminars
Unified Literary Contest

Three prizes, valued at $5,200 each, to attend the Summer Literary Seminars program in Lithuania or Kenya are given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, and a creative nonfiction writer. The prizes...

$17 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,200 Publication, Residency 2/28/13
Shenandoah
Bevel Summers Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Shenandoah's online issue is given annually for a short short story. Submit two copies of up to three stories of no more than 1,000 words each with a $3...

$3 Fiction $1,000 Publication 3/31/13
Stanford University Libraries
William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

Two prizes of $5,000 each are given biennially for works of fiction and creative nonfiction. The awards, cosponsored by the Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, are "intended...

$50 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,000 1/31/14
Starcherone Books
Prize for Innovative Fiction

A prize of $1,500 and publication by Starcherone Books is given annually for a book of fiction. Alissa Nutting will judge. Submit a novel, a short story collection, or a work of hybrid prose of up to 400...

$35 Fiction $1,500 Publication 2/17/14
StoryQuarterly
Essay Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in StoryQuarterly will be given annually for an essay. Maggie Nelson will judge. Submit an essay of up to 6,250 words with a $15 entry fee by July 1. Visit the...

$15 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 7/1/14
Saturday's Child Press
Short Story Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Saturday's Child Magazine is given twice annually for a short story by a woman or a translation into English of a short story by a woman. Translators of any...

$15 Fiction $1,000 Publication 9/15/14
San Miguel Writers' Conference
Writing Contest

Three prizes valued at approximately $1,000 each will be given annually for a group of poems, a short story or novel excerpt, and an essay or memoir excerpt. The prize includes full tuition, lodging, an...

$30 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Reading, Conference Registration 11/2/14
Stanford University
Wallace Stegner Fellowships

Ten two-year fellowships, five in poetry and five in fiction, are given annually to allow emerging writers to develop their craft in workshops with senior faculty members at Stanford University. Each...

$75 Poetry, Fiction $26,000 12/1/14
Sarabande Books
Bernheim Writing Residency

A two- to six-week residency at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, will be given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, or a creative nonfiction writer. The resident will also...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $500 Reading, Residency 12/15/14
Schaffner Press
Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Schaffner Press is given annually for a poetry collection, a novel, a short story collection, an essay collection, or a memoir that "deals in some way with the...

$25 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 12/31/14
San José State University
Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing

A one-year residency at San José State University, which includes a stipend of $10,000, is given annually to two to three fiction writers or creative nonfiction writers. The fellows will give one public...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 Reading, Residency 1/2/15
Spark
Writing Contest

A prize of $500 and publication in Spark: A Creative Anthology is given quarterly for a poem, a short story, or a personal essay on a theme. The winner also receives a lifetime membership to...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $500 Publication 1/4/15
Stadler Center for Poetry
Philip Roth Residencies

Two four-month residencies, each of which include a $4,000 stipend, at the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University are given in alternating years to poets, fiction writers, and creative...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $4,000 2/1/15
Southern Illinois University
Devil's Kitchen Reading Awards

Three prizes of $1,000 each and an all-expenses-paid trip to give a reading at the Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in October 2015 are given annually...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Reading 2/2/15
Sarabande Books
Morton and McCarthy Prizes

Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication by Sarabande Books are given annually for collections of poetry and fiction. For the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages...

$27 Poetry, Fiction $2,000 Publication 2/15/15
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