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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.

Sponsor and Award Entry Fee Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline
Friends of American Writers
Literary Award

A prize of up to $4,000 is given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction published during the previous year by a writer who is a resident of the Midwest (or who previously resided in the...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $4,000 12/10/16
University of Iowa Press
Iowa Prize in Literary Nonfiction

Publication by University of Iowa Press is given annually for an essay collection. Meghan Daum will judge. Submit a manuscript of 40,000 to 90,000 words with a $10 entry fee by December 10. Visit the...

$10 Creative Nonfiction $10 Publication 12/10/16
Creative Nonfiction
Essay Contest

A prize of $10,000 and publication in Creative Nonfiction is given occasionally for an essay. A $5,000 runner-up prize is also awarded. The theme for the Fall 2017 issue is "The Dialogue Between...

$20 Creative Nonfiction $10,000 Publication 12/12/16
Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua Prize

A prize of $7,500 is given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction published during the previous year. The winner also receives a weeklong, all-expenses-paid summer residency at Chautauqua...

$75 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $7,500 12/15/16
Willow Books
Literature Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Willow Books are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction or creative nonfiction by writers of color. Using the online submission system,...

$25 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 12/15/16
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Literary Awards

Four prizes of $500 each are given annually for a poetry collection, a first novel, a book of fiction, and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) by an African American writer published in...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $500 12/16/16
Commonwealth Club of California
California Book Awards

Three prizes are given annually to writers residing in California for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published during the previous year. Prizes are also given...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction 12/23/16
Florida Review
Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Florida Review is given annually for a chapbook of flash fiction or nonfiction, short stories, essays, or graphic narrative. Submit a manuscript of up to 45...

$25 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 12/30/16
Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Awards
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year to recognize "outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community."...
$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction 12/31/16
Cleveland Foundation
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published during the previous year that "contribute to our understanding of racism...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 12/31/16
PEN Center USA
Literary Awards

Prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation published in the previous year by authors residing west of the Mississippi River. The winners...

$35 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 12/31/16
Ashland Creek Press
Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for an unpublished or published book of fiction or creative nonfiction that focuses on the environment, animal protection, ecology, or wildlife. The winner also...

$17 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 12/31/16
Restless Books
Prize for New Immigrant Writing

A prize of $10,000 and publication by Restless Books will be given in alternating years for a book of fiction and a book of nonfiction by a first-generation resident of the United States. The 2016 prize...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 Publication 12/31/16
Nowhere Magazine
Travel Writing Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a short story or essay that "possesses a powerful sense of place." Porter Fox will judge. Unpublished and...

$20 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/1/17
Center for Fiction
Christopher Doheny Award

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a full-length fiction or nonfiction manuscript about serious physical illness by a writer who has personal experience with life-threatening illness. The winner...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 1/2/17
San José State University
Steinbeck Fellowships in Creative Writing

Four yearlong residencies at San José State University in San José, California, which include a stipend of $10,000 each, are given annually to fiction writers and creative nonfiction writers. The fellows...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 Reading 1/2/17
Notting Hill Editions
Essay Prize

A prize of £20,000 (approximately $26,600) will be given biennially for an essay. Five runner-up prizes of £1,000 (approximately $1,330) will also be given. The winners will all be published in an...

$0 Creative Nonfiction $26,600 1/9/17
Ellen Meloy Fund
Desert Writers Award

A prize of $3,000 is given annually to enable a creative nonfiction writer "whose work reflects the spirit and passions for the desert embodied in Ellen Meloy's writing" to spend creative time in a...

$0 Creative Nonfiction $3,000 1/15/17
University of Texas in Austin
Dobie Paisano Fellowships

Two residencies, cosponsored by the Texas Institute of Letters, at a rural retreat west of Austin are given annually to writers who are native Texans, who have lived in Texas for at least three years, or...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $25,000 1/15/17
Permafrost
Book Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Alaska Press is given in alternating years for a book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. The 2017 prize will be given for a book of poetry. Jericho...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/15/17
North Carolina Writers' Network
Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Ecotone is given annually for an essay that "is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians." Garrard Conley will...

$12 Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/15/17
French-American Foundation
Translation Prizes

Two prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for translations from French into English of a book of fiction and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published during the previous year. A...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 1/15/17
New Millennium Writings
New Millennium Awards

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and a work of nonfiction (including creative...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/31/17
Iowa Review
Iowa Review Awards

Three prizes of $1,500 each and publication in Iowa Review are given annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Joyelle McSweeney will judge in poetry, Amelia Gray will...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,500 Publication 1/31/17
Ohioana Library Association
Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant

A prize of $1,000 is given annually to an Ohio fiction writer or creative nonfiction writer age 30 or under who has not published a book. Writers born in Ohio or who have lived in Ohio for a minimum of...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 1/31/17
Chattahoochee Review
Lamar York Prizes

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Chattahoochee Review are given annually for a short story and an essay. Patrick Ryan will judge in fiction and Jill Talbot will judge in nonfiction....

$18 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/31/17
Crazyhorse
Literary Prizes

Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Crazyhorse are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Ada Limn will judge in poetry, Justin Torres will judge in fiction, and...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $2,000 Publication 1/31/17
Fish Publishing
Short Memoir Prize

A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,090) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short memoir. Horatio Clare will judge. Submit a memoir of up to 4,000 words with a €16 (...

$17 Creative Nonfiction $1,090 Publication 1/31/17
Winter Anthology
Writing Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Winter Anthology is given annually for a group of poems, a story, or an essay. Donna Stonecipher will judge. Using the online submission system, submit up to...

$10 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/31/17
Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund
Individual Artist Grants for Women

Grants of up to $1,500 are given annually to feminist poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers who are citizens of the United States or Canada. The current round of grants will be awarded to poets...

$25 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,500 1/31/17
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 1/31/17
Writers at Work
Writing Competition

Three prizes of publication in Quarterly West are given annually for a group of poems, a short story or novel excerpt, and an essay or memoir excerpt. The winners also choose to receive either $...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 1/31/17
Stadler Center for Poetry
Philip Roth Residencies

Two four-month residencies, which include a stipend of $5,000 each, 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 $5,000 2/1/17
Colgate University
Olive B. O'Connor Fellowships

Two nine-month residencies at Colgate University, including a stipend of $40,500, health benefits, and travel expenses, are given annually to poets, fiction writers, or nonfiction writers. The 20172018...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $40,500 Reading 2/1/17
Northern Colorado Writers
Top of the Mountain Book Award

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a novel, memoir, or book-length work of narrative nonfiction. Submit the first twenty-five pages of a novel or creative nonfiction manuscript with a one-page...

$25 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 2/1/17
Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission
United States/Japan Creative Artists Residencies

Up to five residencies of three to five months, each of which includes a stipend of up to $24,000 for living expenses, housing, and professional support, are awarded annually to U.S. poets, fiction...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $24,000 2/1/17
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 are given annually for a...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Reading 2/2/17
Library of Virginia
Literary Awards

Three prizes of $2,500 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in the previous year. Books by writers who were born in or are residents of Virginia or, in the case...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $2,500 2/10/17
Center for Documentary Studies
Documentary Essay Prize

A prize of $3,000 and publication in the Center for Documentary Studies online magazine is given biennially for an essay that demonstrates a "reliance on documentary methods, specifically immersive...

$40 Creative Nonfiction $3,000 Publication 2/15/17
Mad River Books
Journal Non/Fiction Collection Prize

A prize of $1,500 and publication by Mad River Books, the trade imprint of Ohio State University Press, is given annually for a collection of short prose. Michael Kardos will judge. Using the online...

$25 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,500 Publication 2/20/17
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
Award Series

Two prizes of $5,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. In addition, two prizes of $2,500 each and publication by a...

$30 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,500 Publication 2/28/17
Red Hen Press
Women's Prose Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press will be given annually for a book of fiction or nonfiction by a woman. Aimee Bender will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a story or...

$25 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 2/28/17
Lake Forest College
Madeleine P. Plonsker Residency

A prize of $10,000, publication by &NOW Books, an imprint of Lake Forest College Press (with distribution by Northwestern University Press), and a three-week residency at Lake Forest College is given...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 Publication, Residency 3/1/17
Mississippi Arts Commission
Literary Artist Fellowships

Grants of up to $5,000 each are given in alternating years to Mississippi poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. This year the fellowships will be offered in creative nonfiction....

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,000 3/1/17
Leeway Foundation
Art and Change Grants

Project grants of up to $2,500 each are given twice yearly by the Leeway Foundation to women and transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, or otherwise gender-nonconforming poets, fiction writers, and...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $2,500 3/1/17
Hunger Mountain
Literary Prizes

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Hunger Mountain are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Submit up to three poems or a story or essay of up to 10,000 words with...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 3/1/17
Alabama State Council on the Arts
Literary Fellowships

Fellowships of $5,000 each are given annually to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in the state of Alabama for at least two years. Using the online submission system...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,000 3/1/17
Elizabeth Kostova Foundation
English and Bulgarian Scholarships

Ten scholarships, valued at approximately $1,600 each, to attend the Sozopol Seminars in Sozopol, Bulgaria, are given annually to five prose writers working in English and five working in Bulgarian. The...

$0 Creative Nonfiction $1,600 3/6/17
National Endowment for the Arts
Creative Writing Fellowships

Grants of $25,000 each are awarded in alternating years to poets and prose writers. This year grants will be awarded to prose writers. Fiction and creative nonfiction writers who have published at least...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $25,000 3/8/17
Fourth Genre
Steinberg Essay Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Fourth Genre is given annually for an essay. Faith Adiele will judge. Using the online submission system, submit an essay of up to 6,000 words with a $22...

$22 Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 3/15/17
Image
Milton Postgraduate Fellowship

A nine-month fellowship is given annually to a Christian writer of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction to complete a first book. The fellowship, valued at $25,000, includes a $5,000 stipend, a...

$25 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $25,000 Reading, Residency 3/15/17

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