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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 Prizesort icon Prize includes Application Deadline
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
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
Poets & Writers, Inc.
Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Two prizes of $500 each are awarded annually to a poet and a fiction writer from a select state. Each winner also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to give a reading and meet with...

$0 Poetry, Fiction $500 Reading 1/9/17
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
The Writer's Center
McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize

A prize of $500 is given annually for a first novel by a U.S. author published during the previous year. Authors, publishers, and agents may submit three copies of a novel published in 2016 by March 11....

$0 Fiction $500 3/11/17
Little Tokyo Historical Society
Short Story Contest

A prize of $500 and publication in Rafu Shimpo and on the Discover Nikkei website is given annually for a short story that takes place in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles. Submit a story...

$0 Fiction $500 Publication 1/31/17
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Self-Publishing Literary Awards

Two prizes of $500 each are given annually for a poetry e-book and a fiction e-book by an African American writer self-published in the United States during the previous year. The awards honor books that...

$0 Poetry, Fiction $500 2/17/17
Tampa Review
Danahy Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Tampa Review is given annually for a short story. The editors will judge. Submit a story of 500 to 5,000 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a...

$20 Fiction $1,000 Publication 12/31/16
BkMk Press
Ciardi/Chandra Prizes

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by BkMk Press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 110 pages of poetry or 125 to 300 pages of...

$25 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 Publication 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
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
Binghamton University
Book Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for books of poetry and fiction published during the previous year. The Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award is given for a poetry collection of at least 48 pages....

$0 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 2/1/17
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
Black Lawrence Press
Big Moose Prize

A prize of $1,000, publication by Black Lawrence Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a novel. The editors will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 90 to 1,000...

$25 Fiction $1,000 Publication 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
Memphis
Fiction Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Memphis magazine is given annually for a short story by a writer living within 150 miles of Memphis. Submit a story of 2,500 to 3,500 words with a $20 entry...

$20 Fiction $1,000 Publication 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
Sixfold
Short Story and Poetry Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sixfold are given quarterly for a group of poems and a short story. Using the online submission system, submit up to five poems totaling no more than...

$5 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 Publication 1/24/17
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
Livingston Press
Tartt Fiction Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Livingston Press, and 100 author copies is given annually for a first collection of short stories by a U.S. citizen. Fiction writers who have not published a short story...

$20 Fiction $1,000 Publication 12/31/16
Mississippi Review
Mississippi Review Prize

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Mississippi Review are given annually for a poem and a short story. Current or former University of Southern Mississippi students are ineligible....

$15 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 Publication 1/1/17
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
Lascaux Review
Prize in Short Fiction

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Lascaux Review is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 10,000 words with a $10 entry fee by December 31. Previously published stories are...

$10 Fiction $1,000 Publication 12/31/16
North Carolina Writers' Network
Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story. The winning story will be considered for publication in Thomas Wolfe Review. Wiley Cash will judge. Submit two copies of a story of up to 3...

$25 Fiction $1,000 1/30/17
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
Lascaux Review
Book Prize

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a poetry collection and a novel published during the previous two years. Submit a book published in 2015 or 2016 with a $25 entry fee by December 31....

$25 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 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
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
American Short Fiction
American Short(er) Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in American Short Fiction is given annually for a piece of flash fiction. Justin Torres will judge. Submit up to three stories of no more than 1,000 words each...

$17 Fiction $1,000 Publication 2/1/17
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
Selected Shorts
Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

A prize of $1,000 and tuition for a 10-week writing class through New York City's Gotham Writers Workshop is given annually for a short story. The winning work will be published on the Electric...

$25 Fiction $1,000 Workshop 3/1/17
Breakwater Review
Fiction Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Breakwater Review is given annually for a story. ZZ Packer will judge. Submit a story of up to 5,000 words with a $10 entry fee by January 15. All entries...

$10 Fiction $1,000 Publication 1/15/17
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
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
Literal Latté
K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Literal Latté is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 10,000 words with a $10 entry fee ($15 for two stories) by January 15, 2017. All...

$10 Fiction $1,000 Publication 1/15/17
Press 53
Award for Short Fiction

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Press 53 is given annually for a story collection. Kevin Morgan Watson will judge. Submit a manuscript of 100 to 250 pages with a $30 entry fee by December 31. Visit...

$30 Fiction $1,000 Publication 12/31/16
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
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
Third Coast
Poetry and Fiction Contests

Two awards of $1,000 each and publication in Third Coast are given annually for a poem and a short story. Natalie Diaz will judge the Third Coast Poetry Prize, and Desiree Cooper will judge the...

$16 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 Publication 1/15/17
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
Fish Publishing
Flash Fiction Prize

A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,090) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short short story. Chris Stewart will judge. Submit a story of up to 300 words with a 14...

$15 Fiction $1,090 Publication 2/28/17
PRISM
Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction

A prize of $1,500 Canadian (approximately $1,150) and publication in PRISM will be given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 6,000 words with a $40 entry fee, which includes a...

$40 Fiction $1,150 Publication 1/15/17
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
Ruminate
William Van Dyke Short Story Prize

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a short story. Using the online submission system, submit a story of up to 5,500 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a...

$20 Fiction $1,500 Publication 2/15/17
River Styx
Schlafly Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest

A prize of $1,500 and publication in River Styx is given annually for a short short story. Submit up to three stories of no more than 500 words each with a $10 entry fee, which includes a copy...

$10 Fiction $1,500 Publication 12/31/16
Boulevard
Short Fiction Contest

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for a short story by a writer who has not published a nationally distributed book. The editors will judge. Submit a story of up...

$16 Fiction $1,500 Publication 12/31/16
Balcones Center for Creative Writing
Poetry and Fiction Prizes

Two prizes of $1,500 each are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction published during the previous year. Authors and publishers may submit three copies of a book published in 2016 (...

$30 Poetry, Fiction $1,500 1/31/17
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
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
Colorado Review
Nelligan Prize

A prize of $2,000 and publication in Colorado Review is given annually for a short story. Richard Bausch will judge. Submit a story of 10 to 50 pages with a $15 entry fee ($17 for online...

$17 Fiction $2,000 Publication 3/14/17
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...

$29 Poetry, Fiction $2,000 Publication 2/15/17
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
Masters Review
Short Story Award for New Writers

A prize of $2,000 and publication in Masters Review is given twice yearly for a short story by a writer who has not published a novel (writers who have published story collections are eligible...

$20 Fiction $2,000 Publication 1/15/17
Glimmer Train Press
Short Story Award for New Writers

A prize of $2,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 author copies is given three times a year for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with...

$18 Fiction $2,500 Publication 2/28/17
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
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
Glimmer Train Press
Family Matters

A prize of $2,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given annually for a short story about families of any configuration. Using the online submission...

$18 Fiction $2,500 Publication 1/2/17
Prairie Schooner
Book Prizes

Two prizes of $3,000 each and publication by University of Nebraska Press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. An editorial board will select finalists; Kwame Dawes...

$25 Poetry, Fiction $3,000 Publication 3/15/17
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
Virginia Commonwealth University
Cabell First Novelist Award

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a first novel published during the previous year. The winner and the winner's agent will also receive lodging and travel expenses to attend the First Novelist...

$0 Fiction $5,000 1/14/17
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
Center for Fiction
New York City Emerging Writers Fellowship

Fellowships of $5,000 each, membership to the Center for Fiction in New York City, and access to writing space at the Center are given annually to fiction writers living in New York City who have not yet...

$0 Fiction $5,000 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
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
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
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
University of Rochester
Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize

A prize of $7,500 is given annually for a book of fiction published during the previous year by a woman who is a U.S. citizen. Publishers may submit four copies of a novel or collection of short fiction...

$0 Fiction $7,500 2/1/17
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
James Jones Literary Society
First Novel Fellowship

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not published a novel. A selection from the winning work will be published in Provincetown Arts. Runners-up...

$30 Fiction $10,000 3/15/17
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
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
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
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
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
Caine Prize for African Writing
Caine Prize for African Writing

A prize of 10,000 (approximately $12,200) is given annually for a previously published short story by an African writer. Shortlisted candidates will receive 500 (approximately $610). Writers who were...

$0 Fiction $12,200 1/31/17
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
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
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
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
University of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships

An academic year in residence, which includes a stipend of at least $30,000, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison is given annually to up to six writers working on a first or second book of poetry...

$50 Poetry, Fiction $30,000 Reading, Workshop, Residency 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

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