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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 Prizesort icon Prize includes Application Deadline
Southern Indiana Review
Michael Waters Poetry Prize

A prize of $3,000 and publication by Southern Indiana Review Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Michael Waters will judge. Submit up to 80 pages of poetry (no more than one poem per page)...

$25 Poetry $3,000 Publication 2/1/17
Omnidawn Publishing
Open Poetry Book Contest

A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Terrance Hayes will judge. Submit a manuscript of 40 to 120 pages with a $27 entry...

$27 Poetry $3,000 Publication 12/31/16
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
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
Virginia Commonwealth University
Levis Reading Prize

A prize of $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to give a reading at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond is given annually for a first or second book of poetry published during the previous year...

$0 Poetry $5,000 Reading 2/1/17
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
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
National Poetry Series
Open Competition

Five prizes of $10,000 each and publication by participating trade, university, or small press publishers are given annually for poetry collections. Publishers include Beacon Press, Ecco, Milkweed...

$30 Poetry $10,000 Publication 2/15/17
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
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
Milkweed Editions
Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

A prize of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet currently residing in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Submit a book-...

$0 Poetry $10,000 Publication 2/15/17
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
The Moth
Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

A prize of €10,000 (approximately $11,200) and publication in the Moth is given annually for a poem. Three runner-up prizes of €1,000 (approximately $1,120) each are also given. The winners will...

$13 Poetry $11,200 Publication 12/31/16
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
Academy of American Poets
Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship Award

A fellowship of $25,000 and a five-week residency at the American Academy in Rome is given biennially to a U.S. translator for a work-in-progress of modern Italian poetry translated into English. Maria...

$0 Poetry $25,000 Residency 2/15/17
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
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
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
Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
Griffin Poetry Prize

Two prizes of $65,000 Canadian (approximately $50,000) each are given annually for poetry collections by a Canadian poet or translator and by an international poet or translator. Sue Goyette, Joan...

$0 Poetry $65,000 12/31/16
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