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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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