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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 Feesort icon Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline
PEN Center USA
Literary Awards

Prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation published in 2014 by authors residing west of the Mississippi River. The winners will also...

$35 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 12/31/14
Center for Documentary Studies
Documentary Essay Prize

A prize of $3,000 and publication in Document and on the Center for Documentary Studies website will be given biennially for an essay that uses documentary methods. The winner will also be...

$35 Creative Nonfiction $3,000 Publication 2/15/15
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 2/28/15
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 is published in Provincetown Arts, and the winner also...
$30 Fiction $10,000 3/15/15
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 currently include Fence Books,...

$30 Poetry $10,000 Publication 2/15/15
Georgetown Review Press
Poetry Manuscript Contest

A prize of $1,200 and publication by Georgetown Review Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Terrance Hayes will judge. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages with a $30 entry fee by February...

$30 Poetry $1,200 Publication 2/15/15
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