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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 Feesort icon Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline
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. The winner also receives a case of Schlafly microbrewed beer. Submit up to three stories of no more...

$10 Fiction $1,500 Publication 12/31/14
Munster Literature Center
Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize

A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,339), publication in Southword, and a weeklong residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, is given annually for a poem. The winner...

$7 Poetry $1,339 Reading, Publication, Residency 11/30/14
Gemini Magazine
Poetry Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a single poem. The editors will judge. Submit up to three poems of any length with a $5 entry fee by January 2, 2015....

$5 Poetry $1,000 Publication 1/2/15
University of Evansville
Willis Barnstone Translation Prize

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem translated from any language into English. Willis Barnstone will judge. Submit up to 10 translated poems of up to 200 lines each along with each original...

$5 Poetry $1,000 12/1/14
Measure Press
Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry is given annually for a sonnet. R. S. Gwynn will judge. Submit a sonnet with a $3 entry fee by November 15. Send an SASE...

$3 Poetry $1,000 Publication 11/15/14
Arrowhead Regional Arts Council
Career Development Grants

Grants of up to $3,000 are given twice yearly to allow Minnesota writers to take advantage of a specific arts opportunity. Poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who are U.S. citizens...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $3,000 10/31/14
Black Balloon Publishing
Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize

A prize of $5,000 and publication by Black Balloon Publishing will be given annually for a short story collection or a novel. The editors will judge. Submit an unpublished manuscript of at least 50,000...

$0 Fiction $5,000 Publication 10/31/14
Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival
Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize

A prize of $500 and publication on the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival website is given annually for a work of creative nonfiction that is set in Brooklyn, New York, and renders the borough's "rich...

$0 Creative Nonfiction $500 Reading, Publication 11/15/14
Three Percent
Best Translated Book Awards

Two awards of $10,000 each will be given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection or novel translated into English for the first time and published in the previous year. The winning...

$0 Poetry, Fiction $10,000 11/14/14
Washington College
Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship

A nine-month fellowship, which includes a stipend of $45,000, at the C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, is given annually to a...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $45,000 Residency 11/1/14
American Library Association
W. Y. Boyd Literary Award

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a novel published in the previous year that is set in a period when the United States was at war. Publishers or authors may submit seven copies of a book published...

$0 Fiction $5,000 12/1/14
Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Awards
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year that make contributions to American multicultural literature. Submit two copies of a book or galley published in...
$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction 12/31/14
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 12/19/14
Civil War Institute
Michael Shaara Book Prize

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a novel about the Civil War published during the previous year to "encourage fresh approaches to Civil War fiction." Publishers, critics, and authors may submit...

$0 Fiction $5,000 12/31/14
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 12/31/14
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). Prizes are also given for a first book of fiction and a...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction 12/22/14
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 Meloy's writing" to spend creative time in a desert...

$0 Creative Nonfiction $3,000 1/15/15
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 12/10/14
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 1/15/15
Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
Griffin Poetry Prize

Two prizes of $65,000 Canadian (approximately $59,506) each are given annually for poetry collections by a Canadian poet or translator and by an international poet or translator. Tim Bowling, Fanny Howe...

$0 Poetry $65,000 12/31/14
Langum Charitable Trust
Prize in American Historical Fiction
A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of historical fiction published during the previous year. Publishers or authors may submit three copies of books (or bound galleys) published in 2014 by...
$0 Fiction $1,000 12/1/14
Morehead State University
Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction by an Appalachian writer. Authors and publishers may submit five copies of a book of poetry or prose by December...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 12/5/14
National Endowment for the Arts
Translation Fellowships

Grants of $12,500 and $25,000 each are given annually to translators of poetry and prose from any language into English. Applicants must have published at least 20 pages of translation in literary...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $12,500 12/8/14
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, Travel Expenses, Residency 12/1/14
Prairie Schooner
Sillerman First Book Prize

Sponsored by the African Poetry Book Fund in partnership with Prairie Schooner, a prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal will be given...

$0 Poetry $1,000 Publication 12/1/14
Pushcart Press
Pushcart Prizes

Publication in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses is awarded annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction published by literary magazines or small presses during the...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Publication 12/1/14
Pushcart Press
Editors' Book Award

A prize of $1,000 is given occasionally for a fiction or creative nonfiction manuscript that has been submitted to but not accepted by a commercial publisher. The award recognizes "worthy manuscripts...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 11/15/14
San José State University
Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing

A one-year residency at San José State University, which includes a stipend of $10,000, is given annually to two to three fiction writers or creative nonfiction writers. The fellows will give one public...

$0 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 Reading, Residency 1/2/15
Sarabande Books
Bernheim Writing Residency

A two- to six-week residency at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, will be given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, or a creative nonfiction writer. The resident will also...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $500 Reading, Residency 12/15/14
Society of Classical Poets
Poetry Competition

A prize of $500 is given annually for a group of three to five poems on a theme. For this year's contest, one poem must address either the struggles of the Chinese people under communism or the...

$0 Poetry $500 12/31/14
Spark
Writing Contest

A prize of $500 and publication in Spark: A Creative Anthology is given quarterly for a poem, a short story, or a personal essay on a theme. The winner also receives a lifetime membership to...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $500 Publication 1/4/15
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 editor and agent also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the First Novelist Festival...
$0 Fiction $5,000 1/14/15
University of North Texas
Rilke Prize

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a book published in the previous year by a mid-career poet. The winner also receives airfare and lodging to give readings at the University of North Texas and the...

$0 Poetry $10,000 Reading, Travel Expenses 11/30/14
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