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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 Prize Prize includes Application Deadlinesort icon
University of Pittsburgh Press
Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. Poets who have not published a full-length poetry collection may submit a manuscript of...
$25 Poetry $5,000 Publication 4/30/16
University of Iowa Press
Iowa Poetry Prize

Publication by University of Iowa Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 150 pages with a $20 entry fee during the month of April. Call or visit the website for...

$20 Poetry $20 Publication 4/30/16
Kore Press
First Book Award

A prize of $1,500, publication by Kore Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a debut poetry collection by a female-identified poet. Poets who have not published a full-length collection or a...

$28 Poetry $1,500 Publication 4/30/16
Late Night Library
Debut-litzer Prizes

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a first book of poetry and a first book of fiction published in the previous year. The winners are featured on the Late Night Library podcast series, and...

$25 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 Reading 4/30/16
Trio House Press
First/Second Book Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Trio House Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. The winner is also asked to serve as a part-time volunteer for Trio...

$25 Poetry $1,000 Publication 4/30/16
Trio House Press
Louise Bogan Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Trio House Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. The winner is also asked to serve as a part-time volunteer for Trio House Press for two...

$25 Poetry $1,000 Publication 4/30/16
Winning Writers
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest

Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication on the Winning Writers website are given annually for a short story and an essay. Arthur Powers will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a short...

$18 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,500 Publication 4/30/16
Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge
Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book Award

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year that "illuminates the heritage of America's mid-continental prairies." Authors and...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 4/30/16
Poetry Foundation
Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Five fellowships of $25,800 each are given annually to emerging poets. Writers who are U.S. residents or citizens between the ages of 21 and 31 as of April 30 are eligible. Using the online submission...

$0 Poetry $25,800 4/30/16
Tupelo Press
Berkshire Prize

A prize of $3,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 88 pages with a $28 entry fee by April 30. All entries are...

$28 Poetry $3,000 Publication 4/30/16
Redivider
Beacon Street Prize

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Redivider will be given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Amy Gerstler will judge in poetry, Alexandra Kleeman will judge in...

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 4/30/16
Arcadia
Dead Bison Editors’ Prize

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Arcadia will be given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Using the online submission system, submit up to 10 pages of...

$15 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 4/30/16
Leapfrog Press
Fiction Award

A prize of $1,150 and publication by Leapfrog Press is given annually for a short story collection, a novel, or a novella. Sara Pritchard and the editors will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 22,...

$30 Fiction $1,150 Publication 5/1/16
Wick Poetry Center
Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize
A prize of $2,500 and publication by Kent State University Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. The winner is also invited to give a reading at Kent State University with the judge, who...
$30 Poetry $2,500 Reading, Publication 5/1/16
Southwest Review
David Nathan Meyerson Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review is given annually for a short story by a writer who has not published a full-length book of fiction. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words...

$25 Fiction $1,000 Publication 5/1/16
Sonora Review
Annual Contests

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sonora Review are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Mathias Svalina will judge in poetry, Molly Antopol...

$15 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 5/1/16
Pleiades Press
Editors Prize for Poetry

A prize of $2,000 and publication by Pleiades Press is given annually for a poetry collection. The winner is also invited to read at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. The editors will...

$25 Poetry $2,000 Publication 5/1/16
Sow's Ear Poetry Review
Chapbook Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Sow's Ear Press with distribution to Sow's Ear Poetry Review subscribers, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Sam Rasnake will judge....

$27 Poetry $1,000 Publication 5/1/16
Whiting Foundation
Creative Nonfiction Grant

Up to three grants of $35,000 each will be given annually to writers completing a book of creative nonfiction that is currently under contract with a publisher. Writers who signed a contract before May 1...

$0 Creative Nonfiction $35,000 5/1/16
Maine Arts Commission
Individual Artist Fellowships

A fellowship of up to $5,000 is given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, or a creative nonfiction writer who has lived in the state of Maine for at least one year. Writers enrolled in a degree-...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,000 5/5/16
Del Sol Press
First Novel Competition

A prize of $1,500, publication by Del Sol Press, and 20 author copies will be given annually for a first novel. Madison Smartt Bell will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of...

$30 Fiction $1,500 Publication 5/13/16
Academy of American Poets
James Laughlin Award

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a second book of poetry by a living poet that will be published in the forthcoming year. The winner also receives an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at the...

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $5,000 weeklong residency in Florida 5/15/16
Lost Horse Press
Idaho Prize for Poetry
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Lost Horse Press is given annually for a poetry collection by a U.S. poet. Gary Lilley will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $25 entry fee ($27.50...
$25 Poetry $1,000 Publication 5/15/16
National Book Foundation
National Book Awards
Three prizes of $10,000 each are given annually to honor a book of poetry, a book of fiction, and a book of nonfiction written by U.S. writers and published in the United States during the previous year....
$135 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $10,000 5/15/16
Leeway Foundation
Transformation Awards
Awards of $15,000 each are given annually to women and transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, or otherwise gender-nonconforming poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the Philadelphia...
$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $15,000 5/15/16
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