G&A: The Contest Blog

Submissions Open for Louise Meriwether First Book Prize

The Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, founded jointly by Feminist Press and TAYO Literary Magazine, is accepting fiction and narrative nonfiction submissions for their annual award for a first book by a woman of color or a nonbinary writer of color. The award celebrates work “in the tradition of Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner, one of the first contemporary American novels featuring a young Black girl as the protagonist.” The winner will receive $5,000 and publication with Feminist Press in spring 2024. The editors expect to offer close editorial guidance to the prize winner.

To submit, e-mail a prose manuscript of 30,000 to 80,000 words and a cover letter by May 8. Lupita Aquino, Bridgett M. Davis, Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Cassandra Lane, and Feminist Press executive director and publisher Margot Atwell will judge. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines

Established in 2016 to honor the legacy of Louise Meriwether—an author, essayist, journalist, and antiwar activist, and the first African American woman to work as a story editor in Hollywood—the prize is meant to further “telling much-needed stories that shift culture and act as a springboard for new writers joining the industry.” Finalists will be notified in October and the winner will be announced in March 2023. Previous winners are Cassandra Lane (We Are Bridges), Melissa Valentine (The Names of All the Flowers), Claudia D. Hernández (Knitting the Fog), and YZ Chin (Though I Get Home). 

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

With the end of the month right around the corner, get a head start on submitting to contests with a deadline of April 30. These awards include opportunities for poets writing first or second books, or living in Inland Southern California, and for fiction writers interested in magical realism. All contests offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more with one including the extra perk of a weeklong stay in an Italian castle!

Beloit Poetry Journal Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Beloit Poetry Journal is given annually for a single poem. Jane Hirshfield will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $15.

Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize: A prize of €1,500 (approximately $1,694) and a weeklong residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s castle in the Umbria region of Italy will be given annually for a work of short fiction. Natasha Brown, Anton Hur, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Joanna Walsh will judge. Entry fee: €20 (approximately $23).

Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award: A prize of $1,500 and publication on the Ghost Story website is given twice yearly for a short story with a supernatural or magical realism theme. The winning work will also be published in volume 3 of the anthology 21st Century Ghost Stories. The editors will judge. Entry fee: $20.

Inlandia Institute Hillary Gravendyk Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each, publication by the Inlandia Institute, and 20 author copies are given annually for a poetry collection by a U.S. resident and a poetry collection by a poet residing in Inland Southern California, including Riverside and San Bernardino counties and any non-coastal area of Southern California, from Death Valley to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Stacey Callies, Megan Gravendyk-Estrella, and Charles Legere will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $20. 

Oversound Chapbook Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Oversound, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Sawako Nakayasu will judge. Entry fee: $18 (which includes a subscription to Oversound).

Poetry International Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Poetry International is given annually for a single poem. Kevin Prufer will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $15.  

Trio House Press Award for First or Second Book: A prize of $1,000, publication by Trio House Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Steve Healey will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Tupelo Press Berkshire Prize: A prize of $3,000, publication by Tupelo Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $30.

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. Entry fee: $25.  

Winning Writers Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest: Two prizes of $3,000 each, two-year gift certificates for membership to the literary database Duotrope, and publication on the Winning Writers website are given annually for a short story and an essay. Mina Manchester will judge. Unpublished and previously published works are eligible. Entry fee: $20. 

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. 
 

Deadline Nears for New Ohio Review Literary Prizes 

Submissions are currently open through for the New Ohio Review Literary Prizes. Given annually by New Ohio Review, the three awards honor a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Kim Addonizio will judge in poetry, Madeline ffitch will judge in fiction, and Melissa Febos will judge in nonfiction. The winning writers will each receive $1,500 and publication in the journal. 

Submit a poem or group of poems of up to six pages or a story or essay of up to 20 pages with a $22 entry fee, which includes a subscription to New Ohio Review, by April 15. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

New Ohio Review is published twice yearly by the creative writing program of Ohio University and is based in Athens, Ohio. Previous contest winners include poet Emily Lee Luan, fiction writer Nicole VanderLinden, and nonfiction writer Tania De Rozario. 

Deadline Approaches for Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants

The Whiting Foundation is accepting submissions for its annual Creative Nonfiction Grants. Given to writers “in the process of completing a book-length work of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction,” up to ten grantees will receive $40,000 each. The grant is meant to help sustain multiyear book projects that are mid-process and require a significant amount of focused research. Writers who have a project under contract with a publisher in the United States, the United Kingdom, or Canada are eligible to apply. 

Using only the online submission system, submit a completed application, which includes uploading a fully executed publishing contract, the original project proposal that led to the contract, a writing sample of up to 25,000 words from the nonfiction book-in-progress, a résumé, a statement about the funds and time will be spent, a list of all sources of funding received for the book to date, and a letter of support from the book’s editor or publisher, by April 25. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines

Through this grant the Whiting Foundation aims to support nonfiction books “written with an artful sensitivity to complexity and nuance,” with the belief that these works are essential “in shaping the way we understand the world.” The 2022 grantees will be announced in the fall. Recent creative nonfiction grantees include Rebecca Clarren, Ashley D. Farmer, Kevin González, Sangamithra Iyer, Albert Samaha, Brandon Shimoda, Walter Thompson-Hernández, and Salamishah Tillet. 

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

April’s first writing contest deadlines include several stellar book prizes for poets. Other opportunities include a writing fellowship for poets, a humor writing prize, and awards honoring short works of fiction and nonfiction. All of these contests have a deadline of April 1 and a cash prize of at least $1,000. Good luck!

Just Buffalo Literary Center Poetry Fellowship: A fellowship, which includes a stipend of $1,500 and a monthlong residency in Buffalo, will be given annually to a poet. The fellowship includes lodging at a private apartment for the month of August 2022 and an invitation to read at a Just Buffalo Literary Center event. Entry fee: $20.

Nimrod International Journal Literary Awards: Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Nimrod International Journal are given annually for a group of poems and a work of fiction. A runner-up in each category receives $1,000 and publication. The winners and runners-up will also participate in a virtual awards ceremony and conference in October. Entry fee: $20 entry fee (includes a subscription to Nimrod International Journal).

North American Review Terry Tempest Williams Creative Nonfiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in North American Review will be given annually for an essay. Lyric essays, memoir, personal essays, and literary journalism are eligible. Lacy M. Johnson will judge. Entry fee: $23.

Orison Books Prizes in Poetry and Fiction: Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication by Orison Books are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction. Rajiv Mohabir will judge in poetry and Tania James will judge in fiction. 

Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500, publication by Saturnalia Books, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Roberto Tejada will judge. All entries will also be considered for the Editors Prize, which awards $1,000 and publication. Entry fee: $30.

Southeast Missouri State University Press Cowles Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $2,000, publication by Southeast Missouri State University Press, and 30 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $25.

Winning Writers Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest: A prize of $2,000, a two-year gift certificate for membership to the literary database Duotrope, and publication on the Winning Writers website is given annually for a humorous poem. A second-place prize of $500 is also awarded. Jendi Reiter will judge. Unpublished and previously published works are eligible. Entry fee: None.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. 

Terry Tempest Williams Creative Nonfiction Prize Accepting Submissions

Submissions are open for the Terry Tempest Williams Creative Nonfiction Prize. Offered by North American Review to “recognize the finest essay writing,” the prize welcomes submissions across the spectrum of creative nonfiction subgenres. This includes personal essays and lyric essays, as well as work in modes such as nature writing, travel writing, and literary criticism, so long as the work has a “personal component.” The winning writer will receive $1,000. Lacy M. Johnson, whose most recent book is The Reckonings (Scribner, 2018), will judge.

Using only the online submission system, submit an essay of 500 to 8,500 words with a $23 entry fee by April 1. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

North American Review, the oldest literary magazine in the United States, was founded in Boston and is currently run by the University of Northern Iowa. Editors particularly invite submissions to the Terry Tempest Williams Prize that “push boundaries.” The 2021 winner of the contest was Kate McGunagle for “Passive Voice.”

 

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Celebrate the arrival of spring by applying to contests with a deadline of March 31. With many of these awards being offered to writers in multiple genres, there are ample opportunities for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers alike. All contests offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more and two charge no entry fee. Dig in! 

A Public Space Writing Fellowships: Three six-month fellowships of $1,000 each are given annually to emerging fiction and nonfiction writers who have not published a full-length book. The fellows will work with the editors to prepare a piece for publication in A Public Space and will also have the opportunity to meet with publishing professionals and participate in a public reading. Entry fee: None.

Arts & Letters Prizes: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Arts & Letters are given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Allison Joseph will judge in poetry, Andrew Porter will judge in fiction, and Gayle Brandeis will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $20.

Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Black Lawrence Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a collection of poems or short stories. The editors will judge. Entry fee: $27.

Fish Publishing Poetry Prize: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,129) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a single poem. The winner is also invited to read at the anthology launch event at the West Cork Literary Festival in July. Billy Collins will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: €14 (approximately $16) for online entries or €16 (approximately $18) for postal entries.

Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Four Way Books is given annually for a poetry collection. The winner will also be invited to participate in readings either virtually or in-person in New York City, as public health guidelines allow. Jericho Brown will judge. Entry fee: $30.

Indiana Review Poetry and Fiction Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Indiana Review are given annually for a poem and a story. Entry fee: $20 (which includes a subscription to Indiana Review).

Narrative Winter Story Contest: A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a longer work of fiction or creative nonfiction. A second-place prize of $1,000 is also awarded. The editors will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $27.  

Press 53 Prime Number Magazine Awards: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Prime Number Magazine are given annually for a poem and a short story. Faith Shearin will judge in poetry and Jubal Tiner will judge in fiction. Entry fee: $15. 

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Restless Books is given in alternating years for a debut book of fiction or nonfiction by a first-generation immigrant. The 2022 prize will be given in fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction in English are eligible. Entry fee: None. 

Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem written in metrical verse. The winner also receives a scholarship to attend and give a reading at the Frost Farm Poetry Conference in Derry, New Hampshire, in June. Allison Joseph will judge. Entry fee: $6 per poem.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. 
 

Deadline Approaches for the NEA Creative Writing Fellowships

Submissions are open for the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. Given in alternating years to prose writers and poets, in 2022 the NEA is accepting applications in poetry. Grantees will receive $25,000 each to “enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.” Writers who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., and who have published a poetry collection of at least 48 pages, or 20 or more individual poems or pages of poetry over the last seven years are eligible to apply.

Using only the online submission system, submit a completed application, which includes a brief project description, seven to ten pages of poetry, and a list of publications, by March 10. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Through this fellowship program the NEA “seeks to sustain and nurture a diverse range of creative writers at various stages of their careers and to continue to expand the portfolio of American art.” Applicants can expect to receive a notification on the final status of their applications by December, at the earliest. Fellowship recipients will start to receive financial support for their literary projects between January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024, and may have this support extended for up to two years. Recent creative writing fellows include prose writers Steve Almond, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Melissa Febos, Tope Folarin, Kelli Jo Ford, Shruti Swamy, and Laura van den Berg, and poets Threa Almontaser, Oliver Baez Bendorf, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Leila Chatti, Oliver de la Paz, Diana Khoi Nguyen, and Valencia Robin.

 

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

With a new month on the horizon, we’re looking ahead to contests with deadlines of March 14 or March 15. These awards offer opportunities for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers! The contests include awards that celebrate women writers over the age of 40 and Latinx poets; all offer cash prizes of $1,000 or more, with opportunities for a handful of lucky winners to receive $10,000.

Airlie Press Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Airlie Press is given annually for a poetry collection. The editors will judge. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $25.

Bellingham Review Literary Awards: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Bellingham Review are given annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The 49th Parallel Award for Poetry is given for a poem or group of poems. The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction is given for a short story or a flash fiction piece. The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction is given for an essay or a flash nonfiction piece. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $20.

Colorado Review Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction: A prize of $2,500 and publication in Colorado Review is given annually for a short story. Ramona Ausubel will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 14. Entry fee: $15 ($17 for online submissions).

Fourth Genre Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Fourth Genre is given annually for an essay. Mary Cappello will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $20.  

Hidden River Arts Eludia Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Sowilo Press is given annually for a first book of fiction by a woman writer over the age of 40. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $20.

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. Runners-up will each receive $1,000. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $33.

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. The 2022 publishers are Beacon Press, Ecco, Milkweed Editions, Penguin Books, and University of Georgia Press. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $35.

Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker 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. Kwame Dawes will judge. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $25.

Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a single poem. Forrest Gander will judge. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $10.

University of Notre Dame Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Notre Dame Press is given biennially for a debut poetry collection by a Latinx poet residing in the United States. Alexandra Lytton Regalado and Sheila Maldonado will judge. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: None. 

Verse Tomaž Šalamun Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Factory Hollow Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook. The winner will also receive a monthlong residency in summer 2023 in a private apartment at the Tomaž Šalamun Center for Poetry in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Prose poetry, hybrid works, and translations of works of poetry by living writers from any language into English are also eligible. Ilya Kaminsky will judge. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $17 ($13 for students).

The Word Works Washington Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication by the Word Works is given annually to a U.S. or Canadian poet for a poetry collection. Deadline: March 15. Entry fee: $25.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

 

 

Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize Open for Submissions

The deadline is approaching for the biennial Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, given for a promising manuscript-in-progress by a writer not yet established in the genre. Writers residing in the U.S. are eligible to apply. The winner will receive $20,000, publication by Graywolf Press, and a $2,000 stipend to provide support in completing the manuscript. Additionally, the Graywolf editors anticipate working with the Nonfiction Prize winner, offering editorial guidance as the writer works toward finishing their manuscript.  

Using only the online submission system, submit at least 100 pages of a nonfiction manuscript-in-progress, a one-page cover letter, including a short bio and project description, and a two- to ten-page project overview by February 28. There is no entry fee. Agented submissions are also eligible. The editors will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines

Founded in 1974 in Port Townsend, Washington, and currently based in Minneapolis, the nonprofit independent press publishes around thirty books a year. For the Nonfiction Prize, the Graywolf editors are seeking innovative projects “that test the boundaries of literary nonfiction” in form and content, with a particular interest in writing that explores literary and cultural criticism, as well as craft. Previous winners of the prize include Esmé Weijun Wang (The Collected Schizophrenias), Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams), Eula Biss (Notes From No Man’s Land), and Kevin Young (The Grey Album). 

 

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