G&A: The Contest Blog

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). 

 

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Opportunities abound in the last contests of February. Awards with a deadline of February 28 include a celebration of self-published books by Black authors and a prize honoring a story set in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles. Several others award book publication by an independent press. All contests offer a cash prize of at least $500 and two charge no entry fee. Good luck, writers!

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 participating press are given annually for a novel and a book of creative nonfiction. Presses participating in the 2022 award series are New Issues Press, Red Hen Press, University of Georgia Press, and University of Pittsburgh Press. Entry fee: $30.

Austin Community College Balcones Prizes: Two prizes of $1,500 each are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction published during the previous year. Entry fee: $25 for poetry and $30 for fiction. 

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Self-Publishing Literary Awards: Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a poetry e-book and a fiction e-book by an African American writer self-published in the United States during the previous year. The awards honor books that depict “cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.” Entry fee: None.

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,164) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short short story. The winner is also invited to give a reading at the West Cork Literary Festival in July 2022. Tracey Slaughter will judge. Entry fee: €14 (approximately $16) for online entries or €16 (approximately $19) for postal entries. 

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. Entry fee: None.

Omnidawn Publishing First/Second Poetry Book Contest: A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Mary Jo Bang will judge. Submit a manuscript of 40 to 120 pages with a $27 entry fee ($30 to receive a book from the Omnidawn catalogue) by February 28.

Red Hen Press Women’s Prose Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a book of fiction or nonfiction by a writer who identifies as a woman. Melanie Conroy-Goldman will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Entry fee: $25. All entries are considered for publication. 

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 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry

Submissions are open for this year’s Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, a unique prize with no entry fee that champions “outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and brings their work to a national stage.” Administered by Milkweed Editions, the prize offers $10,000 and publication for a collection by a poet currently residing in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.

Using only the online submission system, submit a poetry manuscript of at least 48 pages by February 15. There is no entry fee. Tyehimba Jess will judge. The winner and finalists will be announced in April. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Founded in 1980, Milkweed Editions is a nonprofit independent press of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry based in Minneapolis. The Ballard Spahr Prize is one of several awards offered by the press, including the Jake Adam York Poetry Prize, which is presented in partnership with Copper Nickel, and the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. Recent books published as winners of the Ballard Spahr Prize include Return Flight by Jennifer Huang and Wound From the Mouth of a Wound by torrin a. greathouse; greathouse was featured in the sixteenth annual look at debut poets from Poets & Writers Magazine.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there are still plenty of writing contests to go around. These grants and awards close on either February 14 or February 15 and include three contests from the Academy of American Poets with no entry fee. All contests offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more.

Academy of American Poets Ambroggio Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Arizona Press is given annually for a book of poetry originally written in Spanish by a living writer and translated into English. Raina J. León will judge. Deadline: February 15. Entry fee: None.

Academy of American Poets Harold Morton Landon Translation Award: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry translated from any language into English and published in the United States during the previous year. David Shook will judge. Deadline: February 15. Entry fee: None.

Academy of American Poets Raiziss/De Palchi Book Prize: A prize of $10,000 is given biennially for the translation into English of a significant work of modern Italian poetry published in the United States. Books by living translators are eligible. Nick Benson, Moira Egan, and Graziella Sidoli will judge. Deadline: February 15. Entry fee: None.

Arrowsmith Press Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry: A prize of $1,000 will be given annually for a poetry collection published in English by a writer who is not a citizen of the United States. The winner will also receive an invitation to read at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Poets who are living in the United States as green card holders are among those eligible. Poets whose work appears in translation into English are also eligible. Carolyn Forché will judge. Deadline: February 15. Entry fee: $20.

Furious Flower Poetry Center Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Obsidian, the literary journal of Illinois State University, is given annually for a group of poems. The winner also receives a $500 honorarium to give a reading at James Madison University (either virtually or in-person, as public health allows). Poets who have published no more than one collection of poetry are eligible. Tim Seibles will judge. Deadline: February 15. Entry fee: $15.

Hippocrates Prize Prizes for Poetry and Medicine: A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,379) and publication in the Hippocrates Prize anthology and as a video recording on the Hippocrates website is given annually for a single poem on a medical theme. A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,379) and publication in the Hippocrates Prize anthology and on the website is also given for a single poem on a medical theme written by a health professional. Deadline: February 14. Entry fee: $10 ($15 for postal submissions).

New American Press Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500, publication by New American Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Eduardo C. Corral will judge. Deadline: February 14. Entry fee: $20.

Sarabande Books Morton and McCarthy Prizes: Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication by Sarabande Books are given annually for collections of poetry and fiction. Terrance Hayes will judge in poetry and Susan Minot will judge in fiction. Deadline: February 15. Entry fee: $29.

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. 

 

 

Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize Open for Submissions

Submissions are being accepted for the second Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize. Given biennially for a debut poetry collection by a writer age seventy or older, the prize includes $3,000 and publication by Passager Books. This year’s judge is poet, musician, and educator David Keplinger. The winner will be revealed by April 1.

 

Submit a manuscript of 30 to 40 poems with a $25 entry fee by January 30. Online and hard copy submissions are accepted. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Honoring the poetic legacy of Henry Morgenthau III, who published his first collection at the age of ninety-nine, this prize furthers the mission of Passager Books and their journal Passager “to honor the voices of older writers.” The winning poet will have their manuscript published within one year of the judge’s decision. The previous winner, and first recipient, of the Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize was Dennis H. Lee, for his collection, Tidal Wave

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Close out the first month of the new year by applying to contests with deadlines of January 30 or January 31. Eight of these opportunities are for fiction writers looking to submit anything from a short story to a novel-in-poems to flash fiction with a supernatural theme! All contests offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more, with one contest awarding a debut poet, age 70 or older, $3,000.

AKO Caine Prize for African Writing: A prize of £10,000 (approximately $13,794) is given annually for a previously published short story by a writer of African descent. Shortlisted writers will receive £500 (approximately $690). Writers who were born in Africa, who are African residents, or who have a parent who is African by birth or nationality are eligible. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: None.

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 contest is open to traditional novels as well as “novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, or other hybrid forms that contain within them the spirit of a novel.” The editors will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $27. 

Crazyhorse Writing Prizes: Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Crazyhorse are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Aimee Nezhukumatathil will judge in poetry, Venita Blackburn will judge in fiction, and Matt Ortile will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.

Ghost Story Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition: A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Ghost Story website and in the 21st Century Ghost Stories anthology is given twice yearly for a flash fiction piece with a supernatural or magical realism theme. Tara Lynn Masih will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $15. 

Iowa Review Awards: Three prizes of $1,500 each and publication in Iowa Review are given annually for works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Donika Kelly will judge in poetry, Louisa Hall will judge in fiction, and Inara Verzemnieks will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20. 

Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Individual Artist Grants for Women: Grants of up to $1,500 each are given in alternating years to feminist poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers who are citizens of the United States or Canada. This year grants will be awarded to fiction writers. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.

New Millennium Writings Awards: Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a work of flash fiction, and a work of creative nonfiction. Previously unpublished works or works that have appeared in a journal with a circulation of under 5,000 are eligible. The editors will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story or a self-contained novel excerpt. Crystal Wilkinson will judge. Deadline: January 30. Entry fee: $25 ($15 for NCWN members).

Passager Books Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize: A prize of $3,000 and publication by Passager Books will be given annually for a first book of poems by a writer age 70 or older. David Keplinger will judge. Deadline: January 30. Entry fee: $25. 

Poetry Northwest James Welch Prize: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Poetry Northwest will be given annually for a single poem by an Indigenous poet. The winners will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to read with the judge in the fall. Writers who have published no more than one full-length book and who are community-recognized members of tribal nations within the United States and its territories are eligible. Elise Paschen will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. 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. 
 

Ellen Meloy Fund Desert Writers Award Accepting Submissions

The deadline is approaching for the Ellen Meloy Fund Desert Writers Award. The $5,000 prize is intended to enable a nonfiction writer to spend creative time in a desert environment. The fund specifically seeks to support projects that will contribute “new perspectives and deeper meaning to the body of desert literature.” Writers must detail a literary or creative nonfiction book project that they hope to develop through the fund in their application. The award is open to both U.S. and international applicants, and writers may seek to travel to any desert in the world.

Using only the online submission system, submit up to 10 pages of creative nonfiction, a project proposal, and a biographical statement of up to one page with a $15 entry fee by January 15. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.

The Ellen Meloy Fund was founded in honor of the accomplished essayist and desert writer Ellen Meloy, who died in 2004. The Desert Writer Award was first given in 2006. Then $1,000, the grant size has steadily increased over the years. Victoria Blanco of Minneapolis received the most recent award and is at work on a book project involving the Chihuahuan Desert.

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