G&A: The Contest Blog

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

As the days grow shorter and colder, consider cozying up indoors and submitting to the last contests of the month. With deadlines of either September 28 or September 30, these awards include numerous opportunities to publish book-length work and two contests with no entry fees. All offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Boulevard Nonfiction Contest for Emerging Writers: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for an essay by a writer who has not published a full-length book in any genre with a nationally distributed press. The editors will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $16.

California State University in Fresno Philip Levine Prize for Poetry: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Anhinga Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Cathy Park Hong will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $25 ($28 for electronic submissions)

Coffee-House Poetry Troubadour International Poetry Prize: A prize of £2,000 (approximately $2,548) is given annually for a single poem. A second-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,274) is also given. Both winners receive publication on the Coffee-House Poetry website. Mona Arshi and Mark Doty will judge. Deadline: September 28. Entry fee: $7.

Dzanc Books Diverse Voices Prize: A prize of $3,000 and publication by Dzanc Books will be given for a novel, memoir, story or essay collection, or cross-genre work by a writer from a minority, underrepresented, or marginalized community. Chaya Bhuvaneswar, Charles Johnson, and Robert Lopez will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: none.

Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction: A prize of $5,000 and publication by Dzanc Books is given annually for a novel. Tina May Hall, Anne Valente, and Jessie van Eerden will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $25.

Dzanc Books Short Story Competition: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Dzanc Books is given annually for a story collection. The editors will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $25.

Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award: A prize of $1,000, publication on the Ghost Story website and in the Ghost Story print anthology, 21st Century Ghost Stories, is given twice yearly for a short story with a supernatural or magic realism theme. The editors will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $20.

Hackney Literary Awards Novel Contest: A prize of $5,000 is given annually for an unpublished novel. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $30.

Lascaux Review Prize in Creative Nonfiction: A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Lascaux Review website is given annually for an essay. The winner and finalists will also be published in Volume 8 of the Lascaux Review. Previously published and unpublished essays are eligible. All entries will be considered for publication. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $15.

Red Hen Press Fiction Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a short story collection or a novel. Susan Straight will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $25.

University of Arkansas Press Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Arkansas Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Patricia Smith will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $28.

University of Iowa Press Iowa Short Fiction Award: Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: none.

University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes: Five prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, a novel, and a book of creative nonfiction. The creative writing faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $30.

Winning Writers Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests: Two prizes of $3,000 each and publication on the Winning Writers website are given annually for a poem in any style and a poem that either rhymes or is written in a traditional style. Jim DuBois and Soma Mei Sheng Frazier will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $15.

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 TulipTree Publishing Underdogs Story Contest

Submissions are open for the TulipTree Publishing Underdogs Story Contest. The editors seek work in any genre—fiction, nonfiction, or poetry—that responds to the “underdog” theme of the fall/winter issue of TulipTree Review. “It’s easy for the powerful, the strong, and even just the loud to get our attention, but we would argue it’s much more satisfying when the underdog lands in the spotlight for upsetting the odds.” The winning writer will receive $1,000 and publication in TulipTree Review.

To submit, e-mail a work of fiction or nonfiction of up to 10,000 words or a poem of any length with a $20 entry fee by September 23. There is no limit on the number of entries per writer, and entry fees may be submitted by PayPal or by mail. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

TulipTree Publishing was established in 2015 with the mission to “tell stories that need to be told.” In addition to printing a biannual literary journal, the organization also publishes an annual story anthology and a series of books dedicated to raising funds for various social causes.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The first contests of the fall season include opportunities for established and emerging writers alike. With deadlines of September 15, September 17, or September 18, all feature a cash prize of $1,000 or more.

Cave Canem Foundation Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize: A prize valued at approximately $2,500 is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a Black poet. The winner will receive $500, publication by Jai-Alai Books, and a weeklong residency at the Writer’s Room at the Betsy Hotel in Miami, Florida; the winner will also give a reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival in April 2021. Mahogany L. Browne will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: none.

Gulf Coast Barthelme Prize for Short Prose: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given annually for a work of short prose. Jenny Offill will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: $15 (includes subscription).

Gulf Coast Prize in Translation: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given in alternating years for a group of poems or a prose excerpt translated from any language into English. The 2020 prize will be given for poetry. Urayoán Noel will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: $15 (includes subscription).

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Writing Fellowships: Fellowships of approximately $50,000 each are awarded annually to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise. Citizens and permanent residents of the United States and Canada with a significant and appropriate record of publication are eligible. Deadline: September 17. Entry fee: none.

Manchester Metropolitan University Poetry and Fiction Prizes: Two prizes of £10,000 (approximately $12,740) each are given annually for a group of poems and a short story.  Deadline: September 18. Entry fee: £18 (approximately $23) 

University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Wisconsin Press are given annually for poetry collections. Carmen Giménez Smith will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: $28.

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.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Opportunities for poets and fiction writers abound in August’s last contest deadlines. These awards all feature a cash prize of $1,000 or more and close on August 30 or August 31. Good luck!

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award: Two prizes of £1,000 (approximately $1,235) each and publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual are given annually for a poem and a short story. The winner in poetry also receives a membership to the Poetry Society in London, and the winner in short fiction receives a consultation with the literary agency Redhammer Management. Both winners receive a subscription to Granta and a selection of books from Bloodaxe Books and Vintage Books. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: £12 (approximately $15) for poetry or £18 (approximately $22) for a short story.

Baton Rouge Area Foundation Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence: A prize of $15,000 is given annually to an emerging African American writer for a book of fiction published in the current year. The winner also receives travel and lodging expenses to attend an awards ceremony and participate in educational outreach events in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in January 2021. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: none.

Black Lawrence Press St. Lawrence Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Black Lawrence Press is given annually for a debut collection of poems or short stories. The editors will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Ex Ophidia Press, and 15 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Sharon Cumberland, Gregory C. Richter, and Richard-Gabriel Rummonds will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a short short story. The editors will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $6.

Grid Books Off the Grid Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Grid Books is given annually for a poetry collection by a writer over the age of 60. Marilyn Nelson will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Journal of Experimental Fiction Kenneth Patchen Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Journal of Experimental Fiction and JEF Books is given annually for an innovative novel.  Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers: A prize of $3,000 and publication in Masters Review is given twice yearly for a short story by a writer who has not published a novel (writers who have published story collections are eligible). The winning story will also be sent to literary agents from the Bent Agency, Carnicelli Literary Management, Compass Talent, Fletcher & Company, and Sobel Weber for review. Deadline: August 30. Entry fee: $20.

Munster Literature Centre Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,090) and publication by the Munster Literature Center is given annually for a poetry chapbook. The winner will also receive accommodations to give a reading at the Cork International Poetry Festival in March 2021. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: €25 (approximately $27).

Omnidawn Publishing Open Book Prize: A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Brian Teare will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $27.

Talking Gourds Fischer Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a single poem. The winner also receives $500 in travel expenses to attend the Talking Gourd Awards in Telluride, Colorado, in October. Claire Blotter will judge. Deadline: August 30. Entry fee: $10 ($25 for three poems).

University of New Orleans Press Publishing Lab Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication by University of New Orleans Press is given annually for a short story collection or a novel. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $28.

Utica College Eugene Nassar Poetry Prize: A prize of $2,000 is given annually for a poetry collection published in the previous year by a resident of upstate New York. The winner will also give a reading and teach a master class at Utica College in April 2021. Deadline: August 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.

 

Submissions Open for Gotham Writers Manuscript-to-Market Fellowships

The deadline is approaching for the inaugural Gotham Manuscript-to-Market Fellowships, presented by the Gotham Writers Workshop. Designed to support “people of color who have completed a book manuscript (or nonfiction book proposal) and are ready to go to market with their book,” the fellowships will be awarded to three writers each year. The winning writers will receive admittance to the Gotham Writers Conference, a seat at a pitching roundtable with two agents, a Gotham course on publishing, a one-on-one agent evaluation session, and a query letter coaching session. Each year at least one fellowship will be awarded to a Black applicant.  

Using only the online submission system, submit the first ten pages of a fiction or nonfiction manuscript or a nonfiction book proposal and the project’s query letter by September 8. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Gotham Writers’ Workshop was founded in 1993 by New York City writers Jeff Fligelman and David Grae as a home for writing courses. In the years since, the workshop has expanded into online courses, published a series of books on the craft of writing, held events across New York City, and, most recently, debuted the Gotham Writers Conference in 2019. This year’s conference will be held online from October 16 to October 18; winning fellows may choose to attend this year or in 2021.

Deadlines Approaches for Stories Out of School Flash Fiction Contest

Submissions are open for the 2021 Stories Out of School Flash Fiction Contest, presented by the Academy for Teachers. The annual prize was founded to inspire “honest, unsentimental stories about teachers and the rich and complex world of schools.” The winning writer will receive $1,000 and publication in A Public Space.

Using only the online submission system, submit a short story of 6 to 749 words and an author bio by September 1. The main character or narrator of the story must be a K–12 teacher. Jonathan Lethem will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Academy for Teachers organizes master classes and other enrichment programs for New York City educators. In pursuit of the mission to “raise respect for the teaching profession,” the academy also maintains several special projects, including a chapbook series where prominent writers reflect on their most influential teachers, and, since 2018, the Stories Out of School Flash Fiction Contest.

Photo: Contest judge Jonathan Lethem

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Bring in mid-August by submitting to contests with deadlines of August 15 or August 20. These poetry and fiction awards all offer cash prizes of $1,000—or $500 with the opportunity to receive two cases of craft beer!

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry Prize: A prize of $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, 10 author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer are given annually for a poetry collection written by a poet living in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., or West Virginia. The winner is expected to attend a reading and award ceremony at the Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware, on December 12. Lodging is provided, but travel expenses are not included. Edgar Kunz will judge. Deadline: August 15. Entry fee: none.

Grayson Books Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Grayson Books is given annually for a poetry collection. Brian Clements will judge. Deadline: August 15. Entry fee: $25.

Kallisto Gaia Press Poetry and Short Fiction Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in the Ocotillo Review are given annually for a poem and a short story. Chip Dameron will judge the Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize; Charlotte Gullick will judge the Chester B. Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize. Deadline: August 20. Entry fee: $20 (includes a copy of Ocotillo Review).

Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Red Wheelbarrow is given annually for a single poem. The winner will also receive 20 copies of a letterpress broadside of the winning poem. Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar will judge. Deadline: August 15. Entry fee: $15.

The Word Works Tenth Gate Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by the Word Works, and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet who has published at least two full-length books of poetry. Lee Ann Roripaugh will judge. Deadline: August 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.

Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence Open for Submissions

Submissions are open for the 2020 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, this annual award “serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level.” Given for either a novel or a collection of short stories published in 2020, this award includes a $15,000 cash prize. The winner will also receive the opportunity to attend the prize ceremony in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and participate in educational outreach events at schools and after-school programs in the area; travel expenses are funded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Mail a completed registration form and eight copies of a published book or galley to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation offices by August 31. Anthony Grooms, Edward P. Jones, Elizabeth Nunez, Francine Prose, and Patricia Towers will judge. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

In honor of the late Ernest J. Gaines, a cherished Louisiana writer, recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and National Book Critics Circle Award winner, this contest is now in its fourteenth year. The winner of the 2020 book prize will be selected in November of this year, and the awards ceremony will take place on January 28, 2021. Previous winners of the award include Victor LaValle, T. Geronimo Johnson, Jamel Brinkley, and Bryan Washington.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The end of the month and its last contest deadlines are arriving sooner than you might expect. With a deadline of July 30 or July 31, these awards include opportunities to publish single poems and flash fiction, as well as longer projects. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more.

Bard College Fiction Prize: A prize of $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College is given annually to a U.S. fiction writer under the age of 40. The recipient must give at least one public lecture and meet informally with students but is not expected to teach traditional courses. Deadline: July 30. Entry fee: none.

Howling Bird Press Book Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Howling Bird Press is given in alternating years for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. The 2021 prize will be awarded in poetry. Deadline: July 31. Entry fee: $25.

Munster Literature Centre Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition: A prize of €2,000 (approximately $2,180) and publication in Southword is given annually for a short story. The winner also receives a weeklong residency at the Anam Cara Writer’s Retreat on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and accommodation at the Cork International Short Story Festival. Billy O’Callaghan will judge. Deadline: July 31. Entry fee: €18 (approximately $20).

Narrative Spring Story Contest: A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, a short work of graphic fiction or creative nonfiction, or an excerpt from a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. A second-place prize of $1,000 is also awarded. The editors will judge. Deadline: July 31. Entry fee: $27.

New Millennium Writings New Millennium Awards: Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings and on the journal’s website are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay that have not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: July 31. Entry fee: $20.

Prairie Heritage, Inc. 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 North America’s mid-continental prairies.” Deadline: July 31. Entry fee: none.

Press 53 Award for Poetry: A prize of $1,000, publication by Press 53, and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Tom Lombardo will judge. Deadline: July 31. Entry fee: none.

Red Hen Press Novella Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a novella. Donna Hemans will judge. Deadline: July 31. 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.

Submissions Open for PEN/Jean Stein Grants for Literary Oral History

The deadline is approaching for the PEN/Jean Stein Grants for Literary Oral History. Starting this cycle, PEN America will award two writers grants of $15,000 each, expanding the program from a single grant of $10,000. The prizes will support literary works of nonfiction that use oral history to “illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement.” Only unpublished works-in-progress are eligible.

Using only the online submission system, submit a writing sample of 20 to 40 pages, 6 to 10 pages of transcribed interviews, a curriculum vitae, a project outline, a project description, a statement on how and why oral history is being used in the project, and a statement on how the grant would be useful to the project by August 1. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established in 2017, the PEN/Jean Stein Grants are awarded by PEN America, a nonprofit organization advancing freedom of expression, and are made possible by a donation from Jean Stein, whose is remembered for pioneering the genre of narrative oral history. The inaugural grant recipient was Aleksandar Hemon, who received the grant for How Did You Get Here?: Tales of Displacement, a project to record the experiences of immigrants fleeing genocide in Bosnia.

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