For a change of pace from client work, why don’t you consider entering writing contests in 2018? It will give you a chance to flex your creative writing muscle in a way you don’t normally get to when you are doing work for other people.
Along with the chance to win some money, you get to have your work seen and evaluated by judges who often bring some impressive credentials to the table.
If you ever get the opportunity to see their scorecards or get some feedback, do take it. You may find something valuable in what they have to say about your writing.Enter these writing contests in 2018 to flex your writing muscles. Click To Tweet
As always, when entering writing contests, follow the instructions precisely. If there is something that isn’t clear, reach out to the organizers by email before the submission deadline to make sure you are submitting your entry correctly. You don’t want to have your submission rejected because of one small detail.
2018 Writing Contests
The William Faulkner Literary Competition offers five categories for participants to enter: Novel, One Act Play, Poetry, Adult Short Story, Student Short Story.
Most submissions require an entry fee: $50 entry fee for Novel submissions and $20 entry fee for Playwriting, Short Story, and Poem. There is no entry fee for the Student Short Story entries.
Prizes range from $100 – $2,000.
The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Novel (in any genre).
All Manuscripts submitted: a) must be original works of book length (no less than approximately 65,000 words) written in the English language; b) must be written solely by the entrant, who may not be the author of any previously Published Novel; c) must not violate any right of any third party or be libelous.
To be considered for the 2018 competition, all submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST on January 12, 2018.
The winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000.
This year’s competition asks poets to respond to the theme “Ripped from the Headlines.” This theme is meant to be interpreted broadly and asks poets: What issues are you seeing (or not seeing) in today’s news that move you to write? How do poets respond to important issues and events of our time? What impact do the headlines have on you?
Six winning poems will be displayed inside Arlington Transit’s ART Buses for three months between April and September 2018 where they will be seen by thousands of riders. Each winner will also receive a $250 honorarium and will be invited to give a public reading of their work in April 2018.
Deadline: January 12, 2018, by 12:00 PM.
Deadline for application:
Friday, January 19, 2018
First Place: $500 and published in Bethesda Magazine
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150
Honorable Mentions: $75
Awards (High School)
First Place: $250 and published in Bethesda Magazine
Second Place: $100
Third Place: $50
Honorable Mentions: $25
All winning essays will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Magazine websites and will be honored at a special event during the Local Writer’s Showcase on Friday, April 20, 2018.
Topic: How to Face a Disaster?
Submit essays about how writer survive difficult times. Give your best advice. Share your greatest life lesson.
Deadline: January 31, 2018
Contest open worldwide
Word count is between 1,500 to 2,500
Prizes range from $150 to $1,000
The Danuta Gleed Literary Award was created as a celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in December 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks. The award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed, in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Each year, a $10,000 prize is awarded to a Canadian writer for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalists are also awarded $500 each.
The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2018.
The Caine Prize for African Writing is a registered charity whose aim is to bring African writing to a wider audience using our annual literary award.
- Unpublished work is not eligible for the Caine Prize.
- Submissions should be made by publishers only.
- Only fictional work is eligible.
- Only one story per author will be considered in any one year.
- Submissions should specify which African country the author comes from and the word count.
- Indicative length is between 3000 and 10,000 words and only short stories are eligible.
Cash prize of £10,000 for the winning author and a travel award for each of the short-listed candidates (up to five in all). The shortlisted candidates will also receive a Prize of £500. The winner is also invited to go to three literature festivals in Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria.
The deadline for the 2018 prize closes on 31st January 2018.
All stories must be written in English and be entirely the author’s own work. Entries must not have been published elsewhere in print or digital form, including online. Entries must be between 1,000 and 7,000 words in length.
To enter, you must be aged 16 or over at the time of entry.
This year there is a first prize of £500, a second prize of £250, and a third prize of £100. The deadline is Wednesday, 31 January 2018 (UK time), and entry costs £8 per story. The competition is judged by Rob Redman, editor of the anthology series and founder of The Fiction Desk.
The Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) honors the best self-published ebooks by an African American author in the U.S. in the following genres: Fiction and Poetry.
ATTENTION: If your book is not in one of these genres, you can still submit to SELF-e using our standard submission form.
The judging committee will be comprised of a BCALA-appointed panel. They will select one winner in each genre.
Each genre prize Winner shall receive $500.00.
- Two (2) $500.00 awards: one for adult fiction, one for adult poetry;
- Formal recognition at the Black Caucus of ALA Literary Awards;
- BCALA Literary Award Seal to use in marketing.
Entries must have been written by an African American author born in the U.S. The competition is open to all English-language self-published ebooks for which the author is the copyright holder of the Work, and holds the rights to digital distribution. Entries will be evaluated on content, writing quality and overall quality of production and appearance; and must be an original work.
The final submission date is February 17, 2018. The awards will be presented in New Orleans, LA during ALA’s Annual Conference in June 2018. Authors will be advised of the Literary Award Committee’s decision in advance of the annual conference.
Now open for submissions! The winning story receives $500 + publication in Memoir Magazine, and a note from our judge on why the story was chosen.
Theme: Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse. As in, have you or someone you know survived sexual harassment, assault, rape or abuse? Perhaps you are married or related to a survivor and you’ve witnessed the emotional journey that is so rarely spoken of. If so how did it change you? How does it affect your daily life? You were strong enough to get through that, and your story matters.
Why? Because Memoir is a movement. Our jam. Our way of cultivating global consciousness. And few issues today require more enlightenment than the way the pain of abuse can affect us as a person, a family, a society. Sexual violence is a public health, human rights and social justice issue.
So, here’s your chance to use your voice to Change the Culture. You are not alone. Memoir Magazine stands with you! Together we can shatter the silence and end sexual violence. Your essay may be humorous, sad, upsetting. It can be one paragraph or several pages long. it’s all up to you, but most of all it should be your untold truth expressed in your unique voice.
- Pseudonyms are allowed.
- Submissions are now open until February 18, 2018
- 100 words min.; 7000 words max
- Non-Fiction only
- Open to all writers. Emerging writers and underrepresented voices are encouraged to submit!
- $12 to enter
- Previously published work is welcome!
- Multiple and simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please notify us if your story is accepted elsewhere
- All contest entries are automatically submitted for standard nonfiction publication with editors of Memoir Magazine
The National Poetry Series seeks book-length manuscripts of poetry written by American residents or American citizens living abroad.
Manuscripts are submitted online only via Submittable with an entrance fee of $30.00 (per manuscript). The entry period for the 2018 Open Competition begins on January 1, 2018 and runs through (and including) February 28, 2018.
Five winning poets will each receive a $10,000 cash prize in addition to having a full-length manuscript published by a participating publisher. Open to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad.
A prize of $1,000 will be given annually to the winners in each category of our Hidden River Review Trilogy Award: poetry, non-fiction, and very short fiction.
Using the online submission system, submit your previously unpublished work up to 25 pages of non-fiction (and a synopsis if submitting a book excerpt), up to 5 poems, or a work of short fiction between 300 to 3,000 words with a $17 entry fee by February 28, 2018.
Emerging writers are welcome in ALL categories, but this category is exclusively open to writers whose fiction has not appeared, nor is scheduled to appear, in any print publication with a circulation over 5000. (Entries must not have appeared in any print publication.)
Most entries run from 1000 – 4000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 words are welcome.
- 1st place wins $2500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies.
- 2nd place wins $500, or, if chosen for publication, $700 and 10 copies.
- 3rd place wins $300, or, if chosen for publication, $700 and 10 copies.
READING FEE: $18 per story.
This contest is held in January/February, May/June, and September/October, with these deadlines:
February 28 | June 30 | October 31
For the 2018 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest, the Arizona State University is broadening the scope, enthusiastically inviting submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, hybrid forms, and more.
Volume: Each author may submit one piece of work to the contest.
Length: Work must be less than or equal to 5000 words.
Original Work, No Reprints: Submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in print or online.
Participants must be 18 years or older. U.S. and international submissions are welcome.
The winning story will receive a $1,000 prize. Nine finalists will receive $50 each. The winner and finalists will be published in an online anthology, which will be free to download, read, and share.
The deadline for submission is February 28, 2018, with the finalists announced in summer 2018. All submissions must be received through https://everythingchange.submittable.com.
- For an outstanding debut literary work by a first-generation immigrant
- Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books
- To be awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years
- Submissions for the 2018 Prize in Fiction are open from September 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018
Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a book-length collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.
Fiction manuscripts must be complete. Nonfiction submissions must consist of either a complete manuscript or a sample of at least 25,000 words and a detailed proposal that includes a synopsis and an annotated table of contents. All submissions must be in English (translations welcome).
Candidates must be first-generation residents of their country. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated or to residents of a country whose parents were born elsewhere.
The prize is $1,000 and publication in The Tusculum Review.
The deadline is March 1, 2018.
Send contest submissions to:
The Tusculum Review
P.O. Box 5113
60 Shiloh Road
Greeneville, TN 37743.
Mark envelopes: “CHAPBOOK CONTEST.”
The entry fee is $20 per chapbook manuscript. We accept checks and money orders made payable to The Tusculum Review.
Each chapbook manuscript entered should consist of 20-30 pages of poems in a standard 12-point font. No more than one poem may appear on a page. You may enter more than one chapbook manuscript (as long as you include a $20 reading fee with each manuscript). A manuscript need not be thematically coherent or connected through narrative. Co-authored manuscripts are permitted.
The Ginosko Flash Fiction Award is for an unpublished work of flash fiction. Awarded piece is selected through a submission process open to all writers with the following exception:
Relatives or individuals having a personal or professional relationship with any of the final judges where they have taken any part whatsoever in shaping the submitted manuscript.
Author’s name not to be on or in submission.
$500 Award, $5 entry fee, deadline March 1st, 2018. Awarded work posted on website and published in forthcoming issue.
Submit up to 2 pieces, 800 words maximum each piece.
$2,000 will be awarded for the best short story, which will be published in the fall/winter 2018 issue of Colorado Review.
Entry fee to submit online is $17 per story; there is no limit on the number of entries you may submit, though each story must be a separate entry.
Stories must be previously unpublished.
There are no theme restrictions, but stories should be at least 10 pages and under 50 pages.
All manuscripts must be double-spaced.
The story title and your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address should be entered in the cover letter field, separate from your story. Be sure your name is NOT anywhere in the story itself.
Deadline is March 14, 2018. We’ll observe a grace period of five days for both postal and online submissions.
- Reading period: January 15–March 15
- Submit entries during reading period at fourthgenre.submittable.com
- Reading fee: $20 (U.S.) for each individual submission (multiple submissions accepted)
- The author’s name or contact information should appear nowhere in the manuscript, including headers, footers, and title pages. Any names that appear in the manuscript that could be used to identify the author or the author’s affiliations should be given a pseudonym for the purposes of the contest, but will be corrected for publication.
- 6,000 word limit
- Current Michigan State University students, faculty, and staff are not eligible to enter
- Winner receives $1,000 prize
- Winner and runner-up (if applicable) announced at the end of May on the Fourth Genre website and the Fourth Genrefacebook page
The award is intended to honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into cultural and social issues exemplified by the late James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity and other prose narratives of distinction. Jones himself was the recipient of aid from many supporters as a young writer and his family, friends, and admirers have established this award of $10,000 to continue the tradition in his name. Two runners-up awards of $1000 each may be given by the Jones Literary Society.
- Have never published a novel
- Are U.S. citizens
- May have published any other type of work including non-fiction articles and short stories
- Unpublished novels
- Novels in which one or more chapters have been published
Entry fee: $30
DEADLINES: Hard Copy entries should be sent to the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, c/o M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Wilkes University, 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766, and postmarked no later than March 15, 2018, midnight Eastern Standard time.
ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM entries should be sent to jamesjones.submittable.com/submit ELECTRONIC ENTRIES should be sent no later than midnight, March 15, 2018, Eastern Standard time.
The Word Works awards a living American or Canadian poet $1,500, a generous supply of author copies, and book publication for a volume of original poetry in English. To enter, submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages between January 15 and March 15, and pay the $25 entry fee.
The winner is selected by August each year. Book publication is planned for January of the following year.
Deadline: April 30, 2018
- poets writing in the English language are eligible
- poets are not eligible to submit a manuscript if they know the judge or the chapbook editors personally
- chapbook manuscripts should be 15 to 30 pages of poetry, submitted in .docx or PDF formats only
- poems previously published in journals are acceptable—be sure to include an acknowledgments page if appropriate
- please include a title page, table of contents, but do not include your name anywhere within the manuscript
- the author’s biography is collected separately in the Submittable cover letter
- simultaneous submissions are permissible, but submitters are asked to notify BOAAT Press immediately if a manuscript is picked up for publication elsewhere
- manuscript revisions are not permitted during the submission period
- submitting multiple manuscripts is fine with entry fees for each
Deadline: May 31, 2018,
Fees: £8 for each submitted flash fiction
£9 for each submitted poem
£10 for each submitted short story
Anyone writing in English who is over the age of 16 can enter the Bridgport Prize contest. Poems, short stories and flash fiction are all accepted for consideration. Submissions must never have been previously published, self-published, won or placed in any other competition.
Deadline: June 15, 2018
Contest opens May 1, 2018. The winner of this contest will receive a cash award of $1,000.00 plus have their poetry published. Manuscripts must be 48-80 pages in length. Submit your work electronically or by regular mail. Instructions are available on the website.
Deadline: June 15, 2018
The University of Akron Press offers Akron Poetry Prize competition to all poets writing in English. The winner receives $1,500.00 and publication of their work in book format. Other manuscripts may be considered for publication by the contest judge.
Deadline: June 30, 2018
The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the 2019 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for a collection of short fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. The winner will be announced in December or January.
The award is open to writers who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution. Digital-only publication and self-publication do not count toward this requirement.
Ends: June 30, 2018
Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 50 paragraphs. The contest provides the first and last paragraph (see below) and the short story writer crafts the rest.
First prize is $1000, 2nd prize is $500, and 3rd prize is $250 with the winning short story published in an ebook short story anthology for Amazon, as well as an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO. Twenty-four (24) Finalists will also have their short stories included in this ebook anthology.
Deadline: July 1, 2018
Stories can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry or essay, but please indicate which genre at the top of your manuscript. Entries should be between eight hundred and five thousand words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted, but again, please indicate this.
The winner will receive $1,000, with publication in Nowhere granted under First North American Serial Rights (FNASR). Up to ten finalists also will be published.
The Mark Twain House & Museum is proud to announce the 5th annual Royal Nonesuch humor writing contest. This contest is open to anyone.
Separate categories for Adult and Youth. Prizes are awarded in each track as follows:
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250
Honorable Mention: $100 gift certificate at the Mark Twain Store.
2018 entries will be accepted until July 1.
Deadline: July 13, 2018
The prize was launched to support new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. A winner will be chosen by our stellar line up of judges for each category: Fiction; Poetry; Life Writing. The three winners will be published by Wasafiri and receive a cash prize. They will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility). The prize winners will be announced on 25th October, 2018.
Deadline: Postmarked July 15, 2018
Fee: $25.00 (includes a one-year subscription to Vallum)
Vallum is accepting submissions of previously-unpublished poems for consideration for the 2017 edition of the Vallum Award. First prize is $750.00. A second prize of $250.00 will be awarded. Winning poems will also be published in Vallum Magazine and on the website.
Submit one-three poems (maximum of 60 lines each). The entry fee covers up to three poems. Submissions are accepted by regular mail and electronically.
Deadline: July 15, 2018
Hippocampus Magazine is giving away more than $1,200 in cash and prizes this November in our annual creative writing contest, the Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction.
QUICK CONTEST OVERVIEW:
- Memoir excerpts and personal essays up to 4,000 words accepted — there is no theme.
- Submission MUST be free of your name in headers/footers, title page, and file name.
- Deadline: July 15, 2018
- $12 entry fee
- $1,000 grand prize (1) + free registration to HippoCamp 2019
- $150 runner-up (1)
- $40 finalist/honorable mention (3-4; regular contributor payment)
- $50 reader’s choice winner; added to contributor payment (doubles as the most memorable designation of the month)
Deadline: August 31, 2018
Inkitt is a new boutique publishing house. Their first novel launched mid-2016, and since then, we’ve published over 50 novels.
Awards for the novel competition:
- $300 USD
- Contest winner badge on cover picture and promoted on special Novel Contest Winners list
- Eligible for a future publishing deal
Deadline: September 30, 2018
Fee: $12.00 per poem
Submission period is open between April 15-September 30, 2018. The Tom Howard Prize of $1,500.00 for poetry will be awarded for a poem in any style or genre. The Margaret Reid Prize for poetry is also $1,500.00 and will be awarded for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style. 10 Honorable Mentions in any style will each receive $100.00 each.
Submissions can be made electronically. There are no age restrictions for participants. International poets are welcome to participate.
Deadline: September 30, 2018
The Miller Williams Poetry Prize competition accepts submissions electronically on a year-round basis. There is a rolling deadline of September 30 annually. Manuscripts should be 60-90 pages in length and may have been previously published in journals, chapbooks or anthologies. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, so long as organizers are immediately notified of the acceptance of works elsewhere.
Deadline: October 15, 2018
Fee: $20.00 (includes a one-year subscription to Pulp Literature)
Submit a short story of up to 2,500 words for consideration in this contest. Would you like to find out what a professional editor thinks of your work? For $25.00, one of the Pulp Literature editors will critique your work. First prize for the contest is $300.00.
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Submission guidelines are as follows:
- Books must be published in 2018.
- Authors must be living American citizens.
- Books must be published on a commercial, academic, or small press. No self-published books are accepted.
- There are no submission fees or application forms.
- Bound proofs are eligible for submission for books which will be published in November or December of 2018.
- All submissions must be post-marked by October 31, 2018.
The winner gets $15,000 plus an invitation to read at the award ceremony in Washington, DC. Four finalists get $5,000 each.
Deadline: November 6, 2018
A 5-7-5 follows the structure of a Haiku but without any limitation to the topic. While a Senryu, is primarily concerned with human nature. A Haiku, primarily concerned with physical nature. A 5-7-5 poem is a free form with the only limitation being the syllable count.
So have fun with the 5-7-5 poetry type. But it must follow the proper syllable count. A 5-7-5 poem has three lines. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again.
The winner takes away a $100 cash prize. All writers will receive feedback for their submission.
Deadline: December 31, 2018, midnight EST
Prize: $1,000 and publication
Award-winning literary travel magazine Nowhere is accepting submissions for our Fall 2018 Travel Writing Contest.
They are looking for young, old, novice and veteran writers to send stories that possess a powerful sense of place. Stories can be fiction, nonfiction or essay, but please indicate which genre at the top of your manuscript. Entries should be between eight hundred and five thousand words, must be in English, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted, but again, please indicate this. Every submission will be read blind, so anyone can win.
Deadline: December 31, 2018
1st prize: $350 * 2nd prize: $200 * 3rd prize: $100
Poetry Contest Guidelines:
- Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.
- We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.
- Poems are judged on the basis of originality and uniqueness.
- English-language entries only, please.
- Enter as often as you like!