[This list includes contests that close in May 2023. Stay tuned for contests that open and close after May!]
For a change of pace from client work, why don’t you consider entering writing contests in 2021? 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 2023 to flex your writing muscles and make some money while you're at it. 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.
Writing Contests 2023
Inkitt’s Writing Contests regularly give authors the opportunity to share their books with readers around the world and showcase their talents.
Monthly cash prizes:
Each month one grand prize winner, and two runners up will be selected.
1st prize: $300, an exclusive badge for your book cover and Inkitt social media feature!
2nd prize: Exclusive 2nd place book badge and Inkitt social media feature!
3rd prize: Exclusive 3rd place book badge!
Shooter Flash spotlights bitesize brilliance with one winning story each month, which we publish online (plus in an annual anthology) and trumpet on social media.
Shooter Flash offers an opportunity to writers who work on a smaller canvas. We welcome stories up to 1,000 words long on a rolling basis, any theme/genre, and the winning story each month will win £50 as well as publication on the second Monday of each month. Winning stories will also be anthologized and sent to all of Shooter’s subscribers.
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 $1,000 each.
The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2023.
1. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over.
2. Poems should be in English, unpublished, not accepted for publication, and must be your original work.
3. Poems may be on any subject and in any form or style. They must be typed and not longer than 40 lines.
4. Each poem must be typed on a separate sheet of A4 paper. All poems are judged anonymously and should not bear your name, nor any other form of identification. On a separate sheet of A4 paper you should give a: your name and address, b: a list of poems submitted, and c: where you heard about the competition.
The deadline for the 2019 competition is 31st January 2023.
Entry fee: £5 per poem; or, for 3 or more poems, £4 each.
First prize: £1,000
Second prize: £300
Third prize: £100
Fourth prize: 4 x £50
Three times a year, Jerry Jazz Musician awards a writer who submits, in our opinion, the best original, previously unpublished work of short fiction. The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America.
No entry fee is required. One story entry only. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.
The contest is open to entrants from anywhere in the world (English language only please)
A prize of $150 will be awarded for the winning story.
Deadline: January 31, 2023
This is a fun, relaxed, free competition for extremely short pieces of prose (storytwigs). Entries should be 100 words or fewer, and the prizes range from $10 to $100 dollars. Prompts and contests are done monthly. Only open to citizens/residents of the United States or Canada.
Deadline: February 3, 2023
Theme for Spring 2023 is to inspire people to write about better times and positive outlooks using the prompt MY HAPPY PLACE.
You don’t have to be literal, of course; your happy place might well be a concept or a state of mind. As with all our themes, there’s no wrong interpretation! We’re open to submissions of either a poem, paragraph, or a page for inclusion in our publication. And you don’t have to be a member to contribute – this opportunity is open to all!
This contest is open to any short fiction writer of English. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a short novel. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included.
Is your shortest fiction soft and appealing with a hidden sting? Send us your short, sweet, and sassy fiction for a chance to win $300 and publication in Pulp Literature. Get an editorial critique for only $20 more.
Entry fee: $15
The award is open to all poets writing in English around the world. Simultaneous submissions accepted.
Entry Fee: $20
AWP’s Award Series is an annual competition for the publication of excellent new book-length works. The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and it is open to published and unpublished authors alike.
Entry fee: $30 for non-members and $20 for AWP members
• Donald Hall Prize for Poetry: $5,500 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press
• Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction: $5,500 and publication by the University of Massachusetts Press
• AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction: $2,500 and publication by the University of Georgia Press
• AWP Prize for the Novel: $2,500 and publication by New Issues Press
Deadline: February 28, 2023
Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction — on hiatus, check back in the fall
$2,500 will be awarded for the best short story, which will be published in the fall/winter 2022 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 —. There is a grace period of five days for both postal and online submissions.
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: $30
Deadline: March 15, 2023, Eastern Standard time.
The ACFW Genesis Contest is for unpublished Christian fiction writers. With ten categories to enter, Genesis provides the opportunity for unbiased feedback on writers’ work by published authors and experienced judges, and the chance for finalists to have their work read by Christian publishing house editors and literary agents.
Contest closes on March 15, 2023
OPEN for self-published and independently published books
Book of the Year £2000 (approx 2760 US$)
Category winners £200 (approx 276 USD)
Closing date 31st March 2023
- Publication history. Only first or second full-length books of poetry may be submitted. Chapbooks are not considered as a previous publication in this regard.
- Length. Manuscripts must be between forty-eight and ninety pages.
- Previous publication. Individual poems may have been published in chapbooks, journals, and anthologies.
- Translations. Work in translation is not accepted.
- Multiple submissions. No more than one manuscript per author.
- Authorship. No more than one author per manuscript.
- Simultaneous submissions. Manuscripts under publication consideration or prize competition elsewhere are allowed provided we are notified immediately of their acceptance.
The award is open to any poet writing in English who has not had a full-length book of poetry published previously. The definition of “full-length book” is a volume of 48 or more pages published in an edition of 500 or more copies. Books whose publication costs have been borne by their authors are excluded from this definition.
Submit your Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize manuscript online! During the submission period (March 1 – April 30) simply go to their Submittable page.
For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. Judge: Dennis Norris II, assisted by Lauren Singer Ledoux. Please submit as many entries as you like. All themes accepted. Entries may be published or unpublished. Length limit: 6,000 words maximum. No restriction on age of author. All countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US government restrictions).
- STORY: First Prize, $3,000
- ESSAY: First Prize, $3,000
- The top two winners will also receive two-year gift certificates from Duotrope (a $100 value)
- 10 Honorable Mentions will receive $200 each (any category)
- Top 12 entries published online
Deadline: April 30, 2023
Look at our list of websites that pay writers in 2023
The Book Pipeline: Adaptation contest seeks published books, graphic novels, and short stories for film and TV development. Both traditional and self-published material accepted. Judging criteria is based on concept originality, feasibility for adaptation in the current marketplace, and overall writing talent.
Since 2014, Book Pipeline has helped authors develop their work into screenplays and pilots, connect with production companies, and open up new avenues for those looking to make the transition to film and TV.
Winner and finalists receive one-on-one assistance from Book Pipeline execs prior to industry exposure, in addition to the following:
- $10,000 to winner, $1,000 to runner-up
- Extensive project development from Pipeline’s exec team to prepare a script or pitch for industry
- Long-term circulation and promotion to producers and other execs
- Consideration of additional material for circulation or adaptation development
Deadline Dates/Entry Fees: May 20th, 2023 – $45
This is an open writing competition that is dedicated to finding and encouraging the most promising new writers from across the world. Details for entry and requirements can be found under each category on the website.
- 1st prize: £5,000
- 2nd prize: £1,000
- 3rd prize: £500
Deadline: May 31, 2023
You can submit an original, unpublished poem or collection of poems, up to 600 words in length. There is no minimum word requirement.
WHEN: The competition will open on April 1, 2023 and close on May 31, 2023
WHO: All Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.
A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry.
The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Their winning submission will be published on CBC Books. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their poetry published on CBC Books.
Each entry must be original work and previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted, but authors must notify Flying South immediately and withdraw from the contest if their work is accepted elsewhere. Submissions may not be withdrawn once contest winners are announced. Prizes include publication in Flying South 2022, Best in Category, and President’s Favorite. All works will be read blind.
Categories: Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction
Entry fee: $25 ($15 for members of Winston-Salem Writers)
Deadline: May 31, 2023
WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months, and has done so since 2006. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, great writing, and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The WOW Flash Fiction Contest has awarded over $100,000 in cash to writers since its inception. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. They are open to all styles and genres of flash fiction.
Word count: 250-750
Entry fee: $10
Deadline: May 31, 2023