For a change of pace from client work, why don’t you consider entering writing contests in 2019? 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 2019 to flex your writing muscles and make some earnings 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.
2019 Writing Contests
Your short story should have a maximum of 2,500 words. There is no minimum and the title is not included in the word count. Open to any writer.
Deadline: 7th January 2019 (12 noon, GMT)
WAITING FOR NEW DETAILS The William Faulkner Literary Competition
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.
WAITING FOR NEW DETAILS First Crime Novel Competition
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.
Manuscripts will be accepted between October 1, 2018, and the postmark deadline of January 14, 2019. The winner will be announced by May 2019.
The winning book-length collection of poems will be published by the Center for Literary Publishing and distributed by the University Press of Colorado in the fall of 2019. The author receives a $2,000 honorarium.
There is a $28 online entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Colorado Review (the extra $3 goes to the good people at Submittable).
Poets with US addresses may opt for either a print or digital subscription. Poets living outside the US will receive digital subscriptions (as long as a valid e-mail address is provided). Please select the appropriate submission portal.
Deadline for application:
Friday, January 18, 2019
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.
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, 2019.
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.
Deadline: 31st January 2019.
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 2019. The Judge is poet Ruth O’Callaghan and she will read all the submissions.
First prize: £1,000
Second prize: £300
Third prize: £100
Plus 4 x £50
Submit a short story up to 2000 words. Open theme.
1st prize: $3,000
2nd prize: $1,700
3rd prize: $1,000
Deadline: February 4, 2019
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 28, 2019. The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C. during ALA’s Annual Conference in June 2019. Authors will be advised of the Literary Award Committee’s decision in advance of the annual conference.
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, 2019. 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 2019 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, 2019. We’ll observe 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
Entries can be mailed via SNAIL MAIL or our ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM. 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, 2019 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, 2019, 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.
- 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 2019 Prize in Nonfiction are open from September 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019
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 April 1, 2019.
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. They 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 BOAAT BOOK PRIZE is awarded annually to an emerging poet who has not previously published a book of poems.
WHEN: Submissions open April 1, 2019 – April 30, 2019 (ends at 11:59 EST)
GUEST JUDGE: TBD
- poets writing in the English language are eligible
- poets are not eligible to submit a manuscript if they have studied with the guest judge in full-time accredited courses or know the guest judge on a personal level
- manuscripts should be 48 to 75 pages of poetry, submitted in .docx or PDF formats only, but we’re flexible
- do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript
- do not include an acknowledgments or dedication page
- 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
READING FEE: $25.00 paid through Submittable
READING PROCESS: Each year we bring on three new readers to screen submissions. All of our preliminary readers are poets who have graduated from an MFA program or beyond, and also have a collection of poems. They’ll select fifteen of the best manuscripts to send our judge.
PUBLICATION FOR THE WINNING BOOK:
- a foreword by the Judge
- a $1,000 honorarium
- 50 free copies
- the book will be slated for publication around December of 2020
Deadline: May 31, 2019
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 Bridport 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.
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 is open for submissions from April 1 to May 31, 2019.
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.
Deadline: June 15, 2019
Contest opens May 1, 2019. 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, 2019
The Akron Series in Poetry was founded to bring to the public writers who speak in original and compelling voices. Each year, The University of Akron Press offers the Akron Poetry Prize, a competition open to all poets writing in English. The winning poet receives $1,500 and publication of his, her, or their book. The final selection will be made by a nationally prominent poet. The final judge for 2019 is Victoria Chang. Other manuscripts may also be considered for publication in the series.
Deadline: Manuscripts must be received during May and June 2019. That is, they must be postmarked on or after May 1 and on or before June 30.
The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the 2020 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.