Welcome to the most comprehensive list of creative writing competitions, short story competitions, and various events for writers.
Each item on our list includes basic information about max word count, associated fees, submission deadlines, and the maximum prize that can be won. Clicking on an item opens a new page featuring a more detailed description and a link to the organizer’s submission page. Events that are free to enter are highlighted.
The most common type of writing competitions on our list are short story competitions, but we also feature opportunities for poetry, flash fiction, essays, and full manuscripts. We hope there is something here to satisfy every taste :)
We try to keep this list as up-to-date as possible. If you’d like to add any new writing competitions, please submit the details using the event submission form. We appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to message us with any ideas or suggestions. In case of any questions about a particular writing competition, please contact the event organizer.
If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of submitting your writing to such events, as well as some practical tips, please read our dedicated blog post on the topic. If you are looking to get some of your existing writing published, it is worth having a look at our curated list of creative writing journals and literary platforms accepting submissions. You may also want to check out our great list of books for writers (about writing).
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26sep1:00 am1:00 amFree to enter!Style X Black Writers’ Guild Essay CompetitionUK Entry Fee: Free Max word count: 800 words Top Prize: Six months’ worth of mentoring, including a one-off mentoring session with Bernardine Evaristo
30sep12:00 am11:45 pmThe First Page ChallengeInternational Entry Fee: $25 Max word count: a single double-spaced page Top Prize: $200 minimum (each entry contributes to pool; last contest paid out $870)
30sep1:00 am1:00 amFree to enter!Lulu Press 4th Annual Share Your Scare Writing CompetitionUSA Entry Fee: Free Max word count: 1500 Top Prize: Top prize is inclusion in the anthology, photo and bio feature on Lulu's horror landing page and inclusion in a press release announcing contest winners to be distributed nationwide. PLUS Lulu swag!
01oct1:00 am1:00 amThe Aryamati Poetry PrizeInternational Entry Fee: £3 Max word count: 40 lines Top Prize: Publication, books worth £100, and 250 copies of the winning poem printed on limited edition postcards
01oct1:00 am1:00 am30th Annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ PrizeInternational Entry Fee: $25 Max word count: 8,500 words or any number of poems up to 10 pages Top Prize: $5,000 Fiction, $5,000 Nonfiction, $5,000 Poetry
15oct1:00 am1:00 amFree to enter!UNESCO “World Tales” Short Story CompetitionParticipants must be between 12 and 18 years oldInternational Entry Fee: Free Max word count: 500 Top Prize: iPad and publication
31oct1:00 am1:00 amWOW! Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay ContestInternational Entry Fee: $12 Max word count: 1.000 Top Prize: $500, publication, interview, and gift card good for one item from CreateWriteNow's Store
30novAll DayMoved OnlineThe Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry CompetitionInternational Entry Fee: €7 Max word count: 40 lines Top Prize: €2,000, publication, a week\'s residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre
30nov1:00 am1:00 amMoved OnlineSoundwork Monologue CompetitionInternational Entry Fee: Free Max word count: monologue of up to ten minutes Top Prize: Recording by professional actor and production for inclusion on Soundcloud and the Soundwork website
01dec1:00 am1:00 amWomen's National Book Association Writing ContestInternational Entry Fee: $15 Max word count: 3,000 (fiction), 2,500 (creative nonfiction), 750 (flash), 5 pages (poetry) Top Prize: $250 and publication
31dec1:00 am11:59 pmITS Groups Children’s Fiction and Novel CompetitionInternational Entry Fee: £10 Max word count: 500 Top Prize: Book illustration (£600 value) + video animation of the story (£3000 value)+ £200 + Publication
31dec1:00 am1:00 amGriffin Poetry Prize - One of the most generous poetry prizes in the worldOne of the most generous poetry prizes in the worldInternational Entry Fee: Free Max word count: Full manuscript Top Prize: $65,000
01jan1:00 am1:00 amFree to enter!St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel CompetitionInternational Entry Fee: Free Max word count: Full manuscript Top Prize: Publishing contract with a $10,000 advance
17jan1:00 am1:00 amFree to enter!Women's Prize Trust Novel Discoveries PrizePrize for women who have started a novelUK Entry Fee: Free Max word count: First 10,00 words of your novel + synopsis Top Prize: £5,000
31jan1:00 am1:00 amFirst Chapter CompetitionInternational Entry Fee: £10 Max word count: 3,500 Top Prize: Submission package (cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters) review and feedback from judge Sam Jordison
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