Legitimate writing and literary contests, competitions, awards and prizes of all kinds. In this general category, contests that offer prizes in two or more different genres will be found. Contests that focus on specific genres, like Essays, Poetry, Screenwriting and Short Stories, are listed in those specific sub-categories. Contests do not have to have monetary rewards, but that is what is most likely to be found in this category.
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- Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest San Jose State University sponsors this yearly challenge "to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels". No entry fee. Official deadline: April 15.
- Annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence An annual competition for writers, editors, publications staff, and both business and non-profit communicators.
- Park Publications U.K. Publishers of the magazines, "Scribble" and "Countryside Tales", holding quarterly competitions for original, unpublished short stories and poems, some open, some limited to specific themes.
- Pronghorn Press Publishing Promotes annual prose (up to 5,000 words) and poetry (no more than 60 lines) contests relating to contemporary life in three specific regions, namely, the Rockies, the Desert Southwest, and the Northwest Coast.
- Associated Writing Programs Awards Annual awards of $2,000 (plus publication) are offered for original, unpublished, book-length work in each of three categories: novels, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Reading fee: $20. Deadline: February 28. Open to U.S. residents only.
- Milkweed Editions Milkweed Editions is a non-profit publisher of literature for adults and young adults based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Milkweed National Fiction Prize is awarded annually for the best fiction manuscript submitted by an author not previously published by Milkweed.
- AwardWeb Information on major literary awards throughout the USA and other countries, particularly focusing on (though not limited to) science fiction and fantasy.
- Santa Fe Writers Project SFWP provides resources for authors and features online fiction as well as an annual writing contest for prose, both fiction and non-fiction, including short stories, essays and sample chapters of novels. $6,000 in cash prizes. Deadline: mid-January.
- Word Smitten Annual Literary Fiction Contest Offers a prize of $1,010 for the best on-line submission of literary (no genre) fiction totaling exactly 1,010 words. Reading fee: $15. Deadline: July 1.
- A Woman's Write Writing contest for women seeks a story, memoir or book chapter on a given theme. Deadline; December 31, thence monthly. Entry fee: $7. First prize: $70.
- Pomegranate Words Writing Contests Offers free monthly contests for poetry and fiction. Open worldwide, but to teenagers only.
- Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Non-Fiction Humorous stories and essays up to 750 words are required. Reading fee: $5. Deadline: December 1. Cash prizes total $850.
- 3-Day Novel Contest Held annually on Labor Day weekend. Rules, survival guide, prizes, and past winners.
- Communicator Awards, The Annual competitions honoring excellence in all areas of communication, with separate categories for print (177 sub-categories), video (216 sub-categories) and audio (140 sub-categories).
- Flyway 6th Annual Flyway Sweet Corn Prize. $150 and a book bag of Iowa sweet corn for top entries in each category: fiction, nonfiction (maximum: 4,000 words) and poetry. Reading fee: $18. Deadline March 1st.
- Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival Fiction, one act play and poetry contests.
- Fish Publishing - Writing Contests Poetry, flash fiction, short story and short memoir writing contests.
- Indie Book Awards An awards program for self-published authors, independent book publishers, university presses, small/ medium publishers. Cash awards and a chance at professional literary agency representation.
- The New Guard - Writing Contests Annual fiction and poetry contest.
- Salamander - Contest Salamander magazine will award a cash prize and publication for the best fiction story. Entries accepted from May 15-June 15.
- William Saroyan International Prize for Writing An annual award is intended to encourage new writers who have recently published a work of fiction or memoirs. Standford University Libraries.
- Shelf Unbound - Writing Competition Writing competition for best indie book open to self-published or small press books in any genre.
- WYRM's Gauntlet The Gauntlet is a new format, underground writing contest for speculative fiction.
Writer's Digest Writing Competitions
Offers $25,000 in prize money for original, unpublished work in ten categories including poetry, short stories, plays, television scripts, articles, and children's fiction. Deadline: mid-May. Also provides separate annual awards for short short stories, screenplays and self-published books.
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Manchester Fiction Competition
Annual online fiction competition with £10,000 prize, lead by Poet Laureate MMU Professor Carol Ann Duffy for the Manchester Writing School.
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