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Creative Writing Contests
Short Story and other creative writing contests and competitions with big cash prizes like the ones below can provide a real step up for writers. Writing competitions can jumpstart a career. This happened to me when I submitted a sample of my unpublished novel to the Chapters/Robertson Davies writing contest for unpublished novelists. I'll never forget the thrill of excitement I felt when they contacted me with the news that I was one of six hundred writers invited to submit an entire novel manuscript.
I decided then that if my manuscript went further in the writing contest, I'd use that honour to find an agent, and I began my research. When I learned that the shortlist of five novels included mine, I contacted the agent I most wanted to represent me, and she signed me and had a publisher interested within two weeks. What an exciting time! If I won the contest, McClelland and Stewart would publish my novel and I would receive an advance on royalties. If I went no further than the shortlist, HarperCollins would publish the novel and I would receive a larger advance on royalties. The way I saw it, I couldn't lose!
I did not win the contest, but I won a career all the same.
So I encourage you to seek out creative writing contests and send only your best, most polished work, as winning means publication and often significant payment.
PLEASE NOTE: I publish this list of creative writing contests as a service to visitors. It takes considerable time even to keep it current, so please do not write to ask me questions about any of the contests. If you have questions, please contact the organizer of the contest.
If you want to be aware of writing contests all year, well in advance, consider purchasing the book Writing to Win
by Moira Allen, which is one of the most complete sources of which I am aware.
Current FICTION Writing Contests
OCTOBER Creative Writing Contests
NOVEMBER Creative Writing Contests
DECEMBER Creative Writing Contests
JANUARY Creative Writing Contests
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Are you administrating a fiction or creative non-fiction contest? If so, you may post the details here.
You may post as many contests as you like, but please post each contest separately, and only once during the contest period.
DEADLINE APRIL 30TH, 2013, Mystery & Mayhem Cozy Awards, Prize: $250
DEADLINE APRIL 30, 2012, 2012 Spring Romance Short Story Contest, $500 USD
DEADLINE MARCH 1, 2012 There is Hope Magazine Writing Contest Top Prize $500 and photo shoot
JANUARY 31, 2012. The Creative Nonfiction Down Under Essay Contest. $6,500.
DECEMBER 31, 2011: THE METCALF-ROOKE AWARD, $1500.00
NOVEMBER 1, 2011 The Malahat Review's 2012 Open Season Awards $1000 in each of three categories
DEADLINE DECEMBER 31, 2011: DREAM QUEST ONE WRITING CONTEST
10th October 2011
SEPTEMBER 20 - HOOT monthly flash fiction mini contest - 30% of submission $$
OCTOBER 14 2011, Stringybark Australian History Short Story Award, A$300
SEPTEMBER 30, 2011
AUGUST 31 2011, LEAP LOCAL TRAVEL STORY COMPETITION, $500 FIRST PRIZE AND TWO $150 SECOND PLACE PRIZES
DECEMBER 31, 2011 LeafGuard Name the Squirrel Contest $1,500
30 NOVEMBER 2011 - INKTEARS SHORT STORY COMPETITION - PRIZE £1,000
DECEMBER 1ST 2011, WRITING FOR A PURPOSE! FICTION & NONFICTION BOOK PUBLISHED AND $250 CASH PRIZE
SEPTEMBER 21st, 2011 -- ANDERBO NO-FEE NOVEL CONTEST -- $500
SEPTEMBER 3 34th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL 3-DAY NOVEL CONTEST Prize $500+ publication
29 JULY 2011 ARTHRITIS CARE CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION £500 OPEN UNIVERSITY VOUCHER
DEADLINE OCTOBER 31, 2011 Atlantis Short Story Competition Prize: $300 + in-depth feedback
AUGUST 15 2011, H.O.W Journal Summer Writing Contest, Up to $500 Prize
JUNE 14, 2011 THE EYES OF BABYLON NATIONAL MULTI-GENRE WRITING CONTEST Prize: $1000
DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 1, 2011 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction: $1,000
MAY 31, 2011 FLANNERY O'CONNER AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION $1000
APRIL 29TH, 2011 50 Plus Writing Contest- $500
OCTOBER 1ST 2011 SPILLING INK FICTION PRIZE
SEPTEMBER 1ST 2011 UNBOUND PRESS BEST NOVEL AWARD
AUGUST 1ST 2011 UNBOUND PRESS FLASH FICTION AWARD
JULY 1ST 2011 SPILLING INK SHORT STORY PRIZE
MAY 1ST 2011 UNBOUND PRESS SHORT FICTION AWARD
DEADLINE DECEMBER 31, 2011
30/04/2011,AD COPYWRITING CONTEST,£100
31/May/2011.Travel Writing contest.£100
JUNE 1, 2011, GRITLIT CHALLENGE OF THREE, $200 FIRST PRIZE
MARCH 15, 2011, The Pinch Literary Awards, $1500 and publication
1 FEBRUARY 2011, DUNDEE INTERNATIONAL BOOK PRIZE, £10,000
FEBRUARY 1: RUMINATE NONFICTION PRIZE, $500
JANUARY 15TH EXTENDED DEADLINE, 2011 Third Coast Fiction Contest, $1000
NOVEMBER 30TH EXTENDED DEADLINE, 2011 Kore Press Short Fiction Award, $1,000
MARCH 31, 2011 BRISTOL SHORT STORY PRIZE £1,000
OCTOBER 31, 2010, 2011 Kore Press Short Fiction Award, $1000
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