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Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

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Writing Contests, Grants & Awards

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  • G&A: The Contest Blog

The Writing Contests, Grants & Awards database includes details about the creative writing contests—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, and more—that we’ve published in Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it. Ours is the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

Orison Books

Prizes in poetry and fiction.

Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication by Orison Books are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction. Ellen Bass will judge in poetry and Kaveh Akbar will...

Nimrod International Journal

Nimrod literary awards.

Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Nimrod International Journal are given annually for a poem or a group of poems and a work of fiction. A runner-up in each...

Winning Writers

Wergle flomp humor poetry contest.

A prize of $2,000, a gift certificate for a two-year membership to the literary database Duotrope, and publication on the Winning Writers website is given annually for a...

Saturnalia Books

Poetry prize.

A prize of $1,500, publication by Saturnalia Books, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Carmen Giménez will judge. All entries are also considered...

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

A prize of $1,500 and publication on the competition website is given annually for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a nationally distributed...

North American Review

Terry tempest williams creative nonfiction prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in North American Review is given annually for an essay. Lyric essays, memoir-style essays, and literary journalism are eligible. Toni...

Gemini Magazine

Short story contest.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a short story. The editors will judge. Submit a story of any length with an $8 entry fee by...

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Oberon is given annually for a single poem. Submit up to three poems of no more than two pages each with an $18 entry fee, which...

Omnidawn Publishing

Single poem contest.

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a single poem. The winner also receives 20 copies of a letterpress broadside of the winning poem. Claire Marie Stancek will judge. Using...

Desperate Literature

Short fiction prize.

A prize of €1,500 (approximately $1,628), publication in the Desperate Literature prize anthology, and a weeklong residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s castle in the...

New Ohio Review

Literary prizes.

Three prizes of $1,500 each and publication in New Ohio Review are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Submit a poem or group of...

Poetry Foundation

Ruth lilly and dorothy sargent rosenberg poetry fellowships.

Five fellowships of $27,000 each are given annually to U.S. poets between the ages of 21 and 31. Using only the online submission system, submit 10 pages of poetry and an...

Florida Review

Editor’s prizes.

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Florida Review are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. The editors will judge....

University of Arkansas Press

Etel adnan poetry prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Arkansas Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection by a writer of Arab heritage. Series editors Hayan...

Pen Parentis

Writing fellowship for new parents.

A prize of $2,000, a year of mentorship, and publication in Dreamers Creative Writing Magazine is given annually to a fiction writer who is the parent of a child under...

Whiting Foundation

Creative nonfiction grants.

Up to 10 grants of $40,000 each are given annually for creative nonfiction works-in-progress to enable writers to complete their books. Creative nonfiction writers under...

Poetry and Short Story Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sixfold are given quarterly for a group of poems and a short story. Using only the online submission system, submit up to...

Australian Book Review

Elizabeth jolley short story prize.

A prize of $6,000 AUD (approximately $3,931) is given annually for a short story. A second-place prize of $4,000 AUD (approximately $2,621) and a third-place prize of $2,500...

University of Iowa Press

Iowa poetry prize.

Publication by University of Iowa Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 50 to 150 pages with a $20...

Marsh Hawk Press

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Marsh Hawk Press is given annually for a poetry collection. John Keene will judge. Using only the online submission system, submit a...

Chapbook Prize

A prize of $1,000, publication by Oversound , and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Diana Khoi Nguyen will judge. Using only the online submission...

Poetry International

Poetry international prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Poetry International is given annually for a single poem. Using only the online submission system, submit up to three poems of any...

Ghost Story

Supernatural fiction award.

A prize of $1,500 and publication on the Ghost Story website and in the 21st Century Ghost Stories anthology series is given biannually for a short story with a...

University of Pittsburgh Press

Agnes lynch starrett poetry prize.

A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. Using only the online submission system, submit a...

Tadpole Press

100-word writing contest.

A prize of $2,000 is given biannually for a work of flash poetry or prose. Manuscripts written in a language other than English are accepted when accompanied by an English...

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 17 best writing contests for high school students.

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Other High School

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If you're a writer—fiction, non-fiction, or fanfiction—you can put those skills to work for you. There are tons of writing contests for high school students, which can award everything from medals to cash prizes to scholarships if you win .

Not only will a little extra money, whether cash or scholarships, help you when it comes time to pay for college, but the prestige of a respected reward is also a great thing to include on your college application.

Read on to learn more about what writing contests for high school students there are, how to apply, and what you could win !

Writing Contests With Multiple Categories

Some high school contests accept entries in a variety of formats, including the standard fiction and non-fiction, but also things like screenwriting or visual art. Check out these contests with multiple categories:

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

  • Award Amount: $1,000 to $12,500 scholarships
  • Deadline: Varies between December and January, depending on your region
  • Fee: $10 for single entry, $30 for portfolio

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards celebrate art by students in grades seven through twelve (age 13 or older) on a regional and national scale. These awards have a huge number of categories and styles, including cash prizes or scholarships for some distinguished award winners . Categories include science-fiction and fantasy writing, humor, critical essays, and dramatic scripts, among others.

Deadlines vary by region (but are mostly in December and January), so use Scholastic's Affiliate Partner search to find out when projects are due for your area.

Scholastic partners with other organizations to provide prizes to winners, so what you can win depends on what you enter and what competition level you reach. Gold medal portfolio winners can earn a $12,500 scholarship, and silver medal winners with distinction can earn a $2,000 scholarship , as well as many other options in different categories.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are open to private, public, or home-schooled students attending school in the US, Canada, or American schools in other countries. Students must be in grades seven through twelve to participate. Eligibility varies between regions, so consult Scholastic's Affiliate Partner search tool to figure out what applies to you .

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have a $10 entry fee for individual submissions and $30 for portfolio submissions, which may be waived for students in need . These fees may vary depending on location, so be sure to check your local guidelines .

Ocean Awareness Contest

  • Award Amount: Scholarships up to $1,500
  • Deadline: June 13, 2023 (submissions open in September)

The Ocean Awareness Contest asks students to consider the future of a coastal or marine species that is under threat from climate change. Submissions are accepted in a variety of art forms, but all must consider the way that climate change impacts ocean life .

Submissions for all categories, including art, creative writing, film, interactive and multimedia, music and dance, and poetry and spoken word are due in June, although the exact date varies slightly each year.

Winners may receive prizes of up to a $1,500 scholarship , depending on which division they fall into and what prize they win.

The contest is open to all international and US students between the ages of 11 and 18.

River of Words

  • Award: Publication in the River of Words anthology
  • Deadline: January 31, 2023

The River of Words contest asks students to consider watersheds—an area that drains into the same body of water—and how they connect with their local community. Students can explore this concept in art or poetry, with winners being published in the annual River of Words anthology .

Entries in all categories must be submitted by January 31, 2023. 

The River of Words contest is primarily for recognition and publication, as the website doesn't list any prize money . The contest includes specific awards for certain forms, such as poetry, some of which may have additional prizes .

The contest is open to International and US students from kindergarten to grade 12 (ages 5 through 19). Students who have graduated from high school but are not yet in college are also eligible.

Adroit Prizes

  • Award Amount: $200 cash award
  • Deadline: Typically April of each year

Sponsored by the Adroit Journal, the Adroit Prizes reward high school students and undergraduate students for producing exemplary fiction and poetry. Students may submit up to six poems or three works of prose (totaling 3,500 words) for consideration. Submissions typically open in spring .

Winners receive $200 and (along with runners-up) have their works published in the Adroit Journal . Finalists and runners-up receive a copy of their judge's latest published work.

The contest is open to secondary and undergraduate students, including international students and those who have graduated early . The Adroit Prizes has a non-refundable fee of $15, which can be waived.

YoungArts Competition

  • Award Amount: Up to $10,000 cash awards
  • Deadline: October 15, 2022; application for 2024 opens June 2023

Open to students in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, writing, and music, the YoungArts competition asks students to submit a portfolio of work. Additional requirements may apply depending on what artistic discipline you're in .

Winners can receive up to $10,000 in cash as well as professional development help, mentorship, and other educational rewards.

Applicants must be 15- to 18-year-old US citizens or permanent residents (including green card holders) or in grades 10 through 12 at the time of submission . There is a $35 submission fee, which can be waived.

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Fiction Writing Contests for High School Students

Many contests with multiple categories accept fiction submissions, so also check out the above contests if you're looking for places to submit original prose.

EngineerGirl Writing Contest

  • Award Amount: $100 - $500 cash prize
  • Deadline: February 1, 2023

This year's EngineerGirl Writing Contest asks students (though the name of the organization is "EngineerGirl," students of any gender may participate) to submit a piece of writing that shows how female and/or non-white engineers have contributed to or can enhance engineering’s great achievements. Word counts vary depending on grade level.

At every grade level, first-place winners will receive $500, second-place winners will receive $250, and third-place winners will receive $100 . Winning entries and honorable mentions will also be published on the EngineerGirl website.

Students of any gender from third to 12th grade may submit to this contest. Home-schooled and international students are also eligible.

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Nonfiction Contests for High School Students

Like fiction, non-fiction is often also accepted in contests with multiple categories. However, there are quite a few contests accepting only non-fiction essays as well.

The American Foreign Services Association Essay Contest

  • Award Amount: $1,250 to $2,500
  • Deadline: April 3, 2023

The American Foreign Services Association sponsors a high school essay contest tasking students with selecting a country or region in which the United States Foreign Service has been involved at any point since 1924 and describe, in 1,500 words or less, how the Foreign Service was successful or unsuccessful in advancing American foreign policy goals in this country/region and propose ways in which it might continue to improve those goals in the coming years .

One winner will receive $2,500 as well as a Washington D.C. trip and a scholarship to attend Semester at Sea . One runner-up receives $1,250 and a scholarship to attend the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leadership Conference.

Entries must be from US students in grade nine through 12, including students in the District of Columbia, US territories, or US citizens attending school abroad, including home-schooled students.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Contest

  • Award Amount: $100 - $10,000
  • Deadline: January 13, 2023

The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage contest tasks students with writing an essay between 700 and 1,000 words on an act of political courage by a US elected official serving during or after 1917 , inspired by John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage . Each essay should cover the act itself as well as any obstacles or risks the subject faced in achieving their act of courage. Essays must not cover figures previously covered in the contest, and should also not cover John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, or Edward M. Kennedy.

One first-place winner will receive $10,000, one second-place winner will receive $3,000, five finalists will receive $1,000 each, and eight semi-finalists will win $100 each.

The contest is open to students in grades nine through 12 who are residents of the United States attending public, private, parochial, or home schools . Students under the age of 20 in correspondence high school programs or GED programs, as well as students in US territories, Washington D.C., and students studying abroad, are also eligible.

SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest

  • Award Amount: $300 - $1,000 scholarships
  • Deadline: February 19, 2023 (submissions open in November)

The SPJ/JEA high school essay contest , organized by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, asks students to  analyze the importance of independent media to our lives (as of now, the official essay topic for spring 2023 is TBD) . Essays should be from 300 to 500 words.

A $1,000 scholarship is given to a first-place winner, $500 to second-place, and $300 to third-place.

The contest is open to public, private, and home-schooled students of the United States in grades 9-12 .

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Playwriting Contests for High School Students

For those who love the stage, playwriting contests are a great option. An original play can earn you great rewards thanks to any of these contests!

VSA Playwright Discovery Program Competition

  • Award: Participation in professional development activities at the Kennedy Center
  • Deadline: January 4, 2023 (Application opens in October)

The VSA Playwright Discovery Program Competition asks students with disabilities to submit a ten-minute script exploring their personal experiences, including the disability experience . Scripts may be realistic, fictional, or abstract, and may include plays, screenplays, or musical theater.

All entries are due in January. Scripts may be collaborative or written by individuals, but must include at least one person with a disability as part of the group .

One winner or group of winners will be selected as participants in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Winners will have access to professional assistance in developing their script as well as workshops and networking opportunities.

This contest is open to US and international students in ages 14 to 18 . Groups of up to five members may collaborate on an essay, but at least one of those students must have a disability.

Worldwide Plays Festival Competition

  • Award: Professional production in New York
  • Deadline: March (official 2023 deadline TBD)

In the Worldwide Plays Festival Competition , students from around the world can submit an eight-minute script for a play set in a part of a neighborhood —specifically, at a convenience store, outside a character's front door, or at a place where people convene. Each play must have roles for three actors, should not have a narrator who isn't also a character, and should not contain set changes.

Entries are due in February. Winners will have their play produced by professionals at an off-Broadway New York theater . Scholarships are also available for winners.

Any student, including US and international, in first through 12th grade may submit work for consideration.

  • Award Amount: $50 - $200 cash prize
  • Deadline: 2023 deadline TBD (application opens January 2023)

Students may submit a one-act, non-musical play of at least ten pages to YouthPLAYS for consideration . Plays should be appropriate for high school audiences and contain at least two characters, with one or more of those characters being youths in age-appropriate roles. Large casts with multiple female roles are encouraged.

One winner will receive $250, have their play published by YouthPLAYS, and receive a copy of Great Dialog , a program for writing dialog. One runner up will receive $100 and a copy of Great Dialog.

Students must be under the age of 19, and plays must be the work of a single author.

The Lewis Center Ten-Minute Play Contest

  • Deadline: Spring of each year

Students in grade 11 may submit a ten-minute play for consideration for the Lewis Center Ten-Minute Play Contest . Plays should be 10 pages long, equivalent to 10 minutes.

One first-prize winner will receive $500, one second-prize winner will receive $250, and one third-prize will receive $100.

All entries must be from students in the 11th grade .

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Poetry Writing Contests for High School Students

For those who prefer a little free verse or the constraints of a haiku, there are plenty of poetry-specific contests, too.

Creative Communications Poetry Contest

  • Award Amount: $25
  • Deadline: December

Students in ninth grade or below may submit any poem of 21 lines or less (not counting spaces between stanzas) for consideration in the Creative Communications Poetry Contest .

Students may win $25, a free book, and school supplies for their teacher .

Public, private, or home-schooled US students (including those in detention centers) in kindergarten through ninth grade may enter.

Leonard L. Milberg '53 High School Poetry Prize

  • Award Amount: $500-$1500
  • Deadline: November 

Students in 11th grade may submit up to three poems for consideration in the Leonard L. Milberg '53 High School Poetry Prize . Submissions are due in November .

One first-prize winner will receive $1500, one second-prize winner will receive $750, and a third-prize winner will receive $500. Poems may be published on arts.princeton.edu. All entrants must be in the 11th grade.

Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

  • Award Amount: $500 - $5,000 renewable scholarship, $350 cash prize
  • Deadline: October 31, 2022

Women poets who are sophomores or juniors in high school may submit two poems for consideration for the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest .

One first-place winner will receive a $350 cash prize, publication in and ten copies of Cargoes , Hollins' student magazine, as well as a renewable scholarship of up to $5,000 for Hollins and free tuition and housing for the Hollinsummer creative writing program. One second-place winner will receive publication in and two copies of Cargoes, a renewable scholarship to Hollins of up to $1,000, and a $500 scholarship to attend Hollinsummer.

Applicants must be female students in their sophomore or junior year of high school .

What's Next?

If you're looking for more money opportunities for college , there are plenty of scholarships out there— including some pretty weird ones .

For those who've been buffing up their test scores , there are tons of scholarships , some in the thousands of dollars.

If you're tired of writing essays and applying for scholarships, consider some of these colleges that offer complete financial aid packages .

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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Essay Writing Contests: The Ultimate List of 2024

creative essay contests

Did you know that the very first recorded essay contest can be traced back to the early 16th century, initiated by none other than the renowned philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne? In 1580, Montaigne published his collection of essays titled 'Essais,' which not only marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of the essay as a literary form but also contained an implicit challenge to his readers. He encouraged them to engage with his ideas and respond by writing their own essays, essentially laying the groundwork for what we now recognize as essay contests.

Fast forward to the vibrant year of 2024, and this tradition of writing competitions has evolved into a global phenomenon, offering emerging writers from all walks of life a captivating platform to share their thoughts, emotions, and narratives with the world.

In this article, our essay writer will review essay writing contests, presenting you with an exclusive selection of the most promising opportunities for the year ahead. Each of these competitions not only provides a stage to demonstrate your writing prowess but also offers a unique avenue for personal growth, self-expression, and intellectual exploration, all while competing for impressive writing awards and well-deserved recognition.

Top Essay Writing Contests in 2024

If you enjoy expressing your thoughts and ideas through writing, you're in for a treat. Essay writing competitions in 2024 offer you a chance to do just that and win some great prizes in the process. We've put together a list of contests specially designed for students like you. These contests cover various interesting essay topics , giving you a unique opportunity to showcase your writing skills and potentially earn cash prizes or scholarships. So, let's jump right into these fantastic opportunities.

Top Essay Writing Contests in 2024

2024 International Literary Prize by Hammond House Publishing

The 2024 Writing Competition beckons writers with over £3000 in cash prizes, publication opportunities in anthologies, and a chance to participate in a televised Award Ceremony. Sponsored by the University Centre Grimsby, this annual contest, now in its eighth year, draws entries from approximately 30 countries worldwide. Entrants can vie for prizes across four categories, gaining exposure at the televised award ceremony and receiving expert feedback at the annual literary festival.

And if you're determined to learn how to overcome writer's block for this contest, we have a wealth of expert tips and strategies to guide you through the process!

Deadline: 30th September 2024

  • 1st Prize: £1000
  • 2nd Prize: £100
  • 3rd Prize: £50

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International Voices in Creative Nonfiction Competition by Vine Leaves Press

Vine Leaves Press welcomes writers worldwide, prioritizing voices from marginalized communities such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities, among others. Submissions, which must be in English and previously unpublished, are accepted from February 1, 2024, until July 1, 2024. Manuscripts can be either narrative (50,000 – 80,000 words) or experimental (at least 100 pages), adhering to specific formatting guidelines, including anonymity to ensure impartial judging. Each submission requires a $25 entry fee via Submittable, and multiple entries are allowed. Entries will be judged based on originality, creativity, writing quality, and adherence to genre, with finalists announced in October 2024, shortlisted in January 2025, and winners in March 2025.

Deadline: July 01, 2024

  • The winner will receive a cash prize of $1000.
  • Publication of the winning manuscript will occur in 2026 by Vine Leaves Press.
  • Runners-up will also be considered for publication.

Solas Awards by Best Travel Writing

The Solas Awards, continuing a tradition since 1993, celebrate travel stories that inspire. They're looking for engaging tales that capture the essence of exploration, whether funny, enlightening, or adventurous. Winners may get published and join a community of fellow storytellers. Entries in essay, non-fiction, and travel genres are welcome with a $25 submission fee.

Deadline: September 21, 2024

  • $1,000 Gold
  • $750 Silver
  • $500 Bronze

Vocal Challenges by Creatd

Vocal, in partnership with Voices in Minor (ViM), announces a creator-led challenge in celebration of International Women's Day, open to all Vocal creators. Participants are invited to write a 600-800 word piece about a woman who has inspired them for International Women's Day in the Year of the Dragon 2024. Submissions must adhere to specific length criteria and can be of any genre or format. Vocal will review entries and create a shortlist, from which ViM will select two co-grand prize winners and ten runners-up.

Deadline: Mar 12, 2024

  • 2 Co-Grand Prizes: $200
  • 10 Runners-up: $20

Cambridge Re:think Essay Competition 2024

The Re:think Essay Competition welcomes students aged 14 to 18 worldwide to participate in crafting essays under 2000 words, following MLA 8 citation style, with submissions undergoing plagiarism and AI checks. Essay prompts cover diverse themes, such as the role of women in STEM , provided by distinguished professors from prestigious institutions like Harvard, Brown, UC Berkeley, Cambridge, Oxford, and MIT. To maintain anonymity during review, submissions should be in PDF format without personal details.

Deadline : 10th May, 2024

  • Gold: $150 cash, $500 CCIR scholarship, digital certificate, interview, Cambridge invite.
  • Silver: $100 cash, $300 CCIR scholarship, digital certificate, interview, Cambridge invite.
  • Bronze: $50 cash, $200 CCIR scholarship, digital certificate, interview, Cambridge invite.

The Hudson Prize by Black Lawrence Press

Each year, Black Lawrence Press presents The Hudson Prize, inviting submissions for an unpublished collection of poems or prose. This competition is open to writers at all stages of their careers, offering the winner book publication, a $1,000 cash prize, and ten copies of the published book. Entries are read blind by a panel of editors, requiring manuscripts to adhere to specific formatting guidelines, including pagination and font choice. Poetry manuscripts should be 45-95 pages, while prose manuscripts should range from 120-280 pages.

Deadline : March 31, 2024

  • Top prize $1,000

essay contest 2024

Irene Adler Prize by Lucas Ackroyd

Introducing The Irene Adler Prize essay writing contest, offering a $1,000 US scholarship to the winner, with up to two $250 awards for honorable mentions. Open to women pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degrees in journalism, creative writing, or literature worldwide, regardless of age. Unlike previous years, this year's competition welcomes applicants from any country. The application period runs from January 30, 2024, to May 30, 2024, with no late submissions accepted. Each application requires a 500-word essay on one of five provided prompts and a completed entry form, both submitted via email.

Deadline : May 30, 2024

  • 2x honorable mentions: $250

100 Word Writing Contest by Tadpole Press

With a doubled first-place prize of $2,000 USD, participants are invited from all corners of the globe, regardless of age, gender, or nationality. Pen names are accepted, and winning entries will be published under those names. Previously published pieces are also welcome, with no restrictions. Any genre is accepted, with the theme centered around creativity. Each entry must be 100 words or less, including the title.

Deadline : April 30, 2024

  • 1st place: $2,000 USD.
  • 2nd place: Writing coaching package valued at $450 USD.
  • 3rd place: Developmental and diversity editing package valued at $250 USD.

African Diaspora Awards 2024 by Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

The African Diaspora Award 2024 seeks original works from Afro-descendants, including short stories, flash fiction, essays, poetry, or visual art. Winners can earn up to $1000 USD and publication in Kinsman Quarterly and "Black Butterfly: Voices of the African Diaspora." Submissions reflecting cultural themes are due by June 30, 2024. Authors retain copyrights, and entrants must be 18 or older. No plagiarism is allowed, and Kinsman Quarterly employees cannot enter. Various genres are accepted with specific word count limits.

Deadline : June 30, 2024

  • Grand Prize: $1000 cash and publication in Kinsman Quarterly & anthology.
  • 1st Runner Up: $300 cash and publication 
  • 2nd Runner Up: $200 cash and publication 
  • 3rd Runner Up: $50 cash and publication
  • Top 6 Finalists: $25 Amazon gift card and publication 
  • 6 Honorary Mentions: Publication in Kinsman Quarterly & anthology.

Work-In-Progress (WIP) Contest by Unleash Press

The Unleash WIP Award 2024 offers $500, feedback, coaching, and a feature in Unleash Lit to help writers with their book projects in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. All writers can apply. So, if you're looking for resources like free Harvard online courses to hone your writing skills, consider entering this competition. Submissions of the first 25 pages and answers to questions are due by July 15, 2024. Multiple entries are okay, but follow the rules, especially keeping your submission anonymous. Unleash also welcomes previously self-published works.

Deadline : July 15, 2024

  • Top prize: $500
  • Additional prizes: Coaching, interview, and editorial support

Aurora Polaris Creative Nonfiction Award by Trio House Press

Open to all writers, the poetry manuscripts should be 48-70 pages, and the prose manuscripts should be up to 80,000 words. Submissions must be from U.S. residents and must be original works. AI-generated submissions and translations are not eligible. Manuscripts should be sent as a single Word doc. or docx. file with no identifying information, and a cover letter with bio and contact details should be uploaded separately.

Deadline: May 15, 2024

  • $1,000, publication, and 20 books

2024 International Literary Prize by Hammond House Publishing

Poetry & Spoken Word Competition 2024 by Write the World

Young writers aged 13 to 19.5 are invited to enter this upcoming competition, with submissions of 50 to 500 words. Inspired by Audrey Lorde's words and the power of poetry, participants are encouraged to craft original poems or spoken word pieces advocating for change and self-expression. Winners, including top prizes for written and recorded performances, will be announced on June 14. Malika Booker, a renowned British poet, serves as the guest judge. To enter, writers should sign up on Write the World, respond to the prompt, and submit their final entries before the deadline.

Deadline : May 27, 2024

  • Best entry: $100
  • Best Peer Review: $50

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

The Killer Nashville essay writing contests seek to uncover new talent and recognize outstanding works by established authors, aiming to introduce their works to a broader audience. With numerous fiction and non-fiction categories available, writers have the opportunity to showcase their talent across a wide range of genres. The top prize includes a $250 award, and entry requires a fee of $79. Genres eligible for entry encompass crime, essay, fantasy, fiction, humor, memoir, mystery, non-fiction, novel, poetry, science fiction, script writing, short story, and thriller.

Deadline : June 15, 2024

  • Top prize: $250

Journalism Competition 2024 by Write the World

In this upcoming competition, young writers aged 13 to 19.5 are invited to participate, with entries ranging from 400 to 1000 words. Participants are tasked with exploring and reporting on significant events within their own country, fostering a deeper understanding of local issues. Optional draft submissions for expert review are available until July 8, with feedback returned to writers by July 12. Winners will be announced on August 9. To enter, writers must sign up for a free account on Write the World, respond to the prompt, and submit their final entries before the deadline.

Deadline : July 22, 2024

National Essay Contest by U.S. Institute of Peace

This year, AFSA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the United States Foreign Service. They've been involved in important events throughout history, like making decisions about war and peace, supporting human rights, and responding to disasters. Now, AFSA wants students to think about the future of diplomacy. They're asking students to imagine how diplomats can adapt to the changing world and its challenges. It's a chance for students to explore how diplomacy can continue to make a difference in the world.

Deadline : April 01, 2024

  • Top prize: $2,500
  • Additional prizes: Runner-up: $1,250

In 2023, the world of writing competitions offers a diverse tapestry of opportunities for writers across the globe. From exploring the depths of nature to delving into the mysteries of microfiction, these competitions beckon with enticing prizes and platforms for your creative voice. So, pick your favorite, sharpen your pen, and embark on a journey of literary excellence!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Writing Contests Through 2024

Regardless where you are on your writing journey, you can benefit from entering contests.

The right contest can tell you:

  • Where you stand
  • How you measure up against the competition
  • What you still need to learn

And you could win cash.

That’s why my team researched a wide range of high-quality contests. We’ve included free competitions and also many with modest entry fees.

  • Short Story Writing Contests
  • Full Manuscript Writing Contests
  • Poetry Writing Contests

Great American Fiction Contest

Prize: 1st: $1,000, publication in The Saturday Evening Post

Runners-up (5): $200

Entry Fee: $10

Deadline: TBD 2024 (Annual Contest)

Sponsor: The Saturday Evening Post

From Website: “Unpublished short stories of 1,500 to 5,000 words in any genre touching on the publication’s mission, “Celebrating America—past, present, and future.” No extreme profanity or graphic sex. Work published on a personal website or blog is still eligible.”

SiWC Writing Contest

Prize: 1st: $1,000 plus publication

Honorable Mention: $150

Entry Fee: $15

Deadline: September 15, 2024

Sponsor: Surrey International Writers’ Conference

From Website: “Short stories in any genre must be 2,500-4,000 words. All submissions must contain original material and may not have been previously published, accepted for publication, or have been a winner in another contest prior to the deadline.”

WOW / Women On Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction Competition

Prize: 1st: $400, $25 Amazon gift certificate

2nd: $300, $25 Amazon gift certificate

3rd: $200, $25 Amazon gift certificate

Runners-up (7): $25 Amazon gift certificate

Honorable mentions (10): $20 Amazon gift certificate

Entry Fee: $10 (or $20 with feedback)

Deadline: Quarterly (next deadline February 2, 2024)

Sponsor: WOW / Women On Writing

From Website: “Runs four times a year and is open to all styles and genres. Closes each quarter after 300 entries have been received, or at the deadline. WOW also runs a quarterly nonfiction essay competition with cash prizes.”

Bristol Short Story Prize

Prize: 1st: £1,000 (~$1,242)

2nd: £500 (~$621)

3rd: £250 (~$310)

Shortlisted (17): £100 (~$124)

Entry Fee: £9 (~$11)

Deadline: TBD 2024

Sponsor: Bristol Short Story Prize

From Website: “Open to all published and unpublished writers 16 and up. No geographical restriction, but all entries must be in English. Maximum length 4,000 words (not including title). No minimum length. Stories can be on any subject.”

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Prize: £2,500 (~$3,105)

Winners also receive further non-monetary prizes including publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual.

Entry Fee: £18 (~$22) (Poetry Category entry fee is ~$15) 

Deadline: August 31, 2024

Sponsor: Aesthetica Magazine

From Website: “Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Works published or entered elsewhere are accepted. Any theme accepted. You may enter as many times as you wish, however, each work requires a separate fee and submission form.”

The Lascaux Prize

Prize: $1,000

Finalists receive $100

Deadline: June 20, 2024

Sponsor: The Lascaux Review

“Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction categories. 

Flash fiction entries should not exceed 1,000 words. All genres and styles welcome. 

From Website: “Creative nonfiction entry length must not exceed 10,000 words. All topics welcome but should be written in a nonacademic style. May include memoirs, chronicles, personal essays, humorous perspectives, literary journalism—anything the author has witnessed, experienced, learned, or discovered.”

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Prize: First place: £3,000 cash grant (~$3,726)

Second place: £1,000 travel expense (~$1,242)

Third place: £1,000 travel expense (~$1,242)

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: March 1, 2024

Sponsor: The Alpine Fellowship

From Website: “Entries must fit the annual theme. Maximum of 2,500 words. All genres of writing are permitted, including fiction, non-fiction, and non-academic essays. Open to all nationalities but must be written in English. Stories must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online. No entries that have won or been placed in another competition at any time.”

ServiceScape Short Story Award

Deadline: November 29, 2024

Sponsor: ServiceScape

From Website: “All entries must be original, unpublished works of short fiction or nonfiction, up to 5,000 words in length. Any genre or theme accepted.”

Bacopa Literary Review Contest

Prize: $200 Award 

$100 Honorable Mention in each of six categories

Sponsor: The Writers Alliance of Gainesville

From Website: “Awards in 6 categories (contestants may submit to only ONE category). Fiction (up to 2,500 words), Creative Nonfiction (up to 2,500 words), Humor (up to 2,000 words), Formal Poetry (1-3 poems), Free Verse Poetry (1-2 poems), Visual Poetry (1 poem).”

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Prize: $.08 per word and publication

Deadline: February 1, 2024

Sponsor: National Space Society and Baen Books

From Website: “Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration. What they want to see: Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, and adventure.”

Parsec Short Story Contest

Prize: First place: $200 and publication in the Confluence program book. 

Second place: $100 

Third place: $50 

Best Youth Story: $50

Deadline: March 31st, 2024

Sponsor: Parsec, Inc.

From Website: “Each annual contest is based on a theme provided. This can be conveyed in the setting, plot, characters, and dialogue; the only limit is your imagination. The theme must be integral to the story in some way and not just mentioned in passing. No minimum word count, no more than 3500 words. The 2024 Contest theme is ‘AI mythology.’” 

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Prize: First place: $2000 

Second place: $500 

Third place: $250 

Two Editor’s Choice: $125

Entry Fee: $18

Deadline: May 15, 2024

Sponsor: Carve Magazine

From Website: “One short story per entry. No limit to entries. Must be previously unpublished (including online) with a 10,000 maximum word count. We accept entries from anywhere in the world, but the story must be English-language. No genre fiction (romance, horror, sci-fi); literary fiction only.”

Blurred Genres Flash Contest

Prize: First Place: $750 

Second Place: $350 

Third Place: $150 

Publication of Top Five

Sponsor: Invisible City (University of San Francisco)

From Website: “Based on a theme (for example last year’s theme was “Levity”) that can be interpreted through prose, poetry, or some combination of the two. All genres and themes are welcome. Contest submissions must be 750 words or less and can be flash fiction/nonfiction, prose poetry, or some unique combination of the three. Submissions must be the original work of the submitter and unpublished (and not slated for future publication).”

Imagine 2200: Write the future

Prize: First Place: $3,000

Second Place: $2,000 

Third Place: $1,000

An additional nine finalists will each receive $300 

All winners and finalists will have their stories published in an immersive collection on Grist’s website

Sponsor: Grist

From Website: “Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to our world. 3,000 to 5,000 word stories envisioning a world where we prioritize our well-being, work to mend our communities, and lead lives that celebrate our humanity.”

The Elegant Literature Award For New Writers

Prize: First place: $3,000 and 10c/word and publication. Free enrollment in the New Novelist Accelerator.

Second – Tenth: 10c/word and publication.

Eleventh – Thirty-fifth: $20 and an honorable mention in the magazine

Entry Fee: Requires Elegant+ Membership ($9.99 a month)

Deadline: Ongoing (monthly)

Sponsor: Elegant Literature Magazine

From Website: “Write a story involving annual theme. New or unpublished authors may enter. Word count is 500-2000. All genres are welcome as long as it involves the theme.”

F(r)iction Contests

Prize: $300.00 and consideration for publication in F(r)iction

Entry Fee: $10 for a single entry, $12 for three entries

Deadline: April 30, 2024

Sponsor: F(r)iction

From Website: “Competitions in several categories, short stories (1,001 – 7,500 words), flash fiction (up to 1,000 words), and Poetry (up to three pages per poem). Entries are accepted regardless of genre, style, or origin. Experimental, nontraditional, and boundary-pushing literature is strongly encouraged. Their guidelines include the phrase ‘Strange is good.’”

Manchester Fiction Prize

Prize: £10,000 (~$12,420)

Entry Fee: £18 (~$22) 

100 reduced-price (£10 or ~$13) entries are available to entrants who might not otherwise be able to take part in the competition.

Sponsor: Manchester Metropolitan University

From Website: “The Manchester Fiction Prize asks for a short story of up to 2,500 words in length. Stories submitted should be new work, not previously published elsewhere. The Prize is open internationally to those aged 16 or over.”  

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

Prize: Grand Prize $5000, an interview with them in Writer’s Digest (Nov/Dec 2023 issue) and on WritersDigest.com, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a special trophy presentation at the keynote, a coveted Pitch Slam slot at the Writer’s Digest Conference where the winner will receive one on one attention from editors or agents, and publication of their winning piece on WritersDigest.com

First Place: $1,000 and publication of their winning piece on WritersDigest.com

Second Place: $500 

Third Place: $250 

Fourth Place: $100 

Fifth Place: $50 

Sixth through Tenth Place: $25 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com.

Entry Fee: $20-30 (varies depending on category)

Deadline: May 6, 2024 

Sponsor: Writer’s Digest

From Website: “Only original works that have not been published (at the time of submission) in print, digital, or online publications will be considered. Self-published work in blogs, on social media, etc. will be considered. For the script category, only unproduced scripts will be considered. Entries in the Nonfiction Essay or Article category may be previously published. All entries must be in English. Memoirs/Personal Essay, Nonfiction Essay or Article, and Children’s/Young Adult Fiction: 2,000 words maximum. Mainstream/Literary Short Story, Genre Short, Story, and Humor: 4,000 words maximum. Inspirational Writing: 2,500 words maximum. Rhyming Poem and Non-rhyming Poem: 40 lines maximum.”

Emerging Writer’s Contest

Prize: Publication, $2,000, review from Aevitas Creative Management, and a 1-year subscription for one winner in each of the three genres

Entry Fee: Free for subscribers to Ploughshares, $24 for nonsubscribers

Sponsor: Ploughshares (Emerson College)

From Website: “The contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book. Fiction and Nonfiction: Under 6,000 words. Poetry: 3-5 pages.”

Wells Festival of Literature Short Story Competition

Prize: First Place £750 (~$932)

Second Place £300 (~$373)

Third Place: £200 (~$248)

Entry Fee: £6 (~$8)

Sponsor: Wells Festival of Literature

From Website: “Stories may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words. All entries must be the exclusive and original work of the entrant. At the time of entry, the work submitted must not have been entered into any other Competition and must not have been published in any format or location.”

Anthology Short Story Competition

Prize: First Place: €1,000 (~$1098), the chance to see their work published in a future issue of Anthology, and a one-year subscription to Anthology 

Second Place: €250 (~$275)

Third Place: €150 (~$165)

Entry Fee: Early Bird: €12 (~$13)

Standard fee: €18 (~$20)

Deadline: July 31, 2024

Sponsor: Anthology Publishing

From Website: “Established to recognize and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, the Anthology Short Story Competition is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. There is no restriction on theme or style. Stories submitted must not exceed the maximum of 1,500 words.” 

The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Prize: £1,000 (~$1,246) and publication in Wasafiri’s print magazine

Entry Fee: £10 (~$12) for a single entry, £16 (~$20) for a double entry

Sponsor: Wasafiri Magazine 

From Website: “Exceptionally international in scope, the prize supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. No entry may exceed 3,000 words. A single poetry entry can include up to three poems, which together total no more than 3,000 words.”

2024 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

Prize: $1000 and a free 10-week course with Gotham Writers

Entry Fee: $25

Sponsor: Gotham Writers and Selected Shorts

From Website: “This long-running series at Symphony Space in New York City celebrates the art of the short story by having stars of stage and screen read aloud the works of established and emerging writers. Selected Shorts is recorded for Public Radio and heard nationally on both the radio and its weekly podcast.”

Robert and Adele Schiff Awards

Prize: $1,000 All entries will be considered for publication in The Cincinnati Review

Entry Fee: $20

Sponsor: The Cincinnati Review (University of Cincinnati)

From Website: “Writers may submit up to 8 pages of poetry, 40 pages of a single double-spaced piece of fiction, or 20 pages of a single double-spaced piece of literary nonfiction, per entry. Previously published manuscripts, including works that have appeared online (in any form), will not be considered. There are no restrictions as to form, style, or content; all entries will be considered for publication. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable under the condition that you notify us if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.” 

Salamander 2024 Fiction Prize

Prize: First Place: $1,000 and Publication

 Second Place: $500 and Publication

Deadline: TBD 2024 

Sponsor: Salamander Magazine

From Website: “All entries will be considered for publication and will be judged anonymously. Each story must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. Previously published works and works accepted for publication elsewhere cannot be considered. Salamander’s definition of publishing includes electronic publication.”

BOA Short Fiction Prize

Prize: $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions, Ltd.

Deadline: May 31, 2024

Sponsor: BOA Editions, Ltd.

From Website: “Entrants must be U.S. citizens, legal residents of the U.S., or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or Legal Permanent Status (LPS). Entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Minimum of 90 pages; maximum of 200 pages. Manuscript text should be at least 12 pt. font, double-spaced. As with all BOA fiction titles, our prize-winning short story collections are more concerned with the artfulness of writing than the twists and turns of plot. It is our belief that short story writing is a valuable and underserved literary form that we are proud to support, nurture, and celebrate.”

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Prize: First Place: $3,000 

Entry Fee: $22

Deadline: May 1, 2024

Sponsor: Winning Writers (Co-sponsored by Duotrope)

From Website: “For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. All themes accepted. Entries may be published or unpublished. Length limit: 6,000 words maximum. No restriction on the age of the author.”

Gabriele Rico Challenge for Nonfiction

Prize: $1,333

Deadline: November 1, 2024

Sponsor: Reed Magazine

From Website: “C reative nonfiction, such as personal essays or narratives, not scholarly papers or book reviews. All works should be stand-alone essays, not chapters of a longer work. Previously published work is not eligible. Up to 5,000 words.”

53-Word Story Contest

Prize: Publication in Prime Number Magazine and a free book from Press 53.

Deadline: Ongoing. 15th of each month

Sponsor: Prime Number Magazine

From Website: “New prompt each month. Judges are looking for stories with a surprising approach to the prompt, something unusual and creative. Stories must be 53 words—no more, no less. Stories with fewer than or more than 53 words will be disqualified. Send only stories; poetry with line breaks will not be considered.”

Letter Review Prize for Short Fiction

Prizes: Three Winners are announced who are published and share in the $1000 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted. All entries considered for publication, and for submission to the Pushcart Prize and other anthologies.

Deadline: Awarded every two months

Sponsor: Letter Review

From Website: “Word Length: 0 – 5000 words. Open to anyone in the world. There are no genre or theme restrictions.”

Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction

Entry Fee: $20.

From Website: “0 – 5000 words. Open to anyone in the world. We welcome all forms of nonfiction including: Memoir, journalism, essay (including personal essay), fictocriticism, creative nonfiction, travel, nature, opinion, and many other permutations.”

University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize

Prize: $10,000 advance on royalties and a contract to publish with the University of New Orleans Press

Entry Fee: $28

Sponsor: University of New Orleans

From Website: “Entries must be unpublished novels or short story collections. The work does not have to be regionally focused. There is no word limit. There is no restriction on subjects covered. The contest is open to all authors from around the world, regardless of publishing history.  Works of fiction (novels and short story collections) only. Submissions must be your entire manuscript.”

The Bath Novel Awards 

Prize: Two £3,000 (~$3738) prizes are awarded annually for the best manuscript as judged by literary agents

All shortlistees win feedback on their full manuscript.

Entry Fee: £29 (~$36)

Deadline: May 31st 2024

Sponsor: The Bath Novel Award (co-sponsored by Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and Professional Writing Academy)

From Website: “Submit the opening 5,000 words plus one-page synopsis of novel manuscripts for adults or young adults. Completed works must be over 50,000 words. Novels can be for adult or young adult readers and any genre. Must be your original work and submitted in English. Novels can be unpublished, self-published, or independently published.”

The Times/Chicken House Competition

Prize:  First Place: worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000 (~$12,459), plus an offer of representation by this year’s agent judge, Davinia Andrew-Lynch of Curtis Brown. 

Second Place: Lime Pictures New Storyteller Award. A publishing contract with a royalty advance of £7,500 (~$9,344) plus an offer of representation by Davinia Andrew-Lynch.

Entry Fee: £20 (~$25)

Deadline: June 1, 2024

Sponsor: The Times and Chicken House 

From Website: “To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. A minimum of 30,000 words and a maximum of 80,000 words suggested.”

The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction

Prize: $5,000 advance and publication by Dzanc Books

Deadline: September 30, 2024

Sponsor: Dzanc Books

From Website: “The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction recognizes daring, original, and innovative novels (generally over 40,000 words, but there is no hard minimum). The contest is open to new, upcoming, and established writers alike. Agented submissions are also eligible, and we ask that you include all agency contact information with the application. All submitted works must be previously unpublished novel-length manuscripts and should include a brief synopsis, author bio, and contact information.”

Claymore Award

Prize: Discounted admission to Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference, with introductions to agents/editors (And probably publishing contract)

Entry Fee: $45 (Full critique included for $125)

Deadline: April 1, 2024

Sponsor: Killer Nashville

From Website: “The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract. These can include Action Adventure, Comedy, Cozy, Historical, Investigator, Juvenile/YA, Literary, Mainstream/Commercial, Mystery, Nonfiction, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Short Story Collections, Southern Gothic, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller, and Western manuscripts, and any of their derivatives. (Self-published manuscripts are considered already published and are not eligible.)”

St. Martin’s Minotaur / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Prize: Publication and a $10,000 advance

Sponsor: Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America

From Website: “Open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any published novel and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. All Manuscripts submitted must be original works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words), written in the English language, written solely by the entrant, and must not violate any right of any third party or be libelous. Murder or another serious crime is at the heart of the story.”

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

Prize: $10,000 advance and publication

Sponsor: Restless Books

From Website: “Created in 2015 to honor outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. 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). Fiction candidates must not have previously published a book of fiction in English. Nonfiction candidates must not have previously published a book of nonfiction in English.”

New American Fiction Prize

Prize: $1,500 and a book contract, as well as 25 author’s copies and promotional support

Deadline: January 15, 2024

Sponsor: New American Press

From Website: “Manuscripts should be at least 100 pages, but there is no maximum length. All forms and styles of full-length fiction manuscripts are welcome, including story collections, novels, novellas, collections of novellas, flash fiction collections, novels in verse, and other hybrid forms.”

Your Next Best Read

Prize: First Place (Fiction & Nonfiction): $100 Cash Price, 6-month Advertising Package, Press Release, Editorial Review, Newsletter Announcement, Promotional Creatives

Second Place Awards (Fiction & Nonfiction): 6-month Advertising Package, Editorial Review, Newsletter Announcement

Third Place (Fiction & Nonfiction): 3-month Advertising Package, Editorial Review, Newsletter Announcement

Deadline: May 5, 2024

Sponsor: Excalibre Publishing

From Website: “ The contest is open to writers of all backgrounds, ages, and nationalities. Both published and unpublished works are welcome. We encourage submissions in various/ALL genres –  fiction, non-fiction, poetry (submit in nonfiction), and short stories. No specific wordcount requiered. Submissions must be in English.”

Letter Review Prize for Manuscripts

Prizes: Three Winners are announced who have a brief extract published, receive a letter of recommendation from our Judges for publishers, and share in the $1000 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted.

Entry Fee: $25.

Deadline: Awarded Every two months

From Website: “Please submit the first 5000 words of your manuscript, whether it be prose or poetry. Open to anyone in the world. The entry must not have been traditionally published. We are seeking all varieties of novels, short story collections, nonfiction, and poetry collections. We will accept manuscripts which are unpublished, self published, and some which are indie published. Review full entry guidelines for further details.”

2nd place in fiction & non-fiction $750 cash prize and trophy

3rd place in fiction & non-fiction $500 cash prize and trophy

Winner of each of the 80+ categories $100 cash prize and gold medal

Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize

Prize: $2,500 plus publication

Entry Fee: $30

Sponsor: Kent State University Press

From Website: “Offered annually to a poet who has not previously published a full-length collection of poems. The winner and the competition’s judge will give a reading together on the Kent State campus. The competition is open to poets writing in English who have not yet published a full-length collection of poems (a volume of 50 or more pages published in an edition of 500 or more copies).”

Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry

Prize: $2,000 plus publication

Sponsor: Lynx House Press

From Website: “Awarded for an unpublished, full-length volume of poems by a U.S. author, which includes foreign nationals living and writing in the U.S. and U.S. citizens living abroad. Manuscripts may include poems that have appeared in journals, magazines, or chapbooks. Poems that have previously appeared in full-length, single-author collections, are not eligible.”

Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Prize: First Place: €750 ($890) 

Second Place: €500 ($590) 

Third Place: €250 ($295)

Entry Fee: €5 ($6)

Deadline: Every Tuesday at 12pm (Irish time) from April 11, 2023 – January 30, 2024

Sponsor: Ó Bhéal

From Website: “Five words will be posted on this competition page. Entrants will have one week to compose and submit one or more poems which include all five words given for that week. Entry is open to all countries. Poems cannot exceed 50 lines in length (including line breaks), and must include all five words listed for the week.”

Letter Review Prize for Poetry

Prizes: Three Winners are announced who are published and share in the $800 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted. All entries considered for publication, and for submission to the Pushcart Prize and other anthologies.

Entry Fee: $15.

From Website: “70 lines max per poem Open to anyone in the world. There are no style or subject restrictions.”

  • Advice for Researching Writing Competitions

This list includes only a few of the many writing contests you can find online.

Here are some tips for looking into options on your own:

1. Narrow your search with details that are relevant to you, for example, “writing contests in Texas,” “writing contests for women authors,” or “writing contests for veterans.” 

2. Be genre-specific.

3. Include the year in your search to ensure the most up-to-date results. 

4. Carefully read the guidelines and eligibility requirements. 

5. Pay attention to the contest sponsor. Only submit to reputable hosts.  

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Looking for a Writing Contest to Enter?

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Hannah Yang

Different writing contests

Writing contests can be a useful way to send your work out into the world. With a strong submission and a bit of luck, you can win publication, recognition, and even cash prizes.

This article will give you the inside scoop on the most high-quality writing contests to enter.

Are Writing Contests Worth Entering?

What are some writing contests that are free to enter, how can i increase my chances of winning, where can i find more writing contests.

Entering writing contests can be useful for several reasons:

  • They give you a deadline and often even a prompt to write about , which many writers find motivating
  • The results can help you get a sense of where you are on your writing journey and how you can improve your craft
  • Winning a contest can be a fantastic boost to your journey as a writer

The benefits of writing competitions

On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that it takes a lot of luck to win a contest, since there are usually only a few winners chosen from among hundreds of strong contestants.

If your goal is to get your writing published, you’ll likely fare better by submitting to magazines and anthologies than by entering contests.

Download our free eBook on how to publish your writing

If your goal is to make money, you should prioritize freelance writing jobs instead.

With that being said, there are many incredible writing contests out there that can absolutely be worth your while, as long as you enter with realistic expectations.

The best option for your writing goal

Many writing contests cost fees to enter, since they give out cash prizes and hire guest judges that they need to pay for their time.

Charging an entry fee doesn’t necessarily mean the contest is a scam. It does mean, however, that you need to be judicious about which contests to submit your work to.

Free writing contests are more accessible to all writers, and there’s nothing to lose from giving them a shot.

We’ve compiled a list of legitimate, high-quality writing contests that charge no entry fees.

Prose Weekly Challenge

Prose, a social network for readers and writers, offers weekly challenges meant to spark your creativity. This is a fun, low-stakes challenge, with a small cash prize to sweeten the deal.

Prize: Each week’s winner receives $100. Guidelines: Submit a short piece of writing (up to 500 words) related to the weekly prompt. Deadline: Weekly.

Prose Weekly Challenge

Prime Number Magazine 53-Word Story Contest

Press 53’s Prime Number Magazine hosts a monthly micro-fiction contest based on a theme.

All stories must be exactly 53 words long. There’s no cash prize, but this can be a fun and low-stakes contest to participate in if you’ve got some spare time and are looking for a writing prompt.

Prize: Publication, a free book from Press 53. Guidelines: Submit a 53-word story based on a monthly prompt. Open to writers around the world who write in English. Deadline: Monthly on the 15th of each month.

Prime Number Magazine 53-Word Story Contest

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction is an annual short story contest co-hosted by Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire.

If you live in the UK and are interested in crime stories, this is a great contest to consider, with a £500 for the winner and publication for the runners-up.

Prize: £500 ($692) for first place, and publication for 10 shortlisted authors. Guidelines: Submit a short story (between 2,000 and 6,000 words). The theme for the 2022 Prize is "Crime Stories." Only residents of the UK age 18 or older are eligible. Deadline: October 29, 2021.

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

Commonwealth Short Fiction Prize

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual short fiction contest administered by the Commonwealth Foundation.

If you’re a short story writer and a citizen of a Commonwealth country, this contest is a fantastic option, with a generous £5,000 cash prize for the winner.

Prize: £5,000 ($6,922) for the overall winner and £2,500 ($3,461) for regional winners. Guidelines: Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country and age 18 or over. Submit a short story (between 2,000 and 5,000 words). As well as English, stories are accepted in the Bengali, Chinese, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil, and Turkish languages. Translated entries from any language into English are also eligible. Deadline: November 1, 2021.

Commonwealth Short Fiction Prize

ServiceScape Short Story Award

ServiceScape is a platform that matches freelance writers, editors, and graphic designers with clients. They offer a yearly Short Story Award with a $1,000 prize.

Prize: $1,000 for first place and publication on the ServiceScape blog. Guidelines: Accepts original, unpublished work (5,000 words or fewer) in any genre, fiction or non-fiction. Writers must be age 18 or older. Deadline: November 29, 2021.

ServiceScape Short Story Award

The Roswell Award

The Roswell Award is an annual science fiction contest with a $500 prize, co-presented by Sci-Fest L.A. and the Light Bringer Project.

This is a great option if you like using your writing to unite the worlds of science and art.

Prize: $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. Guidelines: Submit a science fiction story. Open to writers around the world age 16 or older. Writers are encouraged to explore scientific, social, technological, environmental, and philosophical themes in their writing and always, at the core, to master the art of great storytelling. Deadline: December 21, 2021.

The Roswell Award

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest

The Writers of the Future Contest is the most enduring and influential contest in the history of science fiction and fantasy.

The contest is held once every three months, with a generous $1,000 prize.

Prize: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. Guidelines: Submissions must be short stories or novelettes (up to 17,000 words) in the genre of science fiction or fantasy. Open to new and amateur writers around the world. Deadline: Quarterly on December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30.

Find Out More

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award is an annual contest, co-hosted by the National Space Society and Baen Books, for stories about manned space exploration.

If you’re interested in the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science, this is a great option that pays professional rates.

Prize: Professional paying rates (8 cents per word). The winner’s story will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website. The winner will also receive free entry into 2020 International Space Development Conference and a prize package with various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. Guidelines: Submit a short story (up to 8,000 words) that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration. The judges want to see moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, and/or adventure. Open to writers around the world who write in English. Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was February 1, 2021).

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

The Fountain Essay Contest

Fountain Magazine holds an annual contest for essays related to the personal challenges you’ve faced in your life.

Challenges can span from moving across the country and starting at a new high school or getting out of bed in the morning while undergoing depression. There are generous cash prizes for the winners.

Prize: $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $300 for third place, and $150 each for two honorable mentions. Guidelines: Submit a personal essay (between 1,500 and 2,500 words) on the annual theme. All writers worldwide are eligible. Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was March 1, 2021).

The Fountain Essay Contest

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Every year, The Alpine Fellowship awards writing, visual arts, and theater prizes related to an annual theme.

This is an extremely competitive fellowship, with global recognition for the winner and a whopping £10,000 first place prize.

Prize: £10,000 ($13,840) for first place, £3,000 ($4,150) for second place, and £2,000 ($2,770) for third place. Guidelines: Submit a piece of writing related to the annual theme (2021’s was "Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilization"). Entries must be unpublished and a maximum of 2,500 words. Poetry, prose, or non-academic essays welcome. Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was April 1, 2021).

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest is a contest for humor poems. This is a really fun contest if you like wordplay and witticisms, and you might even win $2,000.

Prize: $2,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $100 each to 10 honorable mentions. Guidelines: Writers of all ages can submit an original, humorous poem with 250 lines or less. The poem you submit should be in English. Inspired gibberish is also accepted. Deadline: April 1, 2022.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Parsec Short Story Contest

Parsec Ink holds an annual contest for science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories from non-professional writers, with a small cash prize for the winners.

Prize: $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. Guidelines: Submit a short story (up to 3,500 words) based on the annual theme. The 2022 theme has not yet been announced. (The 2021 theme was "Still Waters, Deep Thoughts"). Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was April 15, 2021).

Parsec Short Story Contest

Bacopa Literary Review Contest

Bacopa Literary Review is an international journal published by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville. They hold an annual contest that welcomes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

Prize: $300 for first place and $100 for second place in each of four genres: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Prose Poetry. Guidelines: Submit a piece of writing in one of the four genres. You can find detailed guidelines for each genre on the website. Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was May 31, 2021).

Bacopa Literary Review Contest

Stony Brook Southampton Short Fiction Prize

The Stony Brook Southampton Short Fiction Prize is a short story contest specifically for college students.

If you’re an undergraduate and want to try a writing contest, this is a fantastic option because you have a smaller set of competitors.

Prize: $1,000, a scholarship to the 2021 Southampton Writers’ Conference, and consideration for publication in TSR: The Southampton Review . Guidelines: Only full-time undergraduates in United States and Canadian universities and colleges are eligible. Submissions must be short fiction (7,500 words or less). Deadline: June 1, 2022.

Stony Brook Southampton Short Fiction Prize

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group holds an annual contest for short stories based on a theme.

There’s no cash prize, but all winning stories are published in their anthology, and you can receive royalties from sales.

Prize: Winning stories will be edited and published, and authors will receive royalties from the anthology. Guidelines: Submit a short story (between 5,000 and 6,000 words) related to the annual theme. Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was September 1, 2021).

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest

Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest

Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to medical humanities, holds an annual contest for essays related to medicine, with a generous $5,000 cash prize.

Prize: $5,000 for the winner and $2,500 for the runner-up. Guidelines: Submit a short essay (up to 1,500 words) on any topic so long as it has a relation to medicine. The essay can include art, history, literature, education, and more. Writers must be age 18 or older. Deadline: TBD 2022 (the previous year’s deadline was September 15, 2021).

Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest

Owl Canyon Press Short Story Hackathon

Owl Canyon Press holds an annual “ hackathon ” for 20-paragraph stories, with a $1,000 prize.

The contest provides the first and last paragraph and the short story writer crafts the rest.

Prize: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. Publication in a short story anthology for 24 finalists. Guidelines: Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 20 paragraphs. The contest provides the 1st and 20th paragraphs, and the short story writer crafts the rest. There is no entry fee for submissions received during the first month of the contest. Deadline: TBD 2022 (last year’s deadline was September 30, 2020).

Owl Canyon Press Short Story Hackathon

Transitions Abroad Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest

The Transitions Abroad Writing Contest is an annual contest for essays related to your experience abroad. If you’ve ever lived and worked abroad, this is a great contest with a $500 cash prize.

Prize: $500 for first place, $150 for second place, $100 for third place, and $50 for all finalists. Guidelines: Submit a practical and inspiring essay or mini-guide (between 1,200 and 5,000 words) that provides in-depth descriptions of your experience moving, living, and working abroad (including any form of work such as teaching English, internships, volunteering, short-term jobs, etc.). The contest is open to writers from any location around the globe. Deadline: TBD 2022 (last year’s deadline was October 15, 2020).

Transitions Abroad Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest

Writing Battle Summer Flash Fiction

Writing Battle is a quarterly contest where writers are assigned prompts and have 2 days to write 1000 words. You are guaranteed feedback from you writing peers, plus you can win some money

Prize: $5,000 split between the four winners and publication.

Guidelines: Accepts original, unpublished work that matches the prompts and genre assigned. Writers must be aged 18 or older.

Deadline: August 7, 2022

Atlas Shrugged Novel Essay Contest

The Atlas Shrugged novel essay contest is open to all students globally. Atlas Shrugged is a heroic mystery novel written by Ayn Rand. Choose a prompt and write a 800-1,600 word essay in English. First prize: $10,000; 3 second prizes: $2,000; 5 third prizes: $1,000; 25 finalists: $100; 50 semi-finalists: $50.

Prize: First prize: $10,000, 3 second prizes: $2,000, 5 third prizes: $1,000, 25 finalists: $100, 50 semi-finalists: $50.

Guidelines: Choose a prompt and write an 800–1,600 word essay in English. All students globally can apply.

Deadline: Annually on November 6

Each of these contests has different requirements. What works for one probably will not work for another.

But what will increase your chance in every contest is good grammar and a solid structure. This is where ProWritingAid can help.

We may not be able to write your story for you, but we can help you submit your best work.

ProWritingAid’s 25 reports provide personalized, in-depth feedback on everything from grammar and spelling to pacing, word choice, passive voice, and more.

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Sign up for a free account to see how ProWritingAid can help you.

There are many resources for writers that compile lists of writing contests. You should check these regularly, as different writing contests have different submission periods.

Some of my favorite resources include:

  • Poets & Writers
  • Winning Writers

With many writers’ sites, you can filter for free contests specifically, and you can also filter by the type of work you want to submit.

I usually check these sites once a season (fall, winter, spring, summer) to compile a list of the contests I want to submit to.

Do you have a favorite writing contest? Let us know in the comments.

FREE WEBINAR: How to Improve Your Chances of Winning the Debut Dagger , Nov 11, 2pm ET / 7pm UK

improve your chances of winning the debut dagger, Nov 11 2pm ET / 7pm UK

Have you been thinking about entering your story for the CWA Debut Dagger this year? The deadline isn’t until the end of February but we want to help you prepare.

We’ve invited Dea Parkin, Secretary of the Crime Writers’ Association, and Leigh Russell, Chair of the Debut Dagger judges, to come and share their insider information. Learn what the judges are looking for and how to give your story the best shot at winning.

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Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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The Best Student Writing Contests for 2023-2024

Help your students take their writing to the next level.

We Are Teachers logo and text that says Guide to Student Writing Contests on dark background

When students write for teachers, it can feel like an assignment. When they write for a real purpose, they are empowered! Student writing contests are a challenging and inspiring way to try writing for an authentic audience— a real panel of judges —and the possibility of prize money or other incentives. We’ve gathered a list of the best student writing contests, and there’s something for everyone. Prepare highly motivated kids in need of an authentic writing mentor, and watch the words flow.

1.  The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

With a wide range of categories—from critical essays to science fiction and fantasy—The Scholastic Awards are a mainstay of student contests. Each category has its own rules and word counts, so be sure to check out the options  before you decide which one is best for your students.

How To Enter

Students in grades 7-12, ages 13 and up, may begin submitting work in September by uploading to an online account at Scholastic and connecting to their local region. There are entry fees, but those can be waived for students in need.

2.  YoungArts National Arts Competition

This ends soon, but if you have students who are ready to submit, it’s worth it. YoungArts offers a national competition in the categories of creative nonfiction, novel, play or script, poetry, short story, and spoken word. Student winners may receive awards of up to $10,000 as well as the chance to participate in artistic development with leaders in their fields.

YoungArts accepts submissions in each category through October 13. Students submit their work online and pay a $35 fee (there is a fee waiver option).

3. National Youth Foundation Programs

Each year, awards are given for Student Book Scholars, Amazing Women, and the “I Matter” Poetry & Art competition. This is a great chance for kids to express themselves with joy and strength.

The rules, prizes, and deadlines vary, so check out the website for more info.

4.  American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest

If you’re looking to help students take a deep dive into international relations, history, and writing, look no further than this essay contest. Winners receive a voyage with the Semester at Sea program and a trip to Washington, DC.

Students fill out a registration form online, and a teacher or sponsor is required. The deadline to enter is the first week of April.

5.  John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

This annual contest invites students to write about a political official’s act of political courage that occurred after Kennedy’s birth in 1917. The winner receives $10,000, and 16 runners-up also receive a variety of cash prizes.

Students may submit a 700- to 1,000-word essay through January 12. The essay must feature more than five sources and a full bibliography.

6. Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington College offers competitions in three categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), and nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). First-place winners receive $500. Grab a poster for your classroom here .

The contest runs from September 1 to November 1. The website links to a student registration form.

7. The Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest

Looking for student writing contests for budding playwrights? This exclusive competition, which is open only to high school juniors, is judged by the theater faculty of Princeton University. Students submit short plays in an effort to win recognition and cash prizes of up to $500. ( Note: Only open to 11th graders. )

Students submit one 10-page play script online or by mail. The deadline is the end of March. Contest details will be published in early 2024.

8. Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students

The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in 11th grade. Prizes range from $100 to $500.

Students in 11th grade can submit their poetry. Contest details will be published this fall.

9. The New York Times Tiny Memoir Contest

This contest is also a wonderful writing challenge, and the New York Times includes lots of resources and models for students to be able to do their best work. They’ve even made a classroom poster !

Submissions need to be made electronically by November 1.

10.  Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

The deadline for this contest is the end of October. Sponsored by Hollins University, the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest awards prizes for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school. Prizes include cash and scholarships. Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.

Students may submit either one or two poems using the online form.

11.  The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is open to high school sophomores and juniors, and the winner receives a full scholarship to a  Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop .

Submissions for the prize are accepted electronically from November 1 through November 30.

12. Jane Austen Society Essay Contest

High school students can win up to $1,000 and publication by entering an essay on a topic specified by the Jane Austen Society related to a Jane Austen novel.

Details for the 2024 contest will be announced in November. Essay length is from six to eight pages, not including works cited.

13. Rattle Young Poets Anthology

Open to students from 15 to 18 years old who are interested in publication and exposure over monetary awards.

Teachers may choose five students for whom to submit up to four poems each on their behalf. The deadline is November 15.

14. The Black River Chapbook Competition

This is a chance for new and emerging writers to gain publication in their own professionally published chapbook, as well as $500 and free copies of the book.

There is an $18 entry fee, and submissions are made online.

15. YouthPlays New Voices

For students under 18, the YouthPlays one-act competition is designed for young writers to create new works for the stage. Winners receive cash awards and publication.

Scroll all the way down their web page for information on the contest, which accepts non-musical plays between 10 and 40 minutes long, submitted electronically. Entries open each year in January.

16. The Ocean Awareness Contest

The 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest, Tell Your Climate Story , encourages students to write their own unique climate story. They are asking for creative expressions of students’ personal experiences, insights, or perceptions about climate change. Students are eligible for a wide range of monetary prizes up to $1,000.

Students from 11 to 18 years old may submit work in the categories of art, creative writing, poetry and spoken word, film, interactive media and multimedia, or music and dance, accompanied by a reflection. The deadline is June 13.

17. EngineerGirl Annual Essay Contest

Each year, EngineerGirl sponsors an essay contest with topics centered on the impact of engineering on the world, and students can win up to $500 in prize money. This contest is a nice bridge between ELA and STEM and great for teachers interested in incorporating an interdisciplinary project into their curriculum. The new contest asks for pieces describing the life cycle of an everyday object. Check out these tips for integrating the content into your classroom .

Students submit their work electronically by February 1. Check out the full list of rules and requirements here .

18. NCTE Student Writing Awards

The National Council of Teachers of English offers several student writing awards, including Achievement Awards in Writing (for 10th- and 11th-grade students), Promising Young Writers (for 8th-grade students), and an award to recognize Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines.

Deadlines range from October 28 to February 15. Check out NCTE.org for more details.

19. See Us, Support Us Art Contest

Children of incarcerated parents can submit artwork, poetry, photos, videos, and more. Submissions are free and the website has a great collection of past winners.

Students can submit their entries via social media or email by October 25.

20. The Adroit Prizes for Poetry & Prose

The Adroit Journal, an education-minded nonprofit publication, awards annual prizes for poetry and prose to exceptional high school and college students. Adroit charges an entry fee but also provides a form for financial assistance.

Sign up at the website for updates for the next round of submissions.

21. National PTA Reflections Awards

The National PTA offers a variety of awards, including one for literature, in their annual Reflections Contest. Students of all ages can submit entries on the specified topic to their local PTA Reflections program. From there, winners move to the local area, state, and national levels. National-level awards include an $800 prize and a trip to the National PTA Convention.

This program requires submitting to PTAs who participate in the program. Check your school’s PTA for their deadlines.

22. World Historian Student Essay Competition

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international contest open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, as well as those in home-study programs. The $500 prize is based on an essay that addresses one of this year’s two prompts.

Students can submit entries via email or regular mail before May 1.

23. NSHSS Creative Writing Scholarship

The National Society of High School Scholars awards three $2,000 scholarships for both poetry and fiction. They accept poetry, short stories, and graphic novel writing.

Apply online by October 31.

Whether you let your students blog, start a podcast or video channel, or enter student writing contests, giving them an authentic audience for their work is always a powerful classroom choice.

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The Comprehensive List of 2024 Writing Contests

  • on Dec 14, 2023
  • in International Writing Events
  • Last update: March 13th, 2024
  • at 11:45 am

Anyone who has participated in writing events before–such as NaNoWriMo –knows how effective it can be to write against the clock, and that’s where writing contests come in! These contests can be a great way to develop your skills, challenge yourself against other writers, and, above all else, win an award for your work!

creative essay contests

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, writing contests can be a great way to boost your skills, challenge yourself, and get your work in front of a wider audience. With so many contests to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top writing contests for 2024. Whether you’re interested in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or children’s writing, there’s sure to be a contest on this list that’s perfect for you. So what are you waiting for? Start writing and get your submissions in!

Mississippi Review Contest

Eligibility & Restrictions

The contest is open to all writers in English except current or former students or employees of The University of Southern Mississippi. Fiction and non-fiction entries should be 1000-8000 words; poetry entries should be three to five poems, totaling ten pages or less.

Mississippi Review Prize

Submit three to five poems totaling up to 10 pages, or a short story or an essay of 1,000 to 8,000 words,

Southeast Review: World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest

Send up to three short-short stories per submission. Each short-short should be no more than 500 words. Do not include personal identification information within your submissions.

Southeast Review: Gearhart Poetry Contest

Send up to three poems, no more than 10 pages total. Include no more than one poem per page. Do not include personal identification information within your submissions.

Southeast Review: Ned Stuckey-French Nonfiction Contest

Send essays up to 10 pages. Do not include personal identification information within your submissions.

Robert Watson Literary Prize

Entries must be previously unpublished. Length restrictions: no more than 7,500 words or 25 typed, double-spaced pages for fiction. Each story counts as one entry. Poetry entries can include any number of poems up to 10 pages, but they recommend 5 to 7 poems per submission.

The Letter Review Prize for Poetry

The submitted poem can be up to 70 lines. The Prize is open to anyone, from anywhere in the world. There are no style or subject restrictions: all poems welcome.

The Letter Review Prize for Short Stories

The submitted short stories can be up to 5000 words. The Prize is open to anyone, from anywhere in the world. There are no theme or genre restrictions: all entries welcome.

Gemini Magazine Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Submitted poems can be of any length, subject, or style. Each contestant can submit up to three poems.

Emma Howell Rising Poet Prize

Poets 35 years old and younger who have not previously published a book-length poetry manuscript are eligible. Poets who have previously published chapbooks are welcome to enter. Manuscripts that have been submitted in previous years may be resubmitted.

Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize

Entry must be short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina. Entries may be fiction or creative non-fiction, but must be unpublished, no more than 3,000 words, and concerned with the lives and experiences of North Carolina African-Americans. Entries may be excerpts from longer works, but must be self-contained.

Immerse Education Essay Competition

The Immerse Education Essay Competition is open to entries from young people aged 12-18 interested in all subjects, from Architecture to Medicine, Creative Writing to Film Studies.

DISQUIET Prize

Anyone above 18 can enter. Only previously unpublished work in English can be submitted. Entries should be the work of a single author. For fiction: ONE short story or novel excerpt, maximum 25 (double-spaced) pages per entry. For non-fiction: ONE nonfiction piece or book excerpt, maximum 25 (double-spaced) pages per entry. For poetry: No more than SIX poems per entry, up to 10 pages total.

Fan Story 80 Word Flash Fiction Contest

A drabble is a flash fiction story that uses 80 words. That is the challenge of this contest. Write a story (on any topic) using 80 words. The title does not count towards the word count. The submitted work must be between 78 – 82 words.

The Winter Anthology Contest

Anyone can enter. Please send as much poetry or prose of which you are the sole author and that were not written earlier than 1999.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

Essays can be no more than 1,000 words but must be a minimum of 700 words. Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count. Essays must be the original work of the student. Essays must have a minimum of five sources.

Colorado Prize for Poetry

The competition is open to anyone, except Colorado State University students, alumni, and employees. Manuscripts must be at least 48 pages but no more than 100 pages. They may be composed of any number of poems. The theme and style are both open. Manuscripts may consist of poems that have been published, but the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished.

William Matthews Poetry Prize

Submit 3 poems in a single file, any style, any subject, any length. Previously published work and translations are not eligible. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Desert Writers Award

The application requires a project proposal, a biographical statement, and a writing sample of no more than 10 pages. Please submit all materials in one document.

Rattle Chapbook Prize

Each poet may submit 15–30 pages of poems in English only (no translations). Individual poems may be previously published in any format, but the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished as a collection.

Driftwood Press Poem Contest

Submitters may send up to five poems in a single document for consideration. Each poem must not exceed sixty lines. Prose poetry, experimental poetry, and poetry with a visual element are all welcome. Any submissions should be written primarily in English.

Rose Post Creative Non-Fiction Contest

The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Simultaneous submissions are ok, but please notify them immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Each entry must be an original and previously unpublished manuscript of no more than 3,500 words.

Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest

All high-school-age students are invited to submit unpublished, original English-language stories of up to 2,000 words in length for the 9th Annual “Storytellers of Tomorrow” Contest. The sole criterion for earning prizes in this contest is simply overall quality, meaning that well-edited, engaging, and evocative stories have the best chance of winning over the judges.

Driftwood Press Short Story Contest

The entry should be between 1,000-5,000 words. The work must not have been previously published. Submit works written in English only, no translations.

Bethesda Essay Contest

Essays must be limited to 500 words or less about a topic of the writer’s choosing. Only one entry per person. Your essay must be your original work. Any essays containing material that is obscene or objectionable will be disqualified. Previously published essays are not eligible for Adult Submissions. Residents of Washington, D.C. and the select counties of Maryland (Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard and Frederick) and Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria) are eligible. High School entries must be residents or attend a school in Montgomery County, MD or Washington, D.C.

The Cooper Prize | Norwich Writers

Write a ghost short story (2000 words max) with a strong male character. Word Limit: 2000 words. It can be set in any time – present day, the past, or even a sci-fi ghost story set in the future.

NYC Midnight: The Short Story Challenge

There are four rounds of competition. In each round, writers are placed randomly in groups and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment. Writers have to write an original story based on the assignment within a given time limit. The word limit decreases in each round, from 2,500 words in the 1st Round to 1,250 words in the 4th Round

Law Day Contest

This contest is only open to students who live in Oklahoma. Entries are limited to one per student in each contest.

Fan Story My Faith Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Share a poem that is about your faith or how faith has impacted your life. Any type of poem accepted.

The Bournemouth Writing Prize

Anyone above 16 can enter. Short Story length: Up to 3000 words maximum. It can be about any topic and in any style. Poetry length: Up to 42 lines. They are looking for poetry that is fresh and unexpected.

This Sentence Starts The Story

Anyone can enter. Write a story that starts with this sentence: The house was empty. You have the option to put it in quotes (for dialogue) and to change the punctuation at the end for proper grammar.

Retreat West First Chapter Competition

Submit your first chapter only. International entries are welcome but first chapters must be written in English and can be up to 3,000 words (no minimum word count) and on any theme and subject (except children’s fiction).

Room 204 Writer Development Scheme

Please submit up to three examples of your creative writing. Your submission should total no more than 3,000 words – this is 3,000 words for all three examples, not 3,000 words each.

Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Poems cannot exceed 50 lines in length (including line breaks), and must include all five words listed for the week. A modicum of poetic license is acceptable, as long as the original spelling is intact. Poems should be newly written, during this 7-day period. There is no limit to volume of entries. Entrants should be at least 18 years of age at the date of submission.

Fan Story Take A Photo Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Write a poem about a photo you’ve taken.

Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

All entries must be formatted as a single-spaced word document or PDF. Font: Arial, 12pt. This is to standardise entries so that all stories are treated equally. Only entries that are under the 1000-word limit (not including the title) will be accepted.

Magma Poetry Competition

The competition is open to anyone, including non-UK residents, except Magma Poetry Board members and their families. Poems may be on any subject, and must be in English and your own original work. They must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, broadcast, or have won or been placed in another competition at any time.

Pulp Fictional

All stories to be written in English. Stories must be your own work and not have been published, in any way, online or in print, or won any other competitions. Anyone over the age of 18 can enter. You can enter as many times as you want but must pay each time.

Parracombe Prize 2024

To enter this contest, simply submit a short story of no more than 2,023 words. Entries must be in English, your own original work, and must not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.

The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition

The competition is for anyone aged 16 and over, from anywhere in the world. Poems must be in English, your original work, on any subject, in any style, no longer than 40 lines. Poems should have neither been published elsewhere (including self-published) by 16th April 2024.

Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize

The entries can’t have been previously published. Maximum number of words is 4,000 in English.

Lancashire Authors’ Association Open Competition

Anyone 16 or above can enter. The story must be exactly 100 words. Entries must be original, unpublished work which is not currently submitted for publication or entered into any other competition or award.

The BookLife Prize

Both unpublished or self-published books in the English language are eligible for the BookLife Prize. Entries must contain 40,000 to 100,000 words.

Clash of the Query Letters

One page—maximum 500 words. Only original, unpublished, unrepresented work may be submitted. Word documents & PDFs are accepted. The winning submissions will be published on the Chopping Blog. All entrants will be notified of winners and shortlist by email.

Arts & Letters Prize

Send only one submission per genre at any one time. In other words, submitting a short story and an essay at the same time is fine, but please wait to hear from them before submitting another story. All submissions must be typed and all prose double-spaced.

Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards

Students may enter one piece of writing between 500 and 1,000 words in length, typed, and double spaced. Each entry must be original work of the entrant, and have an out door theme.

Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Send up to 5 of your best unpublished poems, any style or subject matter, no more than 7 pages in total.

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award

All entries must be Canadian-authored titles published in English between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023 and available through bookstores and libraries. Only first collections of short fiction are eligible. Co-authored or multi-authored collections are not eligible. Posthumously published works are not eligible.

The Fiction Desk

Submitted stories should be between 1,000 and 10,000 words in length; please do not send anything longer or shorter than this. Most of the stories published are between about 2,000 and 7,000 words.

River of Words Competition

The contest is open to K–12th grade students, ages 5–19. Students must be enrolled in school to be eligible. All entries must be submitted by a parent, guardian, educator, or facilitator unless the student is 18 years old or older. Poems should not exceed 32 lines in length (written) or 3 minutes (signed). For ASL poetry, please include a brief written summary of the poem’s content.

Cambridge Autumn Festival Short Story Competition

Anyone can enter. The word limit is 1500 words.The theme for this year’s competition is “The Dilemma” .

Teignmouth Poetry Festival Open Poetry Competition

Poems may be on any subject, must be the original work of the entrant, unpublished and not accepted for publication in any medium. They must not have been awarded a prize in any other competition. Poems should be in English and not exceed 40 lines of text, no minimum. Titles, epigraphs, dedications and blank lines are not included in the line count.

The British Haiku Society Poetry competition

Anyone can enter. Submissions must be in English, unpublished and not concurrently entered for any other competition, and remain unpublished until the results are declared. Submissions should not appear in any print or online publication, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), or forums as the competition is anonymous. There is no limit on the number of submissions per competitor.

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

Entrants should submit a collection of poems. Manuscripts must be previously unpublished. Some or all of the poems in the collection may have appeared in periodicals, chapbooks, or anthologies, but these must be identified. Manuscripts must be at least 48 typed pages. The preferred length is between 60 and 100 pages.

Cheshire Prize for Literature

The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire. Entry must be an original and previously unpublished. You must have your parent’s or guardian’s consent to enter the competition if you are under the age of 18.

Fiction Factory Flash Fiction Competition

The max length of the story shouldn’t be more than 1,000 words, sent as a Word document. All types of stories are welcome (excluding Children’s and Young Adult Fiction).

Ethos Literacy Annual Short Short Story Contest

The story cannot be longer than 100 words. Write on one of these topics: bicycles, eclipse, fire, suitcase.

National High School Poetry Contest

Entrants must be a high school student or a home-schooled student in grades nine through twelve. Students from anywhere in the United States may enter. Poems may be in rhyme, free verse, Haiku or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 40 lines. No entry may have been previously published.

EngineerGirl Essay Contest

Elementary school student stories must be no more than 800 words. Middle school student essays must be no more than 1,000 words. High school student essays must be no more than 1,200 words. You must also include a reference list of 8 resources. Each resource should be listed using the APA citation style.

St. Gallen Symposium Esay Competition

Essay (max. 2,100 words, excl. abstract, bibliography, and footnotes). Individual work expected, no group work allowed. The essay must be written exclusively for this contest. The idea must be the author’s own.

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.

Winter Flash Fiction Writing Battle

1000 Word limit (not including title page). Name or address cannot be written anywhere. All stories are separated into their respective genres and each compete in a single-elimination tournament specific to its genre.

Border Crossing Contest

For flash fiction genre: Up to 1000 words per flash fiction submission. Microfiction up to 400 words apiece is also accepted. Submit no more than two flashes or micros, up to 1000 words total, in one single document. For poetry genre: Submit 3-5 poems in one document up to 10 pages.

Bath Flash Fiction Award

Anyone above 16 can enter. Entries can be on any theme or subject but must be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 13 years are not eligible. Max length is 300 words. Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize.

Fan Story 20 Syllable Poem Contest

Write a poem that has exactly 20 syllables in any format.

NFPW Communications Contest for High School Students

All 2024 contest entries must have been published, e-published, broadcast, or issued between February 1, 2023, and January 31, 2024. Entries must be produced by a current high school student or a recently graduated student who produced the work in their senior year after February 1, 2023. Entries must have been professionally published/produced or published/produced by a school or professional publication in a recognized medium for the category such as a school, local or national newspaper, a website, a school, local or national television production and the like.

NFPW Communications Contest for Professionals

The NFPW Communications contest is open to anyone regardless of gender, professional status or location. College students do not have to be 18 to enter any of the categories in the Collegiate Division. High school students may enter the professional contest if they are acting in a professional capacity.

The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize

The work you submit must be unpublished, and must not have been accepted for future publication or self-published. In addition, anyone who has previously had a full-length novel accepted for publication is not eligible to enter. Entrants must be resident in the UK or Ireland.

Fan Story 3-6-9 Poem Contest

Anyone can enter. The poem should have three stanzas. The subject can be anything.

Hachette Children’s Novel Award

Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain there for at least another 12 months. Over the age of 18. A debut author of middle-grade and early teen fiction. Please submit your initial 3000-6000 words and synopsis.

Northern Writers’ Awards for Poetry

Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain there for at least another 12 months. Over the age of 18. Working on a full-length collection of poetry.

Northern Debut Awards: Poetry

Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain there for at least another 12 months. Over the age of 18. A debut poet: you may have published a pamphlet and had individual poems in magazines and anthologies but you should not yet have published a full collection.

Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award

Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain there for at least another 12 months. Over the age of 18. A final-year undergraduate; current postgraduate student or alumni who has graduated from an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at Northumbria University within the last ten years.

Young Northern Writers’ Awards

This award is open to young writers aged 11-18 in the North of England. Young writers can submit creative work in any form including prose, poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, songwriting and rap. This award is made possible through New Writing North’s partnership with their lead partner Northumbria University.

Matthew Hale Award

This award is for a young person aged 11-18 based in the North of England. Entrants must be 18 years or under on 12 February 2024 when the awards close. Young writers can submit creative work in any form including prose, poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, songwriting and rap.

Writers’ & Artists’ Short Story Competition

Submit a short story (for adults) of no more than 2,000 words on the theme of ‘risk’.

IndieReader Discovery Awards

Only books that have been either self-published or published by an independent publisher and have an ISBN or ASN can enter.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The 2024 Next Generation Indie Book Awards is open to all indie book authors and publishers including independent publishers (small, medium or otherwise), university presses, self-published authors, e-book authors, seasoned authors and even first time authors in the U.S., Canada or internationally who have a book, a manuscript, or a galley proof written in English and published in 2022, 2023 or 2024 or with a 2022, 2023 or 2024 copyright date.

Adventures in Fiction Spotlight First Novel Award

Current and previous apprentices are not eligible. Novelists commercially published (in English) are not eligible. Self published writers are eligible.

Achievement Awards in Writing

The contest accepts submissions in any genre, as long as they are original, unpublished, and written in English. The submissions must be based on a specific theme developed by the Achievement Awards Advisory Committee. The contest is open to schools in the United States, US territories, Canada, and American Schools Abroad that are US accredited. The submissions are only accepted from teachers; students may not self-nominate

Promising Young Writers Program

Ambroggio prize.

U.S. Citizen. Poets are not eligible to apply if they have studied with the judge in full-time accredited courses within the last three years. Works translated into Spanish from another language are ineligible.

Morton and McCarthy Prizes

This contest is open to any short fiction writer of English. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously published collections are not eligible. Length: between 150-250 pages.

Anchorage Annual Statewide Creative Writing Contest

The contest is open to Alaska residents. College students who maintain Alaska residency may enter. All judges, editorial or administrative employees of Anchorage Daily News, faculty or administrative employees of the University of Alaska and board members of the Alaska Center for the Book, and their immediate family are ineligible. Work published previously in any copyrighted newspaper, magazine, book or other medium is ineligible. Writing for school publications may be entered. Entries must be original. Contestants may enter one work of fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), one work of non- fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), and up to three poems. A contestant may enter all categories in his or her age group.

Writing Press: Sci-fi & Fantasy Contest

You must be at least 18 years old. There are no location restrictions, but you must comply with your local laws regarding online competitions and prize money. Word Count: 500 – 1,500.

Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

U.S. Citizens. Only books published in the United States during 2023 are eligible for the 2024 prize. Books must be published in a standard edition (48 pages or more). Collaborations by up to two translators are eligible.

Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards

Contestants must be current high school seniors at a public high school in the United States graduating Spring of 2024; 21 years of age and under; plan to enroll in an accredited two-year or four-year college, university, or approved vocational-technical school Fall 2024.

3 Minute Drama Competition

The length of any entry into any category should not exceed three minutes in performance, and you are advised to time the entry’s performance before submitting. The maximum word count for a story entry is 500 words.

Short Prose Competition

Original, unpublished fiction or nonfiction up to 2,500 words in the English language. Writers who have had no more than one book published (traditionally or self-published) in any genre or language and who are not currently under contract for a second book. Writers not published in book format are also eligible. Writers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Fan Story Nonet Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. It has to be a nonet, but it can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.

The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition

Entrants must be at least 16 years of age, and under 19 years of age, on 23 February 2024. Entrants must be in full or part-time education at a school, college or other educational institution in the United Kingdom. Students enrolled on higher education courses are not eligible to enter the competition. Entries for the Tower Poetry Prize 2023 must be on the designated theme. Entries must be written in English, and be no more than 48 lines in length.

The Elmbridge Literary Competition

Short stories must be in English, previously unpublished and a maximum length of 1000 words (8-13 years) or 1500 words (14+). Poems must be in English, previously unpublished and a maximum length of 30 lines typed, using a standard, legible font, double-spaced on single sides of A4 paper.

Fan story Horror Writing Contest

Anyone can enter. The contest accepts entries in the genre of horror or thriller

Fan Story Share A Story In A Poem Contest

Anyone can enter. In this contest you are challenged to write a poem that tells a story and also rhymes.

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize

Maximum number of words is 300. The title is not included in the word limit. The winning stories must be available for the Fish Anthology, and therefore must not have been published previously. Fish holds publishing rights for one year after publication, after which publishing rights revert to the author

Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest

Entrants must be Canadian (citizen or resident). Submissions must be unpublished, nor can they have been accepted for publication elsewhere. Submissions are accepted online only.

The Annual Lancaster Writing Award

The word limit for criticism and fiction is 1500 words. The limit for poems is 25 lines. The limit for screenplays is 8 pages. Essays you have written at school are eligible for entry. To enter you must be in year 12 or 13.

Red Hen Press Women’s Prose Prize

25,000 word minimum, 80,000 word maximum. Entries will be accepted via Submittable only. The award is open to all women writers with the following exceptions: Authors who have had a full-length work published by Red Hen Press, or a full-length work currently under consideration by Red Hen Press, employees, interns, or contractors of Red Hen Press, and relatives of employees or members of the executive board of directors.

WOW! Women on Writing Creative non-fiction Essay Contest

All women can enter. Entries should be creative non-fiction in English. Maximum words: 750. Minimum words: 250.

Fiction Factory First Chapter + Synopsis Competition

Send a maximum of 5,000 words of your First Chapter only. (If your opening chapter is longer, send the entire chapter but clearly mark the 5,000 word point). In the same document, send a one page synopsis (not included in the word-count).

Blue Mesa Review Writing Contest

This competition is open to original English language works in the genres of Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. The submission must be an unpublished work. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.

Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

The international competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors from all over the world – and is for short stories of up to 3,500 words. The story cannot have been previously published anywhere, or shortlisted for this competition.

Flash 500 Short Stories Competition

Stories should range between 1,000 and 3,000 words, with strong characters, a well-crafted plot and realistic dialogue (where used).

Southword Poetry Prize

They welcome submissions of up to four poems . If your work has been selected from an unsolicited submission and published in Southword before, they will ask that you please don’t submit for one year before submitting again.

The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition

The competition is open to all students of school age including not only those in schools and college communities, but also students who are home educated and in any other young people’s community organisations. The maximum word count is 500 words. There is no minimum word count.

The Isobel Lodge Award

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to all writers worldwide, published and unpublished. You do not have to be Scottish to enter the competition. Word limit: 2,000 words (not including the title)

The Debut Dagger Award

The international competition, open to anyone in the world writing in English, is for the opening of a crime novel (max. 3,000 words) and synopsis (max. 1,500 words). The crime novel – of any subgenre; including but not limited to thriller, noir, cosy mystery, suspense, police procedural; spy story and crossover of any kind – should be suitable for adults or young adults. Entries are eligible from writers who have never had a contract for a full-length novel of any kind and who don’t have an agent when the competition closes at the end of February. Entrants may not have self-published their entry, and must not have self-published any novel over 20,000 words in the five years preceding the deadline.

The Plaza Prizes: Poetry

Poems can be in any style or form, but must be in English, and written for adults. Maximum 60 lines. Enter the correct version of your work. If you make a mistake, entry fees will not be refunded.

The Exeter Writers Short Story Competition

You can submit as many individual stories as you wish, each as a separate entry. All entries must be accompanied by an entrance fee, which is paid via the PayPal button on the entry form. Simultaneous submissions are not allowed. Stories must have neither been previously published nor won a prize in any other competition.

BSFS Poetry Contest

Entries should address the themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science. Limit: 3 poems/person, maximum 60 lines each.

Blue Mesa Awards: Poetry

Submissions must be unpublished. They accept submissions of up to 3 poems

Blue Mesa Awards: Fiction

Blue Mesa Review accepts previously unpublished work in Fiction (up to 6,000 words).

Blue Mesa Awards: Non Fiction

Blue Mesa Review accepts previously unpublished work in Nonfiction of up to 6,000 words.

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Applicants must be aged 18 or above at the time of entry. All entries must be written in English. Submissions must be standalone and cannot be extracts from a larger piece. A maximum of 2,500 words per entry.

Fan Story: Faith Flash Contest

Anyone can enter. Write exactly 300 words. Title does not count in word count. Fiction or non-fiction welcomed.

Fan Story 2-4-2 Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Write a 2-4-2 syllable poem. The subject can be anything.

Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize

This prize is open to all writers over 18 years of age who live in Victoria. Each writer can submit a single biographical story between 1000 and 3000 words in length.

Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize

This prize is open to all poets over 18 years of age who live in Victoria. Each poet can submit up to two poems with a maximum length of 30 lines each.

Ada Cambridge Short Story Prize

This prize is open to writers between 14 and 18 years of age who live, work or study in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Each writer can submit a single story that is no more than 1000 words in length.

True Story Contest

Anyone can enter. Share a true story from your life. Write a story that shares a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100 words. No poetry.

Full Bleed Fifth Issue Poetry Contest

Send no more than five poems in a single PDF or Word file. Each poem should appear on its own page.

Full Bleed Fifth Issue Essay Contest

In addition to feature-length essays of up to 7000 words, Full Bleed publishes shorter, recurring columns of approximately 1000 to 2000 words.

Full Bleed Fifth Issue Fiction Contest

Full Bleed typically publishes one to two pieces of short fiction in each issue. Given the dearth of journals that consider long-form fiction, thry will consider submissions up to 7000 words in length, though their tendency has been to select stories under 3000 words.

James Jones First Novel Fellowship

Entrants must have never published a novel, are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of America with Green Cards, and may have published any other type of work including non-fiction articles and short stories. A two-page (maximum) outline or synopsis of the entire novel and the first 50 pages of the novel-in-progress are to be submitted. A specific format for the outline or synopsis is not required.

Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest

Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, philosophical ruminations, experimental pieces, stage plays, fragments, and excerpts are all acceptable. You may submit multiple pieces as long as each is accompanied by a separate entry fee. One poetry submission may include up to 5 unrelated (or related) poems. Page limit for any type of submission: 150 pages.

The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest

Entrants must be Canadian (citizen or resident). Submissions must be unpublished, nor can they be accepted for publication elsewhere. Submissions are accepted online only.

Oklahoma Poem Contest

Only Oklahoma residents are eligible to enter. Poems will be judged in 4 categories: K-4th, 5th-8th, 9th-12th, and Adult. The maximum length for poems is 30 lines. Poems can be rhymed or unrhymed. One poem per person.

Minds Shine Bright’s Annual Competition

Each entry must be original, unpublished fiction or poetry written by the submitting author and included the theme of Light and Shadow in some way. No brand references are allowed. The word limit for each entry is 2500 words.

Dream One Quest Poetry Contest

Poetry Contest entries may be written on any subject, theme, style, or form. All poems must be 30 lines or fewer and either neatly handwritten or typed, using single or double-line spacing.

Dream One Quest Writing Contest

Writing Contest entries may be written on a maximum of (5) pages, either neatly handwritten or typed, with single or double line spacing, on any subject or theme.

Rubery Book Award

Your entry must either be self published or published by an independent press. Authors and publishers can enter books.

The Fish Poetry Prize 2024

Anyone can enter. Poem length is restricted to 60 lines. The title is not included in the word limit, and it must be in English. The winning poem must be available for the Fish Anthology and, therefore, must not have been published previously. Fish will hold publishing rights for one year only after publication.

The Plaza Prizes: Prose Poetry

All entries are judged anonymously. Entries will be disqualified if they are over the 50 line limit, and there will be no refund. Entries must be entirely your own work.

Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest

Submissions shall be no more than 2,500 words in length. Contestants shall be no younger than 14 and no older than 18 years of age as of May 29 in the contest year and shall reside or attend school in Maryland.

Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest

Anyone can enter. Any length, any subject, any style

Nature and Place Poetry Competition

Poems must have a title and must be no more than 40 lines, excluding the title, and be typed in black ink on one side of A4. Poems must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been published, self-published or published online or broadcast. Poems are judged anonymously so the poet’s name, address, etc., MUST NOT appear on the poem.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Length limit: 250 lines maximum. Authors from all countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US government restrictions). The poem you submit should be in English.

The Claymore Award

The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

The American Foreign Service Association’s National High School Essay Contest

Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens/lawful permanent residents attending high school overseas.

Fan Story Non-Fiction Writing Contest

Recommended length is 5,000 words or less. This contest is open to all members. Past contest winners can join the contest. One entry per person. New entries to the site only. If you already posted a work on FanStory.com that work is not eligible for the contest.

Minute Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. The Minute Poem is a poem that follows the “8,4,4,4” syllable count structure. It must have 12 lines total and 60 syllables.

Fan story 100 Word Flash Fiction

Anyone can enter. The entry should be exactly 100 words.

Two Line Poem Contest

Anyone can enter. Write an essence poem. The poem should be of two lines with six syllables per line, each containing an internal rhyme and an ending rhyme.

Ver Poets Open Competition

Anyone 16 and above can enter. Poems should not have been published, or accepted for publication, in print or online. They should not have won prizes in other competitions, be simultaneously entered for other competitions or be translations of other poets’ work. Poems must be your own original work and may be on any theme. Length: no longer than 30 lines.

Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize

Electronic submissions only. Do not include any preambles, or bios within your submitted manuscript. Manuscripts must have a table of contents. Manuscripts must be typed in a no less than 12-point font, paginated, and 48 – 84 pages in length (single spaced).

Free Verse Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. No restrictions.

Tadpole Press: 100-Word Writing Contest

Word Limit: 100 words or less per entry. Writers: All ages. All genders. All nationalities. All writers welcome. Genre: Any genre. Theme: Creativity.

The Peseroff Prize Poetry Contest

Poems should be previously unpublished. All entries will be considered for publication. They accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify Breakwater if submission is accepted elsewhere.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

This contest is international and open to people of all ages. Residents of the following countries are not eligible to enter: Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, or Belarus (due to US government restrictions).

World Historian Student Essay Competition

Only students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs can apply. Past winners may not compete in the same category again. The entry should be approximately 1,000 words.

5-7-5 Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. The entry should be a 5-7-5 poem that follows the structure of a Haiku but without any limitation to the topic.

James Laughlin Award

The award is given to honor a second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. The award is open to any poet who meets one of the eligibility criteria on the date of the application deadline, such as being a U.S. citizen, a resident of the U.S. for the ten-year period prior to the deadline, or having a certain immigration status. The award is open to books under contract with a U.S. publisher and scheduled to be published between January 1, 2025, and December 31, 2025. The books must be at least 48 pages long and written in English.

Four Line Poem Contest

Anyone can enter. Write a four line poem that has a specific syllable count. The subject can be anything.

Fan story 15 Syllable Poem

Anyone can enter. Write a poem with exactly 15 syllables.

Fan Story Flash Fiction Contest

Anyone can enter. Entry should be exactly 150 words.

Write The World Poetry & Spoken Word Competition

Script pipeline tv writing contest.

Cover page should include the title, but remove any contact information (name, email address, etc.). Logline and genre on the title page as well is preferred. Co-writers are allowed. List each writer’s name when registering your script. Script should be an original pilot. We will not be accepting spec scripts of existing shows.

The Bridport Novel Prize

Entries should not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere, in print or online, by a mainstream or an independent publisher. Non-fiction and fiction for children are not eligible. Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in disqualification. Co-authored work is not eligible.

The Bridport Short Story Prize

5,000 words max. No minimum. Title not included in the word count. You can submit multiple entries to the competition as long as each entry is paid for individually and includes a separate entry form.

The Bridport Poetry Prize

42 lines max. No minimum. Title not included in the line count. Dedications not included in the line count. Lines between text stanzas not counted. You can submit multiple entries to the competition as long as each entry is paid for individually and includes a separate entry form.

The Bridport Flash Fiction Prize

250 words max. No minimum. Title not included in the word count. You can submit multiple entries to the competition as long as each entry is paid for individually and includes a separate entry form.

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

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 are 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.

Writers’ Digest Annual Writing Competition

Online Entry forms must have the word/line/page count listed where requested. Count refers to all words making up the story (no matter the number of letters in the word). Do not count the title or contact information in the word count.

Fan Story Write A Script Contest

Anyone can enter. Write a script of any size (can be a small script) for any medium on any topic.

Fan Story Faith Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. The theme of this poetry contest is “faith”.

Ocean Awareness Contest

Students ages 11-18 from around the world are invited to participate. They must provide the contact information for an Adult Sponsor: a teacher, parent, guardian, mentor, or other supporting adult. Entries submitted previously to the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest will not be considered in the 2024 Contest. The use of AI-generators, like ChatGPT or DALL-E, is considered plagiarism.

Narrative Magazine: Narrative Prize

Submissions are accepted only through the electronic submission system. Submissions through postal services or email aren’t accepted. All manuscripts should be in 12-point type, with at least one-inch margins, and sequentially numbered pages. Fiction and nonfiction should be double-spaced. Poetry should be single-spaced.

Living Springs Publishers Baby Boomer Plus Contest

Submitted stories must: Be between 900 and 5000 words, written in the English language, wholly the original work of the entrant, written solely by the entrant, and the author must own all rights to the story.

Non Fiction Chapbook Prize

Each manuscript should consist of a single essay in a standard 12-point font. Submitted essays may be novelette-length, up to 17,000 words (55 manuscript pages).

Tanka Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. For this contest you are challenged to write a Tanka poem, which follows a specific syllable count.

Fan Story 3 Line Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. The poem has to have a syllable count of either 5-7-5 or 5-7-7. It shouldn’t rhyme. But the poem must address a loved one.

CYGNUS Book Awards for Science Fiction | Chanticleer Book Reviews

Novels may be Manuscripts, Self-published, Indie Published or Traditionally Published. All published novels must have ISBN/ASIN designation, manuscripts are not required to have this designation at the time of submission. Entries must be in the English language. No erotica. No graphic violence.

The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest

Anyone can enter. Ebteries must be original and unpublished. Each entry must consist of a single sentence. The entry shouldn’t go beyond 50 or 60 words.

Chanticleer: The Journey Awards

Winning writers north street book prize.

Anyone can enter except those from Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Crimea, Russia, and Belarus (due to US government restrictions). Length limit: 200,000 words maximum in English. You may submit a collection of short stories or essays as a single entry.

Student Book Scholars Contest

Each entry must incorporate the theme of Anti-Bullying. One book entry per team. Each book must be between 20 and 30 pages. The cover, dedication and back pages do not count towards this number.

Fan Story Love Poem Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. But it must clearly be a love poem.

Fan Story ABC Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Write a one-stanza, five-line poem.

Polar Expressions National Poetry and Short-Story Contest

All work must be original and will be checked for plagiarism. Entries should not have been previously published. You may enter one poem and/or one short story only! Poems must be 48 lines or less.Contest is open to Canada residents only.

Chanticleer: The Goethe Awards

Ozma book awards for fantasy fiction | sword & sorcery fiction | chanticleer book reviews, anthology magazine short story competition.

To enter, submit an original, unpublished short story, written in English with a maximum of 1,500 words. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. Each submission will require a separate entry form and is subject to a separate entry fee.

Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition

Anyone can enter. Theme: Detour. Length: maximum 1,000 words. Stories can be a fictional tale or a tale inspired by a true story.

Fan Story Cinquain Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Entries must adhere to the contest’s syllable specifications. Share a cinquain poem. The format for this type of poem is simple. Each line has a specific number of syllables.

Rhyming Poetry Contest

Anyone can enter. Write a poem that has a rhyme scheme. How it rhymes is up to you.

Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction Contest

Anyone can enter. Maximum length: 1,000 word. Any subject, any style

Chanticleer: The Chatelaine Awards

Chanticleer: the gertrude warner awards, adventures in fiction new voices competition.

The competition is open to aspiring novelists in all genres, regardless of location. (Adventures in Fiction has a broad national and international client base.) Novelists commercially published (in English) are not eligible. Current and previous apprentices are not eligible.

Chanticleer Cozy and Not-So-Cozy Mystery Book Awards

Novels may be Manuscripts, Self-published, Indie Published or Traditionally Published. All published novels must have ISBN/ASIN designation, manuscripts are not required to have this designation at the time of submission. Entries must be in the English language. No erotica. No graphic violence,.

Chanticleer Historical Fiction Pre-1750s Writing Contest

Chanticleer: the laramie awards, hearten book awards for uplifting non-fiction works | chanticleer book reviews.

Books must be 40,000 plus words.Books may be Manuscripts, Self-published, Indie Published or Traditionally Published. All published books must have ISBN/ASIN designation, manuscripts are not required to have this designation at the time of submission. Entries must be in the English language. No erotica. No graphic violence.

Chanticleer: The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer: the clue book awards, chanticleer: the little peeps awards.

Early Readers and Picture Books may be Manuscripts, Self-published, Indie Published or Traditionally Published. All published novels must have ISBN/ASIN designation, manuscripts are not required to have this designation at the time of submission. Entries must be in the English language. No erotica. No graphic violence.

Miller Williams Poetry Prize

Anyone can enter. Length: Manuscripts must be between sixty and ninety pages. The manuscript must be previously unpublished. Individual poems may have been published in chapbooks, journals, and anthologies. Work in translation is not accepted.

Anthology Flash Fiction Competition

To enter, submit an original, unpublished flash fiction piece, written in English with a maximum of 250 words. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. Each submission will require a separate entry form and be subject to a separate entry fee.

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Length limit: 250 lines maximum per poem. No restriction on age of author. Authors from all countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, and Belarus (due to US government restrictions). Final judge: Michal ‘MJ’ Jones, assisted by Briana Grogan and Dare Williams.

The Raven Short Story Contest

This contest is for previously unpublished short fiction between 250 and 2500 words in length. Multiple entries are welcomed. Total entries limited to 200.

Non-Fiction Investigative and Journalistic Works | Chanticleer Book Reviews

Works may be published on the web or in print or may be non-published. E-pubs accepted. Word Documents and PDFs are accepted. International entries are accepted but they must be written in the English language.

Business, Technology, and Enterprise Non-Fiction Guides and How-To Book Awards | Chanticleer Book Reviews

Books may be Manuscripts, Self-published, Indie Published or Traditionally Published. All published books must have ISBN/ASIN designation, manuscripts are not required to have this designation at the time of submission. Entries must be in the English language. No erotica. No graphic violence, please.

Global Thriller Book Awards for High Stakes Thrillers | Chanticleer International Book Awards

Paranormal writing competition | chanticleer book reviews, i & i book awards for non-fiction guides and how-to | chanticleer international book awards, anthology poetry competition.

Submit an original, unpublished poem, written in English with a maximum of 40 lines. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. There is no age limit. All poems are judged anonymously and therefore the poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself. Name and contact details should be on the entry form only.

CIBA Fiction Series Book Awards | Chanticleer Book Reviews

20c wartime historical fiction | chanticleer book reviews, satirical & allegorical fiction book awards | chanticleer book reviews, contemporary & literary novel writing contest | chanticleer book reviews, the prime number magazine 53-word story contest.

Your story must be 53 words—no more, no less—titles are not included in the word count. Stories not meeting this rule will be disqualified. Send only stories; poetry with line breaks will not be considered. Hyphenated words count as one word. One submission per person. There are no age restrictions.

New Guard Fiction Contest

Anyone above 18 can enter. Up to three poems per entry. Submit up to 5,000 words: anything from flash fiction to the long stories. Please submit previously unpublished work only. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, provided they’re notified upon publication elsewhere.

Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Your story/stories can be any theme or genre, but must be a maximum of 1,500 words (not including the title).

Shooter Literary Magazine: Shooter Flash Competition

Stories up to 1,000 words long on any theme/genre are welcomed . Stories must be no longer than 1,000 words excluding title. Stories may be submitted at any time as submissions are open on a rolling basis. Stories can be previously published or unpublished, and writers may submit multiple stories for consideration.

There are a variety of writing contests to choose from, so you’ll surely find one that’s a good fit for your skills and interests. Whether you’re a fiction writer, a nonfiction writer, or a poet, there’s a contest right here for you. And if you’re participating in any of them this year, then best of luck to you!

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Sondra Hardy

I am a self-published author and was wondering if there are any genres for Africa American novels? I wrote one that is a historical romance fiction.

Please Advise & Thank You, Sondra Hardy

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Hi Sondra Hardy,

Thank you for reaching out and congratulations on being a self-published author! 🙂

While our list doesn’t have any contests for African-American novels, the Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize is for African-American writers in North Carolina writing short prose: https://www.ncwriters.org/programs/competitions/jacobs-jones-african-american-literary-prize/

You can also check out the following contests: – The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award: https://www.hurstonwright.org/awards/legacy-awards – The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence: https://ernestjgainesaward.org – Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Eligibility

Hope this helps 🙂

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creative essay contests

75 Writing Contests in March 2024 — No entry fees

Erica Verrillo

Erica Verrillo

Curiosity Never Killed the Writer

T his March there are more than six dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes this month range from $25,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

If you want to get a jump on next month’s contests go to Free Contests . Many of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline has passed, you can prepare for next year.

The Miracle Monocle Award for Young Black Writers . Restrictions : Writers must be 25 years old or younger and identify as Black. Genre : All. Prize : $200. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Tales to Terrify . Genre : Horror. Length: 1000 words max. Prize : $50. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Linda Purdy Memorial Prize . Restrictions : Open to Orange County residents. Genre : Poetry, fiction. Prize : $200 and publication. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Texas Review Press Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series: Kentucky . Restrictions : Open to any poet born in Kentucky, or currently residing in Kentucky, who has not yet published a full-length collection of poetry. The author may have published chapbooks or books in other genres. Genre : Poetry collection. Prize : Winner will receive a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Chismosa . Genre : All genres. “We want work that explores the idea that to be a writer is to gossip; it is to people-watch and eavesdrop and turn the things we observe into protagonists and plot-devices. Give us a story brimming with gossip, or write a poem to tell us about the art of eavesdropping.” Prize : $100. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

The Waterman Fund Essay Contest . Restrictions : Writers who have not published a book-length work of fiction or narrative nonfiction on topics of wilderness, wildness, or the ethics and ecology of environmental issues are eligible. Genre : Personal essays between 2000 and 3000 words. “The Waterman Fund seeks new voices on the role and place of wilderness in today’s world.” Prizes : The winning essayist will be awarded $3000 and publication in Appalachia Journal. The Honorable Mention essay will receive $1000. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

On The Premises . “For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which some kind of vehicle plays an important role. Merely using the vehicle as a simple plot device or to help characters get somewhere is not enough. For instance, “While flying home I made a bunch of new friends on the flight” isn’t good enough, because the same story–making new friends–could easily be told without the plane.” Prize : $250 for first place, $200 for second, $150 for third. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community. The prestigious award aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement. Since Poets & Writers began the Writers Exchange in 1984, 85 writers from 33 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. Restrictions : Open to Indigenous Writers. Genre : Poetry and Fiction. Prize : A $500 honorarium; A trip to New York City to meet with editors, agents, publishers, and other writers. All related travel/lodgings expenses and a per diem stipend are covered by Poets & Writers. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Library of Virginia Literary Awards . Restrictions : Open to writers who were born in or are residents of Virginia or, in the case of nonfiction, books with a Virginia theme, are eligible. Genre : Books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in the previous year. Prize : $2,500. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Alabama Arts Council Fellowships . Restrictions : Open to any author who has lived in Alabama for at least 2 years. Genre : Fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction of 10–20 pages. Prize : $5,000. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Mississippi Artists Fellowships . Restrictions : Open to permanent residents of Mississippi. Genre : Fiction and poetry. (Plus many art forms) Prize : $5,000. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Deep Wild Graduate Student Prize . Restrictions : Open to students currently enrolled in graduate programs. Genre : Fiction and nonfiction. “We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys.” Prize :1st Place prize is $200, 2nd Place $100, and 3rd Place $50. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize . Genre : Pieces of any genre up to 2500 words on the theme (See website). Prize : £3,000 cash prize. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

North Carolina State Poetry Contest . Restrictions: Open to North Carolina residents (including out-of-state and international students who are enrolled in North Carolina universities)with no published books. Genre : Poetry. Prize : $500. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Grant MacEwan Creative Writing Scholarship is sponsored by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Genres : Poetry, Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction, Drama, or Graphic Novel. Restrictions : Authors must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate creative writing program of study or mentorship. (Max age 25) Alberta residents only. Prize : $7000 (CAN). Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Balticon Poetry Contest . Sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Genre : Speculative poetry. Prize : 1st prize: $100; 2nd prize: $75; 3rd prize: $50. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Library of Virginia Literary Awards . Restrictions : Open to writers who were born in or are residents of Virginia or, in the case of nonfiction, books with a Virginia theme, are eligible. Genre : Children’s books published in the previous year. Prize : $2,500. Deadline : March 1, 2024.

Iron Horse 2024 Chapbook Competition . Genre : Prose chapbook, between 40 and 56 pages (10,000–20,000 words) Prize : $1,000 honorarium and 15 copies. Deadline : March 1, 2024. Note: They will accept 25 free submissions on March 1, 2024.

The Solitary Daisy Haiku Contest . Genre : Haiku. Prize : First place $25, second place $15, third place $10. Deadline : March 2, 2024.

“It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest . Restrictions : Open to Grades 6–12. Michigan residents only. Genre : Short story, and flash fiction, unpublished. Prize : 1st Place $250, 2nd Place $150, 3rd Place $100. Deadline : March 3, 2024.

Furious Fiction . Genre : Flash fiction. “On the first Friday of every month, a new set of story prompts will be revealed. You will have 55 hours to submit your best 500-word (or fewer) story.” Prize : $500AUD. Deadline : March 3, 2024. Opens March 1 .

The Lakefly Writers Conference . Restrictions : Open to residents of Wisconsin. Genres : Short story fiction: 3000 words or less. Any genre. Poetry: All poems, free verse to formal and everything in between — 75 lines max. Personal Essay: 2500 words max. Prize : First place winners will receive a cash prize of $100; second place winners will receive $75; and third place winners will receive $50. Winners must be able to attend an awards ceremony. Deadline : March 4, 2024.

Forward Prizes . Genre : Collections and single poems published in the UK and Ireland are eligible for the Prizes. Must be submitted by publisher. Prize : £1,000 to £10,000. Deadline : March 4, 2024.

Free Expression Essay Competition . Restrictions : Open to US-based students, including homeschooled students; high school-level submissions are open to students ages 15–17; and college-level submissions are open to students ages 18–23. Genre : Essay. “From school board meetings to statehouses, and foreign newsrooms to digital spaces — there are threats to free expression in societies around the world. PEN America wants to know: what do you think about free expression? Why is it important? How can it change the world?” Length: 1000 words. Prize : $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 for college-level essays; and high school-level essayists will receive $1,500, $1,000, and $500. Deadline : March 8, 2024.

Papatango New Writing Prize . Restrictions : Open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Genre : Script of roughly 25–50 pages. Prize : £7500. Their scripts will be produced as audio plays and tour the UK in free listening stations. The scripts will also be published digitally by Nick Hern Books. Deadline : March 11, 2024.

The American Prospect Writing Fellows Program . The American Prospect’s Writing Fellows Program offers journalists the opportunity to spend two years developing their skills with the magazine at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. (or working remotely, in pandemic times). Each fellow benefits from an intensive mentoring program with the experts on our editorial team, and is expected to contribute regularly. Deadline : March 11, 2024.

NEA Literature Fellowships are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Genre : Poetry. Prize : $25,000 grants to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Deadline : March 13, 2024.

Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest . Restrictions : Open to Connecticut Student Poets in Grades 9–12. Genre : Poetry. Prize : 1st $100, 2nd $50, 3rd $25. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

The Hub City Press BIPOC Poetry Series . Restrictions : Open to BIPOC poets of all stages of their careers in thirteen Southern states. Submitters must currently reside or be from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia. Genre : Poetry by Southern writers of color. Prize : Two finalists will receive a prize of $3000 and publication. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

“ Boston in 100 Words ” is an annual flash fiction writing contest in the greater Boston metropolitan area. The contest invites anyone living, working, or going to school in Boston and some surrounding towns to write stories of 100 words or fewer that depict everyday life in their communities. A team of local, renowned writers select winning stories, which are made available to the public for free in the form of large, illustrated posters installed throughout the city. “Boston in 100 Words” seeks to impact the largest number of Bostonians possible, as authors and readers of 100-word stories. Participation in the contest is free to everyone. Prize : $300. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

Neltje Blanchan/Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Awards . Restrictions : Wyoming writers. Genres : The Frank Nelson Doubleday Award is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script written by a woman writer. The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world. Prize : $1,000.00. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship . Restrictions : Established and recognized authors are being sought, but emerging and mid-career writers are also encouraged to apply. Genre: Seeking creative writers (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), or those in the field of journalism (writer, photojournalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, online or print media) who demonstrate serious inquiry and dedication to the Greater Yellowstone region through their work. Fellowship : $3,500. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest for High School Students . Restrictions : High school students living within 100 miles of St. Louis. Genre : Poetry. Prize : First prize $225, Second prize $125, Third prize $75. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

Jane Martin Poetry Prize (UK) . Restrictions : Open to UK residents between 18 and 30 years of age. Genre : Poetry. Prize : £700, second prize, £300. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

NFSPS Annual Poetry Contests . Genre : Poetry. The National Federation of State Poetry Societies sponsors 50 contests for adults, 34 of which are free and open to the public. There are also 3 free poetry contests for children. Prize : Monetary awards vary. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

Jacklyn Potter Young Poets Competition . Restrictions : Open to high school students. Genre : Poetry. Prize : Two high school students will be selected and scheduled to read their original work for Café Muse with established poet, Sarah Ghazal Ali, on Monday, June 3, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. They will receive an honorarium. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

David Nobbs Memorial Trust New Comedy Writing Competition . Restrictions : Entrants must have at least one credited broadcast comedy writing credit and live in the UK. Genre : Comedy scripts for radio or TV. Prize : £1,000 top prize. Deadline : March 15, 2024.

The Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize . Restrictions : Open to writers resident in the UK and Ireland who have yet to secure a publishing deal. Genre : Proposal for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words). Prize : £3,000 advance against publication with Fitzcarraldo Editions. Deadline : March 17, 2024.

The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize . Genre : Book-length translations into English of either a) poetry or b) source texts from Zen Buddhism (which must not consist solely of commentaries). Both translators and publishers are invited to submit titles. Book must have been published in previous year. Prize : $6,000. Deadline : March 18, 2024.

American Literary Translators Association Italian Prose in Translation Award . Genre : Translation of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction). Both translators and publishers are invited to submit titles. Book must have been published in previous year. Prize : $5,000. Deadline : March 18, 2024.

BBC National Short Story Award . Restrictions : Open to UK residents or nationals, aged 18 or over, who have a history of publication in creative writing. Genre : Short fiction. Prize : £15,000 to the winner, £3,000 for the runner-up and £500 for three further shortlisted writers. Deadline : March 18, 2024.

Fabula Press Short Story Contest . Genre : Short Story. Word Count: Not less than 2500 words, and not more than 7000 words. Prize : First Prize: US$500 Second Prize: US$250 Third Prize: US$100. In addition, all authors selected for publication will be paid an honorarium of US$75. Deadline : March 20, 2024. Opens February 21.

Savage Mystery Writing Contest . Genre : Mystery short story. Prize : Winning stories are published in Toasted Cheese. If 50 or fewer eligible entries are received, first place receives a $35 Amazon gift card & second a $10 Amazon gift card. If 51 or more eligible entries are received, first place receives a $50 Amazon gift card, second a $15 Amazon gift card & third a $10 Amazon gift card. Deadline : March 24, 2024. Opens March 22 .

Daisy Utemorrah Award for Indigenous Authors . Restrictions : Open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writer currently residing in Australia. Genre : Junior/YA full-length fiction manuscript intended for readers aged 8–18. Length: 40,000 and 100,000 words. Prize : A$15,000 and possible publication. Deadline : March 25, 2024.

BBC Young Writers Award . Restrictions : Open to UK residents, including residents of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, aged 14 to 18 years old, Genre : Short fiction, 1000 words max. Prize : Publication and free workshop. Deadline : March 25, 2024.

Write the World: Fairytales & Myths Competition . Restrictions : Young writers ages 13–19.5. Genre : Myth or fairytale that uses fantasy as a lens to understand the reality of everyday life. Prize : Best Entry: $100; Runner up: $50. Deadline : March 25, 2024.

Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition for High School Students . Restrictions : Open to students in Grades 7–12. Genre : Haiku. Prize : $50. Deadline : March 27, 2024.

BlackInk Writing Competition . Restrictions : Open to writers from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora. Genre : Short story, maximum of 2,000 words. Prize : £500 top prize. Deadline : March 28, 2024.

Broadway Arts Festival: Julia & Martin Wilson Short Story Prize . Genre : Short Story, 2,000 words max. Prize : Ages 14–18yrs: £100, Age 13 and under: £50. Deadline : March 28, 2024. Note: No fee for writers under 16 years of age.

Ann Petry Award . Restrictions : Open to Black authors. Genre : Previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a minimum of 150 pages. Prize : $3000 and publication. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Claire Harris Poetry Prize . Restrictions : Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are writers from Black, Indigenous, or other racialized communities and who have not previously published a book-length collection of poetry. Genre : Poetry collection. Prize : $1,000, a contract for the publication of the collection under the icehouse poetry imprint in the following year (2025), and public readings in at least three Canadian cities. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Caine Prize for African Writing . Restrictions : Open to writers born in Africa, or nationals of an African country, or with a parent who is African by birth or nationality, Genre : Short fiction (published). Prize : £10,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Royal Institute of Philosophy Essay Prize: Think . Topic : Essay on themes. Prize : Publication. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Orwell Prize for Journalism . Restrictions : Open to a journalist for sustained reportage and/or commentary working in any medium. Genre : Published journalism. Prize : £3,000 for the best political writing first published in the UK or Ireland between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2043. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness . Restrictions : Open to a journalist for sustained reportage and/or commentary working in any medium. Genre : Reportage and/or commentary on homelessness. Entries will be encouraged from people who are experiencing or have experienced all forms of homelessness as well as journalists and others writing about or reporting on homelessness. Prize : £3,000 for the best political writing first published in the UK or Ireland between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest . Restrictions : Open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Genres : Science fiction, fantasy and dark fantasy up to 17,000 words. Prizes : Three cash prizes in each quarter: a First Prize of $1,000, a Second Prize of $750, and a Third Prize of $500, in US dollars. In addition, at the end of the year the winners will have their entries rejudged, and a Grand Prize winner shall be determined and receive an additional $5,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Archibald Lamp­man Award . Restrictions : Open to residents of Canada’s National Capital region (Ottawa). Genre : Book of any genre published by a recognized publisher. Prize : $1500. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Anne Brown Essay Prize . Restrictions : Entrants must be aged over 16 and resident in Scotland, born in Scotland or have a longstanding association with Scotland. Genre : Literary essay, published or unpublished. Prize : £1,500. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize . The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year. Genre : Published fiction or non-fiction, may include: novels, novellas, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, essays and correspondence. Prize : $10,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Natan Notable Books Award . Genre : Nonfic­­tion book on Jew­ish themes pub­lished for the first time between September 1, 2022 and August 31, 2023. Prize : $5,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

City of Literature Paul Engle Prize . Genre : This prize does not recognize one work, nor is it solely limited to reflecting literary achievement. Rather, the award seeks to recognize a writer, like Engle, who makes an impact on his or her community and the world at large through efforts beyond the page. It also seeks to raise awareness about Engle and his works. Prize : $20,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

#GWstorieseverywhere. Genre : Micro fiction. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag. See themes . Prize : Free Gotham class. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contests . Restrictions : Open to writers between 14 and 18 years of age as of May 29 in the contest year who reside in, or attend school in Maryland. Genre : Science fiction or fantasy, 2,500 words max. Prizes : $150, $100 and $75. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Jack London Fiction Writing Contest . Restrictions : Open to U.S. students in grades 6–8. Genre : Unpublished stories. Length: 2,000 words maximum. “Your writing prompt this year is to create a story where your main character(s) are animals with animal qualities (like Buck in Call of the Wild). Tell your story from the animal’s perspective.” Prize : $250, $150, and $100. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation . Genre : Poetry or literary prose. Translation of modern Arabic literature into English. Books must have been published and be available for purchase in the UK via a distributor or online. The source text must have been published in the original Arabic in or after 1967. Must be submitted by publisher. Prize : £3,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Foley Poetry Contest . Genre : One unpublished poem on any topic. The poem should be 45 lines or fewer and not under consideration elsewhere. Prize : $1000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Silvers Grants for Work in Progress . Restrictions : Open to Anglophone writers of any nationality. Genre : Long-form essays in the fields of literary criticism, arts writing, political analysis, and/or social reportage. Prize : Up to $10,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Cymera-Scotland’s Futures Forum-Shoreline of Infinity Prize for Speculative Short Fiction . Restrictions : Anyone living in Scotland or who identifies as Scottish by birth or inclination, aged 14 years or over. Genre : Speculative short stories. Prize : £150. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Kyoto Writing Competition . Genre : Short poems, character studies, essays, travel tips, whimsy, haiku sequence, haibun, wordplays, dialogue, experimental verse, etc. In short, anything that helps show the spirit of place in a fresh light. A clear connection to Kyoto is essential. Length: 300 words max. Prize : ~$360 top prize. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Sarah Mook Poetry Prize for Students . Restrictions : Students in grades K-12. Genre : Poetry. Prize : $100. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Parsec Ink . Genre : Speculative short story up to 3,500 words. See theme . Prize : First-place receives $200 and publication in the Confluence program book. Second-place receives $100 Third-place receives $50. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award . Sponsored by Sisters in Crime. Restrictions : Open to emerging writers of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. Prize : $2,000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Lewis Galantiere Award . Restrictions : Open to US citizens or permanent residents. Genre : Translation of book-length literary work from any language, except German, into English. Entries must have been published in the US in the past two years. Prize : $1000. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge . Genre : Poetry based on art. ( See website ) Prize : $100. Deadline : March 31, 2024.

Substack runs a monthly short story competition. Their mission is to “revive the art of the short story, support artists, and produce something wonderful.” Genre : Short story. Length: 6000- 10,000 words. Prize : $100 plus 50% of subscription revenue to be sent by Paypal, Zelle, or check. Deadline : March 31, 2024. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

Like this article? For more articles about the publishing world, useful tips on how to get an agent, agents who are looking for clients, how to market and promote your work, building your online platform, how to get reviews, self-publishing, as well as publishers accepting manuscripts directly from writers (no agent required) visit Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity .

Erica Verrillo

Written by Erica Verrillo

Helping writers get published and bolstering their flagging spirits at http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/

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Open Letters: Our New Opinion-Writing Contest

We invite students to write public-facing letters to people or groups about issues that matter to them. Contest dates: March 13 to May 1.

By The Learning Network

What’s bothering you? Who could do something about it? What could you say to them that would persuade them to care, or to make change?

And … what if we all read your letter? How could you make us care too?

These are some of the questions we’re asking you to ponder for our new Open Letter Contest. An open letter is a published letter of protest or appeal usually addressed to an individual, group or institution but intended for the general public. Think of the many “Dear Taylor Swift” open letters you can find online and on social media: Sure, they’re addressed to Ms. Swift, but they’re really a way for the writer to share opinions and feelings on feminism, or ticket sales, or the music industry, or … the list goes on.

As you might already know if you’ve read Martin Luther King’s famous Letter From Birmingham Jail , an open letter is a literary device. Though it seems on the surface to be intended for just one individual or group, and therefore usually reads like a personal letter (and can make readers feel they are somehow “listening in” on private thoughts), it is really a persuasive essay addressed to the public. This recent letter signed by over 1,000 tech leaders about the dangers of A.I. , this funny 2020 letter addressed to Harry and Meghan , and this video letter from young Asian Americans to their families about Black Lives Matter are all examples of the tradition.

Now we’re inviting you to try it yourself. Write your own open letter, to anyone you like on any issue you care about, as long as it is also appropriate and meaningful for a general Times audience.

Whom should you write to? What should you say? How do open letters work?

The rules and FAQ below, along with our Student Opinion forum and related how-to guide , can walk you through ways to get started.

This is a new contest and we expect questions. Please ask any you have in the comments and we’ll answer you there, or write to us at [email protected]. And, consider hanging this PDF one-page announcement on your class bulletin board.

Here’s what you need to know:

The challenge, a few rules, resources for students and teachers, frequently asked questions, submission form.

Write an open letter to a specific audience that calls attention to an issue or problem and prompts reflection or action on it.

Whether you choose to write to your parents, teachers, school board members or mayor; a member of Congress; the head of a corporation; an artist or entertainer; or a metonym like “Silicon Valley” or “The Kremlin,” ask yourself, What do I care about? Who can make changes, big or small, local or global, to address my issue or problem? What specifically do I want my audience to understand or do? And how can I write this as an “open letter,” compelling not just to me and the recipient, but to the general audience who will be reading my words?

The Times has published numerous open letters over the years, to both famous and ordinary people. You can find a long list of free examples in our related guide .

This contest invites students to express themselves and imagine that their words can lead to real change.

Your open letter MUST:

Focus on an issue you care about and with which you have some experience. You can write about almost anything you like, whether it’s a serious issue like bullying , or something more lighthearted like why bugs deserve respect , but we have found over the years that the most interesting student writing grows out of personal experience. Our related Student Opinion forum and how-to guide can help you come up with ideas.

Address a specific audience relevant to the issue. Choose an individual, group, organization or institution who is in a position to make change or promote understanding about your topic.

Call for action, whether the change you seek is something tangible , like asking Congress to enact a law or demanding a company stop a harmful practice, or something more abstract, like inviting your audience to reflect on something they may have never considered.

Be suitable and compelling for a wide general audience . An open letter simultaneously addresses an explicit recipient — whether Joe Biden or your gym teacher — as well as us, the general public, your implicit audience. Though your letter might seem to be meant just for one person, it is really trying to persuade all readers. Make sure you write it in such a way that it is relevant, understandable, appropriate and meaningful for anyone who might come across it in The New York Times. (Again, our related guide can help.)

Be written as a letter, in a voice and tone that is appropriate for both your audience and purpose. Are you simply taking an argumentative essay you’ve written for school already and slapping a “Dear X” on top of it and a “Sincerely, Y” on the bottom? No. A letter — even an open letter — is different from a formal essay, and your writing should reflect that. Can you be informal? Funny? If that makes sense for your purpose and audience, then yes, please.

Our related guide, and the many examples we link to, can help you think about this, but we hope the format of a letter will let you loosen up a bit and express yourself in your natural voice. (For example, you’ll be writing as “I” or “we,” and addressing your letter’s recipient as “you.”)

Also attempt to persuade a general audience. Though it is written in the form of a letter, it is an opinion piece, and you are trying to make a case and support it with evidence, as you would any argument. Remember that you are trying to change hearts and minds, so you’ll be drawing on the same rhetorical strategies as you might have for our long-running editorial contest . (Again, more on this in the related guide .)

Make your case in 460 words or fewer. Your title and sources are not part of the word count.

Inform with evidence from at least two sources, including one from The Times and one from outside The Times. We hope this contest encourages you to deepen your understanding of your topic by using multiple sources, ideally ones that offer a range of perspectives. Just make sure those sources are trustworthy .

Because this is a letter, not a formal essay, we are not asking you to provide in-text citations, but we will be asking you to list the sources you used — as many as you like — in a separate field that does not contribute to your word count. Keep in mind, however, that if you include evidence from those sources, our readers (and judges) should always be able to tell where it came from. Be careful to put quotations around any direct quotes you use, and cite the source of anything you paraphrase.

In addition to the guidelines above, here are a few more details:

You must be a student ages 13 to 19 in middle school or high school to participate , and all students must have parent or guardian permission to enter. Please see the F.A.Q. section for additional eligibility details.

The writing you submit should be fundamentally your own — it should not be plagiarized, created by someone else or generated by artificial intelligence.

Your open letter should be original for this contest. That means it should not already have been published at the time of submission, whether in a school newspaper, for another contest or anywhere else.

Keep in mind that the work you send in should be appropriate for a Times audience — that is, something that could be published in a family newspaper (so, please, no curse words).

You may work alone or in groups , but students should submit only one entry each.

You must also submit a short, informal “artist’s statement” as part of your submission, that describes your writing and research process. These statements, which will not be used to choose finalists, help us to design and refine our contests. See the F.A.Q. to learn more.

All entries must be submitted by May 1, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time using the electronic form at the bottom of this page.

Use these resources to help you write your open letter:

Our step-by-step guide : To be used by students or teachers, this guide walks you through the process of writing an open letter.

A list of free examples of open letters published both in and outside The New York Times, which you can find in our step-by-step guide .

A writing prompt: To Whom Would You Write an Open Letter? This prompt offers students a “rehearsal space” for thinking about to whom they’d like to write, the reason they’re writing and why they think that issue is important — not only for the recipient but also for a wider audience.

Argumentative writing prompts: We publish new argumentative writing prompts for students each week in our Student Opinion and Picture Prompt columns. You can find them all, as they publish, here , or many of them, organized by topic, in our new collection of over 300 prompts .

Argumentative writing unit: This unit includes writing prompts, lesson plans, webinars and mentor texts. While it was originally written to support our Student Editorial Contest , the resources can help students make compelling arguments, cite reliable evidence and use rhetorical strategies for their open letters as well.

Our contest rubric : This is the rubric judges will use as they read submissions to this contest.

Below are answers to your questions about writing, judging, the rules and teaching with this contest. Please read these thoroughly and, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, post your query in the comments or write to us at [email protected].

Questions About Writing

How is this contest different from your long-running Editorial Contest? Can we still use those materials?

For a decade we ran an editorial contest , and the students who participated wrote passionately about all kinds of things — A.I. , fast fashion , race , trans rights , college admissions , parental incarceration , fan fiction , snow days , memes , being messy and so much more . You can still write about the issues and ideas that fire you up — it’s just that this time around you’ll be framing your work as a letter to a person who has the power to make change on or bring understanding to that issue.

Our related guide has more about the differences between a traditional opinion essay and an open letter, but the many materials we developed for that earlier contest are also woven into the guide, as concepts like ethos, logos and pathos are still very much relevant to this challenge.

I have no idea what to write about. Where should I start?

Our Student Opinion forum can help via its many questions that encourage you to brainstorm both the audience you might write to and the topics you’d like to address.

Can I actually send my open letter?

You can! Just wait until after you have submitted your work to us to do so. (As always for our contests, you retain the copyright to the piece you submit, and can do whatever you like with it.)

Questions About Judging

How will my open letter be judged?

Your work will be read by New York Times journalists, as well as by Learning Network staff members and educators from around the United States. We will use this rubric to judge entries.

What’s the “prize”?

Having your work published on The Learning Network and being eligible to have your work published in the print New York Times.

When will the winners be announced?

About 8-10 weeks after the contest has closed.

My piece wasn’t selected as a winner. Can you tell me why?

We typically receive thousands of entries for our contests, so unfortunately, our team does not have the capacity to provide individual feedback on each student’s work.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RULES

Who is eligible to participate in this contest?

This contest is open to students ages 13 to 19 who are in middle school or high school around the world. College students cannot submit an entry. However, high school students (including high school postgraduate students) who are taking one or more college classes can participate. Students attending their first year of a two-year CEGEP in Quebec Province can also participate. In addition, students age 19 or under who have completed high school but are taking a gap year or are otherwise not enrolled in college can participate.

The children and stepchildren of New York Times employees are not eligible to enter this contest. Nor are students who live in the same household as those employees.

Can I have someone else check my work?

We understand that students will often revise their work based on feedback from teachers and peers. That is allowed for this contest. However, be sure that the final submission reflects the ideas, voice and writing ability of the student, not someone else.

Do I need a Works Cited page?

Yes. We provide you with a separate field to list the sources you used to inform or write your open letter. You’re allowed to format your list however you want; we will not judge your entry based on formatting in this section. Internal citations in your letter are not necessary.

Why are you asking for an Artist’s Statement about our process? What will you do with it?

All of us who work on The Learning Network are former teachers. One of the many things we miss, now that we work in a newsroom rather than a classroom, is being able to see how students are reacting to our “assignments” in real time — and to offer help, or tweaks, to make those assignments better. We’re asking you to reflect on what you did and why, and what was hard or easy about it, in large part so that we can improve our contests and the curriculum we create to support them. This is especially important for new contests, like this one.

Another reason? We have heard from many teachers that writing these statements is immensely helpful to students. Stepping back from a piece and trying to put into words what you wanted to express, and why and how you made artistic choices to do that, can help you see your piece anew and figure out how to make it stronger. For our staff, they offer important context that help us understand individual students and submissions, and learn more about the conditions under which students around the world create.

Whom can I contact if I have questions about this contest or am having issues submitting my entry?

Leave a comment on this post or write to us at [email protected].

QUESTIONS ABOUT TEACHING WITH THIS CONTEST

Do my students need a New York Times subscription to access these resources?

No. All of the resources on The Learning Network are free.

If your students don’t have a subscription to The New York Times, they can also get access to Times pieces through The Learning Network . All the activities for students on our site, including mentor texts and writing prompts, plus the Times articles they link to, are free. Students can search for articles using the search tool on our home page.

How do my students prove to me that they entered this contest?

After they press “Submit” on the form below, they will see a “Thank you for your submission.” line appear. They can take a screenshot of this message. Please note: Our system does not currently send confirmation emails.

Please read the following carefully before you submit:

Students who are 13 and older in the United States or the United Kingdom, or 16 and older elsewhere in the world, can submit their own entries. Those who are 13 to 15 and live outside the United States or the United Kingdom must have an adult submit on their behalf.

All students who are under 18 must provide a parent or guardian’s permission to enter.

You will not receive email confirmation of your submission. After you submit, you will see the message “Thank you for your submission.” That means we received your entry. If you need proof of entry for your teacher, please screenshot that message.

If you have questions about your submission, please write to us at [email protected] and provide the email address you used for submission.

The Poetic Pursuits of English Professors

Two english faculty members become finalists in byu studies poetry contests..

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Every year, BYU Studies holds an essay and poetry contest. Over the past two years, two faculty members from BYU’s English Department were announced as finalists in the poetry competition.

Ben de Hoyos Jr. (Technical Communication, Mythology and Archetypes), a part-time faculty member since 2004, was a finalist in 2022 with his poem “ The Last Leaf .” De Hoyos entered the contest because he enjoys reading the poetry and articles published in BYU Studies. He says, “I thought it might be fun to join with like-minded people and be part of the ‘conversation.’” The first seven stanzas of “The Last Leaf” read:

Shadows strained eastward as the yielding sun, In solemn salute, frosted Nebo’s peaks In glowing hues of squash and melon and The last leaf dropped. Like fine pink sugar spun

Darlene Young (Creative and Technical Writing), a part-time faculty member since 2015, was one of five 2023 finalists with her two poems, “ Stiff-necked ” and “ What If I’d Not Been Raised to Know You? ” Young entered the contest because of the outreach and audience her poetry receives as a result. She says, “In a culture that does not spend money on books (well, books of poetry, anyway), it is difficult for me to assess how I am doing in my work. A contest helps me gauge whether I am succeeding, particularly for the audience I care about.”

The beginning of her poem “Stiff-necked” reads:

Caught in the drainpipe of this tin-can quick-charge one-use world, I’ve had enough. Blast me, Lord; tear the roof right off. Crack me open like a bookspine puckered new; splay me. Dog-ear me.

The first three lines of “What If I’d Not Been Raised to Know You?” read:

I think I would have noticed. You call to me in pluckings of strings in the dark, in salty seaweed and woodsmoke and crickets and even the traffic. I would hear, I think.

Both faculty members’ poems were featured in volume 62 of BYU Studies Quarterly . Young plans to enter future BYU Studies poetry contests to continue reaching the audience she wants to engage with her poetry. De Hoyos and his wife will serve a mission in West Africa for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints starting this summer, but he hopes to continue writing poetry whenever possible.

Submissions for the 2024 contests open on October 1 and close on January 31, 2025. Enter to win up to $1,500!

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Reedsy | Short Story Editors | 2023-03

Meet short story editors

Perfect your story for submission with help from an experienced editor.

Creative Writing Prompts

When the idea to start a weekly newsletter with writing inspiration first came to us, we decided that we wanted to do more than provide people with topics to write about. We wanted to try and help authors form a regular writing habit and also give them a place to proudly display their work. So we started the weekly Creative Writing Prompts newsletter. Since then, Prompts has grown to a community of more than 450,000 authors, complete with its own literary magazine, Prompted .  

Here's how our contest works: every Friday, we send out a newsletter containing five creative writing prompts. Each week, the story ideas center around a different theme. Authors then have one week — until the following Friday — to submit a short story based on one of our prompts. A winner is picked each week to win $250 and is highlighted on our Reedsy Prompts page.

Interested in participating in our short story contest? Sign up here for more information! Or you can check out our full Terms of Use and our FAQ page .

Why we love creative writing prompts

If you've ever sat in front of a computer or notebook and felt the urge to start creating worlds, characters, and storylines — all the while finding yourself unable to do so — then you've met the author's age-old foe: writer's block. There's nothing more frustrating than finding the time but not the words to be creative. Enter our directory! If you're ready to kick writer's block to the curb and finally get started on your short story or novel, these unique story ideas might just be your ticket.

This list of 1800+ creative writing prompts has been created by the Reedsy team to help you develop a rock-solid writing routine. As all aspiring authors know, this is the #1 challenge — and solution! — for reaching your literary goals. Feel free to filter through different genres, which include...

Dramatic — If you want to make people laugh and cry within the same story, this might be your genre.

Funny — Whether satire or slapstick, this is an opportunity to write with your funny bone.

Romance — One of the most popular commercial genres out there. Check out these story ideas out if you love writing about love.

Fantasy — The beauty of this genre is that the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Dystopian – Explore the shadowy side of human nature and contemporary technology in dark speculative fiction.

Mystery — From whodunnits to cozy mysteries, it's time to bring out your inner detective.

Thriller and Suspense — There's nothing like a page-turner that elicits a gasp of surprise at the end.

High School — Encourage teens to let their imaginations run free.

Want to submit your own story ideas to help inspire fellow writers? Send them to us here.

After you find the perfect story idea

Finding inspiration is just one piece of the puzzle. Next, you need to refine your craft skills — and then display them to the world. We've worked hard to create resources that help you do just that! Check them out:

  • How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
  • Best Literary Magazines of 2023 — a directory of 100+ reputable magazines that accept unsolicited submissions.
  • Writing Contests in 2023 — the finest contests of 2021 for fiction and non-fiction authors of short stories, poetry, essays, and more.

Beyond creative writing prompts: how to build a writing routine

While writing prompts are a great tactic to spark your creative sessions, a writer generally needs a couple more tools in their toolbelt when it comes to developing a rock-solid writing routine . To that end, here are a few more additional tips for incorporating your craft into your everyday life.

  • NNWT. Or, as book coach Kevin Johns calls it , “Non-Negotiable Writing Time.” This time should be scheduled into your routine, whether that’s once a day or once a week. Treat it as a serious commitment, and don’t schedule anything else during your NNWT unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Set word count goals. And make them realistic! Don’t start out with lofty goals you’re unlikely to achieve. Give some thought to how many words you think you can write a week, and start there. If you find you’re hitting your weekly or daily goals easily, keep upping the stakes as your craft time becomes more ingrained in your routine.
  • Talk to friends and family about the project you’re working on. Doing so means that those close to you are likely to check in about the status of your piece — which in turn keeps you more accountable.

Arm yourself against writer’s block. Writer’s block will inevitably come, no matter how much story ideas initially inspire you. So it’s best to be prepared with tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself on track before the block hits. You can find 20 solid tips here — including how to establish a relationship with your inner critic and apps that can help you defeat procrastination or lack of motivation.

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Relaxing, creative and perilous: Here are the winners of the 2024 Pioneer Press Peeps Diorama Contest

Our community of diorama artists were at it again this year, creating with Peeps as has been our Easter tradition since 2004 .

Yep, 20 years now.

Happy anniversary, Peeple!

“Thank you, Pioneer Press, for offering kids (and adults) a fun and creative way to celebrate the holidays and springtime,” wrote Katherine Englund of Rosemount.

You are welcome!

This year, some of the artists of the 91 dioramas reflected on our lack of winter — except for that weekend in February when the Peeps version of Jessie Diggins went skiing. There was Barbie, modeling a dress created from Peeps; there was a Peeps coronation for His Majesty, King Peep (Charles); Peeps playing peepleball (pickleball) and Peeps at the beach or on vacation; Peeps running a doughnut shop and much more.

Thanks to all of our Peeps who make our contest an annual tradition; it means a lot to us. You can download a participation certificate at the bottom of this article.

Happy Easter!

First place: “Lake Supeepior!”

Sometimes it pays to miss a deadline.

For Stephanie Ratanas King, it is paying (via a $100 gift card) for her diorama of a “Lake Supeepior” camping spot.

“I actually made this last year to enter,” Ratanas King wrote in her submission. “I have always wanted to do this and I got way way into it and making miniature, not-quite-to-Peep scale things. They don’t have arms anyway so I’m sure they have their methods of picking up slightly-too-large-for-them items. Anyway, I got so deep into it last year that I actually MISSED the deadline, so I have been storing this in my basement for the last year for it to show its glory finally.

“Yet still, submitting it at the last minute this year.”

(She made it, though, emailing us her entry before the cutoff.)

The judges love this entry for its Minnesota themes of camping, parks and our great lake.

Ratanas King walked us through her process:

“Lake Supeepior is modeled after one of the cart-in campsites at Temperance River State Park , right on the north shore of Lake Superior,” she wrote. “It’s one of my favorite places, to camp, right on the edge of the lake.”

In the diorama, the Peeps are enjoying their time at the North Shore, just like the person who created this world for them:

“My family and I love camping so I included us as Peeps and all the things we like to do: reading, looking for rocks, making SPAMwiches for breakfast!” she wrote. “My Peep son here is into maps so he’s studying the state park map. We also have two dogs, Spooky and Skelly, and they love camping too so they are here as the little bird Peeps. I’m not usually one for the chick Peep form but it works for being Peep pets.

“I replicated our Kodiak canvas tent, and my trusty Coleman water jug. Lake Supeepior water is made with resin and there are a lot of rocks and sand in this diorama so it’s very heavy.”

As judges, we appreciate all the detail work that went into creating this diorama, work that was also fun, fun that illustrates the best of life here in Minnesota.

“I had so much fun making this!” Ratanas King wrote. “I hope it brings people joy!”

You know what else brings joy? Camping! Just do it, people.

Second place: “Just Peep-ing Over”

One of our judges described this contender as “true cinematography.” Even though it’s not a movie — but maybe it should be!

Katherine Rose of St. Paul did manage this diorama like a director, down to the photo’s fuzzy viewpoint, the same view you would get by looking through the peephole of your door to see two Peeps waiting to celebrate Easter with you.

We love how these Peeps are bringing offerings that are classic Midwestern fare:

“Had to include the Midwest deviled eggs (nothing too spicy) too and an (Easter) basket of buns that the peeps are bringing over for dinner,” Rose wrote in her entry.

Her attention to detail is impressive. In her entry, Rose walked us through her process.

“I knew I wanted to make a ‘peep hole’ pun, so I envisioned what a hallway in a Peeps apartment might look like,” she wrote. “The materials I used were a mishmash of ‘art scraps’ including paper, paint, beads, buttons, and clay. I had a great time gathering some of the supplies from the Art Scraps store in St. Paul. It’s the perfect store for any little project.

“With a tiny light from a miniature set, I strung together some beads and buttons to create a sconce light for the hallway that actually lit up.

“To achieve the peep hole effect without relying on a filter, I had a friend stand in a hallway, took photos of them through the peephole and then tried to replicate the perspective. Hope it’s convincing! ”

“The photo was a bit difficult to get, I had to blur the background a bit to really feature the Peeps but I think you can still read the decoration puns,” Rose wrote.

(Those details include an Easter-themed wreath on a neighbor’s door across the hall that proclaims, “Hoppy Easter.”)

“The fun part is that to fully appreciate the scene, you have to close one eye and peer through the little hole, just like you would with a real peephole,” Rose wrote.

Third place: “Peril on Peep Mountain”

Do you ever stop and realize that you haven’t done anything creative in awhile?

That’s kind of what happened to Matt Peick of Eagan.

“While sitting in a local café back in mid-February I was taking an inventory of the home improvement and various engineering projects I had on my to-do list, and it occurred to me that not one of these projects contained any redeeming artistic expression,” Peick wrote in his entry. “Fate intervened as I glanced at the pages of the Pioneer Press that an earlier patron had left behind and saw an ad for the Peeps Diorama Contest. ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘there it is then, I had better act quickly before I change my mind.'”

We’re so glad he did.

He started by creating a mountain out of Rice Krispies. Along the way, he pulled his family into the project: His 18-year-old son, Wyatt, helped shape Peick’s storyline (the Grinch saves a Peep dangling off the mountain) while his 20-year-old daughter, Madeline, shaped the Grinch out of modeling chocolate. Most impressively, his wife, Stephanie Peick, agreed to keep the thermostat at 60 degrees to prevent a second avalanche of melting Rice Krispies on Peep Mountain.

It was chilly but … fun!  And creative. Exactly what they needed.

“The project got away from us a bit and took on a life of its own for a week,” Peick wrote.

The family fun ended when Peick took the diorama outside and got on a ladder with it. Together, the artist and his art made a run for the summit — the roof — where Peick thought the sky would make a better backdrop for a photo than the paper version he had set up indoors.

You know what happened next, right?

“As I watched Peep Mountain crash back to earth in slow motion from my perch on the ladder, I decided that all the pictures gathered in the kitchen studio were pretty great after all,” Peick wrote.

(Please don’t climb onto roofs with dioramas, Peeple!)

We really enjoyed Peick’s delightful essay on the making of his diorama — as well as Wyatt’s Seuss-like poem — and we think you will, too. Peeple can read it and check out more photos of the mountain making. We hope the saga will inspire you to create something just for fun like this Peep did.

Our Peeps at the Pioneer Press!

This year, for the first time, Pioneer Press employees submitted dioramas for an internal competition for staff.

Terri Bailey, Jared Kaufman, Maraya King and Amberleigh Rich entered, check out the dioramas in this gallery.

Stay tuned for the news on who won!

Peep-ager category (ages 13 to 17): “Peep Crocheting”

We loved Abby Mewis’ work so much that we were inspired to create a teen category after seeing it. Thanks to Abby’s diorama, future teens can feel inspired to pull out the Peeps and compete with their peers.

This is not the first year that Abby has entered; last year, we were also impressed with her diorama, “Peeps Royal Ballet School.” Actually, we are impressed with all the dioramas that the Mewis family enters!

“As tradition, here is Abby’s 2024 Peep submission,” Abby’s father, Peder Mewis, wrote in an email for this year’s submission. “Abby (13) hails from Glenwood City, Wisconsin. Title: ‘Peep Crocheting.’ Context: Abby is a self-taught crochet enthusiast and was inspired to incorporate her skills into this year’s diorama contest.”

What did we like? Well, the room the bunny is crocheting in has got such a classic feel to it, reminiscent of the room in  “Goodnight Moon” — we are sure we will use it as stock Peeps art for years to come. The crocheting is also a nice touch, especially as it represents the trending hobby of handiwork such as crocheting and knitting among today’s teens (our future subscribers!).

Bonus: We also liked the beachy feel of the Mewis’ family entry, “Peep Beach!,” featuring a trip to North Captiva island, “where shelling is extra special!” See the work of the family (Peder, Anna, Abby and Michael) in our online slideshow.

Little Peeple category (ages 7 to 12): “Peeps Skiing at Hip-Hop Hill”

As our diorama deadline approached, 10-year-old Callan Englund of Rosemount was still considering what materials to use.

Then, Mother Nature intervened.

It was time for Callan’s Peeps to go skiing!

“His masterpiece came to full fruition hours before the deadline,” wrote Callan’s mother, Katherine Englund. “Finally a scene to help you remember one of Minnesota’s favorite winter pastimes! This delightful image is one that all Minnesotans can identify with, from the huddled chicks waiting to get into the chalet to the adventurous bunnies cruising the hills.”

Bonus: Props also to Callan’s siblings: Garrett, age 6, created a diorama in which Team Yellow faces off with Team Pink in a basketball game while Asher, age 8, details a hockey game between Team Rabbit and Team Chick. See both dioramas in our online slideshow.

Chick category (6 and under): “Kiss Kiss Fish” and “Solar Eclipse” (tie)

We have two winning dioramas in this category, Peeps: “Solar Eclipse” by Gloria Foley, 6, of Mounds View and “Kiss Kiss Fish” by Cecelia Gutzmann, 4, and June Gutzmann, 5, of Bloomington.

Here’s more about each diorama:

“Solar Eclipse”

One of our judges is a former Girl Scout and, as such, appreciates the initiative shown by this Girl Scout Daisy when it comes to not only creating a diorama related to the coming solar eclipse, but educating others as well.

“Gloria of Mounds View will turn seven on the day of the solar eclipse and this upcoming event has become her passion as shown in the diorama she made for her Girl Scout Daisy troop,” wrote Gloria’s mother, Wendee Foley.

It all started with a troop activity.

“Gloria’s Girl Scout Daisy troop decided to build Peep dioramas from Girl Scout cookie boxes to spark curiosity and creativity while utilizing art scraps and upcycled items,” Foley wrote. “When she heard about the Peeps project from her leaders, she immediately wanted to include the upcoming solar eclipse in her theme. What else would peeps do after Easter?! Well, they’ll be “peeping” at the sun during the total eclipse, obviously! You see, Gloria’s birthday is April 1st, and her birthday wish is to see the total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024.

“While Minnesota will experience a partial solar eclipse , Gloria will tell you that if you travel just a few states over, you, my friend, can actually see a real total solar eclipse on April 8th! So after several exciting trips to the library, an educational star watch class with (retired) WCCO Radio meteorologist Mike Lynch (our Skywatch columnist!) and lots of searching for facts about the total eclipse online, she has become quite the expert on this celestial event.

“She is educating her entire first-grade class on the 2024 total solar eclipse just days before she goes to see it herself — with her protective eyewear ready, just like her Peeps! She wanted to make sure all the Peep bunnies had solar-safe glasses — so no Peep eyes were injured in the production of this diorama.

“And if you look closely, the bunny Peeps in her recycled cookie box wait patiently in their chairs as the temperature drops, the sky darkens, all shadows cast have a crescent shape and then the moon slowly covers the sun, an awe-inspiring moment of nature for all Peeps in the path of totality!”

“Kiss-Kiss Fish”

OK, we’ll admit it, this cute photo of these two Peeps artists — 4-year-old Cecelia Gutzmann and 5-year-old June Gutzmann — standing by their diorama influenced the judges. We also like their coloring work. And the theme is based on a children’s picture book, which is nice. Finally, we appreciate that they incorporated nature that is meaningful to them into their diorama.

In an email, their mother, Amy Gutzmann, told us more about this diorama:

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The sisters used a variety of mediums as they worked.

“They enjoyed coloring different sea creatures with Tempera paint sticks and crushing graham crackers for the sand,” Gutzmann wrote. “Seashells were collected from Bush Lake Beach.”

Bonus: Check out our online slideshow to see the diorama of a Gophers vs. Vikings football game that their 7-year-old brother, Gil, created with the neighbor kids.

“They were all pretty excited to use the glue gun,” Gutzmann wrote.

Honorable mentions

As usual, there were many standouts. Here are some that the judges liked.

While we did not receive any “Oppenheimer” dioramas, we did get a few “Barbie” ones, including this couture confection by Marlis Schmidt of St. Paul.

We asked Schmidt about the making of “Pretty in Peep: Barbie in the Spotlight.”

“I had never bought or eaten a Peeps in my life; for some reason they had eluded me until I moved to Minnesota from Texas,” she replied. ” I didn’t even know they were made of marshmallows. This whimsical Peeps obsession during the Easter season seems to be more of a Midwestern thing — and this year mine.”

Barbie was a natural theme for 2024 after the 2023 movie.

“The Barbie movie rekindled my love for Barbie and it has long been an art muse for me,” Schmidt writes. “I covered one in seeds for the Minnesota State Fair one year. But I really wanted to see if I could make clothes out of Peeps, which wasn’t easy … it was challenging to figure out how to connect these spongy Peeps and keep them all together and in place while working.

At times, Schmidt said, she wished she had “real” seamstress skills. It was only after her masterpiece was complete did she learn the secret of many a Peep artist:

A glue gun!

Our missing winter

We recently reported that it was our warmest meteorological winter on record in the Twin Cities. This local weather history was addressed in several dioramas, including “No-Snow Snow Globe” by Cynthia Kleist of Shoreview and “Peep Wave” by the Schomburg family and friends.

The Little Peeple also tackled this topic. One of our favorites showed Peeps looking at the melted ice sculptures in “2024 ‘Winter’ Carnival” by Susannah Jahnke,10, and Arthur Jahnke, 8, of Roseville. In this diorama, an ice palace has been replaced with a sand version (good idea).

Of course, we had some snow this winter — some of it just in time for Afton native Jessie Diggins’ triumph at Loppet Cup, a World Cup cross-country skiing event race that debuted in February at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Our famous athlete crossed the finish line in entries by Patty Kohls of St. Paul and Carol Wiessner of Afton.

We liked Kohls’ entry because you can see all those fall leaves and dead grasses next to a strip of snow, symbolic of our winter that wasn’t. And we appreciate Wiessner’s support of this hometown gal.

“I’ve been entering for a number of years now just for the fun of it and this year at the last minute I changed up what I was originally going to do so I could make a diorama to give Jessie Diggins from Afton a Peep Tribute!” Wiessner wrote. “Our youngest daughter was on the Stillwater Nordic team with her for a year and we’ve been following her amazing Nordic career since. I think what she has done for Nordic skiing (and girls and women athletes in general) has been phenomenal.

“I’m not in this for the ‘big prize money’ (lol). And maybe there are already a few entries re: Jessie, I don’t know? I sure hope she gets a shout out though.”

We are shouting: Go, Jessie!

Entertainment

Entertainment themes ranged from Taylor Swift on stage for “The Eras Tour” and Travis Kelce at the Super Bowl to Prince’s 1991 performance at the Grammys — check them out in our online slideshow.

We were also impressed with recycling efforts showcased in “Peep Busters: Ecto 2.0 Saves the Day” by Michael Mewis, age 10, of Glenwood City, Wis. (brother of Peep-ager winner, Abby Mewis).

“In celebration of the 40th anniversary, Michael’s diorama is to honor the Ghostbusters legendary film franchise,” his father, Peder Mewis, wrote. “Michael used lots of recycled material as well as pipe cleaners, hot glue, air-dry clay and an old plastic truck. He constructed his diorama entirely on his own.”

Applause also to Estella Shelton, 10, of Inver Grove Heights, for her “Wheel of Fortune” diorama that came with a message for the judges.

“I like watching game shows with my family and trying to shout out the answers, even if I’m wrong!” Estella wrote. “My favorite part was adding hair to my Peeps! I cut some hair off my Barbie and my Nana, it was so funny!! I would like to solve the puzzle … ‘PICK MY PEEPS!!'”

Finally, just like us, Peeps have trouble staying off their devices, even at the beach. In Martha Sohn’s diorama, “The Peeps ‘Peepnic’ at the Beach,” one poor Peep gets sunburned after zoning out with a Corona in one hand and their phone in the other. A cautionary tale!

2024 presidential election

It’s a U.S. presidential election year, so we did receive a handful of dioramas that provided political commentary on everything from the candidates to hot topics. Jill Schaefer of Minnetonka offered up her perspective on Joe Biden and Donald Trump through the vantage point of “Peep Groundhog Day.”

“Sigh, we are all seeing two shadows this spring … maybe time to retreat to our dens for 6 months with groundhog Peep?” she wrote in her entry.

Interestingly, this groundhog is a Dr. Pepper-flavored Peep; it was the “closest to brown I could find,” Schaefer wrote.

Has Kris Lindahl seen this?

If you have ever driven around the Twin Cities, you’ve probably spotted Kris Lindahl stretching his arms out on billboards.

Teresa Lai of St. Paul sure has as you can see in her diorama, “Roadside Distraction.”

“My diorama was inspired by the omnipresent muse of the Twin Cities: realtor extraordinaire and marketing guru, Kris Lindahl ,” Lai wrote. “As someone who has traveled by a road in the metro area, I am haunted day and night by Mr. Lindahl’s outstretched arms and terrifying smile. I transformed his image into Peep form in the hopes that finally, my mind will be freed from his open-palmed command, my house no longer under the threat of his guaranteed cash offer.

“The most challenging part of this piece was being brave enough to walk into the UPS Store and ask them to print off several copies of my modified Kris Lindahl billboard background.”

At press time, Lai told us she remains haunted.

Time to create — together

We love how families and friends use our annual contest as a tradition to get together and create art. This includes Japs Lee and her kids. While 4-year-old Abby Letcher made a “Sprinkle Pool Party” for her Peeps and 7-year-old Jake Letcher embraced a rural theme with “On the Peeps Farm,” their mom has Peeps celebrating another tradition in “Hmong New Year.”

“We enjoy celebrating our cultural background at the Hmong New Year,” Lee wrote.

The Stillwater family also enjoys the process of our newspaper tradition.

“This is our second year and the kids love it!” Lee wrote.

Someone should send this to King Charles

We love the story behind the creation of “HRH King Charles Peep of Wales.”

(Although Prince William is now the “Peep” of Wales.)

“We are a group of neighborhood friends from St Paul who hang out every week to create art, laugh, and support each other,” Jolene Olson wrote.

(Olson’s fellow Peeps artists: Bridget McGreevy, Deborah Saul, Waverly Booth, Kelli Cox and Shona Docter.)

“We gathered all of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ old jewelry and fabric to create the costume and fascinators for the grand King Coronation Peep extravaganza,” Olson wrote. “We tore apart our childhood dolls’ outfits to create the clothing for the Queen and King. The King’s mighty cape is made from a vintage doll’s attire. The crowns are articulated from old jewelry. Pieces of jewelry were taken apart and reconstructed for the perfect fascinators and details of attire and crowns. We had a ball doing this!!! Flags were also handmade with love.”

  • Arts | Winners of the 2023 Pioneer Press Peeps Diorama Contest
  • Arts | Here are the entries for the 2023 Pioneer Press Peeps Diorama Contest
  • Arts | Photos of past Pioneer Press Peeps Diorama Contest winners and favorites

“I believe I’ve entered this contest every year except two since it started,” Spears added in her entry. “It’s the highlight of spring!”

Ours, too. Thanks, Kim!

©2024 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at twincities.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Minneapolis

UC San Diego Library

Undergraduate Library Research Prize Submission Period Now Open

Win $1,000 for a school project completed using library resources and services.

2023 ULRP winners Anne Parnell and Sky Li standing with the Library's Erik Mitchell and Dani Cook

We are delighted to announce the submission period for the 2024 Undergraduate Library Research Prize (ULRP) contest is now open for students who have presented a research project under faculty mentorship over the past 12 months. 

The ULRP allows us to reward and recognize students who demonstrate a strategic and effective use of the Library as a resource in direct support of research undertaken on campus. The contest is co-sponsored by the UC San Diego Library, UC San Diego Alumni and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Eligibility 

Undergraduate students can submit for the ULRP for work completed for credit-bearing courses and work presented at research-focused events. Judges will review creative works, empirical research and interpretive analysis, which shows sophisticated use and understanding of Library resources.

  • Creative Works include but are not limited to, art installations or exhibits, software programs, websites, digital stories, zines, musical compositions, films or videos, digital projects, special projects and more.
  • Empirical Research includes but is not limited to, research conducted with qualitative or quantitative methodologies, presented in formats such as research articles, poster presentations, essays and more.
  • Interpretive Analysis includes, but is not limited to cultural criticism, literary criticism, film analysis, historiographies, social criticism and more.

Students must submit their documentation and receive a faculty nomination by Sunday, April 28.

Cash Prizes

The ULRP contest consists of five $1,000 cash prizes in each of the following categories:

  • Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
  • Best project highlighting resources from the Data and GIS Lab
  • Best project highlighting resources from Special Collections & Archives 

Please review the submission guidelines on the ULRP submission page . If you have any questions, please contact Tim Chu, ULRP Coordinator, at [email protected]

COMMENTS

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    The Christy Award® was established in 1999 to acknowledge the value and impact of the novel of faith in contemporary culture. Since that time, the Christys have been a focal point for the writers and publishers in our community. 💰 Entry fee: $175. 📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024.

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    YoungArts Competition. Award Amount: Up to $10,000 cash awards. Deadline: October 15, 2022; application for 2024 opens June 2023. Fee: $35. Open to students in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, writing, and music, the YoungArts competition asks students to submit a portfolio of work.

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    Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Prize: First Place: $3,000 Entry Fee: $22. Deadline: May 1, 2024. Sponsor: Winning Writers (Co-sponsored by Duotrope) From Website: "For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. All themes accepted. Entries may be published or unpublished.

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    5. John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest. This annual contest invites students to write about a political official's act of political courage that occurred after Kennedy's birth in 1917. The winner receives $10,000, and 16 runners-up also receive a variety of cash prizes.

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    Genre: Nonfiction essay about the planet we call home. Prize: Best Entry: $100; Runner up: $50. Deadline: April 22, 2024. (Note: This is a monthly contest) Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant. Restrictions: Open to US citizens and residents only. Genre: Creative nonfiction. Whiting welcomes submissions for works of history, cultural or ...

  12. The Comprehensive List of 2024 Writing Contests

    The contest is open to all writers in English except current or former students or employees of The University of Southern Mississippi. Fiction and non-fiction entries should be 1000-8000 words; poetry entries should be three to five poems, totaling ten pages or less. Genre. Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry. Sub-Genre.

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    Terry Tempest Williams Creative Nonfiction Prize . This essay contest welcomes all kinds of creative essays from lyric essays to literary journalism. Objective essays are also allowed but should have a personal touch. All semi-finalists will be considered for publication! Word count: 500-10,000. Prize: $1,000. Entry fee: $23. Closing date: 01 ...

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  21. The Poetic Pursuits of English Professors

    Every year, BYU Studies holds an essay and poetry contest. Over the past two years, two faculty members from BYU's English Department were announced as finalists in the poetry competition. Ben de Hoyos Jr. (Technical Communication, Mythology and Archetypes), a part-time faculty member since 2004, was a finalist in 2022 with his poem " The ...

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