Writing Contests, Grants & Awards

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.

Sponsor and Award Entry Fee Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline
Sponsor and Award Commonwealth Club of California
California Book Awards

Three prizes are given annually to writers residing in California for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction). Prizes are also given for a first book of fiction and a...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline 12/22/14
Sponsor and Award Civil War Institute
Michael Shaara Book Prize

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a novel about the Civil War published during the previous year to "encourage fresh approaches to Civil War fiction." Publishers, critics, and authors may submit...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $5,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/31/14
Sponsor and Award Cleveland Foundation
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published during the previous year that "contribute to our understanding of racism...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $10,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/31/14
Sponsor and Award Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua Prize

A prize of $7,500 is given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction published during the previous year. The winner also receives a weeklong, all-expenses-paid summer residency at Chautauqua...

Entry Fee $75 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $7,500 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/31/14
Sponsor and Award Colorado Review
Colorado Prize for Poetry

A prize of $2,000 and publication by the Center for Literary Publishing is given annually for a poetry collection. Colorado State University employees, students, and alumni are ineligible. Laura...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 1/14/15
Sponsor and Award Chattahoochee Review
Lamar York Prizes

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Chattahoochee Review are given annually for a short story and an essay. David James Poissant will judge in fiction; Marcia Aldrich will judge in...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 1/31/15
Sponsor and Award Crazyhorse
Literary Prizes

Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Crazyhorse are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Alberto Ros will judge in poetry; Adam Johnson will judge in fiction;...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 1/31/15
Sponsor and Award Center for Fiction
New York City Emerging Writers Fellowship

Fellowships of $4,000 each, membership to the Center for Fiction in New York City, and unlimited access to the center's Writers' Studio is given annually to fiction writers living in New York City who...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $4,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 1/31/15
Sponsor and Award Caine Prize
Caine Prize

A prize of £10,000 (approximately $15,712) is given annually for a previously published short story by an African writer. Shortlisted candidates will receive £500 (approximately $786) and some travel...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $15,712 Prize includes Application Deadline 1/31/15
Sponsor and Award Colgate University
Olive B. O'Connor Fellowships

Two nine-month residencies at Colgate University, including a stipend of $37,500, health benefits, and travel expenses, will be given biennially to a fiction writer and a creative nonfiction writer...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $37,500 Prize includes Reading Application Deadline 2/1/15
Sponsor and Award Center for Documentary Studies
Documentary Essay Prize

A prize of $3,000 and publication in Document and on the Center for Documentary Studies website will be given biennially for an essay that uses documentary methods. The winner will also be...

Entry Fee $35 Genre Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $3,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 2/15/15
Sponsor and Award CURA
Short Story Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art and Action will be given annually for a short story based on a theme. The theme this year is "Borderlands." Using the online...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 2/28/15
Sponsor and Award Colorado Review
Nelligan Prize

A prize of $2,000 and publication in Colorado Review is given annually for a short story. Lauren Groff will judge. Submit a story of any length with a $15 entry fee by March 14. All entries are...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 3/14/15