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 Ruminate
William Van Dyke Short Story Prize

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 5,500 words with a $20 entry fee by October 27. Visit the website for complete guidelines...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/27/14
Sponsor and Award Arrowhead Regional Arts Council
Career Development Grants

Grants of up to $3,000 are given twice yearly to allow Minnesota writers to take advantage of a specific arts opportunity. Poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who are U.S. citizens...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $3,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Award Glimmer Train Press
Very Short Fiction Award

A prize of $1,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given quarterly for a very short story. Using the online submission system, submit a story of up to 3...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Award Dana Awards
Dana Awards

Three prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and a novel or novel-in-progress. Submit five poems of no more than 100 lines each with a $15 entry fee, a short story...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Award Indiana Review
Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review is given annually for a short story. Roxane Gay will judge. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Award Black Balloon Publishing
Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize

A prize of $5,000 and publication by Black Balloon Publishing will be given annually for a short story collection or a novel. The editors will judge. Submit an unpublished manuscript of at least 50,000...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $5,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Award Rubery Book Award
Short Story Competition

A prize of £600 (approximately $1,010) and publication in the Rubery Book Award anthology will be given annually for a short story. Gaynor Arnold will judge. Submit a story of up to 3,000 words with a $...

Entry Fee $13 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,010 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Award American-Scandinavian Foundation
Writing Fellowships and Grants

Fellowships of up to $23,000 and grants of up to $5,000 are given annually to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and translators for study and research in Scandinavia. For travel in...

Entry Fee $60 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $23,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Briar Cliff Review
Writing Contests

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Briar Cliff Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. The editors will judge. Submit three poems or up to 5,000 words of...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Reed Magazine
John Steinbeck Short Story Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Reed Magazine is given annually for a short story. Using the online submission system, submit a story of up to 5,000 words with a $15 entry fee, which...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Fiction Collective Two
Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize

A prize of $15,000 and publication by Fiction Collective Two, an imprint of University of Alabama Press, is given annually for a short story collection, a novella or novella collection, or a novel. U.S....

Entry Fee $25 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $15,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Mid-American Review
Poetry and Fiction Contests

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Mid-American Review are given annually for a single poem and a short story. Submit up to three poems for the James Wright Poetry Award or a short...

Entry Fee $10 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Southeast Missouri State University Press
Nilsen Literary Prize

A prize of $2,000 and publication by Southeast Missouri State University Press is given annually for a novel, a novella, or a collection of linked stories by a U.S. writer who has not yet published a...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Washington Writers' Publishing House
Poetry and Fiction Prizes

Two prizes of $1,000 each, publication by Washington Writers, and 50 author copies are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection or a novel. Writers who live in Washington, D.C...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Fiction Collective Two
Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest

A prize of $1,500 and publication by Fiction Collective Two is given annually for a short story collection, a novella or novella collection, or a novel. U.S. writers who have not previously published a...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award New Rivers Press
Many Voices Project Competition

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction or creative nonfiction by an emerging writer. The winning works are published by New Rivers Press and...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award Washington College
Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship

A nine-month fellowship, which includes a stipend of $45,000, at the C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, is given annually to a...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $45,000 Prize includes Residency Application Deadline 11/1/14
Sponsor and Award San Miguel Writers' Conference
Writing Contest

Three prizes valued at approximately $1,000 each will be given annually for a group of poems, a short story or novel excerpt, and an essay or memoir excerpt. The prize includes full tuition, lodging, an...

Entry Fee $30 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Reading, Conference Registration Application Deadline 11/2/14
Sponsor and Award Three Percent
Best Translated Book Awards

Two awards of $10,000 each will be given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection or novel translated into English for the first time and published in the previous year. The winning...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $10,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 11/14/14
Sponsor and Award Narrative
30 Below Contest

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a poem, a short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a work of fiction or creative nonfiction by a writer under the age of 30...

Entry Fee $22 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/15/14
Sponsor and Award Pushcart Press
Editors' Book Award

A prize of $1,000 is given occasionally for a fiction or creative nonfiction manuscript that has been submitted to but not accepted by a commercial publisher. The award recognizes "worthy manuscripts...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 11/15/14
Sponsor and Award The Story Prize
The Story Prize

A prize of $20,000 is given annually for a short story collection written in English and first published in the United States in the previous year. Two runners-up will receive $5,000 each, and one...

Entry Fee $75 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $20,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 11/15/14
Sponsor and Award National Poetry Review Press
Rousseau Prize for Literature

A prize of $1,000 and publication by National Poetry Review Press, in collaboration with Dream Horse Press, is given annually for a collection of poetry or flash fiction. Profits from entry fees are...

Entry Fee $30 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/15/14
Sponsor and Award Writer's Digest
Short Short Story Competition

A prize of $3,000, publication in Writer's Digest, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Writer's Digest Conference in New York City is given annually for a short short story. A second-place...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $3,000 Prize includes Publication, Travel Expenses, Conference Registration Application Deadline 11/17/14
Sponsor and Award Tupelo Press
Tupelo Quarterly Prose Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Tupelo Quarterly is given annually for a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. Using the online submission system, submit up to 15 pages of prose with a $20...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/26/14
Sponsor and Award Tampa Review
Danahy Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Tampa Review is given annually for a short story. The editors will judge. Submit a story of 500 to 5,000 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/30/14
Sponsor and Award Glimmer Train Press
Short Story Award for New Writers
A prize of $1,500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories is given quarterly for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not been published in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000...
Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/30/14
Sponsor and Award Narrative
Fall Story Contest

A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a longer work of prose. A second-place prize of $1,000 and...

Entry Fee $22 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $2,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/30/14
Sponsor and Award Fish Publishing
Fish Short Story Prize

A prize of €3,000 (approximately $4,010) and publication in the annual Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 5,000 words either by mail with a €22 (...

Entry Fee $29 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $4,010 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/30/14
Sponsor and Award American Library Association
W. Y. Boyd Literary Award

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a novel published in the previous year that is set in a period when the United States was at war. Publishers or authors may submit seven copies of a book published...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $5,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Langum Charitable Trust
Prize in American Historical Fiction
A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of historical fiction published during the previous year. Publishers or authors may submit three copies of books (or bound galleys) published in 2014 by...
Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Poets & Writers, Inc.
Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Two prizes of $500 each are awarded annually to a poet and a fiction writer from a select state. Each winner also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to give a reading and meet with...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $500 Prize includes Reading, Travel Expenses, Residency Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Stanford University
Wallace Stegner Fellowships

Ten two-year fellowships, five in poetry and five in fiction, are given annually to allow emerging writers to develop their craft in workshops with senior faculty members at Stanford University. Each...

Entry Fee $75 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $26,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Pushcart Press
Pushcart Prizes

Publication in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses is awarded annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction published by literary magazines or small presses during the...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Willow Books
Literature Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Willow Books are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction or creative nonfiction. The winners will also be invited to give a reading at...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Reading, Publication Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers
Meringoff Awards

Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers journal, Literary Imagination, or its newsletter, Literary Matters, are given...

Entry Fee $45 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Great Plains Writers' Conference
Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize

A prize of $1,000 is given annually to an emerging poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer living in the Great Plains region who has not yet published a book. The winner also receives travel...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Reading, Travel Expenses Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Writing Fellowships
Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Writing Fellowships

Fellowships for a seven-month residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, are given annually to four poets and four fiction writers who have not published a full-length book in...

Entry Fee $50 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize Prize includes Residency Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Hurston/Wright Foundation
Founding Members Award for College Writers

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a poem and a short story or novel excerpt by African American college students. The winners will be invited to attend the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/1/14
Sponsor and Award Morehead State University
Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction by an Appalachian writer. Authors and publishers may submit five copies of a book of poetry or prose by December...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/5/14
Sponsor and Award National Endowment for the Arts
Translation Fellowships

Grants of $12,500 and $25,000 each are given annually to translators of poetry and prose from any language into English. Applicants must have published at least 20 pages of translation in literary...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $12,500 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/8/14
Sponsor and Award Publishing Triangle
Literary Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a book of fiction from an LGBT point of view and a first book of fiction by an LGBT author. Two prizes of $1,000 each are also given for books of creative...

Entry Fee $35 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/9/14
Sponsor and Award Friends of American Writers
Literary Award

A prize of up to $4,000 is given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction published during the previous year by a writer who is a resident of the Midwest (or who previously resided in the...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $4,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/10/14
Sponsor and Award Sarabande Books
Bernheim Writing Residency

A two- to six-week residency at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, will be given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, or a creative nonfiction writer. The resident will also...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $500 Prize includes Reading, Residency Application Deadline 12/15/14
Sponsor and Award Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Literary Awards

Four prizes of $500 each are given annually for a poetry collection, a first novel, a book of fiction, and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) by an African American writer published in...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $500 Prize includes Application Deadline 12/19/14
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 Florida Review
Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Florida Review will be given annually for a chapbook of flash fiction or nonfiction, short stories, essays, or graphic narrative. Patricia Grace King will...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 12/30/14
Sponsor and Award Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Awards
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year that make contributions to American multicultural literature. Submit two copies of a book or galley published in...
Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline 12/31/14
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

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

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Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.

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Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

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Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.

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Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.

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