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 Awardsort icon Entry Fee Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline
Sponsor and Awardsort icon Cutthroat
Poetry and Fiction Awards

Two awards of $1,250 each and publication in Cutthroat are given annually for a group of poems and a short story. Martn Espada will judge the Joy Harjo Poetry Award, and Bobbie Ann Mason will...

Entry Fee $17 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,250 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/20/14
Sponsor and Awardsort icon 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 Awardsort icon DIAGRAM
Essay Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in DIAGRAM is given annually for an essay. Hybrid elements and unique textual, formal, or visual elements are encouraged, but not required. Ander Monson and...

Entry Fee $17 Genre Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/30/14
Sponsor and Awardsort icon Elixir Press
Poetry Awards

A prize of $2,500 and publication by Elixir Press is given annually for a poetry collection. A second prize of $1,500 and publication is also awarded. Sarah Kennedy will judge. Submit a manuscript of at...

Entry Fee $30 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $2,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/31/14
Sponsor and Awardsort icon Ellen Meloy Fund
Desert Writers Award

A prize of $3,000 is given annually to enable a creative nonfiction writer "whose work reflects the spirit and passions for the desert embodied in Meloy's writing" to spend creative time in a desert...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $3,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 1/15/15
Sponsor and Awardsort icon Fence Books
Ottoline Prize

A prize of $5,000 and publication by Fence Books will be given annually for a poetry collection by a woman who has published at least one book of poetry. Using the online submission system, submit a...

Entry Fee $28 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $5,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/30/14

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

News and Trends

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

Special Section

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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