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 Sarabande Books
Morton and McCarthy Prizes

Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication by Sarabande Books are given annually for collections of poetry and fiction. For the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages...

Entry Fee $28 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award University of Iowa Press
Iowa Poetry Prize

Publication by University of Iowa Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 150 pages with a $20 entry fee during the month of April. Call or visit the website for...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $20 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Kore Press
First Book Award

A prize of $1,500, publication by Kore Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a debut poetry collection by a female-identified poet. Poets who have not published a full-length collection or a...

Entry Fee $28 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Late Night Library
Debut-litzer Prizes

Two prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for a first book of poetry and a first book of fiction published in the previous year. The winners are featured on the Late Night Library podcast series, and...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry, Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Reading Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Trio House Press
First/Second Book Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Trio House Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. The winner is also asked to serve as a part-time volunteer for Trio...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Trio House Press
Louise Bogan Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Trio House Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. The winner is also asked to serve as a part-time volunteer for Trio House Press for two...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Winning Writers
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest

Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication on the Winning Writers website are given annually for a short story and an essay. Arthur Powers will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a short...

Entry Fee $18 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge
Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book Award

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year that "illuminates the heritage of America's mid-continental prairies." Authors and...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Poetry Foundation
Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Five fellowships of $25,800 each are given annually to emerging poets. Writers who are U.S. residents or citizens between the ages of 21 and 31 as of April 30 are eligible. Using the online submission...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $25,800 Prize includes Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Tupelo Press
Berkshire Prize

A prize of $3,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 88 pages with a $28 entry fee by April 30. All entries are...

Entry Fee $28 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $3,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Ghost Story
Supernatural Fiction Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Ghost Story website is given twice yearly for a short story with a supernatural or magic realism theme. The editors will judge. Submit a story of 1,500...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Redivider
Beacon Street Prize

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Redivider will be given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Amy Gerstler will judge in poetry, Alexandra Kleeman will judge in...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Arcadia
Dead Bison Editors’ Prize

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Arcadia will be given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Using the online submission system, submit up to 10 pages of...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 4/30/16
Sponsor and Award Leapfrog Press
Fiction Award

A prize of $1,150 and publication by Leapfrog Press is given annually for a short story collection, a novel, or a novella. Sara Pritchard and the editors will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 22,...

Entry Fee $30 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,150 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Wick Poetry Center
Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize
A prize of $2,500 and publication by Kent State University Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. The winner is also invited to give a reading at Kent State University with the judge, who...
Entry Fee $30 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $2,500 Prize includes Reading, Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Southwest Review
David Nathan Meyerson Fiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review is given annually for a short story by a writer who has not published a full-length book of fiction. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Sonora Review
Annual Contests

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sonora Review are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Mathias Svalina will judge in poetry, Molly Antopol...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Los Angeles Review
Literary Prizes

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Los Angeles Review will be given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay. Brynn Saito will judge in poetry, Tom...

Entry Fee $20 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Pleiades Press
Editors Prize for Poetry

A prize of $2,000 and publication by Pleiades Press is given annually for a poetry collection. The winner is also invited to read at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. The editors will...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $2,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Sow's Ear Poetry Review
Chapbook Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Sow's Ear Press with distribution to Sow's Ear Poetry Review subscribers, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Sam Rasnake will judge....

Entry Fee $27 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/1/16
Sponsor and Award Maine Arts Commission
Individual Artist Fellowships

A fellowship of up to $5,000 is given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, or a creative nonfiction writer who has lived in the state of Maine for at least one year. Writers enrolled in a degree-...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $5,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 5/5/16
Sponsor and Award Academy of American Poets
James Laughlin Award

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a second book of poetry by a living poet that will be published in the forthcoming year. The winner also receives an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at the...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $5,000 Prize includes weeklong residency in Florida Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Carve Magazine
Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Carve Magazine is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 6,000 words with a $15 entry fee ($17 for electronic submissions) by May 15. Visit...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Georgia Review
Loraine Williams Poetry Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in the spring issue of Georgia Review is given annually for a poem. The editors will judge. Submit a poem of any length with a $15 entry fee (there is no fee...

Entry Fee $15 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Ploughshares
Emerging Writer's Contest

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Ploughshares are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Writers who have not published or self-published a book...

Entry Fee $24 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Academy of American Poets
Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

A prize of $25,000 is given annually for a poetry collection by a living poet published in the United States during the previous year. Copies of the winning book are purchased and distributed to hundreds...

Entry Fee $75 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $25,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Breakwater Review
Peseroff Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Breakwater Review is given annually for a single poem. Jill McDonough will judge. Submit three poems of any length with a $10 entry fee by May 15. All...

Entry Fee $10 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Breakwater Review
Fiction Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Breakwater Review will be given annually for a story. Askold Melnyczuk will judge. Submit a story of up to 5,000 words with a $10 entry fee by May 15. All...

Entry Fee $10 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Cutthroat is given annually for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a circulation over 5,000...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 5/15/16
Sponsor and Award Red Hen Press
Graphic Novel Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a graphic novel. Kate Gale will judge. Submit a manuscript of 75 to 200 pages with a $25 entry fee by October 31, 2016. Call or...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Fiction Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 10/31/16
Sponsor and Award A Room of Her Own Foundation
Gift of Freedom Award

A prize of $50,000 is given biennially to a female poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer to complete a project for publication over a two-year period. The top finalist in each of the two...

Entry Fee $45 Genre Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $50,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 11/2/16