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 Washington College
Hodson Trust–John Carter Brown Fellowship

A fellowship, which includes a stipend of $20,000, is given annually to a writer of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) working on a book relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $20,000 Prize includes Application Deadline 3/15/16
Sponsor and Awardsort icon 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 Awardsort icon Winning Writers
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Winning Writers website is given annually for a humorous poem. Jendi Reiter will judge. Using the online submission system, submit one poem of up to 250 lines by...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/1/16
Sponsor and Awardsort icon 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 Awardsort icon Writing Ranch
Waterston Desert Writing Prize

A prize of $1,500 and a four-week residency at the PLAYA retreat in Summer Lake, Oregon, will be given annually for a nonfiction work-in-progress that "recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in...

Entry Fee $0 Genre Creative Nonfiction Cash Prize $1,500 Prize includes Residency Application Deadline 4/1/16
Sponsor and Awardsort icon Zone 3 Press
First Book Award for Poetry

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Zone 3 Press is given biennially for a debut poetry collection. Douglas Kearney will judge. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages with a $25 entry fee, which includes...

Entry Fee $25 Genre Poetry Cash Prize $1,000 Prize includes Publication Application Deadline 4/1/16