Writer Contests

Search engine for MILLIONS of contests extending far into the future and for every genre, variety, category, you name it. AWESOME resource.


Deadline: April 20, 2010 (postmark).Prizes: 1st: $100; 2nd: $75; 3rd: $50; 4th: $25 and up to 4 Honorable Mentions.

WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED at the AWC Conference Banquet at the Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Park Hotel, Birmingham, Alabama on JULY 17, 2010.

Contest Rules: Entries must be original, unpublished, and may not have won a money prize in any contest. (Sitting AWC voting Board Members are not eligible.) Multiple entries are accepted, but only one prize is awarded for each category.

Send one copy of each entry on standard white paper in standard manuscript format (double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12pt. Courier or Times Roman font). (Note: manuscripts are not returned, so applicants should retain a copy).

  • On first page include: Title, Category and Word Count (DO NOT show author name on the manuscript).
  • Please number the pages.
  • Enclose a separate cover sheet for each piece submitted showing: Contest category; manuscript title; your name, mailing address, e-mail address and phone number; and whether you are an AWC Member or non-member.
  • Please be sure to provide a separate cover sheet for each piece submitted.

Entry Fees

For all categories (EXCEPT Poem and First Chapter Novel): $5.00 per entry if AWC member, $8.00 per entry if non-member.

For First Chapter Novel: $10.00 if member, $12.00 if non-member.

For Poem: $3.00 per poem if member, $5.00 if non-member.

Make checks to: Alabama Writers’ Conclave. (Note: Membership and conference fees must be submitted separately to the AWC Treasurer)

Send contest entry manuscripts and checks to: Marian Lewis, AWC Contest Chair, 250 Hartside Rd., Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763.

NOTE: Please include a #10 SASE if you would like to receive a Winners’ List after the AWC conference in July. If you would like confirmation that your entry has been received, also include a self-addressed stamped postcard (SASP)

Writing Competition Categories

Fiction – maximum 2500 words.

Short Fiction – maximum 1000 words.

Juvenile Fiction (stories for ages 4-12) – maximum 2500 words. MUST LIST GENRE AND TARGETED AGE GROUP (i.e. picture book, 3 & up).

Nonfiction – maximum 2500 words (PLEASE SPECIFY IF WRITTEN FOR ADULT OR CHILDREN).

Humor (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry) – maximum 2000 words or 50 lines (for poems).

Traditional Poem (any “form” poem, i.e. villanelle, sonnet, sestina) – maximum 40 lines.

Free Verse Poem – maximum 60 lines.

First Chapter of Novel – up to 10 double-spaced pages, first chapter ONLY.

The “SCARE THE DICKENS OUT OF US” Short Story Contest 2010
Sponsored by the Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas.

First prize, $1000.00 and a trophy.
Second prize, $500.00 and a ribbon.
Third prize, $250.00 and a ribbon.
Junior contest prize $250.00 and a trophy.

Download contest entry form here.
Download junior contest entry form here.

Entry fee $20.00 (check or money order).
Junior contest entry fee $5.00 (check or money order).

The Scare The Dickens Out of Us ghost story contest and theJunior Scare The Dickens Out of Us ghost story contest share identical rules except the entry fees and the following: Junior contest writers must be age 12-18. Winners will have to provide proof of age.

All publication rights remain with the author.

The contest is a Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library fundraiser and is privately funded. All entry fees go to the Friends and are used for library projects.

The “Scare The Dickens Out of Us” Short Story Contest is in conjunction with the annual “A Dickens Christmas In Lockhart” which is held on the first weekend in December (Friday night, Saturday) in Lockhart, Texas.

We want ghost stories. Any genre, any tone, any subject, whatever type of ghost story you can come up with.


1. The contest is open to published and unpublished writers alike. All publication rights remain with the author.

2. The ghost story must be 5,000 words or less, in English, and typed double-spaced. Entries must be original and unpublished. There are no other restrictions.

3. Only one entry per writer.

4. The judging will be done in a blind format. Do not put your name or any other identifying information on the manuscript itself except for the name of the story.

Download, print and submit our entry form. The information will include the name of your story, the author’s name, address, phone number, and email address, where you heard of this contest, and your permission to have your story read out loud at a literary gathering if you are one of the winners.

5. Your manuscript and entry fee must be mailed to us at P.O. Box 821, Lockhart, TX 78644 and must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2010. We will accept entries beginning July 1, 2010.

Winners will be contacted at contest end. Winners also will be announced at the “A Dickens Christmas in Lockhart” festival in December, and will be posted at our web site http://www.clarklibraryfriends.org.

No manuscripts will be returned. Keep the original copy. At the end of the contest entries will be shredded.

Send your manuscript with entry form and entry fee to “Scare The Dickens Out of Us” or Junior “Scare The Dickens Out of Us” Short Story Contest, co/Friends of the Library, PO Box 821, Lockhart, Texas 78644. Make out your check or money order to Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library.

5th Annual Warren Adler Short Story Contest

Posted on 11 January 2010 by WarrenAdler

The 5th Annual Warren Adler Short Story Contest will run from January 11, 2010 to April 11, 2010. The rules are simple. The stories must be no longer than 2500 words. A $15 entry fee is charged to cover the prizes and various expenses associated with the contest.

Subject matter is completely open to the author. Judges will be announced shortly. The goal of the contest is to encourage and publicize the short story as a viable and quality literary form. In the past few decades the short story has lost the popularity it once enjoyed when magazines were plentiful and the short story was a feature of many of them. Indeed, many authors earned their living by writing short stories exclusively.

We are quite proud of the winners we have chosen in previous contests. Moreover the entries have been terrific and the quality of the writing quite wonderful, making it extremely difficult for the judges to make their ultimate choices. We are happy to report that our contest has gained a prestigious reputation for careful judgment and absolute fairness.

We highly recommend aspirants to read the winning stories chosen by our judges in previous contests.

We look forward to your entries.

When your story is ready, click Pay Now below to make payment (using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or PayPal) and proceed to Contest Entry Form.

Cash prizes will be offered to the winners as follows:

  • First Prize: $1000
  • People’s Choice Prize: $500
  • Three remaining finalists: $150 each

As in previous contests all winners will be posted on the Warren Adler website.

We are exploring the possibilities of publishing an e-book anthology under the banner of Stonehouse Press of all contest winners, depending on permissions of the authors. If this can be done, we will make the announcement when the winners of this contest are chosen.

See winners from our previous contests:

Now Accepting Submissions
Essay/Poetry/Photos Submission Deadline
February 15th.

Its All Relative~Mothers & Daughters

Now accepting submissions for a new book to be published in March ready for the Easter Holiday~It’s All Relative~Mothers & Daughters

Looking for personal essays of no more than 1000 words. Poems no more than 60 lines.

You may sign Anonymous to your essay or poetry, but every submission that is accepted, the writer will have the opportunity to purchase the book at a discounted rate.

We will need your contact information to notify you of the actual publication date.

Please do not put your contact information on your submission.

You can submit your essays as a letter, poetry or with a photo but we would like it to be of a personal nature.

Please keep it PG rated. The book will be in print form available for purchase on Amazon.com as well as Amazon.UK.

It will be published on Kindle and available on other reader options through Smashword.com & B&N ebook.

Please send your submission via the Submission page. There will be a reading fee of $5 per Poetry submission & $10 per Essay submission.

If you have any questions please contact us at lori@whenwelisten.com or nikki@nikkicrickfreelance.co.uk

All Fees are being accepted through Pay Pal on the Submission Form

Even if you do not have a pay pal account it will accept your payment. If you need other arrangements please let me know via email lori@whenwelisten.com

We look forward to reading your submissions.

The Essay, Poem or Letter that is chosen as first spot winner will receive 5 copies of the published book.

Published as well as non-published Authors are welcome.

Email me: lori@whenwelisten.com If you have any questions.

do you duotrope?

What is Duotrope? Duotrope’s Digest is a free, online resource for writers of fiction and poetry. Why Duotrope? Search for the perfect market for your fiction and poetry, based on a number of criteria. We list well over two thousand current markets, and we check each listing often to ensure everything stays as up-to-date as humanly possible. You can also get nifty reports on markets’ response times and acceptance/rejection ratios. Sign up for a free account and track your submissions in one place. We’ll even remind you when it’s time to query. Explore and see what else we have on tap. How can I Duotrope? Pull up your web browser and head over to duotrope.com. Remember, it’s free!


Writer’s Digest Competitions

Writer’s Digest sponsors several writing competitions annually. To read more about our competitions, see below.

Writer’s Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition

We are now accepting entries.  Don’t miss your chance to enter and win in 10 categories.  We are awarding more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.  Click here for complete guidelines and to enter online.
The top 10 winners in each category from the 78th Annual Competition is listed in the December 2009 issue of Writer’s Digest. You can also check out the winners of the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition here.

Click for a full list of winners.

78th Annual Writer’s Digest WRITING COMPETITION COLLECTION Sponsored by

The Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards

The 18th Annual Self-Published Book Awards is now accepting entries.We are giving away more than $17,000 in cash and prizes.  Don’t miss the opportunity to enter the only competition exclusively for self-published books.  New for 2010-We are now accepting e-books.

Click here for details and to enter online

Thank you to all of the participants in the 17th Annual competition.  Winners have been notified and the results will appear in the March/April 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest.

Your Story

Every other month, Writer’s Digest presents a creative challenge for fun and prizes. We’ll provide a short, open-ended prompt. In turn, you’ll submit a short story of 750 words or fewer based on that prompt. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story. The winner will receive publication in an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest.

For rules, prompts, deadlines, voting and other details about the Your Story competition, visit:

Your Story

For past winners, visit:

Your Story Winners

6th Annual ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Competition

Welcome to the official website of The ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Competition, now in its sixth year. Here you will find a unique competition that is a new adventure in children’s book publishing.

The idea for The ABC’s was conceived in a brainstorm session when the topic turned to all the rejection letters everyone was getting from submissions to the traditional publishers. Research into the market yielded the fact that for every 12,000 children’s picture book submissions an average of three books are actually published. Overwhelming odds, don’t you think? So we set out to create a competition that would give the unknown author a chance to reach his or her goal of being published.


Competition Starts: Midnight, Sunday, September 20, 2009

Entry Deadline: Midnight, Sunday, January 31, 2010

Finalists Announced: May 31, 2010

Internet Vote Starts: September 19, 2010

Internet Vote Ends: Midnight, Monday, October 4, 2010

6th Winner Announced: October 24, 2010

Verification Postcards Returned: May 2010

Critique Sheets Returned: November 2010


Ten finalists will be chosen from the entries submitted on an annual basis. An illustrator will be chosen for each finalist’s story depending upon style of illustration required.

The illustrator will create a piece of artwork that depicts a scene in the competition finalist’s story. The artwork gives a better feel visually to the story for the internet vote. Both the story and artwork will then be posted on this website for a two-week internet voting period to choose the winner for that year’s round of the competition.

Then the fun begins for the author / illustrator teams who are chosen as the finalist. They will put on their marketing hats to help solicit votes for their story. When the dust settles, the winning teams from the internet vote will receive the Grand Prize as outlined below.


Start by taking a look at the previous rounds of the competition so you can get a feel for the types of stories that we are looking for. Just click on the competition you want to view.






If you have an original manuscript, you are invited to enter the competition. Your odds of winning are far greater with this competition than catching the eye of a major publisher. Below are the specific manuscript guidelines for entries:

  • Children’s Picture Books and/or Children’s Concept Books
  • Manuscripts of 1,000 Words or Less
    (more attention will be paid to word counts this year)
  • Manuscripts Targeting Children Ages 2-8
  • Story that Brings Colorful Illustrations to the Project
  • Story that has a Core Target Market


The winners of the internet vote will receive a royalty-based publishing contract along with one thousand copies of their finished book. They will also have access to additional copies of the book at a greatly reduced rate.

The ABC’s Competition is ideal for those children’s authors who want to do school visits and sell books as part of the presentation. One thousand books sold at full price can net the author more than $15,000 in sales on top of the royalties involved in the publishing contract.

The publisher of the winning book will be The ABC’s Press, a Houston, Texas based publisher. As the publisher, The ABC’s Press will be responsible for all the things any traditional publisher would do including art direction, production, marketing, PR, and distribution. The ABC’s has distribution in place to make the books available to all bookstores as well as libraries throughout the US.

For the third year we will make the offer that for every 300 entries in the 5th round of this competition, another finalist’s story will be published.


Any author—published or unpublished—over the age of 21, who is a United States citizen with an original, unpublished manuscript, is eligible to enter the competition.

All manuscripts not under contract at the time of submission are eligible. Simultaneously submitted manuscripts are acceptable. The winner must sign an affidavit confirming the manuscript is not under contract to another publisher. An agent must be notified of your submission if they are representing the manuscript entered in the competition.

Entries can be co-authored; however both authors’ contact information must be on all the entry paperwork which is the Master Routing Sheet.


This competition retains only the book publishing rights in the United States to the winning entry. All subrights for animation, plush, TV, etc. of the winning story will remain with the Author/Illustrator.
The Author of the winning entry will receive one thousand copies of the printed book to distribute as they wish through back-of-the-room sales, hand selling, school visits, and/or as a fundraiser. All distribution to bookstores and libraries is retained by the publisher.
The publisher retains the right to an unlimited number of reprint runs for a five-year period. After five years all the publishing rights revert back to the author.

Fish Publishing – writing contests –

Short Story, Poetry and Flash Fiction Competitions

Fish BlogFish Twitter

Welcome to Fish Publishing, home of the best international writing competitions, and publisher of over 300 emerging authors and poets since 1994 in the Annual Fish Anthology.

The Fish Short Story Prize is an open door that’s inviting writers to walk through it. It has to be encouraged, celebrated, congratulated.

– Roddy Doyle –

Fish is doing God’s own work. It’s an inspiration and an avenue to writers everywhere.

– Frank McCourt –

I hail anyone who enters the Fish Prize . . . It is difficult to create from dust, as all of us writers do. I know that the best stories are those that are still untold – so keep writing, keep creating, keep the faith.

– Colum McCann –

Honorary patrons of the Fish Short Story Prize:

Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, Dermot Healy

Judge: Ronan Bennett
1st prize 3,000 Euro. Best 10 published in 2010 Fish Anthology

1st prize 1,000 Euro. Best 10 published in 2010 Fish Anthology
Judges: John Hegley and Simon Munnery

1st prize 1,000 Euro. Best 10 published in 2010 Fish Anthology
Judge: Matthew Sweeney

The 2009 Fish Anthology was launched on Thursday 9 July in St Brendan’s Church, Bantry, Co Cork. 19 of the 29 writers attended from five continents, and the audience of 200 were treated to a wonderful series of readings. See our News Page for a report on the launch.

Buy from Cork University Press

·         writing competitions – writing contests

·         short story competition – short story contest

·         one-page (flash fiction) competition – one-page (flash fiction) contest

·         poetry competition – poetry contest

Fish Publishing, Durrus, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland

e: info@fishpublishing.com

Alligator Juniper

holds an annual contest in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and black-and-white fine arts photography. Our reading period is May 1- October 1 (photography submissions are accepted until December 1). We are currently accepting contest entries.

We will be reading general submissions in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for a special section on international writing from October 15 through December 15, 2009 (postmark).

Grace Notes Books

Discovering the Undiscovered: Novel and Memoir Competition Guidelines

Grace Notes Books is thrilled to announce the 1st annual Discovering the Undiscovered competition for Novels & Memoirs. The winning entry will receive publication of their manuscript and be offered a choice of either a cash prize of $1000 or a $500 advance and a standard royalty agreement. The winning author along with two runners-up will also receive free books or products as well as cash prizes!

Guidelines for Novel/Memoir Submissions

  1. Judging will be blind at all levels. Initial judging will be conducted by a network of published writers and editors selected by Grace Notes Books. All entrants will receive feedback from their first round readers. Finalists will receive the same feedback as well as more extensive feedback from our final judges. The final judging will be conducted by the Grace Notes editorial staff. The winning entry will receive publication of their manuscript and the option of either a $1000 cash prize or  an advance $500 against royalties and a standard royalty contract of 15% of the cover price (retail is generally $12.99 for our trade paperbacks). In addition, the winning author will receive 3 contributor’s copies of their book upon publication. All finalists will be considered by Grace Notes Books for future publication and those offers may be made at the end of the competition.
  2. Manuscripts between 70,000-100,000 words. All manuscripts must be in a standard 12 point font, thoroughly edited, and sent electronically. We do not accept postal entries.
  3. Author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Email your manuscript as an attachment with your Name, Address, Phone Number, Title of Entry, and Paypal Confirmation number in the body of the email. Each entry will be tracked by number. After paying your entry fee, Paypal will direct you to our information page which will give you specifics for sending your manuscript.
  4. Grace Notes Books seeks works of quality and we do not believe that genre restricts quality. A great writer is a great writer whether they’re writing staunch literary epics or fun science fiction stories. We really enjoy stories that push the boundaries in either direction, stories that have a strong entertainment value and are executed in the finest literary styling.  In other words: Send us anything and everything. Just be sure it’s wonderful. We are not interested in pornography for the sake of pornography; graphic elements are acceptable but must be pertinent to the story itself.
  5. A non-refundable entry fee of $25 must accompany each manuscript. Entries received before January 1st are eligible for a discounted entry fee of $20. While we wish this were not required, we are a fledgling publishing company chasing a dream (in the middle of an economic crisis) and an entry fee is a necessary evil. The entry fees accrued will be contributed to prize money and book advances for this contest, with a smaller amount being donated to the monthly competitions hosted at notesandgracenotes.com, publishing costs for the winning title, and marketing for the winning book. Please see our rebate policies as we offer several ways to reduce the costs of your entry.
  6. By entering this competition you are acknowledging that you have read and agree to abide by these rules and that you may be disqualified for breaching these rules without a refund of your entry fee. However, you are under no obligation to accept the publishing offer should your manuscript be selected as the winner. In the event that the winning author declines the publishing offer, Grace Notes Books will select another of the three winning entries for the publication offer. The winning author will not receive any advance payments but will still be eligible to receive the cash and product prizes they are entitled to.
  7. All entries will receive their initial judges feedback before the close of the contest. Those entering before the early bird deadline will receive their feedback before May1, 2010. These entrants may opt to revise their entry based on their judges feedback and re-submit it for ½ off the usual entry fee. Entries received after the early deadline will not be eligible for resubmission.
  8. Authors entering two manuscripts will pay a discounted entry fee of $35 before the early deadline and $45 regular deadline.
  9. Authors entering both the novel and the Collected Shorts/Novella competition will pay a discounted entry fee of $30 before the early deadline and $35 regular deadline.

Enter the Competition!

Novel/Memoir Competition Timeline:

Contest Begins November 1, 2009

Early Bird Deadline January1, 2010

Final deadline April 15, 2010

Finalists Announced June 15, 2010

Winners announced September 1, 2010

Winning Book Published November 1, 2010


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