Rome wasn’t built in a day, and something similar happens to the writers. It’s impossible to become a wonderful writer in a day or a week. Even if people have skills and inclinations to writing, they have to work hard to sharpen their talents. Taking part in writing contests is a wonderful opportunity to exam yourself and to look at the achievements of others.
Here we gathered writing contests for various types of literature in which you can participate for free and additionally win the cash prize.
Contests on fiction and nonfiction literature
Drue Heinz Literature Prize
It is held annually and the submission period covers May 1 – June 30. If you want to get $15 000 and a publication prepared by the University of Pittsburgh Press, you have to submit the manuscript of short stories, several novellas, or short stories and novellas combined. The total word count may vary from 150 to 300 typed pages.
St. Francis College Literary Prize
The aim of this biannual prize is to give a hand to the authors who have taken the first steps and published their 3rd, 4th or 5th work of fiction. A mandatory condition to get $50 000 is to provide a discussion on the work and to hold a workshop in fiction to students at St. Francis College. The next time prize will include the works published in June 2017 – May 2019.
Young Lions Fiction Award
The prize fund is $10 000, and this money is intended to support young authors under 35 years old. Only your publisher can submit a novel or a short story for adults and published or scheduled to be published in the calendar year. This annual award usually is conducted in autumn.
New Voices Award
The contest is organized on an annual basis by Lee & Low Books. It encourages the writer of color who has never been published to submit manuscripts of children’s picture book of fewer than 1500 words. You are allowed to submit 1 or 2 manuscripts postmarked by September 30. The most stunning writer wins $1000 and a publication contract.
PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
The contest is held every year, and submissions can be accepted till October 31. The judges are waiting for the novels, novellas, and collections of short stories came out in the current calendar year. They choose one winner and four finalists, as the winner, you receive $15 000 and the invitation to read at the award ceremony that takes place in Washington, DC. Each finalist also receives the award of $5000.
W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction
If you are interested in military themes, this opportunity is exactly for you. The author who creates the best war-related fiction for adults and young adults receives the award of $5000. The key requirement is that your fiction must cover a period when the USA was at war. The military topic may deal with the main plot or just provide the background.
The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Non-Fiction
Despite the fact that somebody may find the cash award quite small (the winner receives $250), this is a great chance to start your career and to be published on the pages of Lunch Ticket. Only unpublished nonfiction essays of less than 5000 words on any subject can be accepted for consideration. The winner is chosen twice a year for the Summer/Fall and Winter/Spring issues of the magazine. In addition, the winner should prepare a biography of 100 words, a current photo and a note in which he or she thanks the Woods family.
Contests for the Poetry Writers
James Laughlin Award
This is the contest for already published authors; the award is given to the second book of poetry that will be presented in the following year. The submission period covers January 1 – May 15 annually. You have a chance to win $5000 and a paid residency for a week in Miami Beach. As a bonus, copies of your book will be shared among the Academy of American Poets members.
Tufts Poetry Awards
Claremont Graduate University offers two remarkable awards each year for young and experienced poets. The Kate Tufts Poetry Award is focused on the newcomers whose first published poetry book seems promising. The award provides a prize pool of $10 000. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award with a $100 000 prize is intended for the published book created by the established writers. You can submit for following year’s prize consideration books published in the period between July of the previous year and June 30 of the current year.
Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award
This opportunity is provided to both previously published and unpublished African American poets. Everyone can submit a book-length manuscript of poems by March 1 annually. The author of the best book of poems wins a $500 prize and the publication by Boardside Lotus Press.