The days might be filled with rain, and you might be stuck in the house, but hopefully that will lead to extended writing time… If you’ve gotten some writing done, check out these contests while they’re still here!
Cowles Poetry Book Prize
In honor of Vern Cowles, a man who loved literature, Southeast Missouri State University Press offers this prize for an unpublished poetry manuscript. It is open to any living poet writing in English, age 18 or older, and the manuscript only needs to be 48-100 pages! First place receives $2000, publication and distribution, and receives 30 copies of their book. Get started!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: April 1
Nimrod Literary Awards
These awards, the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction and the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, are presented by Nimrod International Journal through the University of Tulsa. Contestants should enter 3-10 pages of poetry, or up to 7500 words of prose. The winner of each category will receive $2000, publication, and a trip to Tulsa for the Awards Ceremony and Writing Conference in October (if the global health situation allows)! Details here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: April 1
The Orison Prizes in Poetry and Fiction
Every year Orison Books accepts submissions of full-length poetry and fiction manuscripts between December and April, and this year’s window is closing fast! Fiction entries may be novellas, novels, or collections of short stories and flash fiction, but they must be a minimum of 30,000 words. Poetry entries may be between 50 and 100 pages. Rajiv Mohabir is judging poetry, Tania James is judging fiction, and the winners of each genre receive $1500, publication, and a standard royalties contract. Check it out!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: April 1
Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
If you think you have that movie magic, now’s your chance! This contest awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters, who are allowed to enter one original screenplay no longer than 160 pages. Fellowship winners are expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year. Do it!
Entry Fee: $65 Deadline: April 2
The 2022 Gulf Coast Prizes
Here is an opportunity for all writers, as Gulf Coast’s contest rewards authors in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry! José Vadi judges nonfiction, Micah Dean Hicks judges fiction, and Jennifer Chang judges poetry. The winner in each category receives $1500, and two honorable mentions in each category also receive $250. Make sure you submit to the correct category! Check it out here.
Entry Fee: $26 Deadline: April 8
2022 First Pages Prize
Here is a contest for emerging writers, specifically those who are currently not represented by an agent! Each entry should be about 1250 pages (which works out to be about five pages), and should be the opening to an unpublished book. The book doesn’t need to be finished, but it should be obvious that the first pages are part of a larger story. First place will win $2000, second place will win $1500, and third place will win $1000. The top five finishers will all receive tailored edits and an agent consultation. Judged by Justin Torres. Learn more details here!
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: April 10
New Ohio Review Contest
All three of the New Ohio Review’s contests are ending this month, so enter now if you want to receive one of the three $1500 first-place prizes! Madeline ffitch is judging the fiction section, Kim Addonizio is judging the poetry section, and Melissa Febos is judging the nonfiction applicants. All of the winners and a selection of the runners up will be published! See more here.
Entry Fee: $22 Deadline: April 15
F(r)iction Spring Contests
There are so many options in F(r)iction’s collection of contests, there’s bound to be something for everyone! Short stories are judged by Madeline Miller, and the winner receives $1000. Flash fiction is judged by Amal El-Mohtar, and the winner receives $300. Poetry is judged by Alycia Pirmohamed and also receives $300. Finally, creative nonfiction is judged by Paul Crenshaw, and the winner receives $1000. All winners and some finalists will be published. Check it out!
Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: April 28
Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
Named after the first director of the University of Pittsburgh Press, this prize is offered for a first full-length book of poems! Manuscripts should be between 48 and 100 pages, and accompanied by a CV. The winner receives a $5000 cash award as well as publication under the Pitt Poetry Series under its standard royalty contract. The winner will be announced in the fall, so get the process started now! Learn more here!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: April 30
Pro Forma Contest
Grist, and the University of Tennessee, is looking for authors who make the most of structures in writing, creating an interesting opportunity to play with form and function! Submissions can be fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or any other form of literary expression. Judged by Julie Marie Wade, first-place wins $1200 and publication in the journal. Don’t miss it!
Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: April 30
This contest honors the memory of Richard Snyder, including his contributions to Ashland University, and applicants should keep in mind Snyder’s dedication to craftsmanship and thematic integrity! It’s meant for book-length poetry manuscripts, of 48 to 96 pages. Judged by Mark Irwin, first-place receives $1,000, publication, and 50 copies of the published book! More details here.
Entry Fee: $27 Deadline: April 30
by Kimberly Guerin