April Deadlines: 12 Contests Ending Soon

March 26, 2021

Finally the temperatures are getting warmer, and the days are getting longer! Now that we have extra daylight to burn, you should SPRING into action and submit your work to one of these contests!

New South Writing Contest

New South’s competition is only open to those who haven’t published a book of prose or poetry, which is still a very large pool! EJ Koh is judging the prose entries, while Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach judges the poetry. The winners of each contest receive $1000, and there are no restrictions on style or genre. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $18 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: $23 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. Jericho Brown is judging poetry, Debra Spark 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

Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award

Red Hen Press wants to recognize the art of true storytelling through literary craft, and they welcome work from all authors! Essay collections, memoirs, research-driven works, and narrative nonfiction are all welcome, although they must be a minimum of 150 pages. The award is $1000, and also includes publication of the winning entry. Judged by Deborah Thompson! Submission guidelines here.

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: April 1


The Chautauqua Institution is an educational center in New York State, and their literary journal has always focused on personal, social, political, spiritual, and aesthetic inquiry. Now, after a year like 2020, Chautauqua is looking for work that captures the tenacity of the human spirit. This year they are sharing fall, summer, and winter issues, and this year’s theme is the inner strength, passion, stubborn determination, and perseverance that make up resilience. The current categories are poetry, fiction, flash, and creative nonfiction. Currently Chautauqua  has suspended payment to writers, but this is still an opportunity to be published. Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $2 Deadline: April 2

Don and Gee 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 up to three original screenplays 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: $63 Deadline: April 3

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! Anthony Marra is judging the fiction section, Diane Seuss is judging the poetry section, and Jerald Walker 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

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 16

The 2021 Gulf Coast Prizes

Here is an opportunity for all writers, as Gulf Coast’s contest rewards authors in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry! Kiese Laymon judges nonfiction, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah judges fiction, and Natalie Diaz 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: $23 Deadline: April 16

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! 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

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 Stephen Graham Jones, and the winner receives $1000. Flash fiction is judged by Damhnait Monaghan, and the winner receives $300. Poetry is judged by Emma Bolden and also receives $300. Finally, creative nonfiction is judged by Hannah Grieco, and the winner receives $1000. All winners and some finalists will be published. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $15 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 Kayleb Rae Candrilli, first-place wins $1200 and publication in the journal. Don’t miss it!

Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: April 30

by Kimberly Guerin


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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