December Deadlines: 12 Contests and Prizes Ending This Month

November 28, 2021

2021 is coming to a close, soon, and so are these 12 contests and prizes! Strike up a fire and get those manuscripts whipped into shape. There’s a new year coming!

TRIPLE FEATURE! The Masters Review’s Novel Excerpt Contest Closes Nov. 30th!

Okay, okay. This isn’t a December deadline. BUT: Our first Novel Excerpt Contest, with guest judge Dan Chaon, is closing for submissions on Nov. 30th. The winner receives a $3,000 prize, online publication, and an hour-long consultation with an agent on their manuscript. Second and third place finalists will receive $300 and $200 prizes respectively, along with online publication and a page of feedback on their excerpt from a literary agent. Find all the details here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: Nov. 30

The Masters Review’s Chapbook Open Closes Dec. 31st!

This year’s winning chapbook will be selected by Matt Bell. We’re looking for your collections of flash, your mini novellas, your 40 page short stories. We want to publish your braided essays, your eclectic brainchildren, your experiments. However you want to tell your story, we want to read it. (As long as it’s between 25-40 double-spaced pages.) The contest’s submission window closes at the end of the year, so you’ve only got a few weeks to submit! Check it out.

Entry fee: $25 Deadline: Dec. 31

The Masters Review’s Winter Short Story Award for New Writers OPENS Dec. 1st!

Last in our triple feature: Our always-popular Short Story Award for New Writers opens for submissions on the 1st. You’ve got until the end of January to submit your fiction and creative non-fiction (up to 6,000) to this annual contest. As always, we’re looking for great new work from emerging writers. The winner gets a $3000 prize, along with online publication and agency review. Other finalists will receive cash prizes, online publication and agency review as well! This year’s contest is judged by the spectacular Ye Chun. Learn all about it.

Entry fee: $20 Deadline: Jan 31

Wallace Stegner Fellowship

This prestigious fellowship is offered annually to ten writers: five in fiction, and five in poetry. Fellows are considered artists, and the only requirements are workshop attendance and writing. The fellowship is open to all writers, regardless of age or education. A living stipend of $43,000 a year is offered to each of the ten fellows per academic year. For fiction, your manuscript may be up to 9,000 words; for poetry, submit up to 15 pages. Read more.

Entry fee: $85 Deadline: Dec 1

W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

If you’ve published a novel this year set during a period in which the United States was at war, consider submitting your novel to the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction. This prize earns the novelist $5,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement. The novel does not need to be driven by incidents of war; a war may only provide the setting for the novel. If you think your novel may qualify, submit now!

Entry fee: FREE Deadline: Dec 1

Chautauqua Prize

The Chautauqua Prize is an annual contest run by the Chautauqua Institution, honoring a book of fiction or narrative non-fiction that was published in the previous year. The winning writer receives a $7,500 prize and a one-week residency, and will give a 30 minute reading at an event in the winning writer’s honor. In order to be eligible, you may not have won a Chautauqua Prize previously, and your book must be published in the calendar year of 2021. Learn more here.

Entry fee:  $75 Deadline: Dec 15

Dorset Prize 2021

Tupelo Press’s annual Dorset Prize is open for full-length poetry manuscripts until December 31. The winning manuscript will be published by Tupelo Press. There’s also a $3,000 cash prize, and the winning writer receives a week-long residency at MASS MoCA and 20 copies of their book. The manuscripts may not be previously published, though individual poems may be published in magazines, journals, anthologies or chapbooks. Results will be announced next spring. Don’t miss it!

Entry fee: $30 Deadline: Dec 31

Lascaux Prize in Fiction

Lascaux (pronounced like lasso) is open once again to fiction submissions of up to 10,000 words. Both published and unpublished submissions are eligible to win this prize, which comes with a fancy bronze medallion! The winner receives a cash prize of $1,000 and finalists receive $100. All winners and finalists will be published in the online and print editions of The Lascaux Review. Find out more details here. 

Entry fee: $15 Deadline: Dec 31

River Styx Microfiction Contest

The 2022 Microfiction Contest offered by River Styx is open for your submissions until the end of the year. You may submit up to 3 500 word micros per submission fee. First, second and third place winners are guaranteed publication, while all submissions are considered for publication in River Styx. The first place prize offers a $1,000 prize this year, so make sure to check this one out.

Entry fee: $15 Deadline: Dec 31

Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Press 53 wants to publish your collection of short stories! This annual competition is open to all writers, regardless of publication history. The manuscript must be in English, and the writer must reside in the United States or one of its territories. The winner recieves a $1000 cash advance on their book along with fifty copies. This year’s winner will be selected by Press 53’s short fiction editor, Claire V. Foxx. Submit!

Entry fee: $30 Deadline: Dec 31

Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers

$1,500 and publication will be awarded to the writer of the best short story submitted to this contest (up to 8,000 words). Submissions are limited to writers without a book of fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry published by a nationally distributed press. The winning story will be announced in June, and will be published in the Fall or Spring issue of Boulevard. Do it!

Entry fee: $16 Deadline: Dec 31

Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction

This prize, offered annually by LitMag, celebrates the best short story, between 3,000-8,000 words, submitted before December 31st. The winner receives $2,500 dollars and agency review by a slate of wonderful literary agents. Three finalists will each receive a $100 cash prize. This contest is only open to previously unpublished short stories. Check out all the details and submit!

Entry fee: $20 Deadline: Dec 31

by Cole Meyer




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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