December Deadlines: 12 Contests and Prizes This Month

November 25, 2023

If you’ve been saving up your writing all year long, now is the time to present your work to the world! Pick one of these contests, and send them your favorite piece!


FEATURED! The Masters Review Chapbook Open for Emerging Writers

If you have a prose chapbook that you’ve been wanting to share, this is an amazing opportunity tailor-made for you! We’re looking for braided essays, experiments, or even collections of flash fiction. However you want to tell your story, it should be bold, original, and between 25 to 45 pages. The winning writer will receive $3,000, manuscript publication, and 75 contributor copies! Judged by Michael Martone. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: December 17

Stegner Fellowship

This astounding fellowship is offered to ten writers through Stanford University, five in poetry and five in literary fiction, and the winners receive tuition, workshops and other events, health insurance, and a yearly living stipend of $50,000 for two years. They’re looking for writers who are diverse in experience and style, who have talent and the ability to focus. You’ll need two contacts for recommendations, a statement of plans, and a manuscript up to 9,000 words, but this could be your shot! Overview here.

Entry Fee: $55 Deadline: December 1

Chautauqua Prize

This competition is a daring gauntlet run by the Chautauqua Institute, but the reward at the end is worth the work! A $7500 prize and one-week residency is awarded to an author of a book of original fiction or narrative nonfiction that was published this year. They accept all books published in 2023, from short story collections to memoirs. Could this be you? Do it!

Entry Fee: $75 Deadline: December 15

Provincetown Fellowship

Given by the Fine Arts Work Center, this is a seven-month residency for writers in the emerging stages of their careers. The ten authors chosen will receive a living/work space and a monthly $1,250 stipend, as well as a $1,000 exit stipend. Writers who have published a full-length book are unfortunately not eligible. Applicants must send in a writing sample, a current CV, and an optional personal statement. There is a lot of competition, but there is no great reward without risk! Don’t miss it!

Entry Fee: $65 Deadline: December 15

 Story Foundation Prize

This is the 5th annual award given by Story, to the author of an unpublished original stand-alone short story. All entries will be judged by the editors of Story. The winner will be published in the summer 2024 issue, with a cash award of $1,500. More details here.

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: December 15

The Danahy Fiction Prize

The University of Tampa and Tampa Review are looking for the very best unpublished work of short fiction, but they can’t choose yours unless you enter! Manuscripts must be original, and contain between 1,000 and 5,000 words (although slight deviations are usually allowed). The winner receives $1,000 and publication in Tampa Review. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: December 31

Dorset Prize

This is a call to all poets, who like to dream big! Offered through Tupelo Press, this contest is judged by the wonderful Shane McCrae. All poets writing in English are eligible, although the poetry manuscript should be between 48-88 pages. The winner of the Dorset Prize receives $3,000, a 2 week-long residency in Port Angeles, WA, 25 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and a national distribution with promotion and publicity! Wow! More information here.

Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: December 31

The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction

If you think you’re ready to medal in writing short fiction, then this is the contest for you! The Lascaux Review is accepting stories for submission, and their length should not exceed 10,000 words. All finalists in this contest will be published, but the winner also receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion for their efforts. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: December 31

Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

This is an annual award given by Press 53, to the author of an outstanding and unpublished short story collection. It is open to all writers in the United States or one of its territories, regardless of publishing history. The winner will be published by Press 53 under a standard publishing contract, with a $1,000 cash advance, and will also receive 53 copies of their book. More details here.

Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: December 31

Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers

If you are an unpublished author, this is an opportunity meant specifically for you! Boulevard’s contest is meant to honor a writer who has never published a book, with a $1,500 prize, and publication in an issue of Boulevard. Entries must be less than 8000 words, but there is no limit on the number of entries. Do it!

Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: December 31

Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction

LitMag is looking for short stories, between 3,000 and 8,000 words, with little constraints beyond that! Only unpublished short stories are eligible, but authors may submit multiple times. The winner receives $2,500, publication, and agency review, and three finalists will  receive $100 and possible agency review and publication. Submit here!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: December 31

Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

There are some very specific contests out there, and this is one of them! Administered by the American Library Association, this award honors the best fiction published in the last year that was set in a time when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel, although the incidences of war may only function as the setting of the story. All entries are judged on the excellence of writing and attention to detail. The winning entrant will receive $5,000 and a gold-framed citation of achievement. More details here.

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: December 31

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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