December Deadlines: 14 Literary Contests This Month

November 26, 2022

These contest opportunities are building up even faster than the snow, but they might melt away just as fast. Don’t lose this race against time, and submit while you still can!

FEATURED! The Masters Review Novel Excerpt Contest

This is our annual fall contest, and we’re looking to find an excerpt that stands on its own—and makes us want to read the rest of the book! The excerpt must be from an unpublished novel, and less than 6000 words. The winning entry will receive $3000, online publication, and a literary agent consultation. Second and third place will receive $300 and $200, respectively, as well as online publication and feedback. Charmain Craig judges. Don’t miss it!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: December 1

FEATURED! The Masters Review Chapbook Open for Emerging Writers

We’re not done yet! If you have a 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 $3000, manuscript publication, and 75 contributor copies! Judged by Kim Fu. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: December 31

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 9000 words, but this could be your shot! Overview here.

Entry Fee: $85 Deadline: December 1

W. 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 $5000 and a gold-framed citation of achievement. More details here.

Entry Fee: FREE 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 2022, 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 five poets and five fiction authors chosen will receive a living/work space and a monthly $1250 stipend, as well as a $1000 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 4th 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 2023 issue, with a cash award of $1500. 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 1000 and 5000 words (although slight deviations are usually allowed). The winner receives $1000 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 amazing Diane Seuss. All poets writing in English are eligible, although the poetry manuscript should be between 48-88 pages. The winner of the Dorset Prize receives $8500, a week-long residency at MASS MoCA, 20 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 $1000 and a bronze medallion for their efforts. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: December 31

Poetry and Fiction Prizes

In these contests offered by Kallisto Gaia Press, contestants can submit entries for fiction or poetry. The two winners of the 2023 Acacia Fiction Prize and the 2023 Saguaro Poetry Prize will receive $1500, publication, and 20 copies. Make sure to choose the correct category when you submit, and good luck! Submission information here.

Entry Fee: $25 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 $1000 cash advance, and will also receive 50 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 $1500 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: $16 Deadline: December 31

Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction

LitMag is looking for short stories, between 3000 and 8000 words, with little constraints beyond that! Only unpublished short stories are eligible, but authors may submit multiple times. The winner receives $2500, publication, and agency review, and three finalists will  receive $100 and possible agency review and publication. Submit here!

Entry Fee: $20 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.

Follow Us On Social

Masters Review, 2024 © All Rights Reserved