The weather may be entirely unpredictable this year, but take heart in our always-reliable Deadlines Post (Here to make your life easier!). While browsing through our selection of contests, you might just fall in love, and then you can make the decision to commit!
American Short Fiction and judge Deb Olin Unferth are looking for writers who know their way around flash fiction – could that be you? Stories must be less than 1000 words, but multiple entries are allowed! First place receives $1000 and guaranteed publication, and all entries are considered for publication. Details here.
Entry Fee: $17 Deadline: February 1
Operating from the University of Massachusetts, Breakwater is searching for something that breathes freshness into the form of prose, and they are interested in unpublished work from 1000 to 5000 words. Clearly this is a call to all writers who think that their work can make the cut! Judged by Susanna Kaysen, the winner receives $1000 and publication in Breakwater’s winter issue. Submit here.
Entry Fee: $10 Deadline: February 1
This amazing residency is offered to two writers through Bucknell University, and the winners receive a stipend of $5000 and four months of lodging. They’re looking for fiction and literary nonfiction writers over the age of 21 who are not enrolled in a college or university. You’ll need a 20 page sample of your prose, but this could be the opportunity for you! Learn more here.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 1
There’s only a little time left to enter Southern Indiana Review’s writing contest for poetry collections! Entries must be written in English, and be less than 80 pages. Judged by Michael Waters himself, the first-place winner is awarded $4000 and their collection will be published by Southern Indiana Review Press. Don’t miss it!
Entry Fee: $35 Deadline: February 3
Sarabande Books has been around for over a quarter of a century, and now you can be a part of that history! Their contest is open to any short fiction writer in English, and submissions can vary from short story collections to novellas. Judged by Alice Sebold, she’s awarding $2000, publication of the manuscript, and a standard royalty contract to the winner! All finalists are considered for publication. Learn more here!
Entry Fee: $28 Deadline: February 15
If you have a story to tell, Ruminate wants to hear it! Judged by the incredible Wendy J. Fox, the first-place prize is $1500 and publication. Submissions need to be 5500 words or less, but there are no limits on the number of entries per person. Submit here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: February 15
Held annually since 1981, the Chicago Tribune’s prize is a nationally recognized contest for original short fiction. Named for the Chicago literary great Nelson Algren, it has been presented to a number of distinguished authors, and you could be next! Stories must be fiction, less than 8000 words, and completely original. The grand prize winner will receive $3500, five finalists will receive $750, and all entries are considered for publication. Check it out!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 17
This annual contest from Fish Publishing is a true challenge – can you write a compelling and resolved story in 300 words or less? Judged by Tania Hershman, first place receives $1354 and publication, and the other nine finalists are published as well. See more here!
Entry Fee: $19 Deadline: February 28
If you have ever juggled being a parent and a writer, this is opportunity knocking! The Sustainable Arts Foundation is awarding $5000 each to twenty writers and artists, who inspire us by making creative work while raising a family. Writers can apply in creative nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels, playwriting, poetry, and more. Applications must include personal information, artistic information, and a portfolio. Submission guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: February 28
This is the third year for Red Hen Press’ contest, whose prize is for any and all women writers with a previously unpublished, original work of prose! Acceptable submissions include novels, short story collections, memoirs, and essay collections, between 45,000 and 80,000 words. The winner, selected by judge Martha Cooley, receives $1000 and publication by Red Hen Press. Learn more here!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: February 28
By Kimberly Guerin