It’s the time of year to truly appreciate indoor lights and heating, as February attempts to bury us in snow and drown us in rain. Nevertheless, you mustn’t let the weather keep you from your duties—namely, entering as many of these contests as you can! Here are 11 lit mags and contests with deadlines in February.
Don’t miss this end of January deadline. The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Award is a nationally recognized contest for original short fiction, named in honor of the Chicago literary great, Nelson Algren. The winner will be awarded $3,500 and four finalists $1,000. With cash prizes of $500 to five runners-up, all stories will be considered for publication in Printers Row, the Tribune’s digital literary journal. Full details here.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: Jan 31
There’s only a little time left to enter Southern Indiana Review’s writing contest for poetry collections. Judged by Michael Waters himself, the first-place winner is awarded $3000 and their collection will be published by Southern Indiana Review Press. Don’t miss it! Submission details here.
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: February 1
This amazing residency is offered to two writers through Bucknell University. The winners receive a stipend of $5000 and four months of lodging. They’re looking for fiction and nonfiction from 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 to submit to this wonderful opportunity. Learn more here.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 1
American Short(er) Fiction Prize (Extended Deadline)
American Short Fiction and judge Justin Torres 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, but all entries are considered for publication. Details here.
Entry Fee: $17 Deadline: February 15
This prize is available through the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and it’s a big one! They’re looking for current or recently completed documentary writing from a long-term project, at least fifteen pages. The winner will receive $3000, a feature story, and their work will be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. More details here.
Entry Fee: $40 Deadline: February 15
If you have an unpublished poetry manuscript, this could be your big break! Indiana Review and Indiana University Press are currently accepting submissions for this prize. A poetry collection of outstanding merit will be selected, and the winner will receive a publication contract and $2000. Do it! Full submission details can be found here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: February 15
If you have a story to tell, Ruminate wants to hear it! Judged by the incredible LaToya Watkins, the first-place prize is $1500 and publication. Submissions need to be 5500 words or fewer, but there are no limits on the number of entries per person. Submit here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: February 15
Granta accepts submissions in different categories throughout the year, and right now they’re accepting fiction up to 6000 words. If you want to be published in an internationally known literary magazine, this could be your shot! Submission guidelines here.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 16
This annual contest is looking for a book-length collection of stories, essays, or some combination of the two. Judged by Michael Kardos, the process is completely anonymous, and the prize for first place includes $1500 and publication with The Ohio State University Press. More details here.
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: February 20
This is an amazing opportunity, but it’s not for everyone—literally, because it’s only open to poets 40 years of age and older who have not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. The winner of this award receives not only publication and promotion of their manuscript by Graywolf Press, but an additional prize of $10,000. This contest is only held occasionally, not annually, so take advantage of this chance. Check it out.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 27
Occurring three times a year, this is the spring installment of Glimmer Train’s contest. It’s only open to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000, and entries are capped at 12,000 words. The winner receives $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories, along with 10 copies of that issue. Submission guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: February 28
by Kimberly Guerin