January Deadlines: 10 Contests and Prizes with Deadlines This Month

December 28, 2022

It’s turning out to be a blisteringly cold winter, so stay inside, make sure to warm up your hands, and then get started writing. We can’t wait to see what you submit!

FEATURED! Winter Short Story Award for New Writers

This one is our own contest, and it’s featured for so many good reasons! The Masters Review is looking for stories under 6000 words, written by emerging writers who can take chances and be bold! The winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review, and the runners-up also receive cash prizes, publication, and review. Judged by the fantastic Morgan Talty! Details here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

The 2023 MR Prize

Awarded through Mississippi Review, this prize is available to writers and poets alike! Winners receive $1000 and publication for the categories of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Prose entries should be 1000-8000 words, and poetry should be less than 10 pages, but there is no limit on the number of entries! Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $16 Deadline: January 1

Steinbeck Fellowships in Creative Writing

The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University, endowed by Martha Heasley Cox, is looking for emerging writers of any age and background! Their creative writing fellowship accepts work in fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and biography (but not in poetry). Accepted fellows will receive a $15,000 stipend, interaction with other writers and faculty, and monthly readings. Each application needs to include a prospectus, resumé, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. See more here!

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: January 3

Desert Writers Award

Established to honor the memory of Ellen Meloy, the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers is devoted to literary and creative nonfiction work about the desert. The Fund provides support to writers whose work brings deeper meaning to the body of desert literature, awarding $5000 every spring! To be considered, entrants must include the completed application form, a biographical statement, a project proposal, and a 10-page writing sample. More details here!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: January 15

The Big Moose Prize

If you’ve recently finished writing a novel, here is an opportunity to get published! Black Lawrence Press is awarding this prize, and it’s open to new, emerging, or established authors. They allow traditional novels as well as novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, and other hybrid forms. The winner receives $1000, book publication, and 10 copies of their book. Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $27 Deadline: January 31

The Iowa Review Awards

In this threefold contest offered by The Iowa Review, contestants can submit entries for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Multiple entries are allowed, and different genres constitute different entries. The fiction judge is Louisa Hall, the nonfiction judge is Inara Verzemnieks, and the poetry judge is Donika Kelly. Prose submissions may be up to 25 pages, and poetry submissions may be up to 10 pages. The winners in each category receive $1500 and publication. Choose the correct category when you submit, and good luck! Details here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

New Millenium Awards

There’s a little something for everyone in this contest, presented by literary journal New Millenium Writings! Writers can send in submissions for poetry, fiction, flash fiction, or nonfiction, with no restrictions on style or subject matter. Fiction and nonfiction must be less than 7500 words, flash fiction must be less than 1000 words, and poetry may include three poems less than five pages long. First place in each category receives $1000, a certificate, publication online and in print, and two copies. Select finalists may also be published and receive complimentary copies. Don’t wait!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

Short Memoir Prize

This annual contest from Fish Publishing is a true challenge – anyone’s memoir can be captivating, if written to turn the ordinary into a masterpiece! Judged by Sean Lusk, first place receives $1035 and publication, and the other nine finalists are published as well. See more here!

Entry Fee: $19 Deadline: January 31

The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

The Ghost Story is looking for the finest work they can find that incorporates the uncanny, as long as it’s less than 1000 words! Stories don’t need to involve ghosts specifically, but they do need fresh perspectives and superb writing. The winner receives $1000 and both online and print publication. Submit here!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: January 31

swamp pink Prizes

These are actually three contests offered by Crazyhorse, looking for exceptional writing and outstanding poetry! The judges are Matthew Olzmann for poetry, Melissa Faliveno for nonfiction, and Jamil Jan Kochai for fiction. Submissions may be up to 25 pages, or a set of 1-3 poems, and the winner of each contest receives $2000 and publication. Make sure to select the correct contest for your submission! Submission details here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 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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