January Deadlines: 12 Prizes With Deadlines This Month

December 29, 2018

It’s a new year, filled with new opportunities. Make a resolution to share your writing with the world, and then get started by entering one (or more!) of these contests!

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 7000 words, written by emerging writers who have a way with words and a love for language! The winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review, and the runners-up also receive cash prizes, publication, and review. Judged by the fabulous Aimee Bender! Details here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

Poetry and Fiction Prizes

This is a compilation of Bayou Magazine’s two wonderful awards, the James Knudsen Prize for Fiction and the Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry! Fiction entries, judged by Marcy Dermansky, should be less than 7500 words, and poetry entries, judged by the titular Danielle Pafunda, may include up to three poems. The winners will both receive $1000, and all entries will be considered for publication. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 1

The 2019 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

Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest

Only occurring once a year, this is the annual installment of Glimmer Train’s Family Matters contest! It’s open to all writers, writing about families of all configurations, and entries can run from 1000 to 12,000 words. The winner receives $2500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies of that issue, while the runner-up receives $500 and the possibility of publication. Submission guidelines here.

Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: January 2

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. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: January 2

Desert Writers Award

Established to honor the memory of Ellen Meloy, the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers is devoted to 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: FREE Deadline: January 15

Crazyhorse Prizes

These are actually three contests offered by Crazyhorse, looking for exceptional writing and outstanding poetry! The judges are Erika Meitner for poetry, Lily Hoang for nonfiction, and Rick Bass 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! Submit here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction

Georgia State University sponsors these prizes, through The Chattahoochee Review, and awards $1000 and publication to the winners in fiction and nonfiction. There are no theme restrictions, but entries must be under 6000 words to qualify! Fiction is judged by Kevin Wilson and nonfiction is judged by Adriana Páramo. Details here.

Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: January 31

Montana Prize for Fiction

Whitefish Review and judge Rick Bass want your best fiction – stories with beauty and  attentiveness, and stories that include loss – and they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is! The first-place winner will receive $1000 and publication, but all stories will be considered for publication. The absolute maximum length for these entries is 7000 words, but authors have final authority on any changes before publishing. Do it!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

New Millennium Awards

There’s a little something for everyone in this contest, presented by literary journal New Millennium 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 6000 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

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. The winner receives $1000, book publication, and 10 copies of their book. Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $25 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. Rebecca Makkai is judging fiction, Roxane Gay(!) is judging nonfiction, and Kiki Petrosino is judging poetry! 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

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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