It’s always exciting to see the first flowers start to grow, and now we want to get a glimpse of what YOU have been working on over the winter! Check out our list of contests, and see what fits your creative work!
This is a golden opportunity for any student finishing up their MFA or PhD in Creative Writing by August 15! If that’s you, then here is your chance to receive a nine-month fellowship that includes a stipend of $40,000, generous health benefits, and several teaching assignments. It is also important that applicants have not published more than one book. Applications must include a resume and a writing sample. Apply here!
Entry Fee: $50 Deadline: March 1
Given by the National Endowment for the Arts, this program awards $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) to published writers. These published works can be anything from short stories to creative essays to a novel. It is an extremely rigorous competition, but there is no great reward without risk! Don’t miss it!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: March 8
Here’s an opportunity for your short story to be more than just words on a page, when it could be read aloud by stars of stage and screen! Sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts, the winning submission will be performed and recorded live, receive $1000, and win a free 10-week course with Gotham Writers. Stories can be any theme, as long as they are less than 750 words, and the contest is judged by the talented Anthony Doerr! Let’s go!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: March 10
All three of the Bellingham Review’s contests are ending this month, so begin writing now if you want to receive one of the three $1000 first-place prizes! Corinne Manning is judging the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, Susan Nguyen is judging the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, and Sasha LaPointe is judging the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction. All of the winners and a selection of the runners up will be published! Submission guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: March 15
Created in honor of the late James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity, the James Jones Literary Society will award $10,000 for a novel-in-progress by an unpublished US author. There should be a celebration of honesty, determination, and insight into cultural and social issues in each application. Submissions must include a two-page synopsis and a 50-page excerpt from the manuscript. Details here!
Entry Fee: $33 Deadline: March 15
This is a unique chance for any author who feels the need for unparalleled solitude while working on their current project! In return for an hour a day of maintenance, the resident receives a $5000 stipend and the use of a comfortable house in the Rogue River backcountry of southwestern Oregon for up to 7 months. Applications need to include a brief resume, a 20-page writing sample, and a letter explaining your suitability for the experience. Learn more here!
Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: March 15
The Journal is looking to publish the best collection of short prose written this year, and they are very upfront about their plan! The contest, judged by Lee Martin, is open to writers of fiction and creative nonfiction, and entries must be less than 350 pages. The winner receives $1500 and a publishing contract from The Ohio State University Press. Details here!
Entry Fee: $23 Deadline: March 15
This is an opportunity for all living writers, writing in English, who just so happen to have an unpublished manuscript in poetry or fiction! Poetry manuscripts ought to be at least 50 pages long, while fiction manuscripts ought to be at least 150 pages long. Winners will receive $3000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press. Submit here!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: March 15
This is a call to all writers, who think that their work can make the cut! The winner receives $1000 and publication in Indiana Review. All entries receive a year-long subscription to the journal, and all entries are considered for publication. Submissions should be less than 5000 words, but there are no restrictions on theme or subject. Learn more here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: March 31
If you have an unpublished poetry or short story collection, this could be your big break! Black Lawrence Press is currently accepting submissions from new, emerging, and established authors. The winner will receive book publication, $1000, and 10 copies of the book. Details here.
Entry Fee: $28 Deadline: March 31
With an emphasis on brevity, this contest for poetry and short fiction is meant to be a challenge! Make sure to note that the short story limit is 5300 words, as a nod to their parent organization Press 53. Judged by Felecia Mitchell and Dennis McFadden (for poetry and short fiction, respectively), the first-place winner in each category receives $1000, publication in Prime Number Magazine, and a Pushcart Prize nomination! Enter here.
Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: March 31
This contest from Narrative is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers, writing anything from short stories and memoirs, to essays and literary nonfiction! The entries need to be less than 15,000 words and previously unpublished, while containing a strong narrative drive and intense insights. First prize is $2500, second is $1000, and third is $500. Guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $27 Deadline: March 31
by Kimberly Guerin