March Deadlines: 17 Contests Ending This Month

February 26, 2020

The weather in March is temperamental at best, but our monthly Deadline Post is as reliable as ever! We’re happy to lend a helping hand to create a list of the best contests around, so let’s get started!

FEATURED The Masters Review Anthology Prize

It’s finally that time of year again, when The Masters Review is accepting entries for their anthology! Submissions can be fiction or narrative nonfiction, but they need to be less than 7000 words. The winners will be published in the ninth volume of The Masters Review Anthology, and $5000 will be awarded between the 10 finalists. This contest is judged by the marvelous Rick Bass, and he will be looking for today’s best new emerging writers. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: March 29

Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency

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 10 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 1

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

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 terrific Nicole Chung! Let’s go!

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: March 1

Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships

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 $39,000, 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

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Colorado State University sponsors this prize, through the Colorado Review, and awards $2000 and publication to the winner. There are no theme restrictions, but entries must be over 2500 words to qualify! Judged by Lori Ostlund, all submissions will be considered for publication. More details here.

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: March 14

Bellingham Review

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! Aimee Parkison is judging the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, Philip Metres is judging the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, and Sue William Silverman 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: $20 Deadline: March 15

First Novel Fellowship

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: $30 Deadline: March 15

Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellowship

This is a huge one! The fellowship is meant to support work by academics, independent scholars, and writers working on significant projects based on the literature, history, and culture of the Americas before 1830. Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend and four months of housing and university privileges, split between Brown University and Washington College. More details here.

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: March 15

Kerouac Project Residency

This is a truly wonderful opportunity, where any writer living anywhere in the world can apply for one of the four residencies offered by the Kerouac Project! Each winner will get to stay at Jack Kerouac’s home in Orlando for three months, with a $1000 food stipend, and an offer to interact with workshops and readings in the Orlando area. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $35 Deadline: March 15

The Non/Fiction Collection Prize

The Journal is looking to publish the best essay/short story collection written this year, and they are very upfront about their plan! The contest, judged by Michelle Herman, 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

Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize Contest

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 16

2020 Contest: Wonder

The world can be full of wonderful things, and Sonora Review is willing to pay you to find out your thoughts on the subject! Each year they award $1000 and publication to a winning short story and poem, and this year’s contest theme is Wonder. Rebecca Makkai is judging fiction and Aimee Nezhukumatathil is judging poetry. Prose submissions should be less than 5000 words, and poetry submissions should be between 3 to 8 pages. Get ready here!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: March 28

Chautauqua Janus Prize

For only the third time, the Chautauqua Janus Prize will be awarded this summer, and the time to apply is running out! It is meant to be a celebration of an emerging writer’s daring innovation of literary form and function in a single work of short fiction or nonfiction.Not only does the winner receive $5000 for their manuscript, they will also give a lecture in the summer and receive publication in Chautauqua. This is specifically a prize meant for emerging writers, who have yet to publish any prose books. Judged by Hilary Plum. Apply here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: March 31

2019 Fiction Prize

This is a call to all writers, who think that their work can make the cut! Judged by the incomparable Angela Flournoy, 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 6000 words, but there are no restrictions on theme or subject. Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: March 31

The Hudson Prize

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: $25 Deadline: March 31

Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award

Red Hen Press wants to recognize the art of true storytelling through literary craft, and they welcome work from all authors! Essay collections, memoirs, research-driven works, and narrative nonfiction are all welcome, although they must be a minimum of 150 pages. The award is $1000, and also includes publication of the winning entry. Judged by Kristen Millares Young! Submission guidelines here.

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: March 31

Winter Story Contest

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



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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