March Deadlines: 18 Contests With Deadlines This Month

February 26, 2019

They say March comes in like a lion, and clearly they’re referring to the sheer amount of writing competitions this month! We’re happy to lend you a hand, though, and present a carefully curated list of the best contests around. 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 10 winners will be published in the eighth volume of The Masters Review Anthology, and will each receive $500. This contest is judged by the sublime Kate Bernheimer, and she will be looking for today’s best new emerging writers. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: March 31

CDS Documentary Essay Prize

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. Submissions should also include a statement of explanation and a C.V. 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: $50 Deadline: March 1

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: $25 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 our wonderful friend Kelly Link! Let’s go!

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: March 1

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 Nick White, 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: $25 Deadline: March 1

Creative Writing Fellowship

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 6

Kerouac Project Residency

This is a truly wonderful opportunity; 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 10

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 Joan Silber, all submissions will be considered for publication. More details here.

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: March 14

2019 Fiction Contest: Doubt

Doubt is a common problem that writers face, but 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 this year’s contest theme is Doubt. Judged by R.O. Kwan, prose submissions should not exceed 5000 words. Get ready here!

Entry Fee: $15 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

Frank McCourt Memoir Prize

It takes courage to write personal narratives and share them with the world, but The Southampton Review is ready to reward such bravery. Submissions must be less than 4500 words, must be memoir, and only one submission is allowed per author. The winner, however, receives $1000 and publication, and the runner-up receives $500. Submission guidelines here.

Entry Fee: $15 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

Prairie Schooner 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 15

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! Robin Hemley is judging the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, Nickole Brown is judging the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, and Ira Sukrungruang 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 31

2019 Fiction Prize

This is a call to all writers, who think that their work can make the cut! Judged by the hard-working R.O. Kwan, 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. Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: March 31

Prime Number Magazine Awards

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 Ginger Murchison and Pinckney Benedict (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

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

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: $26 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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