May Deadlines: 13 Contests and Prizes This Month

April 27, 2019

The sun has finally conquered its shyness (hopefully…), and now it’s your turn to be brave! Collect and search your writing, and send it off to one of these great contests!

FEATURED Masters Review Flash Fiction Contest

Never before has each word in a submission been worth so much… You might be limited to 1000 words, but the winner will be rewarded with 3000 dollars! Second and third place receive $300 and $200, respectively, and all stories are considered for publication. Not only that, but all finalists receive a spot in Kathy Fish’s Fast Flash online workshop! She’s the judge, and she’s only looking for previously unpublished stories, but you’re allowed both simultaneous and multiple submissions. Don’t miss it!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 31

MBF/de Groot Prize

The Miami Book Fair partnered with the de Groot Foundation to create this prize, which offers some spectacular prizes in exchange for an unpublished novella! They want this prize to bring out the best in new authors, and to fan the flames of emerging authors who want to be published. The winner receives $6000, publication by Melville House, an expense-paid trip to the Miami Book Fair, and a chance to read at the fair. The two runners-up each receive $3000, and an expense-paid trip to the Fair. Judged by Justin Torres, what are you waiting for? Enter here!

Entry Fee: $70 Deadline: May 10

Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize

This amazing prize is available through Duke University, and it’s based on the collaboration between photographer Dorothea Lange and writer Paul Taylor. They’re looking for extended projects that rely on combining words and images, up to nineteen images and fifteen pages! Applications must include a project description, a statement, and a biography. The winner will receive $10,000, a feature story, and their work will be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. More details here.

Entry Fee: $70 Deadline: May 15

Emerging Writer’s Contest

Ploughshares is now focusing on their commitment to promoting the work of up-and-coming writers, so there’s no better time to submit! This contest is meant to celebrate emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, awarding $2000, publication, review from Aevitas Creative Management, and a 1-year subscription to the winners of each category. Ottessa Moshfegh is judging fiction, Leslie Jamison is judging nonfiction, and Fatimah Asghar is judging poetry. Guidelines here.

Entry Fee: $24 Deadline: May 15

Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize

If you have a poem to share, Ruminate wants to read it! Judged by the amazing poet Craig Santos Perez, the first-place prize is $1500 and publication. Each submission is only two poems, 40 lines or less, but there are no limits on the number of entries per person. Submit here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 15

The Loraine Williams Poetry Prize

Stephen Dunn is judging this contest for The Georgia Review, and they are looking for a masterful poem! The final winner will receive $1500 and publication, but all submitted poems will be considered for publication (at $4 a line). Learn more here.

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: May 15

Prophecy Creek Book Award in Speculative Fiction

If you write your fiction with a futuristic or supernatural bent, this is the contest you’ve been waiting for! Hidden River Press is looking for an original unpublished work of speculative fiction, and the winner will receive $1000 and publication. Make a note that submissions need to include a brief biography, outline, and full synopsis along with the full manuscript! More details here.

Entry Fee: $22 Deadline: May 15

Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Are your stories short, sharp, and ready to be shared? Carve Magazine has the contest for you! Judged by Claire Fuller, the winner receives $1500 and second-place receives $500, and all of the winning entries will be read by three literary agents. This is the nineteenth year of the contest, so now’s the time to join the tradition! Submit here.

Entry Fee: $17 Deadline: May 15

New Letters Prizes

There are actually three contests here, one each for poetry, nonfiction, or fiction! The Conger Beasley Jr.  Award for Nonfiction submissions may be up to 8000 words, and the best essay receives $2500 and publication. The Fiction Prize may also be up to 8000 words, the Poetry Prize up to six poems, and the winner of these contests also receives $2500 and publication. Make sure to select the correct contest for your submission! More details here.

Entry Fee: $24 Deadline: May 20

2019 Fiction Award

This contest is sponsored by Elixir Press, and is open to all authors writing in English! They’re accepting both novels and short story collections, as long as the submissions are literary quality. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, and the winner receives $2000, publication, and 25 copies of their winning manuscript. Submit here.

Entry Fee: $40 Deadline: May 31

Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

The University of Georgia Press has offered this award since 1983, and it has become an important showcase for talented emerging writers. Series editor Roxane Gay is looking for short story collections, which may include novellas and long stories, and the competition is open to all authors writing in English who reside in North America. The winner receives a cash award of $1000 as well as a standard book publishing contract with the University of Georgia Press. More information here.

Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: May 31

Guy Owen Prize

Southern Poetry Review is looking for the perfect poem, and it could be yours! They’re accepting three to five poems in every submission, and the winning poem will receive $1000 and publication. Enter here!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 31

William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition

Sponsored by The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc, a non-profit literary and educational organization, this competition includes eight categories and eight prizes! They are looking to find new, talented writers, and assist them with finding literary agents and publishers. The Novel/Book Fiction Prize is $7500, the Nonfiction Book Prize is $2000, the Novella, Short Story, and Novel-in-Progress prizes are $1500, the Essay and Poetry prizes are $1000, and the High School Student Prize is $750. There is something for everyone, so read more here!

Entry Fee: $10-$200 Deadline: May 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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