May Deadlines: 15 Lit Mags & Contests with Deadlines This Month

April 27, 2018

It’s finally feeling like spring, and the world is full of green growing things. Now it’s your turn to create something new, and send it off to one of these amazing events!

FEATURED The 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 $200 and $100, respectively, and all stories are considered for publication. We’re only looking for previously unpublished stories, but you’re allowed both simultaneous and multiple submissions. Don’t miss it!
Entry Fee: $20 for 2 stories Deadline: May 31

FEATURED Frontier Poetry Industry Prize

If ever there was a time to shine and polish your most magnificent poem, this is it! This prize allows submitters the chance to be read by astoundingly influential people; this year it’s Don Share, Nicole Sealey, and Matt Zapruder. They will collaborate to choose one winning poem, and that winner receives $3000 and publication (Second and third place receive $200 and $100 respectively). Check it out!
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 15

Creative Nonfiction Grants

The Whiting Foundation offers a helping hand to authors in the midst of completing a book-length work of nonfiction for a general, not academic, audience by awarding up to eight grants of $40,000. They welcome submissions such as works on history, biography, the sciences, philosophy, travel writing, and even personal essays, but these projects must be under contract to a publisher in the United States. Work must have been ongoing for two years, to ensure that the author can identify upcoming challenges, but any applicants who fulfill all the requirements already know that this is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss out!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: May 2

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 eighteen 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 and publication to the winners of each category. Carmen Maria Machado is judging fiction, Roxane Gay is judging nonfiction, and Roger Reeves 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 impressive poet Ilya Kaminsky, 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

Natasha Trethewey is judging this contest for The Georgia Review, and they are looking for a masterful poem! The final winner will receive $1000 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 Susan Perabo, 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 eighteenth year of the contest, so now’s the time to join the tradition! Submit here.
Entry Fee: $17 Deadline: May 15

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: $25-$200 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 receives $1500 and publication. Make sure to select the correct contest for your submission! More details here.
Entry Fee: $24 Deadline: May 18

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

Our buddies over at SmokeLong Quarterly are awarding $1500 to the best flash fiction submission. This contest is also helping the publication celebrate its fifteenth anniversary! The winner will also receive publication and nomination for multiple awards. At least 14 runners-up will receive publication in the June issue and $15 apiece. Don’t miss this awesome opportunity.
Entry Fee: $13 for up to 2 stories  Deadline: May 20

2018 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

2018 Travel Writing Contest

The award-winning literary travel magazine Nowhere is looking for writers who know how to convey time and place with ease and grace! Submissions may be fiction, nonfiction, or essay, and can range from 800 to 5000 words. The winner receives $1000 and publication, and up to 10 finalists will be published as well. Check it out!
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 31

Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award

The University of Georgia Press has offered this award since 1983, and it has become an important showcase for talented emerging writers. They are 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

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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