The days may be getting shorter and shorter, but that only affords you the opportunity to practice writing by candlelight! Get into the spirit of the season by bundling up and then buckling down to submit your work to these contests.
FEATURED: Fall Fiction Contest
Of course we’re going to include our own contest! Judged by the wonderful Anita Felicelli, the winner receives $2,000, publication, and feedback on why they were chosen. This is a great opportunity for emerging writers, as all submissions will be considered for publication. Entries should be less than 6,000 words, and ought to dazzle us. Check it out!
Entry fee: $20 Deadline: Nov 30
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Open only to writers from the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific, The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for previously unpublished short fiction between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Translated stories are accepted, as are pieces not written in English (be sure to check their website for the full details on which languages are accepted). Every year, 1 winner from each region will be awarded £2,500 and an overall winner will receive £5,000. Find out more here!
Entry fee: FREE! Deadline: Nov 1
The Briar Cliff Review Annual Contest
There is still just enough time to enter The Briar Cliff Review’s writing contest, so don’t miss your chance! Prose entries can be up to 5,000 words, poetry entries can include up to three poems, and simultaneous submissions are allowed. The first-place winner in each category is awarded $1,000 and will be published in the 2020 edition of The Briar Cliff Review. Submission guidelines here!
Entry fee: $20 Deadline: Nov 1
Gabriele Rico Challenge in Creative Nonfiction
Reed Magazine is currently accepting submissions for this award, but not for long! This prize recognizes outstanding works of nonfiction, up to 5,000 words, and the winner receives $1,333! Please note that entries must be creative nonfiction, such as personal essays or narratives, and not scholarly papers or book reviews. Learn more here!
Entry fee: $20 Deadline: Nov 1
John Steinbeck Award for Fiction
Another great contest from Reed Magazine ends this month, so make sure you check out this one as well! Send in works of fiction under 5,000 words, with a word count and a brief bio, and you could win $1,000! All entries need to be stand-alone short stories, however, not chapters from larger works. Judged by Vanessa Hua. Submit here!
Entry fee: $20 Deadline: Nov 1
Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest
The University of Alabama Press is looking for fiction that is too innovative, challenging, and ambitious for traditional publishing, and they’re willing to pay you for the privilege of publishing yours! Open to any author writing in English who hasn’t been published with their imprint Fiction Collective Two, submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. The winner, chosen by judge Sarah Blackman, receives $1,500 and publication. Details here!
Entry fee: $25 Deadline: Nov 1
Walt Whitman Award
If you are an unpublished poet, this is an opportunity meant specifically for you! The Walt Whitman Award is meant to honor a poet’s first book, with a $5,000 prize, a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy, publication of the winning manuscript, and distribution of that book to all members of the Academy of American Poets. As an extra bonus, the judge is decorated poet Harryette Mullen! Do it!
Entry fee: $35 Deadline: Nov 1
Carve‘s Prose and Poetry Contest
From the journal named for the legendary Raymond Carver comes this year’s Prose and Poetry contest. Submit up to 10,000 words of fiction or nonfiction or 2,000 words of poetry to be eligible for this $1,000 prize. Genre judges are Lydia Kiesling (fiction), Benjamin Busch (nonfiction) and Analicia Sotelo (poetry). Check it out!
Entry fee: $17 Deadline: Nov 15
Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship
This is an amazing opportunity for any historical writer! Applicants should have a book-length project in progress, and it should address the history and/or legacy of the American Revolution and their founding ideas (very broadly defined). The fellowship includes a $45,000 stipend, a book allowance, and a nine-month residency in Chestertown, MD. Entries need to include a cover letter, CV, a writing sample, a description of a class they might teach, and a persuasive description of the work-in-progress. More details here!
Entry fee: FREE Deadline: Nov 15
The Robert C. Jones Short Prose Book Contest
This contest from Pleiades Press is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers, whose collections can include anything from short stories and flash fiction, to lyric essays and any other short prose you can think of! Manuscripts need to be at least 60 pages, and previously unpublished, while indicating whether they are fiction or nonfiction. Chosen by judge C.J. Hauser, the winning manuscript receives $2,000, and publication with national distribution! Guidelines here.
Entry fee: $25 Deadline: Nov 15
Nilsen Literary Prize
Are you wondering what to do with your just-finished manuscript? Well, this prize is meant for an applicant’s first novel! Submissions can be novels, novellas, or collections of closely-linked short stories. The manuscript must be unpublished, as the winner will be published through Southeast Missouri State University Press, and they will also receive $2,000. Check it out!
Entry fee: $30 Deadline: Nov 15
Sonora Review 2019 Contests
If you’ve ever had an encounter worth writing about, Sonora Review is willing to pay you for the privilege of publishing it! The 2019 Nonfiction Contest is judged by Rae Paris, and the 2019 Flash Prose Contest is judged by Lucy Corin. Both contests are awarding $1,000 and publication in Issue 77 of Sonora Review to the winners. What are you waiting for? More details here!
Entry fee: $15 Deadline: Nov 15
Narrative Fall 2019 Story Contest
This contest 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 $2,500, second is $1,000, and third is $500. All entries are considered for publication, and all contest entries are also eligible for the $4,000 Narrative Prize! Guidelines here.
Entry fee: $27 Deadline: Nov 30
The Baltimore Review‘s Winter 2020 Contest
This year’s theme for The Baltimore Review‘s Winter 2020 Contest is “rituals”. The final judge hasn’t been announced yet, but you can be sure they’ll be great. With a 5,000 word limit for fiction or creative nonfiction and a one to three poems for poetry, the winning submission among all entries will win $500, with $200 and $100 going to the second and third place selections. Apply your own writing ritual to this contest on rituals: Submit today.
Entry fee: $10 Deadline: Nov 30
By Kimberly Guerin and Cole Meyer