October Deadlines: 16 Literary Magazines and Contests with Prizes This Month

October 1, 2018

It’s officially fall, and the cooler weather is a welcome relief from the summer doldrums. Now get ready to embrace pumpkin spice, rain jackets, and this huge array of writing contests curated just for you!

American Literary Review Awards

In this multifaceted contest offered by American Literary Review, contestants can submit manuscript entries for short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry! Submissions may be up to 8000 words for short fiction, 6500 words for creative nonfiction, or up to three poems, and the winner of each contest receives $1000 and publication. Learn more here.
Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: October 1

Aura Estrada Short Story Contest

In memory of Aura Estrada, Boston Review is honouring her story by supporting other emerging writers. Any author writing in English is eligible, although entries should not exceed 5000 words in length. Alexander Chee is judging, and the winning author will receive $1500 and publication! Submit here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: October 1

Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize

In this threefold contest offered by The Missouri Review, contestants can submit entries for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Not only do the winners in each contest receive $5000 and publication, but there is also a reception and reading in their honor! Make sure to choose the correct category when you submit, and good luck! More details here.
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: October 1

Mary C. Mohr Awards

All three of the Southern Indiana Review ’s contests are ending this month, so enter now if you want to receive one of the three $2000 first-place prizes! Rebecca Makkai is judging the fiction section, Aimee Nezhukumatathil is judging the poetry section, and Kiese Laymon is judging the nonfiction applicants. All of the winners and a selection of the runners up will be published! See more here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: October 1

Short Short Fiction Prize

If you believe brevity is the soul of wit, and you’re able to prove it, this is the contest for you! The Southampton Review is accepting submissions under 350 words, and the winner of their contest receives $350 and publication. Second and third place are also rewarded, and entrants may submit as many times as they like. Don’t miss out!
Entry Fee: $5 Deadline: October 1

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

There are four writing contests being offered this year, and they cover a full range of wonderful challenges and prizes! The one-act play contest, judged by John Guare, rewards the winner with $1500, a staging of the play, and publication. The poetry contest, judged by Greg Brownderville, offers $1000, a reading at the festival, and publication. The fiction contest, judged by Hannah Pittard, gives $1500, a reading at the festival, accomodation for the festival, and publication to the winner. Finally, the very short fiction contest, judged by Robert Olen Butler, awards the winner with $500, a reading at the festival, and publication. There are a lot more details here!
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: October 1

Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Competition

Founded by Francis Ford Coppola, Zoetrope: All-Story is meant to explore the intersections of story, art, fiction, and film. This contest is open to all genres of literary fiction, with no formatting restrictions! The entries need to be less than 5,000 words and previously unpublished, and will be judged by Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award for
Fiction. First prize is $1000, second is $500, and third is $250. Check it out!
Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: October 1

Berlin Prize Fellowships

The American Academy in Berlin is now accepting applications for their residential fellowships, awarded to established and emerging scholars who want to engage in independent study. Writers need one published book to be eligible, and the fellowships are restricted to US residents. About twenty Berlin Prizes are awarded each year, and those selected receive round-trip airfare, a monthly $5000 stipend, and lodging at the Hans Arnhold Center. More details here!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: October 5

A Public Space Emerging Writer Fellowships

This amazing fellowship will be awarded to three writers, who will each receive $1000, publication, mentorship, and a free workspace in New York City. Entries need to include both a specific cover letter and an unpublished prose piece. They’re looking for writers who have not yet published or been contracted to write a book-length work, and that could be you! Submit here.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: October 15

Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship

There is no better chance for American poets who wish to travel than this opportunity, and it’s not too late! Applicants must send in an application and a 40-page poetry sample to the Trustees at the law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart, who will choose up to two recipients. The winner must then leave North America for an entire year, produce at least three poems, and will then be awarded $58,000. Find out more here!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: October 15

Emerging Writer’s Prize in Fiction

The Arkansas International is currently accepting submissions for their contest, but all good things will eventually come to an end. Entries are only open to writers who haven’t published a full-length book, and must be less than 7500 words. The winning prose piece will be chosen by Adam Johnson, and will receive $1000 and publication. Don’t lose your chance!
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: October 20

Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Contest

Presented by Omnidawn Publishing, this competition is on the hunt for fiction that pushes boundaries! Fabulist fiction, in this instance, includes magical realism and the literary forms of fantasy, science fiction, horror, fable, and myth, as long as they’re written in English and don’t exceed 12,000 words. The winner receives $1000, publication, 100 free copies of their chapbook, and extensive advertising and publicity. Rules here!
Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: October 22

Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award

In honor of the poet Benjamin Saltman, Red Hen Press is looking to reward a previously unpublished original collection of poetry! Open to all poets, the fiction manuscript must be a minimum of 48 pages, and submitted without any identifying material. The award is $3000, and also includes publication of the winning entry and a four-week residency at PLAYA in southern Oregon. Judged by Marilyn Nelson! Details here.
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: October 31

Black River Chapbook Competition

Black Lawrence Press presents a great opportunity for poets and fiction writers with short manuscripts! The contest is open to new, emerging, and experienced writers, whose entries will be read blind by the panel of editors. The winner is awarded $500, publication, and 10 copies of their book. Guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: October 31

Monadnock Essay Collection Prize

Bauhan Publishing seems to be starting a new tradition, as they announce the second year of the Monadnock Essay Collection Prize! The book-length collection (120-160 pages) of essays may contain any form of essay, from narrative nonfiction to travel, as long as the author is writing in English. First place receives $1000, publication, distribution through the University Press of New England, and 50 free copies of the published book. Judged by Anne Barngrover! Submit here.
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: October 31

Short Story Award for New Writers

Occurring three times a year, this is the fall installment of Glimmer Train ’s contest! It’s only open to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000, and entries are capped at 12,000 words. The winner receives $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories , along with 10 copies of that issue. Submission guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: October 31


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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