September Deadlines: 11 Contest Deadlines for This Month

August 27, 2020

As we approach the beginning of fall, these carefully selected contests can also be a new beginning for you. There are opportunities for every type of writer, and we hope that you choose to share your voice with the world!

Black Warrior Review Contests

We want you to play to your strengths, and Black Warrior Review has an opportunity for everyone in this contest! The 2020 Fiction Contest is judged by Lucy Corin, the 2020 Nonfiction Contest is judged by Mayukh Sen, and the 2020 Poetry Contest is judged by Paul Tran. The first-place prize is $1000 and publication in each genre. There’s also a Flash Contest, judged by C Pam Zhang, that awards $500 and publication. Let’s get started!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: September 1

Young Lions Fiction Award

If you’ve published a book during the 2020 calendar year, and you’re younger than 35, this is an amazing opportunity tailor-made for you! Offered through the New York Public Library, both novels and short story collections are accepted, and the winner receives $10,000. This year is the 21st anniversary of the first contest, and excitement is building! Books must be entered by the publisher, not the author. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: September 11

Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

This is Gulf Coast’s current contest, and they’re looking for a very specific sort of entry! Submissions can be prose poetry, fiction, or essays, but they all need to be less than 500 words. The winner receives $1000 and publication, two honorable mentions get $250, and it’s judged by Jenny Offill! Check it out!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: September 15

Frontier Award for New Poets

Open to new and emerging poets, Frontier Poetry is hosting a contest to find the best single poem – they describe it as one full of color and fire, that strikes hot… Paige Lewis, Camonghne Felix, and Jake Skeets are judging. The winning poet will receive $3000 and publication for their poem, and second and third place receive $300 and $200 respectively. All ten finalists will be recognized. Get started!

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: September 20

The Berlin Prize

The American Academy in Berlin is now accepting applications for their residential fellowships, to enrich transatlantic dialogue in the arts and address the themes of migration and social integration. Writers need one published book to be eligible, and 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: September 25

Cullman Center Fellowships

The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers offers up to fifteen fellowships each year, for academics, journalists, and creative writers. Part of the New York Public Library system, this is an amazing opportunity to access the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building! A Cullman Center Fellow receives a stipend of up to $75,000, an office, and full use of the Library’s physical and electronic resources. Don’t miss out!

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: September 25

Dzanc Books Contests

Dzanc Books is offering a plethora of opportunities for all writers, with three different contests all ending this September! The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction, judged by Anne Valente, Tina May Hall, and Jessie van Eerden, awards a $5,000 advance and publication for the original and daring winning manuscript. The Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Competition celebrates imaginative and inventive short form writing, offering a $2500 advance and publication to the winning submission. Lastly, the Dzanc Books Diverse Voices Prize bestows a $3000 advance and publication upon the winning work of fiction that is brilliant and daring, by an author who is from a minority, underrepresented, or marginalized community. Check them all out!

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: September 30

Hackney Literary Award for Novels

Sponsored by the Morris Hackney family, this is an amazing prize for any aspiring novelist! This $5000 prize will be awarded to an unpublished novel, and there is no limit on length or subject matter. Check it out now!

Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: September 30

Juniper Literary Prizes

The University of Massachusetts Press honors the memory of Robert Francis, who lived and wrote his poetry in Fort Juniper, and applicants should keep in mind his dedication to creativity and nature! The Juniper Prize for Poetry awards $1000 and publication to two original poetry manuscripts, one first book prize for an unpublished author, and one prize for a previously published author. The Juniper Prize for Fiction also awards $1000 and publication to two original fiction manuscripts, one for a short story collection, and one for a novel. The Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction awards $1000 and publication to one original manuscript. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: September 30

Miller Williams Poetry Prize

This prize is named for and operated to honor the longtime director of the University of Arkansas Press, Miller Williams. Submissions of book-length poetry manuscripts should reflect his preference for poetry that was plain spoken, evocative, ironic, and humorous. The top four entries will receive publication, and the first-place winner also receives $5000. Submit here!

Entry Fee: $28 Deadline: September 30

Red Hen Press Fiction Award

Red Hen Press is looking for a fresh and original story of fiction, and they’re willing to pay for it! Open to all authors, the fiction manuscript must be a minimum of 150 pages, and submitted without any identifying material. The award is $1000, and also includes publication of the winning entry. Judged by Susan Straight! Details here.

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: September 30

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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