September Deadlines: 12 Contests and Prizes For You

August 27, 2021

The days continue to get shorter as summer ends, but you shouldn’t have to write by candlelight just yet… Write something new, or round up old favorites, and submit to these ongoing contests!

FEATURED! Summer Short Story Award for New Writers

One last time for the late crowd: our contest is coming to a close (and technically not in September), but you don’t want to miss out! We’re looking for stories under 6000 words, written by emerging writers who are good with grammar and show finesse with fiction! The winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review, and the runners-up also receive cash prizes, publication, and review. Judged by Kristen Arnett. Don’t miss your chance! Details here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: August 30

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 2021 Fiction Contest is judged by K-Ming Chang, the 2021 Nonfiction Contest is judged by Su Cho, and the 2020 Poetry Contest is judged by Eduardo C. Corral. The first-place prize is $1000 and publication in each genre. There’s also a Flash Contest, judged by J K Chukwu, that awards $500 and publication. Let’s get started!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: September 1

Dogwood Literary Awards

These are actually three contests offered by Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, looking for exceptional writing and outstanding poetry! Submissions may be up to 22 pages, or a set of 1-3 poems, and the winner of each contest receives $1000 and publication. Make sure to select the correct contest for your submission! Submit here.

Entry Fee: $12 Deadline: September 5

Young Lions Fiction Award

If you’ve published a book during the 2021 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 22nd 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 10

Oregon Literary Fellowships

These fellowships are meant to help emerging Oregon writers initiate, develop, or complete literary projects, whether they are writing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama! Literary Arts has awarded over 600 authors and publishers since 1987, and dispensed more than $900,000 in fellowships and award monies. Submissions require the completed application and a writing sample, in triplicate, and possibly an addendum if they qualify for the Women Writers or Writers of Color fellowships. There’s a fellowship for everyone, so don’t be shy! Specific details here.

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: September 17

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… Rosebud Ben-Oni, Andrés Cerpa, and Mai Der Vang 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 19

Lascaux Prize in Flash Fiction

If you think you’re ready to medal in writing creative nonfiction, then this is the contest for you! They’re looking for memoirs, chronicles, personal essays, humorous perspectives, or literary journalism. The Lascaux Review is accepting multiple submissions, less than 10,000 words each. All finalists in this contest will be published, but the winner also receives $1000 and a bronze medallion for their efforts. Check it out!

Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: September 23

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 24

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 27

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, David Tromblay, and Nina Shope, 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 Nonfiction Prize bestows a $1500 advance and publication upon the winning nonfiction manuscript that is innovative and inspiring, whether it is memoir, essays, historical writing, or biography. 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

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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