Ten Literary Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in May

May 10, 2015

As summer approaches, the number of high-paying writing contests seems to increase. The following ten are only a sample of all the opportunities out there for emerging writers to have their work published. Good luck!

Carve Magazine Raymond Carver Short Story Award – In its fifteenth year, the prestigious RCSS Award is being judged by award-winning writer Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog), and carries a $1000 first-place prize. Winners are announced August 1st and can expect publication both online and in print editions of the magazine. The website also promises the winning story to be read by three literary agencies. Go for it. Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: May 15

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest – This is an annual contest from one of the most well-respected journals in the country. Three prizes of $1000 each and publication for a short story, essay, and poem. Entry fee of $24 includes a one-year subscription, so there’s no reason not to apply. Details here. Entry Fee: $24 Deadline: May 15

Sonora Review 2015 Contests – Prizes of $1000 each and publication given to a previously unpublished short story, poem, and micro essay of up to 800 words. Essays are judged by Amy Leach, fiction by Stuart Dybek, and poetry by Rusty Morrison. Check it. Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: May 15

Montreal International Poetry Prize – Submit a poem of up to 40 lines for publication in Global Poetry Anthology, win a hefty prize of $20,000 CAD (about $15800 USD). Whatever you do, make sure it’s a good one. One poem per $20 entry fee. Guidelines here. Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 15

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition – This contest has been running since 1981 and draws up to 1200 submissions every year. First-place winner receives $1500 and publication in the journal Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. Go ahead, submit. Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: May 15

New Letters Literary Awards – A total of $4500 given out to an essay, short story, or group of three to six poems. $20 entry fee for the first entry, $15 for each subsequent entry. Entry fees include a one-year subscription to the publication. Enter here. Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: May 18

Gival Press Novel Award – Generous prize of $3000, publication by Gival Press, and 20 author copies awarded to an unpublished novel manuscript between 30,000 and 100,000 words. Check it out. Entry Fee: $50 Deadline: May 30

Elixir Press Fiction Award – This small press is giving out a prize of $2000, publication, and 25 author copies for a short-story collection or a novel manuscript between 120 and 500 pages. Learn more here. Entry Fee: $40 Deadline: May 31

Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers – Another month, another Glimmer Train contest. This one is open only to unpublished writers and carries the usual prize of $1500 for first place. Submit here. Entry Fee: $15 Deadline: May 31

Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction – The University of Georgia Press has held this prestigious award for collections of short fiction since 1983. The winner receives $1000, publication of their manuscript by UoGP, and serious bragging rights. More information here. Entry Fee: $30 Deadline: May 31

Looking to submit your work to publications with no entry fees? Check out our Literary Forecast.

 by Alex Fulton


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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