Winning a writing contest is such a morale booster—and the prize money doesn’t hurt either. For our list, we looked for annual contests that offer prizes of at least $1000, that don’t charge an exorbitant entry fee and that are open to all writers regardless of nationality. All are looking for previously unpublished writing. If you don’t manage to enter this time, you can always aim for next year.
Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers – awards $3,000 and publication in the Masters Review for short story of up to 6,000 words. All submissions are considered for publication and the winning story will also be reviewed by reps from top literary agencies. The contest, which is held twice yearly, is open only to emerging writers. Next deadline: 31 August 2019
Black Warrior Review Contests – awards $1,500 each for a poem, a short story, and an essay, plus publication in the Black Warrior Review. You can submit up to three poems of any length or a story or essay of up to 7,000 words. All entries are considered for publication. Next deadline: 1 September 2019.
Manchester Metropolitan University Poetry and Fiction Prizes (also featured in our list of writing contests with huge cash prizes) – awards a whopping £10,000 each for a group of poems and a short story. You can submit three to five poems (no more than 120 lines total) or a story of up to 2,500 words. Next deadline: 20 September 2019
New Guard Poetry and Fiction Contests – awards 2 prizes of $1,500 each and publication in New Guard for a poem and a short story. You can submit up to 3 poems of no more than 150 lines each or a story of up to 5,000 words. Next deadline: 27 September 2019
Mary C. Mohr Awards – awards 3 prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Southern Indiana Review for a poem, a work of fiction, and a work of creative nonfiction. Submit up to four poems (no more than 10 pages total) or up to 30 pages of prose. All entries considered for publication. Next deadline: 1 October 2019
Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize awards 3 prizes of $5,000 each and publication in Missouri Review for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Submit one piece of fiction or nonfiction of up to 8,500 words or any number of poems up to 10 pages. Next deadline: 1 October 2019.
Anton Chekhov Award for Flash Fiction – awards $1,250 and publication in LitMag awarded annually for a piece of flash fiction. The winning story will also be reviewed by a literary agency with an eye towards representation. Next deadline: 1 October 2019