Writing competitions provide writers with a platform to showcase their work, gain recognition, and potentially win prizes. By participating, writers can also improve their craft, receive valuable feedback from judges and peers, and even launch a writing career
Reedsy Writing Competition List
Reedsy is a website that offers a curated list of writing contests, including both free and paid competitions. The contests are categorized by genre, format, and deadline, making it easy for writers to find contests that suit their interests and skills.Some of the contests featured on Reedsy include short story contests, novel writing competitions, poetry contests, and screenplay contests. The website also provides details about each contest, including the submission guidelines, the prize money, and the judging criteria.
USA - Inspired by authors, informed by algorithms, and connected by over 3 million readers and writers worldwide, Inkitt is opening a new chapter of your writing! Inkitt’s Writing Contests regularly give authors the opportunity to share their books with readers around the world and showcase their talents.
Monthly cash prizes ($300) give you the chance to win money and exclusive book badges for your writing!
Young Lions Fiction Award
USA - Established in 2001, The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award is a $10,000 prize awarded each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of Young Lions members, writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of judges selects the winner.
New Voices Award
USA - The New Voices Award is given annually by children's book publisher Lee & Low Books for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writer. It can be fiction, non-fiction or poetry, with a max of 1500 words. The Award winner receives a cash prize of $2,000.
PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
USA - The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction honors the best published works of fiction by American permanent residents in a calendar year. Three writers are chosen annually by the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to serve as judges, ensuring that our awards selection process is free of commercial influence. These judges select an initial longlist of ten books, followed by five finalists, and finally one winner as the “first among equals.” The author of the winning book receives a $15,000 prize. The authors of each of the other finalists receive $5,000.
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
USA - The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of cultural diversity. Awards are given for fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction
USA - This competition honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.
Biopage Storytelling Writing Contest
USA - The Biopage Storytelling Writing Contest is a quarterly writing competition open to writers worldwide. The contest invites participants to share their personal stories or insights on any theme in the form of an essay or memoir, with a maximum length of 5,000 characters. The winner receives a cash prize of $1,000, with three runners-up receiving $200 each. The contest seeks to encourage writers to share their unique experiences and perspectives, and to promote the art of storytelling.
ServiceScape Short Story Award
USA - ServiceScape Short Story Award is the perfect way to achieve both. For this award, any genre or theme of short story is accepted. All applicants should submit their original unpublished work of short fiction or nonfiction, 5.000 words or fewer, to be considered. Along with receiving an award for 1.000,00$ USD.
The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction
USA - The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction is an annual literary prize that honors outstanding writing in creative nonfiction. The award was established in 2016 in memory of Diana Woods. The award is open to all writers and carries a cash prize of $250. The winner's work is published in Lunch Ticket, and they are also invited to give a public reading. The award seeks to recognize and promote the importance of creative nonfiction as a genre of literature.
The Restless Books Prize For New Immigrant Writing
USA - The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing was created in 2015 to honor outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books.
L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest
USA - One of the most enduring and influential contest in the history of SF and Fantasy. L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new writers of science fiction and fantasy to have their work judged by some of the masters in the field and discovered by a wide audience. No entry fee is required and entrants retain all publication rights.
Drue Heinz Literature Prize
USA - The Drue Heinz Literature Prize recognizes and supports writers of short fiction and makes their work available to readers around the world. The award is open to authors who have published a book-length collection of fiction or at least three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals. Winners receive a cash prize of $15,000, publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press, and support in the nation-wide promotion of their book.
The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans
USA - The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans is an annual literary prize that honors outstanding writing by U.S. military veterans. The award is open to all U.S. military veterans and carries a cash prize of $1,000. The winner's work is published in a literary magazine, and they are also invited to give a public reading. The award seeks to recognize the important contributions of veterans to the literary community and to promote the writing of veterans.
Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
USA - The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence is an annual award that honors outstanding literary works by African American writers. The award comes with a cash prize of $15,000 and is given to a fiction book published in the previous year. The selection committee is composed of literary experts who evaluate the submissions based on the literary quality, originality, and cultural significance.
PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers
USA - The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers recognizes 12 emerging writers each year for their debut short story published in a literary magazine, journal, or cultural website, and aims to support the launch of their careers as fiction writers. The 12 winning stories are selected by a committee of three judges who are well-respected experts in the art of the short story. The winning writers each receive a $2,000 cash prize and will be published by Catapult in their annual anthology, Best Debut Short Stories: The PEN America Dau Prize.
Marfield Prize (aka National Award for Arts Writing)
USA - The Marfield Prize is a prestigious literary award given biennially to an author who has written an outstanding book on any artistic discipline. The prize includes a cash award of $10,000. A panel of experts selects a shortlist of finalists and then chooses the winner. Winning the Marfield Prize is a significant achievement in the field of arts writing, and the award has helped to promote the importance of arts writing in contemporary culture.
Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest
USA - HEKTOEN International holds an annual Medical Student Essay Contest open to all medical students. The contest focuses on medical humanities, and the winner receives a cash prize of $1,500, with the winning essays published on their website. The contest encourages medical students to reflect on the human experience of illness and to explore the intersection of medicine with other fields, such as literature, philosophy, and the arts.
St. Martin’s Minotaur / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition
USA - The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Novel (except that authors of self-published manuscript) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Only one manuscript entry (the “Manuscript”) is permitted per writer.
USA - The Stowe Prize recognizes a distinguished book of general adult fiction or non-fiction that illuminates a critical social justice issue in contemporary society in the US. The book must be written by a U.S. author and have been published in the country during the previous three calendar years. The book applies informed inquiry, is accessible and engaging to a general audience, and promotes empathy and understanding. Because Stowe’s writings challenged slavery and promoted women’s education, social issues impacted by racism and gender discrimination are prioritized.
Write the World
USA - Each month Write the World holds a new competition, developed around a particular idea or genre of writing, such as poetry, fantasy, sports journalism, or flash fiction. Competitions encourage you to dig deeper into the writing process, try out new genres and share your work with a sea of eager readers. And because a first draft is never perfect, you have the chance to receive peer and expert feedback before submitting your final piece.
AFSA National High School Essay Contest
USA - The AFSA High School Essay Contest is an annual writing competition for high school students. The contest invites students to submit essays on a designated topic related to U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy, with the chance to win a cash prize of up to $2,500. The goal of the contest is to promote awareness and understanding of the importance of diplomacy and to encourage high school students to think critically about U.S. foreign policy issues.