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Writing contests can be a great way to hone your writing, try something new, and maybe win a prize! Here are 7 writing contests that you can try your hand at winning.
Free Writing Contests
1. W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction
This contest is for fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The novel has to have been published during the year prior to the award.
Genre: US war fiction
Deadline: Yearly, on December 1
Award: $5,000 and a 24K gold-framed citation of achievement
2. ServiceScape Short Story Award
This yearly award can earn you $1,000 for your short story.
Genre: Short story (up to 5,000 words)
Deadline: November 29, 2020
3. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest
Winners are awarded every quarter, and then a grand prize winner is chosen from those winners.
Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
Deadline: Quarterly, next is 11:59 PST on March 31, 2020
Award: $1,000, $750, and $500, with a grand prize of $5000
4. Prose Writing Challenges
These weekly writing challenges can net you a bit of cash. Each week is different, so check in regularly to find challenges that will work for you.
Writing Contests with Fees to Enter
1. Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story
This contest is sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts.
Genre: Short story (750 words or less)
Deadline: 11:59 EST on March 1, 2020
Award: $1,000 and a 10-week course with Gotham Writers
2. Accenti Writing Contest
This yearly contest awards a first place, second place, third place (judged by a panel of judges), and popular vote (voted on by Accenti readers).
Genre: fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction (2000 words or less)
Deadline: 11:59 PT on February 3, 2020
Award: $1,000 and publication in Accenti (first); $100 (second); $100 (third); and $100 (popular vote)
3. Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition
Fee: $20–$35, depending on how early you enter and the genre (additional entries are cheaper)
Genre: Varied (see posting—word lengths vary for genre)
Deadline: May 4, 2020 (early bird) or June 5, 2020
Award: $5,000, an interview in Writer’s Digest, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference (grand prize); $1,000 (first); $500 (second); $100 (fourth); $50 (fifth); $25 (sixth through tenth)
Note that we’ve attempted to include only well-known, legitimate contests here. Please be aware that there are many contests out there that exist solely for gain of the creators and not authors. So make sure to do your research. If you know of any good writing contests, we’d love to hear in the comments below!