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        Writing Contests 2024: Cash Prizes & Free Entries

        • calenderJun 21, 2024
        • calender 12 min read

        If you have great ideas but struggle to pen them, don’t worry. Almost all poets and writers fail at writing consistently, and we have a solution. We’ve listed the best creative writing contests in 2024!

        You can go through the list to find any writing competitions in 2024 that inspire you to write. If you aren’t confident in your draft, try looking for some free writing contests! Whether you’re looking for poetry contests, short story writing competitions, or essay contests, we’ve listed them all. So, which one will you enter?

        Elevate your book, essay, short story, or poem with perfect editing!

        Here are the best writing contests in 2024:

        January 2024

        The new year opens with plenty of poetry competitions but few essay contests and almost no free writing contests. With several mixed contests listed this month, however, we’re sure our poets and writers will be satisfied!

        Poetry contests 2024

        1. Gemini Poetry Open Contest 2024

        Gemini Magazine has organized this poetry contest 2024 to offer six finalists with publication in its March/April 2024 issue. The poems may have been uploaded on personal blogs, but previously published poems are ineligible.

        Word count: 3 poems of any length

        Prizes: $1,000, $100, four prizes of $25

        Entry fee: $9

        Closing date: 02 January 2024 

        2. 2024 Poetry Competition

        The organizers of this poetry contest seek to honor James Allen, the first person to breed Snowdrops from the wild. This is one of the free poetry contests for children and teens, who can participate through separate categories.

        Theme: Nature unbound

        Word count: 30 lines

        Prize: £300

        Entry fee: £4

        Closing date: 07 January 2024

        3. 2024 William Matthews Poetry Prize 

        Asheville Poetry Review has organized this contest to offer three deserving poets with publication. Previously published poems and works of translations are not eligible. All entries will be considered for publication!

        Word count: 3 poems of any length

        Prizes: $1,000 and $250

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 16 January 2024

        4. Magma 2023/24 Poetry Competition 

        This poetry contest is held in two categories: The judge’s prize and the editor’s prize. Three winners from both categories will be published in Magma. The winners and ten commended poets will be invited to read their poems at a contest event.

        Category 1: 11–50 lines

        Category 2: Up to 10 lines

        Prizes: £1000, £300, £150 per category

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 31 January 2024

        5. Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition 2024 

        This is one of the poetry competitions that does not allow simultaneous submissions, at least for contests that announce results before 16 April 2024. Winning entries will be published online and included in an annual Folio publication.

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: £1000, £300, £100, 4 prizes of £50

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 31 January 2024

        Short story writing contests 2024

        6. The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction  

        Running between 19–21 January 2024, this unique flash fiction contest challenges authors to break a specific rule of writing. It’s called an anti-prompt, and you’ll have to pair this with two prompts to write your entry in 60 hours. Exciting, isn’t it? 

        Word count: 500

        Prizes: $1,000 AUD, $500 AUD, $200 AUD, $100 AUD, 4 prizes of $50 AUD

        Entry fee: $25 AUD

        Closing date: 21 January 2024

        7. Story Unlikely Short Story Contest [Free writing Contest!]

        This is one of the best short story competitions that welcome all genres: fantasy, sci-fi, memoir, and even nonfiction! All winning entries are published in the monthly issue of Story Unlikely and the winning entry may be published in the annual print issue.

        Word count: 4,500

        Prizes: $750, $500, $250

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 31 January 2024

        Essay contest 2024

        8. The 2024 Calibre Essay Prize  

        One of the best essay contests of 2024, this competition promotes nonfiction of all kinds: “personal or political, literary or speculative, traditional or experimental.” You may include illustrations in your essay, but the total file size should be below 3 MB.

        Word count: 2,000–5,000

        Prizes: $5,000 AUD, $3,000 AUD, $2,000 AUD

        Entry fee: $30 AUD

        Closing date: 22 January 2024

        Book writing contests 2024

        9. 2023 Exeter Novel Prize

        This novel writing contest invites non-agented writers to submit a previously unpublished manuscript. Send the first 10,000 words of your novel and include a 500-word synopsis. Self-published writers are welcome to enter!

        Word count: 10,000 

        Prizes: £1000, five prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £20

        Closing date: 01 January 2024

        10. Cai Emmons Fiction Award  

        Red Hen Press has organized this novel writing contest 2024 to honor the late novelist Cai Emmons. All authors who haven’t published a full-length work with Red Hen Press are eligible to enter.

        Word count: At least 150 pages

        Prize: $5,000

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 15 January 2024

        11. Desert Writers Award 

        The organizers of this award support one deserving writer of creative nonfiction while they work on their book. Make sure to highlight your interest in desert literature in your biographical statement and project description!

        Word count: 10 pages

        Prize: $5,000

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 15 January 2024

        12. North American Poetry Book Award 

        The Poetry Society of Virginia has organized this poetry competition to award one full-length book of poetry. Self-published and audiovisual works are ineligible, but books that have won other pre-publishing awards are allowed. 

        Word count: At least 64 pages

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $36

        Closing date: 15 January 2024

        13. Bardsy Winter Anthology Contest 

        This unique fiction writing contest invites authors to send the first chapters of their in-progress novel or memoir. The best thing is, that you receive feedback on your entry and you can revise it accordingly before judging begins!

        Word count: 2,500–3,000

        Prizes: $1000, some prizes of $50

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 15 January 2024

        Mixed writing contests 2024

        14. Mississippi Review Writing Contest 2024

        Mississippi Review has organized this poetry, short story, and essay contest 2024 to award publication to three winners. You can submit online or via post, and the postal entry fee is $15. All the best!

        Categories: Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction

        Word count: 3–5 poems (10 pages) for poetry; 1,000–8,000 words for prose

        Prizes: 3 prizes of $1,000

        Entry fee: $16

        Closing date: 01 January 2024

        15. The DISQUIET Prize  

        The organizers of this writing competition offer one winner a fully paid trip to attend the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon. Three additional winners receive fee waivers for the program and they can opt for a cash prize of $1,000 in its stead.

        Categories: Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction

        Word count: 10 pages for poetry; 25 pages for prose

        Prizes: A paid trip to Lisbon and other prizes

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 05 January 2024

        16. The Winter Anthology Contest 

        This unique writing competition 2024 welcomes poets and writers to submit any published or unpublished piece of any length! The winner will be published in Volume 14 of The Winter Anthology and finalists will be considered for publication.

        Categories: Poetry and prose

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $11

        Closing date: 10 January 2024 

        February 2024

        February features a good balance of poetry and short story competitions, but essay contests are, as always, quite rare. What’s more, we’ve managed to find six free writing contests, perhaps the highest this number has been in a single month!

        Poetry competitions 2024

        1. Yeats Poetry Prize  

        WB Yeats Society of NY has organized this poetry competition to honor the “valuable contributions poets and poetry make to human consciousness”. The judge may recognize some honorable mentions aside from the top two prizes.

        Word count: 60 lines

        Prizes: $1,000, $500

        Entry fee: $15 per poem

        Closing date: 01 February 2024 

        2. Claire Keyes Poetry Award

        Soundings East, the literary journal of Salem State University has organized this poetry competition 2024. The final judge, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, will select a group of poems that will be awarded with publication in the journal.

        Word count: 1 page per poem

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $10 (8–10 poems)

        Closing date: 01 February 2024  

        3. Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards 

        This poetry contest awards three poets with publication in Paterson Literary Review. Entries to this contest must be submitted via mail. Although the competition honors Ginsberg, the organizers urge you not to emulate his style in your entry.

        Word count: 2 pages per poem

        Prizes: $2,000, $1,000, $500

        Entry fee: $18 (3–5 poems)

        Closing date: 01 February 2024 

        4. West Chester University Poetry Awards 

        These free poetry competitions are open to undergraduate poets enrolled in a US college or university. You can submit up to three poems for each award with the contact information of a referring professor.

        Word count: Various

        Prizes: 2 prizes of $1,500, 3 prizes of $1,000, 2 prizes of $500

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 16 February 2024 

        5. Heroica Poetry Prize for Women and Non-Binary Authors and Poets 

        Heroica has organized this poetry competition in 2024 for women and non-binary poets. The prize-winning and longlisted entries will be published in print in the first Heroica Poetry Anthology.

        Word count:

        Prizes: £125, £50, £25

        Entry fee: £2 for 1 poem, £5 for 3 poems; £10 for unlimited series

        Closing date: 29 February 2024 

        Short story contests 2024

        6. American Short(er) Fiction Prize 

        American Short Fiction has organized this flash fiction contest to award one writer with a cash prize and publication. Dantiel W. Moniz—writer of the story collection Milk, Blood, Heat—will judge the competition. All entries will be considered for publication!

        Word count: 1,000

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $18

        Closing date: 01 February 2024 

        7. Short Short Story Contest

        The organizers of this short story contest help immigrants achieve their dreams by teaching them various courses. Alongside one overall winner and four winners for each topic, one prize will be awarded to a teen writer. 

        Themes: bicycle(s), eclipse, fire, suitcase(s)

        Word count: 100

        Prizes: $300, 5 prizes of $100

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 01 February 2024  

        8. WOW! Winter 2024 Flash Fiction Contest 

        This women-centric flash fiction contest 2024 offers 17 prizes aside from the top three entries. You can opt for a critique of your work with an entry fee of $20. The entries are limited, so make sure to submit your entry soon!

        Word count: 250–750

        Prizes: $400, $300, $200

        Entry fee: $10

        Closing date: 28 February 2024  

        9. Edinburgh Short Story Award

        In its tenth year, this short story competition offers five top prizes and publication to the top 20 (or more) entries. The contest offers free entries to Scottish writers who receive some form of income support. 

        Word count: 2,000

        Prizes: £3,000, £500, £250, special prizes of £750 and £300

        Entry fee: £10

        Closing date: 28 February 2024 

        10. Imagine Little Tokyo 2024 Short Story Contest [Free Writing Contest!]

        The Little Tokyo Historical Society has organized this free short story contest in two categories: English and Japanese. These short stories should be set in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles and reflect the neighborhood’s culture. Now here’s a worldbuilding challenge like no other!

        Word count: 2,500

        Prizes: 2 prizes of $500

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 29 February 2024 

        Essay contests 2024

        11. The Sarabande Prize in Essay

        One of the rarer essay writing competitions, the winner gets a collection of essays with a publishing contract. You may edit your entry within a week of submission, but not after that. The selected work will undergo the complete book editing process before publication with Sarabande Books.   

        Word count: 100–250 pages

        Prize: $3,000

        Entry fee: $29

        Closing date: 15 February 2024

        Book writing contests 2024

        12. Paterson Poetry Prize

        This writing contest awards publication to one poet with the strongest collection of poems. The winner can claim the prize only if they’re available for an in-person or virtual reading at the Poetry Center in Paterson. 

        Word count: At least 48 pages

        Prize: $2,000

        Entry fee: $18 per story

        Closing date: 01 February 2024 

        13. Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry

        This poetry competition awards one poet with a cash prize and publication with a standard royalty contract. Translations and previously published manuscripts are not eligible. Sarabande Books will consider all finalists for publication!

        Word count: At least 48 pages

        Prize: $3,000

        Entry fee: $29

        Closing date: 15 February 2024

        14. Ambroggio Prize [Free Writing Contest!]

        This one-of-a-kind free poetry contest awards a manuscript “originally written in Spanish and with an English translation”. Make sure to exclude the “Acknowledgements” page from your entry while submitting! The contest is open to US citizens only.

        Word count: 48–100 pages

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 February 2024

        15. Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Book Prize [Free Writing Contest!]

        Autumn House Press has organized this free writing competition to honor one poet-writer of African descent. The book may be of any genre that “intersects with … poetry, hybrid work, speculative prose, and/or translation.”

        Word count: 48–168 pages

        Prize: $3,000

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 February 2024

        16. Harold Morton Landon Translation Award [Free Writing Contest!]

        This free poetry contest 2024 honors a manuscript translated into English from any other language. Collaborations of up to two translators are eligible but self-published works will not be considered. The contest is open to US citizens only.

        Word count: At least 48 pages

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 February 2024

        17. Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction 

        The organizers of this short fiction contest welcome you to submit a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a short novel. The manuscript must be unpublished, but individual works may have appeared in magazines or anthologies.

        Word count: 150–250 pages

        Prize: $3,000

        Entry fee: $29

        Closing date: 15 February 2024 

        Mixed writing competitions 2024

        18. Slippery Elm Prize for Poetry and Prose 

        Slippery Elm has organized this writing contest to offer publication to poets and writers in their online and print issues. All entrants will receive a copy of the winning issue and be considered for publication!

        Categories: Poetry and prose

        Word count: None for poetry; 5,000 words for prose

        Prizes: $500 per category

        Entry fee: $15 (3 poems; 1 prose entry)

        Closing date: 01 February 2024 

        19. Elmbridge Literary Competition 2023–24 

        This contest features four categories for children and teens and only the adult category has an entry fee. Sampson Low will publish the winning entries from all categories together in a chapbook.

        Categories: Poetry and short story

        Theme: Fame

        Word count: 30 lines for poetry; 1,500 words for a short story

        Prizes:  £250,  £150, £100 per category

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 23 February 2024

        20. 2024 Writing Competition

        This writing contest is part of the Bournemouth Writing Festival and offers anthology publication to 40 poets and writers. All winners will be invited to the launch party, receive a free copy of the anthology, and get two tickets to a BWF event.

        Categories: Poetry and flash fiction

        Theme: Lines in the sand

        Word count: 30 lines for poetry; 400 words for prose

        Prize: Anthology publication

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 29 February 2024 

        21. The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition 2023/24 [Free Writing Contest!]

        This free writing competition offers young poets and writers prize not only for themselves but also for their school library! There are three age groups and the top three prizes in each group for both, students and their libraries. Exciting, right?!

        Categories: Poetry and short story

        Theme: Being part of a group

        Word count: 500

        Prizes: £300, £150, £100 (to the student); 1000, £500, £250 (to the school library)

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 29 February 2024 

        March 2024

        March is overloaded with poetry competitions, perhaps in anticipation of April, the poetry writing month. Short story contests were hard to come by, but we did manage to find some free poetry contests!

        Poetry contests

        1. BSFS Poetry Contest 2024 [Free Writing Contest!]

        Baltimore Science Fiction Society has organized this poetry competition. You may submit up to three poems exploring themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science. The winners also receive convention membership.

        Word count: 60 lines

        Prizes: $100, $75, $50 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 March 2024 

        2. The Alpine Fellowship Poetry Prize 2024 [Free Writing Contest!]

        This free poetry contest welcomes you to submit a single poem or a collection, as long as all the poems relate to the theme. Prize winners will be invited to attend The Alpine Fellowship’s annual symposium, offering up to £500 as travel expenses.

        Theme: Language

        Word count: 500

        Prizes: £3,000, £1,000, £1,000 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 March 2024

        3. The Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Competition 2024

        The Limerick Writers’ Centre has organized this international poetry contest and invites entries in Irish or English. Poet Arthur Broomfield will judge the English poems while Tomás Ó Coileáin will judge the Irish ones.

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: €200, €50

        Entry fee: €3.5

        Closing date: 16 March 2024

        4. The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2024

        The London Magazine offers cash prizes and publication to three poets through this poetry competition. Students and poets with a low income can submit entries at an entry fee of £5!

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: £500, £300, £200

        Entry fee: £10

        Closing date: 31 March 2024

        5. The E.H.P. Barnard Poetry Prize

        This poetry contest, organized by the artist Tom Niell, is open only to UK-based poets. Along with the cash prize, the winner also gets a poem video, performed, produced, and promoted. Exciting, right?

        Location: UK

        Theme: Travel

        Word count: 400

        Prizes: £100, £75, £50

        Entry fee: £2

        Closing date: 31 March 2024 

        6. The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2024 

        The Caterpillar has organized this poetry competition with Joseph Coelho as the judge. The winning entries will be published in the Irish Times online and the first prize winner also gets a week at Circle of Misse in France.

        Word count:

        Prizes: €1,000, €500, €250

        Entry fee: €15

        Closing date: 31 March 2024 

        7. The Plough Prize 2024 

        In its twenty-first year, this renowned poetry contest will be judged by Roger McGough. There is no restriction on the subject. You may send your entry via post, but make sure it reaches the organizers before the deadline.

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 31 March 2024 

        8. The Plaza Prose Poetry Prize 

        The Plaza Writers has organized this poetry competition to highlight prose poetry. The top ten entries will be selected for anthology publication. Contest judge Carrie Etter is looking for “thrilling experiments with the prose poem form”.

        Word count: 450

        Prizes: £750, £200, £50

        Entry fee: £11

        Closing date: 31 March 2024 

        Short story writing contests 2024

        9. Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize 

        This short story competition has been organized by Symphony Space and sponsored by Selected Shorts. The winning entry will be performed by an actor and published in Electric Literature

        Word count: 750

        Prize: $1,000 and a 10-week course with Gotham Writers

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 01 March 2024

        10. Peter Carey Short Story Awards 2024

        This short story contest awards two Australian authors with cash prizes, digital publication in Meanjin, as well as the magazine’s standard contributor fee. An additional prize of 500 AUD will be awarded to a writer who lives, works, or studies in Moorabool Shire.

        Location: Australia

        Word count: 2,000–3,000

        Prizes: 2,000 AUD, 1,000 AUD

        Entry fee: 15 AUD

        Closing date: 14 March 2024

        11. Indignor House Writing Competition 2024 

        Indignor House Publishing has organized this short story writing contest to support emerging voices in fiction. 25 entries will be selected for publication in an anthology, of which winners will receive a hardcover copy.

        Theme: Fear

        Word count: 5,000

        Prizes: $500, $250, $150

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 31 March 2024

        Essay contest 2024

        12. Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest

        This essay contest welcomes you to submit outstanding personal essays. All entries will be considered for publication in The New Quarterly and the organizers will pay an honorarium of $250 upon publication.

        Location: Canada

        Word count: 2,000–5,000

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $40

        Closing date: 28 March 2024 

        Book writing contests 2024

        13. PFD Queer Fiction Prize back for 2024

        Peters Fraser + Dunlop, a London-based literary agency, has organized this book writing contest to support emerging queer writers. The submissions do not have to be on LGBTQIA+ experiences as long as the author identifies as such.

        Categories: Adult and YA/children’s fiction

        Word count: Three chapters and a synopsis

        Prize: Agency representation

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 March 2024 

        14. 2024 Airlie Prize 

        Airlie Press has organized this poetry contest to award one book of poetry with publication. The editors at Airlie Press, previous winners, and guest readers will form the panel of judges. Translated works are not eligible.

        Word count: 48–90 pages

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 01 March 2024

        15. The 2024 Chapter One Prize for Novelists 

        Gutsy Great Novelist has organized this novel writing competition to award three novelists writing in any genre. They have some strict submission guidelines, so make sure you go through them before submitting your entry!

        Word count: The first chapter

        Prizes: $1,000, $500, $250

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 01 March 2024

        16. The Hazel Rowley Prize

        This contest awards the best book proposal by a first-time biographer. Along with the cash prize, the winner receives agent exposure and publicity for the project through the Biographers International Organization website and newsletter.

        Word count: 20 pages

        Prize: $5,000

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 01 March 2024 

        17. Raz-Shumaker Book Prize 

        This book writing contest awards one poetry and one short story collection with publication by the University of Nebraska Press. Poets and writers are free to enter both contests. Self-published books are not eligible for this contest.

        Categories: Poetry and short story

        Word count: At least 50 pages for poetry; at least 150 pages for fiction

        Prizes: $3,000 per category

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 15 March 2024

        18. Rubery Book Awards 

        This book writing competition is for indie writers, self-published authors, and writers who have published with independent presses. The categories for the contest are decided after all submissions have been collected.

        Word count:

        Prizes: £2,000, some prizes of £200

        Entry fee: £45 

        Closing date: 31 March 2024

        Mixed writing contests

        19. Wild Women Contest 

        Open to poets and writers of all gender identities, this writing competition only requires entries to celebrate the “wild woman spirit”. All submissions will be considered for publication in TulipTree Review and all collaborators will be paid $50. 

        Word count: 5 pages for poetry; 10,000 words for prose

        Prizes: $1,000

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 08 March 2024

        20. The Screenwriting Challenge

        One of the more interesting writing competitions in 2024, this contest randomly assigns you a genre for round one. The top five from each genre group move on to round two, from which the top three move on to round three. Go check it out!

        Word count: 12 pages for round 1

        Prizes: $4,500, $1,750, $1,000, $500, $350, $250, $225, $200, $175, $150

        Entry fee: $55

        Contest duration: 15–23 March 2024 

        21. The 2024 Perkoff Prize 

        The Missouri Review has organized this poetry, short story, and essay contest to recognize emerging poets and writers. You may submit your entry online or via post. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to the magazine.

        Categories: Poetry, short story, and essay

        Word count: 10 pages for poetry; 8,500 words for a short story and an essay

        Prizes: $1,000 per category

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 15 March 2024

        22. The Hope Prize

        This short story and essay contest offers anthology publication to the winners and some shortlisted writers. The royalties from the anthology will be donated to Beyond Blue, an Australian mental health charity.

        Categories: Short story and essay

        Theme: Hope

        Word count: 2,000–5,000

        Prize: 10,000 AUD, 2,000 AUD, 1,000 AUD

        Entry fee: 22 AUD

        Closing date: 22 March 2024 

        23. Seasons Writing Competition 2024 

        This writing contest awards the best pieces of poetry and fiction from the submitted entries and no category prizes are awarded. All shortlisted poets and writers will be published in a contest anthology!

        Categories: Poetry, short story, flash fiction, script

        Theme: Light and Shadow

        Word count: 2,500 words for a short story; 1,000 words for flash fiction

        Prizes: 500 AUD, 400 AUD, 300 AUD, 200 AUD, some prizes of 100 AUD

        Entry fee: 5 AUD

        Closing date: 31 March 2024

        April 2024

        As if to make up for March, April features a ton of short story writing contests but only two poetry competitions. As always, essay writing contests are few and far between. Don’t worry though, we’ll keep adding to this list every month!

        Poetry competitions 2024

        1. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest [Free Writing Contest!]

        Unique among free poetry contests, this competition invites you to submit one humorous poem. The winner will receive a Duotrope gift certificate and the top 13 entries will be published online. Both unpublished and previously published works are eligible!

        Word count: 250 lines

        Prizes: $2,000, $500, $250, 10 prizes of $100

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 April 2024

        2. Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2024 

        The Rialto has organized this poetry contest, inviting poets to dwell on any aspect of nature and place. While judging, Zaffar Kunial will interpret these terms widely. All longlisted entries will be published on The Rialto website.

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250

        Entry fee: £7

        Closing date: 01 April 2024

        Short story contests 2024

        3. Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize 2024 

        The grand prize winner of this short story competition gets a week’s residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, literary feedback, and agent consultation. The contest offers 40 free entries and 60 half-priced entries!

        Word count: 2,000

        Prizes: €2,000, 2 prizes of €1,000

        Entry fee: €20

        Closing date: 14 April 2024

        4. Purorrelato 2024 Micro-Story Contest [Free Writing Contest!]

        Casa África has organized this micro story writing contest to encourage writers to write about Africa in newer ways. The micro story must relate to Africa in some way and may be written in Spanish, English, French, or Portuguese.

        Word count: 1,500 characters

        Prizes: €750, €375, €225

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 16 April 2024 

        5. 2024 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

        One of the world’s leading short story contests, the Jolley Prize is in its fifteenth year. The three winning stories will be published in the August or September 2024 issue of the Australian Book Review.

        Word count: 2,000–5,000

        Prizes: 6,000 AUD, 4,000 AUD, 2,500 AUD

        Entry fee: 30 AUD

        Closing date: 22 April 2024 

        6. SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

        This flash fiction contest has been running twice yearly since 2018. The grand prize winner is automatically nominated for The Best Small Fiction, The Pushcart, Best of the Net, and other contests.

        Word count: 1,000

        Prizes: 2,500, $1,000, $500, some prizes of $100.

        Entry fee: $16

        Closing date: 30 April 2024 

        7. Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest

        This short story competition challenges you to pack a punch in 100 words. The second runner-up wins a writing coaching package valued at $450 and the third, a developmental and diversity editing package valued at $250.

        Word count: 100

        Prizes: $2,000 and others

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 30 April 2024 

        8. The Creative Writing NZ Short Story Prize 2024 

        This short story contest accepts only online entries. Lucie Brownlee is the guest judge this year. The winner and runners-up receive a free online course and publication on the Creative Writing NZ website.

        Location: New Zealand

        Word count: 3,000

        Prizes: $1,000, 2 prizes of $200

        Entry fee: $9

        Closing date: 30 April 2024 

        9. Short Story Competition 

        Organized by Cranked Anvil Press, this quarterly short story competition welcomes all genres and themes. The winning entries will be published online, and all longlisted entries will be considered for eventual anthology publication.

        Word count: 1,500

        Prizes: £100, £50

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 30 April 2024  

        10. Los Angeles NaNo Anthology

        This free short story contest is a golden opportunity for writers worldwide. Writers must submit a story revolving around the theme “Utopia- or is it?” and the prompt “You must include something/someone that gets stuck”.  The winning entries will be published in the Los Angeles NaNo Anthology’s 10th edition “Trouble in Paradise”.

        Wordcount: 4,000

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 30 April 2024

        Essay contest 2024

        11. Terry Tempest Williams Creative Nonfiction Prize

        North American Review has organized this essay contest to offer publication to the winners and honorable mentions. The organizers welcome “the lyric essay, the hermit crab essay, the braided essay, the memoir, the personal essay, literary journalism, and everything in between.” 

        Word count: 500–10,000

        Prizes: $1,000

        Entry fee: $23

        Closing date: 02 April 2024

        Book writing competitions 2024

        12. Self-Published Book Awards 

        This book writing contest only accepts self-published books that are printed and bound. If you’ve published an eBook, there’s still time enough to print your book through self-publishing services! The contest accepts entries in seven categories.

        Word count:

        Prizes: $10,000, 7 prizes of $1,000

        Entry fee: $100

        Closing date: 01 April 2024

        13. First Pages Prize  

        This book writing contest seeks to support un-agented writers. The top three winners in both categories receive a developmental mentorship and agent consultation via Zoom. Edwidge Danticat will judge both categories. 

        Categories: Fiction and creative nonfiction

        Word count: 1,250 (First five pages of your book)

        Prizes: $2,000, $1,500, $1000 per category

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 10 April 2024

        14. Jonathan Holden Poetry Chapbook Contest

        This poetry competition is open to poets who haven’t yet published a full-length work of poetry. Self-published books are not eligible. All participants receive an eBook copy of the winning chapbook.

        Word count: 25 to 40 pages

        Prize: $250 and 10 copies of the printed chapbook

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 10 April 2024 

        Mixed writing contests 2024

        15. Nimrod Literary Awards 

        All shortlisted poets and writers for this writing competition will be published and offered a standard publishing rate of $10/page. Poets may submit one long poem or a few short poems within the page limit.

        Categories: Poetry and fiction (short story or self-contained novel excerpt)

        Word count: 3–10 pages of poetry; 7,500 words for fiction

        Prizes: $2,000 and $1,000 per category

        Entry fee: $20 

        Closing date: 01 April 2024

        16. Mairtin Crawford Award 

        This writing contest is for poets and writers “working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.” Both published and unpublished writers are welcome to enter, but they must not have published full-length works.

        Location: UK

        Categories: Poetry and short story

        Word count: 3–5 poems for poetry; 2,500 for short story

        Prizes: £500, 2 prizes of £250 per category

        Entry fee: £10

        Closing date: 10 April 2024

        17. F(r)iction Contests

        This is essentially four writing competitions rolled into one. Wole Talabi, Sherrie Flick, C. S. E. Cooney, and Marin Sardy form the panel of judges. All submissions are considered for publication!

        Categories: Poetry, short story, flash fiction, and essay

        Word count: 3 pages for poetry, 1,001–7,500 for short story; 1,000 for flash fiction; 6,500 for essay

        Prizes: $300 for poetry, $1,000 for short story, $300 for flash fiction, $500 for essay 

        Entry fee: $10 for poetry and flash fiction, $15 for a short story and essay

        Closing date: 30 April 2024 

        May 2024

        As is the trend now, May has made up for the dearth of poetry competitions in April. While there are few short story contests this month, we did find two essay contests. Surprisingly, May features a wealth of book writing competitions!

        Poetry contests 2024

        1. International Poetry Contest

        Atlanta Review invites you to submit five poems of any length in your entry. Aside from the grand prize winner, 20 poets will be published in the contest issue and 30 more will receive honorable mentions. All 50 poets will receive awards and a free copy of the contest issue.

        Word count:

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $15 (for five poems)

        Closing date: 01 May 2024 

        2. The Letter Review Prize for Poetry [Free Contest!]

        The organizers of this poetry competition welcome poems of all kinds, with no restrictions on subject or style. Two to four winners are announced, among whom the cash prize is equally distributed. 

        Word count: 70 lines

        Prize: $1,000 (total prize pool)

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 03 May 2024

        3. Montreal International Poetry Prize 

        One of the most well-known poetry contests, the Montreal Prize awards one poet each year. The judges will shortlist 60 poems, all of which will be published in The Montreal Poetry Prize Anthology. Translations aren’t allowed unless a poet translates their own work.

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prize: $20,000 CAD

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 15 May 2024

        4. Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize 

        This poetry competition awards one poem with publication in The American Poetry Review. All entrants receive a copy of the magazine. You may submit up to three poems, as long as the entire entry is no larger than 3 pages.

        Word count: 3 pages

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 15 May 2024

        5. James Laughlin Award [Free Writing Contest!]

        This poetry competition is for a second book of poetry, to be published in the coming year. Publishers that have previously published at least four books of poetry are welcome to enter. Translated books are not eligible.

        Location: US

        Word count: 48–100 pages

        Prize: $5,000 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 May 2024

        6. Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

        This contest awards a book of poetry published in a standard edition in the previous year (2023). Self-published and translated books are not eligible. Publishers may submit more than one title.

        Location: US

        Word count: At least 48 pages

        Prize: $25,000 

        Entry fee: $75

        Closing date: 15 May 2024

        7. Guy Owen Prize 

        Southern Poetry Review has organized this poetry contest, inviting you to submit three to five poems. You may submit online or via post, and the entry fee includes a one-year subscription to the magazine.

        Word count: 10 pages

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 31 May 2024

        Short story competitions 2024

        8. The Letter Review Prize for Short Fiction [Free Contest!]

        This short story writing contest will shortlist 20 entries, of which 2–4 will be announced as the winners. All entries will be considered for publication, future anthologies, and submission to the Pushcart Prize!

        Word count: 5,000

        Prize: $1,000 (total prize pool)

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 03 May 2024

        9. Twist in the Tale Writing Competition 

        This interesting short story contest will assign you a genre, a “twisted” subgenre, and an event/character/object/subject. The contest also features weekly challenges and monthly mini-contests. It’s a community experience like no other!

        Word count: 1,000

        Prizes: $1,200, $400, $250, $150, $100, and others

        Entry fee: $30

        Closing date: 13–19 May 2024 (6-day contest)

        10. WOW! Flash Fiction Contest 

        One of the WOW! 2024 writing contests, this is an open-prompt competition, open to women worldwide. You can opt for a critique of your writing at a $20 entry fee. The contest features only 300 entries, so hurry up and submit yours!

        Word count: 250–750

        Prizes: $400, $300, $200, and others

        Entry fee: $10

        Closing date: 31 May 2024

        Essay contests 2024

        11. The Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction [Free essay writing contest!]

        One of the few essay contests in May 2024, this competition is open to essayists worldwide. Entries are judged blind and all entrants receive judges’ feedback on their essays. If you’d like to enter more than one essay, the fee is $5 per additional entry.

        Word count: 5,000

        Prize: $1,000 (total prize pool)

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 03 May 2024

        12. James A. Winn Prize in Nonfiction 

        Michigan Quarterly Review has organized this essay contest in memory of English Professor James A. Winn. Ten shortlisted entries will be presented to Judge Elizabeth Goodenough. All entries will be considered for publication.

        Word count: 1,500–7,000

        Prize: $1,500

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 31 May 2024

        Book writing contests 2024

        13. Cheshire Novel Prize 

        This international book writing competition invites un-agented authors to submit an excerpt and a 500-word synopsis of their novel. Shortlisted authors will be asked to submit their entire manuscript. Self-published writers are welcome to enter!

        Word count: The first 5,000 words

        Prize: £1500

        Entry fee: £29

        Closing date: 01 May 2024

        14. The Backwaters Prize in Poetry  

        This poetry book contest invites you to submit a collection of poems or a single long poem. The Backwaters Press will offer publication to both winning manuscripts. Only collections with 95% unpublished material are eligible to enter.

        Word count: 60–85 pages

        Prizes: $2,000, $1,000

        Entry fee: $32

        Closing date: 01 May 2024

        15. The Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books [Free Contest!]

        The Letter Review invites poets and writers to submit excerpts of their unpublished books. The organizers may request entire manuscripts only from the winners. Make sure to include a one-page synopsis/abstract and a 200-word bibliography!

        Word count: The first 15 pages for poetry; the first 5,000 words for prose

        Prize: $1,000 (total prize pool)

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 03 May 2024

        16. Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize 

        This international book writing contest is open to literary and mainstream fiction, including science fiction. Short story collections are allowed. Self-published books are allowed, as long as they haven’t sold more than 200 copies!

        Word count: Minimum 22,000

        Prize: Publication with Leapfrog Press and $150 for all finalists

        Entry fee: $35

        Closing date: 05 May 2024

        17.The Fugere Book Prize for Finely Crafted Novellas

        Regent House Publishing has organized this novella competition with its panel of editors as the judges. English translations of novellas written in other languages are allowed. Make sure not to send artwork or photographs, however!

        Word count: 17,000–40,000

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 15 May 2024

        18. Goldfinch Novel Award 2024

        This novel contest invites manuscripts written for adults or young adults. Submit an excerpt of your novel with a one-page synopsis. Along with the cash prize, the winner gets a free Goldfinch membership and a Creative Writing Course worth £150.

        Location: UK and Ireland

        Word count: The first 5,000 words

        Prize: £300

        Entry fee: £10

        Closing date: 15 May 2024

        19. Changing Light Prize for a Novel-in-Verse [Free Contest!]

        This interesting book writing contest combines the forms of poetry and novel. Along with the cash prize, the winner receives 20 copies of their book and a standard royalty contract. The winning manuscript will be published in three formats: trade paper, eBook, and Kindle.

        Word count: 90–160 pages

        Prize: $500

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 25 May 2024 

        Mixed writing contests 2024

        20. The Untold Tales Youth Writing Competition [Free Contest!]

        The organizers of this writing contest invite poets and writers under 25 years of age to submit entries in English or Spanish. The writing should be “focused on a true, fact-based untold tale celebrating and/or illuminating the importance of human rights.”

        Categories: Poetry, short story, short narrative

        Word count: 500 words for poetry; 1,000 words for prose

        Prizes: $100 per category

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 May 2024

        21. Leeway Transformation Award [Free Contest!]

        Open to women, transgender, and gender-nonconforming artists, poets, and writers, this award isn’t project-based. Rather, it seeks to honor a creative based in Greater Philadelphia who has been working for social change.

        Location: US

        Categories: Various

        Word count:

        Prizes: $15,000

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 May 2024

        22. Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest 

        This short story and essay contest offers online publication to 12 outstanding writers of fiction and nonfiction. Both published and unpublished entries are welcome. The top two winners receive two-year gift certificates from Duotrope.

        Word count: 6,000

        Prizes: $3,500 per category and 10 prizes of $300

        Entry fee: $22

        Closing date: 01 May 2024

        23. Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition 2024

        This writing contest features nine categories, awarding almost 500 poets and writers with various prizes. As if that wasn’t enough, the names and titles of honorable mentions will be listed on the Writer’s Digest website. Quite the exposure for new writers!

        Categories: Various

        Word count: 40 lines for poetry; 4,000 words for a short story, and 2,000 for an essay 

        Prizes: $5,000, 9 prizes of $1,000, $500, $250, $100, and $50 (per category)

        Entry fee: $20 for poetry; $30 for manuscript

        Closing date: 06 May 2024

        24. The Bridport Prize 2024 

        This esteemed writing competition offers anthology publication, agent consultation, and editorial advice to the winning poets and writers. It also offers other prizes such as the Young Writer Award and the Dorset Award.

        Categories: Poetry, short story, flash fiction, novel, memoir

        Closing date: 31 May 2024

        a. Poetry Contest 2024

        Word count: 42 lines

        Prizes: £5,000, £1,000, £500

        Entry fee: £12

        b. Short Story Contest 2024

        Word count: 5,000

        Prizes: £5,000, £1,000, £500

        Entry fee: £14

        c. Flash Fiction Contest 2024

        Word count: 250

        Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250

        Entry fee: £11

        d. Novel Contest 2024

        Word count: 5,000–8,000

        Prizes: £1,500, £750, 3 prizes of £150

        Entry fee: £24

        e. Memoir Contest 2024

        Word count: 5,000–8,000

        Prizes: £1,500, £750, 3 prizes of £150

        Entry fee: £24

        June 2024 

        June is bursting with creative opportunities! From free to paid, there are exciting poetry, short story, and book-writing contests waiting for you. For essay writing enthusiasts, we also managed to find four amazing essay writing contests.

        Poetry contests 2024 

        1. Boulevard magazine poetry contest 

        This poetry contest invites writers to submit a group of 3 poems. The winning group of poems will be published in the Boulevard magazine. 

        Prize: $1000

        Entry fee: $18 

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        2. Dan Veach Prize [Free Writing Contest!] 

        Organized by the Atlanta Review magazine, this is a free poetry contest. Currently accepting submissions from college students aged 18-23, the winning entries will be published in the Atlanta Review’s Fall/Winter issue. 

        Prize: $100 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        3. Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Awards [Free Writing Contest!] 

        This free contest welcomes writers to submit a maximum of 2 unpublished haiku poems. Open to haiku poets globally, winners will receive a cash prize and a copy of Red Leaves: Selected Haiku of Peggy Lyles

        Prize: $200, $100, $50 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        4. McLellan Poetry Prize

        This contest invites writers to submit any number of poems on their choice of subject or theme. The poems must be unpublished and not accepted for publication. 

        Word count: 90 lines 

        Prize: £1000, £250 

        Entry fee: £7 for the 1st poem, £5 per poem for 2nd and subsequent poems

        Closing date: 2 June 2024 

        5. Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 

        Allowing poets to submit poems on any subject, 35 poems will be chosen from all the submitted entries. The shortlisted poems will feature in the Poet of the Year Anthology

        Word count: 60 lines 

        Prize: £200, £100, £50 

        Entry fee: £5 per poem 

        Closing date: 7 June 2024 

        6. Poetry London prize

        Judged by Hannah Sullivan, this contest is open to poets anywhere in the world. The submitted poems must be in English. Winning entries will be published in the Poetry London magazine. 

        Prize: £5000, £2000, £1000

        Entry fee: £5 for Poetry London magazine subscribers, £10 for non-subscribers 

        Closing date: 30 June 2024 

        Short story competitions 2024 

        7. Defenestrationism contest

        This competition is looking for stories that “include an incident of Defenestrationism– the art, or -ism, of throwing people out of windows”. This need not be literal and the incident can be sudden, a violent shift or change. Zombie fiction is discouraged. 

        Prize: $75, $30, $30 

        Closing date: 2 June 2024

        8. Imagine 2200

        Organized by the American magazine Grist, this contest is looking for “stories rooted in creative climate solutions”. Anyone who is 18 years or older can participate. 

        Word count: 2,500-5,000 words

        Prize: $3000, $2000, $1000, 9 prizes of $300 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 24 June 2024 

        9. Moth Short Story Prize

        Open to any writer over 16 years of age, the winning entries will be published in the Irish Times. Prizes also include a trip to Circle de Misse in France plus open travel stipend! This contest will be judged by Louise Kennedy. 

        Prize: £3000, Circle de Misse trip, £1000 

        Entry fee: £15 per entry 

        Closing date: 30 June 2024 

        10. Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

        Accepting unpublished stories from writers worldwide, the winning entries will be published in the Salamander magazine. The story submitted must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. 

        Prize: $1000, $500 

        Entry fee: $15 

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        11. FFF Competition 

        This flash fiction contest invites writers to submit stories on any theme. The winning entries will be published on the Free Flash Fiction website. 

        Wordcount: 100-300 words 

        Prize: £150, 2 prizes of £50, 3 prizes of £40 

        Entry fee: £3.95, £2.55 

        Closing date: 23 June 2024 

        Essay contests 2024 

        12. Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest 

        Open to anyone who is 25 years old or under, this essay writing contest only accepts one entry per person. Participants can submit their essays written in English, Japanese, or French. 

        Theme: Experience of overcoming conflict 

        Word count: 700 words 

        Prize: 100,000 yen, 50,000 yen

        Closing date: 15 June  2024 

        13. Solid essay contest 

        An amazing opportunity for new writers, the winning essay entries will receive a scholarship. To participate, writers will have to write an essay on technology’s role in shaping the future or select the topic of climate change. 

        Word count: 600-800 

        Prize: $1000, $700, $500

        Closing date: 19 June 2024

        14. Hubert Butler Essay prize 

        To participate in this essay writing contest, the author must be above 18 and should be a European or UK citizen. The subject for the essay is: “With narratives of conflict currently distorted by misinformation and the substitution of memory for history, what are the chances of reconciliation?” 

        Wordcount: 3,000

        Prize: 1 prize of €1,500, 2 prizes of €500 

        Closing date: 28 June 2024 

        15. Fountain Essay Contest 2024 

        Open to writers worldwide, interested participants can submit 1 entry per person.  While the Chicago Manual of Style is preferred for essay writing, other styles can also be used. 

        Theme: Where is home? 

        Wordcount: 1500-2000

        Prizes: $1000, $500, $300, 2 prizes of $150 

        Closing date: 30 June 2024 

        Book writing contests 2024 

        16. The Novel Prize 

        This contest rewards unpublished fictional works that “explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative”. The winning entries will be published in North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. 

        Prize: $10,000

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        17. Chicken House Prize 

        This contest invites writers to submit a “complete fiction manuscript of any genre for children aged 7 up to YA”. The winner will receive a publishing contract plus an offer of representation. 

        Prize: £7,500 

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        18. Creative Arts Book Award 

        This contest allows writers to submit original works of fiction or non-fiction. Poetry books cannot be submitted to this contest. 

        Prize: $25,000, 2 prizes of $250 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        19. Towson prize for literature 

        Founded in 1979, this contest accepts manuscript submissions of poetry, fiction, drama, and imaginative non-fiction. Open to Maryland (USA) writers only, the manuscript must be published 3 years before the time of nomination or scheduled for publication within the year it’s nominated.  

        Prize: $1,000 

        Closing date: 15 June 2024 

        20. Scotiabank Giller Prize 

        To be eligible to participate in this contest, the writer must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. The book should be a first-edition novel, graphic novel, or collection of short stories published between 1st May and 30th June 2024. Unfortunately, self-published books aren’t eligible. 

        Prize: $10,000, shortlisted translation ($7,000-author, $3,000-translator), (translation wins- $70,000-author, $30,000- translator) 

        Closing date: 21 June 2024 

        21. Atwood Gibson Prize 

        Organized to encourage Canadian writers, this contest awards the best Canadian novel or short story collection. Funded by the Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, the authors receive a generous cash prize. 

        Prize: $60,000, $5000  

        Closing date: 25 June 2024 

        22. Drue Heinz Literature Prize 

        Open to writers all over the world, participants can submit a manuscript of short stories, 2 or more novellas, or a combination of novellas and short stories. Winning entries will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press and receive support in book promotion. 

        Prize: $15000

        Closing date: 30 June 2024 

        Mixed writing contests 2024 

        23. Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest 

        Arizona Literary Magazine has organized this poetry, short story, and essay writing competition in three categories and several subcategories. The 24 winning poets and writers will be published in the magazine.

        Location: US and Canada

        Categories: Unpublished poetry, short story, essay, novel; Published books of fiction and nonfiction, others

        Word count: 50 lines for poetry; 5,000 for short stories and essays; 25 pages for a novel

        Prizes: $500, 3 prizes of $200, $100, $75, $50 each, 11 prizes of $25

        Entry fee: $35 for unpublished and $45 for published poets and writers

        Closing date: 01 June 2024

        24. Questions Writing Prize 

        This contest welcomes writers to submit fiction/non-fiction works on any topic. Only young Australian writers, aged 18-30 years are open to participate in this contest. 

        Prize: $3000

        Word count: 1,500-2000

        Closing date: 1 June 2024 

        25. Manitoba poetry and short story contest 

        Interested participants can either submit 3 poems or 1 story to participate in this exciting contest. The winning entries will be published on the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba website and winners will be given cash prizes. 

        Prize: $125, $75, $50 

        Closing date: 7 June 2024 

        26. International Wizard of Oz Club Contest 

        This contest has 3 categories: fiction, non-fiction, and art. All the entries must be about the land of Oz created by Frank Baum in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

        Prize: $100, $50 

        Word count: 10,000 words 

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 June 2024 

        27. Wells Festival of Literature 

        Organized as a part of the Wells Festival of Literature, this contest awards amazing fictional works of poetry and prose. The winners will receive amazing cash prizes and will be invited to the celebratory event of the festival on 25th October 2024. 

        Categories: Open Poetry, Short Story, Book for Children, Young Poets 

        Closing date: 30 June 2024 

        a. Wells Festival Open Poetry Contest 2024 

        The poems can be on any subject. Each poem submitted must not exceed more than 35 lines of text in length. Multiple submissions are allowed. 

        Prize: £1000, £500, £250 

        Entry fee: £6

        b. Wells Festival Short Story Contest 2024 

        You can submit 1 or more short stories on any topic of your choice to participate in this content. Make sure to mention the story’s word count on the first page! 

        Prize: £750, £300, £200, £100 

        Entry fee: £6 per story 

        c. Wells Festival Book for Children Contest 

        This competition requires you to submit either the first two chapters or the first 20 pages of the children’s book you’ve written. You also need to attach your book’s synopsis. 

        Prize: £750. £300, £200 

        Entry fee: £6 per book 

        d. Young Poets Contest 

        Open to writers aged 16-22 years old, this contest allows participants to submit poems on any subject. The poems must not exceed 35 lines of length. 

        Prize: £200, £150, £100 

        Entry fee: £3 per poem 

        28. Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction 

        This contest rewards the best Canadian non-fiction of the year. Participants can submit a biography, memoir, or non-fiction book of essays, commentary, and criticism. 

        Prize: $75,000, $5,000

        Closing date: 25 June 2024 

        29. Writers of the future contest

        Writers who have not professionally published “a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium” are eligible to participate. Manuscripts belonging to the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and dark fantasy are also accepted. 

        Prize: $5000, $1000, $750, $500

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 30 June 2024 

        July 2024 

        July is the perfect month to let your creativity soar! We’ve found exciting poetry, book, and short story competitions for you! As always, essay writing competitions are scarce. Don’t worry though, we’ll keep adding to this list every month! 

        Poetry contests 2024 

        1. Local Word Poetry Prize

        In its second year, this contest is open to Australian residents who are 16 years or older. The winning entry will be  published on the Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC) website. 

        Wordcount: 75 lines 

        Prize: $2,000, $250 

        Entry fee: Free! 

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        2. Ledbury Poetry Competition 2024 

        A part of the Poetry Ledbury Festival, this contest is open to writers who are 18 years or older. Judged by Maya C. Popa this year, participants can submit unpublished poems up to 40 lines. 

        Location: UK 

        Prize: £1000, £500, £259 

        Entry fee: £6 

        Closing date: 8 July 2024 

        3. Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize 

        Interested participants can submit 1-6 poems. 60 longlisted poems will be published in an online prize anthology. 

        Prize: AUD$15,000, AUD$5,000, AUD$5,000

        Entry fee: $AUD25 

        Closing date: 14 July 2024 

        4. Rattle poetry prize

        Welcoming writers worldwide to participate, this contest accepts poems primarily written in English. Participants can send 4 poems per entry on any topic of their choice. 

        Prize: 1 prize of $15000, 1 prize of $5000, 10 prizes of $500 

        Entry fee: $30 

        Closing date: 15 July 2024 

        5. The Tenth Gate Prize 

        To participate, writers must have two previously published full-length poetry collections. The winning entry will be published. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $25 

        Closing date: 15 July 2024 

        6. Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest 

        Judged by Charles Rafferty, this contest accepts original, unpublished submissions. The winning entry will be published in the Comstock Review

        Prize: $1.000, $250, $100 

        Entry fee: $27.50 (per submission) 

        Closing date: 15 July 2024 

        7. Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize 

        Judged by Kim Addonizio, this contest is open to writers worldwide. The top 5 finalists’ entries will be published in the Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine

        Prize: $1,000, $500, $250

        Entry fee: $15 

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        8. Winchester Poetry Prize 2024 

        Judged by Clare Shaw, this contest encourages poets worldwide to submit poems on any subject. The results will be announced on 5th October 2024 and winning entries will be published in a competition anthology. 

        Location: UK 

        Wordcount: Not more than 40 lines 

        Prize: £1000, £500, £250 

        Entry fee: £6 for the 1st poem, £5 for each subsequent poem

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        9. Experimental Poetry Contest 

        This exciting contest allows participants to submit poems of any form and style. The winning entry will be published in the Connecticut River Review. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        Short story competitions 2024 

        10. HWA Short Story Award

        To participate in this contest, writers must submit a story that is set atleast 35 years in the past. The stories of 6 shortlisted writers will be published together in an eBook. 

        Wordcount: 3,500 words 

        Prize:  £500 

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 1 July 2024. 

        11. HG Wells short story competition 

        Free for writers 21 years or under, this contest accepts original, unpublished short stories. The winning entries will be published in the HG Wells Short Story Competition Anthology. 

        Theme: The Fool 

        Prize: £1,000

        Entry fee: £10 for writers over 21, £5 for writers with a student ID 

        Closing date: 8 July 2024 

        12. The Paul Cave Prize for Teenage Fiction 

        Organized to encourage teenage fiction, writers can submit stories about a murder mystery, science, technology, sports, etc. Winning entries will be published on the contest website and in the Paul Cave Prize for Teenage Fiction 2024 book. 

        Prize: £100, £50, £25

        Entry fee: £30 (1 entry), £40 (2 entries)

        Closing date: 30 July 2024 

        13. Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition 2024

        Funded by the Munster Literature Centre, this contest invites writers of all nationalities to submit their stories. The selected stories will be published in the literary journal Southward. 

        Word count: 3,000 

        Prize: €2,000, €500, €250 

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        14. Inspiring Fiction Contest 

        This contest is seeking submissions for “thrilling and thought-provoking short stories”. To participate, writers will have to explore the theme of freedom through genres like crime, fantasy, and speculative fiction. 

        Wordcount: 1000-2500

        Prize: £100

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        15. Fiction Factory Competition 

        This competition welcomes all stories except those related to children and young adult fiction. Stories must be submitted in a MS Word document. 

        Wordcount: 3000 words

        Prize: £500

        Entry fee: £7.00 (1 story), £13 (2 stories), £18 (3 stories) 

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        16. Anthology Short Story Competition 

        Open to writers worldwide, this short story competition welcomes submissions on any theme or style. The winning entry will be published in the future issue of Anthology. 

        Word count: 1,500 words

        Prize: €1000, €250, €150 

        Entry fee: €18 per entry 

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        Essay contests 2024 

        17. Forum Essay Prize 2024 

        This contest is seeking submissions of “bold, visionary, and persuasive essays”. The winning essay will be published in the issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies. 

        Theme: The Art(s) of Delight 

        Wordcount: 6000-8000 words 

        Prize: £500, £200

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        Book writing contests 2024 

        18. Wasifiri New Writing Prize 

        This contest is open to all writers who have not yet published a book. The winning entries will be published in the Wasafiri magazine. 

        Wordcount: 3000 words

        Prize: £1000

        Entry fee: £12 (single entry), £16 (double entry) 

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        19. The St. Laurence Book Award 

        This contest rewards an unpublished collection of poetry or prose. The winning entry will be published and the author will receive 10 copies. 

        Prize: $1.000

        Entry fee: $14 

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        20. Press 53 Award 

        Rewarding “outstanding, unpublished collection of poems”, this contest welcomes submissions of writers 18 years or older. The participant must reside in the United States. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $30 

        Closing date: 31 July 2024 

        21. Kingsley Tuft Poetry Award

        Interested participants must submit their first book of poetry published between 1st July 2023 and 30th June 2024. Make sure to mail 8 copies of the book and the entry form before the deadline! 

        Prize: $100,000

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        22. North Street Book Prize 

        To participate, writers must submit self-published/hybrid published books. Winning writers will also receive a $500 credit at the self-publishing platform BookBaby and book cover consultation from Laura Duffy Design. 

        Categories: mainstream/literary fiction, romance, mystery, thriller, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, poetry, children’s picture books, middle grade, art books, creative non fiction, graphic novels, and memoirs 

        Prize: $10,000, $1,000, $300

        Entry fee: $79 per book 

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        23. Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize 

        Every year, this contest awards a poet who hasn’t yet published a full-length poetry book. Interested poets must submit an unpublished manuscript of 48-90 pages. 

        Prize: $1,500  

        Entry fee: $25 

        Closing date: 7 July 2024 

        24. Petrichor Prize 

        Open to writers 18 years or older, participants can submit more than 1 manuscript. The winning entry will be published by Regal House Publishing. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $25 

        Closing date: 15 July 2024 

        Mixed writing contests 2024 

        25. Bellevue Literary Review Prize 

        This contest is currently accepting submissions in 3 categories: poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. 

        Wordcount: 5,000 words 

        Prize: $75 (poetry), $150 (prose) 

        Entry fee: $5 

        Closing date: 1 July 2024 

        26. Robert and Adele Schiff Awards 

        Simultaneous submissions of fiction and non-fiction works are accepted by this contest. Writers can submit 8 pages of poetry (5 poems), a 10,000-word fictional work or a 5,000-word work of literary non-fiction. 

        Prize: $1,000 (per category) 

        Entry fee: $25 

        Closing date: 15 July 2024 

        27. Work-in-Progress Contest 

        This contest supports writers to complete a book of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Winning writers will also get guidance from editors and their interview will be featured in Unleash Lit

        Prize: $500 

        Closing date: 15 July 2024 

        August 2024 

        Ready to unleash your creativity and showcase your talent? We’ve found amazing poetry, book, and short story competitions for you. Although essay writing competitions are still less, we’ll continue updating this list throughout the month. 

        Poetry contests 2024 

        1. Cantor Prize

        Judged by Juan Morales, this contest is open to Colarodo writers and global writers submitting a poem about Colorado. Previously published poems and simultaneous submissions are allowed. 

        Prize: $1,000, $100 each (5 prizes) 

        Entry fee: 1 poem ($10), 2 poems ($20), 3 poems, (25), 4 poems ($35) 

        Deadline: 31 August 2024 

        2. Oxford Poetry Prize 

        Judged by Rachel Long, this contest rewards a single poem written in English. The winning poems will also receive the opportunity for publication in Oxford Poetry

        Wordcount: 50 lines (maximum) 

        Prize: £1000, £200, £100

        Closing date: 31 August 2024 

        3. Off the Grid Poetry Prize 

        Open to poets 60 years or older, manuscripts submitted for this contest must be of atleast 50 pages. The winner will also receive additional services of book promotion, book printing, audiobook creation. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $25 

        Closing date: 31 August 2024 

        4. Richard-Gabriel Rummonds Poetry Prize

        Open to writers residing in the United States, entrants need to be 18 or older to participate. The winning entry will secure publication by Ex Ophidia Press. 

        Prize: $2,000

        Entry fee: $25 

        Closing date: 31 August 2024 

        Short story competitions 2024 

        5. Gemini Flash Fiction Prize

        This flash fiction contest invites writers to submit literary works on any subject and style. The maximum word-limit is 1,000 words. 

        Prize: $1,000, $100, $25 each (4 honorable mentions) 

        Entry fee: $8 

        Closing date: 31 August 2024 

        Essay writing contests 2024 

        6. Creative Non Fiction Essay Contest 

        Judged by Safiya Sinclair, this contest seeks submissions of creative, non-fiction essays of 5,000 words. Every entry must include a cover letter, an essay manuscript, and the entry fee. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $20 

        Closing date: 2 August 2024 

        Book writing contests 2024 

        7. Aspen Words Literary Prize 

        This prize is annually given to “an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue”. Welcoming writers worldwide, works about violence, religion, race, immigration, or any other social issues are eligible for submission. 

        Prize: $35,000

        Entry fee: $105 per book 

        Closing date: 7 August 2024 

        8. Book of the Year Awards Contest 

        In its tenth year, this contest welcomes authors to submit fictional/non-fictional books. The entries must be already published and available for sale/presale on Amazon or other online publishing platforms. 

        Prize: $2,500, $1,000, $500, $250 

        Entry fee: $49 (1st category), $35 (additional category) 

        Closing date: 16 August 2024 

        Mixed writing contests 2024 

        9. Stories That Need to Be Told 

        This contest welcomes submissions of poetry and prose works. Five additional prizes will be given to stories related to humor, passion, depth, or any form of love. 

        Wordcount: Poetry (5 pages per poem), prose (10,000 words) 

        Prize: $1,000, $200 each (5 prizes), $200 (wild card) 

        Entry fee: $20 per entry 

        Closing date: 9 August 2024 

        Other writing contests 2024

        We’ll keep updating this list as the new year comes closer and more writing competitions in 2024 go live. Keep an eye out on this space and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss an update!

        1. Personal Essay Awards

        Writer’s Digest welcomes all essayists to submit their best work. The top ten entries will be published in the magazine’s May/June 2024 issue. The grand prize winner also receives a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference!

        Word count: 2,000

        Prizes: $2,500, $1,000, $500, 7 prizes of $100 

        Entry fee: $25 (early bird deadline)/ $30 

        Closing date: 03 September 2024 (early bird deadline)/01 October 2024

        2. Litmag’s Emily Dickinson Award 

        To participate, writers can submit 1-3 poems. The winning entry will secure publication in LitMag and receive an agency review by Amy Bishop-Wycisk. 

        Prize: $1,500, $100 each (for 3 finalists) 

        Entry fee: $18 

        Closing date: 1 October 2024 

        3. Edwin Markham Poetry Prize 

        This contest accepts unpublished works in any form and style. Writers can submit upto 5 poems per submission. Make sure to include a 50-word bio with your submission! 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $20 

        Closing date: 1 November 2024 

        4. James Hearst Poetry Prize 

        To participate, writers can submit 5 poems per submission. All winning entries, runner-ups, honorable mentions, and finalists will be offered publication in North American Review’s spring issue. 

        Prize: $1,000

        Entry fee: $23 

        Closing date: 2 November 2024 

        5. Servicescape Short Story Award 

        This contest awards original works of short fiction and non-fiction. Writers can submit a story on any theme and genre. 

        Word count: 5,000 or less

        Prize: $1,000 

        Closing date: 30 November 2024 

         

        We’ll keep updating this list every month, adding more paid and free writing contests in 2024. If you’d like us to look for some specific types of contests, feel free to let us know in the comments! As providers of expert self-publishing services, it’s our duty to help you out and we take it very seriously!

        Want to stick around and read more about writing? Here are some articles to begin with:

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        Prasanna Linkedin

        Prasanna is on a little break from academia and spends his time compiling fiction writing tips. He enjoys poetry, mythology, and drawing lotuses on any surface he can find.

        10 comments on “Writing Contests 2024: Cash Prizes & Free Entries

        1. Lola R. says:

          Thank you for this list. I will try a few.

          6
          2
        2. Nancy Denise Horton says:

          Please, keep me updated on single poetry contests. Because I have not written enough for a book as of yet!

          • ashlesha says:

            We’ll keep updating the list.

        3. violet renno says:

          i liked your list!

        4. Desire C I Phiri says:

          Greatly appreciated

        5. Alex says:

          This is a fantastic list! 🙂
          What is the best way to submit a contest to the list?

          • ashlesha says:

            Thanks Alex, You can check the contest submission guidelines on the website.
            Keep reading for the upcoming writing contests!

        6. Seobin says:

          It is awesome!

        7. Camille says:

          Thank you for the list 😉 Great opportunity to get my feet wet; I will try a couple

        8. Fatema imam says:

          Thank you to give opportunity to teenagers.

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