When we last published our list of upcoming writing competitions, Donald Trump had just been elected to the White House and we weren’t entirely sure if we’d make it all the way through 2017. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if you – like us – spent the year feverishly writing and submitting fiction and poetry to writing contests across the world, hoping to get some of your writing into the annals of humanity’s canon before the seemingly inevitable Trumpocalypse.
As things currently stand, however, we are still alive (we think), and so that means we’re rapidly hurtling toward another year and another suite of opportunities to get your writing out there and published.
For our part here at Nothing in the Rulebook, we’ll endeavour to ensure 2018 is filled with a multitude of writerly insights and discussion, and (just for you) we’ve compiled a list of upcoming writing competitions scheduled for the year ahead.
Included are details about word counts, deadlines and direct links to each event.
If you’d like to add a writing competition to our list then please feel free to contact us!
2000 word essay contest about any aspect of the writing life – including your own. Any topic is fair game, so long as it pertains to some aspect of writing.
The grand prize is US$1,000 and publication in the magazine, The Writer. However, every essay we receive will be considered for paid publication in the magazine.
Deadline for entries is January 1st 2018 and there is a submission fee of US$25 to enter.
Submissions for fictional short stories of up to 2000 words on any theme are sought by Henshaw Press for their 2017 competition.
First prize receives £100 – with monetary prizes also available for second and third placed winners. The deadline for entries is 10th January 2018.
Your novella-in-flash submission must be in between 6,000 and 18,000 words long. Individual flashes (or chapters) within the novella should not be more than 1000 words long.
£300 prize for the winner, two runner-up prizes of £100 plus publication in a one-volume three-novella collection. Each published author receives five copies.
Deadline for entries is January 29th 2018.
For published African authors of fiction. Must be over 3000 words in length and written for adults. Advisable length for the stories is between 3000 and 10,000 words. There is a cash prize of £10,000 and works must be written in or translated into English.
Deadline for submissions is January 31st.
Entry fee is £8 for ghost stories between 1000 and 7000 words in length. Though the website also runs competitions throughout the year for flash fiction stories. Deadline is Thursday, January 31st 2017 and first prize receives £500
The theme for the #MeToo Trigger Warning Nonfiction Essay Contest is Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse.
Sexual violence is a public health, human rights and social justice issue. So, here’s your chance to use your voice to Change the Culture. You are not alone. Memoir Magazine stands with you! Together we can shatter the silence and end sexual violence. Your essay may be humorous, sad, upsetting. It can be one paragraph long, or several pages. It’s all up to you, but most of all it should be your untold truth expressed in your unique voice.
Submissions can range in length from 100 to 7000 words. There is a US$12 entry fee and the winner receives US$500. Deadline for entries is January 31st.
Now in its fourth year, the Awards were set up to champion the best short-form writing in English
Each category winner will receive £1,000 cash, e-publication by New Welsh Review on their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Subsequent prizes include residential courses and weekend breaks.
Entries close at midnight on 2nd February 2018.
One for Australian writers. First prize is AU$2000. The deadline for submissions is 5th February 2018 and the entry fee is AU$15. The maximum word limit is 2000 words, which includes both titles and any subheadings.
First prize receives £500 and a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice, as well as publication of your story on the W&A website. Closing date for writing submissions is Tuesday February 13th 2017 and all submissions must be unpublished prose of 2000 words or fewer.
The competition owners are looking for stories that illustrate, explore, or illuminate the impact of climate change on humanity and/or the Earth. They enthusiastically invite submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, hybrid forms, and more. Work will be selected and judged by Kim Stanley Robinson, The New York Times bestselling author of Shaman, the Mars trilogy, and New York 2140. The winning story will receive a US$1000 prize, and nine finalists will receive US$50 prizes. Selected work will be published in an anthology by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University.
Submissions must be no more than 5000 words and the deadline for entries is 28th February 2018.
The Margery Allingham Short Story Competition is open until February 28, 2018.
Submit stories up to 3,500 words. Your story should fit into crime writer Margery’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”
Prize: £500 plus two weekend passes to Crimefest 2019 and a selection of Margery Allingham books.
Entry Fee: £12
1000 words on a set theme. £5 to enter for a chance to win £100. Deadline for entries is February 28th 2018.
The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize is a writing competition sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts.
Submissions must be no more than 750 words long and there is a US$25 fee to enter.
The deadline for entries is March 1st 2018.
You can submit two pieces of flash fiction of no more than 800 words each to the Ginosko Flash Fiction Contest, which closes on the 1st March 2018.
Prizes include US$ 500 and publication on the Ginosko Literary Journal website.
The entry fee is US$ 5.
Stories on a theme of your own choice, between 1500 to 1800 words.
Winner receives £200.
The deadline for entries is March 1st 2018 and there is a £5 entry fee.
16. Nelligan Prize
International writing prize for writers of all stripes and nationalities. Deadline is March 14th, 2018 for submissions of 12,500 words or less. Entry fee is US$15 and first prize is US$2000.
Enizagam is a literary journal featuring poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and interviews by writers from all over the world.
They have launched their writing competitions for both fiction and poetry ahead of their 12th journal issue.
Winners will receive US$1000 and blurbs about their work from literary judges.
There is an entry fee of US$20 and the deadline for submissions is March 23rd 2018.
Further details about guidelines below.
Fiction submission guidelines: Fiction submissions should consist of one short story up to 4,000 words long. Entries may be in any literary style, and address any subject. We do not publish novel excerpts. Please expect a response within 4 weeks of the deadline.
Poetry submission guidelines: Poetry submissions may be up to ten pages long, with no more than one poem per page. Entries may be in any poetic form (including free verse), and address any subject. Please expect a response within 4 weeks of the deadline.
Every year, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales.
The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.
The entry fee is US$40 and the deadline for submissions is April 1st 2018.
An award for local, national and international writers. Closing date for submissions is April 23rd, 2018. Short stories of up to 2200 words in all genres and styles are welcome – there is no minimum word limit. First prize receives £1000 and there is also a local prize for Bath residents, as well as The Acorn Award of £50 for unpublished writers of fiction. Entry fee is £8.
Entries are welcomed for unpublished stories written in English. The deadline for submissions is 1st May 2018 and stories can be on any theme or subject. Maximum length of 4000 words. An £8 entry fee and first prize is £1000. There are also 17 further prizes of £100 for all shortlisted writers.
The winner of this annual award will receive US$5000 and an interview in Writer’s Digest. There are a variety of different award categories so it’s best to check the website for details. Deadline is May 4th 2018.
22. Bridport Prize
International open competition founded in 1973. Four categories in poetry (max 42 lines); short story (max 5,000 words); flash fiction (max 250 words) and the Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel (max 8,000 words from opening chapters plus 300 word synopsis).
The 2018 competition will be launched on 22nd January. Deadline usually looms towards the end of May each year.
Entry fees and prizes vary depending on category. Full information about this world-renowned competition can be found online.
The Brighton Prize offers cash prizes for new short and flash fiction. If you’re a writer with a brilliant short story that will both challenge and excite the judges; this is for you.
Submissions are currently open for flash fiction up to 350 words, and short stories of 1-2000 words.
The winner of the short story prize will receive £500, and the winner of the flash fiction prize will receive £100.
There is an entry fee of £8 for short stories and £6 for flash fiction.
The deadline for submissions is 30th June.
To Hull And Back Short Story Competition is an annual short story contest with a humorous twist that celebrates the most imaginative and amazing short stories from writers all over the world.
First prize is £1000 and publication.
Max word count is 2500 and the deadline for entries is July 31st 2018.
The fee for entries is £11.
Any style/genre of writing in a variety of forms, including short stories, flash fiction and poetry. An annual competition with submission deadline of October.
Short story submissions must be below 3000 words and the associated entry fee is £8. Winners of each category receive £500.
Annual writing competition accepts entries of any style or genre. Winners are published in anthology containing 10 to 20 stories (length dependent). There is a £5 entry fee for stories up to 4000 words in length and £10 fee for stories up to 8000 words long. Deadline is October each year, though the publishers also run other competitions throughout the year, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their site for details.
For American citizens with books published in the calendar year (or scheduled to be published) – no self-published books will be accepted. No submission fees, with a deadline of October.
Any style or genre of writing is eligible for their rolling competition deadlines, which fall throughout the year between September and July. Entry fees vary according to form of writing, such as poetry, novels, short stories and flash fiction.
There are two prizes – one for fiction and one for poetry. Both competitions offer a £10,000 first prize. Deadline for entries is September 2018 and the competition will open in February 2018. The fiction prize will be awarded to the best short story of up to 2500 words, and is open to international writers aged 16 or over. The poetry prize will be given to the best portfolio of three to five poems (maximum length: 120 lines). The entry fee for each competition is £17.50.
Literary publisher and resource for writers Tethered by Letters run this tri-annual publication, F(r)iction, – an art and literature imprint that is distributed around the world. It features short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and even a selection of graphic stories. It also showcases amazing artwork.
First prize for the short story contest is US$1000 and there is an entry fee of US$18. The first prize for both the poetry and flash fiction contests is US$300 and there is a US$10 entry fee.
Visit the website for information about upcoming deadlines
The Short Story was established in 2015 and has quickly developed into an influential platform for short fiction. They champion short stories, flash fiction, and micro-fiction.
Every month, they invite submissions for their flash fiction competition, the winner of which receives publication on their website and £50.
The deadline for each month’s contest is midnight on the last day of each month.
There is an entry fee of £2.28 and entries must be no longer than 500 words (including title).