Categories abbreviations used: Contemp (Contemporary), ER (Erotic Romance), FFTP (Futuristic / Time-Travel, Fantasy, Paranormal), HF (Historical Fiction), HR (Historical Romance), MS (Mainstream), Mys / Sus (Mystery / Suspense), NA (New Adult), NSRE (Novel with Strong Romantic Elements), Para (Paranormal), RC (Romantic Comedy), RE (Romantic Elements), RS (Romantic Suspense), ST (Single Title), Sci-Fi (Science Fiction), YA (Young Adult).
Contests for published works show "Type" in this color.
Current Contests Disclaimer: This website owner is not responsible for misinformation or fraudulent practices on the part of any contest organization, and the listing of these contests does not constitute an endorsement. Please do your own homework.
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Note: I no longer post contests from sites that sell writing services, including sites that sell courses to writers or essays to students. This includes almost all Essay contests.
Sponsor / Org Contest Type Eligibility Dates EntryFeeSubmissionCategories / Judges Awards
Heart of Denver Romance Writers of America Aspen Gold Reader's Choice Romance Book / Novella / Short Story book length traditional or self-published romantic fiction with original copyright or first print date in calendar year 2017. Received by May 31, 2018; finalists and winners announced TBA. e-entry only, uploaded as pdf file. Short stories are $15. Other entry types: $20 HODRW members, $25 other RWA members, $30 all others. Via PayPal. pdf, uploaded Categories: Short Romantic Story; YA, Short Contemp, Long Contemp, HR, Para, RS, ER; Novella. First round judged by romance readers. Top 3 books in each category advance to final round. Final judges: Librarians. 1st Place winner receives Aspen Gold award. Finalists receive certificates. Results publicized on website and loops and in the RWR.
Heart of Denver Romance Writers of America The Molly  Romance unpublished in novel-length fiction in past 3 yrs Received by 11:59 PM MDT, May 31, 2018; finalists notified first week of August; winners notified by October 15. 1st 25 pp plus 5-pp max synopsis, which will not be judged. (30 pp max entry) $25 - HODRW members, $30 - other RWA members. Pay by money order, check, or Paypal email 1st Round has 3 qualified judges, at least one a published author. Lowest score will be dropped. Three finalists per category. Final round judges: Contemp Long, Contemp Short, HR, para, RS, YA.Each entry will also be judged for "The Unsinkable Heroine" award. The Heart of Molly award goes to a HODRW member. Final judges TBA. Finalists receive a Finalist pin. 1st Place Winner in each category receives Molly Award Plaque and a pin. Other finalists receive certificates. Results publised on website and loops, and in RWR
Wunder Editions Wundor Short Fiction Contest Novellas, Short Stories and Flash Fiction Open to anyone 16 years of age or older. Entry must be original, unpublished, and in English May 31, 2018; winner announced June 30 45,000 words max £10 Online through Submittable Judges are the Wundor Editors Winner receives £500. Winner and two runners up will have an extract of their work published on the Wundor website. Their work will be strongly considered for publication in print, in which case a publishing contract will be offered.
Arizona Mystery Writers Arizona Mystery Writers Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest Mystery / Suspense / Thriller Short Story Open to adults 15 yrs of age and older. Work must be original and unpublished prior to judging. Postmarked or file stamped by June 1, 2018; winners announced ~July 15 and officially at the Sept 8 Award luncheon. 2,500 words max $15 by check or Money Order. Email or mail (3 copies); entry fee must be mailed. Entries will be judged blind by a panel of three professional writers and educators. Each submission will receive a summary of the judges comments and feedback. 1st prize $200; 2nd $100; 3rd $75. Winners also receive certificate and winning story published on the club's web site.
New Jersey Romance Writers of America Golden Leaf Romance Novel, Novella All NJRW members and RWA members published in novel-length fiction. Romance novels with 1st copyright date or 1st NA print date of July 2017 - May 2018. Capped at 25 books per category. Entry deadline June 1, 2018. Books must be received by June 5. Finalists notified by Aug 31. Winners announced Oct 20 at PYHIAB conference. 4 autographed copies of book; e-books in print book format, with copyright page produced by publisher, with perfect or case binding and print on both sides of the page. $25 NJRW members, $30 others. Subsequent entries after first entry are discounted $10. Register online. Mail in entry. Judges are booksellers, librarians, readers groups, romance readers. Three finalists per category: Best First Book; Short Contemp, Mid-Length Contemp, Long Contemp, HR, Novella, Para, RS, ER, Best Book by New Jersey Romance Author  
New Jersey Romance Writers of America Put Your Heart In A Book Romance RWA member, unpublished / not contracted in book-length romantic fiction or fiction narrative prose of 20,000 words or more at the contest deadline by any publisher and in any format within the last five years. Received by 12:01 a.m. EST June 1, 2018; finalists notified Aug 31; winners announced Oct 20 at NJRW Conference. synopsis (2-5 pp), prologue / first chapter; 30 pp max entry $25 NJRW members, $35 all others. Check, money order, or PayPal email 2 judges for 1st round; 3rd judge if difference of 45 points or more. Score is average of 2 highest scores. The 3 top entries in each category final. Categories: Contemp Series, ST Contemp, HR, Para, RS, YA. Final Judges TBA 1st Place: $50 + plaque; 2nd Place: $35 + certificate; 3rd Place: $25 + certificate
Regulus Press The Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition Fiction Open to anyone. Entry must be original story and must use the opening and closing lines supplied. June 4, 2018; winners announced in September 3,000 words max in any genre, using the provided opening and closing lines from a classic work of literature a voluntary $10 entry fee is suggested (via PayPal) Email The judges of the 2018 contest include a variety of professional writers, poets, and playwrights, including Catherine Barnett (The Game of Boxes), Kelley Eskridge (Solitaire), Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels), Holly Kowitt (The Principal's Underwear Is Missing), Brian Parks ("Americana Absurdum"), Michael Pronko (The Last Train), Becky Selengut (Good Fish), and Nisi Shawl (Everfair). Three winning stories will be selected, for a total prize of US $1500. In addition, winners and runners-up will be published by Regulus Press in a forthcoming 2018 Anthology of Literary Taxidermy.
Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America Lone Star Romance published and unpublished writers with uncontracted, unpublished (in any format) entry. e-deadline midnight CDT June 8, 2018; winners announced in October. first 5,000 words saved in RTF only. $25 via PayPal Email 3 first round judges, at least 2 of them published. Lowest score dropped. Top 3 high scores in each category final; finalists can revise based on critiques. Categories: Contemp Series (Susan Litman, Harlequin; Sharon Roe, Soul Mate Publishing; Kate Brauning, Entangled Publishing); F/F/P (Laura Costello, Sourcebooks Casablanca; Callie Lynn Wolfe, The Wild Rose Press; Tera Cuskaden, Entangled Publishing); HR (Janet Clementz, Soul Mate Publishing; Allison Byers, The Wild Rose Press); Inspirational (Nicola Martinez, Pelican Books; Dina Davis, Harlequin; Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House Publishers); RS (Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency; Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency); ST (Susan Grimshaw, Penguin-Random House; Alicia Condon, Kensington Publishing; Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks Casablanca); YA (Alycia Toretta, Entangled Publishing; Michelle Klayman, Boroughs Publishing) First place winners in each category will receive the Lone Star Brooch. Achievement certificates will be awarded to all finalists.
ArtAscent "Youth" International Call for Writers Fiction, poetry Any writer 18 yrs or older. Entries must be original work of applicant. Can be previously published or unpublished. June 30, 2018; winners announced in early August 900 words max with theme of "youth." Share your interpretation. (Other types of media are also accepted. See website for more info.) $10 via PayPal online Judges: ArtAscent If your work is selected you will be: announced in the ArtAscent newsletter; published in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal, showcased for at least two years on the ArtAscent website online exhibition, listed by name online for at least two years on the ArtAscent website artist/ writer listing directory, promoted on the ArtAscent Facebook (16,000+ likes), Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram sites.
From The Heart Romance Writers of America Pages From The Heart Romance RWA members who are published or unpublished with original, unpublished, uncontracted entry. Deadline 11:59 PM PT, June 30, 2018; finalists announced Sept 1; winners announced Nov 6. 6,000 words max $21 FTH members; $26 RWA members; $16 each add'l entry (US funds via paypal) electronic only 1st round: Three Judges per entry; lowest score dropped, but will be used in case of a tie. Categories and Final Judges for Published Author entries: Short Contemp (Erin Niumata, Folio Literary Management; Alycia Tornetta, Entangled Publishing); Long Contemp (Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Agency; Patience Bloom, Harlequin); RS / Mystery (Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Agency; Allison Lyons, Harlequins); HR (Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger, Inc.; Norma Perez-Hernandez, Kensington Books); Para / FF / TT ( Kimberly Brower, Brower Literary; Mackenzie Walton, Carina Press); YA (Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency; Jennie Conway, St. Martins). Categories and Final Judges for Unpublished Author entries: Long Contemp (Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency; Stephanie Doig, Carina Press); Short Contemp (Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency; Susan Grimshaw, Loveswept (Penguin-Random House)); HR (Pam Victorio, D4EO Literary; Deborah Gilbert, Soulmate Publishing); RS / Mystery (Ann Leslie Tuttle, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret; Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing); Para / F / F / TT (Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary; Laura Costell, Sourcebooks); YA (Colleen Oefelein, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency; Janet Clementz, Soulmate Publishing); Hero of our Heart Award (Jenn Haskin, Corvisiero Agency; Carrie Pestritto, Laura Dail Literary Agency) 1st Place: $30.00; 2nd Place: 1-year paid membership to FTHRW; 1st thru 3rd and Honorable Mention receive website / avatar graphic, printable e-certificate, and name in contest winners section of the RWR. Hero of Our Heart Prizes: 1st Place: $50 and name in contest winners section of RWR. 1st thru 4th Place recieve website / avatar graphic and printable e-certificate.
Wells Festival of Literature Short Story Competition Short Story Anyone. Entry must be in English, exclusive to author, uncontracted, unpublished, and not submitted to any other competition at time of entry Received by midnight June 30, 2018; winner announced Oct 21 complete story 1,000 to 2,000 words £6 payment in sterling via cheque or postal order or online via PayPal via postal mail or submitted online Judge: Helen Stevenson, author of three novels and a memoir. Her memoir Love Like Salt was chosen by the Guardian’s Maggie O’ Farrell as one of the best books of the year. 1st Place £750, 2nd Place £300, 3rd Place £200, Local prize £100
Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Competition Poetry Anyone. Entry must be in English, exclusive to author, uncontracted, unpublished, and not submitted to any other competition at time of entry Received by midnight June 30, 2018; winner announced Oct 21 Poem on any subject, 40 lines max £6 payment in sterling via cheque or postal order or online via PayPal via postal mail or submitted online Judge: Terry Gifford, author of A Feast of Fools (Cinnamon Press, 2018). In addition to his poetry, Terry is also the author of Green Voices: Understanding Contemporary Nature Poetry (2nd edn. 2011) as well as having written/edited seven books on Ted Hughes. 1st Place £750, 2nd Place £300, 3rd Place £200, Local prize £100
Wells Festival of Literature Book for Children Competition Book for Children (by adults) Anyone. Entry must be in English, exclusive to author, uncontracted, unpublished, and not submitted to any other competition at time of entry Received by midnight June 30, 2018; winner announced Oct 21 Children's book for ages 8+ (i.e., middle grade through young adult), synopsis and first 3 chapters plus cover letter; shortlisted authors must send complete manuscript. £6 payment in sterling via cheque or postal order or online via PayPal via postal mail or submitted online Judge: Gill McLay. Founder and artistic director of the Bath Kids Lit Fest, Gill McLay runs the Bath Literary Agency specialising in children’s writers of fiction, non-fiction and picture books. 1st £750 plus a 121 critique with the author; 2nd Place £300, 3rd Place £200, Local prize £100
Wells Festival of Literature Young Poets Competition Poetry Open to anyone aged 16 - 22. Entry must be in English, exclusive to author, uncontracted, unpublished, and not submitted to any other competition at time of entry Received by midnight June 30, 2018; winner announced Oct 21 A poem on any subject, 35 lines max £3 payment in sterling via cheque or postal order or online via PayPal via postal mail or submitted online Judge: Miriam Nash, poet, performer and educator. Her first collection of poems All the Prayers in the House won an Eric Gregory Award (2015) and was runner-up for the Edwin Morgan Award (2016). 1st £150, 2nd £75, 3rd £50; plus a year'a subscription to The Poetry Society
Spruce Mountain Press Past Loves Day Story Contest Non-fiction Open to anyone with a past true love Sept 17, 2018; winners announced Nov 17 True story (700 wds max) about a past true love Free email or postal mail No categories; judges are from Spruce Mountain Press. 1st Prize: $100; 2nd prize: $75; 3rd Prize: $50; Honorable Mention(s) Winning stories will be posted (anonymously, if requested by author) on the website.