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
ArtAscent "Portraits" Fiction, poetry, short stories Any writer 18 yrs or older. Entries must be original work of applicant. Can be previously published or unpublished. Dec 31, 2017; winners announced in Jan 2018. 900 words max with theme of "Portraits." Share your interpretation. $10 via PayPal online Entries include fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations. Judges: ArtAscent The Gold writer will be featured in the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal complete w/ artist profile review written by our art writer. Up to 10 writers will be published in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal, showcased, along with website links, in an online exhibition on the ArtAscent website for at least two years.
Gemini Magazine Poetry Open Poetry Anyone e-deadline / postmark by Jan 2, 2018 up to 3 poems, any style or length $7 via PayPal, check or money order email or mail Judges: Gemini staff. 1st place: $1,000; 2nd place: $100; four honorable mentions: $25. All six finalists published in March issue of Gemini.
Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America Booksellers' Best Award Romance Book Books with copyright or 1st US printing between Dec 2016 and Dec 2017; includes e-books, which must be printed and bound. Entry forms / fees due by Jan 5, 2018; books must be received by Jan 14; finalists notified by May 21; winners announced at RWA National Conference 4 autographed copies of book $30 for RWA members; $50 for non-RWA members; add'l $5 to enter Best 1st Book. Pay via PayPal or check. Online or mail for entry form, fee. Mail books. Judges: Booksellers, librarians. They try to match book with judges from another region. Categories:  Short Contemp, Mid Contemp, Long Contemp, ST / SRE, RS, YA, ER, HR, Para / Fantasy / Urban Fantasy, Inspirational (contemp or historical), Best First Book; Novella Uniquely designed award for each winner; gift for winning book's editor; reception for all finalists at National RWA conference; winners’ names listed in RWR; finalists' / winners' names and book covers posted on GDRWA site; certificates to all finalists and winners
Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart Romance; ms must be at least 40,000 words. Caps at 1,200 entries. Open to RWA members age 18 or older who have not accepted a publishing offer for, or self-published, a work of fictional prose of more than 40,000 words by deadline. Caps at 1,200 entries. Received by RWA by 5 PM CT Jan 11, 2018; finalists announced by 2 PM March 21, 2018; winners announced at the RWA conference Beginning of manuscript and 15 pp max synopsis (together not to exceed 55 pp double-spaced), plus full manuscript. These 3 items are uploaded as separate PDF files. $30 Online 1st round judges: PAN, PRO, other RWA members. Final round judged by 3 editors. Contemp (65k+ wds); ER; HR; Romance with Religious / Spiritual elements; Para; RS; Short Contemp; MS w/ a central romance; YA. See website for judging details. Finalists are announced in Romance Writers Report, online at RWA website and at RWA National conference. Winner receives a golden heart necklace.
Desert Rose Romance Writers of America Golden Quill Romance Book, Novella Published RWA members. Original copyright date or 1st North American printing / release date or if submitting ebook format, the first electronic publishing date must be in 2017. Books must be a minimum of 40,000 words except novella category. Received by Jan 12, 2018; finalists announced ~May 1, winners announced in July RWR. 5 autographed copies of each book; e-books must be submitted in book or bound galley format or in PDF format on five separate CDs with copy of autographed cover inside the case. $30 per book and / or each category or $75 for 3 entries. mail; pay by check, money order or Paypal Judges: romance readers and librarians. Categories: HR; Contemp (includes Novel w/SRE); Category Series; Sweet Traditional; Para / Urban Fantasy; Fantasty / Sci-Fi / Futuristic; Inspirational (includes Inspirational RS); RS; LGBT; ER / Hot / Sexy; YA / NA; Best First Book; Novella (40,000 words max). Category winner will be highest scoring book in its category, providing the score is in the upper 25% of scores of all contest entries received. If none of the entries in a given category scores in the overall top 25%, there will be no finalist in that category. Winners announced in July RWR.
San Antonio Romance Authors SARA Synopsis Slayer Romance Romance, any genre. Published or unpublished authors with unpublished entry. Contest limited to the first 150 received. Jan 12, 2018; finalists announced Jan 27 on website; ranking of winners announced first week of February. A 3-page, double-spaced synopsis of any subgenre of romance. Entry must be for an unpublished manuscript. Contest limited to the first 150 received. $15 SARA members, $20 non-members via mail Three first-round judges that include at least one published author. Top three entries will be read and ranked by Meghan Farrell, Managing Editor at Tule Publishing Group. TBA
San Francisco Writers Conference San Francisco Writing Contest Fiction, nonfiction, Children / YA Entries may have been self-published or not-yet published, but not traditionally published 5 PM PT January 12, 2018; finalists announced Feb 2; winners announced Feb 16 at Conference 1,500 words max $35 via postal mail or online Categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction (including memoir), Children’s / YA. Judges approved by SFWC management team will select top 5 entries in each category. A group of publishing industry professionals will select the grand prize winner and category winners. Grand Prize winner receives $250 and a 15-minute in-person meeting at the conference or a 15-minute scheduled telephone call with a literary agent who represents work like yours. 1st place winners in each category receive $100.
Virginia Romance Writers of America Holt Medallion Romance Book Original copyright date must be in 2017. Need not be RWA member or have an RWA approved publisher. Self published books permitted. Categories capped at 50 entries. Received on or by 9 PM EST Jan 16, 2018; finalists announced in May; winners announced in June. 4 autographed copies of print book, or ebook emailed in Kindle AND ePub formats (non-DRM). $30 payable by check, money order, or PayPal. VRW members may enter one book free of charge. Online or by mail. Each book scored by at least 3 romance readers. Four Award of Merit finalists and 1 HOLT Mediallion winner per category. Categories: HR, MS / ST Contemp, Long Contemp, Short Contemp, Long Inspirational, Short Inspirational, Para / F / F / T, RS, Extra Spicy / Erotic, Long Inspirational, Short Inspirational, Novel w/ Strong RE, Novella. Bonus Categories: Best First Book; Best Book by a Virginia Author Each category winner receives certificate and pewter HOLT Medallion. Merit winners receive certificate. Winners and Merit recipients will appear in a full-page ad in RWR.
Hoffer Award Eric Hoffer Award Independent Book Open to academic, independent, small press, and self-published books that were released or copyrighted in the last 2 years, including unique books with small print runs. (Books over 2 years enter the Legacy Fiction or Legacy Nonfiction category.) Postmark by Jan 21, 2018; winners announced in May Submit book $55 via check, money order, or PayPal By mail, or if ebook, by email with pdf attachment of ebook Judges may include authors, editors, agents, publishers, book producers, artists, experienced category readers, and health and business professionals. Categories: Categories include Art, Poetry, General Fiction, Commercial Fiction, Children, Young Adult, Culture, Memoir, Business, Reference & How-to, Home, Health, Self-Help/Spiritual, Legacy Fiction, Legacy Nonfiction, E-book Fiction, and E-book Nonfiction. Additional honors for press type categories Self-published, Micro, Small, Academic. $2,000 Grand Prize. In addition, each category will be awarded a winner, runner-up, and multiple honorable mentions. Books must be registered by category and then are automatically considered for Individual Press Awards, the Montaigne Medal, the da Vinci Eye, and the Hoffer Grand Prize.
North Texas Romance Writers of America Great Expectations Romance Must be unpublished and uncontracted in book-length romantic fiction, OR published authors who have not published or contracted in the entered category within the past 3 yrs. Received by midnight Jan 27, 2018; finalists announced ~March 3, 2018; winners announced ~April 14 5,000 words max in TNR 14 pt font $25 for members of North Texas & Dallas RWA chapters, $30 all others. $5 off if you enter by Dec 31, 2017. Via PayPal only. electronic 1st round: 3 judges. If 2 lowest scores differ by 30 points and entry has potential to be a finalist, a 4th judge will be used and lowest of the 4 scores dropped. 3 or 4 finalists per category. Final judges: Contemp (Karen Reid, Super Romance, Harlequin); HR (Gabrielle Keck, Avon); Inspirational (Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House); MS w/RE (Laura Fazio, NAL); NA (Julie Mianecki, Berkley); RS (Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing); ST (Madeleine Colavita, Grand Central Publishing); Specialized (FFTTP) (Kristine Swartz, Berkley); YA (Alice Jerman, Harper Collins) All finalists will have opportunity to update their entry for the final round of judging. First Place receives $50. All finalists receive certificates. Winners will have their names printed in the RWR.
Chanticleer Book Reviews Cygnus Awards Science Fiction (includes unpublished manuscripts) Novels (40,000+ wds) written in English and with copyright after Dec 31, 20154. Manuscripts, tradionally pubbed, self-pubbed, indie-pubbed, e-pubbed okay. All entries except manuscripts must have ISBN or ASIN designation at time of submission. Entrant must be 18 yrs of age or older Received by midnight, Jan 30, 2018; finalists announced inMay; 1st Place category winners announced in July; Grand Prize winner announced at awards banquest April 2018 Full work as PDF or DOC file format. $55 online Categories: Speculative Fiction, Soft Sci-Fi / YA, Alternate History, Hard Science Fiction, Apocalyptic / Dystopian, Space Opera 1st Place Category winners are placed in queue to receive a book review package valued at $395 and compete for Cygnus Grand Prize winner. Grand Prize winner receives $200 prize, a ribbon, digital badges, and book stickers, and goes on to compete for the Chanticleer Overall Grand Prize Best Book of the Year (prize is $1,000).
New England Romance Writers of America Readers' Choice Bean Pot Award Romance Novel or Novella Printed novels (including self-published) with original copyright of 2017. Limited to 35 entries per category. Feb 1, 2018; finalists notified by March 15; winners announced at April 26 conference. 1 e-pub copy if available, otherwise 3 print copies $25 RWA-New England members, $30 all others. By check or PayPal Mail books Judges: Readers, librarians, booksellers. Judges give each entry a score of 3-10 (10 is highest). Different judges rank entries in the event of a tie. Categories: Short Contemp; Long Contemp; RS; HR; ER; Para / F / TT / Sci-Fi; Romance with Religious / Spiritual elements; Novella; Short Story Grand prize winner receives a Publicity Package or an Author Coaching package (winner’s choice) worth $250! The first, second, and third place winners in each category will receive a web badge and printed award certificate. Winners announced on the RWA-New England website, in RWR, and on RWA-New England’s social media accounts
Toronto Romance Writers The Catherine Romance Open to unpublished writers 18 yrs or older, including authors who have not published (or self published) or accepted a publishing offer within the last 5 years. Need not be RWA member. Received by 11:59 PM EST Feb 1, 2018; winners announced in June. First 25 pp plus a 2-5 pp synopsis $25 TRW members, $30 others, by PayPal Email 1st round judged by 2 TRW members; 3rd judge used if scores differ 20+ points andlowest of the 3 scores is dropped. Final Judges: Contemp (Lexi Smail, Grand Central Publishing; Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media); Contemp Short (Stacy Boyd, Harlequin; Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency); ER (Brenda Chin, Entangled Publishing; Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary); HR (Jennie Conway, St. Martin's Press; Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency); RS (Tahra Seplowin, HQN Books; Stacey Donaghy, Donaghy Literary Group); Para (Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks; Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourett LLC); YA (Annie Berger, Sourcebooks; Vanessa Robins, The Corvisiero Literary Agency); MS w/ RE (Vicki Lame, St. Martin's Press; Diana Fox, Fox Literary) 1st Place: a 3-month mentorship with Victoria James; 2nd and 3rd Place: a Published Author Critique from either Kelley Armstrong or Eve Silver. One entrant, excluding entrants, advancing to the Finalist Round will be randomly selected to receive a Published Author Critique with Kate James.
Women Writing the West WILLA Award Romance Book about girl or woman set in the American West Books with original copyright of 2017 (in any form - hardcover, softcover, e-books, CD, Internet downloads, POD, etc.) Postmark by Feb 1, 2018; winners announced at conference 3 books, if paper books.  If e-books or electronic, such as CD, etc., one copy of the actual product plus 3 bound, hard copies. $50 by check Mail Judges:  Panel of professional librarians. Categories:  Contemp Fiction; Creative Nonfiction; Scholarly Nonfiction; Historical Fiction; Poetry; Original Softcover Fiction; Children's / YA Fiction & Nonfiction  
Chicago-North Romance Writers of America Fire and Ice Romance Unpublished / not published in novel-length fiction of 20,000 wds or more in category entered since Jan 1, 2013. Entry must have projected minimum length greater than 20,000 wds. Contest capped at 60 entries. Feb 14, 2018, at 5PM CST. Finalists announced ~March 10; winners announced April 21. Beginning of manuscript (6,000 wds max) $35 electronic; payment must be made via PayPal 3 first-round judges including at least one published author. Lowest score dropped. Six finalists. Final judges: Mary Altman, Sourcebooks; Danielle Egan-Miller, Brown & Miller Literary Associates; Emily Sylvan Kim, Prospect Agency; Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency; Lizzie Poteet, The Seymour Agency; Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. 1st Place Winner: $150. All finalists receive certificates.
North Texas Romance Writers of America The Carolyn Readers Choice Award Romance Novel Not published in novel-length romance in past 5 yrs. Original copyright must be calendar year 2017. Need not be RWA member. Feb 14, 2018; finalists notified by April 6; winners announced May 4. Your entry must be between 10k and 110k and submitted in PDF format $20, $25 depending on entry date electronic only Each entry judged by five readers not associated with any writing organization or with the publishing industry in any way. 3-4 entries continue to final round. Categories: ER, HR, RS / Series Action Adventure, Contemp, Specialized (Alternate Earth Histories, Dystopian, Urban Fantasy, F / F / TT / P) Winners will be featured on a banner ad on the RT Daily Blog (collectively, not individually) for 2 weeks ($550 value). All finalists and winners receive an appropriate website icon.
Utah Romance Writers of America Great Beginnings Romance Published or unpublished authors submitting unpublished, uncontracted manuscript. Feb 14, 2018 ; finalists notified March 31; winners announced April 30. 1st 5 pp of ms with a projected length of at least 50,000 wds $10 for URWA members, $15 others. Email entry. Can pay via PayPal. 3 judges for first round, at least one a PAN member. Final judges: Contemp (Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency); Para (E.L. Felder, The Wild Rose Press); RS (Lane Heymont, The Tobias Literary Agency); HR (Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary Agency) 1st Place recipients receive choice of one of three top prizes: A 30-page critique and edit by a multi-published author or a $25 Amazon gift card. All finalists recognized in the Romance Writers Report.
Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Write Touch Reader's Award Romance Book RWA members with original publication date of 2017 Received by 11:59 CST Feb 15, 2018; finalists notified by May 15; winners announced May 31. 1 pdf file OR 3 autographed copies of print book $25 for RWA members (WisRWA members are entitled to one free entry); $30 all others mail; can pay via PayPal Judges: romance readers not associated in any way with writing organizations or the publishing industry. 3 Judges; 3 finalists per category.Categories: Long Contemp (80,000 wds or more; Mid-length Contemp (56–80,000); Short Contemp (40–56,000); ER; HR; Inspirational; Para/TT/F; RS; YA; MS w/RE. Winners receive plaque. Certificates will be awarded to 2nd and 3rd Place winners. Contest results will be published in the RWR.
Dream Quest One Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest Fiction, Nonfiction, Creative nonfiction, Poetry Unpublished, published, All entries must be original. Postmark by 11:59 PM PST Feb 28, 2018; winners announced March 31 Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject and / or write a short story, 5 pages max single or double line spacing, on any subject or theme. $5 per poem; $10 per short story. Multiple submissions accepted. Mail or email. Can pay via PayPal, check, money order. All categories welcome. Judges: Dare to Dream Master Selection Committee. Final judge, Andre L. West. Prizes: Writing First Prize: $500, Second: $250, Third: $100; Poetry First Prize: $250, Second: $125, Third: $50. All winning entries will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages.
Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Fabulous Five Romance Writers who are unpublished and/ uncontracted in fiction. Received by 11:59 PM CST March 1, 2018; finalists notified mid-April; winners announced in May. beginning of unpublished novel (2,500 words max) $18 WisRWA members; $25 all others by PayPal Online entry 3 judges, lowest score dropped. 5 finalists per category.. Final judges: Contemp (TBD; Ann Leslie Tuttle, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret); HR (Norma Perez-Hernandez, Kensington Publishing Corp; Nikki Terpilowski, Holloway Literary Agency); Inspirational (TBD; Julie Gwinn, Seymour Agency); Para/ F/ F/ TT (Mackenzie Walton, Carina Press; Samantha Wekstein, Writers House Literary Agency) RS (Kristine Swartz, Penquin Random House; Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency); Women’s Fiction (TBD; TBD); YA / NA (Ashley Hearn, Page Street Publishing; Veronica Park, Corvisiero Literary Agency) Unknown / not on website.
Young Adult Romance Writers of America Athena Contest Young Adult and New Adult Fiction YA or NA novel (minimum 40,000 wds) or novella (20,000-40,000 wds) published in any publishing venue with a 2017 copyright Entry forms by March 1, 2018 11:59 PM EDT, physical books postmarked by March 2 / pdfs received by 11:50 PM CST; finalists announced June 1; winners announced in July 3 physical books (mass market or trade paperback) for print book format; for ebook-only published books, 1 pdf for or submit in perfect bound, galley-printed $30 YARWA members; $40 others. PayPal only. Submit entry form online; email pdf if submitting ebook or submit 5 physical book copies by postal mail 3 judges, lowest score dropped. 3 Judges for each book; lowest score dropped. YA/NA Categories: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal; Novella. Finalists whose entry is their first novel are automatically entered into Best First Book category for no additional fee. Plaque, Contest Pin, Website graphic
Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Writers of America Prism Contest Romance with Futuristic, Fantasy or Paranormal elements Novels (40,000 words +) and novellas (20,000 - 40,000 wds) (including traditionally published, Indie published, and ebooks) with first copyright or first printing date of 2016. Must contain paranormal elements and significant (40% - 60%) romance. Need not be RWA member. March 10, 2018; finalists announced week of June 4th; winners announced at RWA National conference in July 3 printed copies of book; if ebook only entry, must be in PDF format (other ereader formats encouraged in addition to PDF) $30 for members, $40 all others. PayPal or check. Online and mail. 3 judges per entry. Dark Para, Light Para, Futuristic, Fantasy, TT / Steampunk, Erotica / Romantica, Novella, YA, Best of the Best, Best First Book. Top 3 finalists for each category receive a commemorative FF&P Finalist Pin and Certificate. 1st Place Winners receive the FF&P exclusive, Prism Statue, a commemorative FF&P Winner / Finalist Pin and Certificate. Best of the Best and Best First Book Winners receive FF&P Prism Statue, a commemorative Best First Book, and Best of the Best FF&P Winner Pin and Certificate.
The Beau Monde Romance Writers of America Royal Ascot Regency Romance Unpublished or published but seeking representation or a new publisher. Entry must be unpublished and uncontracted. March 25, 2018; finalists announced May 17 winners announced in July at Beau Monde Soiree. Beginning of ms (7,000 words max).All entries must have at least partial Regency (Late Georgian) setting, broadly defined: within the United Kingdom between 1780 and 1840. $24 for Beau Monde members, $30 for non members first entry, $20 for subsequent entries. Electronic only. 1st round panel of 4 judges includes at least one author published in Regency romance. Lowest score dropped unless needed in case of tie. Four finalists total across all categories. Categories: Regency Historical (longer Regency or Mainstream Regency-set); Hot Regency (Very sensual to Erotic Regency); Wild Regency (Para, TT, other similar Regency); Sweet & Mild Regency (Traditional, Inspirational, YA or other w/o explicit sex). Final Round Judges TBA. Grand Prize winner: $100; $25 and certificate for finalists.
Rubery Book Award International Rubery Book Award Self published or and independently published books Books / ebooks in any genre self published or published by independent presses. March 31, 2018; winners announced in July 1 copy of book in both print and electronic format (Word, PDF, Mobi) if available, plus blurb (what would be the back-cover description on a physical book). If both print and electronic versions are not available, please send one or the other. £36 ($60 USD) via PayPal. Other currencies accepted (see website). Can pay by cheque in pound sterling only. by mail for printed book, by email for ebook Categories: Fiction (all genres), YA, Children's, Biographies, Non-fiction, Self-help, Cookery, Poetry, Photography, etc. Final judges: Paul McDonald - senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. He is the author of fifteen books, including three novels and three collections of poetry. Pauline Morgan has been on the panel of judges for the critically acclaimed international Arthur C. Clarke Award. She is an experienced reviewer of fiction, appearing regularly in the on-line reviews magazine, SFCrowsnest. Clare Morrall - her debut novel, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, was shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize. Morrall was also shortlisted for British Newcomer of the Year 2003. Her fourth novel, The Man who Disappeared, was selected for the TV Book Club 2010. In 2012 The Roundabout Man was released to critical acclaim. First Prize £1500 via cheque or PayPal (approx 2000 USD) The winning book will also be read by a top literary agent at MBA. Plus a minimum of the 3 category winners each winning £150 (approx 200 USD)