Current Essay Contests For Adults

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Search for writing contests in your genre

Discover the finest writing contests of 2018 for fiction and non-fiction authors of short stories, poetry, essays and more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. Manage a contest? Submit it here

We found 218 contests that match your search 🔦


Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest

F-BOM

Can’t get enough science fiction, fantasy, and feminism? F-BOM is hosting a quarterly flash fiction contest! Topics will be released every February, May, August, and November, and submissions will be judged by the featured F-BOM author. Entries must be under 100 words.

Deadline: December 31st, 2018 • Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

Publication on F-BOM blog

Additional prizes

3 months of F-BOM e-book membership

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The Exeter Factor

Exeter Writers

Launched in 2009, the competition is for original, unpublished short stories on any theme. The maximum word length is 3,000 words. Any genre, except children’s is welcome. First prize is £500, second prize is £250 and third prize is £100.

Deadline: February 28th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: £6

Genre: Fiction, Short Story,


Inkitt Novel Competition

Inkitt

Do you have the next great novel? Submit it to Inkitt's Novel Competition for the chance to win their hefty prize basket including: a marketing campaign to get your novel in to Amazon's top 100, an investment of $6,000 into your book launch from Inkitt, professional cover design and editing, and 25% royalties. Each month a winner is selected for publication — so submit your story by the end of this month!

Deadline: December 31st, 2018 • Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Fiction,

TOP PRIZE

$6,000

Additional prizes

Publication and 25% royalties

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Hippocrates Prize for Poetry

Hippocrates

With a prize fund of £5500, the Hippocrates Prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. The prize comprises a 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize and 20 commendations. In its first 7 years, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 7000 entries from 61 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia.

Deadline: February 14th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: £7

Genre: Poetry,


Nelson Algren Short Story Award

Chicago Tribune

The 2018 Nelson Algren Literary Awards is sponsored by Chicago Tribune. Stories must be written in English, double-spaced, and no longer than 8,000 words. A total of 10 prizes will be made available during Contest: One Grand Prize: $3,500, Four Finalist Prizes: $1,000, Five Runner-up Prizes: $500.

Deadline: February 7th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$3,500

Additional prizes

Publication in Printers Row

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The John Gardner Fiction Award

Binghamton University

$1,000 Award for the book of fiction written in English selected by our judges as the strongest novel or collection of fiction published in 2017.

Deadline: February 1st, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Fiction, Novel,


The Milt Kessler Poetry Award

Binghamton University

$1,000 Award for a book of poems written in English, 48 pages or more in length, selected by our judges as the strongest collection of poems published in 2017.

Deadline: February 1st, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Poetry,


Michael Waters Poetry Prize

University of Southern Indiana

A prize of $3,000 and publication by SIR Press is awarded annually for a collection of poetry written in English. Michael Waters will judge. Submit up to 80 pages (no more than one poem per page) with a $25 entry fee ($5 for each additional entry) by February 1, 2018.

Deadline: February 1st, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: $25

Genre: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$3,000

Additional prizes

Publication by SIR Press

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Spring Competition: Play Scripts

Audiojam

This unique competition enables authors to create a lasting keepsake of their treasured work. All genres of plays are accepted and it doesn’t matter if your work has been previously published. Up to 5 plays will be accepted and produced in our studio and broadcast across the world to an existing listener base.

Deadline: March 31st, 2018 • Entry fee 💰: £2.99

Genre: Script Writing,

TOP PRIZE

Recording Package

Additional prizes

...

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Young Writers' Short Story contest

Lune Spark Books

This is a contest for children in the age range of 10 years to 16 years, with the aim of helping parents identify writing talent early.

Deadline: April 22nd, 2018 • Entry fee 💰: $15

Genre: Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$2700

Additional prizes

Publication by Lune Spark Books

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Self-Publishing Literary Awards

The Black Caucus of ALA

The Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) honors the best self-published ebooks by an African American author in the U.S. in the following genres: Fiction and Poetry.

Deadline: February 17th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Fiction, Novel, Poetry,


The Paz Prize for Poetry

The National Poetry Series

The Center @ Miami Dade College will award one $2,000 prize every other year (in even years) for the publication of a previously unpublished book of poetry originally written in Spanish by an American resident.  The prize will recognize book-length manuscripts of poetry written in Spanish. Translations, works of literary criticism and scholarly texts do not qualify. Contest opens in May.

Deadline: June 15th, 2018 • Entry fee 💰: $30

Genre: Poetry,


Open Prize

The National Poetry Series

The National Poetry Series seeks book-length manuscripts of poetry written by American residents or American citizens living abroad.

Deadline: February 28th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: $30

Genre: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$10,000

Additional prizes

Publication of full-length manuscript

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Family Matters Contest

Glimmer Train Press

We are looking for stories about families of all configurations. It's fine to draw heavily on real-life experiences, but the work must read like fiction and all stories accepted for publication will be presented as fiction.

Deadline: January 12th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: $18

Genre: Fiction, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$2,500

Additional prizes

Publication in Glimmer Train Stories

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William Van Wert Award for Fiction

Hidden River Arts

$1,000 and publication in Hidden River Review of Arts & Letters is offered to the best unpublished short story or novel excerpt.

Deadline: June 30th, 2018 • Entry fee 💰: $17

Genre: Fiction, Novel, Short Story,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Hidden River Review of Arts & Letters

View contest


2018 Tusculum Review Poetry Chapbook Prize

The Tusculum Review

Each chapbook manuscript entered should consist of 20-30 pages of poems in a standard 12-point font. No more than one poem may appear on a page. You may enter more than one chapbook manuscript (as long as you include a $20 reading fee with each manuscript). A manuscript need not be thematically coherent or connected through narrative.

Deadline: March 1st, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: $20

Genre: Poetry,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in The Tusculum Review

View contest

Dartmouth Poet-In-Residence Award

Frost Place

The aim of this program is to select a poet who is at an artistic and personal crossroads, comparable to that faced by Robert Frost when he moved to Franconia in 1915, when he was not yet known to a broad public.

Deadline: January 5th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: $28

Genre: Poetry,


2018 Ambroggio Prize

Academy of American Poets

The Ambroggio Prize is a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, publisher of literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Hispanics.

Deadline: February 15th, 2018 (Expired)• Entry fee 💰: FREE

Genre: Fiction, Novel,

TOP PRIZE

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Bilingual Press

View contest

Enter Our Short Story Competition

We send you 5 weekly prompts, you submit your short story, and earn $50 if we feature it on our Medium page! Sign up to receive this week's prompts.

Writing Contests: Express Your Creativity & Win Prizes!

Enter to Win Essay Contests, Poetry Contests, and Other Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great way to express your creativity while winning great prizes. Writing contests often have less competition than random-draw sweepstakes, so why not give them a try? This is a list of current creative writing contests to enter today.

If you'd like to win more contests, see tips to win essay contests and 10 qualities of great writing contest entries.

1. Dear Doctor - Ultimate Smile Makeover Contest
Enter to win smile makeover dentistry worth up to $35,000 in cash.


Entry Frequency: 1 x daily per person
End Date: March 31st, 2018
Eligibility: Open to the U.S.
More Information about this Sweepstakes
Enter Sweepstakes Directly

2. Macmillan Publishers - Anger Is a Gift Essay Contest
Enter and you could win 5,000 towards tuition or school supplies and a signed copy of Mark Oshiro's novel Anger Is a Gift.
Entry Frequency: One time per person/email
End Date: April 30th, 2018
Eligibility: Open to the U.S.
More Information about this Sweepstakes
Enter Sweepstakes Directly

3. Eggland's Best - 2018 America's Best Recipe Contest
Submit your regional ingredient-inspired recipe that uses eggs creatively for your chance at winning $10,000 and a year's supply of eggs or other prizes.
Entry Frequency: Limit of two entries per category for a total of eight entries max
End Date: April 30th, 2018
Eligibility: Open to the U.S.
More Information about this Sweepstakes
Enter Sweepstakes Directly

4. Johnsonville - Tailgate Wedding Contest
Enter to win a $60,000 wedding prize package for couples who love college football.
Entry Frequency: One time per person
End Date: May 6th, 2018
Eligibility: Open to residents of the contiguous United States or the District of Columbia who are engaged to be married and who are able to get married in 2018
More Information about this Sweepstakes
Enter Sweepstakes Directly

5. Chattanooga Bakery - MoonPie Memories Contest
Share your family's best MoonPie memory for chances to win a 100 year's supply of the tasty treat, or a trip to the bakery in Tennessee, or hats or t-shirts.
Entry Frequency: One time per person/email/household
End Date: June 30th, 2018
Eligibility: Open to the U.S.
More Information about this Sweepstakes
Enter Sweepstakes Directly

6. L. Rob Hubbard - Writers of the Future Contest
Write a science fiction story of 17,000 words or less for your chance to be judged by the hottest science fiction authors and to win an award and cash prizes worth up to $5,000.
Entry Frequency: Limit of one entry per quarter
End Date: Ongoing
Eligibility: Open to all who have not professionally published a novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories
More Information about this Sweepstakes
Enter Sweepstakes Directly

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