Writing Contests

Writing and book contests from literary magazines, independent publishers, university presses, creative writing programs, and more.

Contest :: Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry 2020

Lynx House Press 2020 Poetry Prize flier

Deadline: June 1, 2020
Lynx House Press seeks submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts for the annual Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry. The winner will receive $2,000 and publication. Entries must be at least 48 pages in length. The fee for submitting is $28, and includes a copy of a book from our catalog. Previous judges include James Tate, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorianne Laux, Dara Wier, Melissa Kwasny, and Robert Wrigley. lynxhousepress.submittable.com/submit

Contest :: Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest 2020

Deadline: April 30, 2020
28th year, sponsored by Winning Writers and Duotrope. $8,000 in cash prizes, including two top awards of $3,000 each. Seeks short stories and essays up to 6,000 words each. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Fee per entry is $20. Final judge: Dennis Norris II, assisted by Lauren Singer Ledoux. Winning Writers is one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” (Writer’s Digest). See guidelines, past winners, and enter online at winningwriters.com/tomstory.

Contest :: Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest 2020

Deadline: March 31, 2020
First prize: $1,000. Second: $100. Three honorable mentions: $25 each. Entry fee: $8. We are open to any subject, style, genre, or length. What do we want? We don’t know until we see it! Simply send your best, most powerful, unpublished work by email or snail mail. All five finalists will be published online in the June/July 2020 issue of Gemini. Both new and experienced writers have won our contests. Over four dozen winners/finalists may be read online. All entries are read blind so everyone gets an equal chance. We look forward to reading your work! Enter at www.gemini-magazine.com/shortstorycomp.html.

Contest :: Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest 2020

Deadline: April 1, 2020
19th year. Free contest sponsored by Winning Writers and Duotrope. $2,250 in cash prizes, including a top prize of $1,000. Both published and unpublished work welcome. All entries that win cash prizes will be published on WinningWriters.com. Final judge: Jendi Reiter, assisted by Lauren Singer Ledoux. Winning Writers is one of “101 Best Websites for Writers” (Writer’s Digest). See guidelines, past winners, and submit one humor poem online at winningwriters.com/wergle.

Contest :: Prime Number Magazine 2020 Awards

Prime Number Magazine logo

Deadline: March 31, 2020
$1,000 first prize in each category plus publication in Prime Number Magazine. Reading fee $15. Poetry judged by Adrian Rice, author of The Strange Estate: New & Selected Poems, 1986-2017. Short Fiction judged by Wendy J. Fox, winner of the first Press 53 Award for Short Fiction for The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories. Open January 1 to March 31. Submit online through Submittable. Details at www.Press53.com/prime-number-magazine-awards.

Contest :: The Masters Review Anthology IX

The Masters Review Anthology IX Contest flier

Deadline: March 29, 2020
The Masters Review opens submissions to produce our annual anthology, a collection of ten stories and essays written by the best emerging authors. Our aim is to showcase ten writers who we believe will continue to produce great work. The ten winners are nationally distributed in a printed book with their stories and essays exposed to top agents, editors, and authors across the country. This year, the anthology contest will be judged by Rick Bass. We’re looking for your best work up to 7000 words. Please note you must not have published a novel-length work at the time of submission. mastersreview.com/anthology/

Contest :: Flying South 2020

$2,000 in prizes. From March 1 to May 31, Flying South 2020, a publication of Winston Salem Writers, will be accepting entries for prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Best in Category winners will be published and receive $500 each. One of the three winners will receive The WSW President’s Favorite award and win an additional $500. All entries will be considered for publication. For full details, please visit our website: www.wswriters.org.

Prime Number Magazine February/March 53-Word Story Contests

Prime Number Mag logoEvery month, Prime Number Magazine (published by Press 53) offers a free contest, inviting writers to respond to a prompt in 53 words.

February’s prompt was: This month, the Kansas City Chiefs return to the Super Bowl after a fifty-year run of coming up short. Vegas will run the numbers and the 49ers will run the ball. Many expect the Chiefs to run the table. In this spirit, let’s run with the word that has the most dictionary definitions.

The winning story by Elizabeth Barton will appear in the next issue of Prime Number Magazine, releasing April 1.

You still have a couple weeks if you’d like to submit to the March 53-Word Contest (deadline March 21). This month’s prompt: On March 17, people everywhere, regardless of ancestry, will wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Green can also mean someone is envious, sick, or inexperienced. Green fruit is not ripe. The Green Party protects our environment. And putting well on a green can lead to a pro golfer winning a lot of green.

Find full submission details, check out past winners, and see what’s up with the Prime Number Magazine Awards for Poetry & Short Fiction at the journal’s website.

Contests :: the Missouri Review 13th Annual Miller Audio Prize

the Missouri Review 2020 Miller Audio flier

The Missouri Review invites audio submissions of 15 minutes or less in the categories of poetry, prose, humor, and audio documentary. Winners in each category receive $1000, publication on our website, and promotion on our social media platforms. This year’s guest judge is Alex Sujong Laughlin. All entrants receive a free digital subscription, and the first 100 entrants will also get a free e-book of their choice from Missouri Review Books. New deadline: May 1. www.missourireview.com/contests/audio-contest/