I am a fan of free writing contests:
1) Having a deadline forces you to finish your manuscript,
2) If you win, you can call yourself an "award-winning author" which is great for your pub cred. (That's like street cred - without the tattoos.)
3) And if the contest is free, what have you got to lose?
The Fountain 100th Issue Essay Contest
Deadline: November 30, 2014
You and Your 100-Year-Old Self
The Fountain invites you celebrate their 100th issue by writing an essay to yourself on your 100th birthday. What would you say to yourself at that age? What would your 100-year-old self tell you back? Would it be a conversation of praise and/or regret? Perhaps praise for the achievements in your career, but regrets about a lost family? Or warnings about the mistakes you made in your projected future or in your past; pitfalls you happened to be dragged into, temptations you could not resist; or celebrations for the good character you were able to display and sustain over a life; a precious life wasted or a life lived as it was meant to be.
• Contest open to all writers worldwide
• Essay word count must be between 1,500 and 2,500 words
• Essays must be submitted through the essay contest page at www.fountainmagazine.com/essaycontest
• Cash prizes:
1st Place - $1,500
2nd Place - $750
3rd Place - $300
Two Honorable Mentions - $200 each
Deadline: November 3, 2104
Submit a manuscript of no more than 3,000 words. All works of fiction must in some way incorporate “Crush” — as a theme, a metaphor, or some good ol' fashioned puppy love. Be creative, take risks, and send us your best work. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, feel free to write drunk and edit sober. Either way, the word count is strictly enforced.
1st place, $500
2nd place, $250
3rd place, $100
Deadline is Mon., Nov. 3, 5 p.m.
Winners will be published in Creative Loafing and honored at an awards ceremony.
The Culture Trip Award
Deadline: November 30, 2014
"We are offering a $3,000 prize for the entrant whose article attains the highest readership within 3 months of publication. We will also provide every competitor with detailed information on the readership his/her article attracted."
• USD $3,000 for the most-read article
• USD $2,000 for the second most-read article
• USD $1,000 for the third most-read article
• Honourable mentions on social media for the 10 most-read articles
• First or second degree students within final year of degree program; or students who graduated since May 2013
• Interest in a career in art, culture, food, travel sector
• Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asap and no later than November 30, 2014, with 'Trial article - topic request' in the subject line, to receive your allocated title for an initial trial article
• Receive your trial article topic within 5 working days
• Submit your trial article no later than December 30, 2014
We will judge the trial articles on quality of writing, structure, research, readability. If successful, you will be invited to submit your competition article(s) asap and no later than January 15, 2015. You can choose your competition article(s) topic(s) as long as it is within The Culture Trip's remit and it pertains to one or more countries. If preferred, The Culture Trip can set you a topic.
We aim to edit and publish successful trial articles (between December 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015) and suitable competition articles (between February 15 and April 15, 2015).
Competition entries will be published between February 15, 2015 and April 15, 2015
Award Ceremony and Press:
• September 30, 2015, London. Flights/transportation and accommodation covered by The Culture Trip (for the three winners)
For more information on style, formatting and length, please refer to published articles, as well as The Culture Trip’s writing guide: theculturetrip.com/write-articles/
Deadline: November 1, 2014
The Vermont Writer's Prize is sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine, is open to Vermont writers, including seasonal residents and students enrolled in Vermont colleges.
Genres: Short stories, poetry, plays, or essays on the subject of Vermont.
Prize: $1500 and publication.
Read details here.
Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing
Deadline: November 5, 2014
Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada between July 9, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Self-published books are not eligible.
Genre: A book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life.
Prize: Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500.
Read details here.
William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers
Deadline: November 15, 2014
Restrictions: Writers must not have published a book, short story, or dramatic work in the mystery field, either in print, electronic, or audio form.
Genre: Mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type - i.e., “traditional mysteries.” These works usually feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex.
Prize: Each grant may be used to offset registration, travel, or other expenses related to attendance at a writers' conference or workshop within a year of the date of the award (no later than May 2016). In the case of nonfiction, the grant may be used to offset research expenses. Each grant currently includes a $1,500 award plus a comprehensive registration for the following year's convention and two nights' lodging at the convention hotel, but does not include travel to the convention or meals.
Read details here.
Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize
Deadline: November 15th, 2014
This prize is sponsored by the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival.
Genre: Non-fiction essay between 4 to 10 pages, set in Brooklyn about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters.. (Up to 2500 words).
Read details here.
The Caregiver Story Contest
Deadline: November, 30, 2014
This contest is held by Shield HealthCare. Their annual caregiver story contest is on “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?”
Genre: Nonfiction, inspirational.
Prize: Top 3 Story Winner Prizes: $500 American Express Gift Card, One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine.
Entry form and details here.
IV Edition of the International Flash Fiction Competition
Deadline: November 23rd. 2014
"Museum of Words"
The slogan of this contest edition will be, Mandela: Words and Concord. The rules of the competition are as follows:
Writers from any country may enter their microfiction into the competition.
Submitted stories must be original creations; writers are free to cover any subject.
Writers may only enter a maximum of two stories. Stories may be written in the following languages: Hebrew, English, Arabic or Spanish.
A first prize of $20,000 will be awarded to the winning story. The three remaining finalist stories in the remaining language categories will receive a $2000 runner up prize.
Stories must not exceed 100 words. Entries must be sent exclusively by filling in the entry form that can be found on the foundation website: www.fundacioncesaregidoserrano.com or www.museodelapalabra.com. All stories entered must be original, unpublished in all means (paper, electronic publications, network...) and have not been awarded in any other contest. Those who do not meet this condition will forfeit the entry.
The author certifies that the story sent is of his own authorship.
The competition will end on November 23rd, 2014 GMT+1, on the International Day of the Word as Bond of Humankind.
The finalists will be judged by a selected jury. The list of finalist’s titles will be published on the website of the César Egido Serrano Foundation.
The César Egido Serrano Foundation reserves the right to publish the finalist’s stories.
The decision of the jury is final.
Entry in this contest implies the total acceptance of their rules.
Texts failing to comply with any of the rules will be disqualified.
2015 Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award
Deadline: Nov. 17, 2014
Also see: 2015 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for women authors living in Wyoming
This award is designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers. Poets, fiction writers, essayists, and script writers who have published no more than one book in each genre and who are not students or faculty members are invited to apply by submitting manuscripts and an entry form by the deadline.
Guidelines for the 2014 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards
You may enter if you meet the following requirements:
*You must not be a full-time college student or full-time college faculty.
* You must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of Wyoming, living in the state for at least ten months of the year, since July 1, 2013.
* To receive an award, you must remain a Wyoming resident until Dec. 31, 2015, living in the state for at least ten months of the year.
*You must not have received a Blanchan or Doubleday award in the last four years. You may apply for these awards if you received a 2013 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.
* You may not have received a 2015 Arts Council creative writing fellowship.
* You may enter if you have never published a book, if you’ve published only one full-length book of fiction, poetry or nonfiction, or if you have published no more than one book of poetry, one of fiction, and one of nonfiction (self-publication excluded).
* Submit work in one genre only (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or script).
* Writing may have been previously published.
* Manuscript must be consecutively page-numbered. Include title of work and page numbers on each page.
* Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
* If you submit more than the allowed page limits (see below), extra pages will be removed; you will not be notified.
* If novel or play/film synopses are part of the manuscript (this is often helpful to the juror), include them in the total page number count.
* Poetry, maximum length: 10 pages. Type single-spaced, with no more than one poem per page.
* Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced.
* Drama and screenplays, maximum length: 25 pages. Must be typed and presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for the type of script submitted.
* You may enter each competition once only, by Nov. 17, 2014.
After you submit your application:
* Your name and credentials are not available to juror; all manuscripts are identified by number. Juror will not critique individual manuscripts.
* Manuscripts will not be returned.
If you win an award:
* Winners will be notified after Jan. 12, 2015.
* You’ll receive $1,000 (after Jan. 12, 2015). At the discretion of the juror, no award may be given.
* You’ll sign a contract which verifies that you’re eligible to receive this award.
* You must remain a resident of the state through Dec. 31, 2015, living within its borders for at least ten months of the year.
* You’ll need to supply a resume and photograph for publicity, and the Council will ask permission to publish some of your work in its publications.
* You’ll retain the right of publication to the work you produce during the award period.
* You must fill out a final report, due June 1, 2015, which asks questions about how this award helped you and what you accomplished during the year. There are no requirements regarding work you complete during the award period or how you use the funds.
* You will receive an additional stipend to travel to Casper in September 2015 to read your work along with the Doubleday winner and the contest judge at the annual Casper College Literary Conference.