Tuesday, November 24, 2015

45 Writing Contests in December 2015 - No Entry Fees

Painting of Russian writer Evgeny Chirikov by Ivan Kulikov, 1904
There is something about the last month of the year that inspires deadlines.

December boasts of no fewer than 45 free writing contests, encompassing a broad range of forms and genres.

There are prizes this month for published books, for unpublished manuscripts, for poetry, short stories, essays, memoirs, mysteries, and nonfiction.

None of these competitions charge an entry fee.



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The Schneider Family Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association. The award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

Prize: Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations).

Genre: May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read details here.

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Poetry Center at Smith College Prize.

Restrictions: Open to sophomore or junior high school girls in New England.

Genre: Poetry.

Prize: $500.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read details here.

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The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history.

Prize: $1.000.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read guidelines here.

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The Lyric College Poetry Contest.

Restrictions: Open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university.

Genre: Poetry.

Prize: $500.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read details here.

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The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.

Genre: Military fiction.

Prize: $5000.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. For details click HERE.

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Spark Award: Held by SCBWI.

Restrictions: Open to members of SCBWI who are self-published.

Genres: Fiction and nonfiction, self-published.

Prize: Envy. The SCBWI is our most prestigious national organization (US) for children's book and YA writers.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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The Pushcart Prize honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in small presses and literary magazines. Magazine and small press editors may nominate up to six works. Pushcart Press publishes yearly anthologies of the winning submissions.

Prize: Publication.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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Tony Quagliano Poetry Fund, International Poetry Award.

Restrictions: Open to poets who have a published body of work over a period of years. Poems must be in English.

Genre: Poetry.

Prize: $1,000.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry.

Restrictions: Open to African poets who have not yet published a collection of poetry.

Genre: Poetry.

Prize: $1,000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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David J. Langum Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction.

Restrictions: Self-published and subsidized novels are not eligible.

Genre: American Historical Fiction.

Prize: $1,000

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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Quantum Shorts.

Genre: Flash fiction (1000 words max). The story must be inspired by quantum physics.

Prize: $1,500

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Requires registration.

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Words and Brushes.

Genre: Short story inspired by one of the pieces of art on the website.

Prize: $300

Deadline: December 1, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) provides direct support to individual Bronx artists who create literary, media, visual, and performing works of art.

Restrictions: Residents of the Bronx

Prize: 25 BRIO grants of $3,000 each are awarded to Bronx artists. BRIO award winners complete a one-time public service activity.

Deadline: December 4, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

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White River Environmental Law Writing Competition is sponsored by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School.

Restrictions: Open to all students currently pursuing a degree (J.D. or LL.M) at an accredited law school in the United States. Submissions written as a class component, as a journal requirement, or otherwise for academic credit are acceptable.

Genre: Original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law.

Prize: $1000 cash prize and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law.

Deadline: December 9, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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Friends of American Writers. 

Restrictions: The author must be a resident (or previously have been a resident for approximately five years) of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin; or the locale of the book must be in a region identified above. The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name.

Genres: Books can be fiction or creative non-fiction and published in 2015. Self-published and e-Books are not eligible.

Prize: $4000.

Deadline: December 10, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest.

Genre: Unpublished short story, no more than 2,500 words.

Prize: $1,500 to be divided among the five winners. Manuscript will be published in early winter in The Austin Chronicle.

Deadline: December 11, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

Genre: Uncompleted work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern.

Prize: $30,000 fellowship.

Deadline: December 11, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.

Genre: Book-length work of narrative nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern.

Prize: $10,000.

Deadline: December 11, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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Mark Lynton History Prize.

Genre: Book-length work of history on any topic that "best combines intellectual distinction with felicity of expression."

Prize: $10,000.

Deadline: December 11, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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Rider University Annual High School Writing Contest.

Restrictions: Open to high school students.

Genres: Essays, poetry, fiction.

Prizes: 1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$25.

Deadline: December 11, 2015. Read more details HERE.

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Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Novel Competition.

Restrictions: The competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any published novel (except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel.

Genre: Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.

Prize: $10,000.

Deadline: December 14, 2015. Entry form and details here.

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Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest.

Restrictions: Registered undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2015 Semester.

Genre: Essay on  any topic that explores the theme of ethics. 3,000 to 4,000 words.

Prize: $5,000. 2nd Prize $2,500, 3rd Prize $1,500, two Honorable Mentions $500 each.

Deadline: December 14, 2015. Read details here.

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Christopher Doheny Award.

Genre: Fiction or non-fiction book-length manuscript on the topic of serious physical illness by a writer who has personally dealt or is dealing with life-threatening illness, either his or her own or that of a close relative or friend.

Prize: $10,000 and production and promotion of the book in an audio edition, with the option to pursue print publication with Audible's assistance.

Deadline: December 15, 2015. Read details here.

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Black Caucus of the American Library Association. BCALA presents four awards to an African American writer published in the United States during the previous year: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a first novelist and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.

Restrictions: African American writers

Genres: Books, published

Prize: Four $500.00 awards.

Deadline: December 18, 2015. Details here.

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Amazon Little A Poetry Contest.

Restrictions: Open to US poets who have published no more than one book of poetry.

Genre: Poetry; full-length collection.

Prize: The winner will receive $5,000 in prize money and a publishing contract featuring a $2,000 advance with Little A, Amazon Publishing’s literary imprint.

Deadline: December 20, 2015. Read details here.

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Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards.

Restrictions: Open to residents of California.

Genre: Book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction.

Prize: Medal.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Entry form here.

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Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.

Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter.

Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published.

Prize: $1,000.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Read details here.

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Lucille Medwick Memorial Award.

Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter.

Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme.

Prize: $500.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Read details here.

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Cecil Hemley Memorial Award.

Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter.

Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern.

Prize: $500.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Read details here.

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Lyric Poetry Award.

Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter.

Genre: A lyric poem on any subject.

Prize: $500.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Read details here.

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The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award.

Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free.

Genre: A poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style.

Prize: $250.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Read details here.

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Robert H. Winner Memorial Award.

Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. There is a charge of $15 for non-members. Open to mid-career poets who have not had substantial recognition, and is over forty, and who have published no more than one book.

Genre: Poetry.

Prize: $2,500.

Deadline: December 22, 2015. Read details here.

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The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction.

Prize: $10,000.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. The winners are announced in the spring. Read full submission guidelines HERE.

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GENEii Award. The Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors its annual family-history writing contest to support and encourage the writing of family history, local history, and memoirs, both by genealogists and by the public at large.

Genre: Nonfiction.

Prize: $200.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read full submission guidelines HERE.

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The Push [START] to Begin Chapbook Contest.

Genres: Chapbook-length collections of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and hybrid work inspired by video games. For fiction or non-fiction submissions, a word count between 5,000 and 20,000 is preferable. For poetry, 10 to 30 poems is best, depending on their length.

Prize: $150.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry Prize.

Restrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada.

Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award.

Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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Society of Classical Poets, Poetry Competition.

Genre: Poetry. Three to five poems, each of which does not exceed 50 lines. The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society (at least one poem must be in the Falun Dafa theme or about the plight of the Chinese people under communism in general).

Prize: First Prize: $500.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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Caribbean Writer Prizes.

Restrictions: Open to Caribbean authors.

Prizes: The Virgin Islands Daily News Prize for a fiction or nonfiction essay to an author residing in the U.S. or British Virgin Islands. $500; The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for best short fiction $400; The Gilbert Literary Prize $500; The David Hough Literary Prize to a Caribbean author $500; The Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize to an emerging Caribbean author $500; The First Lady Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize to a Caribbean author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean $500; and The Charlotte & Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for first-time publication in The Caribbean Writer $250.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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Golfwell's Annual Golf Story Writing Competition.

Genre: Original unpublished golf stories: Fact or Fiction.

Prize: First Prize $300.00 - 2nd Prize $150.00 - 3rd Prize $50.00 and First, Second and Third Prizes receive publication as the "Golfwell.net Best Golf Stories Ever Heard."

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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Gover Story Prize.

Genres: Short fiction and creative nonfiction.

Prize: annual cash prize ($250) and publication in Best New Writing for the best fiction and creative nonfiction under 10,000 words. Finalists are also published in Best New Writing.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Submit HERE.

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Kansas Book Award.

Restrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim.

Genre: Book of poems.

Prize: $1,000.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest.

Genre: Speculative fiction prose, up to 17,000 words.

Prize: $1,000 with $5,000 grand prize.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.

Restrictions: Open to first-generation residents of the United States. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated to the U.S., or to American-born residents whose parents were born elsewhere.

Genre: Unpublished fiction and nonfiction books.

Prize: $10,000 and publication.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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SPS Studios Poetry Card Contest.

Genre: Poem.

Prize: $300.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

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William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition.

Restrictions: Open to students attending allopathic or osteopathic schools of medicine in the United States and Canada.

Genre: Poetry.

Prize: $300.

Deadline: December 31, 2015. Read details HERE.

2 comments:

  1. As I see the restrictions of each of the contest, I guess that none of the contest is open to Indian nationals. Why it is so?

    ReplyDelete
  2. A number of these contests are open to international writers. If you don't see a restriction, that means anyone can enter.

    ReplyDelete

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