Thursday, June 25, 2020

38 Writing Contests in July 2020 - No entry fees

This July there are more than three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $100,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

If you want to get a jump on next month's contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck!


Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. Book must be author's first full-length book of poetry, published between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Self-published books are accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: July 1, 2020.

The Novel PrizeGenre: Book-length work of literary fiction written in English. Prize: $10,000.  Deadline: July 1, 2020.

Richard J. Margolis AwardGenre: Journalism. Prize is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. Prize: $5,000 and one month of residency at Blue Mountain Center. Deadline: July 1, 2020.

Emmy Awards - Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting AwardRestrictions: Non-US citizens under the age of 30 only. Prize: $2,500, a trip to New York City, and an invitation to the International Emmy® Awards Gala in November. DeadlineJuly 1, 2020.

1455’s Second Teen Poetry ContestRestrictions: Writers aged 13-19. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500.  Deadline: July 1, 2020.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. The work submitted must be a first book of poetry published between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Manuscripts, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted. Prize: $100,000. Deadline: July 1, 2020.

Green Stories Writing CompetitionGenre: Full length adult novel about building a sustainable society. Prize: £750: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission. Deadline: July 2, 2020.

Reedsy. Genre: Short stories about Superpowers. 1,000 - 3,000 words. Prize: $50. Deadline: July 3, 2020.

The Margaret and Reg Turnill CompetitionRestrictions: Writers must be 21 or under on July 6. (Those over 21 can enter for a fee.) Genre: Short story on theme of "Time." Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words. Prize: £1,000 and publication in the annual HG Wells Short Story Competition Anthology.  Deadline: July 6, 2020.

Scottish Book Trust New Writers AwardsRestrictions: Scottish writers over 18 years of age. Genres: The awards are divided into three different categories.: Fiction and Narrative Non-fiction in English and Scots, Poetry in English and Scots, Children’s and Young Adult Fiction in English and Scots. Prize: £2,000 and personal development opportunities, which can include mentoring from writers and industry professionals. Training in PR, performance and presentation training, and the opportunity to showcase work to publishers and agents. Deadline: July 8, 2020 (midday).

Spectator. "Glastonbury and Glyndebourne have both fallen victim to Covid-19 this summer. To fill the gap you are invited to describe a visit to either in the style of an author of your choice. Please email up to 150 words/16 lines to Prize: ? Deadline: Midday on July 8, 2020.

Singapore Poetry ContestGenre: Poetry containing the word "Singapore" by anyone who is NOT a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 15, 2020.

Best of Kindness 2020 Poetry ContestGenre: Poetry on the theme of kindness. Prize: First Place - $100; Second Place - $50; Third Place - $25. Deadline: July 15, 2020.

New Roscommon Writing AwardRestrictions: All entrants must have a connection with the county of Roscommon (born in, living in, currently working in, went to school in, etc). Genres: Short stories. Prize: €500.00. Deadline: July 15, 2020.

Boardman Tasker PrizeRestrictions: Books published between 1st August 2019 and July 15, 2020 in the UK. Genre: Books with mountain,not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: July 15, 2020.

Arablit Story PrizeGenre: Short story translated from Arabic. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 15, 2020.

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for NonfictionRestrictions: Books must be English-language, first-edition trade books published by a Canadian press, written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Titles must be published between May 20, 2020 and September 30, 2020. Genre: Literary nonfiction including, among other forms, works of personal or journalistic essays, memoirs, commentary, criticism both social and political, history, and biography.    Prize: Winner: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000. DeadlineJuly 15, 2020.

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction PrizeGenre: Fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. Prize: $25,000 will be awarded to a novel or short-story collection published between May 20, 2019 and September 30, 2020. Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to each of the finalists. Deadline: July 15, 2020.

Enchanted ConversationGenreChristmas stories and poems.The stories should be between 500-600 words. Payment: $25. Deadline: July 17, 2020. Opens July 15.

Donn Goodwin and Joseph Gahagen Poetry Prizes: Milwaukee Irish FestGenre: Poetry. Entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 17, 2020.

Stone CanoeRestrictions: Open to people who live or have lived in Upstate New York (not New York City). Genres: Drama, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: July 8 - 22, 2020.  (Website is not clear whether the contest will be held in 2020.)

Stories to Change the WorldGenre: Positive short stories about Food Systems and Mental Health. Prize: $80. Deadline: July 26, 2020.

Pop Up Projects: DifferenceRestrictions: Open to writers and illustrators under 26 years old. Genre: Short stories. "Each story will explore or touch on the theme of difference. Stories can be inspired by the subject in any way – they might explore diversity or transformation, otherness or other worlds – wherever the writers and illustrators want to go!" Prize: £500. Deadline: July 30, 2020.

Bard Fiction Prize for Young WritersRestrictions: Open to a writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. Genre: Published fiction book. Prize: $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College. Deadline: July 30, 2020.

The John Byrne AwardRestrictions: Open to residents of Scotland. Genre: A piece of creative work on a chosen theme or value (written work must be no more than 15,000 words in length). Prize:  £7500. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Broken River Prize. Sponsored by Platypus Press. Genre: Poetry chapbook. Prize: $250/£200.    Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Lune Spark Young Writers' Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to writers 10-13 years old, and 13-16 years old. (Two categories.) Genre: Short story. Prize: $500 for first place; $250, 2nd place; $100, 3rd place. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year AwardRestrictions: Open to young poets age 11 - 17. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Publication. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Landfall Essay CompetitionRestrictions: Open to New Zealand writers. Genre: Essay about New Zealand. Prize: The winner will receive $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2015 semester. Genre: Essay: Abraham Lincoln: The Influence of Women on the Era of Abraham Lincoln Prize: 1st Prize $1500 | 2nd Prize $750 | 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Polar Expressions Publications Short Story and Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadians only. Genre: Short story, poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book AwardGenre: Book published in 2018 - 19 that illuminates the heritage of North America's mid-continental prairies, whether of the tall-grass, mid-grass, or short-grass regions. Authors' first books receive extra consideration. Books may be in any genre, and topics may include but are not limited to social or natural history; prairie culture of the past or in-the-making; and interactions between society and ecology. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-FictionRestrictions: The writer must be a resident of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or have been a resident in the UK or ROI for the past three years. Genre: Nonfiction book. Prize: Two awards – one of £10,000, one of £5,000 – are offered to support writers to complete their first commissioned works of non-fiction. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

BEECHMORE ARTS JOURNALISM COMPETITION. Genre: Journalism. "“The brief is broad: send us a piece of writing, up to 1000 words, which may include images, that explores any arts-related subject, written from a journalistic or critical perspective. We invite to you to review a local gallery exhibit, investigate a particular method of vocal training, compare two pieces of theatre – anything about which you have compelling ideas, a passionate interest and some sharp insight.” Prize: First prize - £200, second prize - £100. “We may publish other entries on our website in exchange for a reward of £50 each.” Open to writers worldwide. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

BEECHMORE LIFE WRITING COMPETITIONGenre: Prose. “Writing from your own life takes courage. Many people journal in private, but refining a piece of life writing so that it conveys a snippet of your reality is a real art….Send us a short piece of your best life writing, which we define as any creative prose with the essence of truth and a focus on the author’s personal experience.” Prize: First prize £200, second prize £100. “We may publish other entries on our website in exchange for a reward of £50 each.” Open to writers worldwide. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

2020 RCWMS Essay Contest. Restrictions: Open to women 18 years of age and older. Genre: Nonfiction essays of 1,200 words or less.” Essays “should focus on the theme ‘What has changed for you in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing racism in the USA, and the recent public response to police violence?’ We invite submissions that consider this theme in a variety of ways. What has changed for you? How are you responding? What have you lost or abandoned? What has sustained you during this time?” Prize: $300 for first place, $200 second, and $100 third. The winning essay will be published in the RCWMS newsletter, South of the Garden, in September or December 2020. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

Biopage. Genre: Personal essays about the pandemic. Prizes: Up to $1000. Deadline: July 31, 2020.

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