Wednesday, October 28, 2020

44 Writing Contests in November 2020 - No entry fees

This November 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 $50,000 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!

(Photo credit: Pixabay)


 Undiscovered Voices Fellowship. "The Writer’s Center seeks promising writers in the Washington area earning less than $25,000 annually to apply. This program will provide complimentary writing workshops to the selected applicant for a period of one year, but not to exceed 8 workshops in that year (and not to include independent studies). We expect the recipient will use the year to make progress toward a completed manuscript of publishable work." Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Weird Christmas Flash ContestGenre: Weird flash fiction. 350 words max. Prize: $50 first prize, $25 second prize. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers.  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. Deadline: November 1, 2020. Read details here.

Commonwealth Short Story PrizeRestrictions: Open to citizens of the British  Commonwealth.     Genre: Unpublished short fiction (2,000-5,000 words) in English. Short stories translated into English from other languages are also eligible. Prize: Regional winners receive £2,500 (US$3,835) and the overall winner will receive £5,000 (US$7,670). Deadline: November 1, 2020. 

Quarterly WestRestrictions: Free for writers of color. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1000. Deadline: November 1, 2020. 

Treehouse Climate Action Poem PrizeRestrictions: Open to US poets for previously unpublished poems of any length that "help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present." Genre: Poetry. Prize: Up to $1,000. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Gotham Book PrizeGenre: Book. "The Gotham Book Prize is awarded once a year to the best book (works of fiction and nonfiction are eligible) published that calendar year that either is about New York City or takes place in New York City." Prize: $50,000. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Defenstration.netGenre: Flash fiction Suite: at least three flash fiction works that correlate, and build to something greater. Prize: $75. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Systems Change AllianceGenre: Flash fiction. "Give us a snapshot into a post-pandemic world in which a shift towards positive systems change has occurred and a new paradigm is established or unfolding." Prize: 1st Prize – 300 EU, 2 Runners Up – 100 EU. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

The SpectatorGenre: You are invited to write a poem with each line beginning with the letters A S D F G H J K L Z X C V B N M, in that order. Please email entries to .  Prize: £30. Deadline: November 4, 2020.

Man Booker International Prize. The Man Booker International Prize for fiction translated into English is awarded annually by the Booker Prize Foundation to the author of the best (in the opinion of the judges) eligible novel or collection of short stories. Prize: £50,000 divided equally between the author and the translator. There will be a prize of £2,000 each of the shortlisted titles divided equally between the author and the translator. DeadlineNovember 6, 2020 for works published between May 1 and December 31, 2020.

The Observer Graphic Novel Contest. Genre: Graphic novel. PrizeThe first prize is £1,000 and publication in The Observer New Review. The runner-up will receive £250 and their work will appear on DeadlineNovember 6, 2020.

Reedsy. Genre: Story based on a prompt. Length: 1000 - 3000 words. Prize: $50. DeadlineNovember 6, 2020.

Society of Classical Poets, Ekphrastic ContestGenre: Write a poem based on a given photo.   Prize$100. DeadlineNovember 8, 2020.

Dylan Thomas PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be aged 39 or under. Eligible books must have been commercially published for the first time in the English language between January 1 and December 31 of the year in which the deadline falls. Genre: Published books of poetry, fiction (novel, novella, or short story collection), radio scripts, or screenplays. Prize: 30,000 pounds, plus 1,000 pounds for shortlisted authors. Deadline: November 9, 2020.

Women's Prize for FictionGenre: Published book by a woman. Entrants must be writing in English and must be published in the UK. All subject matters and women of any age, from any nationality or country of residence are eligible. Prize: £30,000.00. DeadlineNovember 9, 2020. (Their website is hard to navigate.)

So to SpeakRestrictions: Fee-Free for Black and Indigenous Writers. Genre: Feminist fiction. Prize: $500 and publication. DeadlineNovember 10, 2020.

The SpectatorGenre: You are invited to supply a prequel to a well-known poem (please specify). Please email entries of up to 16 lines to Prize: £30. Deadline: November 11, 2020.

Arts & Letters AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Genres: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, art, music, and French language. Entries must be unpublished and completed during the previous 12 months. Prizes: C$1,000 and C$250. Deadline: November 13, 2020.

The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging WritersRestrictions: PEN America will only accept submissions from editors of eligible publications. Authors may not submit their own short story for this award. Genre: First published short story. Prize: $2000 and publication in The PEN America Best Debut Short Stories. Deadline: November 15, 2020.

Frontier OpenGenre: Poem. Prize: $5000. Deadline: November 15, 2020.

The Marfield Prize, also known as the National Award for Arts Writing, is given annually by the Arts Club of Washington to nonfiction books about the arts written for a broad audience. Genre: Non-fiction book. Self-published books not accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: November 16, 2020.

One Teen StoryRestrictions: Open to writers age 13 -19. Genre: Short story between 2,000 to 4,500 words. Prize: $500 upon publication and 25 copies of the magazine. Deadline: November 20, 2020. 

Erewash. Genre: Poem or story using the word Course. You can submit poetry up to 40 lines or a max 500-word story Prize: £10. Deadline: November 26, 2020. 

Polar Expressions Publications Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300, $200, $100. Deadline: November 27, 2020.

Hope Mill Theatre Playwrighting PrizeRestrictions: Open to UK residing writers, age 16 years and over. Genre: Play, one hour long. Prize: £5,000. Deadline: November 27, 2020.

Leonard L. Milberg '53 High School Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Student writers in the 11th grade. Prizes: First Prize – $500, Second Prize – $250, Third Prize – $100. Deadline: November 27, 2020.

Paul Torday Memorial PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be over 60. Genre: First published novel. The novel must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020. Prize: £1,000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

ServicescapeGenre: Short story or nonfiction up to 5,000 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Betty Trask PrizeRestrictions: Author must be a Commonwealth citizen. Genre: First novels, published or unpublished, written by authors under the age of 35 in a "traditional or romantic, but not experimental, style." Prize: Awards totaling 20,000 pounds. Top prize 10,000 pounds. The prize money must be used for foreign travel. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young WritersRestrictions: Open to writers aged 16-18. Genre: Poem (1). Prize: Full scholarship to The Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop, an intensive two-week summer seminar for writers aged 16-18. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Somerset Maugham AwardsRestrictions: Open to UK writers under the age of 35. Genre: Published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Prize: 2,500 pounds apiece to four winners. Prize money must be used for travel. Deadline: November 30, 2020. 

UNT Rilke PrizeRestrictions: US citizens or residents. Open to authors with at least two prior published books of poetry. Genre: Book of poetry published between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: November 30, 2020. 

AVBOB Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to any citizen of South Africa. Genre: Poetry.   Prize: R10,000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Brunel International African Poetry PrizeRestrictions: The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize. Genre: Poetry. Prize: £3000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

J. F. Powers Prize for Short FictionGenre: Short fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Unified Caring Association Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to US High School Juniors and Seniors. Genre: Essay. Choose one category: Children, Animals, Reforestation or Elderly. Word count: 500 words minimum. Prize: 10 first prizes of $550 scholarship; 10 honorable mention essays will each receive a $250 scholarship. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Back To School ContestGenre: Story about a school memory. 20 words max. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Better Than StarbucksGenre: Metrical poetry. Your sonnet can be shakespearean, petrarchan, spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is fine, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. They'll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Prize: $100.  Deadline: November 30, 2020. Previously published work accepted.

Renee Duke Youth Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to young poets age 17 and under. Genre: Poem relating to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Prize: $100. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Anita McAndrews Poetry AwardGenre: Poetry on theme of human rights. Familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is recommended. Prize: First prize $200, Second prize $50. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Gasher First Book ScholarshipRestrictions: Open to US residents. Genre: First book. Prize: $250. This scholarship is to provide financial assistance to a writer submitting their first book.  Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Paper Djinn Story-Writing Contest. Genre: Science Fiction. Theme: Imagine a world where androids are a sentient, self-governing race and co-exist with human beings. The two civilizations live and work together, make friends and enemies of each other, and engage in trade and war as any two nations on Earth. Prize: $10. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Black Hare Press: Dialogue Only ContestGenre: Short story, of up to 5,000 words, written entirely in dialogue form. At least one character must be from a speculative fiction world (alien, superhero, werewolf, zombie, vampire, faerie, etc). Prize: $100, $50, $10 (AUD). Deadline: November 30, 2020.

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