Monday, December 27, 2021

67 Writing Contests in January 2022 - No entry fees

This January there are more than four dozen writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and short plays. Prizes range from $60,000 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!

(Image: Pixabay)


Defenestration Lengthy Poem ContestGenre: Lengthy poem (at least 3 pages). Prize: $300. Deadline: January 1, 2022.

Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry AwardGenre: Poem, 3-10 pages long, that demonstrates a "truly inventive spirit." Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: January 1, 2022.

Vermont Writers' PrizeRestrictions: Open to residents of Vermont. Genres: Short story, poem, play or essay on the theme of Vermont - its people, places, history or values. Entries must be unpublished and fewer than 1,500 words long. Writers may submit only one entry per year. Prize: $1,250 and publication in Vermont MagazineDeadline: January 1, 2022.

elements&flour//LOAFOFBREAD ContestGenre: Translations in Poetry. You may submit three pieces maximum of translated works. Prize: $200. Deadline: January 1, 2022. (Extended)

Tony Hillerman Prize. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press. Genre: Debut mystery novel set in Southwest. Prize: $10,000 advance against royalties and publication, Deadline: January 1, 2022.

Texas Institute of Letters Literary AwardsRestrictions: Entrants must have resided in Texas for at least 2 consecutive years, or have been born in Texas. Genre: Book (published). 11 different categories. Prize: $6,000. Deadline: January 3, 2022.

BOA Editions — Blessing the Boats SelectionsGenre: Poetry by Women of Color. Prize: $5,000 + Publication. Deadline: January 5, 2022.

The SpectatorGenre: Vindalism. ‘You are invited to provide an example of pretentious wine-writing. Please email your entries of up to 150 words to  Prize: £30. Deadline: January 5, 2022.

Japan Center-Canon Essay Competition. The aim of the Japan Center Essay Competition is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in the United States and to help young Americans broaden their international horizons. Genre: Essay. Contestants should write, in English, one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal views, experiences, and/or future goals. (Contestants do not need to have any experience in visiting Japan or studying Japanese. Prize: Best Essay Award in the High School Division: 1st Place: $3,000 and a Canon camera, 2nd Place: $1,500 and a Canon camera, 3rd Place: $750 and a Canon camera; Best Essay Award in the College Division: $3,000 and a Canon camera; Uchida Memorial Award: $1,000 and a Canon camera; Merit Award: $200 (each) for up to five awards. Deadline: January 8, 2022.

The Prism Prize for Climate LiteratureRestrictions: Open to USA and UK writers. Genre: Full-length book: fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction writing in the emerging genre of climate literature. Prize: $1000 and publication. Deadline: January 8, 2022. 

Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) provides direct support to individual Bronx artists who create literary, media, visual, and performing works of art. Prize: 25 BRIO grants of $3,000 each are awarded to Bronx artists. BRIO award winners complete a one-time public service activity. Deadline: January 10, 2022.

Northern California Book AwardsRestrictions: Books written by authors based in northern California and published for the first time the previous calendar year are eligible for nomination. Genre: Published book. Prize: $100. Deadline: January 10, 2022.

Bethesda Urban Partnership Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of Washington, DC and select counties in Maryland and Virginia. Genre: Essays. Length: 500 words maximum. Prize: $500 in adult category (age 18+) and $250 in high school category (ages 14-17). Deadline: January 10, 2022.

Bethesda Magazine Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of Washington, DC and select counties in Maryland and Virginia. Genre: Short stories. Length: 4000 words maximum. Prize: $500 in adult category (age 18+) and $250 in high school category (ages 14-17). Deadline: January 10, 2022.

Novel SlicesGenre: Section of novel, 4,000 - 6,000 words. Prize: $175. Deadline: January 10, 2022.

The SpectatorGenre: Have I got news for you. ‘You are invited to retell a news story from the past year in sonnet form. Please email entries to  Prize: £30. Deadline: January 12, 2022.

Author Mentor MatchGenre: Completed YA or MG manuscript. Prize: Mentorship by published author. Deadline: January 12 - 14, 2022.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Restrictions: The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; US students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program; and US citizens attending schools overseas. Genre: Essay on an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1956. Prize: The first-place winner receives $10,000 comprised of a $5,000 cash award and $5,000 from John Hancock. The second-place winner receives $1,000. Up to five finalists receive $500 each. Deadline: January 14, 2022.

Apparition LitGenre: Flash fiction up to 1000 words on theme. Prize: $30. Deadline: January 14, 2022. See themes.

French-American Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: Book. Best English translation of French in both fiction and non-fiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 14, 2022.

Encore Award. Restrictions: Open to British or Commonwealth citizens. Genre: Second published novel. Book must have been first published in the UK. Prize: 10,000 pounds. Deadline: January 14, 2022.

Andres Montoya Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to Latino authors who are residents of the US. Genre: First book of poetry published by a Latino author. Prize: $1,000 and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press. Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Lilith Magazine Fiction CompetitionGenre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250.  Deadline: January 15, 2022. (Deadline extended)

Defenstration Flash Suite Contest. Genre: Flash fiction. "“A series of at least three flash fiction works that correlate, and build to something greater.  Recurring characters, extended motifs, harmonious subject matters, and/or sustained narrative are such correlations– but we encourage innovation and new ideas." Prize: $75. Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Moving Words Poetry Competition for AdultsGenre: Poems of 10 lines or less that will be displayed inside Arlington Transit buses. Prize: $250. Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Janet Heidinger Kafka PrizeRestrictions: Open to women, US citizens only. Genre: Novel. All entries must be submitted by publishers who wish to have the work of their authors that were published in the year 2018 considered. No self-published works or works from vanity presses will be accepted. Prize: $7,500. Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American HistoryGenre: Essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. Prize: $2,500.  Deadline: January 15, 2022.

The Levis Reading Prize is sponsored by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Restrictions: The prize is given annually for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year. Genre: Poetry.  Prize: $5000.  Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Stephen A DiBiase Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Arnold Adoff Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry books for children and young adults. Novels in verse, memoirs in verse, collections of original poetry, and edited collections are all acceptable formats for the awards. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 15, 2022.

WE Poetry Awards 2022Restrictions: Open to poets residing in India. Genre: Poetry. There are four awards: WE Kamala Das Poetry Award 2022, WE Eunice de Souza Poetry Awards 2022, WE Trailblazer Poet Teacher Award 2022, WE Gifted Poet Award (Emerging Voices) 2022. Prize: ?  Deadline: January 15, 2022.

Novella-in-Flash AwardGenre: Flash fiction/Novella. 6000 to 18000 word limit – each flash should not be more than about 1000 words. Prize: £300 prize for the winner, two runner-up prizes of £100. Deadline: January 16, 2022.

Discoveries PrizeRestrictions: Open to female novelists of all ages and backgrounds, from across the UK and Ireland. Genre: Novel in progress. Prize: The winner will be offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000. Deadline: January 17, 2022.

Bethesda Poetry ContestGenres: Poetry. Adult and high school student categories. Restrictions: Residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible. Prizes: First place: $350, published on The Writer's Center's blog and magazine, and a free class and membership to The Writer's Center. Second Place: $250. Third Place: $150. Honorable Mention: $75. Prize for high school students, $75. All winners will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership website and honored at a special event during the Local Writer's Showcase. Deadline: January 17, 2022.

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay ContestRestrictions: 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 Topic: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. 3,000 to 4,000 words. Prize: First Prize $5,000, 2nd Prize $2,500, 3rd Prize $1,500, two Honorable Mentions $500 each. Deadline: January 18, 2022. 

Hindsight Climate Change Contest. Restrictions: Open to works of creative nonfiction by undergraduate students currently attending the University of Colorado, Boulder. Work made by non CU undergraduates can still be submitted as long as it was created while an undergrad. Genre: Creative nonfiction. Prize: First Place $600, Second Place  $400. Deadline: January 18, 2022. 

Poetry Society of Virginia - Student Contest. Restrictions: Open to students in Virginia, grades 3 - 12. Prize: $10 - $25. Deadline: January 19, 2022.

Washington State Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to Washington State writers. Genre: Published book, all genres. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 20, 2022.

Western Australian Premier's Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to authors who either are citizens or permanent residents of Western Australia. Genre: Book published during the preceding calendar year in a variety of genres. Prize: Up to A$60,000. Deadline: January 21, 2022.

Zocalo Public Square Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to US poets only. Genre: Poetry that evokes a connection to place. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 22, 2022. Note: Winning author gives up all rights.

Scottish Book Trust: Monthly CompetitionRestrictions: Open to four categories: adult writers, all-age Gaelic writers, young writers 5-11 and young writers 12-18. Genre: Short story based on prompts. (See site for prompt) Prize: Various items. Deadline: January 25, 2022.

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are awarded in fifteen different disciplines over a three-year period. Prize: $7,000 cash awards are made to individual originating artists living and working in the state of New York for unrestricted use. These fellowships are not project grants but are intended to fund an artist’s vision or voice, regardless of the level of his or her artistic development. Deadline: January 26, 2022.

Afro-Solarpunk FuturesRestrictions: Open to black authors only. Genre: Speculative micro-fiction. Length: 250 words max. Prize: $25. Deadline: January 27, 2022.

Technology Addiction Awareness ScholarshipRestrictions: Open to a high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior or a current or entering college or graduate school student of any level. Home schooled students are also eligible. There is no age limit. You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Genre: 500- to 1,000-word essay about technology addiction. Prize: $1000 scholarship.  Deadline: January 30, 2022.

The Hillman Prize for JournalismGenre: Journalism. "Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has honored journalists, writers and public figures that pursue investigative journalism and public policy in service of the common good." Prize: $5,000. Deadline: January 30, 2022.

The 2022 Stratford Literary Festival/Salariya Books Children's Picture Book CompetitionRestrictions: Open to residents of the UK and Ireland. Writers must be unpublished by a mainstream publisher. Genre: Children's picture book, unpublished. Prize: First prize: £1000.   Deadline: January 30, 2022.

Papatango New Writing PrizeRestrictions: Open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Genre: Script of roughly 25 – 50 pages. Prize: £7000. Their scripts will be produced as audio plays and tour the UK in free listening stations. The scripts will also be published digitally by Nick Hern Books. Deadline: January 30, 2022.

William Saroyan Writing Contest. Restrictions: Open to students in 1st grade through college.  Genre: Short story, 2 pages. Prize: $50 - $100. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

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: January 31, 2022.

Cheshire Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire, UK. Age ranges from 4 to adult. Genre: Short story, piece of poetry, script or children’s literature piece (this can be a script, story or poem, for children ages seven to 14) on the theme of Sustainability. Prize: Cash prizes. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest. "The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America." Genre: previously unpublished work of short fiction. Prize: $100.  Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year.  Genre: Published fiction or non-fiction, may include: novels, novellas, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, essays and correspondence. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

The Lumiere Review Writing ContestGenre: Poetry, prose. Prize: $100. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction in the English language was initiated by John Gleed in honour of his late wife to promote and celebrate the genre of short fiction, which she loved. Restrictions: Canadian residents only. Prize: A $10,000 prize will be awarded for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalist will also be awarded $500 each. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry AwardsRestrictions: Only undergraduates currently enrolled in accredited United States medical schools are eligible. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2022. Note: Winners do not retain copyright.

Caine Prize for African WritingRestrictions: Open to writers born in Africa, or nationals of an African country, or with a parent who is African by birth or nationality, Genre: Short fiction (published). Prize: £10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

StorytwigsGenre: Microfiction up to 100 words. Prize: 1st Place: $100; 2nd Place: $25; 3rd Place: $20; 4th Place: $15; 5th Place: $10. Deadline: January 31, 2022. See prompt.

Victor Howes Prize in PoetryRestrictions: Undergraduate English majors currently enrolled at a New England college (2-year or 4-year). Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1000. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Snarl Prose & Poetry ContestsRestrictions: Snarl seeks work from creators of marginalized identities. Genre: Prose and poetry. Prize: $300 and publication. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

James Welch Prize for Indigenous PoetsRestrictions: The prize is open to new, emerging, and established poets who are community-recognized members of tribal nations within the United States and its trust territories (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Chamorros, and American Samoans). Only poets who have not published more than one book-length collection are eligible; however, previous publication is not a requirement. Eligible contestants must be community-recognized members of their tribal nation. Formal tribal enrollment is not the only way of acknowledging belonging, and this prize aims to recognize all Native writers who are in community. Previous first place winners of this prize are not eligible, but previous finalists are welcome to submit work. Prize: $1000. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Substack runs a monthly short story competition. Their mission is to "revive the art of the short story, support artists, and produce something wonderful." Genre: Short story. Length: 6000- 10,000 words. Prize: $100 plus 50% of subscription revenue to be sent by Paypal, Zelle, or check. Deadline: January 31, 2022. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

#GWstorieseverywhere. Genre: Micro fiction. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag. See themesPrize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award. Genre: Any book, whether fiction or nonfiction, that promotes public understanding of Chicago; titles must be available for purchase by the general public in either hardcover or bound paperback form; All subject areas, disciplines, and genres are eligible, including but not limited to: history, biography, the social sciences, art, architecture, poetry, drama, graphic novels, or fiction; Translations, textbooks, anthologies, reprints or new editions of previously published works, pamphlets, digital publications, travel guides, children’s books, or self-published works are not eligible; Books must bear a copyright of 2020 or 2021 to be eligible for the 2022 prize. Prize: $25,000. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

The Hurston/Wright Crossover AwardRestrictions: Open to unpublished, Black writers who are 18 years and older. Writers who have published books, including poetry books or fiction narratives, through any publishing platform, are not eligible. Genre: Literary nonfiction. "Essays should explore and illuminate the various intersections of culture and society through innovative storytelling, original reporting and/or provocative commentary. Submissions may be stand-alone essays or excerpts from a book in progress." Prize: $2000. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Hurston/Wright Awards for College WritersRestrictions: Open to Black artists in fiction and poetry enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate school program anywhere in the United States. For the past four years, Amistad, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, has sponsored the award. Genre: Fiction, poetry. 20 pages max for fiction. Up to 3 poems. Prize: Cash prizes. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Moniack Mhor Emerging Writer AwardRestrictions: Open to unpublished prose writers (fiction) living and working in the UK with a collection of short stories or novel in development. Writers can be writing for any age group (including children and young adults) and may have had excerpts or articles published in the past, but have not yet published any major body of work. Genre: Fiction. Prize: “a tailor-made package worth up to £2,000 including tuition via open courses, retreat time and/or mentoring at Moniack Mhor. One highly commended applicant will also receive a course or retreat.” Deadline: January 31, 2022.

Cave Canem Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to Black writers of African descent who have not had a full-length book of poetry published by a professional press. Authors of chapbooks and self-published books with a maximum print run of 500 may apply. Genre: Unpublished, original collections of poems written in English. Prize: $1,000, publication by University of Georgia Press in fall 2023, 15 copies of the book, and a feature reading. Both the winner and runner-up will be invited to individual critique sessions with the final judge. Deadline: January 31, 2022.

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