Wednesday, January 26, 2022

75 Writing Contests in February 2022 - No entry fees

This February there are more than five dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes range from $100,000 to a free writing class. 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: Flickr)

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The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story AwardGenre: Short story of no more than 8,000 words that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration. Prize: Publication as the featured story on the Baen Books main website paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submissions. Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Woodrow Hall Top Shelf AwardsGenre: Book of flash fiction published in 2021. Prize: $250. (Three winners) Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Gannon University Poetry ContestRestrictions: Entrants must be a US high school student or a home-schooled student in grades nine through twelve. Genre: Poetry. Each student may enter 1 or 2 poems; each poem may be no longer than 50 lines. Prize: First Place: $100.00 Second Place: $75.00 Third Place: $50.00. Deadline: February 1, 2022.

The Roadrunner ReviewRestrictions: Open to students, graduate and undergraduate. Genre: Fiction, CNF, Poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: February1, 2022.

Paterson Prize for Books for Young PeopleGenre: Most outstanding book for young people published in 2021. There is a $500 award in each category: Pre-K - Grade 3;  Grades 4 - 6;  Grades 7 - 12. Prize: $500. Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Paterson Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry book published in 2021. Prize: $1000. Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Hodson Trust–John Carter Brown Library FellowshipGenre: Nonfiction (includes creative nonfiction). A book-in-process relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. Award: $20,000. Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Wednesday Club Junior Poetry PrizeRestrictionsHigh School Students in Grades 9 through 12 in the St. Louis Area. Genre: Poetry. Two individual poems. Prizes: $200,  $150,  $100, $80, $50, and up to five $25 honorable mentions TEACHER AWARDS: $200, $150, $100. (Applies to teachers of first three student winners.) Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Wednesday Club Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Adults over 18; living within a 50-mile radius of St. LouisGenre: Poetry. Two individual poems. Prizes: $500, $300, $150. Deadline: February 1, 2022.

$1000 for 1000 Words Creative Writing Contest is sponsored by the Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation. Restrictions: Students enrolled in grades 6-12. Genre: Short fiction of exactly 1000 words. Prize: Two $1,000 scholarship prizes will be awarded, one for grades 6-8 and one for grades 9-12. Seven $100 cash prizes will also be awarded for winning entries, one per grade level.  Deadline:  February 1, 2022. 

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingRestrictions: Titles must be published in Canada. 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. DeadlineFebruary 1, 2022.

North Carolina Student Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to student poets from 3rd grade to university undergraduates attending schools in North Carolina. Genres: Unpublished poems (submit one poem). Prizes: 1st Place winners will receive a $60 check, an NCPS award certificate, and a free copy of Pinesong. 2nd Place winners receive $40, an NCPS award certificate, and a free copy of Pinesong. 3rd Place winners receive $25, an NCPS award certificate, and a free copy of Pinesong. Deadline: February 1, 2022. 

Spectator Competition No. 3235: a bit previousGenre: You are invited to invent a prequel to a well-known work of literature (e.g. The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea or Dante’s ‘Smouldering Rag’) and supply an extract from it. Please email entries of up to 16 lines or 150 words to lucy@spectator.co.uk. Prize: £30. Deadline: February 2, 2022.

The University of Chester Flash (Youth)Restrictions: Open to Scottish students aged 16-19 who are studying in the UK. Genre: flash fiction of up to 360 words. Prize: Up to £100. Deadline: February 4, 2022.

Narrative Magazine High School ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students aged 15-18. Genre: Poetry on theme: Blind Spots. Prize: Up to $500. Deadline: February 4, 2022.

Bath Flash Fiction AwardGenre: Flash fiction (300 words max). Prize: £1000 prize for the winner, £300 second and £100 third. Two commendations £30 each. Deadline: February 6, 2022.

Max Afford Playwrights' AwardRestrictions: Open to Australian playwrights aged 18-40. Genre: Full-length plays. Prize: A$15,000. Deadline: February 6, 2022.

The Golden Triangle Golden Haiku poetry contest. Genre: Haiku on theme “Reboot and Rebloom.” Prize: Up to $500. Deadline: February 6, 2022.

Young Authors Sacred Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to US students aged 13-18. Genre: Essay on racial justice. Prize: $100 and publication. Deadline: February 7, 2022.

Library of Virginia Literary AwardsRestrictions: Open to writers who were born in or are residents of Virginia or, in the case of nonfiction, books with a Virginia theme, are eligible. Genre: Books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in the previous year. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: February 10, 2022.

Walter Rumsey Marvin GrantRestrictions: Open to authors under 30 years of age who have not had a book published. Applicant must have been born in Ohio or have lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years. Genre: Short fiction and creative non-fiction. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: February 10, 2022.

Joel Gay Creative FellowshipsRestrictions: Open to emerging writers. Genre: Newsletter, prose. Prize: "Fellows will receive a $25,000 stipend, paid monthly from the initial publication of their newsletter, as well as up to $15,000 in services from Substack, including editorial support, design assistance in developing a logo for your newsletter, access to Getty Images, Substack Defender, and other business support services. Fellows will contract directly with Substack for the stipend." Deadline: February 10, 2022.

Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out Essay Contest Grades 6 - 12. Stop the Hate® is designed to create an appreciation and understanding among people of differing religions, races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Genre: Essay, 500 words. Restrictions: Northeast Ohio 6-12th Graders. Prize: $40,000. Deadline: Grade 6-10: Thur, February 10, 2022. Grade 11-12: Thur, February 17, 2022.

The Bechtel PrizeGenre: Essays describing a virtual creative writing teaching experience, project or activity that demonstrates innovation in creative writing instruction. "We are looking for essays that describe a project or activity that got students excited about writing and fostered a vibrant and dynamic culture of literacy in the virtual classroom. We welcome essays about projects that carved a space for students to reflect on the events of the past year (eg. public health, social distancing, racial justice protests, etc.)." Prize: $1000 and publication. Deadline: February 11, 2022.

Lex Allen Literary Festival PrizesRestrictions: Open to undergraduate college students. Genres: Poetry and fiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: February 11, 2022.

Luminarts Creative Writing Fellowship. The Creative Writing Fellowship awards two $7,500 grant Fellowships for excellence in creative writing in the categories of prose and poetry, in fiction and nonfiction. Applicants submit a two-page written piece (either a stand-alone piece or an excerpt of a larger piece such as a novel or short story). Open to writers between the ages of 18 and 30 years old at the time of application; be enrolled in, or have graduated from, a degree program; and live within 150 miles of the Union League Club of Chicago. Genre: Poetry or prose, fiction and nonfiction.  Prize: $7,500. Deadline: February 11, 2022.

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook Short Story CompetitionGenre: Short story. All entries must be original unpublished prose of 2,000 words or fewer. Prize: A place on one of Arvon's residential writing courses and publication. Deadline: February 11, 2022.

Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students in Michigan.  Genre: Poetry. Prize: 1st place - $250 and publication in The Albion Review, 2nd place - $150 and publication in The Albion Review; 3rd place - $100 and publication in The Albion Review. Deadline: February 13, 2022.

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging WritersRestrictions: Candidates must be: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident; Under the age of 35; Unpublished in book form and without a book contract. Genre: Poetry and fiction. Prizes: Up to C$10,000. Deadline: February 14, 2022.

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing PrizeGenre: Adventure writing novel. Prize: £10,000. Deadline: February 14, 2022.

Tree2mydoor Valentines Day Poetry competitionRestrictions: Open to UK citizens. Genre: Witty or soppy, romantic or silly Valentines Day poems. Prize: £100 worth of Tree2mydoor gift vouchers.  Deadline: February 14, 2022.

Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ FictionRestrictions: Open to a Black LGBTQ writer whose fiction explores themes of Black LGBTQ life, culture, and/or history. To be eligible, the winner of the prize must have published at least one book and show promise in continuing to produce groundbreaking work. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

New England Youth Outdoor Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to students in grades 6-12 in the New England states. Genre: Nonfiction essay about the outdoors. Prize: Up to $150. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Jeanne C√≥rdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer NonfictionRestrictions: Open to a writer committed to nonfiction work that captures the depth and complexity of lesbian/queer life, culture, and/or history. The winner of the prize will have published at least one book and show promise in continuing to produce groundbreaking and challenging work. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ WritersRestrictions: The nominee must self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. The nominee must have written and published at least one but no more than two books of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Prize: $1000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Dr. Jim Duggins Outstanding LGBTQ Mid-Career Novelist PrizeRestrictions: Open to LGBTQ mid-career novelists who have published at least three novels. or two novels and substantial additional literary work (including poems, stories, or essays). Genre: Published book. Prize: $5000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

J. Michael Samuel Prize for Emerging Writers Over 50Restrictions: Open to unpublished LGBTQ writers over 50 working in any genre. Genre: All genres. Prize: $5000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Raiziss/de Palchi Translation AwardGenre: Poetry - translation into English of a significant work of modern Italian poetry. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Ballard Spahr Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to residents of MN, IA, ND, SD, WI, or MI. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $10,000 & book publication with Milkweed Editions. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

CAAPP Book PrizeRestrictions: Open to writers of African descent. Genre: First or second book by a writer of African descent and is open to the full range of writers embodying African and African diasporic experience. The book can be of any genre that is, or intersects with, poetry, including poetry, hybrid work, speculative prose, and/or translation. Prize: $3000 and publication. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Ambroggio PrizeRestrictions: Poet must be a U.S. Citizen; Resident of the United States for the ten-year period prior to the submission deadline, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Legal Permanent Status (LPS), or any subsequent categories designated by the U.S. authorities as conferring similar enhanced status upon non-citizens living in the United States. Genre: Book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. Prize: $1000 and publication. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Harold Morton Landon Translation AwardGenre: Poetry collection translated from any language into English and published in the previous calendar year. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Governor General's Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written or translated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada. Genre: The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature (Text), Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for Excellence in Published Haiku, Translation, and CriticismGenre: Published book. Books must have been published in 2021 and must clearly contain a printed 2021 copyright. A member, author, or publisher may submit or nominate more than one title. At least 50 percent of the book must be haiku, senryu, or haibun, or prose about these subjects (books mostly of tanka, for example, are not eligible). Prize: $500. Deadline: February 15, 2022.

Apparition LitGenre: Speculative flash fiction that reflect the artwork they’ve chose for each month.(See site for images.) Prize: $10 USD. Deadline: February 15, 2022. Note: This is a monthly contest.

The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award supports the work of a promising early-career nonfiction writer on a story that uncovers truths about the human condition. Genres: Nonfiction journalism works in progress with “strong, character-driven narratives with detailed scene writing and lyrical description.” Restrictions: The award will not fund proposals to report on armed conflicts where journalists are already imperiled, nor projects that are mainly investigatory. Prize: $12,500 grant and use of the NYU library. Deadline: February 16, 2022.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. Books must be published in Canada in English between October 1, 2021, and February 28, 2022 to be eligible for the 2022 Prize. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: February 18, 2022.

Green Stories Adult Short Stories CompetitionRestrictions: Entrants must show they have read at least one chapter from successfully published pieces from the Green Stories project. Genre: Short story. "All submissions must conform to the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story." Prize: £200. Deadline: February 21, 2022.

Myong Cha Son Haiku AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Haiku. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: February 21, 2022.

Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish. Prize: $500. Deadline: February 21, 2022.

Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Poetry composed in the traditional modes of meter, rhyme and received forms. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: February 21, 2022.

Sonnet AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Sonnet. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: February 21, 2022.

Villanelle AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Villanelle. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: February 21, 2022.

Gaithersburg Book Festival Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students (grades 9-12) from across the Washington Metropolitan Area (Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC). Genre: Poetry. Prize: First, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive $250, $100 and $50 gift certificates.    Deadline: February 22, 2022.

Call for Artists: Building Vaccine Confidence. "The Wyoming Arts Council (WAC) is initiating a call for Wyoming-based artists and artist collectives who are interested in creating innovative work that will harness the power of the arts to engage audiences and participants of all ages in overcoming COVID-19 and influenza vaccine hesitancy within the state. Artists of all mediums (to include, but not limited to: visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literary arts, folk and traditional arts) are encouraged to apply. Four selected artists or artist collectives will receive $10,000 each to create a selection of work. WAC will work with a local marketing firm to create a statewide marketing campaign featuring the work."   Deadline: February 22, 2022.

The Reporting AwardGenre: Journalism, in any medium, on an under-reported subject in the public interest. Prize: Up to $12,500. Deadline: February 22, 2022.

Solarpunk Climate FictionGenre: Speculative micro-fiction. Length: 250 words max. Prize: $25.  Deadline: February 24, 2022.

Wiley-Silver Prize in Civil War HistoryGenre: First book or monograph in Civil War history published in the previous year. Books or monographs published by scholarly or popular presses are eligible. Prize: $2,000. Deadline: February 25, 2022.

Buckman Journal Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to Oregon and SW Washington residents only. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300. Deadline: February 27, 2022.

Preservation Foundation Essay Contest for Unpublished WritersRestrictions: The contest is open to writers whose creative writing has never produced revenues of over $750 in any single year. First prize winners of previous contests, while ineligible for prizes in regular contests, can compete in this one.  Genre: Nonfiction. Prize: First prize is $200. Runners-up will receive $100. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

The Orwell Prize for Political FictionRestrictions: The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction is open to novels and short story collections first published in the UK or Ireland. (See publication deadlines.) Genre: Fiction that explores ideas and issues, political themes, dilemmas and injustices through imagined narratives. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

The Orwell Prize for Political WritingRestrictions: The Orwell Prize for Political Writing is open to nonfiction first published in the UK or Ireland. (See publication deadlines.) Genre: Nonfiction, including entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Graywolf Press Nonfiction PrizeRestrictions: Open to US writers only. Genre: Full-length manuscript of creative nonfiction by a writer not yet established in the genre. Prize: $12,000 and publication.   Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative NonfictionGenre: Essay, maximum 5,000 words. Prize: $250 top prize. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multi-Lingual TextsGenre: Literary translations and multi-lingual texts. Prize: $200. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Texas Review Press Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series: West VirginiaRestrictions: Open to any poet born in West Virginia, or currently residing in West Virginia, who has not yet published a full-length collection of poetry. The author may have published chapbooks or books in other genres. Genre: Poetry collection. Prize: Winner will receive a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Imagine Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories in Japanese or English for its “Imagine Little Tokyo” writing contest. The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA– either past, present or future. Prize: $500. DeadlineFebruary 28, 2022.

The Kelpies Prize (Scotland)Restrictions: Open to Scottish authors. Genre: Children’s fiction and illustration. Prize: £1,000, a publishing contract, a writing retreat, and a year of mentoring by an editorial team. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant WritingRestrictions: 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 nonfiction books. Prize: $10,000 and publication. Deadline: February 28, 2022. (Extended to March 31)

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Self-Published E-Book Literary AwardRestrictions: Open to African-Americans. Genre: Self-Published E-Book in fiction and poetry written by African-Americans that depict the "cultural, historical, or sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora." Prize: $2,5000. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Past Year Memoir Contest. Genre: "We want you to tell us a true story from your life in 2021…in 21 words or fewer. We want a personal story from your life, which can be hilarious, heartbreaking, puzzling, uplifting, or just plain strange. Look for something intriguing, perhaps something with emotional or intellectual resonance. It’s fine if you want to include current events from the year, as long as it’s mostly about you, or how you feel about it." Prize: Free Gotham class of your choosing. Deadline: February 28, 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: February 28, 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: February 28, 2022.

Anansi Archive writing awardsGenre: Flash fiction, poetry, short stories. Prize: First £50, runner-up £20. Deadline: February 28, 2022.

Neukom Institute Literary Arts AwardsGenre: Play that addresses the question: “What does it mean to be a human in a computerized world?” Prize: $5000. Deadline: February 28, 2022. 
 

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