Tuesday, September 27, 2022

56 Writing Contests in October 2022 - No entry fees

This October there are more than four dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and 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: PxHere)


Ginosko Flash Fiction ContestGenre: Flash fiction, 1000 words max. Theme: The Sacred. Prize: $500. Deadline: October 1, 2022.

Natan Notable Books AwardGenre: Recen­t­­ly pub­­lished or soon to be pub­lished nonfic­­tion book on Jew­ish themes. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: October 1, 2022.

The Furious Gazelle’s Halloween Writing ContestGenre: Halloween-themed poetry, fiction, short plays and creative non-fiction. Prize: $50. Deadline: October 1, 2022.

The Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, sponsored by the African Poetry Book Fund and in partnership with the literary journal, Prairie Schooner, is the only one of its kind in the world and was established to promote African poetry written in English or in translation and to recognize a significant book published each year by an African poet. A standard edition is 48 pages or more in length. Genre: Open to any book of original poetry, in English, published during 2015 in a standard edition by a full-length collection of poetry. Restrictions: African nationals, African residents, or poet of African parentage with roots from any country, living anywhere in the world. Prize: USD $5,000. Deadline: October 1, 2022.

Quarterly West.  Genre: Poetry and prose. Prize: $500. DeadlineNo fee days: October 1 -2, 2022.

Mavis Batey Essay PrizeRestrictions: Open to any student, worldwide, registered in a bona-fide university or institute of higher education, or who has recently graduated from such an institution. Genre: Nonfiction. Scholarly essay on gardening history. Prize: £250, free membership of the Gardens Trust for a year and consideration for publication. Deadline: October 2, 2022.

Perito PrizeGenre: Fiction about accessibility. Prize: £250 and the story will be uploaded to the Perito Prize section of the Perito Ltd website. Deadline: October 2, 2022.

#PassOrPages Query Contest. Participating agents give brief feedback on a handful of entries, explaining why they're passing ... or requesting pages! The queries and accompanying feedback are posted on our blog anonymously, which helps querying authors get a peek into agents' minds as they go through their slush piles. Genre: Genre reveal September 20. Deadline: October 3 - 7, 2022.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingGenre: 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. Book must be published in Canada. Prize: CAN $25,000.  Deadline: October 4, 2022. (For books published between April 1, 2022 and October 3, 2022)

American Antiquarian Society Fellowships for Creative Writers is calling for applications for visiting fellowships for historical research by creative and performing artists, writers, film makers, journalists, and other persons whose goals are to produce imaginative, non-formulaic works dealing with pre-twentieth-century American history. Successful applicants are those whose work is for the general public rather than for academic or educational audiences. The Society's goal in sponsoring this program is to multiply and improve the ways in which an understanding of history is communicated to the American people. Prize: A stipend of $1,150 to $1,350 and on-campus housing is provided; fellows residing off-campus receive $1,850. Deadline: October 5, 2022.

Embracing Our Differences Quotation ContestGenre: An original quotation to accompany a piece of artwork. Length: 20 words max. Prize: $1000. Deadline: October 5, 2022.

Dream Foundry Emerging Writers Contest. RestrictionsYou have published a total of less than 4,000 words of paid or income-earning speculative fiction in English. You have earned a total of less than USD 320 from those words. You have never been nominated for any award listed here as a major award in speculative fiction. Genre: Short speculative fiction, up to 10,000 words. Prize: $200 -  $1,000. Deadline: October 8, 2022.

Arthur Flowers Flash Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color and not have published or been contracted to write a full-length book at the time of submission. Writers with chapbooks are eligible. Genre: story of no more than 1,000 words. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: October 9, 2022.

Adina Talve-Goodman FellowshipRestrictions: Open to fiction writers aged 21+ who have not yet published a book and have never been enrolled in an MFA program. Writer must not have a book under contract with an agent and/or publisher at time of application, and writer cannot have been published by One Story (or have a forthcoming publication with One Story). Genre: Short fiction that "speaks to issues and experiences related to inhabiting bodies of difference." Prize: Free tuition for all of One Story's online classes and programming, a travel stipend of $2,000 and tuition to attend week-long summer writers' conference in Brooklyn, and a full manuscript review/consultation of a story collection or novel in progress with an executive editor. Deadline: October 12, 2022. 

Tales from the Moonlit PathGenre: Short story on theme of Halloween based on movie quotes (See site); 2000 words max. Prize: $50. Deadline: October 13, 2022.

Apparition LitGenre: Speculative fiction; under 1,000 words. Prize: $30. Deadline: October 14, 2022. Opens October 1.

North Carolina State Fiction ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of North Carolina with no published fiction books. Genre: Short stories. Prize: $500 for fiction (up to 5,000 words) and $250 for shorter fiction (up to 1,200 words). Deadline: October 14, 2022.

Neal Peirce Foundation Journalism Travel GrantsGenre: Journalism. "Grants are intended to support journalists in covering undertold stories about ways to make cities and their metro regions work better for all their people. Grants will cover travel expenses necessary for on-the-ground reporting. Full-time freelancers as well as journalists currently employed by a news organization are eligible to apply. The grants are for journalists to travel to cities within the U.S. to produce one or more stories for publication." Prize: Up to $1500. Deadline: October 15, 2022.

Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling ScholarshipRestrictions: Poet must be born in the United States.  Genre: Poetry. The sample must not exceed either (1) 40 typed pages or (2) one printed volume plus no more than 20 typed pages of your most recent work. There is no minimum page requirement.  Prize: $60,500 for a year of travel and study abroad. Deadline: October 15, 2022.

MindfoodRestrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand residents only. Genre: Short story 2000 words in length and previously unpublished. Prize: U$1000 for the Australian winner and one (1) prize money of NZ$1000 for the New Zealand winner. Deadline: October 15, 2022.

John Pollard Foundation International Poetry PrizeGenre: Published book of poems. Publishers may submit four copies of a debut full-length poetry collection (or bound galleys) published originally in the English language between October 1st 2020 and October 18th 2022. Prize: €10,000 (approximately $11,400) Deadline: October 18, 2022.

Women's Prize for FictionGenre: Published novel by a woman. Entrants must be writing in English and must be published in the UK between 1 October 2022 and 31 November 2022. All subject matters and women of any age, from any nationality or country of residence are eligible. Prize: £30,000.00. Deadline: October 21, 2022.

Endless Ink Publishing House Short Story Horror Comedy ContestGenre: Horror comedy. Length: 5,000- 8,000 words. Prize: 1st place prize is $750.00 in prize money (USD). 2nd, 3rd and 4th place will receive $150.00 in prize money (USD) Deadline: October 21, 2022.

Solarpunk Microfiction ContestGenre; Microfiction, 250 words max. Prize: $25 and publication on the Solarpunk Magazine website. Deadline: October 27, 2022. See themeOpens October 21.

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: October 28, 2022.

Zocalo Book Prize. Genre: US-published nonfiction book that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness and social cohesion. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: October 28, 2022.

StoryhouseGenre: Nonfiction. Stories must be true, not semi-fictional accounts. 1000 - 10,000 words in length. Stories must be suitable for children. See themes. Prize: $200. DeadlineOctober 31, 2022.

Disabled Poets PrizeRestrictions: Open to deaf and disabled poets aged 18+ currently living full-time in the UK. Genre: Poetry. Deaf and disabled poets will be able to submit to three categories – best single poem, best unpublished pamphlet, and best poem performed in British Sign Language. Prize: In each category, there will be a first place prize (£500), second prize (£250), third place prize (£100), and three highly commended entries, (£50). Deadline: October 31, 2022.

ACDI Literary PrizeRestrictions: Open to authors with a disability and/or chronic illness. Authors must be a British national OR resident in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for three years prior to the date of submission for the award, and writing in English and submissions must have been published or self-published in the UK between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022. Genre: Novel which includes a disabled or chronically ill character or characters. Prize: Winner will receive £1,000 and two runners-up £500 each. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Olde Wolf Short Story ContestGenre: Short story. Length: 3,000 words max. Prize: $100. Deadline: October 31, 2022. This is a monthly contest.

The John Byrne AwardRestrictions: Open to residents of Scotland over 16 years old. 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: £250. Deadline: October 31, 2022. This is a monthly contest.

USNI General Prize Essay ContestRestrictions: Authors must be USNI members or those eligible for membership. Genre: Essay "We are living in an era of intense global competition. Renewed great power competition will require the Sea Services to rethink how to address national, strategic, and operational challenges and the way they will have to fight. Authors may address any topic." Prize: $6,000. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Somos En EscritoRestrictionsWritings must be by Americans of indigenous/hispanic background (Native American, Chicano, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Latin American origin) born in the USA or from Latin America residing in the USA. Genre: Speculative fiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Drabble Harvest ContestGenre: Drabble on theme of "Out the Airlock." A "drabble" is defined as a short story containing exactly precisely no more and no fewer than 100 words. It has a title, which can be from 1 to 15 words-- but no more than 15. Prize: $5. Deadline: October 31, 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. Genre: Travel Nonfiction. Prize: First prize is $200. Runners-up will receive $100. Finalists will receive $50. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The LoveReading Very Short Story AwardGenre: Short story in any genre of 600-1,000 words. Prize: £300; £200. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Volcano Prize Restrictions: Open to a UK or Irish writer, or a writer currently resident in those countries. Genre: A novel focusing on the experience of travel away from home. Inspired by Malcolm Lowry’s novel, Under the Volcano and in celebration of its author, the prize aims to inspire literary excellence and encourage writers to travel and to write from the resulting experience. For books published in UK or Ireland between 1 November 2020 and 31 October 2021. Publishers must enter the work. Prize: The winner will receive £2,000 and the runner-up £750. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Barbellion PrizeGenre: Fiction, memoir, biography, poetry, or critical non-fiction. “The Barbellion Prize is dedicated to the furtherance of ill and disabled voices in writing. The prize is awarded annually to an author whose work has best spoken of the experience of chronic illness and/or disability." Prize: £600. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is the most prestigious literary award in the US. Restrictions: Authors must be living American citizens. Self-published works not accepted. Genres: Novels, novellas, and collections of short stories. Prize: $15,000. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Eric Gregory AwardsRestrictions: Applicants must be under 30 and a British subject by birth and must ordinarily be resident in the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland. Genre: Poetry collection. Previously published work accepted. Prize: £4,000.00. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Young Walter Scott PrizeRestrictions: Open to UK authors aged 11-19. Genre: Historical fiction between 800 and 2000 words. Prizes: £500 travel and research grant to further explore historical places in the UK, and an invitation to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland. Two runners-up in each category receive a £100 book token, and all four winning stories are published in a special YWSP anthology book. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Tom-Gallon Trust AwardRestrictions: Open to citizens of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland with at least one short story published or accepted for publication. Genre: Short story, maximum 5,000 words. May be unpublished. Prize: £1,000.00. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Lex:lead Essay CompetitionRestrictions: Candidates must show citizenship in an eligible country and be enrolled in studies with at least one law class in an eligible country at the time of the award. Genre: Essay: How can laws promoting gender and disability rights support economic development? Prize: $500 scholarship. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary PrizeRestrictions: Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction. Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. Prize: First prize of £750, second prize of £500. Winning entries will be posted on the website and also published online by The TelegraphDeadline: October 31, 2022.

McKitterick PrizeRestrictions: Open to authors over age 40 on December 31, 2021. Genre: First novel. The work must have been first published in the UK in the year in which the deadline falls (and not first published abroad), or be unpublished. Prize: £4,000.00. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Young Writers Initiative Manuscript / Chapbook ContestGenre: Fiction in any genre, book length. Poetry. Prize: One winner in each category $225 each. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Bergman PrizeGenre: First or second collection of poetry. Prize: $10,000 and publication. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

The Solstice PrizeRestrictions: Open to 7-17 year olds. Genre: Short stories, blog posts, and poems. Nature writing. Theme: Fight for Flight. "We’d you to tell us about a particular bird that means something to you." Prize: Publication and cash prizes for winners in three age groups: 7-11, 12-14, and 15-17. Deadline: October 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: October 31, 2022. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

The Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest is sponsored by Hollins University. Restrictions: Open to young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Up to $5,000 renewable annual Creative Talent Scholarship in creative writing if winner enrolls at Hollins. Free tuition and housing for the university’s Hollins summer creative writing program. $200 cash prize. Publication in Cargoes, Hollins’ award-winning student literary magazine. Ten copies of Cargoes. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Rune Bear QuarterlyGenre: Drabble of exactly 100 words on theme of  “War in Space.” Prize: $10. Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Tell Your Story. Genre: Creative nonfiction, 5,000 words max. No minimum. Prize: 1st place ($250), 2nd place ($150), and 3rd place ($100). Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Fearless. Restrictions: Contest open to residents of Canada and the United States, aged 13+. Genre: Short fiction (see themes) Story Length: 500-1500 words. Prize: Youth (13-15) $500 USD; Teen (16-18) $750 USD; Adult(19+) $1000 USD. (There are also prizes for honorable mentions.) Deadline: October 31, 2022.

Diann Blakely National Poetry Competition. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500 and 25 broadsides of their poem, which will also be archived on the University of Georgia English Department website. Deadline: October 31, 2022. 

Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia PoetsRestrictions: Poets living in or born in Virginia, as well as those who have lived in Virginia for two or more years in the past, are eligible. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1000. DeadlineOctober 31, 2022.

Rattle Ekphrastic ChallengeGenre: Poem inspired by artwork. (See site for image.) Prize: $100. Deadline: October 31, 2022. This is a monthly contest.

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