Tuesday, May 28, 2024

78 Writing Contests in June 2024 - No entry fees

This June there are more than six dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes this month 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. Many of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline has passed, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck! 

Note: I update this list continually throughout the month, so check back frequently for new contests.

(Image: Pickpik)


The Questions Writing PrizeRestrictions: Open to young Australian writers (18 to 30 years). Genre: Fiction and nonfiction on any topic as long as the piece remains between 1,500 and 2,000 words. Prize: $3,000 AUD top prize. Deadline: June 1, 2024. 

The Pattis Family Foundation Creative Arts Book AwardGenre: Works of fiction or nonfiction. Prize: $25,000. The award-winner will participate in a 2-3 day residency at Interlochen Center for the Arts in April 2025. Deadline: June 1, 2024.

Dan Veach Prize for Younger PoetsRestrictions: Open to poets aged 18-23. Genre: Poetry. Prize:  $100 and publication in the Atlanta Review. Deadline: June 1, 2024. 

The PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian LiteratureGenre: Translation. Work-in-progress of a book-length translation of an Italian work of literary fiction or nonfiction into English. Prize: $5,000 grant. Deadline: June 1, 2024. 

The Africa Institute: Global Africa Translation FellowshipRestrictions: Open to Translators in the Global South. Genre: Translations of works from the African continent and its diaspora, into English or Arabic. This is a non-residential fellowship. Projects may be retranslations of old, classic texts, previously untranslated works, poetry, prose, or critical theory collections. The project may be a work-in-progress, or a new project feasible for completion within the timeframe of the grant. Prize: $1,000-$5,000. Deadline: June 1, 2024. 

Cromwell Article PrizeRestrictions: Open to early career scholars. Genre: Articles published in the field of American legal history. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: June 1, 2024.

The Novel PrizeGenre: Book-length work of literary fiction written in English. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: June 1, 2024. Biennial award.

The PEN/Heim Translation FundGenre: Book-length works of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama in translation. Prize: $2000 - $4000. Deadline: June 1, 2024.

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult NovelistsRestrictions: Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. Genre: Book-length children's or young-adult fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: June 1, 2024.

The PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral HistoryGenre: Literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement. Prize: $15,000 each. (Two prizes) Deadline: June 1, 2024.

Bard Fiction PrizeRestrictions: 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: June 1, 2024.

Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku AwardsGenre: Haiku. Prize: First Place - $200, and a miniature crystal turtle; Second Place - $100; Third Place - $50. Deadline: June 1, 2024.

DefenestrationGenre: Short story including an incident of defenestration – the art or –ism of throwing people out of windows. It need not be literal. "This can be a sudden, immediate, even violent shift, change, or seismical event between the beginning and the end.” Prize: $75, two runner-up prizes of $30 each. Deadline: June 2, 2024.

Channel 4 Writing for Television AwardsRestrictions: Open to writers from Northern England who would like to work in television. Genre: TV writing. Prize: Mentoring support and a bursary worth £3000. Deadline: June 4, 2024.

Fraser Institute Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Canadian high school, college, and graduate students. Genre: Short essay on "What would our Essential Scholars say about the world today?" Prize: CAD$1,500 in each age category. Deadline: June 5, 2024.

Spectator Comp No. 3353: Running on fullGenre: "You are invited to submit a poem about the dine-and-dash phenomenon (16 lines max). Please email entries to" Prize: £30. Deadline: June 5, 2024. 

Icelandic Festival of Manitoba Poetry & Short Stories ContestGenre: Poetry and short stories. Length; 1200 words max. Prize: $50 - $125. "You do not need to be of Icelandic descent to submit an entry however material reflecting Icelandic culture and interests will be given preference." Deadline: June 7, 2024.

Furious FictionGenre: Flash fiction based on their prompt. Length: 500 words max. Prize: $500AUD. Deadline: June 9, 2024. Opens June 7.

Ocean Awareness Youth ContestRestrictions: Open to students in grades 6 - 12. Genre: Art, poetry, prose, film. "Use humor, positivity, irony, or other unconventional approaches that are not typically used in environmental communication to address the climate crisis. Think outside the tackle-box, beyond clich├ęs, to create something that makes the topic of climate change and our oceans more approachable and accessible." Prizes: $100 - $1,500. Deadline: June 10, 2024.

Wyoming Creative Writing FellowshipRestrictions: Open to Wyoming writers who are U.S. citizens or have legal resident status. Genre: Fiction, Poetry, CNF. Prize$5,000 and an honorarium/travel stipend. One fellowship will be awarded in each category of Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Fiction, for a total of three fellowships. Applications are juried by noted authors, literary agents, or writing professionals from outside the state. Jurors may award honorable mentions. Recipients of the Creative Writing fellowships will share their work at one of Wyoming's literary conferencesDeadline: June 10, 2024.

The Fraser Institute’s 2024 Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to Canadian students, as well as studnes studying in Canada. Genre: Essay: What would the Fraser Institute's Essential Scholars say about the world today? Prize: Up to $1500. Deadline: June 10, 2024.

Annual H. Gene Murtha Senryu ContestGenre: Haiku. Prize: 1st Place: $50.00, 2nd Place: $25.00, 3rd Place: $25.00 Deadline: June 10, 2024.

Molly Keane Creative Writing AwardRestrictions: Open to Irish residents. Genre: Unpublished short story, maximum 2,000 words. Prize: €250 plus a course at the Molly Keane Writers Retreat. Deadline: June 14, 2024.

Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to Maryland residents or students at a MD 2- or 4-year college, and not a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America or published in a professional science fiction/fantasy magazine Genre: Science fiction short stories. Prize1st place is $250; 2nd place is $100; 3rd place is $50. Deadline: June 15, 2024.

The Yale Drama SeriesGenre: Original, unpublished full-length plays, with a minimum of 65 pages. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: June 15, 2024.

The Queen’s English SocietyGenre: Poem. Theme: ANNIVERSARY. Prize: £100. Deadline: June 15, 2024. 

Little, Brown Emerging Artist AwardGenre: High-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experience. Diversity includes literal or metaphorical inclusion of characters of underrepresented ethnicity, religious background, gender identity, class, mental or physical disability, or any other nondominant populations. Prize: American Express® gift cards totaling $1,500, round trip travel to New York City, and the honor of a one-day mentorship with a Little, Brown Books for Young Readers’ professional children’s book design and editorial team. Submission will be reviewed for publication. Deadline: June 15, 2024.

Norton Writer's Prize. Sponsored by W.W. Norton & Company. "The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered." Genres: Creative Nonfiction, Scholarly Essay. Prize: Three cash prizes of $1,000 apiece will be awarded in 2024 for coursework submitted during the academic year. Deadline: June 15, 2024.

Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young PeopleRestrictions: Open to people 25 years of age or less. Genre: Essay (max 700 words). Theme: “My Experience of Overcoming Conflict.” Prize: 1st US$840, 2nd US$420. Deadline: June 15, 2024.

Towson University Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: Open to Maryland writers. Genre: Book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, drama or imaginative non-fiction. The work must have been published within the three years prior to the year of nomination or must be scheduled for publication within the year in which nominated. Self-published works will not be considered. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2024. See nomination form HERE.

International Wizard of Oz Club Annual ContestsGenre: Short Fiction, Art & Academic Nonfiction Research Papers. All work must be related to the world of Oz. Prize: $100 in each genre. 2nd Prize $50 in each genre. Deadline: June 15, 2024

Apparition LitGenre: Flash fiction. See themesPrize: $30. DeadlineJune 15, 2024.

Voices of Heritage Writing ContestGenre: Essays, stories, or poems that capture the rich tapestry of Jewish life in America. "We encourage entries that reflect on historical milestones, personal narratives, or profiles of influential Jewish Americans who have shaped the nation’s culture and values. This contest not only celebrates the past and present achievements of Jewish Americans but also aims to educate others about their enduring legacy and continuing impact." 1000 words max. Prize:  First prize of $3,000, second prize of $1,500, and up to ten runner-up prizes of $500 each. 

53-Word Story ContestGenre: Flash fiction of exactly 53 words based on monthly theme. Prize: Publication and a free book. Deadline: June 15, 2024. (Note: This is a monthly contest)

Penguin: Write NowRestrictions: Open to UK/Ireland-based writers, for people from a background or community that is currently under-represented in UK and Irish publishing. Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, and horror - all ages. Prize: A final group of applicants will be invited to join the year-long editorial program. Deadline: June 16, 2024.

Soho Theatre: The Verity Bargate AwardRestrictions: Open to UK and Ireland based playwrights. Genre: One-hour play written for stage. Prize: £8,000 and full production.  Deadline: June 17, 2024.

Solid Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genre: Essay (See site for topics.) Minimum number of words is 600 and maximum is 800. Prize: Scholarship of $1000. Deadline: June 19, 2024.

Young Scots Writer of the Year AwardRestrictions: You must be aged 11–18 to enter as an individual. Genre: Stories, poems, spoken word pieces, comics, videos or other pieces of writing. "We want to see it all, as long as it's in Scots and under 2500 words or up to ten minutes." Prize: £100 book token. Deadline: June 19, 2024. 

A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing ContestGenre: Non-genre fiction and creative nonfiction. Theme: Summer Olympics. Length: 1,000 words minimum; 5,000 words maximum. Prize: $35 - $50 Amazon gift card. Deadline: June 21, 2024.

Guppy BooksRestrictions: Open to unpublished and unagented authors. Genre: Novel for young adults. Prize: Publication. Deadline: June 21, 2024.

Griffin Poetry PrizeRestrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: The winner receives C$130,000 and the other shortlisted poets each receive C$10,000. Deadline: June 21, 2024, for works published between January 1 and June 30, 2024.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. 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: Books published between May 1, 2024, and June 30, 2024 must be received on or before June 21, 2024.

International EJCA Spring Haiku ContestGenre: Haiku. Prize: $20 - $30. Deadline: June 22, 2024.

Rattlecast Prompt Poem of the MonthGenre: Poetry based on prompts. (See websitePrize: $100. Deadline: June 23, 2024.

Write the World CompetitionsRestrictions: Young writers ages 13-19.5. Genre: Essay: Open a Window. Prize: Best Entry: $100; Runner up: $50. Deadline: June 24, 2024. (Note: This is a monthly contest.)

Grist: Imagine 2200Genre: Short stories. "What we’re seeking: short stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. Our mission is to make the story of a better world so irresistible, you want it right now." Prize: First, second, and third-prize winners will be awarded $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 respectively, and nine additional finalists will each receive a $300 honorarium. Deadline: June 24, 2024.

Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. Genre: Novel or short story collection. Prize: $60,000 will be awarded to the novel or short story collection published between  May 1, 2024 and September 30, 2024. Deadline: June 25, 2024.

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 1, 2024 and September 30, 2024. 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. Deadline: June 25, 2024.

Writers' Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging WritersRestrictions: Open to Canadian LGBTQ+ writers. Genre: Debut book published between May 1, 2024 and September 30, 2024. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: June 25, 2024.

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. DeadlineJune 26, 2024.

Faber Children’s: Faber and Andlyn BAME (FAB) PrizeRestrictions: Open to undiscovered BAME writers and illustrators; entrants must be of black, Asian or minority ethnic background, and UK- or Ireland-based. Genre: Text or artwork for children. Prize: £1,500 and £500 each for a writer and an illustrator. DeadlineJune 28, 2024.

Hubert Butler Essay PrizeRestrictions: Open to European Union citizens aged 18+. Genre: Essay on theme ‘With narratives of conflict currently distorted by misinformation and the substitution of memory for history, what are the chances of reconciliation?’ 3,000 words max. Prize: First prize of €1,500 and two second prizes of €500. Deadline: June 28, 2024.

Marlborough Lit Fest Love Books CompetitionRestrictions: Open to UK residents. Genre: Individual Poems, Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. "We want you to tell us why you love your favourite book, poem or play. Your response should be in the form of a piece of text of up to 750 words. Entrants should explain what they love about their chosen read, highlighting key areas of interest, and why they think others should try it." Prize: Up to 300 pounds in each of three categories (13-15 years, 16-19 years, 20+ years). Deadline: June 28, 2024.

Storyhouse: Preservation Foundation Essay Contest for Unpublished WritersRestrictions: The contest is open to writers whose creative writing has never produced revenues of over $250 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: June 30, 2024.

Apex Flash Fiction ContestGenre: Speculative fiction, 1000 words max. Prize: 8 cents/word or $10, which ever is greater. Deadline: June 30, 2024. Note: Apex Magazine’s Flash Fiction Contest is open from the 7th until the final day of each month. The contest is themed.

#GWstorieseverywhereGenre: 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: June 30, 2024. This is a monthly contest.

My Writing JourneyGenre: Essay on the theme: The best writing tip I’ve ever received. Length: 600 words. Prize: $200 (R2 000 or £100). Deadline: June 30, 2024.

African Diaspora Award 2024Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. Prize: Up to $1000 and publication in "Black Butterfly: Voices of the African Diaspora" Deadline: June 30, 2024

Sargeson Prize for Secondary SchoolsRestrictions: Open to students enrolled at a New Zealand secondary school and aged between 16 and 18 years. Genre: Short story, Length: 5,000 words max. Prize: First Prize: $10000; Second Prize: $1000; Third Prize: $500. DeadlineJune 30, 2024.

Theatre503 International Playwriting AwardGenre: Scripts from debut/early-career playwrights around the world. Co-written and translated scripts accepted. Prize: £3,000 in prize money and £3,000 as an advance against 8% of the gross box office. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Sargeson PrizeRestrictions: Open to New Zealanders. Genre: Short stories. Length: 5,000 words max. Prize: First Prize: $10000; Second Prize: $1000; Third Prize: $500. DeadlineJune 30, 2024.

Drue Heinz Literature PrizeRestrictions: The award is open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. Online and self-publication does not count toward this requirement. Genre: A manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Prize: $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Fountain Magazine Essay ContestGenre: Essay on theme: Home. “Home” holds a special place in our lives. A large, luxurious mansion or a small, decrepit place, our homes are hard to replace with anything. Our earliest memories form inside its walls; we utter our first words and take our first steps there. Does everyone feel the same about home? Is it where you were born or where you earn your bread? Is home a physical place? In a world that moves faster than ever and is confined to small screens, how do perceptions about "home" change? Where is home for people who are forced to leave their homes? Where is your home?" Prize: 1st Place - $1,000, 2nd Place - $500, 3rd Place - $300, Two Honorable Mentions - $150 each. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

2024 BCSA Writing CompetitionGenre: Fiction, nonfiction. See theme. Entries must deal with either (1) the links between Britain and the Czech and/or Slovak Republics, at any time in their history, or (2) society in those Republics since 1989. Entries should be in English and not more than 2,000 words long. Prize: First prize £400, second prize £150. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize is awarded to the author of the best first novel published in the previous calendar year. Restrictions: Only American authors publishing in English are eligible. Non-eligible books include short story collections, flash fiction, memoirs, biographies and books published solely in electronic format. Prize: $3000. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Digital Privacy ScholarshipRestrictions: You must be 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 digital privacy. Prize: $1000 scholarship. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Rattle's Ekphrastic ChallengeGenre: Poetry based on art. (See websitePrize: $100. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

The Lindisfarne Crime PrizeRestrictions: Residents of the North East of England, or whose work celebrates the North East of England. Genre: Crime short story of up to 10,000 words. Prize: £2500.  Deadline: June 30, 2024.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestRestrictions: Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment and at least 5,000 copies (or 5,000 hits for online publication). Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror. 17,000 words max. Prize: $1,000 1st Prize awarded each quarter; one of those winners also receives the $5,000 annual "Golden Pen Award" grand prize. 2nd Prize $750, 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Utah writers. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $1,000 top prizes for book-length manuscripts of novels, creative nonfiction & history, collection of poetry or short stories, and juvenile book; $300 top prizes for individual poems, short stories, and personal essays. 2nd Prize $500 for the book-length categories, $150 for poetry. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Eden Mills Teen Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to Canadian teens. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Two $50 prizes, two $25 prizes. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South Essay ContestRestrictionsOpen to women (including trans and nonbinary women) age 18+.  Genre: Nonfiction essay, 1200 words max, on images. See website for details. Prize: $200. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Renard Press Poetry Contest. Genre: Poetry on theme: Building Bridges: Poetry Bridging Communities. Prize: £200. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Last Stanza Poetry JournalGenre: Poetry. Prize: A single $100 award will be given for an outstanding poem. Deadline: June 30, 2024. See theme.

Washington State Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to Washington State writers. Genre: Published book, fiction, nonfiction, poetry: adults or children. Prize: Recognition (?) Deadline: June 30, 2024 (for books published Jan. 1-May 31, 2024).

FSG FellowshipRestrictions: Open to emerging writers from an underrepresented community. US resident or citizen. Genre: Debut work  of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Submit work samples as part of the application: 8-12 pages for poetry, and 40-50 pages for prose. Work samples can include previously published work and need not be from a single selection of the work. Prize: Stipend of $15,000 and mentorship. Note: Farrar, Straus & Giroux is part of Macmillan. Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Vweta Chadwick Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to female high school and college students in Nigeria. Genre: Unpublished poems, 40 lines maximum. See themePrize: $200.  Deadline: June 30, 2024.

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: June 30, 2024. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

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