Writing Contests for Unpublished Works

Writing Contests for Unpublished Works

“Writing Contests for Unpublished Works” by Joan Y. Edwards

(updated July 6, 2022)

Wow! There are lists of contests. I couldn’t find many that were listed in multiple places. The Poets and Writers’ website has a really great list. You put in the category you want and then click on filter and it shows you contests to enter.  I cannot tell you a rating or review on any of these contests. I would do a little research first before deciding to enter. That’s always best to check the latest guidelines.

Good luck! I hope you find a contest that inspires you to believe in you and your writing. If that gut feeling tells you to enter, write and go for it. If it’s already written, go for it!

Please let me know any contests that are not as they say they are in a comment. If you know something good about a particular contest, please tell me that, too.

Poetry and Chapbook Contests

Flash Fiction Contests

53-Word Story Contest Each month

Non-Fiction – Essays and Short Stories

Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize (essay) November

Short Story and Novella Contests

  1. The Write Life List of Writing Contests (Science Fiction and Fantasy)

  2. Nelson Algren Short Story Award February Deadline

  3. The Iowa Short Fiction Award between August 1 and September 30th The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages.

  4. ServiceScape Short Story Award Ends November 30th

  5. Bacopa Literary Review Contest April 25 through May 30 (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry genres, short-short fiction and humor)

  6. Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award February

  7. Parsec Short Story Contest May Deadline

  8. Creative Writing News lists contests

Novel Contests- Non-Fiction

  1. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Awards (American political or social concern)

Fiction

  1. St. Martin’s Minotaur / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

  2. The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing March

  3. The Moth Nature Writing Prize (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry)

  4. Book Pipeline: Unpublished (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

  5. Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival (Fiction, Very Short Fiction, Poetry, and One-Act plays)

Short Play Contests

Full-length Stage Play Contests
Play Submissions Helper Monthly List of Full Length Play contests

Screenplay Contests -See my post “9 Good Screenwriting Contests”

Resources:

  1. Jerry Jenkins list of Writing Contests

  2. Poets and Writers Magazine List of Contests 

  3. Inkitt List of Writing Contests

  4. Play Submissions Helper Monthly List of Full Length Play contests

    Thank you very much for reading my blog. If there is a topic, you’d like for me to write about in writing, please let me know.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
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10 thoughts on “Writing Contests for Unpublished Works”

    1. Dear Melanie,
      Thank you for writing. Thank you for the compliment about it being an extensive list. I wanted people to have choices to inspire them!
      I hope your writing muse delights you and your writing moves on to completion of all you set out to achieve.

      Believe in You
      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. Thank you for encouraging other writers to write on and enter contests and write some more! How sweet of you!

      Believe in You
      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. Dear Billy,
      Thank you for writing. Thank you for saying there were a lot of contests. My aim was 10. I got a little carried away, didn’t I? LOL.
      I hope the list helps you or someone you know.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. Dear Bob,
      Thank you for writing. I am very excited that you not only found a writing contest you didn’t know about, you even entered it. Hurray for you! I hope you win!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

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