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CV Writing Tips and Advice

Job hunting alone can be a stressful process without having to worry about if your CV is written appropriately. This article will provide you with some tips to help alleviate the anxiety that comes with writing your CV and some tricks to help it stand out to potential employers.

Personal Statement

Equipping your CV with a personal statement will help it stand out to employers. If positioned at the top of the first page, it’ll be the first thing that employers read and, if worded attractively, will entice them to keep reading. You should use this statement to focus on your best qualities and tailor it to the job you’re seeking.

The skills section of your CV should highlight pertinent skills that can help you excel at the job in question. Whether it is advanced computer skills, team-building, written or verbal communication, or problem solving skills make sure they relate to the job you are pursuing. Another way to make this section stand out is to utilize bullet points when listing these skills to give readers a quick and focused snapshot of the skills you have to offer.

Recent Employment vs. Older Positions

Employers will focus most of their attention on your most recent employment. So it’s crucial to make this section as detailed as possible. Use language that’s positive and shows that your current or most recent responsibilities can translate to the job you’re pursuing. Try to show, in your summary of recent employment, that you’ve had a positive impact in your position.

If you have many years of experience in your industry, you don’t have to elaborate as much on your older positions. A shorter summary of your responsibilities should be sufficient.

Length and Language

Time is precious to potential employers, so it’s important to be clear, concise and keep your CV to no longer than two pages. Show that you have good communication skills by using professional language — and always use spell-check prior to sending it forward. You want to catch the attention of the employer so that they’ll bring you in for an interview. During the interview you will have the opportunity to elaborate on your skills and expertise.

As you should always customize your CV to the role you’re pursuing, researching the role and company are key. You’ll want to know in advance what the company prides itself on and the qualities needed to be successful in the position you are applying for. Not only will this be helpful when writing your CV, but it will also benefit you if you land an interview.

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The Best Essay Writing Contests of 2023

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Showing 79 contests

World historian student essay competition.

World History Association

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international competition open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs. Membership in the World History Association is not a requirement for submission. Past winners may not compete in the same category again.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 01, 2023 (Expired)

Children's, Essay

African Diaspora Award

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc.

Submissions are open for Kinsman Quarterly’s African Diaspora Award. Top winners receive prizes up to $500 USD and publication within the Black Diaspora anthology. No entry fee required. Those eligible should submit an original, unpublished work in English that features themes of the African diaspora by July 15, 2023.

Additional prizes

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $100 + Publication

Deadline: July 15, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Script Writing, Short Story, Young Adult

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

Killer Nashville

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award is committed to discovering new writers, as well as superlative books by established authors and, upon discovery, sharing those writers and their works with new readers. There are a large number of both fiction and non-fiction categories you can enter.

Deadline: June 15, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller

International Essay Contest

Institute for Youth in Policy

You've been elected leader of your country. What would you say during your inaugural address to inspire the citizens of your country, including those of every race, religion, political party, and creed?

Publication in YIP Magazine

Deadline: December 11, 2023

Artificial Intelligence Competition

New Beginnings

There is no topic relating to technology that brings more discussion than artificial intelligence. Some people think it does wonders. Others see it as trouble. Let us know your opinion about AI in this competition. Include experiences you have had with AI. 300-word limit. Winners will be selected January 1, 2024. Open to anyone, anywhere.

Publication

Deadline: December 15, 2023

Essay, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

Narratively 2023 Memoir Prize

Narratively

Narratively is currently accepting submissions for their 2023 Memoir Prize. They are looking for revealing and emotional first-person nonfiction narratives from unique and overlooked points of view. The guest judge is New York Times bestselling memoirist Stephanie Land.

$1,000 and publication

Deadline: November 30, 2023

Essay, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction

100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

Can you write a story using 100 words or less? Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. The first-place prize has doubled to $2,000 USD.

2nd: writing coach package

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Children's, Poetry, Romance, Short Story, Suspense, Travel

WOW! Women On Writing Quarterly Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

WOW! Women On Writing

Seeking creative nonfiction essays on any topic (1000 words or less) and in any style--from personal essay and memoir to lyric essay and hybrid, and more! The mission of this contest is to reward bravery in real-life storytelling and create an understanding of our world through thoughtful, engaging narratives. Electronic submissions via e-mail only; reprints/previously published okay; simultaneous submissions okay; multiple submissions are okay as long as they are submitted in their own individual e-mail. Open internationally.

2nd: $300 | 3rd: $200 | 7 runner-ups: $25 Amazon Gift Cards

Deadline: October 31, 2023 (Expired)

Non-fiction, Essay

The Letter Review Prize for Books

The Letter Review

The Letter Review Prize for Books is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Seeking most unpublished (we accept some self/indie published) novels, novellas, story collections, nonfiction, poetry etc. 20 entries are longlisted.

$1000 USD shared by 3 winners

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction

Letter Review

The Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction (0 - 5000 words) is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Accepting most forms of Nonfiction. Three winners are published and every entry is considered for publication. 20 entries are longlisted.

$1000 (shared by 3 winners)

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, Humor

Dissolution

Bergen International Literary Festival

Write your story about the climate crisis in a poem or a personal essay.

Deadline: October 15, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing, Young Adult

The Goldilocks Zone

Sunspot Literary Journal

Sunspot Lit seeks a story, essay, excerpt from longer prose pieces, artwork, graphic novel, or poem that combines excellence in craft with reader or audience appeal. Feedback for fiction and nonfiction submissions available for additional fee.

Deadline: September 30, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story

Indignor Play House Annual Short Story Competition

Indignor House Publishing

Indignor House Publishing is proud to announce that our annual writing competition (INDIGNOR PLAYHOUSE Short Story Annual Competition) is officially open with expected publication in the fall of 2024. Up to 25 submissions will be accepted for inclusion in the annual anthology.

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $150

Deadline: March 31, 2024

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Pivotal Essay Contest

Pivotal is an essay contest for high school students around the world run in partnership with Oxford University's Global Priorities Institute on the world’s most pressing problems. Students will write a 2000-word essay on one of three prompts relating to future generations, AI policy, and ethics.

Deadline: October 10, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Non-fiction

Native Voices Award

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

Indigenous storytellers (Native American, First Nation Australian, Indian, Polynesian, etc.) may submit original, unpublished work in English; short stories, essays, onstage scripts, poetry, or visual art.

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $100 | 6 Finalists: $25 gift card

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story

Letter Review Prize for Manuscripts

The Letter Review Prize for Manuscripts (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction) is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Three Winners are awarded and have extracts published. 20 entries are Longlisted. Winners receive letter of recommendation for publishers.

Deadline: August 31, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Inception 2023

Sunspot Lit

Beginnings have the power to spark passion or curiosity. They might immediately connect a specific place and time with an emotional tone. The best openings offer a feeling, atmosphere, action, or image that is gripping, and hints at more to come. For Sunspot Lit’s Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry.

Publication in digital and print editions

Deadline: July 31, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

AIIRA Writing Contest

AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture

AIIRA is seeking essays speculating on how AI will change careers within the next decade, as well as fiction stories depicting a day in the life of a job transformed by AI technology. Submissions should address how AI will help future professionals perform their jobs more efficiently as well as what job duties will become redundant due to AI.

2nd: $400 (x2) | 3rd: $250

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

Public Roads Student Writing Competition

Federal Highway Administration/Public Roads Magazine

Public Roads is proud to announce its first Student Writing Competition, designed to encourage high school and college students interested in or actively pursuing STEM majors to demonstrate their knowledge by writing an article that relates to the transportation industry.

Published in Winter 2023 Issue of Public Roads Magazine

Deadline: July 21, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Non-fiction, Science Writing

Universe of Threats Essay Contest

CAPTRS has launched a pathogen threat scenario writing contest, which will be part of their work to build a catalog of pathogen threat scenarios that will be used to hone pandemic preparedness strategies and train future decision-makers. Submissions may not exceed 2,500 words, and will be judged on creativity, plausibility of the pathogen threat, complexity of cascading societal factors, difficulty posed for current pandemic response capabilities and quality of writing.

2nd: $5,000 (up to 2 winners) | 3rd: $1,000 (up to 5 winners)

Essay, Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story

Creative Nonfiction Competition

Write the World

The teenage years are an in-between time, the stage linking our childhood to adulthood. It’s a time of internal transitions, as we find out more about who we are and who we want to be in the world. This month, use the tools of creative nonfiction to write about your own experience of this passage into adulthood.

Best Entry: $100

Runner up: $50 | Best Peer Review: $50

Deadline: July 18, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

The Heartland Review Open Calls

The Heartland Review Press

Submit one piece of fiction or creative nonfiction of topic or category to include flash in a Word document through Submittable (link on website). No pdfs. Include a short cover letter and bio. Simultaneous submissions accepted, but writers must withdraw if published elsewhere. We read the first 50 pieces of fiction and 50 of creative nonfiction submitted each month during the open call.

Deadline: November 15, 2023

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Sunspot Lit seeks one short story, CNF, artwork, poem, graphic novel, script, or excerpt that outshines the rest. Literary and genre works accepted. Feedback available for additional fee. See guidelines for details. Enter through Sunspot’s Submittable or through Duotrope.

Deadline: May 31, 2023 (Expired)

Quill and Keyboard Teen International Writing Competition

Quills and Keyboard

We are made of students hosting a contest for teen & YA authors. There are 15 categories, from journalism to a section for novelists’ favorite chapters. Qualified judges will send feedback on each piece. We partnered with many writing organizations such as Teen Author Boot Camp and Newpages and recognized by non-profits such as Polyphony Lit.

Publication in Under the Madness and Skipping Stones

Deadline: May 20, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

2024 Book Prize

Unleash Press

Writers are invited to submit novels, short story collections and creative nonfiction manuscripts. The Editors' Prize winner receives a publication contract with Unleash Press and $1000 prize, along with 10 printed copies of the final book. We may also offer publication contracts to additional outstanding manuscripts.

Publishing contract

Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Novel, Short Story, Non-fiction

Weekly Writing Competition

the archipelago

the archipelago is looking for great works of fiction, poetry, and personal essay. Eligibility: One piece per entry. One entry per person for each week (you can submit your writing for each round of competition repeating every week). The writing must be previously unpublished (including online). All entries must be in English. 700 - 1000 maximum word count for stories. 150 maximum lines for poetry. Submission Dates: April 10 - July 10

Deadline: June 10, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

High School Academic Research Competition

Columbia Undergraduate science journal

The SARC is an exciting opportunity for students, aged 13-18 years old, who are looking for ways to exercise their research skills and have their works published in preparation for college. In SARC 2023, you will conduct research and write a 2-page essay on ANY topic of your choice -whether it be the sciences, a social issue in your community, or anything! The competition takes place across May through June 2023 and is 100% virtual, removing geographical barriers!

Deadline: May 27, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Science Writing

Mr. Rosewood Short Story Contest

WriteFluence

After the success of Mr. Rosewood’s antics last year, and Mrs. Rosewood’s a year before the last; here’s Mr. and Mrs. Rosewood waiting for you to write about any of their days into a story. We are excited to announce our latest short-story writing contest. This time, we challenge you to write a captivating story about a day in the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Rosewood.

Publication in anthology

Essay, Fiction, Short Story

Anthology Travel Writing Competition 2023

Anthology Magazine

The Anthology Travel Writing Competition is open to original and previously unpublished travel articles in the English language by writers of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. We are looking for an engaging article that will capture the reader’s attention, conveying a strong sense of the destination and the local culture. Max 1000 words.

Essay, Non-fiction, Travel

2023 John Estey Student Writing Competition

American Writers Museum

"Give me a song of hope and a world where I can sing it.” – Pauli Murray, Dark Testament Pauli Murray (1910-1985) was difficult to define. They were a poet, a lawyer, a priest, a freight hopper, Eleanor Roosevelt’s friend, arrested for refusing to comply with bus segregation laws, a closeted member of the LBGTQ+ community, a professor, and so much more. Their work has influenced Supreme Court decisions, the Civil Rights movement, and countless individual people. This prompt is a quote from Murray’s collection of poems titled Dark Testament. It can be used as a first line, a last line, a jumping-off point, an inspiration for your students’ work. They can use the entire quote or portions of it to write a fiction or nonfiction story, poem, song, scene, short monologue or other form of writing. Submissions should be 1,000 words or less regardless of format.

3x Elementary Grade winners: $500 | 3x Middle School winners: $1,000 | 3x High School winners: $2,000

Deadline: June 05, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing

Abstraction & Reasoning in AI

The ARC Essay Challenge is a competition that desires the evolution of human-level abstraction and reasoning in AI agents. We are looking for interdisciplinary ideas in your essays that draw inspiration from fields such as biology, mathematics, philosophy, neuroscience, or any other to contribute to understanding and improving the adaptability of AI in new and unknown situations.

2nd: $1000 | 3rd: $500 | Publication

Deadline: May 07, 2023 (Expired)

The Scribes Prize

Fairfield Scribes

The Scribes Prize is looking for fiction & creative nonfiction stories of 90-110 words. Prizes include publication, award seals, and cash: $250 for gold, $125 for silver, $60 for bronze & 15 honorable mentions for $20 each. Simultaneous submissions & reprints welcome. Max 3 submissions per author. All entries will receive feedback from 2 editors.

2nd: $125 | 3rd: $60 | Publication | Editor's deedback

Deadline: September 01, 2023 (Expired)

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

Emerging Writer's Contest

Ploughshares

In the spirit of the journal 's founding mission, the Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. One winner in each genre per year will receive $2,000 and publication in the literary journal. Authors are considered "emerging" if they haven 't published or self-published a book.

Publication in Ploughshares

Deadline: May 15, 2023 (Expired)

Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

Narratively's 2023 Profile Prize

Narratively is looking for profile pieces that tell the story of ordinary people or communities doing extraordinary things. The grand prize winner will receive $3,000, and the two finalists will receive $1,000 each. Guest judges are renowned journalists Gay Talese, Lisa Lucas and Rebecca Traister.

$1000 for two other finalists

Deadline: April 14, 2023 (Expired)

Bacopa Literary Review

Bacopa Literary Review is an annual international print journal published by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville. Our Bacopa Literary Review Editors’ blog shows the quality of writing we seek by highlighting work we respect from previous Bacopa issues as well as other sources.

£200 in 6 categories

$100 Honorable mention in 6 categories

Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Expired)

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Essay, Flash Fiction, Humor

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  • G&A: The Contest Blog

The Writing Contests, Grants & Awards database includes details about the creative writing contests—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, and more—that we’ve published in Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it. Ours is the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival

Brooklyn nonfiction prize.

A prize of $500 and publication on the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival website will be given annually for a work of nonfiction that is set in Brooklyn, New York, and renders...

Yale University Press

Yale series of younger poets.

A prize of $1,000, publication by Yale University Press, and a writing fellowship at the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut, is given annually for a poetry...

Pushcart Press

Editors’ book award.

A prize of $1,000 is given occasionally for a fiction or nonfiction manuscript that has been rejected by a commercial publisher. The award recognizes “worthy manuscripts that...

National Federation of State Poetry Societies

Barbara stevens poetry book manuscript competition.

A prize of $1,000, publication by National Federation of State Poetry Societies Press, and 50 author copies will be given annually for a poetry collection. The winner will also...

The Story Prize

A prize of $20,000 is given annually for a story collection written in English and first published in the United States in the current year. Two runners-up will receive $5,000...

Writer’s Digest

Short short story competition.

A prize of $3,000 and travel and lodging expenses for a trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference is given annually for a short short story. A second-place prize of $1,500...

Commonwealth Club of California

California book awards.

Five prizes of $5,000 each are given annually for a poetry collection, a book of fiction, a first book of fiction, a book of creative nonfiction, and a book of nonfiction that...

Nightboat Books

Poetry prize.

Up to four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Nightboat Books are given annually for poetry collections. The editors will judge. Using only the online submission system,...

Perugia Press

Perugia press prize.

A prize of $2,000, publication by Perugia Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection by a writer who identifies as a woman. Using...

Fine Arts Work Center

Writing fellowships.

Fellowships for a seven-month residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, are given annually to four poets and four fiction writers who have not...

Community of Literary Magazines & Presses

Firecracker awards.

Three prizes of $2,000 each are given annually for a book of poetry, a book of fiction, and a book of creative nonfiction published by an independent press in the current year...

Quarter After Eight

Robert j. demott short prose contest.

A prize of $1,008.15 and publication in Quarter After Eight is given annually for a prose poem, a short short story, a micro essay, or other work of short prose....

Red Hen Press

Quill prose award.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a story or essay collection, a novel, or a hybrid work of prose by a queer writer. Carlos Allende will...

Munster Literature Centre

Gregory o’donoghue international poetry competition.

A prize of €2,000 (approximately $2,192) and publication in Southword is given annually for a single poem. The winner will also receive a four-night hotel stay with...

Fish Publishing

Fish short story prize.

A prize of €3,000 (approximately $3,287) and publication in the annual Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short story. The winner will also be invited to attend...

Green Linden Press

Wishing jewel prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Green Linden Press is given annually for an innovative book of poetry “that questions the boundaries of genre, form, or mode while engaging...

Nina Riggs Poetry Foundation

Nina riggs poetry award.

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a single poem that examines relationships, family, or domestic life and was published in a book or magazine in the last three years....

Fall Story Contest

A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, a short graphic narrative, a short work of memoir,...

Stephen Mitchell Translation Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Green Linden Press will be given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction translated from any language into English....

Autumn House Press

Rising writer prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Autumn House Press is given in alternating years for a debut work of poetry or fiction. The 2024 prize will be given for poetry. The winner...

White Pine Press

A prize of $1,000 and publication by White Pine Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 60 to 80 pages with a $20 entry fee by November 30....

BOA Editions

A. poulin jr. poetry prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions is given annually for a first book of poetry by a U.S. resident. Matthew Shenoda will judge. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 100...

Beloit Poetry Journal

Chad walsh chapbook series.

A prize of $2,500, publication by Beloit Poetry Journal , and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. The editors will judge. Using only the online...

Anton Chekhov Award for Flash Fiction

A prize of $1,250 and publication in LitMag is given annually for a work of flash fiction. The winner will also have their work reviewed by agents from the Bent Agency...

Tadpole Press

100-word writing contest.

A prize of $2,000 is given biannually for a work of flash poetry or prose. English translations of works originally written in another language are accepted. Submit a work of...

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Articles/Essays Writing Competition : IYD2022

Programme is now closed for the year 2022-23             CLICK HERE FOR RESULT

International Youth Day 2022:  Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages  (Articles/Essays Writing Competition)

The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is pleased to invite articles/essays to commemorate International Youth Day (IYD) on August 12, 2022. It is a day of both reflection and action. The United Nations created IYD to help draw awareness to the boundless potential of young people and some of the issues they face in a global society. It is celebrated widely by recognising the strength of young people who are relentlessly contributing to the communities and nations of the world, right from conflict resolution to innovating ways to participate in developing an inclusive society actively. This initiative honours the traits of young people and recognises the challenges that young people face today. To support the elimination of these problems, young people need access to appropriate resources for education, wellness, medicine and more.

This year, the key theme of IYD is "Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages". The world must utilise all generations' full potential to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Generational unity is essential for sustained development. It allows people to be aware of the need for action across all generations to fulfil the SDGs and ensure that no one is left behind. In addition to highlighting these obstacles to intergenerational cooperation, the 2022 International Youth Day will also call attention to ageism, affecting young and older people while negatively impacting society.

Let us come together with SICI to celebrate International Youth Day (IYD) more creatively . A wide range of intergenerational themes are invited, such as ageing, familial relationships, youth and politics, generation gaps, social order, age stratification, parent-child relationships, changing livelihoods, health and social care, families and ageing, policies on ageing, and employment.

A winner's entry will be featured on the SICI's website and social media channels. Additionally, the best article/essay will be published as a featured article in SICI's Idea Journal.  

Eligibility

  • Young adults/ students belonging to the age group of 15-24 are eligible to participate.
  • Essays/articles must be typed. Hand-written documents will not be accepted.

Language The entries must be written in English only.

Word Length Essays/articles for the competition should not exceed 850-1000 characters.

How to register/Payment details The contest entry fee/one-time membership fee is INR 150/ - and CAD 5 $ that must be paid using the bank details provided below.

Essay/article submission/ How to submit : All participants are advised to submit an essay/article via Google form Link. Registration link/Submission Link:  https://forms.gle/VE3sxWcapbvdAEn76

Important Dates Start Date : August 12, 2022 End Date : December 31, 2022, 11:59 PM IST

Award value 1st award: 10,000/- 2nd Award: 5,000/-      3rd Award: 2,500/- 

Rules and regulations 1.    One entry per participant is allowed. 2.    The essay/article must be between 850 to 1000 words. Essays/articles with word counts of less than 850 or exceeding 1000 will be disqualified. 3.    Only the original work will be sent for adjudication  4.    plagiarism is strictly prohibited 5.    A certificate of participation will be awarded to the participants. 6.    The best three (3) entries will be judged and awarded a certificate of merit.   7.    Activity will stand to be cancelled in case of insufficient entries  8.    Any personalised mark anywhere in the entry's body will lead to disqualification.  9.    In the event of unforeseen circumstances, SICI reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time.

Contact Ms Reshma Rana Verma Programme Officer Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) 5 Bhai Vir Singh Marg New Delhi 110001 INDIA Call us at: 011 – 2374 6417; 2374 3114; 2374 2677; & +91-8882315503 Email: [email protected]

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Writing Competitions – Weekly Updates

Opportunities for aspiring and experienced writers..

Welcome to the most comprehensive list of writing competitions available online. Our list includes short story , poetry , and flash fiction competitions, as well as some events for essay writers, screenwriting , and even entire novel manuscripts. Each item on our list includes basic information about max word count , entry fees , submission deadlines , and the first place prize .

Please do your own research before deciding to enter any event. In case of questions about a particular event, please reach out to the event organizer .

Use our online form to submit a new event to our list.

We are keen to encourage quality submissions, so suggest writers to check their stories before submitting using Prowritingaid . They have free and paid versions and are the best writing software we know to help improve grammar, readability and check for repetition, ‘sticky’ sentences and suggest alternatives. We also suggest checking out our article about the Best Apps for Creative Writing .

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South Africa

mon 30 oct All Day Diode Editions Book Contest Category Full Manuscript International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 55-95 pages Top Prize $1,500.00, 10 author copies, publication by Diode Editions

mon 30 oct All Day Diode Editions Chapbook Contest Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $18 Max word count 25-50 pages Top Prize $750.00, publication by Diode Editions, and 10 author copies

tue 31 oct All Day Inspiring Fiction's Fantasy Short Story Contest Category Short Story International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 2,500 Top Prize £100

tue 31 oct All Day The Bedford Competition Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee £9 Max word count 3000 (short story); 40 lines (poetry) Top Prize £1500

tue 31 oct All Day WOW! Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest Category Essay International Entry Fee $12 Max word count 1000 Top Prize $500

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Poetry Category Poetry International Entry Fee $15 Max word count 70 Lines Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Books Category Full Manuscript International Entry Fee $25 Max word count No limit Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 5000 Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day The Letter Review Prize for Short Fiction Category Short Fiction International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 5000 Top Prize $1000

tue 31 oct All Day Anthology Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee €18 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize €1000

tue 31 oct All Day The National Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £8 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £5,000

wed 01 nov All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Category Short Story International Entry Fee Free Max word count 5,000 Top Prize £5,000

wed 01 nov All Day THE SCRIBBLE ANNUAL SHORT STORY COMPETITION Category Short Story International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 3000 Top Prize £100 and publication

fri 03 nov All Day F(r)iction Flash Fiction Writing Contest - Fall 2023 Category Flash Fiction International Entry Fee $10 Max word count 1,000 Top Prize $300

fri 03 nov All Day F(r)iction Short Story Writing Contest - Fall 2023 Category Short Story International Entry Fee $15 Max word count 7,500 Top Prize $1000

sun 05 nov All Day Blue Pencil Agency Pitch Prize Category Novel International Entry Fee £12 Max word count 500 Top Prize Agent introduction for up to 10 winners

fri 10 nov All Day The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition Category Flash Fiction USA Entry Fee $13 Max word count 400 Top Prize $1500

sun 12 nov All Day The Wonderland Short Fiction Competition Category Short Fiction UK Entry Fee £5 Max word count 2500 Top Prize Publication

sun 12 nov All Day The Masters Review Novel Excerpt Contest 2023 Category Novel International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 6000 Top Prize $3,000

wed 15 nov All Day The Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize Category Poetry International Entry Fee $10 Max word count No limit Top Prize $750

wed 15 nov 12:00 pm wed 12:00 pm Curious Curls Fiction Contest 2023 Category Short Fiction USA Entry Fee $2.50 Max word count 10,000 Top Prize $250

thu 16 nov All Day Ironclad Creative Short Story Competition - Winter 23 Category Short Story UK Entry Fee £6 Max word count 6000 Top Prize £150

fri 17 nov All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! InkWellness Writing Competition Category Multiple categories International Entry Fee Free Max word count 5,000 Top Prize Publication

sun 19 nov All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Wild Words: Eco-Poetry Callout for Young People Category Poetry UK Entry Fee Free Max word count one side of A4, size 12 font Top Prize Publication

thu 30 nov All Day Ink 2 Screen One-Act Script Challenge Category Script International Entry Fee $45 Max word count 60 pages Top Prize $480

thu 30 nov All Day McNally Robinson Booksellers and Prairie Fire Writing Contests Category Multiple categories Canada Entry Fee $34 Max word count 5000 (fiction and non fiction); 150 (poetry) Top Prize $750

thu 30 nov All Day Anthology Travel Writing Competition Category Non-fiction International Entry Fee €10 Max word count 1000 Top Prize €500 and publication

thu 30 nov 1:00 am thu 1:00 am This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Discourse Literary Journal Monthly Writing Competition: January Category Multiple categories USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 5000 Top Prize Publication

thu 30 nov All Day WOW! Women on Writing Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Category Flash Fiction International Entry Fee $10 Max word count 750 Top Prize $400

thu 30 nov All Day Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee €7 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize €2,000

thu 30 nov All Day Narratively 2023 Memoir Prize Category memoir International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 7,000 Top Prize $3,000

thu 30 nov All Day Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest Category Short Story International Entry Fee $15 Max word count 100 Top Prize $2000

thu 30 nov All Day Café Writers Open Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £4 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £1,000

mon 04 dec All Day Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £10 Max word count No limit? (confirm with organizer) Top Prize £2,000 and publication

fri 15 dec All Day Artificial Intelligence Competition Category Multiple categories Canada Entry Fee $5 Max word count 300 Top Prize $100

fri 15 dec All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition Category Novel Sponsored by Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America (MWA) International Entry Fee Free Max word count No less than approximately 65,000 words Top Prize $10,000

sun 17 dec All Day The Masters Review Chapbook Open 2023 Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 45 pages Top Prize $3000, manuscript publication, and 75 contributor copies

sun 31 dec All Day Valorious Awards Category Novel International Entry Fee $35 Max word count No limit Top Prize $500 (US), Valorious Award trophy

sun 31 dec All Day The Moth Poetry Prize 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee €15 Max word count No limit Top Prize €6,000

sun 31 dec All Day The 2023 Society of Classical Poets Poetry Competition Category Poetry International Entry Fee $20 Max word count 108 lines Top Prize $2,000

sun 31 dec All Day The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2023 Category Poetry International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 100 pages Top Prize $2,000 and book publication

sun 14 jan All Day The 2024 Colorado Prize for Poetry Category Poetry International Entry Fee $28 Max word count 100 pages Top Prize $2,500 honorarium and publication

mon 15 jan All Day Winter Anthology Contest: Compelling First Chapters Category Novel USA Entry Fee $20 Max word count 3,000 Top Prize $1000 and anthology publication. All finalists will receive $50 and anthology publication.

mon 15 jan All Day Rattle Chapbook Prize Category Chapbook International Entry Fee $25 Max word count 30 pages Top Prize $5,000 and 500 author copies of their chapbook

wed 31 jan All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! Story Unlikely's Annual Short Story Contest Category Multiple categories USA Entry Fee Free Max word count 4500 Top Prize $750

wed 31 jan All Day New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024 Category Flash Fiction UK Entry Fee £10 (£8 early bird price until 30th November 2023) Max word count 300 Top Prize £1,000

wed 31 jan All Day Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition 2024 Category Poetry International Entry Fee £5 Max word count 40 lines Top Prize £1,000

thu 29 feb All Day This event is FREE to enter! Yay! THE CANTERBURY TALES WRITING COMPETITION Category Poetry International Entry Fee Free Max word count 500 Top Prize £300

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The Goi Peace Foundation

International essay contest for young people.

article writing competition 2022

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 International Essay Contest for Young People.

This year the Essay Contest was held under the theme “Youth Creating a Peaceful Future.” From among 20,674 entries (Children’s category: 6,922 / Youth category: 13,752) from 168 countries, the following winners were selected. We take this opportunity to thank all of you who participated in the contest!

Each first prize winner will receive a certificate of commendation from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, and a gift. Certificates and gifts for other prizes will be mailed to the winners in December 2023.

Guidelines for the 2024 International Essay Contest for Young People will be announced on this website and through the Goi Peace Foundation’s mailing list and facebook page by mid-February 2024.

Congratulatory Message from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan

Congratulatory message for the 2023 International Essay Contest for Young People

Theme “Youth Creating a Peaceful Future”

What does a peaceful world look like to you? How can young people work together, using creative ideas and approaches to realize a peaceful future? Please share your specific ideas.

List of Winners

(All ages are as of June 15, 2023.)

1st Prize (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan Award)

Children's category (1 entrant).

  • NO HORRORS Chimamanda Kaitlyn Uzoechi (Age 8, Nigeria)

Youth category (1 entrant)

  • The Power of Dreams Michiho Shimazaki (Age 17, Japan)

Children's category (3 entrants)

  • Seeing Things from the Other Point of View Ayumi Kuroiwa (Age 13, Japan)
  • WE ARE COLOUR PALETTES Anelis Kristel Huarhuachi Quispe (Age 14, Perú)
  • The Legacy of Loving the Next: Young People Transforming the World into a Better Place Marinna Laura Soares Azevedo (Age 14, Brazil)

Youth category (3 entrants)

  • Here is My Peaceful World Feyisola Maria Bolarinwa (Age 17, Nigeria)
  • 700 Hundred Words About Peace Yan Korolev (Age 17, Belarus <Living in Poland>)
  • Embracing Disparities for a Peaceful Tomorrow Haseeb Iqbal (Age 22, Pakistan)

Children's category (5 entrants)

  • I'm only seven Sydor Yaroslav (Age 7, Ukraine)
  • For a Peaceful World Haruka Someya (Age 13, Japan)
  • What Is Justice? Soma Sagai (Age 14, Japan)
  • Entrust in Peace: Simple Acts Tanishka Aglave (Age 14, U.S.A.)
  • Changing Our Awareness for a Peaceful World Hayato Yuge (Age 15, Japan)

Youth category (5 entrants)

  • The Importance of Taking Down Barriers: Why We Mustn’t Cling on to Labels Mizuki Hayakawa (Age 15, Japan)
  • Redefining our Institutions Through Love: The Youth’s Path to Peace Ghena Kubba (Age 16, U.S.A.)
  • birthday cake candles Mira (Age 18, Belarus)
  • Cuius regio, eius religio?- From Blood-Stained Bridges to a Bright Future: Uniting Youth For Better Tomorrow Aiša Muhić (Age 20, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Find Peace in Compassion Folasade Bolarinwa (Age 21, Nigeria)

Honorable Mention

Children's category (25 entrants).

  • Naqiyyah Afrah (Age 6, Brunei)
  • Riyo Nokami (Age 10, Japan <Living in U.S.A.>)
  • Qihang Chen (Age 11, China)
  • Sinzogan Boris Prudent M. U. (Age 11, Benin)
  • Cluoe Esthyrbelle G. Labrador (Age 12, Philippines)
  • Crystal Kim (Age 12, South Korea)
  • Kokoha Sato (Age 12, Japan)
  • Rinka Hato (Age 12, Japan)
  • Taiki Sasaki (Age 12, Japan)
  • Tomoki Kamiya (Age 12, Japan)
  • Hana Gollop (Age 13, Japan & U.K. <Living in China>)
  • Hisa Yamada (Age 13, Japan)
  • Kayleigh Claire Go So (Age 13, Philippines)
  • Noa Murashita (Age 13, Japan)
  • Yuuki Sue (Age 13, Japan)
  • Chloe Kim (Age 14, U.S.A.)
  • Claire Tang (Age 14, U.S.A.)
  • Diana Oshan (Age 14, Kazakhstan)
  • Lim Enn Kii (Age 14, Malaysia & Taiwan of China <Living in Japan>)
  • Jessica Jubrail (Age 14, Jordan)
  • Karin Daito (Age 14, Japan)
  • Mao Kuroda (Age 14, Japan)
  • Prashansa Shrestha (Age 14, Nepal)
  • Tan Le En (Age 14, Malaysia)
  • Thauan Sachet de Figueiredo (Age 14, Brazil)

Youth category (25 entrants)

  • Chit Khone Cho Thar (Age 15, Myanmar)
  • Hyunjin Vicky Lee (Age 15, South Korea)
  • Lujain Swaiss (Age 15, Jordan)
  • Myat Thiri Zaw (Age 15, Myanmar)
  • Honoka Inui (Age 16, Japan)
  • Nil Mızraklı (Age 16, Türkiye)
  • Rin Yanagisawa (Age 16, Japan)
  • Yotsuba Tanaka (Age 16, Japan)
  • Zaki Hafizh Zen (Age 16, Indonesia)
  • Cecilia Trisollini Barrientos (Age 17, Perú)
  • Michael Levie M. Alilio (Age 17, Philippines)
  • Sachiko Aoki (Age 17, Japan)
  • Saki Honda (Age 17, Japan)
  • Shiori Nishida (Age 17, Japan)
  • Tatyana Markevich (Age 17, Belarus)
  • Angelica Wayneth Bernardo (Age 18, Philippines)
  • Lamees Anza Khan (Age 18, Pakistan)
  • Anastasiia Radutna (Age 20, Ukraine)
  • Metsongmalem M Chang (Age 20, India)
  • Lopamudra Ghosh (age 21, India)
  • Noy Ben-Sade (Age 21, Israel)
  • Hudda Amjad (Age 22, Pakistan)
  • Luís Gustavo Gonçalves Barreira (Age 22, Brazil)
  • Rafia Ahmad (Age 23, Pakistan)
  • Sesam Rana Magar (Age 23, Nepal)

Best School Award (3 schools)

  • Koka Gakuen Junior and Senior High School for Girls, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Setagaya Junior High School attached to Tokyo Gakugei University (Japan)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Oizumi Junior High School (Japan)

School Incentive Award (74 schools)

  • Aichi Prefectural Chigusa High School (Japan)
  • Antique Vocational School- Special Program in Journalism (Philippines)
  • Arsakeio Secondary Schools of Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • Bal Bharati Public School, Delhi (India)
  • Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School, Selangor (Malaysia)
  • Bilingual Kopalinski School, Bielsko-Biala (Poland)
  • Bukhara region Karavulbazar district School N1 (Uzbekistan)
  • Buyukcekmece Doga Koleji, Istanbul (Türkiye)
  • Chicago Futabakai Japanese School-Saturday School, Illinois (U.S.A.)
  • Clark Memorial International High School, Aichi (Japan)
  • Colégio Santa Maria, São Paulo (Brazil)
  • Colégio Vital Brazil, São Paulo (Brazil)
  • De La Salle Lipa, Inc. (Philippines)
  • Destiny International College, Osogbo (Nigeria)
  • Écoles Al Madina Site Polo, Casablanca (Morocco)
  • Escuela Preparatoria No. 8 Universidad de Guadalajara (México)
  • FPT University, Hanoi (Viet Nam)
  • Fuji Sacred Heart School, Shizuoka (Japan)
  • Fukushima Prefectural Aizu Gakuho Junior and Senior High School (Japan)
  • Fukushima Prefectural Asakakaisei Senior High School (Japan)
  • Ghiyasuddin International School, Male’ (Maldives)
  • Gymnázium Šrobárova, Kosice (Slovakia)
  • Hougang Secondary School (Singapore)
  • Ikeda Junior High School attached to Osaka Kyoiku University (Japan)
  • International School of Milan (Italy)
  • Jamaluddin School, Male' (Maldives)
  • Japaniche Schule in Zurich (Hoshuko) (Switzerland)
  • Jonan Gakuen Junior High School, Senior High School, Osaka (Japan)
  • Joso Gakuin Junior & Senior High School, Ibaraki (Japan)
  • Kagoshima Gyokuryu Junior & Senior High School of Kagoshima City (Japan)
  • Keimei Gakuen Elementary School, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Kokugojuku KURU, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Kyoto University of Advanced Science Junior & Senior High School (Japan)
  • Labuan International School, Labuan (Malaysia)
  • Liceul Mathias Hammer in Anina, Caras-Severin (Romania)
  • Matsumoto Shuho Secondary School, Nagano (Japan)
  • Midori Elementary School of Itabashi City, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Miwada Gakuen Girls' Junior & Senior High School, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Motherland Secondary School, Pokhara Lekhnath (Nepal)
  • Nan Hua Primary School (Singapore)
  • Nobeoka Technical High School, Miyazaki (Japan)
  • Omori 6th Junior High School of Ota City, Tokyo (Japan)
  • OOU Lazo Trpovski, Skopje (Japan)
  • Ozel Cagdas Bilim Koleji, Muğla (Türkiye)
  • PECHS Girls School, Karachi (Pakistan)
  • Preparatoria Regional de Colotlán, Jalisco (México)
  • Santo Tomas Elementary School-Annex, Laguna (Philippines)
  • Satriwithaya School, Bangkok (Thailand)
  • School 11, Cherkasy (Ukraine)
  • ȘCOALA GIMNAZIALĂ „SPIRU HARET” BACĂU (Romania)
  • Sekolah Kebangsaan Minden Height, Pinang (Malaysia)
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sri Nipah, Kelantan (Malaysia)
  • Senior High School at Sakado, University of Tsukuba, Saitama (Japan)
  • Showa Women's University Junior-Senior High School, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Shinjuku Nishitoyama Junior High School of Shinjuku City, Tokyo (Japan)
  • SJKC Kong Min Cawangan Kedua, Penang (Malaysia)
  • Škola pre mimoriadne nadané deti a Gymnázium, Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • SMJK Chio Min, Kedah (Malaysia)
  • SMK Taman Pelangi Indah, Johor (Malaysia)
  • SMP Islam Al Izhar Pondok Labu, South Jakarta (Indonesia)
  • Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan of China)
  • St. Agnes' Junior & Senior High School, Kyoto (Japan)
  • Sydney Saturday School of Japanese, New South Wales (Australia)
  • SESI ESCOLA, Mossoró (Brazil)
  • St. Joseph Convent School Quetta (Pakistan)
  • Suma Gakuen Junior High School, Hyogo (Japan)
  • Teacher Su International School, Yangon (Myanmar)
  • TED Mersin College (Türkiye)
  • Toho Girls' Junior and Senior High School, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Tokyo Bay International School (Japan)
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology, Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia)
  • Yamanouchi Junior High School of Yamanouchi Town, Nagano (Japan)
  • Yaroslavl College of Industry and Economy, Yaroslavl (Russia)
  • Základná škola Bernolákova 16, Košice (Slovakia)

Essay Contest 2023 Flyer (PDF)

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FREELANCE COMMUNITY

40 Free Writing Contests: Competitions With Cash Prizes

by Kelly Gurnett | Aug 29, 2023

writing contests

Have you ever Googled “writing contests”? Many require reading fees or prizes—like seeing your work in print—that you can only receive if you pay for it.

Some legitimate contests charge small entry fees, but often a fee can be a red flag for a scam, so those might be the ones you want to stay away from. 

Besides, there are plenty of free writing contests that encourage and inspire boundless creativity with real cash prizes and career-advancing opportunities! Since it can be hard for a writer to know where to find them, we did the legwork for you.

We found 40 reputable, well-reviewed, free writing contests for poets, fiction writers, essayists and more.

With thousands of dollars in cash prizes and numerous opportunities to secure a publishing contract, you’re sure to find the right free writing contest for your work.

If you don’t mind paying a little money to enter, our friends over at Smart Blogger have rounded up some great writing contests that have small entry fees. And if you’re still hungry for more opportunities, we also have posts on writers grants and writing fellowships .

Table of Contents

Fiction and nonfiction writing contests this year.

Ready to share your novel or personal essay with the world? Whether you’re a newbie or more established writer, you’re likely eligible for a few of these contests.

Here are some fiction and nonfiction writing contests worth considering .

1. L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

Whatever your feelings about L. Ron Hubbard’s work and philosophy, the prizes for this regular contest are nothing to sneeze at. Every three months, winners earn $1,000, $750 and $500, plus an additional annual grand prize of $5,000.

Submissions must be short stories or novelettes (up to 17,000 words) in the genre of science fiction or fantasy, and new and amateur writers are welcome to apply.

Deadlines: Quarterly on March 31, June 30 and September 30

Website: Writers of the Future

This boutique publishing firm offers cash prizes and promotional packages to winning authors. Submit a novel of 10,000 words or more in any fiction genre (no fanfic or poetry).

Inkitt’s writing contest runs monthly and gives authors the chance to win cash prizes up to $300, exclusive book badges and promotional packages while showcasing their books to Inkitt’s audience of more than 3 million users. Winners are determined by Inkitt’s unique algorithm based on overall reader engagement.

Deadline: See individual contest pages

Website: Inkitt

Disclosure: Inkitt is an advertising partner of The Write Life. We hold our advertisers to high standards and vetted this contest just like others on this list. 

3. Drue Heinz Literature Prize

You can win $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press with this prize, awarded for a collection of short fiction.

You may submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories , two or more novellas or a combination of novellas and short stories. Your total word count should be between 150 and 300 typed pages. You must also have already published a novel or book-length work of fiction “with a reputable publisher,” or no fewer than three short stories or novellas in nationally-recognized journals.

Deadline: Annual submissions must be postmarked between May 1 through June 30

Website: University of Pittsburgh Press

4 . Young Lions Fiction Award

This $10,000 award recognizes “young authors,” which the rules define as any author aged 35 or younger. Submit any novel or collection of short stories published or scheduled to be published in the calendar year. Works must be written for adults; children’s or YA pieces are ineligible.

Deadline: Submissions for this year are open through September 8 at 5pm Eastern Time

Website: New York Public Library

5 . Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prizes

One of the best-loved small presses in the creative writing world, Graywolf Press hosts a variety of contests for both established and up-and-coming writers. Graywolf also offers smaller fiction and nonfiction prizes, with genres rotating by year; 2020 was a nonfiction year, so fiction was up in 2021, then back to nonfiction in 2022, and so on. These awards include a sizable advance— $12,000 in previous years—as well as publication with Graywolf.

Deadline: Contest is held annually with rotating genres. The contest next opens for submissions in February 2024

Website: Graywolf Press

6 . The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans

Hosted by the prestigious Iowa Review, the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award is offered to U.S. military veterans and active-duty members writing in any genre about any subject. Manuscripts of up to 20 pages will be accepted, and the first-prize winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the Review. A second place prize of $750 is also available, as well as three runner-up prizes of $500 each.

Deadline: Biennially. The next contest will be held in May 2024

Website: The Iowa Review

7 . Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

For 15 years, this contest has provided visibility for emerging African American fiction writers and enables them to focus on their writing by awarding a $15,000 cash prize. Eligible authors should submit a work of fiction, such as a novel or short story collection, published in the calendar year. (Galleys for publication within the year are also accepted.)

Deadline: Annually. The entry window closes on December 31

Website: The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

8. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Honoring the best work of fiction published by an American author in a single calendar year, this award has been given to the likes of John Updike, Philip Roth and Ann Patchett. Novels, novellas and collections of short stories are all eligible.

The winner receives a hefty cash prize—up to $15,000 in the past—and an invitation to read at the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. Plus, there are no submission fees or application forms to deal with; just send a PDF of each book (as many as you’d like) to [email protected] .

Deadline: S ubmissions will be accepted from July 1 to September 30

Website: Pen/Faulkner

9 . PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

This contest requires you to have already published a short story in a literary magazine or journal or cultural website. But if you’ve made your debut (but gone no further), you may be eligible for the generous cash prize of $2,000, which is annually awarded to 12 emerging writers, whose works are then published together in an anthology.

Short stories of up to 12,000 words are eligible and must be published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is given. Additionally, keep this in mind: Submissions are only eligible if submitted by an editor. Authors may not submit their own work.

Deadline: Submissions close November 1

Website: PEN America

10. Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Fiction and nonfiction writers who have recently published a book that “contribute[s] to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of cultural diversity” are eligible for this award, which offers $10,000 cash as well as media and publicity opportunities. Plus, winners receive their prize at a ceremony in Cleveland.

Submissions must be published in the prior year (so books published last year are eligible for the award this year).

Deadline: Annual submission window is September 1 through December 31

Website: Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

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11. Marfield Prize (aka National Award for Arts Writing)

Presented by the Arts Club of Washington, this award seeks to honor nonfiction books that deal with the “visual, literary, media, or performing arts.” The prize is $10,000 and may be awarded to works of criticism, art history, memoirs and biographies, and essays.

Deadline: Annually in the last quarter of the year. The submission window in 2023 is October 15

Website: The Marfield Prize

1 2 . W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

If you’re a war buff, this competition is for you. It awards $5,000—and a 24-karat-gold-framed citation of achievement—to the best piece of fiction set during a period when the U.S. was at war (war may either be the main plot of the piece or simply provide the setting). Submissions may be adult or YA novels.

Deadline: Annually on December 31

Website: American Library Association

13. Friends of American Writers Chicago Awards

FAW presents two annual awards: an Adult Literature Award for literary fiction or nonfiction, and a  Young People’s Literature Award for a children’s/YA book.

Authors must reside in the state of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin—or they must set their book in one of those locations. Prize amounts vary from year to year, but you don’t have to bother with an application and all winners are celebrated at the organization’s May luncheon.

Deadline: Annually in December

Website: Friends of American Writers Chicago

14. Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest

Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to medical humanities, offers two prizes annually for essays of no more than 1,500 words: $5,000 is awarded to the winner and $2,500 to the first runner-up. Eligible topics are broad so long as they have a relation to medicine, and many include art, history, literature, education and more.

Deadline: Annually; September 15 is usually the deadline

Website: Hektoen International

15. Biopage Storytelling Writing Contest

There’s no denying it: social media is a huge part of our modern-day lives. It’s easy to get used to limiting our communications to 280-character and emoji-strewn snippets, which is why this marketing firm is hosting an essay writing contest to “remind people of the benefits of writing.”

Essays of up to 5,000 characters (roughly 1,000 words) will be accepted, and right now they’re looking for stories of COVID-19 quarantine life. The grand prize winner will receive $300, and five runners-up will be awarded $100 each.

The contest is free to enter, but you’ll need to register for a Biopage account to be eligible.

Deadline: The current contest ends January 31, 2024

Website: Biopage

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

Writers 18 and older who have never had a novel published (in any genre) are eligible for this prize, awarded to an original book-length manuscript where “murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.” The winner receives a publication contract with Minotaur Books and an advance of $10,000 against future royalties.

Deadline: December 17 each yea r 

Website: Edgar Awards

17. ServiceScape Short Story Award

ServiceScape, a platform matching freelance writers, editors and graphic designers with clients (i.e. a great place to look for paid writing work !) offers a yearly Short Story Award of $1,000 to a winning fiction or nonfiction work of 5,000 words or fewer. The winner will also have their story featured on the ServiceScape blog, which sees thousands of readers each month.

Deadline: November 29 each year

Website: ServiceScape

18 . Stowe Prize

This biennial prize of $10,000 honors an American author whose adult fiction or nonfiction work has had an impact on a critical social justice issue (as did Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin ). The book must be written by a U.S. author and have been published in the United States during the previous three calendar years.

Deadline: Contact the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center for this year’s deadline .

Website: Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

19 . The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction essays of no more than 5,000 words on any subject are eligible for consideration for this award, whose winner receives $250 and publication in Lunch Ticket , the literary and art journal produced by the MFA community of Antioch University Los Angeles.

Works must not have been published elsewhere. Award winners are required to submit a 100-word biography, recent photo and a short note thanking the Woods family for their generosity and support.

Deadlines: Biannual reading periods are in February for the Summer/Fall issue and in August for the Winter/Spring issue

Website: Lunch Ticket

20 . The 2023 Brandon Langhjelm Memorial Essay Contest

Each year, this Canadian organization offers three prizes, ranging from $500 to $1,500, to the essay with the most thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments around a specific human-rights theme. (For example, 2022’s prompt was, “ Canadian governments are making Digital ID technologies a precondition of access to essential services and goods. What can Canadians do to protect their Charter rights and freedoms against the dangers of these technologies? ”

The contest is open to Canadian college and university students, and essays should be 2,500 words or less in length.

Deadline: November 5

Website: Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms

21. Write the World

For young writers ages 13-18, these cool contests also serve as mini workshops. Recognizing that “a first draft is never perfect,” submissions actually receive peer review by authors, writing teachers and other experts and writers are given the chance to revise their pieces based on this feedback before submitting them for final prize consideration.

Contests vary each month, but there’s a $100 prize for the winner and $50 for the runner-up (plus $50 for the best peer-reviewer). All three are featured on Write the World’s blog alongside comments from a guest judge. And since each month’s prompt is from a different genre, developing writers get a chance to test out different styles.

Deadline: Monthly

Website: Write the World

Stuck with writer’s block and looking for a way to jumpstart your escape? Prose offers weekly challenges meant to spark your creativity; many are just for fun, but look for the weekly numbered challenges posted by Prose (rather than community members or sponsors) for a chance to win money.

Prizes are typically between $100 to $200 and word counts are low—some as low as under 150, some as high as 500. So even if all you get from the prompt is a chance to flex your brain, it’s not a bad deal.

Deadline: Weekly and monthly

Website: Prose.

23. The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

First-generation immigrants have a chance to win $10,000 and publication by Restless Books for telling their stories (real or imagined). The contest alternates annually between fiction (novel or short story collection) and nonfiction (memoir, essay collection, narrative nonfiction). In 2021, it went to a work of nonfiction of at least 25,000 words; 2022 will be fiction.

Deadline: Submission window is usually between December and March

Website: Restless Books

24. AFSA National High School Essay Contest

The U.S. Institute of Peace and the American Foreign Service Association sponsor this annual high school essay contest, where the winner receives a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and a full-tuition paid voyage with Semester at Sea upon the student’s enrollment at an accredited university. Essays should be between 1,000 and 1,250 words and have to answer all aspects of the prompt as well as demonstrate an understanding of the Foreign Service.

Runners-up get a pretty sweet deal too, a $1,250 cash prize and a full scholarship to participate in the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leadership Conference.

Deadline : April each year

Website: American Foreign Service Association

25. Science-me a Story

Born in 2018, the Society of Spanish Researchers invites talented and original writers to write a 100-word blurb for a hypothetical novel. This might sound really easy, but your blurb has to quickly hook readers and make them want to read more. Open to anyone over 18 anywhere in the world, your real or fictional short story for this competition must be either in English or Spanish and “conceived from the objective of scientific dissemination to primary school” to qualify for the cash prizes: £150, £100 and £50. 

Website: Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom

26. VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

Virginia Commonwealth University sponsors this award that honors an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year. While you may have published previous books in a different form, the submission must be your first published book marketed as a novel.

The award is a $5,000 cash prize, and the winning author must agree to attend the award event, usually scheduled for November.

Deadline : Annually; the submission window runs from July 1 through December 30

Website: Virginia Commonwealth University

27. Daisy Utemorrah Award

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples currently living in Australia. Generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the State Government of Western Australia, the winner of the award receives $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.

Deadline : Submission window usually opens at the beginning of each year

Website: Magabala Books

28 . Short Fiction Prize

If you’re an undergrad at a college in the U.S. or Canada, this writing competition is for you. (Traditionally, this contest has encouraged applicants with an Asian background, but anyone is invited to apply.) Submissions should be no more than 7,500 words.

One winner will get a $1,000 prize as well as a scholarship to the next Southampton Writers Conference .

Deadline : Submission window is usually between March 1- July 14

Website: Stony Brook University | Lichtenstein Center

29. Bacopa Literary Review Contest

The Bacopa Literary Review is an international journal published by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville. Each year, it opens submissions for pieces in four genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and prose poetry. Find detailed guidelines for each genre on its website. First place gets $300, and the second prize in each of the four genres gets $100.

Deadline: May 30 each year

Website: Writers Alliance of Gainesville

30. Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest

As long as you stick to the guidelines, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s annual contest welcomes your 5,000- to 6,000-word (previously unpublished) creative story. But before you send it off, make sure your story is polished and formatted! Plus, the prizes aren’t too shabby—winning stories will be edited and published, authors will receive royalties, and the top story will even get to give the anthology its title. 

Deadlines: September 1 each year

Website: Insecure Writer’s Support Group

31. Ultimate Meal Plans Nutrition Scholarship

College students studying nutrition, kinesiology or exercise-science fields: you’re going to be all over this one. Twice per year, the Ultimate Paleo Guide (aka the best paleo resource on the internet) awards $500 scholarships to two deserving students who meet all eligibility requirements—as well as write an 800-word essay about why you chose your field, an impact you’d like to make in your career, a challenge you’ve faced and more.

Deadlines: January 30 (awards in March) and July 31 (awards in September)

Website: Ultimate Meal Plans

32. New Voices Award

Presented by Lee & Low Books, an award-winning children’s book publisher, this award is given for a previously unpublished children’s picture book manuscript of no more than 1,500 words written by a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writers who’s a resident of the U.S.

The winner receives $2,000 cash and a standard publication contract, and an additional Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000. You may submit up to two manuscripts.

Deadline: The contest is on hiatus for 2023, check the website for a follow-up announcement in 2024. 

Website: Lee & Low Books

33. St. Francis College Literary Prize

Since 2009, this biennial literary award has honored mid-career writers who have recently published their third, fourth or fifth work of fiction. The winner receives $50,000 and may be invited to the St. Francis College campus in Brooklyn, New York, to deliver a talk about their work or teach a mini fiction workshop to St. Francis students.

Deadline: Biennially. The contest was not offered the last three years due to the pandemic and limited campus access

Website: St. Francis College

Poetry contests this year

Curious about opportunities for poets? Your stanzas—rhyming or not—could be worth a fair amount of money in these poetry competitions.

Check out these poetry writing contests.

34. Black Voices in Children’s Literature Writing Contest

This contest is open to Black writers who are over the age of 18 and residents of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin.  It’s hosted by Strive Publishing and Free Spirit Publishing and seeks to fill the need for Black representation in children’s and young adult books. Original board and picture books for children aged 0-4 and picture books for ages 4-8 are eligible, provided they feature contemporary, realistic Black characters and culture and focus on character development, self esteem, community and other aspects of positive childhood development.

Three prizes, ranging from $250 to $1,000, will be awarded, and the first-place winner will be “seriously considered” for publication, though it’s not guaranteed.

Deadline: Usually late July, each year

Website: Free Spirit Publishing  

35. James Laughlin Award

If you’re already a published poet, this is the award for you; it’s given for a second book of poetry due to come out in the forthcoming year. The winner receives $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid week-long residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. In addition, copies of the winning book are distributed to 1,000 members of the Academy of American Poets.

Deadline: Annual submission window is January 1 through May 15

Website: Academy of American Poets

36. African Poetry Book Fund Prizes

The APBF awards three prizes annually for African Poetry. The Luschei Prize for African Poetry gives $1,000 for a book of original African poetry published in the prior year.

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets gives $1,000 and a publication contract for a book-length collection of poetry by an as-yet-unpublished African author.

The Brunel International African Poetry Prize is a new prize that grants £3,000 to a poet who was born in Africa, or has African parents, who has not yet had a full-length book of poetry published. (U.S. citizens qualify.) To submit, you’ll need 10 poems.

Deadlines: See individual prize pages

Website: African Poetry Book Fund

37. Tufts Poetry Awards

Claremont Graduate University presents two awards each year to poets they deem to be “outstanding.” The Kate Tufts Poetry Award grants $10,000 for a published first book of poetry that shows promise.

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award grants a mammoth $100,000 for a published book of poetry by an established or mid-career poet.

Deadline: Submission window is July 1 to June 30 each year

Website: Claremont Graduate University

38. Graywolf Press Walt Whitman Award 

The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 prize awarded, along with publication, to an American poet with a winning first book manuscript. He or she also receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy.

Graywolf Press is also one of the publishers of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize , “a first book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by Black poets.” Winners receive $1,000 and Graywolf publishes every third winner of the prize.

Deadline : July 1 to September 1 each year

Website: Poets

39. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Now in its 23rd year, this humor contest wants your best published or unpublished work for a grand prize of $2,000; runners-up are awarded $500 and 10 honorable mentions will receive $100 each. Writers of all ages from eligible countries can submit an original, humorous poem with 250 lines or less, and it must be in English.

Deadline : April 1, each year (and no, this isn’t an April Fools joke)

Website: Winning Writers

40. The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

This writing competition is looking for the best piece of unpublished, themed writing. For example, one year, the theme was “Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilization.” Submissions may be prose, poetry or non-academic essays. Maximum word count is 2,500, and this is open to all nationalities and to anyone 18 or older. The winner gets a £10,000 cash prize, second place gets £3,000 and third place gets £2,000.

Deadline : Applications open at the beginning of each year. Follow the Alpine Fellowship on Instagram for updates

Website: The Alpine Fellowship

Where to find more legitimate, free writing contests

Looking for more opportunities to submit your work? Here are a few great sites to keep an eye on for writing contests.

Winning Writers

A number of the contests found on our list came highly recommended by this site, which compiles some of the best free literary contests out there. Along with a wide range of recommended contests for writers of all stripes, Winning Writers also lists some contests and services to avoid , which is just as useful!

They also offer a handful of contests themselves , including the North Street Book Prize.

Poets & Writers

Another fantastic source for legitimate writing contests we consulted when compiling this list, Poets & Writers vets competitions, contests, awards and grants to make sure they’re following legitimate practices and policies. It’s worth checking out regularly as it features both annual and one-time contests.

This listing contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life—and we thank you for that!

The original version of this story was written by Kelly Gurnett . We updated the post so it’s more useful for our readers. 

Photo via Viktoriia Hnatiuk / Shutterstock

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