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Writing Contests

This listing is constantly being updated, so check back often. We have endeavored to only include contest listings that do NOT charge a reading or entry fee, although we cannot always guarantee this.

Please check guidelines (where possible) before submitting any work.

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SPS Studios
Announces Its Thirteenth Biannual Poetry Card Contest
Deadline: December 31, 2008
1st prize: $300 * 2nd prize: $150 * 3rd prize: $50

In addition, the winning poems will be displayed on our website sps.com.

Poetry Contest Guidelines:
Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.
We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.
Poems are judged on the basis of originality and uniqueness.
English-language entries only, please.
Enter as often as you like!
Poetry Contest Rules
All entries must be the original creation of the submitting author. All rights to the entries must be owned by the author and shall remain the property of the author. The author gives permission to SPS Studios, Inc. to publish and display the entry on the Web (in electronic form only) if the entry is selected as a winner or finalist. Winners will be contacted within 45 days of the deadline date. Contest is open to everyone except employees of SPS Studios and their families. Void where prohibited.

How to Submit
Go to
http://www.sps.com/poetry/index.html to complete the contest form, or if you prefer, you may send your submission via snail mail* to:

SPS Studios Poetry Card Contest,
P.O. Box 1007, Dept. E,
Boulder, CO 80306.

Electric Dragon Cafe Science Fiction and Fantasy Quarterly Short Story Contest
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: None
Prize: 1st place: $25 Barnes and Nobel gift certificate 2nd place: $10 certificate
Seeking short fiction contest entries. Must be science fiction, fantasy or horror with fantastic elements and adhere to a theme which we will provide.
Please visit the website for full contest details and guidelines.

GamerTales Monthly Most Popular Tale
Short Stories
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: NONE
Prize: 10 credits to purchase a variety of rewards
Seeking short stories for monthly writing contest, Due to many submissions coming in during various months, not all tales will have the longevity to win the yearly popularity award. Therefore, at the end of each month, the tale with the most visitors will receive the monthly popularity award.
To qualify for the Monthly Most Popular Tale:
1. The author must be registered on our forums with a valid email address.
2. Not an offsite blog
Each month our tracking software will determine the tale with the most visits. The winning and runner up authors will be notified of their Monthly award. They will receive an update of their current credit balance, and will be able to spend those credits on various rewards. Adding a catchy description, images, and promoting your published work hosted at GamerTales.com on other sites and through word of mouth is an excellent way to drive visitors to your tale. In addition, holding a monthly and all time top viewed position, we will grant a link to your story on various sidebars and on the awards page further increasing the tale’s exposure. Good Luck Everyone

Humor Essays at Mirthwhile.com
Seeking short sotires from Young Writers. No entry fee. Prizes: offering nice gift vouchers.
Deadline: MONTHLY
Open to all those who can write in English, and have a sense of humor.

PrimeProse Quarterly Flash Fiction Award
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: 6 (UK)
Prize: 60 (UK)
The PrimeProse Flash Fiction Award is a quarterly competition for original, previously unpublished fictional works of less than 500 words, in English, in any style or genre. The winners will receive cash prizes, but each and every entrant will receive a critique of his work.

Whim's Place Flash Fiction Contest
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: $250 plus publication
A quarterly flash fiction contest. Deadlines for each quarter are March 30, June 30, September 30, December 30. Submit flash fiction of 500 words or less. Submit by regular post or e-mail. Full contest rules and regulations available on website.

WOW! Women On Writing Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: $5.00
Prize: Cash: $200, $150, $100, Plus over $2,000 in Prizes + publication + $50 gift certificates
WOW! Women On Writing, hosts a quarterly flash fiction contest open to English-speaking contestants across the globe. Our Fall contest winner, Mandy Viscai, is from Australia! Please check out our previous winners to truly understand what we offer.Our flash fiction contest is prompt-based, up to 500 words. View our contest page for the current prompt, and the free downloadable e-book of terms & conditions in PDF format.Make sure that you check the dates on our current contest, to make sure you meet the deadline.
Thank you, and good luck!

Writer's Choice Award
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: Published in the Writer's Choice Award anthology and automatically entered for the Editor's Choice Award - $500
Details/Restrictions: Sign up to Edit Red (which is free). Upload one or more stories (also free).

$2500 SE True Stories Contest
Categories Accepted: Nonfiction
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: $500 to top five voted stories
Details/Restrictions: Enter for free! $2500 SE True Stories contest: share your stories and pictures about Life, Travel, Humor, Concerts, and more. Instantly submit your story at the above link.

A Picture is Worth 300-500 Words - Flash Fiction
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: $10
TRI Studio Books sponsors a bi-monthly contest with cash prizes for writers of Flash Fiction. There is no entry fee. The first one, "A Picture is Worth 300-500 Words," uses a photo for a prompt. The guidelines for the contest are listed below and in the February, 2007 TRI Studio free ezine for writers, The Fiction Flyer. Here's the link to the pdf files for The Fiction Flyer:
Entrants must be subscribers (no fee). Interested parites may subscribe by sending an email to
kgogolewski@sbcglobal.net with EZINE written in the subject heading.
Here’s an opportunity to have some fun, publish your story, and win a prize! Your story must be at least 300 words, no more than 500 words, and inspired by the prompt (see website for each monthly prompt).
Now, to the prizes: The first place winner will receive a check for $10 along with a First Place Contest Award Certificate. Second and third place winners will receive $5 each and a Contest Certificate of Honorable Mention. Winning stories, along with author’s Bios, will be published in the next issue of The Fiction Flyer.
Please submit the following information using Size 12, Times New Roman or Arial Font:

Your Name
Your Address
Your email Address
Word Count
Author’s Bio (Up to 50 words)
Link to your blog/website (optional)
Your Story
Stories shorter than 300 or longer than 500 words will not be read.
Stories that bear no relation to the prompt, as determined by us, will be rejected.
Do not attach your story to your message; attached stories will not be opened.

Please send your email with particulars and story to:
Raymond Grant/Contest Editor

Sports Writing Contest
Categories Accepted: Nonfiction
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: $5000 writing contract
Think you can write? BETUS.COM WANTS YOU! Send us your best football piece and you can win amazing cash prizes, a guest spot on BetUS.com Radio, get published online and qualify for the GRAND PRIZE – a $5,000 Sports writing contract with BetUS for the Super Bowl Playoffs!

Each month of the regular NFL season, three weekly winners will receive a $100 Free Play in their BetUS account and get published in our Locker Room. At the end of each month, a monthly winner will receive a $250 Free Play in their BetUS account, get published in the Locker Room and receive an invitation to FACE-OFF against our handicapping experts on BetUS.com Radio! At the end of the regular NFL season, the best writer to have contributed a minimum of five football pieces will win the $5,000 Sports Writing Contract!

Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: $5.00
Prize: Grand Prize is $50 dollars to the winner. Plus, an additional $50 dollars donated to charity of their choosing.
Seeking short story entries for monthly fiction contest. See website for details

1st Rate and Win!
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: $100
If you write or like to read good writing, visit www.nxid.net. Post your work. It will be rated by members. If your work is the highest rated for the month, you WIN $100!! It's just that simple.

Categories Accepted: Poetry, Short Stories Nonfiction
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: $3-$5
Prize: $15-$60
Offers various monthly fiction, Nonfiction, and poetry contests

International Short Story Competition
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: $2.00
Prize: $1000, $600, $400
Seeking entries of short fiction between 1000 and 2000 words in any style or genre

JustMarkets Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: Free for subscribers/first entry, $5.95 for non-subscribers/subsequent entry
Prize: $100.00
Are you creative enough to write a compelling, short, short story? Can you do it in less than 100 words? If yes, this is a contest for you. Welcome to the first JustMarkets monthly contest. Stories with 101+ words will not be accepted. The entry you submit must be your own original work. There is no special topic or theme for this contest. All types of stories will be accepted. No poetry entries will be accepted for this contest, sorry. Writers of all nations are free to enter. However, the entries you submit should be in English. There is NO ENTRY FEE for one submission if you are a currently active subscriber of JM Daily. The entry fee for non-subscribers is $5.95 per story. Multiple submissions from the same entrant are accepted. For JustMarkets subscribers, each additional story is accepted for $5.95 per story.
How To Submit
If you are a subscriber to JM Daily**: Paste your story into the body of an email and send it to contests@justmarkets.com. No attachments please. Please include: 'Contest submission: xxxxx' in the subject line, where xxxxx is the email address with which you are subscribed to Justmarkets Daily. If you are not a subscriber to JM Daily: First, make the contest entry fee payment as instructed at the bottom of the webpage (you should receive a confirmation email from our payment processor 2Checkout.com) Paste your story into the body of an email and send it to contests@justmarkets.com. No attachments please. Please include: 'Contest submission: xxxxx' in the subject line, where xxxxx is your 2Checkout.com Order Number. Only email submissions will be accepted.

Spinetinglers Short Story Competition
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: 2.00
Prize: 50.00 plus posted on website
This is a short story competition aimed at writers of horror, dark fiction, supernatural and gothic short stories. The maximum length of stories accepted is 5,000 words. We will accept previously published work. All rights to the short story belong to and stay with the writer.

ThatFirstLine Writing Contest
Categories Accepted: Books, Poetry, Short Stories, Scripts/Screenplays, Young Writers
Deadline: MONTHLY
Entry Fee: $5.00
Prize: $500.00
Enter your best opening line and you could win $500.

Writer's Journal Fiction Contests
Entry Fee: $3-$7
Prize: $50-$300
Offers a variety of short story contests on various themes/topics. See website for details

Scribble Open Quarterly Competitions (UK)
Entry Fee: 3.00
Prize: 75.00, 25.00, and 15.00
Seeking short stories on any subject. No closing date.

Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature
Entries Close: Ongoing
Milkweed Editions is pleased to announce its writing competition for quality children's novels intended for readers in the 8-13 age group. This competition is part of Milkweed's children's book publishing program for middle-graders.
Prize: Judging will be by Milkweed Editions, and the winner of the prize will receive a $5,000 cash advance on any royalties agreed upon in the contractual arrangement negotiated at the time of acceptance.
Submissions should adhere to our children's literature guidelines (at

Aeon Award
Entry Fee:
€7 (euro)
1st Prize: €1,000 (euro) and publication in Albedo One (approx $1,475 US)
The contest opens 1st January 2008, and runs for four rounds throughout the year. The submission deadline for the first round is March 31st , the second round June 30th, the third round September 30th and the final round November 30th. The top three winning stories will be chosen from the six highest-ranking stories on the shortlist by renowned science fiction, fantasy and horror author Ian Watson.

Entries to the Award must NOT have been previously published in ANY format in the English language. Entries are allowed from ALL nationalities, though entries must be in the English language. There is no minimum word limit for submissions to the Award, though a maximum of 8000 words applies.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest
An international search for new and amateur writers of new short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. No entry fee is required. Entrants retain all publication rights.
Deadline is December 31, March 31, June 30 & September 30.
Contest Rules:
1. No entry fee is required, and all rights in the story remain the property of the author. All types of science fiction, fantasy and horror with fantastic elements are welcome; every entry is judged on its own merits only.
2. All entries must be original works in English. Plagiarism, which includes poetry, song lyrics, characters or another person's world will result in disqualification. Submitted works may not have been previously published in professional media.
3. Eligible entries must be works of prose, either short stories or novelettes under 17,000 words in length. We regret we cannot consider poetry or works intended for children. Excessive violence or sex will result in disqualification.
4. The Contest is open only to those who have not had professionally published (more than 5,000 copies) a novel or short novel, or more than three short stories, or more than one novelette in any medium.
5. Entries must be typewritten and double spaced with numbered pages (computer-printer output okay). Each entry must have a cover page with the title of the work, the author's name, address and telephone number and an approximate word count. The manuscript itself should be titled and numbered on every page, but the AUTHOR'S NAME MUST BE DELETED to facilitate fair judging.
6. Manuscripts will be returned after judging. Entries MUST include a self-addressed return envelope. U.S. return envelopes MUST be stamped; others may enclose international postal reply coupons.
7. There shall be three cash prizes in each quarter: 1st Prize of $1,000, 2nd Prize of $750, and 3rd Prize of $500, in U.S. dollars or the recipient's locally equivalent amount. In addition, there shall be a further cash prize of $4,000 to the Grand Prize winner, who will be selected from among the 1st Prize winners for the period of October 1 through September 30. All winners will also receive trophies or certificates.
8. The Contest will continue yearly with the following quarterly periods:
October 1 - December 31
January 1 - March 31
April 1 - June 30
July 1 - September 30
To be eligible for the quarterly judging, an entry must be postmarked no later than midnight on the last day of the Quarter.
9. Each entrant may submit only one manuscript per quarter. Winners in a quarterly judging are ineligible to make further entries in the Contest.
10. All entries for each quarter are final. No revisions are accepted.
11. Entries will be judged by professional authors. The decisions of the judges are entirely their own, and are final.
12. Winners in each Quarter will be individually notified of the results by mail.
This contest is void where prohibited by law.
Send your entry to:
L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of The Future Contest,
P.O. Box 1630,
Los Angeles, Calif. 90078.


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