10 Free Writing Contests

When you set out on the quest of finding the perfect contest to enter, you have to be careful to not get scammed. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that will try to get your money by promising fame and fortune. Fortunately for you, I have found 10 writing contests that are free to enter that are scam free.

  1. L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future

They have quarterly deadlines of January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1

Submissions have to be 17,000 words or less in science fiction or fantasy. The contest is open to all writers. Winners can get $1,000, $750, and $500, as well as an annual award of $5,000.

2. The Restless Books Prize For New Immigrant Writing

You will have to wait for the 2019 submission time, which has yet to be announced.

This is open to writers who are first-generation immigrants. They can win $10,000 for sharing their real or imagines stories. The contest changes each year as to what kind of writing they want, so keep an eye on their website.

3. Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award

The deadline is March 1 every year.

This is open to all African American poets with an award of $500 and a publication in Broadside Lotus Press.

4. Write the World

They have a monthly deadline.

This is open to writers aged 13 to 18. There is a $100 prize with a $50 runner-up prize. It also works as a writing workshop for the young writers.

5. The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Non-Fiction

They have biannual reading periods in February and in August.

This is a contest for a creative non-fiction essay of no more than 5,000 words. The winner will be published in Lunch Ticket and will receive $250. Work cannot be published elsewhere.

6. W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

The deadline is every year on December 1.

The winner gets $5,000 for a piece of writing that is set during a time when the US was a war. Submissions can be YA or adult novels.

7. Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Submissions are accepted between September 1 and December 31.

The work you publish has to have been published the previous year. These should be pieces of fiction or non-fiction that “contributes to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures.”

8. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

They have an annual deadline of October 31 for books that were published during that calendar year.

This is meant to honor the best work of fiction published by an American author in a calendar year. The winner will get $15,000, as well as an invitation to read at the award ceremony in D.C. Four other finalists will get $5,000.

9. New Voices Award

The submission needs to be postmarked between May 1 and September 30 annually.

This is presented by the children’s book publisher, Lee & Low Books. This is open to previously unpublished children’s picture books of fewer than 1,500 words by a writer of color.

10. Madeline P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize

The deadline for 2018 has passed and they have not announced the submission time for 2019.

Lake Forest College along with &NOW Books offers emerging authors under 40 a three-week residency. The winner will receive meals and housing, as well as $10,000 and publication of the manuscript. They will have to give presentations during the festival.

To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard. – Allen Ginsberg

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