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  • Writer's pictureJ. R. Erickson

Writing Contests: Short Story Contests, Poetry, Essay and More

Writing contests inspire a lot of feelings for most of us writers. Some people love them and salivate at the mere thought of crafting a string of prose about a frighteningly random topic like ‘cart wheeling on the moon.’ Other writers tremble at the thought of that blank page, even when the category is open-ended and they have a word folder stuffed with worthy submissions. Whether you live in the former or the latter category, writing contests give you an opportunity to share your voice, your story and your perspective. Check out the contests below and remember to stretch yourself. It’s easy to stick with your genre, but it’s great for your craft if you try out the opposite instead.

Writing Contests for Multiple Genres

  1. Our Stories:The Generation XYZ Contest: Deadline 9/30/11

  2. Prescott College: 2011 National Writing Contest: Deadline 9/30/2011


  1. Inscape Magazine: Writing Contest: Deadline 10/26/2011

  2. Black Lawrence Press: The Black River Chapbook Competition: Deadline 10/31/2011

  3. Glimmer Train: Family Stories: Deadline 10/31/2011

Fiction Writing Contests (And Flash Fiction)

  1. Zoetrope: All Story Fiction Contest: Deadline 10/3/2011


  1. Indiana Review: 2011 Fiction prize: Deadline 10/15/2011

  2. Inkwell: 14th Annual Short Fiction Contest: Deadline 10/31/2011

  3. Kore Press: Short Fiction Chapbook Award: Deadline 10/31/2011

  4. The New Renaissance: The Louise E. Reynolds Memorial Fiction Awards: Deadline 10/31/2011

Poetry Contests

  1. New Issues Poetry and Prose: The 2010 Green Rose Prize: Deadline 9/30/11

  2. Pudding House: Poetry Chapbook Competition: Deadline 9/30/11


  1. Red Hen Press: Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award: Deadline 9/30/11

  2. Fordham University: Poets Out Loud Prize: Deadline 10/15/2011

  3. Silverfish Review Press: Gerald Cable Book Award: Deadline 10/15/2011

Essay Contests


  1. Review of English Studies: 2011 RES Essay Prize: Deadline 9/30/2011


  1. Diagram: Essay Contest: Deadline 10/31/2011

‘Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.’

William Wordsworth




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