(I’m including contests that may or may not be open at the time of posting, and which may or may not close before you see them. However, most are quarterly or annual, and have varying dates, so be sure to verify details and submission deadlines; these things change on a regular basis. If a contest is no longer running, please let me know!)
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Bath Short Story Award
A British contest — £1,200 first prize, smaller second and third prize. Entry fee £8; 2200 max word limit. Any theme or subject. Adult or young adult readers. Previously unpublished. Must not have won any previous prize. However, simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winning and short-listed stories published in annual anthology.
Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
Open to writers who’ve not yet published a book of fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. 8K word count. $1,500 prize + publication. Entry fee $16.
Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
Opens 4/1 through 5/15 each year. Five cash prizes totaling $2,500. Prizewinners are published in the October issue of Carve Magazine.
The Crazyhorse Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry
Open from January 1 through January 31. Winners in each genre receive $2,000 and publication. All entries receive a one-year subscription to Crazyhorse.
Emerging Writer’s Contest
Open to writers who have yet to publish or self-publish a book. Winners receive $2,000. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Open submission periods vary. Under 6K words. One entry per year. Previously unpublished. Entry fee $24 (waived for subscribers).
Glimmer Train Awards
Offers a plethora of contests, each with a specific focus. First prizes run from $2,000 to 3,000. Read the magazine to see what they are looking for. NOTE: Glimmer Train will be ceasing publication in 2019. Until then, their contests and submission periods remain in effect. Check their website for details.
Gris-Gris Flash Fiction Contest
Starts May 15, 2018. Submit fiction of no more than 1,000 words by July 30, 2018. The winner receives $500 and publication in Gris-Gris. Pulitzer Prize winner, Robert Olen Butler, will select the winner. All submissions will be considered for publication. There is a $10 entry fee per submission. Winners will be announced in the fall.
Lorian Hemingway Competition
Pays $1,500 first prize, and publication of winning entry in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. Second and third place each get $500. Entrants limited to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a circulation of 5,000 or more. Writers published in on-line magazines or who have self-published are considered on an individual basis. Word Limit: 3,500 words or less. Entry fee. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest
Open between 10/15 and 4/30. $2,000 for top fiction and top essay. Ten honorable mentions of $100 each. Top twelve entries will be published online. All themes accepted. Entries may be published or unpublished. Limit 6,000 words. Fee: $20 per entry.
Indiana Review’s Half-K Prize
First prize of $1K and publication. Up to three pieces, up to 500 words each. No genre or form restrictions.
Innovative Short Fiction Contest
Sponsored by The Conium Review. Prize is $500, publication, comp copies and a copy of the judge’s latest book. Looking for a fresh idea, not the same old story concepts. Must have a “wow” factor. Open submission periods vary; check website for details. Entry fee $15. Submissions through Submittable. Must be previously unpublished, but simultaneous submissions are acceptable. (no refund)
Iowa Review Awards
Open for the month of January. Winner: $1,500; first runner up: $750. Accepts submissions through Submittable; fiction/prose up to 25 pages, double-spaced. Entries must be previously unpublished.
Curt Johnson Prose Award
Run by December Magazine. Open to stories up to 8K words. First prize $1500; 2nd prize $500. Both are published. Also prizes for non-fiction. No simultaneous submissions. Submit through Submittable. Entry fee $20, includes copy of awards issue. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
Australian contest sponsored by Australian Book Review; winner announced at Melbourne Writers Festival. First prize is $9,000 (AUD$12,500), runner up prizes and judge’s commendation prizes as well. Word count must be between 2k and 5k words, written in English. Previously unpublished. Exclusive submission. Entry fee.Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Manchester Fiction Prize
Entry fee £17.50. Prize is £10,000. Up to 2,500 words. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Masters Review’s Short Story Award for New Writers
Only open to new writers who have not yet published a book. 7k word limit. First prize $3,000 + publication and agency review. Second and third place prizes as well. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize
Sponsored by Hunger Mountain, the Vermont College of Fine Arts Journal for the Arts. First prize is $1,000 and publication. One runner up receive $100. $20 entry fee. Must be previously unpublished, and under 10,000 words. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
Winner receives $2,000 and publication in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. Literary Fiction. $15 entry fee per story; unlimited entries. Word count between 2,500 and 12,500. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Nelson Algren Literary Award
Sponsored by the Chicago Tribune. One winner ($3,500), four finalists ($1,000 each), five runners-up ($500 each). All stories considered for publication in Printers Row, the Tribune’s digital literary journal. Entries for this contest go through Submittable. The link herein is for the 2017 contest rules; apparently the link changes each year. Check out Chicago Tribune‘s page and search for Nelson Algren Award. Runs from late fall through early spring. Check for dates.
Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
Recognizes outstanding collections of short fiction. Collections may include long stories or novellas; however, novels or single novellas will not be considered. Unpublished MS between 40K and 75K words, may include long stories or novellas. Authors One prize of $1,000 and publication by the University of Georgia Press under a standard book contract. Must be residents of North America. Open submission periods vary; check website for details. Entry fee: $30.
Philosophy through Fiction
Sponsored by the American Philosophical Association; first prize is $500 and publication in Sci Phi Journal. Entries close 2/1. (NOTE: As of 7/10/18, this contest looks defunct.)
Premium Edition Contest
Open 10/1 through 11/15 each year. Three genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry. One prize of $1,000 in each genre and publication in Premium Edition of Carve Magazine.
Robert and Adele Schiff Awards
Sponsored by the Cincinnati Review and the University of Cincinnati. Open between June 1 and July 15 to stories, poems and literary non-fiction. $1,000 prize each for poetry and prose. Entry fee $20 (includes a one-year subscription to the Cincinnati Review).
John Steinbeck Short Story Award
Fiction up to 5K words. First prize of $1,000 and all entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $15. (As of 7/10/18, I see no mention of another of these contests, only acknowledgement of the 2018 winners.)
Sunday Times Short Story Prize
World’s richest short story competition. Winner receives £30,000. Open from June through September. ONLY OPEN TO WRITERS PUBLISHED IN THE UK AND IRELAND.
WC&C Scholarship Competition
Sponsored by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. $500 scholarships in workshop fees, retreats or conferences to emerging writers. For fiction and creative nonfiction, up to 25 pages. Double-spaced, 12-pt font. Open from December 1 through March 30. $10 entry fee.
Pays FANTASTIC benefits, and honors winners all the way up to 25th place! Entry fee. Open submission periods vary; check website for details.
Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest
First prize $1,000; second prize $500; third prize $250. Winner and runners up are forwarded to leading literary agents. 5K word limit. Open July 1 to October 1. $30 entry fee.
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