There are an incredible amount of talented writers all over the world. Many of them would love to enter writing contests for not only the prizes, but also the recognition of winning. However, much of the writing competitions available these days are scams. If you search for the term ‘writing contests’ you will get over 13,000,000 results. Sadly, most of them are from sites which just want your money. Luckily, we have done the hard work and found 10 legitimate and Free writing contests out there for you to enter. Unlike, numerous writing competitions found online, these will not charge you a fee to enter and are totally free.
FutureScapes Writing Contest – Fiction
For those writers that love to write about fiction, the FutureScapes writing competition is a great start. Keep in mind though, that submissions must be kept to less than 8,000 words in length. There are 2 major first and second place prizes – $2,000 for 1st place and $1,000 for second – and up to four runner-up prizes of $500.00 each.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest – Fantasy, Science Fiction
With prizes given out every 3 months, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest is a great competition to enter. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an annual grand prize given out for a whooping $5,000. The submissions can only be up to 17,000 words and they can be either novelettes or short stories. The genres are fantasy or science fiction.
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Deadline: Every 3 Months
E-mail address: Joni Labaqui 1-323-466-3310 ext 1200
American-Scandinavian Foundation – Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Nonfiction
For those looking for their work to be published on top of the prizes, the American-Scandinavian Foundation writing contest is a must enter. You can earn the top prize of $2,500 and also get an excerpt of your winning entry published in the Scandinavian Review. The prices are given every year and the entries must be in the creative nonfiction, poetry or fiction genre. They must also be written in Nordic language.
Genre: Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: June 1st
E-mail address: email@example.com
The Pen Factor – Writer Discovery Engine – Fiction
The Pen Factor competition has one of the shortest word limits of most of these free writing contests. Consisting only of 1,500 words limit, the entry can be a short story or a first chapter. The Pen Factor, also known as the writer discovery engine, is just that, an online feedback and discovery engine for fiction writers. All of the entries receive 3 structured pieces of feedback. In return, one must review 3 parts of other competitors entries as this is all part of the entry process. Top prizes are $500.00.
Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize – Non Fiction
With both a huge $12,000 top prize advance and a publication by the Graywolf Press, this writing competition has a lot to offer. The top awards go to the most innovative and promising literary nonfiction piece. However, the writer must be an amateur or one not yet established in the genre.
Genre: Non Fiction
Deadline: January 31
2016 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship – Fiction
Funded by the Jerome Foundation, the 2016 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship contest awards nine fiction writers for their work every year. There is no age limitations for those that can enter. However, contestants cannot be established writers in the fiction genre or they must be in the early stages of their careers.
Drue Heinz Literature Prize – Fiction
For writers of short fiction stories, the Drue Heinz Literature Prize competition is perfect for them. This writing contest awards a $15,000 top prize as well as a publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press. You can submit short stories, two or more novellas or a combination of both. However, the total word count are between 150 to 300 typed pages.
Deadline: May 1 through June 30
Real Simple’s Life Lessons Essay Contest – Personal Essay
For writers looking to tell their personal stories, the Real Simple’s Life Lessons Essay Contest is a great place to start. With a top prize of $3,000, the entries must be no longer than 1,500 words.
Genre: Personal Essay
Deadline: Yet to be announced
Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest – Essays
Dedicated to medical humanities, the Hektoen International essay contest offers two prizes annually. The entries must be no more than 1,600 words in two categories. For the top prize winner, a $1,200 is given for an essay based on their hospital section. The second prize of $1,000 goes to the best essay written on the several sections. These are Literary Vignettes, Physicians of Note, Art Flashes, or Moments in History.
Deadline: Annually; 2016 deadline is March 31.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Annual Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest – Fiction, Nonfiction
For those that have unpublished short stories, the Annual Austin Chronicle contest can be a great place to enter their work. The stories can be fiction or nonfiction and in short story from. The maximum allowed words are 2,500. Prizes for the top five finalists total $1,500.
Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction
Deadline: Pending for 2016