40 Writing Competitions To Inspire You

40 Writing Competitions To Inspire You


Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, we share 40 short story writing competitions to inspire you.

Writing competitions are a great way to keep you on your writing toes. You may want to enter some of your stories from our Twelve Short Stories challenge. Remember to join the group on Facebook.

Here is a list of competitions, anything from a 16-word memoir to 5000 word short stories. Consider the competitions carefully and choose ones that will suit or challenge you as a writer.

Some of the deadlines have past, but I have left them on as they tend to be annual competitions and it’ll help with your planning for the following year.

  1. American Short(er) Fiction Contest 15 February
  2. Bath Short Story Award 1 May
  3. Birds of a Feather Press Travel Writing Competition 2017 28 February
  4. Bristol Short Story Prize 3 May
  5. CDS Documentary Essay Prize in Writing 15 February
  6. Commonwealth Short Story Prize Oct/Nov
  7. Costa Short Story Award July
  8. Curt Johnson Prose Award Submissions closed
  9. Drue Heinz Literature Prize May-June
  10. Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize 10 April
  11. Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction Date to be announced
  12. Gotham Writers Past-Year Memoir Contest 20 February
  13. Hillerman Prize Deadline TBD
  14. John Steinbeck Short Story Award June – November
  15. Keats-Shelley Prize Date to be announced
  16. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest 31 March
  17. Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition 16 May
  18. Manchester Fiction Prize February 2017
  19. Montreal International Poetry Prize May
  20. Mslexia Women’s Short Fiction Competition 20 March
  21. Nature and Place Poetry Competition 1 March
  22. Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest 15 May
  23. Raymond Carver Short Story Contest 15 May
  24. Reader’s Digest 100-Word-Story Competition 20 February
  25. SA Writer’s College 30 April
  26. SFC Literary Prize 15 May
  27. Short Sharp Stories Annual Competition deadline Nov
  28. Spotlight First Novel Competition 14 February 2017
  29. The Caine Prize for African Writing 31 January
  30. The Henshaw Short Story Competition 31 March
  31. The Sunday Times Short Story Prize Date to be announced
  32. The White Review Short Story Prize 1 March
  33. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest 1 April
  34. Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 15 March
  35. Write On-Site 25 February
  36. Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition 5 May
  37. Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Closed for 2017
  38. Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition 13 February
  39. Writers’ Forum Fiction Competition Monthly
  40. Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest 1 July

If you’re still looking, visit Dystopian Stories and Writer Mag for more competitions.

Look out for the next post: My Short Story Writing Process – In 12 Easy Steps

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a short story, sign up for our online course.