What better way to get motivated to write on a stunning Saturday in Santa Barbara? Money, fame, and my fellow mugsters. And the sheer love of writing. But for us to keep the beach day at bay, I’ve compiled a list of upcoming contests that will hopefully get our pens moving. The list spans a variety of publications and genres, some are serious, some are silly. Choose one or choose all!
Epiphany Editions Chapbook Contests
Deadline August 30
$17 entry fee, but you get a 1 year subscription and Book Kit of the winning manuscript;
Submissions should be between 18 and 40 pages; contemporary literature
Glamour Essay Contest (Non-fiction)
Deadline November 31
No entry free, big prize; Every woman has an inspiring true story somewhere inside her—and we want to hear yours. Is it about the time you overcame an obstacle, tested your courage, met the love of your life, or found your passion? A panel of authors—among them Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley—will help choose the winner. Our judges will be looking for strong writing, original style and a compelling story.
Readers Realm Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline August 20
Free entry; Win $25 Amazon gift certificate; write a 600-word story
Prompt: You bring home a bit of fluff. Now what happens? You must include these words: runes, sparkle, lobster, hypethral (meaning partly or wholly open to the sky), and collectibles
Highlights Fiction Contest
Deadline January 31
Free entry; Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for any Highlights Foundation Founders Workshop; Stories for beginning readers in 500 words or fewer. We welcome stories of any genre (mystery, historical fiction, sports, humor, holiday, friendship, etc.) as long as the stories are intended for kids ages 6–8;
Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline August 31
$4 entry fee; cash prizes; 1,000 words or less; Absolutely no restrictions on content, style or genre. Simply send your best, most powerful work.
The Fifth Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest
Deadline September 13
Free entry; Cash prizes; Must be non-fiction essay; 1,500 words or less If you could change one decision that you made in the past, what would it be? No, you can’t go back in time, but here’s the next best thing. Think of a decision that you regret—anything from a ridiculous choice of prom date to a serious lapse in judgment—and tell us what the mistake taught you about yourself.
The First Line First Line Contest
Deadline August 31
To celebrate our 15th year, we’re giving you a chance to inspire the world. Send your two best (original and unpublished) starter sentences we’ll pick four to use for next year’s first lines. The winners will receive $50 and five copies of the issue that was inspired by your first line. There is NO entry fee.
Daily Science Fiction
Looks like they are looking for more 1,000 word stories…