List of Writing Prizes: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Screenwriting

Oh, you’re looking for some writing competitions to throw your hat into? You’re in luck! Here are some competitions that I think are worth a look. Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or just getting started, these could be your ticket to literary success (or at least some great fun and maybe even some prizes!). Make sure to do some due diligence before entering!

  1. Name: Letter Review Prize for Short Fiction
    • Prizes: Three Winners are announced who are published and share in the $1000 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted. All entries considered for publication, and for submission to the Pushcart Prize and other anthologies.
    • Entry Fee: $20 USD.
    • Dates: Open now. Awarded every two months.
    • Word Length: 0 – 5000 words.
    • Details: Open to anyone in the world. There are no genre or theme restrictions.  
    • Enter Here: https://letterreview.com/information/
  2. Name: Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction
    • Prizes: Three Winners are announced who are published and share in the $1000 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted. All entries considered for publication, and for submission to the Pushcart Prize and other anthologies.
    • Entry Fee: $20.
    • Dates: Open now. Awarded every two months.
    • Words: 0 – 5000 words.
    • Details: Open to anyone in the world. We welcome all forms of nonfiction including: Memoir, journalism, essay (including personal essay), fictocriticism, creative nonfiction, travel, nature, opinion, and many other permutations.
    • Enter Here: https://letterreview.com/information/
  3. Name: Letter Review Prize for Poetry
    • Prizes: Three Winners are announced who are published and share in the $800 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted. All entries considered for publication, and for submission to the Pushcart Prize and other anthologies.
    • Entry Fee: $15.
    • Dates: Open now. Awarded every two months.
    • Lines: 70 lines max per poem.  
    • Details: Open to anyone in the world. There are no style or subject restrictions.
    • Enter Here: https://letterreview.com/information/
  4. Name: Letter Review Prize for Manuscripts
    • Prizes: Three Winners are announced who have a brief extract published, receive a letter of recommendation from our Judges for publishers, and share in the $1000 USD total prize pool. Twenty writers are Longlisted.
    • Entry Fee: $25.
    • Dates: Open now, closing 31st August 11:59 pm ET.
    • Words: Please submit the first 5000 words of your manuscript, whether it be prose or poetry.
    • Details: Open to anyone in the world. The entry must not have been traditionally published. We are seeking all varieties of novels, short story collections, narrative based nonfiction, and poetry collections. We will accept manuscripts which are unpublished, self published, and some which are indie published. Review full entry guidelines for further details. 
    • Enter Here: https://letterreview.com/information/
  5. The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition
    • Check it out here!
    • They’ve got categories for just about everything. So no matter what you write, you’ve got a place here.
  6. The Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest
    • Here’s the link!
    • Got a true story that needs telling? These guys want to read it! They’re all about real life, beautifully told.
  7. Aesthetica Creative Writing Award
    • Find it here!
    • Poetry and short fiction are the stars of this show. If you’ve got lines or paragraphs that sing, send ’em this way!
  8. Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest
    • Click here for details!
    • Got a movie in your head? Here’s your chance to get it on the big screen! They’re looking for the next blockbuster script.
  9. The Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships
    • Hop over here!
    • Young poets, this one’s for you! If you’re between 21 and 31, and your poems need a place to bloom, check this out.
  10. The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
    • Details here!
    • Short story writer? Here’s your playground. This contest has been around for over 20 years and celebrates both new and experienced voices.
  11. The James Jones First Novel Fellowship
    • Check it out!
    • Got a novel simmering on the back burner? This fellowship aims to support emerging novelists and could be the nudge you need.
  12. The Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest
    • Find it here!
    • Attention poets! Here’s a platform to let your verses shine. The Boston Review’s poetry contest is all about discovering fresh voices.
  13. The Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
    • Link right here!
    • Dream of Hollywood? This competition is one of the most prestigious for screenwriters. Grab that popcorn, and start writing!
  14. The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
    • Hop on over here!
    • If nonfiction is your thing, this one’s a biggie. They’re looking for innovative, ambitious projects from new and emerging writers.
  15. The Colorado Prize for Poetry
    • Check this one out!
    • Calling all poets! Want to get a full-length book of your poetry published? Here’s your shot. Get those stanzas ready!
  16. The Manchester Writing Competition
    • Details over here!
    • Short stories or poetry – take your pick! This competition has some serious cash prizes, so don’t miss out!
  17. The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction
    • Click here!
    • Got a true story that’s both gripping and beautifully written? This award celebrates creative nonfiction at its finest.
  18. The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest
    • Hop on over here!
    • If short fiction is your jam, this contest is a great opportunity. They’re looking for stories that truly stand out from the crowd.
  1. The Caine Prize for African Writing
    • Link here
    • A prestigious award for African writers, recognizing excellence in short story writing.
  1. The Bath Novel Award
  • Details here
  • A competition for unpublished and independently published novelists.
  1. The Pushcart Prize
  • Find it here
  • Celebrating the best of the small presses, accepting fiction, poetry, and essays.
  1. The Bridport Prize
  • Check it out!
  • Open to short stories, flash fiction, poems, and more.
  1. The Fish Short Story Prize
  1. The Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest
  1. The Eric Gregory Awards for Poetry
  • Link here
  • For British poets under 30, a great boost for new voices.
  1. The Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize
  • Find it here
  • A contest for fiction, poetry, and essays with impressive prizes.
  1. The AWP Award Series
  • Details here
  • Celebrates new and promising voices in poetry, short fiction, and novels.
  1. The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine
  • Check it out!
  • For poems related to medicine, an interesting niche to explore.
  1. The American Short Fiction Contest
  • Link here
  • A home for your most exciting and unforgettable short stories.
  1. The Masters Review New Voices
  • Find it here
  • Open to any new or emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length.
  1. The Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition
  • Details here
  • For stories related to a selected theme, often tied to women’s experiences.
  1. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
  • Check it out!
  • Recognizes books that have made an important contribution to society’s understanding of racism and human diversity.
  1. The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Competition
  • Link here
  • For LGBTQ-themed plays, a unique opportunity to highlight diverse voices.
  1. The Bath Children’s Novel Award
  • Find it here
  • An international prize for novels written for children or young adults.
  1. The New Millennium Writing Awards
  • Details here
  • A competition for poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and nonfiction.
  1. The Young Lions Fiction Award
  • Check it out!
  • For young authors (under 35) with recently published novels or collections of short stories.
  1. The PANK Magazine Book Contest
  • Link here
  • A contest to discover vibrant new voices in fiction.
  1. The Autumn House Press Contests
  • Find it here
  • Open to full-length collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
  1. The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award
  • Details here
  • For supernatural-themed short stories. Get spooky!
  1. The Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize
  • Check it out!
  • Celebrates tight, concise storytelling in the flash fiction form.
  1. The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition
  • More info here
  • A renowned competition open to poets from across the globe.
  1. The Agora Journal Poetry Contest
  • Check it out!
  • A great platform for poets to express their unique voices.
  1. The Book Pipeline Unpublished Contest
  • Find it here
  • For unpublished manuscripts, with categories for Fiction and Nonfiction.
  1. The EYELANDS Book Awards
  • More info here
  • Recognizes published and unpublished books, stories, and poetry.
  1. The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
  • Check it out!
  • A major prize that honors the best published works of fiction by American citizens.
  1. The StoryPros Awards Screenplay Contest
  • Find it here
  • For screenwriters who want to get their scripts noticed.
  1. The Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards
  1. The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award
  • Find it here
  • The world’s richest prize for a single short story.
  1. The Drue Heinz Literature Prize
  1. The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction
  • Check it out!
  • Honors outstanding political fiction, named after George Orwell.
  1. The Tusculum Review Literary Prize
  • Find it here
  • Open to poetry and prose, including fiction and creative nonfiction.
  1. The Griffin Poetry Prize
  • More info here
  • One of the world’s largest prizes for a first edition single collection of poetry.
  1. The Breakwater Fiction Contest
  • Check it out!
  • An opportunity for fiction writers to share their stories.
  1. The St. Francis College Literary Prize
  • Find it here
  • Honors mid-career authors who have recently published their third to fifth work of fiction.
  1. The Iowa Short Fiction Award
  1. The Yale Drama Series
  1. The BBC National Short Story Award
  • Find it here
  • Celebrates the best in contemporary British short fiction.
  1. The Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize
  1. The Munster Literature Center Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition
  • Check it out!
  • For poets who have not yet published a book-length collection.
  1. The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize
  1. The Omnidawn Poetry Contests
  • More info here
  • Offers various contests for poets, including single poem contests and book-length prizes.
  1. The Brighthorse Book Prize
  • Find it here
  • Open to Poetry Collections, Novels, Short Story Collections, and Nonfiction.
  1. The Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest
  • More info here
  • For essays on various themes related to peace, understanding, and collaboration.
  1. The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
  • Find it here
  • An annual award for a short story, hosted by the Colorado Review.
  1. The ServiceScape Short Story Award
  • Find it here
  • For unique and strong voices in the short story genre.
  1. The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
  • More info here
  • For Canadian writers under 35, unpublished in book form.
  1. The Fine Arts Work Center Fellowships
  • Check it out!
  • A seven-month residency program for early-career writers in Provincetown, MA.
  1. The James Laughlin Award
  • Find it here
  • Celebrates a second published book of poetry by an American poet.
  1. The FutureScapes Writing Contest
  • More info here
  • For writers who explore themes of how technology impacts society.
  1. The Alice Munro Festival Short Story Competition
  • Find it here
  • Open to various age groups and dedicated to the short story genre.
  1. The McKitterick Prize
  • More info here
  • Recognizes authors over 40 publishing their first novel.
  1. The HG Wells Short Story Competition
  • Check it out!
  • A competition with a specified theme, open to all ages.
  1. The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize
  1. The Crazyhorse Literary Prizes
  • More info here
  • Celebrating excellence in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
  1. The Hillerman Prize
  • Check it out!
  • Recognizing mystery writing, especially for first-time authors.
  1. The John Glassco Translation Prize
  • Find it here
  • Honors literary translators who are at the beginning of their career.
  1. The Plough Poetry Prize
  • More info here
  • A prestigious international poetry competition open to all.
  1. The Manchester Poetry Prize
  • Find it here
  • An international prize for a portfolio of poetry.
  1. The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest
  • More info here
  • Open to U.S. high school students, exploring political courage.
  1. The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

Wow, folks, I’m just brimming with excitement looking at this list, and I hope you are too! Brings back memories of when I first stumbled into the world of writing competitions, nerves and all. I remember sending off that very first short story of mine, my heart pounding like a drum. And guess what? I didn’t win, not by a long shot. But I learned, and I grew, and I kept on trying!

These competitions aren’t just about winning or losing; they’re about challenging ourselves, stretching those creative muscles, and connecting with others who share the same passion. So go ahead, do some research to make sure the competition is the right fit for you, and give it a shot! Pen down those ideas that have been buzzing around in your head. Who knows, you might just be the next big winner, and even if you’re not, you’ll come out of it with more experience, more connections, and a heck of a good time. Dive in, have fun, and keep those creative juices flowing!

The Letter Review Prize is open for submissions. Our writing contest is awarded every two months, with a total Prize pool of $4000 USD and publication for our winners. Up to 20 writers are Shortlisted in each category, and the winners are considered for submission to the Pushcart Prize and other prestigious anthologies. All entries are considered for publication. The categories are Short Fiction (up to 5000 words), Poetry (up to 70 lines), Nonfiction (up to 5000 words), & Unpublished Books (Novels, Story Collections, Poetry Collections, and Nonfiction).