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10 Writing Contests You Can Join Right Now: Win Upto $9,000

Are you a writer looking to make money as a writer, challenge yourself, gain exposure, or enjoy the thrill of competition? Joining writing contests might be the perfect opportunity for you.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced author, contests can provide valuable experience and the chance to win great prizes.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to 10 exciting writing contests currently open for entry. From poetry to short stories, and from essays to novels, there’s something here for every type of writer.

Benefits of Entering Writing Contests

Engaging in these contests can be a strategic move for you as a writer at any stage of your career, for several reasons:

  • Exposure and Networking: As mentioned, contests bring together a community of like-minded individuals from various backgrounds; this exposure can be a great way to network, which is often as crucial as talent in any industry.
  • Recognition and Credibility: Achieving recognition through writing contests can significantly enhance your profile. Whether it’s a cash prize, a scholarship, or a publishing deal, each accolade adds to your portfolio and credibility in the field. This can be particularly beneficial when approaching literary agents or publishers, as it serves as a testament to the quality and appeal of your writing.
  • Skill Development: The constraints and specific requirements of contests are an excellent way to challenge and refine your writing skills; each contest provides a unique set of rules and themes that compel you to think outside the box. This is an invaluable exercise in versatility and creativity.
  • Valuable Feedback: The feedback provided by judges in these contests can be a goldmine for development. It’s often detailed and constructive, focusing on strengths and areas for improvement. This can guide your future writing projects and help you grow.

Participating in contests also boosts your confidence and motivation. Whether or not you win, you gain invaluable experience to help shape a successful writing career.

1. HackerNoon Writing Contest

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The HackerNoon writing contest provides a dynamic platform for both enthusiasts and experts to display their knowledge and skills. It’s an exciting opportunity for those passionate about the evolving world of cryptocurrencies and related technologies, such as APIs.

First Category: The #crypto-api Writing Contest by CoinGecko

A highlight of the HackerNoon contest is the category dedicated to the use and impact of cryptocurrency data APIs, with $1,000 in prizes available.

Contributors are invited to explore topics such as the significance of APIs, focusing on industry leaders like the CoinGecko API. Submissions range from in-depth features and tutorials to case studies and personal stories on integration.

This category isn’t just a chance to win a prize; it’s an opportunity to engage in a broader discussion about the role of APIs in the cryptocurrency realm. Winners will be announced in July 2024.

Second Category: The Opt-Out Writing Contest by Āut Labs

The excitement continues with the #optout category sponsored by Āut Labs, offering $9,000 in total prizes. This part encourages participants to dive deep into decentralized technologies from a creative or technical standpoint. The challenge is to explore innovative ideas that could redefine the future.

This segment of the contest will distribute prizes every three months until October 2024, providing ongoing opportunities for participants to contribute and win.

Participation Details

Joining the HackerNoon Contest is free, making it accessible to both new and experienced writers. This contest is more than a competition; it’s a platform to influence the vital discussions that will shape the future of technology and finance.

Whether you’re a technology enthusiast, an experienced developer, or a creative thinker, this contest welcomes you to share your ideas and possibly earn rewards for your innovation and expertise.

2. Montreal Poetry Prize

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The Montreal Poetry Prize is an exceptional literary competition that celebrates poetry and short stories. This annual event attracts writers globally, providing a platform for emerging and established talents to showcase their creativity and compete for a substantial cash prize. The competition promotes literary excellence and offers participants a chance to gain international exposure.

If you’re planning to participate, here are some important details:

  • Deadline: The deadline for entries is May 1st, with the opportunity for multiple submissions until May 15th.
  • Entry Fees: The first submission costs $20 CAD. Subsequent entries are $25 each until the final deadline. Additional submissions at any time are offered at a discounted rate of $17 CAD.
  • Event Significance: This contest is unique in its dual focus on both poetry and short stories, making it an ideal platform for writers who are versatile in their literary skills.

The entry fees contribute to the administrative costs and the prize fund, supporting the continuation of this prestigious event. Participating in the Montreal Poetry Prize can be a significant step forward for writers looking to elevate their careers and gain wider recognition for their work.

3. Untold Tales Writing Competition

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The Untold Tales Writing Competition offers a unique platform for aspiring poets and storytellers to showcase their talents. This annual contest is dedicated to finding the most compelling poetry and short stories to celebrate the diversity and creativity of writers from around the globe.

Contest Details

  • Event: The competition is organized annually and focuses on three categories: poetry, short stories, and narratives. Both English and Spanish submissions are accepted, encouraging a broad range of voices and perspectives.
  • Deadline: Entries must be submitted by May 1st each year, ensuring participants have ample time to polish their submissions.
  • Prize: The stakes are high with the first-place winner in each category receiving US$100. But the rewards extend beyond monetary gains. Winners will be formally acknowledged on the competition’s website and have the honor of being published in the annual Untold Tales book. This publication is a testament to the artistic and emotional depth of the works selected.
  • Announcement of Winners: The winners of the current competition will be announced on June 2nd, 2024. This event is highly anticipated as it not only highlights the winners but also sets the stage for the upcoming year’s competition.
  • Entry Fee: There is no entry fee, making this contest accessible to everyone with a story to tell or a poem to share. This inclusivity is part of what makes the Untold Tales Writing Competition a noteworthy and inspiring event for writers at all stages of their creative journey.

The Untold Tales Writing Competition is more than just a contest; it’s an opportunity for writers to be part of a community that values narrative innovation and the powerful expression of the written word. Whether you are a seasoned writer or someone just starting to explore the art of writing, this competition offers a platform to express yourself and potentially see your work celebrated and published.

4. Cheshire Novel Prize

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The Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest is an excellent opportunity for poets looking to shine. The contest kicked off on January 1, 2024, and closes at 11:59 PM MST on June 1, 2024. Open to poets from the USA and Canada, this event offers attractive cash rewards and chances to be published.

The contest has expanded offering more categories and bigger cash prizes, meaning more poets can showcase their talents. Competitors have a shot at winning a top prize of $500 and a feature in the prestigious Arizona Literary Magazine, a significant boost for anyone’s literary career.

Prize Breakdown:

  • Grand Prize: $500 and a feature in the Arizona Literary Magazine.
  • Three First Prizes: $200 each, with features.
  • Three Second Prizes: $100 each, with features.
  • Three Third Prizes: $75 each, with features.
  • Three Fourth Prizes: $50 each, with features.
  • Eleven Best of Category Prizes: $25 each, with features.

Entry Categories:

  • Unpublished: Poetry, Short Stories, Essays/Reviews, Novels/Novellas.
  • Published Books: Fiction, Nonfiction.
  • Published Youth: For children under 12, and teens/young adults.
  • Oldie but Goldie: for adult and youth sectors.

Why enter? This contest is more than a competition; it’s a platform for poets across North America to connect, gain visibility, and enhance their writing credentials. Whether you win a prize or not, participating could open new doors and foster valuable connections in the literary community.

5. McLellan Poetry Prize

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If you’re eager to shine on a respected stage, consider the McLellan Poetry Prize. This renowned contest welcomes poets globally (excluding McLellan Festival Team members) to submit their works—whether in English or Scots, on any topic of your choice.

Here’s What You Need to Know:

  • Submission Deadline: Submit by midnight, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
  • Language & Length: Poems should be no more than 90 lines, title not included. Entries are accepted in English for the main competition and Scots for the Scots Poetry Competition.
  • Originality: Ensure your poems are original, not previously awarded, published, or pending publication.
  • Format: Type your poem in black, Times New Roman, 12-point font on a single A4 sheet. Keep your submission anonymous—no names or identifying details on the documents.
  • Entry Fees: £7.00 for the first poem; £5.00 for each subsequent poem submitted together. Payments can be made online or by cheque.

Winners gain prestige and are invited to recite their works at the award ceremonies on the Isle of Arran, scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2024, with poets William (Billy) Letford and Jim Mackintosh.

Should your poem be chosen, you’ll need to provide a digital copy for the festival’s website, where results will be announced. The McLellan Poetry Prize is a brilliant platform to gain recognition and celebrate your poetic talent.

6. Fiction Factory Short Story Competition

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If you have a knack for storytelling, the Fiction Factory Short Story Competition is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. This contest is calling for submissions with a maximum length of 3,000 words and offers a top prize of £500.

The competition welcomes all types of stories, except for Children’s and Young Adult Fiction, allowing you to explore a broad spectrum of themes and narratives. Whether you specialize in suspense, romance, or a compelling drama, your story has a place here, as long as it’s original.

The deadline for entries is July 31st, 2024. Entries should be submitted as a Word document, with an entry fee of £7.00 for one story, £13 for two, or £18 for three. For those seeking professional feedback, they can receive a critique of your story for an additional fee of £30.00.

Winners of this contest will not only enjoy the financial prize but also have their stories published on the Fiction Factory website and included in a planned anthology. This is a fantastic chance to gain exposure and see your work celebrated among other talented writers.

7. The Bedford Competition’s 2024 Writing Contest

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The 2024 Bedford Competition is now open, welcoming writers worldwide to submit their best short stories and poetry. Whether you’re an experienced author or a new voice, this is your opportunity to shine internationally.

The Bedford Competition, hosted by a nonprofit, celebrates the art of storytelling and is open to anyone aged 17 and up. Participate in this contest to display your skills and compete for a total prize pool of £4,600.

Here’s what you could win:

  • Main Prizes: £1,500 each for the top short story and poetry entries.
  • Second Prizes: £300 for second-place finishers.
  • Third Prizes: £200 for those in third place.
  • Cygnature Prizes: £200 each for young writers aged 17-25, sponsored by the University of Bedfordshire.
  • Bedford Prizes: £100 for outstanding entries.

Winners and top entries will be featured in a special anthology, showcasing your literary talent.

You can submit your work from May 1 to October 31. The entry fee is £8.50 for one story, slightly more for two or three stories. It’s a small investment for a chance at literary recognition.

8. Inspiring Fiction’s Writing Contest

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Inspiring Fiction announced the “Freedom” short story contest, open to new and experienced writers. This event challenges you to weave tales of liberation within the realms of crime, speculative, and fantasy fiction.

This is more than a contest; it’s a chance to see your work published. Winning stories and notable submissions will be featured in a special edition this autumn, a joint effort by Tangled Web Magazine and Mirk Fantasy Magazine.

Contest Details:

  • Deadline: July 31, 2024.
  • Word Count: 1,000 to 2,500 words.
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Allowed.
  • Multiple Submissions: Accepted, each with a separate entry fee.
  • Formatting: Double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font, titled by the story’s name without personal details.
  • Entry Fee: £5 per story.
  • Prizes: £100 for the winner, plus publication in a major magazine.
  • Additional Requirements: A third-person bio upto 100 words, optional headshot.
  • Rights: Winners grant first publication and archival rights to Inspiring Fiction; rights revert to the author post-publication, with subsequent publications to credit Mirk Fantasy Magazine as the first publisher.

9. Salamander 2024 Fiction Prize: A Premier Writing Contest

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The 2024 Salamander Fiction Prize is a great chance for creative writers to showcase their talents and compete for attractive prizes. The competition rewards the top two stories with cash and a publication in Salamander magazine.

The first-place winner receives $1,000 and the second-place winner gets $500.

Benefits include a one-year subscription to Salamander, which comes with a $15 entry fee. 

You can submit your best fiction piece from May 1 to June 1. Each story should be a work of no more than 30 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. You can enter multiple stories, but each requires a separate submission and fee.

The writing contest ensures fairness by reviewing all entries without knowing the authors’ identities. This year’s entries will be judged by the celebrated author Kevin Wilson. 

Ensure your entry includes a cover sheet with your contact details, but don’t put any personal info on the story itself. You can also submit your work elsewhere, but the entry fee is non-refundable if you withdraw. If your story is published elsewhere, let the editors know immediately. The contest is not open to previously published works or anyone closely associated with Suffolk University or Kevin Wilson.

For international participants, an online subscription is included, with an option to upgrade to a print subscription for an additional $10.

Winners will be announced on the Salamander website by September 1, and you can also gift additional subscriptions to others.

10. Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition 2024

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The 2024 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition is set to begin on Monday, March 4. Celebrated within the poetry community, this event attracts global attention, having received 553 submissions last year, signaling its growing importance in the literary world.

The competition is known for its fair, anonymous judging, ensuring poems are reviewed without bias.

This year’s judges include notable figures like Luigi Marchini, Chair of SaveAs Writers; Derek Sellen, the 2023 Poet of the Year; and Mara Adamitz Scrupe, a renowned Dean and Professor Emerita, and former Poet of the Year.

Participants are encouraged to submit poems on any topic, as long as they are no longer than 60 lines. Each submission requires a completed Entry Form and a £5 fee, payable by cheque or PayPal. This setup welcomes everyone, from established poets to newcomers.

Approximately 35 poems will be chosen for the longlist and included in the Poet of the Year Anthology. About 15 of these will advance to the shortlist, vying for top honors.

An online Awards Evening will highlight these finalists, featuring live readings of their work. The event will climax with the winners’ announcement: £200 for first place, £100 for second, and £50 for third.

The Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition offers poets a valuable opportunity for recognition and encourages a broad spectrum of voices to participate. Whether you’re seasoned or new to poetry, this competition invites you to share your creative expression.

Take the Leap: Embrace the Challenge of Writing Contests

Joining writing contests can be a transformative step for you as a writer. These contests offer the chance to win prizes and gain recognition while providing valuable opportunities to hone your skills, receive expert feedback, and engage with a community of like-minded individuals.

Whether you’re a novice looking to make your first mark or an experienced writer seeking new challenges, each contest represents a doorway to greater visibility and professional growth.

So, choose the writing contests that best fit your style and goals, prepare your submissions carefully, and embrace the journey of sharing your voice with the world.

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Startup Growth Guide Staff

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