Go Write Something – Contests & Open Calls

It’s that season, folks. Time to get writing and get submitting. I thought I’d collate some of the resources I’ve found in the past week and share them in one spot.

Fiction Contests

There are plenty of contests this year at Literal Latte , although you’ve already missed the first one. Coming up: Short Shorts, Poetry, Essays, and Food Verse, whatever the hell that is. I imagine poetry about comestibles. I may finally have found a place for my “Ode to John Jameson and His Esteemed Sons.”

Hope Clark, who will be mentioned again anon, maintains a wonderful list of No-Entry-Fee Fiction Contests. She’s done a great deal of legwork for aspiring writers, especially those who are working in small markets or who are writing on a budget. She posts inspirational advice, as well.

Even About.Com is on in the action, with a handy list of Short Story Contest Deadlines by Month. Just when I thought blog-mill help sites had crested into the hopelessly trite, Ms. Ginny Wiehardt goes and makes me reconsider my internet bigotry.

Zoetrope: All-Story: Contests is one to check back on — they’re just announcing the 2011 winners, but they’re opening the new contest in July. This one is run by Francis Ford Coppola, which means big time exposure if you hit the final rounds. Remember kids, it’s who you know and what you’ve done. There will certainly be an entry fee, but it isn’t listed yet.

And for those of you who truly suck at the sour pap of linguistic suffering, there’s the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which chooses the worst possible opening line each year.

NPR’s Three Minute Fiction Contest is updated sporadically — we’re currently waiting for Round 8. The goal? Write a story that can be read in three minutes or less.

Leapfrog Press has a novel or novella length contest open from January 15th to May 1. Acceptable categories? Adult fiction (Literary, Mainstream and Science Fiction) and children’s fiction (YA/Middle Grade). The fee? $30. Minimum length? 22k.

For you legal eagles, Southwestern Law School is hosting a fiction contest which must center around, you guess it, lawyers. No entry fee posted. No payment, either, but it’s a byline.

The Kenyon Review isn’t paying cash for this contest either, but they are offering a scholarship to their writer’s workshop if you win The Short Fiction Contest. No entry fee, limit 1,200 words, submission open February 1st and closes February 29th.

Here’s some Writer’s Digest competitions — only two open at time of posting.The main contest has a May 1 deadline, $25 entry fee, and possible $3000 award.


Screenplay Contests

Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition costs $50 to enter if you do it by March 5th — then rolling deadlines with increasing fees up until April 19th. They also permit simultaneous submissions.

TheĀ  Hollywood Screenplay Contest comes with a $45 entry fee (Late deadline May 15) or $55 (extended deadline August 10) and a range of prizes.

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards post a deadline of March 1st ($49) and March 31st ($59) with a potential winning of $25,000 (yeah, I typed that right) and a bevy of promotional aids and industry contacts.

Zoetrope Virtual Studio: Screenwriting Contest and the BlueCat Screenplay Competition and the American Screenwriting Competition are contests to check back on in a month or so — they’re still working with the previous year’s winners.


AgentQuery is a fantastic resource for finding an agent. Don’t need one? Don’t click. I mean, check yourself before you wreck yourself, but whatever.

FundsforWriters is the website and mailing list of C Hope Clark, who is exceptionally helpful. Looking to get paid for your writing? Join on up. Plenty of great opportunities, and once you’re published you can advertise with her.

The Duotrope resource is nearly exhaustive, and the search engine is admittedly unintuitive, but if you have the patience to go sorting… there’s a hell of a lot of good information there.


Plenty to work with, plenty opportunity to win, get published, or just get noticed. Don’t say no one told you!



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