For a change of pace from client work, why don’t you consider entering writing contests in 2021? It will give you a chance to flex your creative writing muscle in a way you don’t normally get to when you are doing work for other people.
Along with the chance to win some money, you get to have your work seen and evaluated by judges who often bring some impressive credentials to the table.
If you ever get the opportunity to see their scorecards or get some feedback, do take it. You may find something valuable in what they have to say about your writing.Enter these writing contests in 2022 to flex your writing muscles and make some earnings while you're at it. Click To Tweet
As always, when entering writing contests, follow the instructions precisely. If there is something that isn’t clear, reach out to the organizers by email before the submission deadline to make sure you are submitting your entry correctly. You don’t want to have your submission rejected because of one small detail.
Writing Contests 2022
Inkitt Novel Competition: Monthly
Inkitt’s Writing Contests regularly give authors the opportunity to share their books with readers around the world and showcase their talents.
Monthly cash prizes:
Each month one grand prize winner, and two runners up will be selected.
1st prize: $300, an exclusive badge for your book cover and Inkitt social media feature!
2nd prize: Exclusive 2nd place book badge and Inkitt social media feature!
3rd prize: Exclusive 3rd place book badge!
Your short story should have a maximum of 2,500 words. There is no minimum and the title is not included in the word count. Open to any writer.
Deadline: 12 January 2022 (12 noon, GMT)
The Danuta Gleed Literary Award was created as a celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in December 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks. The award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed, in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Each year, a $10,000 prize is awarded to a Canadian writer for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalists are also awarded $1,000 each.
The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2022.
1. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over.
2. Poems should be in English, unpublished, not accepted for publication, and must be your original work.
3. Poems may be on any subject and in any form or style. They must be typed and not longer than 40 lines.
4. Each poem must be typed on a separate sheet of A4 paper. All poems are judged anonymously and should not bear your name, nor any other form of identification. On a separate sheet of A4 paper you should give a: your name and address, b: a list of poems submitted, and c: where you heard about the competition.
The deadline for the 2019 competition is 31st January 2022.
Entry fee: £5 per poem; or, for 3 or more poems, £4 each.
First prize: £1,000
Second prize: £300
Third prize: £100
Fourth prize: 4 x £50
Three times a year, Jerry Jazz Musician awards a writer who submits, in our opinion, the best original, previously unpublished work of short fiction. The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America.
No entry fee is required. One story entry only. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.
The contest is open to entrants from anywhere in the world (English language only please)
A prize of $100 will be awarded for the winning story.
Deadline: January 31, 2022
This is a fun, relaxed, free competition for extremely short pieces of prose (storytwigs). Entries should be 100 words or fewer, and the prizes range from $10 to $100 dollars. Prompts and contests are done monthly.
Short story must be between 1,000 and 5,500 words.
Entry fee: $20 plus a digital copy of Ruminate magazine
Deadline: February 1, 2022 (plus 3-day grace period)
This contest is open to any short fiction writer of English. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a short novel. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included.
Is your shortest fiction soft and appealing with a hidden sting? Send us your short, sweet, and sassy fiction for a chance to win $300 and publication in Pulp Literature. Get an editorial critique for only $20 more.
Entry fee: $15
The award is open to all poets writing in English around the world. Simultaneous submissions accepted.
Entry Fee: $20
AWP’s Award Series is an annual competition for the publication of excellent new book-length works. The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and it is open to published and unpublished authors alike.
Entry fee: $30 for non-members and $20 for AWP members
• Donald Hall Prize for Poetry: $5,500 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press
• Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction: $5,500 and publication by the University of Massachusetts Press
• AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction: $2,500 and publication by the University of Georgia Press
• AWP Prize for the Novel: $2,500 and publication by New Issues Press
Deadline: February 28, 2022
Open for Submissions: November 26th 2021 – February 28th 2022
Winners announced: April/May 2022 (Date TBC)
Anthology details: Due for release in autumn of 2022 with the book launch celebration date TBA.
FREE ENTRY (Limited to one short story submission per entrant)
– 1st Prize £250, 2nd Prize £125, 3rd Prize £75
– Submissions deemed Highly Recommended will be printed alongside the top prize winners in a new anthology and receive a cash prize of £15
– All those printed in the anthology are entitled to a year’s free membership at the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, regardless of locality.
Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Nottingham Writers’ Studio launched the ‘George Floyd Short Story Competition’ in remembrance and in protest against his senseless death. This year, the competition will be taking stories of up to 5,000 words on the theme of ‘EARTH 2.0’. Global warming is the big issue of the day, disproportionately affecting developing nations. As the world heats up, the changing climate will likely be the greatest challenge future generations face; whether this be environmental, or socio-political (though the two seem to walk hand in hand…) We can’t think of a worthier topic for writers to explore.
- For an outstanding debut literary work by a first-generation immigrant
- Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books
- To be awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years
- Deadline is February 28, 2022
Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a book-length collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.
Fiction manuscripts must be complete. Nonfiction submissions must consist of either a complete manuscript or a sample of at least 25,000 words and a detailed proposal that includes a synopsis and an annotated table of contents. All submissions must be in English (translations welcome).
Candidates must be first-generation residents of their country. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated or to residents of a country whose parents were born elsewhere.
$2,500 will be awarded for the best short story, which will be published in the fall/winter 2022 issue of Colorado Review.
Entry fee to submit online is $17 per story; there is no limit on the number of entries you may submit, though each story must be a separate entry.
Stories must be previously unpublished.
There are no theme restrictions, but stories should be at least 10 pages and under 50 pages.
All manuscripts must be double-spaced.
The story title and your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address should be entered in the cover letter field, separate from your story. Be sure your name is NOT anywhere in the story itself.
Deadline is March 14, 2022. There is a grace period of five days for both postal and online submissions.
The award is intended to honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into cultural and social issues exemplified by the late James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity and other prose narratives of distinction. Jones himself was the recipient of aid from many supporters as a young writer and his family, friends, and admirers have established this award of $10,000 to continue the tradition in his name. Two runners-up awards of $1000 each may be given by the Jones Literary Society.
- Have never published a novel
- Are U.S. citizens
- May have published any other type of work including non-fiction articles and short stories
- Unpublished novels
- Novels in which one or more chapters have been published
Entry fee: $30
Deadline: March 15, 2022, Eastern Standard time.
The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today’s romantic suspense. The writing contest is for published and unpublished authors of mystery, suspense, and thrillers with or without romantic subplots.
The contest provides helpful feedback by trained judges. Winning or placing in the competition adds a boost to the entrant’s writing career. There are two divisions within the contest: Published and Unpublished.
Entry Fee: $15USD/members $30USD/non-members
First Prize: engraved bookmarks and multiple forms of recognition
Eligibility: international; unpublished manuscripts and books published in 2019 or 2020
Genres: 5 romantic suspense categories and 1 non-romantic mystery/thriller/suspense category
Entries are received January 15, 2021 – March 15, 2021.
The ACFW Genesis Contest is for unpublished Christian fiction writers. With ten categories to enter, Genesis provides the opportunity for unbiased feedback on writers’ work by published authors and experienced judges, and the chance for finalists to have their work read by Christian publishing house editors and literary agents.
Contest opens January 2, 2022 at 8:00am central, and closes on March 15, 2022 at 4:00pm central.
OPEN for self-published and independently published books
Book of the Year £1500 (approx 2000 US$; 1800€ )
Plus a minimum of the 3 category winners each winning £150 (approx 200$, 180€)
Closing date 31st March 2022