17 Writing Contests for Writers- No Entry Fee Required

Farwa Baloch
4 min readDec 3, 2021

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Win grand cash prizes, plus multiple additional prizes!

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Writing contests are a great source of encouragement and growth for writers, especially new writers. I, myself apply to such contests every now and then and have observed massive growth in my writing, my writing style has changed- for the better- and I can express my thoughts more fluidly.

Let’s not forget that writing contests not only help writers hone their craft but bring exposure and money too. But I know it can be a headache to find contests that provide such quality. Hence, I decided to do the dirty work myself so you don't have to and found 17 well-reviewed, free and authentic writing contests.

Let’s dive right into it.

InKitt Writing Contest

World Limit: 10,000

Monthly cash prizes:

Each month one grand prize winner and two runners-up will be selected.

1st prize: $300 and an exclusive badge for your book cover

2nd prize: $100

3rd prize: $50

Deadline: See the individual contest page

Learn more

Storyshares Writing Contest

Includes awards for short stories and texts in the following four categories:

Diversity Grand Prize: $2,000 + publication
in digital & print

Fifty States Award: $1,000 + publication in digital art

Creative Nonfiction: $1000 + publication
in digital & print

Coming Of Age Award: $1,000 + publication
in digital & print

Deadline: Feb 01, 2022

Learn more

7 Day Story Writing Challenge

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

World Limit: 2,000

Prize: $500

Deadline: December 01, 2021

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story,

Word Limit: 8,000

Deadline: February 01, 2022

Writers of the Future

Genres: Fiction, Short Story, Fantasy, Science Fiction.

1st Prize: $1000

2nd Prize: $750

3rd Prize: $500

Annual Grand Prize: $5000

Deadline: December 31, 2021

Learn more

Saudi Histroical Novel Award

Genres: Fiction, Novel

Top prize: £10,000

2nd Prize: £3,000

3rd prize: £2,000

Deadline: July 01, 2022

Learn more

The Birds In Your Hands Prize

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

Word Limit: 500

Top Prize: $1000, published in Thin Air Magazine, and interviewed for Thin Air Online.

cash prizes for runner-up and second runner-up

Deadline: December 01, 2021

Learn more

Hillerman Prize

Genres: Crime, Fiction

Top Prize: $10,000 and contract with St. Martin’s Press for publication of the novel.

Deadline: January 01, 2022

Learn more

Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Genre : Fiction, Poetry

Word Limit: Poetry: Should not exceed 10 pages, single or double-spaced (minimum of seven pages).

Fiction: Should not exceed 25 pages and must be double-spaced.

Top prize: $500

Deadline: March 01, 2022

Learn more

The Rosewell Awards And Future Feminists Award

Genres: Fiction, Science fiction, Short story

Top prize: $500

Additional Prizes: UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

Deadline: December 21, 2021

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53-Word Story Contest

Genres: All
Word limit: 53

Prize: the winner gets published in Prime Number Magazine and receives a free book from Press 53.
Deadline: 15th day of every month

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Anisfield Wolf Book Award

Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction

Word limit: See the individual contest page.

Prize: $10,000

Deadline: December 31, 2021

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Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize

Genres: Nonfiction essay
Word limit: up to 2,500 (4–10 pages)

Prize: $500

Runners up prize: $100
Deadline: December 10, 2021

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Alpine Fellowship Winner Prize

Genres: See the individual contest page.

Word limit: 2,500

1st prize: £10,000

2nd prize: £3,000

3rd prize: £ 2,000

Deadline: January 1, 2022- April 1, 2022

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Marfield Prize (aka National Award for Arts Writing)

Genres: Criticism, art history, memoir, biography & essay.

Word limit: See the individual contest page.

Prize: $10,000

Deadline: November 16, 2021 - December 31, 2021

Learn more

Werger Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Word limit: 250 lines
1st prize: $2,000

Runner up prize: $500

10 honorable mention prize: $100 each
Deadline: April 1, 2022

Learn more

Season Themes

Genres: Fiction, Flash fiction, Science fiction, Mystery, Short story, Thriller.

Word limit: See the individual contest page.

1st prize: $100

Additional prize: Publication in an anthology and potential for large gift card mention.

Deadline: December 31, 2021

Learn more

Conclusion

So, my fellow writers, this is your chance to submit your work that’s in progress or finished to one of these contests. Make sure to thoroughly read the guidelines before applying and best of luck. If you found this article helpful do give it a clap (reminder: you have the freedom to give 50 claps on Medium) and maybe consider following me!

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Farwa Baloch

Pakistani Book Author, Freelance Ghost Writer & Horror Books Enthusiast. Contact me via Gmail.