Contests are a great way for writers to stretch their writing muscles and gives them the chance to possibly earn a little money and some much deserved recognition. All the contests listed below have a May deadline and are free to enter.
- Sunlight Press Essay Contest – Deadline is May 1st. Contest for Personal Essay (750-1,000 words). $100 prize and online publication. They look for lyrical writing and a compelling narrative.
- Hiett Prize in the Humanities – Deadline is May 3rd. The Hiett Prize in the Humanities is an annual award of $50,000 aimed at identifying candidates in the early stages of a career devoted to the humanities and whose work shows extraordinary promise to have a significant impact on contemporary culture.
- DSC Prize for South Asian Literature – Deadline is May 10th. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature celebrates the rich and varied world of literature of the South Asian region. Authors could belong to this region through birth or be of any ethnicity but the writing should pertain to the South Asian region in terms of content and theme. Awards $25,000 for published novel.
- St. Francis College Literary Prize – Deadline is May 15th. The biennial $50,000 Literary Prize is sponsored by St. Francis College to offer its support and encouragement to the literary community and mid-career authors who have recently published their 3rd to 5th work of fiction.
- Black Orchid Novella Award – Deadline is May 31st. Entries must be 15,000 to 20,000 words in length. Each entry must be an original unpublished work of fiction that conforms to the tradition of the Nero Wolfe series.
The mystery should be “traditional” in flavor.
The crime must be solved using the deductive abilities of the sleuth. No coincidences.
The killer must be known to the victim. No random psycho shootings.
The characters (male or female) must have an engaging relationship.
There needs to be some wit.
The timing could be retro or current.
There should be no explicit sex or violence.
The detective could be a professional or amateur.
The setting could be NYC or Boston or wherever.
We’re not looking for anything derivative of the Nero Wolfe character, milieu, etc.
- Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction/Warren C. Hollister Prize for Oz Nonfiction – Deadline is May 31st. The three categories that will be judged are Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Art. All work must be related to the world of Oz. This means entries must be about or pertaining to the Land of Oz as originally created by author L. Frank Baum in the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and its sequels, Oz plays, Oz movies, Magic Land, or any other version or aspect of Oz. All work must be original and not previously published or exhibited in any form, including online and digital publication. $100 First Prize award.
- Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest – Deadline is May 31st. 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. Our newsletter subscribers include publishers, artists, musicians, and fellow writers. While your writing should appeal to a reader with these interests and in these creative professions, all story themes are considered. A prize of $100 will be awarded for the winning story.
- TCU Texas Book Award – Deadline is May 31st. A prize of $5,000 is given to the author of the best book about Texas. Fiction, nonfiction, art, photography and other books will be considered; juvenile, young-adult, drama or film scripts, and self-published works are excluded.