Entering writing contests is good practice for writers. And the cash prizes and publication are nice too.
Contests and why you should consider entering
While you may not feel like you have time to be dallying around entering writing contests there are some good reasons to do so, aside from money and publication.
Although enter writing contests for money and publication are, like, great reasons.
- First, if it’s the right contest, it can give you exposure to your future agent, editor or publisher
- Second, writing to deadline and according to a set of guidelines keeps you sharp
- Third, if you win you can say “award-winning writer” on stuff. I mean, isn’t that worth the entry fee alone?
Of course there are scams out there so you do need to vet each contest and check things like the rules and who’s judging.
You also want to make sure the entry fee is reasonable and you’re not signing away all your rights by entering the contest.
But once you feel like it’s on the up-and-up then enter with abandon!
Want to enter writing contests but stuck on ideas? I have an exercise for that!
Pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my resource library where you can download the free fillable worksheet and watch the companion training video.
Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”
Where to find writing contests for money and more
Here are a few of my favourite stops when looking for new writing contests to enter.
Poets & Writers
Poets & Writers has a searchable database of writing contests, which includes any creative writing contests they’ve published in their magazine during the past year. These contests are vetted before being entered into the database so it’s a trustworthy resource.
The Writer is a wealth of resources for writers and keeps an up-to-date contest listing on their website. You can even join their mailing lists where they’ll send the contest details to you so you don’t miss a thing.
Submittable has a great weekly roundup of publishing and journalism news (called Submishmash Weekly) and, of course, up-to-date contest listings. I find a lot of great opportunities here.
Writer’s Digest contests
Writer’s Digest has an updated contest listing for any Writer’s Digest Contest. They’re listed from soonest submission deadline to latest and cover a wide range of writing contests
Canadian writing contests
If you’re looking for Canadian writing contests Heather McLeod has a nice roundup of listings organized by date. These are recurring contests so check the links for updated details
Speaking of Canadian writing contests, CBC Books also put together a guide to writing prizes for Canadians. Organized into fiction, non-fiction and poetry, there are tons of recurring contests listed and this is a post worth bookmarking.
Writers Write has a small list of upcoming contests for fiction and poetry writers. Listings go till the end of the year so it’s worth checking out.
Reedsy writing contests
Reedsy has a robust contest search, which is updated each week. Search by genre, location and sort by entry fee or prize money.
I hope you can find awesome writing contests to enter this year! But if checking out websites is still too much to ask I have one more place you can go to find great contests—I’ve created a Writing Jobs and Contests Twitter List.
All you have to do is follow the list and check it every now and then.
I mean, you’re on Twitter, right?
One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.