Your Running List of Writing Contests, Grants, Etc. [Updated 2024]


Picture it: you, a literary rockstar, soaking up the golden glow of a mind-boggling publishing deal. Sounds pretty dope, right? Well, one potential way of moving the needle closer to this world of splendor is winning a writing contest. Or securing a grant! The list below is broken up into 2 distinct sections, the first being No Entry Fees. This is not an exhaustive list but a great resource that will be updated on a rolling basis. Know of an opportunity not included here? Send it through! Now, go forth and write.


The Rising Voice Awards

The Rising Voices Awards are a collaboration between seven youth literary magazines–The Stirling Review, The Incandescent Review, SeaGlass Literary, The Globe Review, The Trailblazer Review, HaluHalo Journal, and Outlander Zine, as well as our 501(c)(3) partner Humanity Rising. As the first event ever of its kind where an established team of youth arts organizations join hands with renowned guest authors to create something amazing, we are proud to present to you the first ever Rising Voices Awards: a writing contest for youth creatives aged 13-18 with a total in $2,350 in prize money.

  • Contest Opens: December 2023
  • Contest Closes: January 30, 2024
  • Entry Length: 
    • Poetry: 3 – 100 lines per piece (up to 5 poems)
    •  Critical Writing: 300 – 2,000 words per piece (up to 3 pieces)
    • Fiction: 300 – 2,000 words per piece (up to 3 pieces)
  • Winner’s Prize: $200 USD (grand prize), $150 (2nd place), $100 (3rd place) in each division, $1,000 Scholarship for the winner of the Rise Up Writing Challenge for Anti-Bullying Related Works

Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s Self-Publishing Literary Award

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), in partnership with Biblioboard, is accepting awards for the 2024 Self-Publishing Literary Award. Each year, BCALA honors the best self-published eBooks by an African-American author in the United States in the genres of Fiction and Poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.

  • Contest Opens: January 2024
  • Contest Closes: February 29, 2024
  • Entry Length: Not specified, focuses on e-books
  • Winner’s Prize: $2,500 USD per genre include

Little Tokyo Historical Society’s Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest

The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories for its 11th annual Imagine Little Tokyo short story contest in the categories of English language, Japanese language and youth (18 and younger). The contest is presented by LTHS in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum’s Discover Nikkei project.

  • Contest Opens: Now
  • Contest Closes: February 29, 2024
  • Entry Length: 2,500 words or less if in English, 5,000 ji or less if in Japanese
  • Winner’s Prize: $500 USD (plus publication in The Rafu Shimpo, Discover Nikkei, and Little Tokyo Historical Society’s website)

Write the World’s Poetry & Spoken Word Competition

“Poetry lays the foundations for a future of change,” wrote Audrey Lorde. From the lines of Langston Hughes ushering in the Harlem Renaissance, to women in modern-day Afghanistan bravely sharing their poems over social media, to spoken word artists calling for change, poetry has long celebrated the right to self-expression and the power of advocacy. This month, sow your own seeds of change into stanzas, meter, or free verse, or else write and perform an original piece of spoken word (poetry performed aloud). We’ll award two top prizes—one for a written poem, and one for a recorded performance. 

Heads up: Write the World has a variety of writing contests so explore for more! This contest is specifically for young writers 13 – 19 years old.

  • Contest Opens: May 06, 2024
  • Contest Closes: May 27, 2024
  • Entry Length: 50 – 500 words
  • Winner’s Prize: $100 USD (grand prize),$50 (runner-up and best peer reviewer)


The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey) is a biennial competition that celebrates and compensates excellence in flash. The grand prize winner of The Smokey is automatically nominated for The Best Small Fictions, The Pushcart, Best of the Net, and any other prize we deem appropriate.

  • Contest Opens: February 1, 2024
  • Contest Closes: April 30, 2024
  • Entry Fee (hold onto your hats):
    • February 1 – March 1: One Entry ($14), Two Entries ($18), Up to Four Entries ($30)
    • March 2 – April 30 One Entry ($16), Two Entries ($20), Up to Four Entries ($32) 
  • Entry Length: 1,000 words or less
  • Winner’s Prize: $2,500 USD (grand prize), $1,000 (2nd place), $500 (3rd place), $100 (finalists)

Twist in the Tale’s Inaugural 500 Word Contest

Twist in the Tale promises unique prompts and a submission wizard to help stories find homes after the contest. For more context? All entrants share a main genre but will be given a twisted sub-genre (unusual) from a pool of ten. Entrants will also get either an event/character/object/subject (depending on the contest) that they must include. They can re-roll sub-genre and subject three times each. For example, if thriller is the main genre, you might get occult detective as your sub-genre. Rolling again might give you cyberpunk, environmental, etc.

  • Contest Opens: February 24, 2024
  • Contest Closes: March 02, 2024
  • Entry Fee:
    • Now until February 04: $20
    • February 04 + onward: $25
  • Entry Length: 500 words
  • Winner’s Prize: $1,000 USD (grand prize), $200 (2nd place), $100 (3rd place), monetary credits for other finalists

North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction Prize

The Vonnegut Prize is an annual fiction competition intended to recognize the finest speculative fiction, which can include, but is not limited to, work influenced by the postmodern science-fiction of Kurt Vonnegut. We love Vonnegut’s dark humor, but please avoid mere imitation. We are enthusiastic about all work painted with speculative fiction’s broad brush: fairy tale, magical realism, fabulism, the fantastic, horror, Afro-futurism, science fiction hard and soft, and everything in between. The winning entry will appear in the North American Review’s annual summer issue, and all finalists will be considered for publication.

  • Contest Opens: August 1, 2024 at 10:00am CST
  • Contest Closes: November 2, 2024 at 2:00am CST
  • Entry Fee: $23 USD
  • Entry Length: 500 – 10,000 words
  • Winner’s Prize: $1,000 USD
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