5 Writing Contests for Emerging Writers

It’s submissions season! Here are a few literary contests with upcoming deadlines. 

Narrative Fall Story Contest

Open to all fiction and nonfiction writers.
WHAT: Short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.
WHEN: Deadline is November 30, 2015, at midnight, Pacific standard time.
WHY: First Prize is $2,500, Second Prize is $1,000, Third Prize is $500, and up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication and are eligible for the $4,000 Narrative Prize.

PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize

WHO: Open to writers under the age of 35 with an unpublished work of nonfiction that addresses a global and/or multicultural issue. Must have one prior publication (article, essay, op-ed) in a national magazine or journal.
WHAT: The manuscript submission must be an original, previously unpublished work of nonfiction (essay, memoir, general nonfiction, etc.), written by one person, in English, ranging in word length from 8,000 to 80,000.
WHEN: Deadline is October 26, 2015
WHY: $10,000 prize plus the opportunity to have your work read by distinguished writers and editors Marie Arana, Manuel Gonzales, and Johnny Temple.

The Iowa Prize in Literary Nonfiction

WHO: Open to previously published and unpublished writers of nonfiction.
WHAT: A brand new annual prize for literary nonfiction from The University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and The University of Iowa Press. For book-length manuscripts between 40,000 and 90,000 words.
WHEN: Submissions accepted from October 15, 2015 – December 10, 2015
WHY: Winner will be awarded a publishing contract with the University of Iowa Press.

The Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest

WHO: For writers who have not published a novel at the time of submission.
WHAT: Fiction and narrative nonfiction up to 7000 words.
WHEN: Deadline is October 31.
WHY: Fifteen finalists will be chosen to have their work evaluated by award-winning authors and editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The winning story will receive $2000. First, second and third place stories will receive feedback from Jeff as well as publication.

Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize

Writers of fiction, essay, or poetry.
WHAT: No more than 25 pages for fiction and nonfiction. Poetry can include any number of poems up to 10 pages total. 
WHEN: Deadline is October 1, 2015
WHY: $5000 prize awarded in each genre. 

Aspen Words offers Emerging Writer Fellowships at Summer Words. Learn more about this program.

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