Once again, there's a lot happening in the world of writing contests. Whether you're looking to earn some recognition for your skills, or to win a great prize, these contests offer something for everyone.
We want to encourage you to take these opportunities and to take your career to the next level. But before we give you the details on where to enter, let’s first share some of the best tips from contest organisers and previous winners.
Advice on Winning a Writing Contest
It seems easy enough. Each contest lists its rules and entry requirements, but many authors try to take a chance, or they try so hard to win that they end up bucking the system with the result that their manuscripts are tossed out before they even have a chance.
Whether you're entering to motivate yourself to finish your story, to practise your craft, or to win some moolah, there are some unwritten rules to live by. We like to break rules - IF it means helping you, our valued readers. No matter which contest you choose to participate in, follow these guidelines to enhance your chances of winning:
- Make your main character a fascinating creature full of creative contrasts.
- Opt for a surprise ending, rather than a blunt ending. You can do this by deliberately 'misleading' your readers into expecting a different ending.
- Bring together an earlier scene by repeating it and adding an artful twist.
- Don't try to copy or regurgitate what you see on television. Write from your own perspective - things that you know well.
- Proofread! It's easy to miss a few typos and grammatical errors. If you're serious about winning, consider submitting your manuscript to a professional editor.
- Stick with the required word count. If your contest requires 5,000 words, don't submit 6,000 hoping that it will give you a better chance at winning, because it won't. Never go more than fifty words over or under the requirement.
- Stick to the topic. If you submit a self-help book to a romance contest, your manuscript will not even make it to review.
- Observe the theme or prompt.
Writing Contests With Imminent Deadlines
Now’s the time to get cracking on preparing your manuscripts for the following contests.
This year marks the 5th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards, which is perfect for most of our authors. Categories include:
- literary fiction
First prize is $5000 in cash, an author spotlight in the May/June 2018 edition of Writer's Digest and a paid trip to the Writer's Digest Conference.
Find out how to enter here.
The first deadline is early August 2017 however they do have a second submission deadline in September 2017, read more on the event deadlines here.
Calling all short story writers! Grab this opportunity to take part in the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. Choose from the available categories, which include Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult and deliver your masterpiece in a maximum of 4,000 words to win the Grand Prize of $2,500 in cash, a trip to the Writer's Digest Conference, an interview in the May/June issue, $100 off any purchase at www.writersdigestshop.com and a copy of the 2018 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. There will also be a first prize winner in each category, as well as honourable mentions.
Deadline: October 16, 2017
Find out how to enter here.
Offering prizes of $500, $750 and $1,000 and an additional grand prize of $5,000 this is ideal for new or amateur short story and novelette writers in the fantasy and science fiction genres. Submit your work of up to 17,000 words by the final quarterly deadline or 1 October.
Deadline: This contest will run from 12:00 am July 1st 2017 through 12:00am September 30th 2017.
More details on how to enter, here
Lee & Low Books presents an annual award for previously unpublished children's picture book manuscripts for writers of colour. Submit your work of less than 1,500 words by the end of September to stand a chance to win $1,000 in cash and a standard publication contract.
Eligibility: The contest is open to writers of colour who are residents of the United States, 18 years or older at the time of entry, and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published.
Deadline: September 30, 2017
More entry details here.
Have you won any writing contests? We’d love to hear more about it in Comments below!