To help you keep track of the available writing contest opportunities, we’ll post a list each month of the upcoming contests we’ve heard about. (If you have an upcoming writing contest that you’d like included on the list, please contact Veronica with the details.) We also have a Writing Contests Pinterest board, which we try to keep updated on all the contests we hear about, as long as the contest information is pinnable. (Check frequently, as some agents post writing contests on the spur of the moment with a 24-48 hour entry period, and you never know when such an opportunity might pop up.)
Please remember, not all contests are right for all people. Make sure to do your own research on each contest before deciding whether or not to throw your pitch into the ring! (Please read all rules before entering any contest!)
7/29: Time Out for Monsters Picture Book Peek: Sign up for a critique by entering your picture book WORKING TITLE in the comment section of the contest blog post anytime (midnight to midnight Mountain Time) on July 29th. Manuscripts must be 1,000 words or less. Fiction only.
7/29: Greenhouse Funny Prize: Submit the first 5,000 words PLUS a short description (a few lines) of the book AND a one page outline that shows the spine of the plot. If you’re submitting a picture book (or shorter fiction that comes in under 5,000 words), then send the complete text. Open to all FUNNY stories – PB, MG, YA.
7/31: Cheerios New Author Contest: Entries must be received by 11:59pm Central Time. “The Cheerios® New Author Contest encourages aspiring authors to write and submit an original story for a book for children between the ages of 2 – 8 years old and their parents.” The contest is only open to people who have NEVER been published in the children’s market before. (This is not an online pitch contest. There is a link for entering on the website.) Picture Books only.
7/31-8/3: Adventures in YA Publishing Pitch+250 Contest: Submit a pitch of no more than 100 words plus the first 250 words of your completed manuscript. For your pitch, think logline, not query. Submissions accepted beginning at 6pm Eastern time on July 31st, until 11pm Eastern time on August 3rd (or when 50 submissions are reached, whichever comes first). Open to YA, NA, and MG
CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for July to the Writing and Illustrating blog. It is a great way to get seen and keep your name out there to get noticed. Send them to Kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail.com and put “July Illustration” in the subject area. Please submit .jpgs at least 500 pixels wide. (This isn’t actually a contest, but a great way for illustrators to have a chance to showcase their work as a featured illustrator.)
8/1: Operation Awesome Mystery Agent Contest: Get your 3-sentence pitches ready to wow the mystery agent! (Please make sure your pitch is actually three sentences only. Don’t try to fudge the rules by creating super-long run-on sentences.) – Open to MG, YA, NA and Adult query-ready mss in the following genres: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary, Horror, Light SF, and Thrillers
8/5: Agent Greeting Contest: Comment with your best and most imaginative Dear Agent greeting. One entry per customer. Two winners (more, if more agents volunteer to take part) will be drawn at random on August 7th to receive an email query critique from a generous real-life dream agent. Details about the agents will be revealed soon!
8/5-8/7: Teen Eyes Editorial Contest: Three editors from Teen Eyes Editorial, hosted on three separate blogs: Brenda Drake will host editor Brent Taylor, who will judge query letters. Winner receives $100 gift voucher to use toward any of his editorial services (expires in 2014). Matthew MacNish will host editor Grace Smith, who will judge first pages (250 word max). The winner will receive a 20K in-depth manuscript critique. Holly Bodger will host editor Julie Daly who will judge logline pitches. The winner will receive a reader’s report of their full manuscript. Submission posts on all three blogs will go live on August 5 at 8AM EDT (NY time) and close on August 7 at 9PM EDT. You can enter on one, two, or all three of the blogs for a chance to win the prize on that blog (one prize per person)!!
8/5: Secret Agent Contest: Miss Snark’s First Victim Secret Agent contest opens for submissions from noon to 6pm (Eastern time). Once the submission window closes, 52 entries (50 + 2 alternates) will be chosen. Manuscripts must be completed and polished (query-ready), and must not have been included in a secret agent contest within the past 6 months (you may enter a DIFFERENT manuscript, if you’ve entered within the past 6 months). This contest is open to MG (all genres), YA (all genres), and Women’s Fiction.
8/13-8/14: Write On Con: This isn’t actually a pitch contest (although there are opportunities to have your pitch seen by several agents and editors). It’s a FREE, annual, online writer’s conference! This conference is packed full of workshops and opportunities to learn from the pros. It would be well worth the cost at hundreds of dollars, but it’s completely FREE!! Make sure to attend!
8/16: WriteOnCon/Reading Room Aspiring Writers’ Competition: A first 500 (first page) MG/YA/NA words contest. First Place wins $1000, Second Place wins $500, Third Place wins $250 AND an author profile page on TheReadingRoom.com. In addition, your work will be considered for possible representation by literary agent, Catherine Drayton as well as three additional literary agents on the panel.
8/21-8/25: Savvy Authors Summer Symposium 2013: This isn’t exactly a contest either, but they will be talking about publishing and promoting, offering editor and agent pitch opportunities to registrants with completed manuscripts, and raffling off tons of prizes from books on craft to novels, gift certificates, workshops, 3-chapter critiques from editors and published authors and more. – $30 registration fee for non-members, FREE for members of Savvy Authors
8/24: Pitch Madness: Submission window opens, and will be open for 24 hours (no limit to the number of entries). Submit a 35-word (exact) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. Entries will go through 3 rounds of slush before they reach the final (agent) round. (More details to be announced soon. I’ll edit this post with the details as they become available.) Open to MG, YA, NA and Adult fiction- completed manuscripts only!
9/6-9/11: Pitch Madness top 60 entries will go live on the 4 host blogs (15 per blog) for judging by agents
9/16: Writer’s Digest YA Fiction Contest Early Bird Deadline (regular deadline: 10/15) Fiction manuscript, 4,000 words or less. Winner receives: A $500 cash prize, $100 off a purchase at www.writersdigestshop.com, copy of the 2014 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, be listed in Writer’s Digest‘s May/June issue and on WritersDigest.com – $20 entry fee for this contest
9/30: Lee and Low New Voices Award: Award will be given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color. The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and a standard publication contract. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500. Manuscripts should be no more than 1500 words, and must be postmarked no later than 30 September 2013. Contest is open to unagented writers of color who have never had a picture book published.
10/1: Quirk Books’ Looking for Love Contest: Novel-length manuscripts “featuring fresh, fun, and strikingly unconventional love stories” (This is not an online pitch contest. Find the entry form on the link above.)
10/29 and 10/31: Miss Snark’s First Victim Baker’s Dozen Submissions (Adult mss – no erotica) – $10 entry fee for this contest
11/5 and 11/7: Miss Snark’s First Victim Baker’s Dozen Submissions (YA and MG fiction – all genres) – $10 entry fee for this contest
12/3: Baker’s Dozen Auction
Pitch Wars (hosted by Brenda Drake): Details TBA
PitchMAS: Coming in December. Details TBA
*A big THANK YOU to Meredith’s Musings for your awesome “Contest Circuit” page, which got me thinking about adding this page to the Sub It Club blog in the first place! ❤
Thanks for putting all this together in one place! Much appreciated.