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 and a NEW Art and Illustration 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. Some of these contests have an entry fee, while others do not. Some are judged by professional authors/illustrators, agents or editors, while others are smaller contests run by bloggers. I’ve tried to include as many contests as I can find, to give you a wide range of choices, but inclusion on this list does not necessarily constitute endorsement of the contest by Sub It Club. Make sure to do your own research on each contest before deciding whether or not to throw your entry into the ring! (Please read all rules before entering any contest!)
8/23-8/30 – Can You Handle the Truth? – This isn’t actually a contest, but it’s an excellent opportunity to get real, detailed feedback from an agent. From now (well, from a few days ago) until 30 August, Agent Susie Townsend is offering honest feedback on queries sent with the subject line: QUERY SUZIE – I can handle the truth – Please remember that this is an actual query, so make sure your manuscript is finished, polished and ready to query (and fits her wish list!!)
8/31 – Sustainable Arts Foundation Award – This isn’t a contest either, but I’m including it on the list, because it’s a great opportunity. From the website: “The Sustainable Arts Foundation is a non-profit foundation supporting artists and writers with families. Our mission is to provide financial awards to parents pursuing creative work. Too often, creative impulses are set aside to meet the wonderful, but pressing, demands of raising a family. The foundation’s goal is to encourage parents to continue pursuing their creative passion, and to rekindle it in those who may have let it slide.” This grant is available to writers and artists with children under the age of 18. If you’re eligible, consider applying. Applications must be in by 31 August.
9/6-9/11: Pitch Madness top 60 entries will go live on the 4 host blogs (15 per blog) for judging by agents
9/9-9/27 – QueryCon 2013 (Hosted by Unicorn Bell) – Three week event, where you will learn the do’s and don’ts of writing queries, post yours for critique, and (if you have a completed MS) submit it to the judges. (Judges TBA)
9/12 – After the Madness Twitter Pitch Party: Submit your 140-character twitter pitch (including the hashtag #PitMad) on twitter. Agents and Editors will visit the feed throughout the day and favorite the pitches for manuscripts they want to see.
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
9/22: DAMSEL DISTRESSED Cover Design Contest: Open to Artists, Illustrators and Graphic Designers of all skill levels. Winner’s cover design will be used as the official cover for Kelsey Macke’s upcoming YA contemporary novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED (and will be paid as the cover designer for the artwork)! The winner will also have the chance to possibly design the artwork for the companion album as well.
9/24: Scary Story Contest (via Coffee Addicted Writer and Literary R&R): Stories must be between 1500 and 2000 words. You are allowed to submit more than one story. We will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Each winning story will be posted on October 29 – 31! Prizes are to be determined.
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.
TBA – Trick or Treat with Agents
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.)
10/1-12/31: Dark Crystal Author Quest Contest: This isn’t so much a contest as it is an open audition to try out for the Work-for-Hire Dark Crystal prequel novel. Send in 7,500-10,000 words that represent the story you would tell in a full-length Dark Crystal novel. It can either be the first chapters, final chapters, a collection of middle chapters, or a short piece that would form the inspiration for a novel-length story.
10/15: Save the Frogs! Art Contest: SAVE THE FROGS! Nonprofit Organization has announced its international Frog Art Contest. The goal of the contest is to raise awareness of the mass extinction of amphibians that is currently taking place worldwide. There are cash prizes and the best art will be used on eco-friendly SAVE THE FROGS! merchandise and in books to raise funds for their amphibian conservation efforts. Contest open to artists of all ages and skill levels in 4 categories (under 10, 10-13 years old, 14-17 years old, and 18+) Art may be hand-drawn or digitally produced.
10/15: Save the Frogs! Poetry Contest – SAVE THE FROGS! Nonprofit Organization has announced the international Frog Poetry contest, with prizes including the chance to have your poems published in a book they will sell to raise funds for their amphibian conservation projects. The goal of the competition is to raise awareness of the mass extinction of amphibians that is currently taking place worldwide. Contest open to poets of all ages.
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
11/15: Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition – Open for short stories of 1,500 words or less (all genres). – $20 entry fee per manuscript for this contest
12/3: Baker’s Dozen Auction
Pitch Wars (hosted by Brenda Drake): Details TBA
PitchMAS: Coming in December. Details TBA
1/1/14 – 1/31/14: Highlights Fiction Contest – Short stories up to 800 words
*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! ❤
Veronica…you have done SubitClub proud! What an awesome segment…so helpful to writers who are often busy writing and don’t pay attention to the contests that are out there. Right now I am packing for a move back to the East Coast…but I appreciate the heads up regarding the upcoming opportunities.:)
Thanks, Veronica. This is great! FYI, everyone — some online resources if you’d like to publish with small presses and literary journals — online and print — are Duotrope (listing of journals) and Submittable (submission manager used many many journals).