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!)
Also, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway): DO NOT enter ANY contests unless your manuscript is fully finished and query-ready. (There are a few contests that pop up from time to time for unfinished manuscripts, but if the rules don’t specify that the contest is for unfinished manuscripts, please assume that it’s for query-ready manuscripts only!) If an agent requests a full manuscript, and you don’t have one to send, it’s disappointing for both of you.
10/29 and 10/31: Miss Snark’s First Victim Baker’s Dozen Submissions (Adult mss – no erotica) – The Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction is MSFV’s biggest event of the year. 60 250-word entries, hand-picked by Jodi Meadows and Authoress, will be placed on the auction block for agents to bid on (with requests for pages, up to a full manuscript request). It bears the name “Baker’s Dozen” because the original auction in 2010 included 13 agents–a baker’s dozen. $10 entry fee for this contest
10/31: Third Annual Halloweensie Contest – Write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spooky, black cat, and cackle. Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words. Post your story on your blog between now and Thursday October 31st by 11:59 PM EST and add your post-specific link to the list on the website.
10/31: YA Romance Pitchfest with Jill Corcoran – Between now and October 31st, email your pitch plus first 1,000 words of your manuscript in the body of your email (no attachments) with the subject line “YA ROMANCE PITCHFEST” to Jill Corcoran (follow the link above to find the email address and further details). YA Romance ONLY!
10/31: Halloween YA Pitch Party with Jordy Albert – Between now and October 31st, send your pitch (with Halloween Pitch and title in the subject) and the first 5 pages of your finished manuscript pasted into the body of an email (NO attachments) to Jordy (follow the link above to find the email address and further details). YA Romance ONLY!
11/1: Operation Awesome Mystery Agent Contest – Submit a Tweet-length pitch (140 characters or less) for your completed manuscript. This month’s mystery agent is particularly looking for manuscripts that are high-concept, and those that explore self-identity and character growth. Submission window opens at 10am EST and closes after the first 50 entries. Contest is open to YA, NA and Adult in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, contemporary, action/adventure, and romance (YA/NA only)
11/1: Project REUTSway – Each Sunday in November, you can check in to view the weekly “story pattern.” Write a short story (2,500-5,000 words) that fits the challenge parameters. Between Wednesday and Thursday each week, the contest judges will offer comments and feedback. Weekly winners will be posted on the REUTS blog on Saturdays. At the end of the month, the REUTS team will take 10-20 of our favorite submissions and work directly with the authors to revise, edit and polish each story until they fit into a colorful but comprehensive “collection” with a similar theme. This final collection will then be published, and part of the proceeds will go to Reading Tree/Discover Books. The theme of this anthology will be posted on November 1st, so make sure to check the link then to see if this contest is right for you!
11/5 and 11/7: Miss Snark’s First Victim Baker’s Dozen Submissions (YA and MG fiction – all genres) – The Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction is MSFV’s biggest event of the year. 60 250-word entries, hand-picked by Jodi Meadows and Authoress, will be placed on the auction block for agents to bid on (with requests for pages, up to a full manuscript request). It bears the name “Baker’s Dozen” because the original auction in 2010 included 13 agents–a baker’s dozen. $10 entry fee for this contest
11/15: Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition – Each year, Yale University Press seeks one book-length poetry manuscript to be published in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. The competition is open to any American citizen under forty years of age who has not published a book of poetry (contestants must be under the age of forty at the time they submit the manuscript to the competition). The winner receives royalties when the book is published. $20 entry fee for this contest
11/15: Children’s Writer Seasonal Poetry Writing Contest – Submit a single poem, verse story, or collection of up to five poems for children of any age, on the subject of any of the seasons, or holidays. The total word count of an entry may be no more than 300 words. Entries may be serious or funny, and take any poetic form. Winners will be selected based on quality of verse—including rhythm, meter, word choice, wordplay, imagery, and the use of other poetic devices (rhyme, alliteration, assonance, or others). Above all, winning entries must have appeal for young readers. The first contest entry is free to Children’s Writer subscribers who include their account number on page one of their manuscript. All others pay an entry fee of $15, which includes an 8-month subscription.
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
11/20: Pitch Wars (hosted by Brenda Drake) Mentors’ Bios will be Posted!! – In Pitch Wars, agented and/or published authors, industry interns, and editors team up with unagented authors to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents. The mentors will each pick ONE writer to work with on their FULL manuscript. Writers can submit applications to 3 Mentors, so make sure to look at all of the mentor bios and choose wisely!
11/31: 2013 YA Discovery Contest by Serendipity Literary Agency – Submit the first 250 words of your manuscript (no pitch or query). YA literary agent Regina Brooks and her team will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by Deidre Jones (Little Brown), Nicole Raymond (Candlewick), Aubrey Poole (Sourcebooks), Kendra Levin (Viking Penguin), Mercedes Fernandez (Kensington), Annie Nybo (Simon and Schuster), Erica Finkel (Abrams Books), Monica Jean (Random House/Penguin), Catherine Laudone (Simon and Schuster), Stacey Friedberg (Penguin Group), Laura Whitaker (Bloomsbury), Anna Roberts (Feiwel and Friends).
12/3: Baker’s Dozen Auction
12/13: PitchMAS Pitch Honing Workshop – Polish up your pitches for PitchMAS! Submit your pitches to the comments section of the Workshop Blog Post (which will be posted on December 13th) and then provide feedback to other contest hopefuls as well. (This is not a contest. It’s a workshop to help you prepare for the contest!)
12/15-16: PitchMAS Submission Window Opens – Submit your 35-word pitches via email only. Submission window will be open from Sunday 12/15/13 at 9:00am PST until Monday 12/16/13 at 6:00pm PST.
12/19: PitchMAS – Top 75 pitches will go live on the PitchMAS blog for agents and editors to make requests.
12/20: PitchMAS Twitter Pitch Party – Submit your 140-character pitch, including the hashtag #PitchMAS via twitter for agents and editors to see. ANYONE can participate, even if you didn’t make it into the 75 selected blog pitches. However, your manuscript MUST BE COMPLETED and POLISHED.
12/31: Dark Crystal Author Quest Contest Deadline: 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.
1/1/14 – 1/31/14: Highlights Fiction Contest – Short stories up to 800 words
1/31/14: International Illustrated Silent Book Contest – For illustrators only! The 2014 SILENT BOOK CONTEST will give prize money and publication to an original illustrated and unpublished book project that has been created and produced exclusively through narration by illustrated images. The winner will receive a cash prize and publishing contract for their book.
5/15/14: Remixing the World’s Problems Challenge – Using the poems from Solving the World’s Problems by Robert Lee Brewer as inspiration, write your own remix poem. Winning remix will receive $500 from the author. (No entry fee for this contest)
*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! ❤