I spend quite a bit of time reading through contests before I add them to the Roundup. Why? Because not all contests are created equal! I want to make sure the contests listed offer a benefit to you as a writer or illustrator. Yes, I am picky. I don’t usually post contests with entry fees (although I know they can be deep into the entry requirements so I don’t always catch them). If you want to enter contests with fees you can find lots of lists filled with them. But we don’t need to spend a lot of money to meet our goals. I’m looking for contests that offer things such as a chat with an agent, mentorship, agent perusal, critique, editor connection, and even prize money and publication. Those are the kind of good things I feel can help us subbers out. So please, read those contest rules and guidelines to make certain the contest is right for you before entering. Here are the contests I’ve rounded up this month:
8/1: Pen Center Emerging Voices Fellowship – “directed toward poets and writers of fiction and creative nonfiction with clear ideas of what they hope to accomplish through their writing.” This is an intensive 7-month mentorship based in Los Angeles.
8/2-6: Pitch Wars – Open to Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult manuscripts. Submit your query letter and 1-3 page synopsis to your chosen mentors. Winners will work with a mentor to prepare for an agent round in November.
8/15: Pockets Fiction Contest – Open to stories for children of 750-1000 words. Winner to receive $500 and publication in Pockets Magazine.
8/20: Illustrator Sunday – Open to illustration. Email 2-3 sequential illustrations along with a bio blurb. Sharismar Rodriguez, Associate Art Director for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR, will critique chosen entries online between August 27th and September 4th.
8/31: Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant – Open to artists and writers with at least one child and a strong portfolio of polished work. Enter your bio, artist statement, CV, samples, and how you will use the award of $5000. This grant has an application fee of $15 that may be waived.
9/3: PITCH AMÉRICA – Open to Latinx writer’s Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult and Adult work. Submit your title, genre, word count, themes, 35-word pitch, and the first 500 words of your manuscript via email. Chosen entires will be posted for agents to peruse.
9/29: Picture Book Prize – Open to unpublished and unagented writer’s picture book text of 800 words or less. First prize winner will be offered a lunch consultation with Julia Churchill of A.M. Heath Literary Agents, a year’s subscription to Writing Magazine, and £200. 2nd and 3rd place prizes are offered as well.
9/30: New Voices Award – Open to picture book manuscripts by unpublished writers of color who reside in the U.S. Fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. “Manuscripts should address the needs of children of color by providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and which promote a greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to non-traditional family structures, gender identity, or disabilities may also be included.”
9/30: Writers of the Future – Open to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Dark Fantasy up to 17,000 words. 1st prize – $1,000, 2nd prize – $750, 3rd prize of $50 plus an end of the year grand prize of $5,000.
10/13: Futurescapes – Open to short fiction up to 8,000 words on the theme “Blue Sky Cities”. 1st place receives $2000. 5 runners up receive $500 each.
10/26: #PBPitch – Open to picture books. Pitch your picture book via Twitter using the #PBPitch hashtag from 8am – 8pm EST.
10/31: New Visions Award – Open to U.S. writers of color who have not had a middle grade or young adult novel published. Submit via Submittable. Chosen winner to receive $1000 and a publishing contract with advance.
12/1: Blue Mountain Arts 31st Biannual Poetry Card Contest – Open to poetry. “The author gives permission to Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. to publish and display the entry on the Web (in electronic form only) if the entry is selected as a winner or finalist.” 1st prize: $350, 2nd prize: $200, 3rd prize: $100.