37 Writing Contests in August 2020 — No entry fees

Image for post
Image for post
Wikimedia Commons

This August there are more than three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from two cases of beer to $15,000. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

If you want to get a jump on next month’s contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck!


PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult Novelists. Restrictions: Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. Genre: Book-length children’s or young-adult fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: August 1, 2020.

Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grants. Restrictions: Open to women and trans artists in Greater Philadelphia to fund art for social change projects. People living in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties Delaware who are 18 years of age or older and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. Genres: Art in traditional or nontraditional modes, mediums or disciplines. Prize: $2500. Deadline: August 1, 2020.

The PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History. Genre: Literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement. Prize: $15,000 each. (Two prizes) Deadline: August 1, 2020.

Texas Teen Book Festival Fresh Ink Fiction Contest. Restrictions: Open to Texas residents aged 11–18 years. Genre: Fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. Prize: $150. Deadline: August 1, 2020.

Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships. Restrictions: Delaware poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in Delaware for at least one year prior to application and who are not enrolled in a degree-granting program. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: Established Professional Fellowships of $6,000 each and Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,000 each. Deadline: August 3, 2020.

Spectator Prize. Genre: Sonnet. “You are invited to supply a sonnet with the following rhyme words in the given order: dead, sun, run, mead, lead, done, fun, weed, never, frost, shrills, ever, lost, hills.” Prize: Publication. Deadline: August 5, 2020. Note: Please email entries to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday.

Furious Fiction. Genre: Flash fiction, 500 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: Opens August 7, 2020. Closes August 9.

The Spectator. Genre: Double dactyls on stars of popular or classical music (a maximum of three entries each). Prize: Publication. Deadline: August 12, 2020.

Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. Restrictions: Open to residents of the UK or Ireland, 18 years or older. Unpublished authors only. (Author may be self-published.) Genre: Novel (adult). Prize: Publication with Welbeck Publishing. Deadline: August 14, 2020.

Scotiabank Giller Prize. Restrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English between July 1, 2020 and Sept 30, 2020. Must be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100.000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: August 14, 2020.

Rebecca Swift Women’s Poetry Award. Restrictions: Open to women poets in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Prize: £1,000. Deadline: August 14, 2020.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry Prize. Restrictions: Poets living in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., or West Virginia. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, ten author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer. Deadline: August 15, 2020.

Ligonier Valley Writers. Genre: Flash fiction on theme of “snakes and other reptiles”;1000 words max. Prize: The first prize winner will receive $50, second prize $25, and third prize $15. Deadline: August 15, 2020.

Natan Notable Books Award. Genre: Recen­t­­ly pub­­lished or soon to be pub­lished nonfic­­tion book on Jew­ish themes. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: August 15, 2020.

The Yale Drama Series. Genre: Original, unpublished full-length plays, with a minimum of 65 pages. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: August 15, 2020.

Wax Poetry and Art. Restrictions: Open to residents of India. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Royalties. Deadline: August 23, 2020.

Wax Poetry and Art. Restrictions: Open to residents of Nigeria. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Royalties. Deadline: August 23, 2020.

Wax Poetry and Art. Restrictions: Open to residents of Nigeria. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Royalties. Deadline: August 23, 2020.

Peter Blazey Fellowship. Restrictions: Applicants must either be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency. Genre: Non-fiction in the fields of autobiography, biography or life writing. Prize: $15,000, and a one-month writer-in-residency at The Australia Centre. Deadline: August 24, 2020.

Costa Short Story Award. Restrictions: Open to writers in the UK or Ireland. Genre: Short story (maximum 4,000 words). Prize: £3,000. Deadline: August 28, 2020.

Preservation Foundation Essay Contest for Unpublished Writers. Restrictions: The contest is open to writers whose creative writing has never produced revenues of over $750 in any single year. Genre: Travel Nonfiction. Prize: First prize is $200. Runners-up will receive $100. Finalists will receive $50. Deadline: August 30, 2020.

Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize. Genre: Article that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. Articles focused on historical events AND articles about current issues (work, housing, organizing, health, education) that include historical context are both welcome. The work should be published in print or online between August 26, 2019 and August 30, 2020. Prize: $1000. Deadline: August 30, 2020.

Wax Poetry and Art. Restrictions: Open to residents of the UK. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Royalties. Deadline: August 30, 2020.

Wax Poetry and Art. Restrictions: Open to residents of Canada. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Royalties. Deadline: August 30, 2020.

SLF Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants. Restrictions: Open to writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. — those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process. Genres: Book-length works (novels, collections of short stories) of speculative fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Restrictions: Emerging African American writers. Genres: Short story collection or novel published in the current year. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Lee & Low Books New Voices Award is sponsored by Lee &Low Publishers. Restrictions: The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published. Genre: Children’s books — fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Prize: $1,000 and publication. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation or Multi-Lingual Texts. Restrictions: Translators and authors of multi-lingual texts. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $200. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction. Genre: Essay, maximum 5,000 words. Prize: $250 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Kindle Storyteller Award (UK). Restrictions: The prize is open to all authors who publish their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk. Genre: Book. Prize: £20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing. Genre: Short story on theme: ‘The Next Chapter.’ Prize: £200. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. Genre: Poetry. Prize: WINNERS will receive $200 each, plus publication. FINALISTS will receive $50 each, plus publication. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

#GWstorieseverywhere. Genre: Micro fiction or essay on theme of Daring Move. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Under the Hood. Restrictions: Open to USA residents. Genre: YA Fantasy short story about facing down a monster and overcoming it. Prize: $100. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Words on the Waterway. Restrictions: Open to UK residents 16 years or older. Genre: Story in 300 words or less about your most memorable visit to rivers and canals. Prize: The winning entries will be published on the Canal & River Trust website and receive personally signed copies of books by Emmy award-winning actor and writer Stephen Fry — The Ode, Paperweight and Mythos. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Virus Poems. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Donations. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Hysteria. Genre: Poetry, short story, flash fiction. All genres except erotica or horror. Writers under 16 may enter. Prize: £25. Deadline: August 31, 2020.

Like this article? For more articles about the publishing world, useful tips on how to get an agent, agents who are looking for clients, how to market and promote your work, building your online platform, how to get reviews, self-publishing, as well as publishers accepting manuscripts directly from writers (no agent required) visit Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity.

Helping writers get published and bolstering their flagging spirits at http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store