41 Writing Contests in July 2022 — No entry fees

This July there over three dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes range from $100,000 to a free writing class. 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!


Woolgathering. Restrictions: All poets under 22 years old are eligible for this competition. Genre: Poetry. “As students who have lived in the Philippines, the political climate in our country is volatile. From the unending “War on Drugs” to political killings and media censorship, the liberty of Filipinos is continually diminishing. However, this issue is not exclusive to the Philippines, and instances of political injustice are evident everywhere. As young writers we can use words to challenge political injustice and propagate change. This scholarship is dedicated to uphold the voices of the unheard, and to seek the truth in times of repression.” Prize: 1st Place: $200.00; 2nd Place: $40.00; 3rd Place: $10.00. All ten finalists will be featured in the Woolgathering Young Voices Anthology. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

Langdon Review Writer-in-Residence Program. This is a two-week residency at Texas-based Tarleton State University, providing an opportunity to present at the Langdon Review Weekend festival, and publication in the school’s Langdon Review journal. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 1, 2022 (?)

John Glassco Translation Prize. Sponsored by Literary Translators’ Association of Canada. Restrictions: Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents only. Genre: The work submitted must be the translator’s first published book-length translation into English or French. Prize: $1000. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. Book must be author’s first full-length book of poetry, published between between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Self-published books are accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

Booth Summer Writing Contest: Beyond the Margins. Genre: “Send us your work that lives outside of the box, whether in content, in form, or both. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comics, lists, hybrid work, recipes, maps to hidden treasure or the secrets of the universe. The work that lives, has been made to live, on the margins and beyond. We want to champion work that does not receive the seat at the table where it rightfully belongs.” Prize: $500 + publication. Deadline: July 1, 2022. Note: Free submission for all BIPOC writers.

BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest (BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Caribbean-American Writer’s Prize and BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean). Genre: Unpublished short fiction (3000 words max). Prize: US$1750 for each contest. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

Saudi Historical Novel Award. Co-sponsored by the Historical Novel Society and The King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (DARAH). Genre: Historical novel, 60,000–150,000 words, that is set in the Arabian Peninsula in the Saudi period, 1700–1975. Prize: £10,000 prize. 2 runners up will be awarded £3,000 prizes and £2,000 respectively. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

Richard J. Margolis Award. Genre: Journalism. Prize is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. Prize: $5,000 and one month of residency at Blue Mountain Center. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. The work submitted must be a first book of poetry published between between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Manuscripts, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted. Prize: $100,000. Deadline: July 1, 2022.

#PassOrPages Query Contest. Participating agents give brief feedback on a handful of entries, explaining why they’re passing … or requesting pages! The queries and accompanying feedback are posted on our blog anonymously, which helps querying authors get a peek into agents’ minds as they go through their slush piles. Genre: Revealed on June 21. Deadline: July 4–8, 2022.

The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers 2022. Restrictions: Open to unpublished Australian residents aged 18 years or older. Genre: Fiction and narrative non-fiction, the first three chapters plus synopsis (max 20,000 words). Prize: $10,000 and a year’s mentorship with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers. The Guardian Australia will publish an extract of the first chapter of the winning work on its website. Deadline: July 8, 2022.

The Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition. Restrictions: Writers must be 21 or under on July 11. (Those over 21 can enter for a fee.) Genre: Short story on theme of “Switch.” Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words. Prize: £1,000 and publication in the annual HG Wells Short Story Competition Anthology. Deadline: July 11, 2022.

Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards. Restrictions: Scottish writers over 18 years of age. Genres: The awards are divided into three different categories.: Fiction and Narrative Non-fiction in English and Scots, Poetry in English and Scots, Children’s and Young Adult Fiction in English and Scots. Prize: £2,000 and personal development opportunities, which can include mentoring from writers and industry professionals. Training in PR, performance and presentation training, and the opportunity to showcase work to publishers and agents. Deadline: July 13, 2022. (midday)

Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize. Restrictions: Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges for the academic year 2020- 21 are eligible. “This Prize has traditionally encouraged submissions from students with an Asian background, but we urge all students to enter.” Genre: Fiction of no more than 7,500 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: July 14, 2022.

The Governor General’s Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written, translated or illustrated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Genre: Best English-language and the best French-language book will be chosen in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustrated books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: July 15, 2022.

Stone Canoe. Restrictions: Open to people who live or have lived in Upstate New York (not New York City). Genres: Drama, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: July 15, 2022 for fiction — August 8, 2022 for poetry. (It is difficult to find this information on their website.)

The 1729 Book Prize in Prose. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction. “We’re open to most prose genres, though we tend to lean toward semi-experimental works with a strong literary bent. Hybrid works are welcome.” Prize: $1000 and publication. Deadline: July 15, 2022.

Iron Horse Prize. Genre: First book of collected prose. Prize: The author of the winning entry will receive $1000, and their collection will be published in the summer of 2023 by Texas Tech University Press. Deadline: July 15, 2022. Free submissions on July 15 only.

Boardman Tasker Prize. Restrictions: The prize will be awarded for a work first published or distributed in the United Kingdom between July 17th 2021 and July 16th 2022. Genre: Books with a mountain, not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: July 16, 2022.

Donn Goodwin and Joseph Gahagen Poetry Prizes: Milwaukee Irish Fest. Genre: Poetry. Entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 17, 2022.

W&A Working-Class Writers’ Prize. Restrictions: Open to working class writers over 18 and living in the UK or ROI. Genre: All genres. Submit the beginning of an unpublished work-in-progress no more than 2,000 words in length and a one-page synopsis for the full manuscript. You must also include a short piece of writing (200 words) in the Covering Letter section of our online entry form about yourself and why this prize speaks to you. Prize: £200 and a mentoring session with judge and author Paul Mendez. Deadline: July 18, 2022.

Arablit Story Prize. Genre: Short story translated from Arabic. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 20, 2022.

Boroondara Literary Awards. Restrictions: Open to Australians. Genre: Short fiction and poetry. Prize: More than $5,000 in prize money across various age groups in the Young Writers’ category. More than $3,500 in prize money in the Open Short Story category. Deadline: July 29, 2022.

Singapore Unbound. Restrictions: Open to undergraduates. Genre: Critical essays on topics in Singapore literature. Prize: $250. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Superlative Literary Journal. Genre: Mini-Saga. Exactly 50 words (including the title). Theme: Futures. Payment: £10. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Substack runs a monthly short story competition. Their mission is to “revive the art of the short story, support artists, and produce something wonderful.” Genre: Short story. Length: 6000- 10,000 words. Prize: $100 plus 50% of subscription revenue to be sent by Paypal, Zelle, or check. Deadline: July 31, 2022. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

Ann Petry Award. Restrictions: Open to Black authors. Genre: Previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a minimum of 150 pages. Prize: $3000 and publication. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Crossing the Tees Book Festival. Genre: Short stories, 3000 words max. Prize: Cash prize. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Award. Genre: Poetry collection, around 30 pages. Prize: $1010.10 publication, and 25 copies. Deadline: July 31, 2022. Entry is free until July 31, after that there is a fee.

Briefly Write. Genre: Poetry up to 10 lines. Prize: 1st — £30 / 2nd — £15 / 3rd (x3) — £5. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Crossing the Tees. Genre: Short story, 3000 words max. Prize: “Cash award.” Deadline: July 31, 2022.

#GWstorieseverywhere. Genre: Micro fiction or essay on theme of Kid Stuff. 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: July 31, 2022.

Polar Expressions Publications Short Story and Poetry Competition. Restrictions: Open to Canadians only. Genre: Short story, poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Landfall Essay Competition. Restrictions: Open to New Zealand writers. Genre: Essay about New Zealand. Prize: The winner will receive $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. Restrictions: Open to young poets age 11–17. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Publication. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

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: July 31, 2022.

Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest. Restrictions: Open to students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2021 semester. Genre: Essay on topic: “The year 2022 is the anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. How has the whole question of memorializing leading figures of the Civil War, including Lincoln, changed in the hundred years since then?” Prize: 1st Prize $1500 | 2nd Prize $750 | 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Biopage. Genre: Personal essays about the pandemic. Prizes: Up to $1000. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Lune Spark Young Writers’ Short Story Contest. Restrictions: Open to writers 10–13 years old, and 13–16 years old. (Two categories.) Genre: Short story. Prize: $500 for first place; $250, 2nd place; $100, 3rd place. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

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: July 31, 2022.

Sisters in Crime: Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Crime Writers. Genre: An unpublished work of crime fiction, aimed at readers from children’s chapter books through adults. This may be a short story or first chapter(s) of a manuscript in-progress of 2,500 to 5,000 words. Prize: $2,000. Deadline: July 31, 2022.

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.



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Erica Verrillo

Erica Verrillo

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