Ten Writing Contests with NO Entry Fee

Hey all!

Have you ever begun searching for contests and found that nothing rolls up your alley because… well… you have to pay an entry fee?

Seriously, sometimes these entry fees can reach upwards of $28. I don’t know if any of you have submitted to more expensive contests, but I’m sure some are out there.

But when you’re faced with an entry fee, it can be hard to choose whether to spend that money on a contest you may not win, or if you ought to spend it on something you’re 110% certain you’ll get–such as food. Or books.

If you’re faced with this problem, then here are Ten Writing Contests with NO entry fee (listed in no particular order).

 

1. Brilliant Flash Fiction

Brilliant Flash Fiction offers a quarterly writing contest with absolutely NO entry fee. Their due dates are usually in the 15th of January, March, June, and September of each year, and the winners are posted by the end of these months.

Of course, you must submit fiction, not poetry. In addition to this, the fiction must be flash fiction. I think it’s worth it, for sure.

If you’d like to read more about these contests, click here for more details.

 

2. Helen Literary Magazine

Helen Literary Magazine holds its own quarterly prompt writing contest with (surprise!) NO entry fee. The writing you submit must be based on the images they provide. It can be any genre you choose: poetry, fiction, nonfiction. All are welcome!

Winners are announced 15 days after they have closed submissions. Deadlines are usually at the end of January, March, June, and September. You can find out more about it here.

 

3. Spirit First

Yet another writing contest worth considering the next time they host one! Spirit First hosts a poetry writing contest annually. Writers must stick with the themes of meditation or mindfulness in order to be considered for publication. First place receives $200 and publication.

Be sure to check it out and watch for the next time they hold a contest! Deadline is usually at the end of January.

 

4. Foley Poetry Award

America Magazine typically holds its own annual poetry contest called the Foley Poetry Contest. They typically accept any unpublished poetry that’s under 30 lines. The cash prize is $1000 and, I think, is definitely worth a shot! Check here for one of the last times they held a poetry contest.

 

5. Inkitt Novel Contest

This one is a bit farther up the alley, because it is a free writing contest… for novels.

Now I know that not everyone is up for writing novels, but for anyone desperate to get their novels out there–well, here’s a way to do just that! You receive 25% royalties and they have a good marketing team helping you with your book along the way. It’s worth considering, at the very least!

 

6. Starkey Flythe Jr. Poetry Prize

This writing contest, hosted by Berry Fleming Book Festival, requires that you submit 3 poems of no longer than 30 lines per. Of course there are more details that you must adhere to, listed here, but it’s definitely worth submitting to. Their deadline is by the end of July for this year. Best get to submitting now for a possible $500 prize!

 

7. Poetry Nook Weekly Poetry Contest

There are some unique places out there who host contests often, but this one has a weekly contest with possible winnings up to $150. The results are posted every Sunday and can be about anything at all. On top of that, you can submit previously published poetry! This means that you have a chance to get a winning spot every week. Of course, you’d have to be a member of the site, but I think it’s definitely worth looking at. Check here for more details!

 

8. Winter Tangerine Awards

This writing contest, hosted by Winter Tangerine Review, is open once a year. They accept poetry or prose and give a $250 award for the winner. Finalists receive $20. They also request that you include an artist statement–and that you have not published any books whatsoever. So all emerging writers are definitely welcome here! Visit their website here for more details.

 

9. L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

If you have any fantasy or science fiction pieces written (up to 17,000 words total), then this contest is right up your alley.

They host this contest quarterly (with awards of $1000, $750, and $500), and the annual grand prize is $5000. Definitely worth checking out, especially since this is hosted regularly. Their next deadline is June 30, 2017, so consider submitting!

 

10. Warner International Playwright Festival

I don’t limit writing to simply prose and poetry–we must also remember playwrights and screenwriters, who are also part of the circle of writers.

Warner holds an international playwright festival annually. They consider one-act plays that are no less than 12 pages, but no more than 30 pages. Though not exactly a competition, it is a chance to be among the selected playwrights whose play is featured. Definitely worth considering and submitting to.

 

 

So, those are all the writing contests I wanted to share with you! If you know of any more that I haven’t mentioned here, please share them here so that the list can be extended as time goes on. I hope to do more lists like these in the near future, so if we can find up to 25 writing contests with no entry fees… well, that’d be better than awesome, for sure!

Have a great day all! I’m off to see if I can submit to some writing contests myself…

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3 thoughts on “Ten Writing Contests with NO Entry Fee

  1. I debated a LOOOOONG time about whether my Word Weaver Writing Contest should have an entry fee or not.

    I decided YES but immediately added a way for people to waive the fee by Liking my Facebook author page and subscribing to my free newsletter.

    I felt a fee would keep out unserious writers and people who would submit 50 times, while allowing a way to have the fee waived would still not cost writers – who are almost always on a tight budget (food needs to be paid for, too, you know) – anything out of pocket. It worked well so I’ll do it again for the August contest, but I’ll have to consider doing with no jumping through hoops at least once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about this late response. I do agree that fees can definitely help gear the more serious writers in. And I think it’s great that you had the fee waiver (that’s how I joined in 😉 ). Plus, it’s always exciting to see authors host their own writing contests, because that helps us readers realize that other writers actually care to see our work.

      But I’m also grateful that some contests don’t have fees, because it can help emerging writers learn more about how to submit to a writing contest–definitely a great thing, for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I go back and forth. I don’t think I’ve ever paid a fee to join a writing contest, but I didn’t want to have to review 10,000 stories either. So a small fee to weed out the people who weren’t serious seemed like a good idea.

        I’m going to try different ways until I figure out which way works best. Some will have fees, some will have waivers, and some may just be wide-open.

        Like

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