2018 Free International Writing & Non-Writing Entry Contests
If you're looking for online contests that you can participate or submit your work for free, without being required to pay entry free; don't look further.
This article will provide you with an overview of each contest including the last date to submit your work and the type of prizes to be won. A link has been included in each contest which will direct you to the relevant contest's page to better understand what's required of you.
However, unlike earlier, this article will concentrate on writing contests only, that is, short story, novel, flash fiction, poetry, article, essay and creative nonfiction. For non-writing contests - designing, illustration, drawing, painting, photography and short video/film production - a separate article has been created to provide you with an up-to-date list of the said contests.
Click here to be directed to non-writing contests.
Cheers on your success. If you don't win, don't beat yourself down. Try another one, and another one, and another one. You never know.
1. The Writing District Contest
This is a monthly short story contest.
Deadline: The last date of the month
Word count: 3,000
Email submission: email@example.com
Prizes: $50 to the overall winner
Visit their website for more info: The Writing District
2. Micro Sweek Flash Fiction Contest
This is a monthly flash fiction contest. Each month has its own theme.
Prize: $50 for the overall winner
Deadline: The 22nd day of every month
Word count: 250 words
In addition, there is a prize of $15 for the best feedback to the stories updated for each particular month.
Familiarize yourself with the general rules that have been outlined in Sweek Blog pertaining to the monthly flash fiction contest.
Click here to find out Sweek's flash fiction contest theme for each month.
3. The Writing Quarter Competition
Word count: 3,000 words
Only one entry per person.
The winner of a particular month will be notified by the organizer of this contest by the 30th day of the following month.
Check them here to learn more.
4. Furious Fiction
Can you beat the deadline in as little as 55 hours after receiving the short story prompt? This is your chance to put your writing skill into test. Once the prompt is displayed in the organizer's website, on the first Friday of every month, you have to race against the clock to write a 500-word short story (or less) in less than 55 hours to win AUD$500.
Click this link to learn more.
5. The Third Word Press
In this contest you are required to write flash fiction of not over nor under but exactly 80 words. "Your submission can be an extract from a longer work; a full story with a beginning, a middle and end; or it can simply be a scene - it's what you do with it that is of interest. You can submit as many pieces as you like per competition."
Deadline: 2nd and 4th Mondays or each month.
Prize: £20 and your work will be published on the organizer's website.
How to Submit a Video-Contest
1. Writer Contest
This is a quarterly contest which occurs four times a year, starting on October 1 (January 1, April 1 and July 1) and ending on September 30.
Type of contest: Scientific and Fantasy genres
Word length: 17,000 words
"The contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment of at least six cents per word, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits."
Prizes: $1000, $750, $500 including trophies. Additionally, the winners of quarterly contest will compete to win the annual prize of $5,000.
You can submit through email or snail mail.
How to Win Writing Competitions - WritersLife.org
1. JCS International Young Creatives Award
The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is inviting youths to participate in JCS International Young Creatives Award. The theme of this year's competition is: Stand Up for Peace.
You must be between the age of 18 and 29 to participate. It is opened to Non-Americans though individuals having dual citizenship are eligible to participate.
Length of the video: 1 minute
"Three (3) winners will be flown to New York City to be presented with the JCS International Young Creative Award plaque at the International Emmy World Television Festival on November 17, 2018. The winners will also be invited to take part in the red carpet festive season at the 46th International Emmy Awards on November 19, 2018."
Deadline: September 7, 2018
For more information, click here.
2. The Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing 2018: Women's Writes
The organizer of this competition, Valerie Wood, is inviting individuals to submit a short story featuring a strong woman as the protagonist.
All genders are welcomed to submit their entries. This year's contest is meant to "celebrate 100 years since women won the right to vote."
The prize for the winning entry is £100 and will be published in the organizer's website, and shared among the various social media sites.
You can either type your work or if you prefer making use of the pen ensure your story is neatly written.
Your submission should be original, in English language and not previously published.
Deadline: September 15, 2018
Check them here for more information
3. Hektoen International Summer Essay Contest
The theme of this year's contest is: Food and the Body. "Please submit essays about food and drink as related to health and the body, using the lens of the humanities. Suggested topics may include, but limited to: the history of food, famine or drought in ancient or contemporary societies; food and body images as portrayed in art and literature, the ethics of healthcare pertaining to issues of diet and weight; or cultural perspectives on food, the body, and the health."
Awards: 1st prize - $2,500
2nd prize - $800
Deadline: September 14, 2018
Length: Maximum of 1,600 words
Your entry should include at least one image and cover page.
Read their contest's page here to familiarize yourself with their article and image guidelines, and how you should format your work.
4. The Helen Schaible International Shakespearean Petrarchan Sonnet Contest 2018
Ever read Shakespearean or Petrarchan poems? If you've never, it might be a good thing to read any of the above poet's works to have a feel of what Sonnet poems sound like.
You don't have to be an expert in this type of poem to participate. There are quite a number of online articles that touch on how to write Sonnet poems.
Strictly, you should send two copies of only one poem by post. They don't accept online or email submission.
Deadline: September 1, 2018
Prizes: $50, $35 and $15
Check their website, PoetsandPatrons, for more information.
5. International Short Story Writing Contest for School Children
This contest is applicable to young people from the age of seven to sixteen years.
There are three categories in the contest: Sub-junior (7-9yrs), Junior (10-12yrs) and Senior (13-16yrs).
Each category has its own minimum and maximum length though the maximum length can be exceeded in all categories.
Prizes: There will be three winners in each category. The first, second and third winner in each category will receive $75, $50 and $25 respectively. Additionally, they will receive certificates and their winning stories will be published on the website.
When submitting your story ensure you send them proof of your age. You can scan or take a photo of your birth certificate/ identity card/certificate from school/health record or school record.
Deadline: September 15, 2018
Check their website, KidsWorldFun, for more information.
6. Tell a Data Story: Visualize a Better World
Google Cloud in collaboration with World Bank, the United Nations Foundation and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development is inviting college or graduate students to tell a Data Story called Visualize 2030.
"From ending poverty to preserving biodiversity, The 2030Agenda is made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that define a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. These goals seek to meaningful transform three critical areas: ending poverty, helping society, and preserving the environment."
Therefore, as a participant, you're required to "tell a data driven story that reveals how at least two SDGs influence each other and what actions might be taken in order to reach those goals by 2030."
They further state, "To participate in the contest, you must use data from at least one of the newly available BigQuery public datasets provided by the UN statistics Division and the World Bank. Any outside datasets will not be considered and will result in your application being disqualified."
Deadline: September 30, 2018
Click here to learn more.
7. Voices of War International Poetry Competition 2018
University College Dublin is holding an international competition to "commemorate the centenary of the ending of the First World War, and to honour all those affected by violent conflict anywhere in the world..."
Theme: War and its effects
Deadline: September 15, 2018
There are three categories in this competition:
a) Open to all (Prize €1000)
b) New voices (Prize €500)
c) Beyond borders (Prize €500)
The shortlisted poems will be included in a performance which will take place in Dublin in November 2018.
8. Past Loves Day Story Contest
Do you have a story to tell about your former lover? This is your chance to tell us "about someone whose memory brings a smile or tear, or both...Your story may be heartwarming or humorous. Just tell us about your earlier sweetheart as if you were talking to your best friend."
Deadline: September 17, 2018
Prizes: $100, $75 and $50 and honorable mention(s)
The winning stories will be published on the organizer's website (if requested, they will publish the stories anonymously).
You may submit your story through postal mail or email.
For more information, click here.
9. My Writing Journey International Short Story Competition
Theme: The best writing tip I've ever received
The best short stories will be published in the organizer's newsletter and blog.
Deadline: September 30, 2018
More information: Writers College
1. The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction
Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire, the hosts of The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction, are inviting UK residents to participate in this competition. You must be over the age of 18 to participate in this contest. .
The submitted stories should be original and not published anywhere else.
Word count: 2,000-6,000 words
Deadline: October 26, 2018
Only one entry per individual is allowed.
"The winning writer will receive Â£500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an ebook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online. The winners will also have their story published online by our media partner Northern Soul."
Check their website, CommaPress, for more information.
2. $1,500 Video Contest Scholarship for Students Who Enjoy Writing
Are you a high school, college or university student? Do you enjoy writing? Cool.Club is inviting you to participate in this contest for a chance of winning a scholarship. "If you love expressing yourself creatively by writing stories or making videos for the world to see - tell us about it!
The submitted video should run between 1:30 to 2:30 minutes and should cover one of the following topics:
- How to maintain a high level of productivity while dealing with tons of writing work.
- How to procrastinate the right way to accomplish your writing goals
Prizes: The winner will be awarded with $1,000 worth of scholarship and the runner-up will be awarded with $500. In addition the winners will be awarded with certificates.
Deadline: October 7, 2018
Click here to learn more including the contest rules you should adhere to.
NB: Bookmark Cool.club site because they're going to run this scholarship contest on a regular basis.
3. Blogging Prizes 2018
Deadline: October 13, 2018
Categories: There are three categories in this contest and the prize for each contest is different.
- Young Writers Prize ($250, $100 and $150)
- Youth Prize ($900, $400 and $150)
- Adult Prize ($2,400, $1,200 and $400)
Additionally there will be matched prizes for teachers and schools.
Topics: Each category has its own set of topics of which you have to choose one including submission rules. Check their website, NUHA Foundation, to learn more.
NB: "It doesn't matter whether English is your first, second or even third language: articles will be judged first and foremost on the quality of argument and the originality of ideas."
4. Fifth Annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize 2018
The organizers of this competition, Financial Integrity and Academics Stand Against Poverty, are inviting "authors from diverse academic disciplines and from outside the academy" to write an essay on 'Assessing the Human Impact of Illicit Financial Flows Out of Africa.'
Length of essay: 7,000-9,000 words
Prizes: There are two prizes: $5,000 and $3,000
Deadline: October 31, 2018
More information here.
5. U.S. Naval Institute Leadership Essay Contest
The U.S. Naval Institute is inviting junior officers to participate in this contest which "focuses on the roles of leadership and character in America's Sea Services. Thus, this contest is restricted to U.S. junior officers (LCDR/Major and below) from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guards.
Theme: Leadership in the sea services: The junior officer's perspective
Prizes: $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500
Length of essay: 2,250 words maximum (excludes endnotes/resources)
Deadline: October 31, 2018
For more information, visit the institute's site here.
1. ServiceScape Short Story Award 2018
You are invited to submit your work of fiction or non-fiction which should be original and not published anywhere else.
There is only one slot to be won in this contest. The winner will pocket $1,000 and his/her winning entry featured in ServiceScape’s blog.
Word Count: 5,000 word
The potential winner “must send a headshot photograph within 10 days of the prize of the notification. The potential winner must also sign and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release, and a publicity release (where legal) within 10 days of the prize notification.”
Deadline: November 30, 2018
For more information including how to submit your work, click here.
2. Urban YA Competition 2018
This competition is restricted to U.K residents or anyone living in the country. The organizer of this competition, Everything Words, is inviting individuals living in UK to submit a full-length young adult novel for a chance of winning £1000 and the possible publication of the novel by the same organization.
They are looking "for a vibrant debut novel for young adults, a book set in today's multi-cultural Britain. Shar dialogue, a story that's got a feel of here and now, the street and the city today. Atmosphere is important, both physical and psychological. It can be in any city in the UK but it must be a real city. No fantasy."
They're hoping "to find someone who can capture the feel of the city, the sound and tone of how people speak, their raw thoughts, hopes and fears."
Your novel should be original, not previously published and your first novel of this kind (Young Adult).
Word length: 40,000-70,000
When submitting, send a separate summary to the email they've provided.
Deadline: November 30, 2018
For more information, check them here.
3. 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize
This competition is open to citizens of commonwealth countries. If you're living outside of your resident commonwealth country, you're still eligible to participate in this competition.
Word count: 2,000-5,000 words
Deadline: November 1, 2018
Prize: The prize covers five commonwealth regions (Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and Pacific). One winner will be selected from each region. The overall winner will receive £5,000 while the remaining four winners will receive £2,500.
Translated entries in the following languages are eligible: Bengali, Chinese, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan and Tamil.
How to Win a Writing Contest (Tips from a Contest Judge)
1. Castle Craig’s 30th Anniversary – International Essay Writing Competition
Castle Craig Hospital in Scotland is holding an international essay writing contest to celebrate their 30th anniversary. It is inviting students who are studying medicine, psychology, nursing, psychotherapy and social work.
The theme of the contest is: Focusing on Addiction
They have included three essay questions to base your essay on:
- Is addiction to a drug a brain disease?
- What is the role of psychotherapy in realizing and sustaining recovery for addiction?
- ‘Society holds the solution to addiction because social problems are the main cause.” Discuss.
Prizes: “The award for the first prize is £1,000, and there will be up to 5 runner-up prizes of £250. Additional notable submissions will receive a written commendation.”
Deadline: December 30, 2018
For more information, visit their contest’s page here.
2. Poetry Nation Contest 2018
You can write on any subject you want and you can employ a variety of poetic styles. Nonetheless, you need to observe the format rules they've outlined such as: “Any entry containing cliché, overused phrases will not be accepted; contest entries must be at least 3 but cannot exceed 26 lines (including stanza breaks) and cannot exceed 55 characters per line (including spaces between words). Any submission that exceeds these limits will be automatically disqualified. The poem title does not count as a line.”
Check their website, Poetry Nation, to ensure you follow the rules to avoid disqualification of your submission.
In terms of prizes: “Both contests (i.e. Poetry Nation holds two poetry contests per year from January 1 – June 30 and July 1 – December 31) award one first place prize of $2,000.00 and a first prize wall plaque ($100.00 value); twenty second place prizes of $100 each and a second place wall plaque ($750.00 value); one hundred third place wall plaque and $25 gift certificate redeemable towards any Poetry Nation or Ebber & Wein Publishing product ($75.00 value). Sixty to seventy percent of all entries become semi-finalists and receive a certificate of participation or framing.”
Remember, your contest will be judged “based on poetic technique, effectiveness, style, and creativity.”
Deadlines: June 30 and December 31
3. ICRC Writing Competition II
The International Committee of the Red Cross is inviting people from Arabic nations to participate in ICRC second contest whose theme is: Missing. The writing competition is aimed to "engage the Arab speaking scholars on relevant IHL discussions and to provide an academic platform for legal debates."
"Every year, countless people go missing as a result of armed conflicts, other situations of violence, natural disasters, and migration flaws. Families of the missing suffer anguish and make desperate attempts in the hopes of finding their loved ones.
International humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IARHL) uphold the rights of families to know the fate and whereabouts of their missing relatives. States have to make every effort to prevent pupils from disappearing, to search for missing persons and to deal with the consequences related to such events."
Your article should focus on:
- An overview of the legal framework
- Examining the needs of families of the Missing
- Legal, economic, administrative and psychological needs
- Justice and public acknowledgement: the importance of accountability
- Recent developments in the humanitarian response
- Psycho-social support for the missing
- National mechanisms for addressing the issue of the missing/disappeared
The article should be written in Arabic from Arab speaking people.
Prizes: The first, second and third winner will receive a certificate and cash prize of $1,500, 1,000 and 750 respectively. Additionally the first winner's article might be published by ICRC.
Deadline: December 1, 2018
Details: visit the contest's page at ICRC
4. Blue Mountain Arts
They prefer non-rhyming poems because they read better though it doesn't mean you shouldn't submit a rhyming one.
You may enter as often as you like.
Deadline: December 31, 2018
The winning poems will be displayed on their website.
Prizes: $350, $200 and $100
You may submit your poem(s) through postal mail or online.
5. $1,000 Scholarship for Veterans
Personal Money Service Veteran’s Scholarship is a unique opportunity to support veteran who aim for superior educational heights.This one-time payment of $1, 000 can help you deal with educational costs and excel in studies.
- Be an active duty member of the U.S. Military service or a veteran.
- Be a high school senior or a high school graduate.
- Be a legal resident or citizen of the U.S.
- Not have previously earned a bachelor’s degree.If these criteria are met Personal Money Service will accept any application for the scholarship.
All applicants have to take several steps to participate:
- Write a post that explains why you should be awarded this scholarship.
- Add the link to Personal Money Service
- Make this post public on your Facebook or Youtube account
- Link to Personal Money Service Facebook or Youtube page
Send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: December 31, 2018 (winner announced January 14, 2019)
For more information, click here.
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