2020 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.
NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, the entries should be submitted in English language. Whereas a language(s) is accepted other than English, it will be noted in the concerned contest.
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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 of 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.
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.
1. Writers' & Artists' Short Story Competition
This organization is inviting adults to submit their short story in this annual contest for a chance to win "a place on one of Arvon's residential writing courses, as well as seeing your story published on www.writersandartists.co.uk."
Length: 2,000 words
You must register at the site for your entry to be considered in the contest.
Deadline: February 13 2020
2. 2020 Nelson Algren Literary Awards
Prizes: Grand prize - $3,500
Five runners' up - $750
Length: 8,000 words
Maximum number of entries: 2
"The grand-prize winning story will be considered for publication in the Chicago Tribune."
Region: The contest is restricted or open to writers in the United States.
Deadline: February 17, 2020
3. Quantum Shorts Flash Fiction Competition
Length: 1,000 words
Age: 13 years and above
Your story should be inspired by some aspect of quantum physics. The submission should include the phrase 'things used to be so simple (constraint).'
There will be online public voting on the shortlists from May 1-15, 2020.
Deadline: February 29, 2020
1. The Fountain Essay Contest 2019
The organizer of this contest, Fountain Magazine would like to "hear about your challenges and how you mentally, physically, and/or spiritually prepare for them.
How do you find strength when you feel it does not exist? And what have you learned, or are learning, from your challenge?"
Length: 1,500-2,500 words
Prizes: 1st - $1,000; 2nd - $500; 3rd - $300 and two honourable mention - $150 each.
Eligibility: There is no age limit or a condition to fulfill your entry.
Deadline: March 1, 2020
2. TreadBikely Story Contest
TreadBikely is accepting submission of short stories for their first free "open format story contest."
Prizes: 1st prize - $150, 2nd prize - $100 and 3rd prize - $50
They accept both nonfiction and fiction genres but the central theme should revolve around cycling. The organizer states on the contest's website page, "Utilize whatever writing format moves you most - short story, poem, essay, song lyrics, etc - but first, familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines..."
Length: 1,500 words
Deadline: March 1, 2020
3. Limnisa Short Story Competition 2020
They are accepting original, unpublished short story.
Length: 1,000 words
Theme: "Subjects should be loosely inspired by the text and/or picture below (in their contest page). We're looking for writing with spark and conviction."
1) One week Writer's Retreat in 2020 or 2021 at Seaside location near Agios, Georgias, Methana, Greece.
2) 50% discount on the Writer's Retreat.
3) 25% discount on the Writer's Retreat.
Deadline: March 29, 2020
4. The Foley Poetry Contest
Theme: Any topic
The poem should not exceed 45 lines.
An entrant can submit the poem online or by postal mail.
Prize: The winning entry will be awarded $1,000 and it will be published in the print edition of America.
Deadline: March 31, 2020.
5. 11th Annual Spirit First Poetry Contest
Theme: Meditation or mindfulness
"Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none.
Maximum entry per entrant: 3
Prizes: 1st - $200, 2nd - $150, 3rd - $100
Deadline: March 31, 2020
6. Green Stories Writing Competition
"All submissions must be in English and conform to the green stories criteria of showing a positive vision of what a sustainable society might look like or in some way smuggling in green solutions/policies/characters in the context of an otherwise mainstream story."
Length: Max. 500 words (excludes title)
Prizes: 1st - £750, 2nd - £500, 3rd - £100
"Additional prizes of £50 for the best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18-year submission (if sufficient high-quality entries). If a student or under 18 entry is the best overall then it will win first prize regardless of whether the entry is from a student, and the student prize will then go to the next best student entry."
Deadline: March 21, 2020
7. "It's All Write!" Teen Writing Contest
There are three categories of entrants: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10 and Grades 11-12. You should submit your entry depending on the grade you're in between the three listed.
In addition, you should choose one writing genre to submit your entry. It should be flash fiction, short story or poetry.
Prizes: "The top three writers in each age group will receive fabulous prizes."
Deadline: March 9, 2020
8. Annual Balticon Poetry Contest
Themes: "Entries should address the themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science."
Limit: 3 poems per person
Length: Max. 60 lines
Prizes: 1st - $100, 2nd - $75, 3rd - $50
Deadline: March 1
9. Short Story Contest #35 - More than One
"For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,00 and 5,000 words in which one or more characters face this problem: there is more than one of something that there should absolutely, positively be only one of.
No children's fiction, no exploitative sex, no over-the-top gross out horror, and no stories that are obvious parodies of existing fictional worlds/characters created by other authors."
Prizes: 1st prize - $220, 2nd prize - $160, 3rd - $120, Honorable Mention - $60
Deadline: March 6, 2020
1. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest
Length: Max. 250 lines
Prizes: 1st - $1,000 pluas a two-year gift certificate from the organizer's co-sponsor, Duotrope ($100 value), 2nd prize - $250, ten Honorable Mentions - $100 each. The 12 winning entries will be published online.
Age: No restriction
Eligible countries: All except Syria, Iran, North Korea and Crimea (due to US government restrictions).
"Your poem may contain inspired gibberish."
You can submit published or unpublished work.
Deadline: April 2, 2020
1. The Hooded Short Story Contest
"Francis Booker and Michael Ragusa are holding a contest to see who can write the best short story that takes place in the world of The Hooded. Winning entries will be published on the Under the Hood website and reviewed on the Under the Hood YouTube channel."
Deadline: May 1, 2020
"Entries must be narrative fiction that is directly related to The Hooded. They may or may not include characters, events, places, or concepts from Stand or any of the short stories already on the website. Entries do not have to follow the established canon of The Hooded and may modify events or situations as long as it is still recognizably related to The Hooded."
Questions & Answers
Are there writing competitions for students below the age of 15?
Yes, there are, for instance, the Commonwealth competition. If a contest accepts entries from participants from the age of 13 upward, I will indicate so that you can know.Helpful 99
Are the writing contests described in this article open for any age?
These contests are mostly opened for people above the age of 18. Wherein there is a specific age required for in a contest, I will indicate it. Some contests have not mentioned the age range but normally the interested participants should be 18 years and above.Helpful 41
What is the preferred language when participating in international writing contests?
The preferred language is English. In each contest I have provided a link which will direct you to the website's contest page. In that page they will indicate which languages they accept. If they have not indicated which language you should use in submitting your entry, the English language is the preferable one or the one you should use.Helpful 28
Can I submit my poems which include any theme to an international writing contest?
If the poetry contest has no theme or they've not indicated what you should write about, you can submit your own poems on any theme.
What if you have a club of writers and want to contest fielding?
My suggestion: You can discuss together on the contests you want to participate then each of you can enter the desired contests individually.
© 2017 Benny Alianess