The Monday Double Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests, Challenges, Resources (June 10)

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Important note: We do our best to transfer contest details without error, but please verify for yourselves before preparing to enter any competition.

June Short Fiction Competition
from The Cult of Me
Length: Up to 500 words
Theme: Story based on visual prompt posted on site
Prizes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd – £50, £20, £10 Amazon gift cards, plus publication on site and free promotion
Deadline June 23
Note: First installment of monthly competition

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
from the English Department at San Jose State University
Length: Any, but recommended up to 50-60 words
Theme: “Compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels”
Prize: “A pittance” (and publication on site)
Deadline June 30

Flash Fiction Writing Contest
from Wisconsin Life
Length: Up to 600 words
Theme: Ghosts, goblins, vampires, werewolves, etc.
Prize: Story will be aired on Wisconsin Life and attributed to author; possible publication on website and Facebook page
Deadline October 7
Note: Wisconsin Life reserves the right to edit story for clarity, brevity, or grammar and spelling

The Fresh Meat Writing Contest
from Sinister Grin Press
Length: Novel
Theme: Horror
Prize: Contract for your novel, advance, and royalties
Deadline October 31
What to submit by deadline: “The title of your book, a one-sentence logline, a synopsis (1-2 paragraphs), and the first three chapters of your novel”
The contest: “We will choose 6 contestants. Each week, you will turn in 3 chapters of your novel in progress. The judges will critique those chapters, and you will use that information to assist you in writing the next 3 chapters that you will turn in the following week. Each week, one contestant will be eliminated. The judges will get a vote, but the public will be allowed to vote as well. All of your work will be posted online for others to see. The votes will be counted each week, and the author with the least amount of votes will be eliminated.”

The Iron Writer Challenge
Length: 500 words
Theme: Must involve four elements given at the beginning of the four-day writing period; any genre except erotica
Prize: Bragging rights, plus publication on website
Deadline: Ongoing challenge
Note: Must contact to schedule participation in the challenge. Four writers will have four days to write stories based on the same four elements. One winner will be chosen from the four based on votes from readers.

Contest Resources

Writing Contests from The Writer

Short Story Contest Deadlines by Month from Fiction Writing at

Speculative Fiction Contests from David Barr Kirtley

Creative Writing Contests from Be a Better Writer

Writing Competitions from FirstWriterdotcom

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (April 29)


Writing Contest: Liquid Literature
from Literature and Libation
Theme is “Writing and Drinking”; 300-1,000 words
2 winners will receive feedback on submission and editorial review of another piece
Deadline May 3

“(Un)Conventional” Short Story Competition
from The Great Escape
Must be set at or strongly feature a convention or expo; 1,000-3,000 words
Winner will be published on website and in Winter 2013 issue, and will receive cash prize
Runners up will be offered publication on website and/or in anthology
Deadline May 30

A Midsummer Tale
from Toasted Cheese Literary Journal
Theme is “Retreat/Encounter”; story should take place during warm time of year; 1,000-5,000 words
Winning stories will be published in September issue
3 winners will receive Amazon gift cards
Deadline June 21

drawkcaB Fiction Contest
from Postcard Poems and Prose
Theme is “Backward”; 153-194 words
First prize is an Amazon gift card for $26.22
Judges comment on 50 entries picked at random
Deadline June 22

Weekly Micro Fiction Contest
from Flash! Friday
Theme and word limit are given each week
Winners will receive e-button, winner’s page on site, name on winners’ wall, and front page feature on Flash! Friday
Deadline Fridays

Bonus Resource:
Poet’s and Writer’s “Smart Approach to Contest Submissions”
from The Competitive Writer

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (April 8)

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Always verify ALL details through the contest websites, please. 

Stanford Story Slam 2013
from Ensemble at Stanford University
Collaborative story with a prompt
Up to 1,000 words
Deadline April 22

The Character-Driven Tale Contest, with David Corbett
from Scribophile
Character-driven short story, no required genre
Up to 3,000 words
Deadline April 30

15th Annual GPS Writing Contest
from Geek Partnership Society
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Alternate History Fiction
Up to 5,000 words
Deadline May 15

2013 Write Action 8th Annual Literary Contest
from Write Action
Theme: “A Different World,” open to interpretation
Up to 1,500 words
Deadline June 30

Young Writers of Earth 2013 Flash Fiction Writing Competition (ages 18-30)
from Young Writers of Earth
No required genre or theme
Up to 1,000 words
Deadline TBA

Bonus Group Writing Activity –
National Novel Writing Marathon
from NaNoWriMo
Happening April 13

Bonus Writing Competition Tips –
Entering Writing Competitions? Here Are Six Quick Tips!
from MaryChris Bradley at The AmWriting Blog

Bonus Writing Contest Resource –
@WritersContests on Twitter