27 Grants & Contests for Writers for November 2022

These are contests and grants with prizes up to about $20,000 for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and for journalists. They are, very loosely, divided geographically. – S. Kalekar

(Also see the Commonwealth category at the end)

Bennington College Young Writers Award
This is an international contest for young writers, and the categories are poetry (a group of three poems), fiction – a short story (1,500 words or fewer) or one-act play (run no more than 30 minutes of playing time), and nonfiction – a personal or academic essay (1,500 words or fewer). There are first, second, and third prizes in each of the three categories. Young Writers Award finalists and winners are also eligible for undergraduate scholarships at Bennington, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 each year (see guidelines).
Value: $1,000, $500, $250 each in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry categories, and scholarships
Deadline: 1 November 2023
Open for: Students in 9th to 12th grades
Details here and here.

Defenestrationism: 2022 Flash Suite Contest
This is a contest for at least three flash fiction pieces (up to 1,000 words each) that co-relate in some way. A single piece of the suite may have been published before, otherwise, no previously published material. Finalists will be published daily on the site, followed by at least two weeks of Fan Voting – winners will be selected by a judging panel, with Fan Voting counting as an additional judge vote.
Value: $75, $60
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers
This is given to an unpublished writer (see guidelines) in the Malice Domestic genre at each year’s Malice Domestic convention. The grant may be used to offset registration, travel, or other expenses related to attendance at a writers’ conference or workshop within a year of the date of the award. The Malice Domestic genre is loosely described as mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type—i.e. “traditional mysteries.” These works usually feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex. See guidelines for additional details and submission requirements. Apart from the cash award, the prize covers a comprehensive registration for the upcoming convention and two nights’ lodging at the convention hotel, but does not include travel to the convention or meals.
Value: $2,500, and other expenses – see above
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: Unpublished writers in the Malice Domestic genre
Details here.

PEN/Robert J Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers
This is an award for 12 emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published during a given calendar year in a literary magazine or cultural website.
Value: $2,000 each
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: Debut published short stories
Details here.

Black Mountain Institute: Shearing Fellowship
This is a residential fellowship for emerging and distinguished writers who have published at least one book with a trade or literary press. Apart from the cash stipend, this fellowship includes: a semester-long letter of appointment; eligibility for health coverage; office space in the BMI offices on the campus of UNLV; free housing (fellows cover some utilities) in a unique and vibrant arts complex in the bustling district of downtown Las Vegas. While there are no formal teaching requirements, this is a “working fellowship” (see guidelines).
Value: $20,000 over 4 months, residency
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: Unspecified
Details here.

The African Poetry Book Fund: Two prizes
The African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) runs writing contests, and two of them are open for submissions now; the deadline for one is in November and for the other, in December.
— Evaristo Prize for African Poetry: This was formerly called the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. It is for poets born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African, and who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published (self-published poetry books, chapbooks, and pamphlets are exempt). These poems, though, may have already been published. Writers need to submit 10 poems exactly, of up to 40 lines each. Only poems written in English can be considered, but they accept poems in translation too. In the case that the winning work is translated, a percentage of the prize money would be awarded to the translator.
Value: £1,500
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: African poets
Details here (guidelines) and here (Submittable).

Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry: It is for poets born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African, and who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published (this includes self-published books if they were sold online, in stores, or at readings. Writers who have edited and published an anthology or a similar collection of other writers’ work remain eligible). Manuscripts have to be at least 50 pages long. Only poems written in English can be considered, but they accept poems in translation too. In the case that the winning work is translated, a percentage of the prize money would be awarded to the translator. Apart from a cash prize, the winner also gets publication from the University of Nebraska Press.
Value: $1,000
Deadline: 1 December 2022
Open for: African poets
Details here (guidelines) and here (Submittable).

Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest
This is an annual contest, they want flash fiction or narrative poetry about weird Christmas. There are three prompts the writers can choose to write on: stocking stuffer (any weird Christmas story), Christmas cryptids (you can make up your own weird creature, or use an existing one), and weird cards (use a weird Christmas card the editor has posted, as a prompt) – see guidelines for details. Writers can send multiple entries. Stories have to be up to 350 words.
Value: $75 first prize for the best overall story, $50 prize for a winner in each prompt, and $5 for every honorable mention (10-12)
Deadline: 2 November 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

Cave Canem: Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize
The annual Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by Black poets (25-30 pages – see guidelines). Apart from a cash award and publication, the winner also gets a residency at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami, and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival.
Value: $1,000, residency
Deadline: 14 November 2022
Open for: Black poets
Details here and here
(Cave Canem also runs other prizes).

Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival: Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize
This prize will be awarded to a Brooklyn- focused non-fiction essay which is set in Brooklyn and is about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters. “We are seeking compelling Brooklyn stories from writers with a broad range of backgrounds and ages (minimum age 18 years old) who can render Brooklyn’s rich soul and intangible qualities through the writer’s actual experiences in Brooklyn.” Essays have to be 4-10 pages (up to 2,500 words).
Value: $500
Deadline: 15 November 2022
Open for: Unspecified
Details here.

Thin Air Magazine: The Bird in Your Hands Prize
This is a literary contest that centers and celebrates BIPOC voices; send fiction, poetry, or non-fiction of up to 500 words.
Value: $500
Deadline: 20 November 2022
Open for: BIPOC writers
Details here and here.

Ohio University: 2023 Kiplinger Fellowship
This is an international journalism fellowship. “The Kiplinger Fellowship will be held March 19-24 at Ohio University at the Scripps School of Journalism. This fellowship will focus on Covering Political Discourse and Saving Democracy. If you cover politics or government agencies at any level, elections or political extremism, this fellowship is made for you. You must be a working journalist with at least five years of experience and be employed with a media outlet or freelance for one.”
Value: Unspecified; covers training, lodging, meals and some social events + travel stipend
Open for: Journalists in all media
Deadline: 20 November 2022
Details here.

Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize
This poetry prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in the 11th grade in the US or abroad. Contest judges are poets on the Princeton University Creative Writing faculty.
Value: $500, $250, $100
Deadline: 27 November 2020
Open for: Student writers in the 11th grade
Details here.

The One Teen Short Story Contest
This contest is open for short fiction by writers around the world ages 13-19. There are three categories, ages 14-15, 16-17, and 18-19. About the kind of stories they want, they say, “We are interested in great short stories of any genre about the teen experience—literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, horror, etc. What’s in a great short story? Interesting teen characters, strong writing, and a beginning, middle, and end.” Also, they want “Some examples of stories we look out for are ones that deal with issues of identity, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. Gratuitous profanity, sex, and drug use are best avoided. We’re open to all genres of well-written young adult fiction between 2,000 and 4,500 words. Because of our format, we can only accept stories that are strong enough to stand alone (as opposed to excerpts from novels-in-progress).” They also accept translations (see guidelines). A parent or legal guardian must sign a consent form for writers under 18. Apart from cash prizes, winners get 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work. The contest winners will also have the opportunity to work with a One Teen Story editor prior to publication.
Value: $500
Deadline: 27 November 2022
Open for: All teen writers
Details here and here.

ServiceScape Short Story Award
For this award, any genre or theme of short story is accepted. All applicants should submit a work of short fiction or non-fiction, 5,000 words or fewer. Read the guidelines carefully – they reserve the right to modify or terminate the contest at any time without prior notice. Value: $1,000
Deadline: 30 November 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

The London Society: Love Letters to London
This is an international, themed contest, about London. “Tell us why you love this city. Write a Love Letter to London of up to 500 words (or poems 40 lines in length) around the theme of ‘making connections’. You can write on any aspect of London’s past, present or future. It might be reportage, an historical essay, a ‘think piece’, a spot of futurology, a work of fiction, a poem. We are open to all forms and styles.” There are 4 categories: Aged 11 and under; 12-18 year olds; Open – all other entrants; and Poetry. Entries can have been published elsewhere but must fit the brief and have been written in 2022.
Value: £500, £250, and £100 each for Open and Poetry categories; £500, and 4 runners up prizes of £150 each for 11 and under, and 12-18 categories
Deadline: 30 November 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

Dappled Things: The J. F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction
Dappled Things is a space for emerging writers to engage the literary world from a Catholic perspective. For this contest, they want stories of up to 8,000 words “with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.”
Value: $500, $250
Deadline: 30 November 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

Better than Starbucks Sonnet Contest
This is a contest for metrical sonnets. “Your sonnet can be shakespearean, petrarchan, spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is eligible, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. We’ll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Some metrical variation is fine, but don’t forget the volta!” They also accept previously published work, as long as the poet holds the rights (see guidelines).
Value: $500, $100, $50
Deadline: 30 November 2022
Open for: All poets
Details here.

A couple of contests with later deadlines are:
— The Philosophy Essay Prize is run by the Royal Institute of Philosophy. The theme this year is Emotions. “We intend this topic to be understood very broadly, so as to include related issues in any area of philosophy and from any philosophical tradition.” Send an essay of up to 8,000 words. The prize is £2,500 and publication in Philosophy magazine; in exceptional circumstances, the prize may be awarded jointly, in which case the financial component will be divided. The deadline is 20 December 2022. Details here.
— The European Society of Literature – The European Writing Prize:
Despite its name, this prize is open for writers all over the world. They want a piece of 1,500-3,500 words, and the theme is Anxiety. Apart from a cash prize for the overall winner, there will be potential talks with literary agents — they may scout the shortlist and winners. The prize is €50, and the deadline is 1 January 2023. Details here.
— The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University – it awards writers of any age and background a $15,000 fellowship to finish a significant writing project, and residency. Fellowships are currently offered in Creative Writing (excluding poetry) and Steinbeck Studies; Fellows may be appointed in many fields, including literary scholarship, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and biography, and the deadline is 3 January 2023. Details here and here.
US-based poets have poetry prizes from the Academy of American Poets, details in the US/Canada section below; also see Submittable.
US-based journalists working on environmental issues may want to keep an eye out for Grist Fellowships, a year-long paid opportunity for early-career journalists; applications will open in November 2022; see the announcement here.
— Those working on American history and/or legacy may want to keep an eye out for the Patrick Henry Fellowship, which supports outstanding work on the subject by both scholars and non-academics in many genres – a book, film, oral history archive, podcast series, museum exhibition, or similar work – and pays $45,000, and residency. They will announce the application dates in the fall of 2022. Details here.

(Canadian writers may also be interested in a couple of prizes in the Commonwealth category below; and US-based writers, in the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, Grist Fellowships, and Patrick Henry Fellowship in the sections above.)

The Haven Foundation Grants
These grants were instituted by Stephen King after he suffered a debilitating accident. They give financial assistance to help freelance artists and writers who have suffered disabilities or a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe.
Value: Varying
Deadline: 4 November 2022
Open for: Legal US residents
Details here.

Academy of American Poets: Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize
This prize is given to honor exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present; poets may submit one poem. It is for US writers (see guidelines). In addition to the prize money, all three poems will be published in the popular Poem-a-day series.
Value: $1,000, $750, $500
Deadline: 15 November 2022
Open for: US poets (see guidelines)
Details here and here (Submittable)
(The Academy of American Poets also has other prizes listed, with later deadlines – the 2023 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, a $1,000 award recognizing a poetry collection translated from any language into English and published in the previous calendar year, deadline 15 February 2023; Ambroggio Prize, a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation, deadline 15 February 2023; and the Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards, for translations into English of modern Italian poetry through a $10,000 book prize and a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternating years, deadline 1 March 2023; see their Submittable for details of all prizes.)

Polar Expressions: Student Contests for Short Story and Poetry
Polar Expressions has announced their  annual short story and poetry contests for Canadian students, from kindergarten to grade 12. Poems should be up to 32 lines and stories up to 450 words, on any topic.
Value: First prizes of $60-100 (Canadian) for students of various grades, as well as second and third prizes; additional cash prizes for schools
Deadlines: 21 November 2022 for poetry, 28 November 2022 for short stories
Open for: Canadian students
Details here.

Pulitzer Center: Connected Coastlines Grants
This is an opportunity for US-based journalists. The Pulitzer Center is seeking applications from journalists who want to report stories as part of Connected Coastlines, a nationwide climate reporting initiative in U.S. coastal states. Started in 2019, this initiative is building a consortium of newsrooms and independent journalists across the U.S. to report on the local effects of erratic weather patterns on coastal populations using the latest climate science.  Their guidelines say, “We are eager to receive proposals from staff journalists and freelancers who wish to report on coastal stories, underpinned by recent climate science, data, or research, for publication or broadcast by small and regional news outlets in U.S. coastal states.” They prioritize proposals that can be completed in 1-4 months. The ideal range for most awards will be $2,000 to $8,000. Grants are open now and approved on a rolling basis.
Value: $2,000-8,000
Deadline: Open now, approved on a first come, rolling basis
Open for: US-based journalists
Details here.


The Little, Brown Daily Mail First Novel Competition
Literary agency Luigi Bonomi Associates Limited (LBA) has announced, “LBA is excited to announce the launch of the 2022 First Novel Competition with the Daily Mail and Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown (Hachette UK).” They want commercial fiction. “Your entry must be written for an adult audience, can be in any genre except Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror and can be contemporary, historical, funny or tragic, dark or delightful, so long as it has an original voice, compelling characters and a driven plot. The contest is for first-time authors who have not had any work of fiction published before. It doesn’t need to be complete — just send 3,000 words, plus a 600-word synopsis (including spoilers) to show where you plan to take your plot and characters.”
Value: £20,000 advance, publishing, agency representation
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: UK writers
Details here, here, and here.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize
This is a contest for writers who are citizens of any Commonwealth country of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and Pacific (see guidelines for the list of countries) – send a piece of short fiction of 2,000-5,000 words. As well as English, stories are accepted in the Bengali, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Tamil and Turkish languages. Translated entries from any language into English are also eligible. If the winning story is a translation, the translator receives additional prize money.
Value: £5,000; £2,500 for regional winners
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: Writers in the Commonwealth
Details here

The Early Career Bursaries for London Writers
These are bursaries for early-career, unpublished, unagented, low-income writers who are London-based (you can download eligibility, terms & conditions, application form, and FAQs from their website). They welcome applications from writers from the following communities which are underrepresented in publishing, including: Black, Asian and Global Majority, working class or of working class background, LGBTQ, refugee, care experienced and deaf and disabled writers.
Value: £10,000 cash and £5,000 towards development opportunities
Deadline: 1 November 2022
Open for: London-based writers
Details here.

The Society of Authors: The Betty Trask Prize
This is for UK-based writers under 35, for a debut novel. Writers can enter a published book (see the submission form for details) or an unpublished manuscript which must be in a traditional or romantic, and not experimental, style.
Value: The Betty Trask Prize will receive £10,000, and a fund of £16,200 will be divided equally between shortlisted authors
Deadline: 30 November 2022
Open for: UK, North Ireland, Commonwealth writers (see guidelines)
Details here.

Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize
This prize is for young UK-based writers. They want fiction or non-fiction of 1,000-1,500 words on the relevance of Benjamin Franklin’s relevance in our time. The quote for this year’s competition is “The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.” Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784. Writers are asked to interpret this quote for its significance today.
Value: £750, £500
Deadline: 30 November 2022
Open for: UK writers aged 18-35
Details here.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She can be reached here.


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