34 Writing Contests, Prizes, and Fellowships for Writers (Up to $80,000)

These are prizes/fellowships for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, and playwriting, of up to $80,000. They are, very loosely, divided by geography. A couple of the calls have January deadlines. – S. Kalekar


World Haiku Review: R. H. Blyth Award
They want haiku, including translations into English. They also have some suggested themes: ““War” and/or any Seasonal Subjects at your northern or southern hemisphere location during spring (autumn) months (These themes are not obligatory but shown here only as a suggestion. It could be the war in Ukraine or wars in general). The only criterion for selection is quality.”
Value: £300 (less money transfer charges)
Deadline: 31 January 2023
Open for: All writers
Details here (scroll down to R. H. Blyth Award).

St. Gallen Symposium Global Essay Competition
This is an international contest for young writers; they want a themed essay of 2,100 words, on the best or worst legacy from previous generations: How to preserve or replace it? – see guidelines for details of the two themes writers can submit essays on. To be eligible, writers must be enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate programme (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university, and be born in 1993 or later.
Value: CHF20,000, split between three winners; they will also cover travel, accommodation, and admission to the symposium in Switzerland.
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: Young writers (see above)
Details here.

Deep Wild Graduate Student Poetry Contest
This is an international contest from Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry magazine – they want students currently enrolled in graduate studies to submit work for their 2023 Graduate Student Poetry Contest. “We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from roads, on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance.” Writers can send up to 3 poems (see guidelines).
Value: $300, $200, $100
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: Students enrolled in graduate studies
Details here and here.

Biographers International Organization: The Frances “Frank” Rollin Fellowship
They offer two fellowships, open to all biographers anywhere in the world who are writing in English, who are working on a biography of an African American figure or figures whose story provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the Black experience, and who are at any stage in the writing of a book-length biography. A publishing contract is not required for eligibility. Memoirs are not eligible. The application includes an excerpt of up to 20 pages. The Biographers International Organization also has other awards, some of which are open for all writers, as well as other resources. 
Value: Two fellowships of $5,000 each
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: See above
Details here.

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award
They want a short story, of up to 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration. They want to see Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure. They do not want stories that show technology or space travel as evil or bad, galactic empires, paranormal elements, UFO abductions, zombie stories, thinly veiled copies of previous winners, non-standalone novel excerpts, or screenplays.
Value: 8c/word, and various non-cash awards
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: All writers
Details here.
(They also have a fantasy short story contest, the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, with a 30 April deadline.)

New America National Fellows Program
This international program brings on thinkers—journalists, scholars, filmmakers, and public policy analysts—whose work enhances the public conversation about the most pressing issues of our day. Fellows advance ideas through research, reporting, analysis, and storytelling. The organizers look for projects that are original and ambitious, with viable plans for their implementation. Their goal is to find bold, impactful thinkers and to fund them for a year; long enough to make progress on a book, develop a series of articles, produce a documentary, or work on another project that is accessible. Fellows have to attend two cohort gatherings throughout the fellowship year. There are no residency or nationality requirements, though fellows need to be involved in the New America community.
Value: Generally $15,000-30,000
Deadline: 1 February 2023 (letters of reference are due 6 February)
Open for: All journalists, scholars, filmmakers and public policy analysts
Details here.

Narrative ‘Tell Me a Story’ High School Contest
They want a poem, 10-50 lines long, on a theme by students in grades 9-12 all over the world – see guidelines for suggestions on what the theme can entail. The work must be submitted by the student’s English teacher. The prompt is, “It is difficult to get the news from poems,” wrote William Carlos Williams, “yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” In our era of fake news and extremist opinions, when the internet affords everyone a platform from which to shout, what is the state or meaning of truth? We are looking to you—through your art—to write to the prompt TRUE OR FALSE?”
Value: $500, $200, $100; $50 for finalists
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: High school students
Details here.

Golden Haiku Poetry Contest
Poets around the world can submit up to two haiku. It is open to poets of all ages, and there is also a regional/DC winner prize ($200). The theme for 2023 is ‘Notes to Nature’.
Value: $500, $200, $100 for adults; $150 for high school winner; $75 for elementary/middle school winner
Deadline: 5 February 2023
Open for: All poets
Details here.

BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition
This is for those outside the UK – they want a radio play of approximately 53 minutes (9,000-10,000 words) – see guidelines for other requirements; you can enter singly or in a group.
There are two categories – English as a First Language, and English as a Second Language.
Value: £2,500, and other non-cash prizes
Deadline: 12 February 2023
Open for: Those outside the UK
Details here and here.

University of Pittsburgh: The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Book Prize
This is for a poetry manuscript, of 48-168 pages. The prize will be awarded to a first or second book by a writer of African descent and is open to the full range of writers embodying African and African diasporic experience. The book can be of any genre that is, or intersects with, poetry, including poetry, hybrid work, speculative prose, and/or translation.
Value: $3,000
Deadline: 15 February 2023
Open for: Writers of African descent
Details here.

NYU Journalism: Reporting Award
The Reporting Award pays $12,500 and is “for a significant work of journalism, in any medium, on an under-reported subject in the public interest.” Writers can apply for one of the institute’s awards per year; the other award open now is the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, with a deadline in early March.
Deadline: 21 February 2023
Value: Up to $12,500
Open for: Unspecified
Details here, here and here.

Lunch Ticket: Diana Woods Award in Creative Nonfiction
This award is for a creative non-fiction piece of up to 3,500 words on any subject. The contest is open in February and August.
Value: $250
Reading period: February 2023
Open for: All writers
Details here.

Lunch Ticket: The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts
Translators and authors of multilingual texts are encouraged to submit their work for The Gabo Prize. Writers should indicate whether the translation falls under poetry or prose, and include the original work along with your translation. Original, bilingual work qualifies for the Gabo Prize. The contest is open in February and August.
Value: $200
Reading period: February 2023
Open for: All translators
Details here.

Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize
The prize will be awarded for a first novel by an African author primarily residing in Africa. They are seeking novels that are engaged with the current moment and that approach contemporary issues with innovative prose and fresh perspectives.
Submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished first novels, or first novels published in Africa that have not been distributed or available for sale outside of the continent of Africa.
The submission portal for this prize will open in February.
Value: $12,000 advance, publication
Reading period: 1-28 February 2023
Open for: African writers (see guidelines)
Details here.

Poetry Northwest: James Welch Prize for Indigenous Writers
This is a poetry prize for Indigenous writers in the US – “new, emerging, and established poets who are community-recognized members of tribal nations within the United States and its trust territories (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Chamorros, and American Samoans). Only poets who have not published more than one book-length collection are eligible; however, previous publication is not a requirement.” Submit up to three poems. Apart from cash prizes, two poets will also be invited to read at a literary venue.
Value: $1,000 each (Kickstarter-funded for the next few years – see here.)
Deadline: 28 February 2023
Open for: Indigenous writers in the US
Details here and here

Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center: Writer in Residence
The residency includes lodging at a loft apartment in Piggott, Arkansas. The writer-in-residence will also have the opportunity to work in the studio where Ernest Hemingway worked on ‘A Farewell to Arms’. The writer is expected to serve as mentor for a week-long retreat for writers at the educational center. Candidates with an MA or MFA in a relevant field are preferred.
Value: $1,000, residency
Deadline: 28 February 2023
Open for: Unspecified
Details here.

The Welkin Writing Prize
This is for a piece of narrative prose of up to 400 words. “The competition is open to all forms of narrative prose, be that flash fiction, short-short, vignette, haibun, hermit crab, prose poem or work that sits outside such labels.” Apart from the top three prizes, there are other prizes of £25 each – for a writer with a disability or chronic health condition, LGBTQ+ writer, working class writer, writer whose first (or home) language isn’t English, carer for an adult dependent, new writer, as well as for historical fiction, speculative fiction, and humorous prose.
Value: £150, £75, and £50; £25 each for special categories
Deadline: 28 February 2023
Details here.

Alpine Fellowship Prizes
They have a Poetry Prize, a Writing Prize, a Theatre Prize, as well as Visual Arts and Academic Writing Prize. Please read the guidelines for each genre carefully. The theme for this year is ‘Flourishing’ and the work must address that theme. One winner receives a cash prize in each category, and two runners-up receive a stipend that must be used to attend the symposium in Switzerland. Applicants can only enter one of their prizes.
Value: Varies; cash awards of £3,000 for winners in creative writing categories (poetry, writing, theatre), £1,000 travel stipend to attend the symposium for runners-up
Deadline: 1 March 2023
Open for: All writers
Details here (click on individual tabs for various genres).

Baltimore Science Fiction Society Poetry Contest
For this contest, poets are required to submit poetry on science fiction/fantasy/horror/science themes. Up to 3 entries are allowed per person, of up to 60 lines each. Winners will receive a cash prize, convention membership and be invited to read their winning entries at Balticon. Attendance at Balticon is not required to win. Their submission form also says, entries received after 1 March will be automatically entered in next year’s contest.
Value: $100, $75, $50
Deadline: 1 March 2023
Open for: All poets
Details here.

Scripps Fellowships for Environmental Journalism
Five fellowships are awarded each year at the University of Boulder, Colorado. This is for journalists interested in deepening and broadening their knowledge of environmental issues. Applicants must have a minimum of five years full-time professional journalism experience and have completed an undergraduate degree. Applicants may include reporters, editors, producers, photojournalists, documentarians, and feature writers. Both salaried staff and full-time freelancers are welcome to apply. Prior experience in covering the environment is not required. They welcome applications from international applicants; however, the applicants must be authorized to work in the US to be eligible for this position.
Value: $80,000, residency
Deadline: 1 March 2023
Open for: All journalists (see above)
Details here and here.

NYU Journalism: Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award
They are open for two awards, and this is one of them. This award is for promising early-career non-fiction writers to research and write an article that tells the truth about a human condition. Writers can apply for one of the institute’s awards per year; the other award open now is the Reporting Award, with a deadline in February.
Deadline: 2 March 2023 for proposals
Value: Up to $12,500
Open for: All journalists, early career non-fiction writers
Details here, here and here.

A couple of contests with later deadlines are:
The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers – These three-month fellowships are to afford writers uninterrupted time to focus on their work at an apartment in Carson McCuller’s childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. A spouse or companion is welcome. The application includes a writing sample of up to 20 pages. The grant is $5,000, and the deadline is 1 April 2023. Details here (scroll down to Academic Opportunities and click on Fellowships).
the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award – They want stories in all fantasy genres and pay $0.08/word for work up to 8,000 words; the deadline is 30 April 2023. Details here. (They also have a science fiction contest, with a 1st February deadline – see the section above.)

Nervous Ghost Press Book Prize: This is a book contest for US-based writers (see guidelines). There are two categories, prose (50,000-100,000 word manuscript) and poetry (manuscript of 48-128 pages). The prizes are an advance of $1,000, and a publishing contract. The deadline is 31 March 2023. Details here.

(Also see the Scripps Fellowships for Environmental Journalism,
and Nervous Ghost Press Book Prize, in the section above.)

Fund for Investigative Journalism Grants
Their regular grants are for articles by US journalists that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or abuse of power – in the public and private sectors. FIJ encourages proposals written for ethnic media as well as those submitted by journalists of color. “The Fund provides grants for print and online articles, television and radio stories, documentaries, podcasts, and books.” Also, “foreign-based story proposals must come from US-based reporters or have a strong US angle involving American citizens, government, or business; all stories must be published in English, in a media outlet in the United States.”
Value: Up to $10,000
Deadline: 31 January 2023
Open for: US journalists and writers
Details here.
(Also see the FIJ Emergency Grant: Threats to Democracy in the US on that page; the grant is $10,000, and the deadline is 1 January 2024.)

Bucknell University: Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing
This residency is offered by Bucknell University, and provides writing time of up to four months. It’s for writers of any literary genre: fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry. Writers should be working on a first or second book of fiction or creative non-fiction. There are two residencies, in fall and spring semesters. Some record of publication is desirable.
Value: $5,000 and residency
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: US writers
Details here.
(See the full list of their programs and residencies here.)

National High School Poetry Contest at Gannon University
This is a poetry contest for US high school students, including homeschooled students, in grades 9-12. “Poems may be in rhyme, free verse, Haiku or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 40 lines.” Winners will be required to complete a W-9 form to get the monetary award.
Value: A monetary award, and publication
Deadline: 1 February 2023
Open for: US high school students in grades 9 through 12
Details here.

Academy of American Poets: Ambroggio Prize
They want a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. Poets may translate their own work or collaborate with a translator who may or may not be a poet; the poet and translator must share the prize. The original manuscript in Spanish must be between 48 and 100 pages. Established in 2017, the Ambroggio Prize is the only annual award of its kind in the United States that honors American poets whose first language is Spanish.
Value: $1,000, publication
Deadline: 15 February 2023
Open for: US poets (see guidelines)
Details here and here.
(They are accepting submissions for other awards as well, both fee-free and fee-based, including the American Poets Laureate Fellowship which is open for US poets laureates, and which has a February deadline – see the Academy of American Poets’ Submittable for details).

Black Caucus of American Library Association Awards
This is for the best self-published ebooks by African American authors born in the US. The prizes are for fiction and poetry genres.
Value: $2,500 in each category
Deadline: 28 February 2023
Open for: African American authors born in the US
Details here.

Homebound Publications: The Prism Prize for Climate Literature
This prize is for UK- and US-based authors. It is for a work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry manuscript in the genre of climate literature. The final manuscript of up to 75,000 words (for fiction and non-fiction) and a market assessment and/or statement of marketing intentions are part of the submission requirement.
Value: $1,000, and a publication contract
Deadline: 28 February 2023
Open for: UK- and US-based authors
Details here and here

PEN America Free Expression Essay Competition
This is for US-based students, including homeschooled students; high school-level submissions are open to students ages 15-17; and college-level submissions are open to students ages 18-23. They want 1,000 word essays on the prompt, “From school board meetings to statehouses, and foreign newsrooms to digital spaces — there are threats to free expression in societies around the world. PEN America wants to know: what do you think about free expression? Why is it important? How can it change the world?”
Value: $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 for college-level essays; and high school-level essayists will receive $1,500, $1,000, and $500
Deadline: 1 March 2023
Open for: US-based students (see guidelines)
Details here and here.

Academy of American Poets: Raiziss/de Pachi Translation Fellowship
The fellowship will be given for the translation of modern Italian poetry. It is given to enable an American translator to travel, study, or otherwise advance a significant work-in-progress. It invites applications from those currently engaged in the translation of twentieth-century Italian poetry. There is a cash award and a five- week residency at the American Academy in Rome.
Value: $25,000
Deadline: 1 March 2023
Open for: US poets (see guidelines)
Details here and here.
(You can see all of the Academy’s open prizes here.)

National Endowment for the Arts’
Creative Writing Fellowships
This is for US-based writers, and they are accepting applications for prose (fiction and nonfiction) this year. While the deadline is 8th March, they recommend submitting applications early. Several fellowships are awarded.
Value: Up to $25,000
Deadline: 8 March 2023
Open for: US writers
Details here.

(Also see Homebound Publications: The Prism Prize for Climate Literature, above.)

The Papatango New Writing Prize
This is for residents of the UK and Ireland. Send an original play script, which should have a running time of at least 60 minutes, or be at least 9,000 words, or be at least 40 pages. The winning play receives a cash prize and production. The shortlisted writers will also have the option to have their plays performed and filmed as a reading.
Value: £7,000, 8% box office royalties, production, publication; £500 for runners-up
Deadline: 5 February 2023
Open for: UK and Ireland writers
Details here.

Christopher Tower Poetry Competition
This is for young poets studying in the UK, aged 16-18 years. Submit a poem of up to 48 lines on the theme of ‘The Planets’.
Value: £5,000, £3000, £1500; £500 for runners-up
Deadline: 24 February 2023
Open for: Young poets studying in the UK
Details here

The Kelpies Prize for Writing
This is for Scotland-based writers, for writers who want to start a career in children’s books. One of the submission requirements is the first five chapters of a book for children, either fiction or non-fiction, or a whole picture book story (see guidelines). They are looking for work for children ages 3 to 13. They do not want works for young adults.
Value: £500, mentorship
Deadline: 28 February 2023
Open for: Scotland-based writers
Details here (you can download the guidelines).
(They also have a prize for illustration, though that is not open currently.)

Society of Authors: Dursilla Harvey Access Fund
These are small grants for UK-based writers, giving authors support for travel, subsistence, childcare or access needs for events, residencies, and retreats. Usual grants will be under £100 and no more than £350. They are accepted on a rolling basis starting 1 January 2023.
Value: Up to £350
Deadline: Ongoing
Open for: UK/British writers
Details here.
(Society of Authors also has awards for works in progress as well as contingency funds – all their grants are here.)

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



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