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Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (April, May, June Edition)

http://writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Image-1-1-300x224.jpg 300w, http://writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Image-1-1-536x400.jpg 536w, http://writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Image-1-1.jpg 720w" sizes="(max-width: 525px) 100vw, 525px" />We’re so pleased to introduce Art Klepchukov to the community today, along with a new potential series on CONTESTS for fiction writers!
Art writes literary and speculative fiction from numerous San Franciscan cafes and the occasional park. He completed The Lemon Tree House Residency for Writers in Tuscany and has read at Lit Camp’s Basement Series. Art was awarded Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest. He loves hosting Shut Up & Write meetups. Follow his writing journey on Arsenal of Words and on Twitter.
A tremendous amount of research went into making this post, which covers contests of note ending in April, May and June. A special thanks to Art for all of this work. We hope many in the WU community appreciate this roundup as well, and are able to benefit from it all through enriching contest experiences.
Enjoy, and good luck!
Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time
Hi, my name is Art, and I’m hooked on submitting fiction. (Hi Art!) Inspired by Lit Hub’s 100 rejections per year post, I’m aiming for at least 50 submissions in 2017.
Finding opportunities to submit can be time consuming. As I open each email from Submittable or Literistic; check listings from Poets & Writers and TheReviewReview; and ask writing friends, private groups, or communities on Slack or reddit, I’m flooded with markets looking for work. Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest.
I’ve found writing contests that include travel prizes, having your work read by literary agents and prestigious judges (Hi Lauren Groff! Hi Art!), as well as plenty of blind submissions—including a brand new journal. Eligibility ranges from emerging writers to authors on their third, fourth, or fifth novel to citizens of Maine.
If you only submit to one…
If you only have time to submit to one contest this season, my recommendation is Carve Magazine’s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. See the details in the May list below.
April 2017
Nimrod International Journal – Nimrod Literary Awards
Deadline: April 30, 2017
INFO
Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Nimrod International Journal are given annually for works of short fiction. The winners also receive transportation and lodging to attend an awards ceremony and writing conference in Tulsa in October. A runner-up in each category receives $1,000 and publication in Nimrod International Journal. U.S. writers may submit up to 7,500 words of fiction with a $20 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Nimrod International Journal, by April 30. All entries are considered for publication.
Reasons to submit:

Redivider – Beacon Street Prize
Deadline: April 30, 2017
INFO
We launched the Beacon Street Prize in 2012, in honor of our 10th anniversary, and writers and readers responded with such enthusiasm that we now hold it annually. The $20 entry fee includes a complimentary one-year print subscription to Redivider, and will qualify each short story for $1,000 and publication in Issue 15.1. 8,000 words max.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—#76 in Pushcart ranking
  • Read on—entry fee includes one-year subscription
  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!

Ghost Story – Supernatural Fiction Award
Deadline: April 30, 2017
INFO
Twice each year The Ghost Story awards $1,000 and publication in The Ghost Story to the winner of our short story competition. Two other writers will receive Honorable Mention and Second Honorable Mention awards that include publication and cash prizes of $250 and $100 respectively. The winning stories will be published on Midsummer’s Eve and October 31. The upcoming deadline is April 30, 2017. Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is fine writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises in the field of supernatural fiction. Story length should run between 1,500 and 10,000 words. Entry fee is $20 per story. Multiple entries and simultaneous submissions are permitted.
Reasons to submit:

Glimmer Train – Fiction Open
Deadline: April 30, 2017
INFO
Open to all subjects, all themes, and all writers. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but any lengths from 3,000 to 20,000 words are welcome. Due April 30. $21 reading fee. Prizes range from $600 – $3,000 and include publication.
Reasons to submit:

Glimmer Train – Very Short Fiction Award
Deadline: April 30, 2017
INFO
We invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words. Due April 30. $16 reading fee. Prizes range from $300 – $2,000 and include publication.
Reasons to submit:

May 2017

Southwest Review – David Nathan Meyerson Fiction Prize
Deadline: May 1, 2017
INFO
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review is given annually for a short story by a writer who has not published a full-length book of fiction. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words with a $25 entry fee by May 1. No simultaneous submissions.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—#58 in Pushcart ranking
  • Lower competition—not competing with published novelists
  • Lower competition—not competing with published short story collections

The Malahat Review – Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction
Deadline: May 1, 2017
INFO
The Malahat Review, Canada’s premier literary magazine, invites emerging short-story writers from Canada and abroad to enter the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction. Eligible authors have yet to publish their fiction in book form (a book is defined to have a length of 48 pages or more). Publication in literary magazines is acceptable. One prize of $1,000 (CAD) is awarded. Judged by Steven Price. Submit up to 3,500 words. Entry fee varies by nationality.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—established Canadian literary journal, circa 1967
  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Lower competition—not competing with published novelists
  • Read on—Entry fee includes one-year subscription

Maine Arts Commission – Maine Artist Fellowship
Deadline: May 4, 2017
INFO
Maine Artist Fellowships are awarded annually to recognize artistic excellence and advance the careers of Maine artists. Fellowships are merit-based awards that are primarily informed by an applicant’s work. Submit up to 20 pages of prose.
Reasons to submit:

  • Lower competition—only others who’ve lived in Maine for at least a year
  • No funding match is required
  • No entry fee

Carve Magazine – Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
Deadline: May 15, 2017
INFO
Now in its 17th year, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world. The contest opens each year April 1 – May 15 and prizewinners are published in the following fall issue in October. $15-17 reading fee. Prizes: $1500 (1st), $500 (2nd), $250 (3rd), and two $125 (Editor’s Choice). Winning stories will be read by three literary agents: Nat Sobel from Sobel-Weber Associates, Erin Harris from Folio Literary Management, and Catherine Cho from Curtis Brown UK.
Reasons to submit:

I Come From the World
Deadline: May 15, 2017
INFO
Now accepting literary journal submissions for its debut issue. We are running a $500 literary and arts contest with award-winning writers Kim Bridgford and Pete Duval as contest judges. Open to creative submissions in all its forms – nonfiction, fiction, poetry, visual arts, and multimedia (audio, video, animation & more) – award will go to the submission that moves us most in terms of “what it means to come from the world.” Deadline: May 15, 2017. Blind submissions only. $3 reading fee.
Reasons to submit:

  • Lower competition—new journal
  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!

Ploughshares – Emerging Writer’s Contest
Deadline: May 15, 2017
INFO
The winning story from the 2017 contest will be published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Ploughshares and receive $2,000. Submit fiction under 6,000 words. Due May 15. Garth Greenwell is judging in the fiction category. Winner announced in mid-September 2017.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—#3 in Pushcart ranking
  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • No hunting for winners—can read past winners online
  • Current subscribers submit for free
  • Lower competition—not competing with published authors (including chapbooks, eBooks, translations, books in other languages/countries, and self-published works)

St. Francis College – Literary Prize
Deadline: May 15, 2017
INFO
The biannual $50,000 Literary Prize is sponsored by St. Francis College to offer its support and encouragement to the literary community and mid-career authors who have recently published their 3rd to 5th work of fiction, published between June 2015 and May 2017.
Reasons to submit:

  • No entry fee
  • Huge prize
  • Self-published books allowed
  • English translations allowed

New Letters – Prize for Fiction
Deadline: May 18, 2017
INFO
Simultaneous submissions of unpublished entries are accepted with proper notification upon acceptance elsewhere. All entries will be considered for publication in New Letters. Fiction entries should not exceed 8,000 words. Multiple entries are accepted with additional fees. Finalists are notified in mid-August, after preliminary judging. Final judging selects one winner and one runner-up in each category, announced the third week of September. Judges have the option to select work for second runner-up and honorable mentions. $20 for first entry; $15 for every entry after. If entering online, add a $5 service charge to entry fee.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—#31 in Pushcart ranking
  • Prestige—contest running for 30+ years
  • Read on—entry fee includes one-year subscription
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Crab Orchard Review – Jack Dyer Fiction Prize
Deadline: May 31, 2017
INFO
$1,250 prize and publication in CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW ONLINE for a single unpublished story or novel excerpt up to 6000 words. Your name should appear nowhere on your fiction submission. There is no theme for the Literary Prize entries; just send your best work. $12 submission fee. One winner will be chosen in Fiction and will be published in the next general issue of CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW ONLINE. Finalists and other entries will be offered publication in the online issue as well. The expected publication date of that issue is February 2018. The winners and finalists will also be announced on the CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW Online Website and the winners will appear in the following year’s May/June POETS & WRITERS.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—#174 in Pushcart ranking
  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes
  • Novelist friendly—welcomes novel excerpts

June 2017
American Short Fiction Contest
Deadline: June 1, 2017
INFO
The American Short Fiction Prize—a contest for stories between 2,000 and 6,500 words—is now open for submissions. This year we are honored to have Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies (Obama’s favorite book of 2015), as our guest judge. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication in our spring issue. One runner-up will receive $500 and all entries will be considered for publication. $20 entry fee.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestige—#17 in Pushcart ranking
  • Prestigious judge
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes
  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!

Philadelphia Stories – Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction
Deadline: June 15, 2017
INFO
This is an annual national short fiction contest that features a first place $2,000 cash award and invitation to an awards dinner on the campus of Rosemont College; a second place cash prize of $500; and third place cash prize of $250. The winner stories will be published in the print issue of Fall of Philadelphia Stories. Previously unpublished works of fiction up to 8,000 words. $15 reading fee. All entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the Philadelphia Stories contest issue. Winners will be announced by October 1, 2017. Judged by Karen Joy Fowler.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prestigious judge
  • Wanderluster—prize includes travel
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

The Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction Award
Deadline June 30, 2017
INFO
The Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction Award is a prize of $1,000 and publication in LAR given bi-annually for an exceptional work of fiction. This season’s judge is Siel Ju. Please submit a piece no longer than 500 words. The winning story will be published in the new LAR Online and included in the annual best-of print edition, set to be released in spring 2018. $20 entry fee.
Journal info on TheReviewReview.
Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Prize includes double publication

2017 Autumn House Press Full-Length Fiction Contest
Deadline: June 30, 2017
INFO
Fiction submissions should be approximately 200-300 pages. All fiction sub-genres (short stories, short-shorts, novellas, or novels) or any combination of sub-genres are eligible.
The winners will receive book publication, $1,000 advance against royalties, and a $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote his or her book. Judged by Amina Gautier.
Reasons to submit:

  • Prize is publication with an independent press
  • Prize includes advance and promotion budget
  • Novelist friendly

The Bellevue Literary Review – Goldenberg Prize for Fiction
Deadline: July 1, 2017
INFO
The Bellevue Literary Review awards outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. First prize is $1,000 and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of BLR. Honorable mention winners will receive $250 and publication. We seek character-driven fiction with original voices and strong settings. We do not publish genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, horror). Our word max is 5,000, though most of our published stories tend to be in the range of 2,000-4,000 words. We have only occasionally published flash fiction. While we are always interested in creative explorations in style, we do lean toward classic short stories. Judged by Geraldine Brooks.
Reasons to submit:

Have I missed a great writing contest? Please leave a comment and let me know where you found them.
Happy submitting!

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"Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for."
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The elements of fiction are: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. Of these five elements, character is the who, plot is the what, setting is the where and when, and style is the how of a story.