10 Writing Contests (and other places to submit your work)

December 5, 2013




Erma Bombeck’s annual contest opens January 4th, so get your wheels turning and start writing your personal humor or human interest essay! The winner receives $500 and admission to the annual Erma Bombeck writer’s workshop!




Writer’s Digest – you can submit anything from poetry to fiction to horror to memoir and MORE. Writer’s Digest is also rich with information for writers, a forum, blog, and writing prompts.




Creative Non-Fiction, True Stories, Well Told offers online classes as well as contests and submissions.

“Essays must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with a significant element of research or information, and reach for some universal or deeper meaning in personal experiences. We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice.”



The Sub It Club does a monthly roundup of all the contests to enter that month. Such a great resource!

Follow their Writing Contests Pinterest Board for up-to-date contest information!





Pitch Wars by Brenda Drake —

Pitch Wars is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Mentors also pick two alternates each in case their writer drops out of the contest.

Pitch Madness by Brenda Drake –Pitch Madness is a contest held every March and September where writers enter for a chance to win requests from the participating agents.




Good Housekeeping partnered with She Books to bring this memoir contest for mothers. You have until December 15, so hurry! $2000!




(click the information above to head to the link for the poetry contest)



Head on over to PEN America for contests/awards that can win you some truly respectable cha-ching…and clout.



You’ll find an extensive list of upcoming contests/awards at FreelanceWriting.com


The Secret Agent and Baker’s Dozen contests at Miss Snark’s –these contests are for fiction writers with finished manuscripts looking for agents to get their eyes on the words!


bonus list: on-going submissions (to be featured)–

Great Moments In Parenting — submit your honest and/or hilarious essays on parenting.

Full Grown People –submit your essays about what it means to be a grown up.

Shebooks  –personal essays by women, for women

mamalode –personal essays on motherhood

Literary Mama –essays on motherhood –Short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, profiles and reviews

Brain-Child Magazine –the largest literary magazine for mothers wants your essays

under the gum tree –creative non-fiction essays for print

The Huffington Post –there are several blog categories to consider at HuffPo. It’s not at all a bad place for a writer to be seen, but prepare yourself for the comment reaction should you get featured there. Always remember, supportive and positive people are less likely to reply. Sad, but true. They’re still out there! I’ve learned that the best place to submit is to: blogteam@huffingtonpost.com

Brevity – Brevity is an online magazine that features short nonfiction essays (750 words or less) and pays you $45 if yours is chosen.

What am I missing? Feel free to add more spaces and places for submissions and contests, right here in the comments!


Alexandra December 5, 2013 at 10:14 am


How do I even say thank you?

I love you, Heather.

Alison December 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

Thank you, Heather. Truly.
Alison recently posted..Do More Of What Makes You Happy

Gina December 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thank you for this awesome compilation! Have to bookmark this post for a post holiday visit!!!

Arnebya December 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

Amazing, thank you.
Arnebya recently posted..Be Glad I’m Not Your Mom Because Evidently I Am THAT Mom

MrsTDJ December 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

What a nice list with many that I’m not familiar with! Thanks!
MrsTDJ recently posted..My Heart and “The Best Man Holiday”

Andrea December 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

Wow! Thanks for posting this list!!
Andrea recently posted..DIY Mac and Cheese on the Stove

Corinne December 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

You just did what my new years resolution was to do in January. Thank you for crossing that off my list, lady ;)
Corinne recently posted..fresh sand

anna whiston-donaldson December 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Wow, great list, Heather!
anna whiston-donaldson recently posted..Tree-dition Rocks

Missy December 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Suh-weet! What a nice resource. Thank you!
Missy recently posted..Why Can’t I Be Cool?

Elaine A. December 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I just found out about Brain Child today after reading Alison Tate’s essay there. I think that is a great place for us mothers to write. Thanks for this wonderful resource, Heather!!
Elaine A. recently posted..My Apartment

Jenny December 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm

What a great list! Thanks so much for this, Heather. I’m working up the courage to submit to Erma.

And a-freaking-men re: the comments on the HuffPost. I’ve had a dozen pieces published there and the comment section still makes me quake.

Jenn December 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Just what I needed to motivate myself to write an essay and submit it to one of these awesome contests/sites. Thank you, Heather!

Nina December 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Such a resource! Just shared on FB. Incredible!
Nina recently posted..The Special Club For Late Night Readers

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri December 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm


Thanks so much for sharing these awesome resources. Appreciate it.
Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri recently posted..The Doors Of Perception

Liz Aguerre January 9, 2014 at 9:41 pm

What’s the saying? Better late than never? Saw this now…bookmarking it. Thanks so much. Great resource!
Liz Aguerre recently posted..The Pros and Cons of My Own Intensity

Briana Baldwin March 9, 2014 at 7:56 am

Here’s a $500 prize writing contest ;)

Briana Baldwin recently posted..Get Inspired To Write & Win $500!

M E Silverman May 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm

We are a journal of diverse voices publishing both online and in print. We’d love some great creative nonfiction, flash fiction, short stories, poetry, art, and translations. Look on our site to submit through Submittable: bluelyrareview.com.
M E Silverman recently posted..Issue 3.3 April 2014 (Fiction)

Christine May 29, 2014 at 6:27 am

Thanks you so much for sharing such a list. Post made my day!!

Zoraida Cabrera June 6, 2014 at 10:48 am

Tethered by Letters has 3 fall contests: short story, flash fiction, and poetry.
$400 in prizes!
Deadline: 7/15/2014
Check them out: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Jennifer KellyWatt June 8, 2014 at 2:56 am

Lucille’s Legacy Publishing is holding a storytelling competition. Seeking inspirational, motivational or humorous “slice of life” essays. 750-1,500 word count.
1st PRIZE: $1000
2nd PRIZE: $750
3rd PRIZE: $500
All 3 top prize winners & up to 100 HONORABLE MENTIONS will have their stories published in a book to be distributed nationally.
$20 entry fee
$10 Early Bird entry fee if submitted by June 23, 2014
Multiple entries accepted

Andre L. West, Editor June 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is now accepting poems, 30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or short stories, 5 pages maximum length on any theme for a chance to win cash prizes totaling 1275.00. Writing First Prize: $500, 2nd $250, 3rd $100. Poetry First Prize: $250, 2nd $125, 3rd $50. Entry fees: $5 per poem/$10 per story. Postmark deadline: July 31, 2014. How to enter: http://www.dreamquestone.com/rules.html

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