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        An Exclusive List of Writing Contests in 2023

        • calenderJan 03, 2023
        • calender 5 min read

        Writing contests give poets and writers a great opportunity to hone their skills. Along with exciting prizes, these competitions offer a wide variety of themes and challenges to help you write in newer, bolder ways.

        At PaperTrue, we’ve always believed that writing competitions are more than just about winning. It’s a community experience where you can interact with fellow participants and learn from each other’s work. After all, a supportive network is extremely important to all poets and writers who want to make a career out of writing.

        But out of the hundreds of poetry contests, short story competitions, and essay contests held each year, which ones will best reward your hard work? As your beloved editors and proofreaders, we consider it our duty to bring you the best writing contests happening in 2023.

        Here are the best international writing competitions in 2023:

        Poetry competitions

        1. The 2022 Charles Causley International Poetry Competition 

        Organized by Causley Trust, this poetry contest invites entries on any subject or theme. Award-winning writer Seán Hewitt will judge the competition. The top prize comes with a one-week writing residency at the Cyprus Well!

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes:  £2,000, £250, £100

        Entry fee: £7.5

        Closing date: 01 January 2023

        2. Colorado Prize for Poetry

        This poetry competition awards one poetry book manuscript with publication (paperback, 500 copies) and a cash prize. Sadly, self-published books are not eligible for the contest.

        Word count: 48–100 pages

        Prize: $2,500 

        Entry fee: $3

        Closing date: 14 January 2023

        3. Previously Published Poem Prize

        This ingenious poetry competition awards a previously published poem with the recognition it deserves. Along with the cash prize, the winner receives an interview in Palette Poetry.

        Word count: 2,000–3,000

        Prizes: Copy of published anthology and a certificate

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 January 2023

        4. Magma 2022/23 Poetry Competition

        Under this poetry contest, the Editor’s Prize considers poems up to 10 lines and the Judge’s Prize considers those from 11 to 50 lines. Prizes for both categories are the same, which means twice the chance of winning!

        Word count: 10 / 50 lines (two categories)

        Prizes:  £1,000, £300, £150 per category

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        5. The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

        This poetry competition awards a manuscript of poems with publication and a cash prize. Selected poems from this manuscript are published in Tampa Review. Make sure to properly index your manuscript!

        Word count: 48–100 pages

        Prizes:  $2,000

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        6. Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition, 2023 

        Prize-winning poems will be posted on the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society website and included in their annual Folio publication. The first prize winner will be invited to read their poem in Tunbridge Wells in April 2023.

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: £1000, £300, £100, four prizes of £50 

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        7. Anthology Poetry Competition

        This poetry contest was established “to recognize and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing.” The winner receives a year’s subscription to Anthology!

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: €1,000, €250, €150

        Entry fee: €10 (very early bird) / €12 (early bird) / €18

        Closing date: 23 February 2023 (very early bird) / 30 June 2023 (early bird) / 31 October 2023

        8. Letter Review Prize for Poetry 

        This poetry contest admires the power of poets “to reimagine the form afresh for their age.” Ensure that your submissions are primarily written in English and submitted in a single Word doc.

        Word count: 70 lines

        Prizes: $400, $250, $150

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        9. Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2023 

        The organizers of this poetry competition invite poets to send entries that deal with aspects of nature and place. The organizers offer a limited number of free entries available for writers on low or supported incomes. 

        Word count: 40 lines

        Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250

        Entry fee: £7

        Closing date: 01 March 2023

        10. 2022 Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry 

        The world’s biggest ecopoetry competition invites poets to submit their best work. An additional cash prize of £500 is awarded to the ‘Best Poem of UK Landscape’.

        Word count: None

        Prizes: £5,000, £2,000, £1,000

        Entry fee: £7

        Closing date: 25 March 2023

        11. The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2022 

        This annual poetry competition awards an unpublished poem written by an adult for children aged 7–11. The winning poems will be published in the Irish Times online.

        Word count: None

        Prizes: €1,000, €500, €250

        Entry fee: €15

        Closing date: 31 March 2023

        12. Fish Poetry Prize 

        Organized by Fish Publishing, the poetry contest awards the top ten entries with publication in the Fish Anthology 2023. Billy Collins will judge the contest this year.

        Word count: 60 lines

        Prizes:  €1,000, €300, €300

        Entry fee: €14

        Closing date: 31 March 2023

        13. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest 

        In its 22nd year, this poetry competition is completely free to enter! Top 12 entries will be published online. Make sure to send your best humor poem, because there’s a limit of one entry per poet!

        Word count: 250 lines

        Prizes: $2,000, $500, ten prizes of $100

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 01 April 2023

        14. The Bridport Poetry Prize 

        The top three winning poems are automatically entered into the Forward Prize For Poetry competition, with the chance to win a further £1000. The first prize also features in the Bridport anthology.

        Word count: 42 lines

        Prizes:  £5,000, £1,000, £500, ten prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £12

        Closing date: 31 May 2023

        Short story contests

        1. The Henshaw Short Story Competition 

        The December short story contest by Henshaw Press is currently active. You may opt for a critique from the judges at an entry fee of £14. Winning entries will have the opportunity to be published in an anthology.

        Word count: 2,000

        Prizes: £200, £100, £50 

        Entry fee: £6

        Closing date: 06 January 2023

        2. PenFluenza 3 Short Story Contest 2023 

        Top 25 stories for this annual short story contest will be published in a book and the three winners will receive a copy of the book. Write a story on the theme of “ritual” and send it across!

        Theme: Ritual

        Word count: 2,000–3,000

        Prizes: Copy of published anthology and a certificate

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 15 January 2023

        3. The Writing District Prize 2022 

        This short story contest invites writers to submit their entries with no restrictions of theme. Entries must be submitted through Duotrope. Make sure to go through their formatting instructions!

        Word count: 3,000

        Prizes:  $1,000, two prizes of $100

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        4. Short Story Award For New Writers 

        This bi-annual short story competition awards emerging writers with cash prizes and agency reviews by five agencies. Self-published writers are welcome to participate!

        Word count: 6,000

        Prizes: $3,000, $300, $200

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        5. Fish Short Memoir Prize 

        The top ten entries in this memoir writing competition will be published in the Fish Anthology 2023. The two runners-up will receive an online writing course along with a cash prize.

        Word count: 4,000

        Prizes: €1,000, two prizes of €300

        Entry fee: €18

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        6. Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition

        The short story contest offers publication to the top 20 entries. Aside from the top three winners, there is a separate award for unpublished writers living in Scotland. 

        Word count: 2,000

        Prizes: £3,000, £750, £500, £300, £250

        Entry fee: £10

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        7. Letter Review Prize for Short Stories 

        The short story contest invites writers to send entries in any genre and theme. Along with the winning entries, 20 longlisted and 10 shortlisted entries will be considered for publication and submission to the Pushcart Prize.

        Word count: 1,000–3,000

        Prizes: $600, $250, $150

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        8. Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize 2023

        This short fiction contest has teamed up with 15 literary and artistic institutions to offer writing retreats, publishing opportunities, and exposure to literary agents. Translations are accepted.

        Word count: 2,000

        Prizes: €1500, two prizes of €750, €400

        Entry fee: €20

        Closing date: 16 April 2023

        9. 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize 

        Presented by Australian Book Review, the short story competition is open to original work that hasn’t been published before. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but longlisted entries must be exclusive.

        Word count: 2,000–5,000

        Prizes: AU$6,000, AU$4,000, AU$2,500

        Entry fee: AU$20

        Closing date: 24 April 2023

        10. Bath Short Story Award 

        Part of the esteemed Bath writing contests, this short story competition invites stories on any theme or subject. All shortlisted stories will be published in the 2023 Bath Short Story Anthology!

        Word count: 2,200

        Prizes: £1,200, £300, two prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £9

        Closing date: 24 April 2023

        11. Bristol Short Story Prize

        The short story contest provides 250 free online entries for writers with limited means. Aside from 17 shortlisted writers, one Bristol-based writer is awarded £100.

        Word count: 4,000

        Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250, 18 prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £9

        Closing date: 26 April 2023

        12. Anthology Short Story Competition 2023 

        This popular short story contest accepts unpublished entries on any theme and style. Refer to previous issues of Anthology to understand the type of writing they publish.

        Word count: 1,500

        Prizes: €1,000, €250, €150

        Entry fee: €12 (early bird) / €18 (standard)

        Closing date: 30 April 2023 (early bird) / 31 August 2023 (standard)

        13. The Bridport Short Story Prize 

        The organizers for this short story contest enter the shortlisted UK-based writers into the BBC Short Story Competition. Literary agent A.M. Heath reads the entire shortlist and considers representation.

        Word count: 5,000

        Prizes:  £5,000, £1,000, £500, ten prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £14

        Closing date: 31 May 2023

        14. To Hull and Back Short Story Competition

        This interesting short story contest invites you to submit entries with a touch of humor in them. Go through their guidelines to see the type of stories they’re looking for!

        Word count: 2,500

        Prizes: £1,200, £600, £300, three prizes of £150, 14 prizes of £75

        Entry fee: £13

        Closing date: 30 June 2023

        Essay writing contests

        1. The Crime Essays Writing Contest 2022

        The organizers of this essay contest will be looking for “stories with a twist in the tale. Something new with a fresh approach or just a well-written captivating piece. Something that will keep readers hooked.”

        Word count: 1,000–3,000

        Prizes:  £300, £100, £75, others

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 23 January 2023

        2. Southword Literary Essay Competition 

        The organizers of this essay contest are looking for “personal, confessional essays which border on a memoir—gripping essays full of memories and feelings.”

        Word count: 2500–5000

        Prizes: €1,000, eight prizes of €500

        Entry fee: €20

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        3. WOW! Essay Contest 

        The essay contest is open to women worldwide and offers several exciting prizes along with the top three cash prizes. You can opt for a critique of your work by paying $25 for your entry.

        Word count: 200–1000

        Prizes: $500, $300, $200

        Entry fee: $12

        Closing date: 24 April 2023

        Book writing contests

        1. Novella-in-Flash Award Entry 

        This fiction writing contest has been organized by Bath Flash Fiction Award and features John Brantingham as an independent judge. Winners and two runners-up will get a chance to publish their novellas!

        Word count: 6,000–18,000

        Prizes:  £300, two prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £16

        Closing date: 15 January 2023

        2. Rattle Chapbook Prize 

        This poetry chapbook competition awards three poets with publication and a cash prize. They print 500 copies of the winning chapbooks and the poets get access to Rattle’s 8,000 subscribers!

        Word count: 15–30 pages

        Prizes: Three prizes of $5,000 

        Entry fee: $25

        Closing date: 15 January 2023

        3. Clash of the Query Letters 

        This unique writing contest invites writers to send their query letters! Judge Michelle Barker, will ask herself one question: “does this query letter convince me that I’m in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?”

        Word count: 500

        Prizes:  $700 CAD, $200 CAD, $100 CAD

        Entry fee: $5 CAD

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        4. The Big Moose Prize

        Black Lawrence Press has organized this novel writing contest to award one novelist with publication and a cash prize. Make sure that your novel has proper formatting and pagination before you hit send!

        Word count: 90–1,000 pages

        Prizes: $1,000 plus ten copies of the published novel

        Entry fee: $27

        Closing date: 31 January 2023 

        5. Writer’s Award 

        Open to residents of the British Commonwealth, this book writing contest is open to prose writers who have not yet published or self-published a book. Children’s writers are welcome to enter!

        Word count: 15,000–20,000

        Prizes: £10,000, two prizes of £1,000

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 31 March 2023

        6. The Bridport Prize Novel Award  

        This novel writing competition allows you to participate even if you haven’t finished writing it yet! Send up to 8,000 words from the first chapter(s) of your novel along with a 300-word synopsis.

        Word count: 5,000–8,000

        Prizes: £1,500, £750, three prizes of £150

        Entry fee: £24

        Closing date: 31 May 2023 

        7. The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 

        This children’s fiction contest invites writers to submit a novel written for readers aged 7–18 years. Make sure to send a page-long cover letter and synopsis along with your manuscript.

        Word count: 30,000–80,000

        Prizes: £10,000, £7,500 (advance on a publishing contract)

        Entry fee: £20

        Closing date: 01 June 2023

        8. Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest 

        The Atlas Shrugged novel essay contest is open to all high school and college students globally. Atlas Shrugged is a heroic mystery novel written by Ayn Rand. Choose from three prompts and submit an award-winning essay!

        Word count: 800–1,600

        Prizes: $10,000, 3 prizes of prizes $2,000, 5 prizes of $1,000, 25 prizes of $100, 50 prizes of $50

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 06 November 2023

        Flash fiction competitions

        1. Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

        This flash fiction contest seeks to “open doors for those who are working on their craft.” The organizers offer free entries to writers with a low income.

        Word count: 1,000

        Prizes: £1000, £200, £100

        Entry fee: £6

        Closing date: 31 January 2023

        2. Bath Flash Fiction Award 

        The Bath Flash Fiction Award is one of the most well-known flash fiction contests. Fifty authors are offered publication in their anthology and the organizers ship a free print copy to all published authors.

        Word count: 300

        Prizes: £1,000, £300, £100, two prizes of £30

        Entry fee: £7.5

        Closing date: 05 February 2023

        3. The Crazy Cats Flash Fiction Writing Competition

        If you want to test your mettle in a small competition before entering the big leagues, this is the contest for you. Send flash fiction on any theme and see if your entry wins a prize!

        Word count: 70–400

        Prizes: £50, £25, £15

        Entry fee: £5

        Closing date: 27 February 2023 

        4. WOW! Flash Fiction Contest 

        The entries to this contest are limited, so make sure to submit your draft soon! Aside from the top three prizes, the winners and runners-up receive a variety of additional prizes.

        Word count: 250–750

        Prizes: $400, $300, $200

        Entry fee: $10

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        5. Pet Flash Fiction Contest

        The organizers invite you to write a true story about your pet. Include a picture with your entry and ensure that the picture and your entry are related to the same event in a meaningful way.

        Word count: 300

        Prizes: $250, two prizes of $50

        Entry fee: $20

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        6. Letter Review Prize for Flash Fiction

        In a bid to promote new writing and the quick, vivid magic of flash fiction, this contest invites entries without any restriction of genre or theme. Make sure you include a short biography in your cover letter!

        Word count: 1,000

        Prizes: $300, $200, $100

        Entry fee: $10

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        7. Purorrelato Micro-Story Contest 

        This interesting competition invites writers to submit short, creative stories that are related to Africa in some meaningful manner. You’re free to send entries in Spanish, English, French, or Portuguese!

        Word count: 1,500 characters

        Prizes: €750, €375, €225

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 21 April 2023

        8. The Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 

        The flash fiction competition is part of the Bridport Prize family of writing contests. The winning entry will be published in an anthology. Fiction written for children is not recommended.

        Word count: 250

        Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250, five prizes of £100

        Entry fee: £11

        Closing date: 31 May 2023 

        9. Pulp Fictional Flash Fiction Contest 

        The organizers of this flash fiction competition prefer stories that are “scary and unusual, strange and unnerving”. The cash prizes may increase depending on the number of writers that submit their entries!

        Word count: 1,000

        Prizes: £250, £100, £50

        Entry fee: £6

        Closing date: 31 May 2023

        Other interesting contests in 2023

        1. Prose Purple Transgender Writing Competition 

        The writing contest is only open to residents of the UK. The organizers invite poets and writers to submit stories featuring trans characters, themes, or settings. Entrants can be TQIA+ or Non-TQIA+.

        Categories: Poetry, short story, and flash fiction

        Word count: 40 lines for poetry, 3,000 words for short story, and 500 words for flash fiction

        Prizes: £40, £20 per category

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 22 January 2023

        2. BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition 2023 

        This script writing contest for an audio drama is conducted in two categories: English as a First Language and English as a Second Language. Don’t forget to attach a 400-word synopsis with your entry! 

        Word count: 9,000–10,000

        Prizes: £2,500 and a trip to London

        Entry: Free!

        Closing date: 12 February 2023

        3. 25th Writing Contest 2023 

        The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop has organized this competition. The Bill MacDonald Prize for Prose is awarded for fiction or nonfiction on an alternating basis each year.

        Categories: short story, essay, poetry, short crime fiction, literary criticism

        Word count: 2000–3500 words for short story, 1500–3000 words for essays, 100 lines for poetry

        Prizes: $125, $75, $50 per category

        Entry fee: $10

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        4. Minds Shine Bright 

        The organizers welcome you to submit entries on the theme of confidence in fiction and poetry. All winning and commended entries will be published in the Confidence Anthology.

        Theme: Confidence

        Categories: Flash fiction, short story, short script, poetry

        Word count: 1000 words for flash fiction, 1000–5000 words for short story, 5000 words for short script, 260 lines for poetry

        Prizes: AU$1600, four prizes of AU$800, some prizes of AU$175

        Entry fee: AU$5

        Closing date: 28 February 2023

        5. Perkoff Prize 

        The Missouri Review started this contest in the context of the pandemic. The organizers invite poets and writers to send entries that deal with health and medicine in some meaningful manner.

        Categories: Short story, essay, poetry

        Word count: 8,500 words for fiction and nonfiction, 10 pages for poetry

        Prize: $1000 per category

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 15 March 2023

        6. 2023 Pinch Literary Awards and Page Prize 

        The Pinch has organized this contest for poets and writers. The Pinch Awards accept fiction and poetry while the Page Prize accepts nonfiction. Make sure to send only unpublished work!

        Categories: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

        Word count: 5,000 words for fiction, 1,000 words for nonfiction, 3 poems

        Prizes: $2,000 for fiction and poetry, $1,000 for nonfiction

        Entry fee: $20 for fiction and poetry, $10 for nonfiction

        Closing date: 31 March 2023

        7. Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

        For this fiction and essay contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. Mina Manchester is the judge this year. The top 12 entries will be published.

        Categories: Fiction and essay

        Word count: 6,000

        Prizes:  $3,000 per category, ten prizes of $300 (any category)

        Entry fee: $22

        Closing date: 30 April 2023

        8. Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 

        This contest is open to poets and writers who have not yet published book-length work of poetry, fiction, or life writing. Self-published writers and poets who have published chapbooks are welcome to enter!

        Categories: Fiction, life writing, poetry

        Word count: 3,000

        Prizes: £1,000

        Entry fee: £10

        Closing date: 30 June 2023

        9. Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 

        This writing competition invites poets and writers to submit entries on any theme. The cash prizes come with additional prizes such as magazine subscriptions and course enrolments!

        Categories: Poetry and fiction

        Word count: 40 lines for poetry and 2,000 words for fiction

        Prizes: £2,500 per category and several other exciting prizes

        Entry fee: £12 for poetry and £15 for fiction

        Closing date: 31 August 2023

        10. Manchester Writing Competition

        Manchester Metropolitan University invites poets and writers worldwide to participate in their writing competition. The organizers offer 100 reduced-price (£10) to participants with low income.

        Categories: Short story and poetry

        Word count: 2,500 for short story, 120 lines for poetry

        Prize: £10,000 per category

        Entry fee: $15

        Closing date: 01 September 2023

        If you were hoping for some more short story, poetry, and essay contests, don’t worry! As more contests are announced with a 2023 deadline, we’ll keep adding to this list. So make sure to bookmark this page!

        For more resources on writing and editing, explore our Resource Center. For now, here are a few articles you may be interested in:

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        Prasanna Linkedin

        Prasanna is on a little break from academia and spends his time compiling fiction writing tips. He enjoys poetry, mythology, and drawing lotuses on any surface he can find.

        7 comments on “An Exclusive List of Writing Contests in 2023

        1. Quinn says:

          Thanks for compiling this list, it’s very helpful for poets & writers like myself!

        2. Paul says:

          Please add this writing contest to your list: Biopage Storytelling Writing Contest (Biannual)
          Thank you!

          • Prasanna Bachchhav says:

            Hi Paul!
            The contest has been added to the list. Thanks for reaching out!

        3. Dearbhaile says:

          Hello! You might be interested in featuring the Anthology Short Story and Poetry Competitions in this list. Thanks!

          • Prasanna Bachchhav says:

            Hi Dearbhaile,
            I’ve added the writing contests to our list. Thanks for suggesting them!

        4. Nelly says:

          The Atlas Shrugged Novel Essay Contest is open to all students globally. Kindly add it to your list!

          • Prasanna Bachchhav says:

            Thank you for reaching out, Nelly! I’ve added the contest to our list.

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