8 Writing Contests with Exclusive Rewards in 2024

Writing contests offer a fantastic opportunity for aspiring writers to showcase their talents, gain recognition, and potentially win exciting prizes. As we venture into 2024, the world of writing competitions thrives, providing a platform for established and emerging authors to shine.

This article, updated as of May 2024, is your comprehensive guide to finding these contests. We’ll look into various aspects of writing contests, from penning your way into them to discovering facts you never knew about these competitions. We’ll highlight the top 8 writing contests in 2024, explore free writing contests, and even check out contests specifically for teens.

We’ll also discuss contests with monetary prizes, the creativity involved in creative writing contests, and the focus on young writers. Additionally, we’ll explore the art of essay writing contests, how high school writing contests can be a stepping stone, the impact of the digital age on online writing contests, and the genre of fiction writing contests. So, grab your pen and paper, and let’s ink our way into the beauty of writing contests!

Penning Your Way Into Writing Contests

Entering writing contests is a delightful experience that can open doors to incredible opportunities. Did you know that J.K. Rowling, the renowned author of the Harry Potter series, began her journey by submitting her work to writing contests? It’s a testament to the power of these competitions in propelling writers to greatness.

These contests serve as a battleground for creativity and talent, pitting writers against each other in a quest for literary accolades. Participating in writing contests is more than just an exercise in writing; it’s a commitment to putting your work under scrutiny to be judged and compared.

One of the key strategies to succeed in writing contests is to understand the nuances of these contests, from choosing the right ones to submit to crafting a winning entry. For instance, some contests are looking for subtlety, depth, subtext, creativity, and clever use of language. On the other hand, if the contest is labeled as a writing competition, well-written popular fiction with a grand opening line and an absorbing plot is what will win.

If you are artistic writer, then this article on 2024 art contests is for you, endeavor to read it.

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Facts You Never Knew About Writing Contests

Writing contests have a rich history and many fascinating facts that often go unnoticed. Did you know that the first recorded writing contest dates back to ancient Greece, where poets competed for a crown of olive leaves? Fast forward to modern times, and the prizes have evolved to include substantial cash awards, publication opportunities, and even book deals.

One surprising fact is that many renowned authors, including Stephen King and Sylvia Plath, kickstarted their careers by winning writing contests. These competitions are a launching pad for emerging talent, providing exposure and validation in a competitive industry. A survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts revealed that 67% of published authors have participated in at least one writing contest during their careers.

The Top 8 Writing Contests of 2024

Several writing competitions are available for writers of different genres in 2024. Some of the best of these contests include the following:

1. Reedsy’s Weekly Writing Contests

Reedsy, a renowned platform for writers, hosts weekly writing contests with cash prizes ranging from $50 to $250. These contests cover various genres and themes, providing ample opportunities for writers to showcase their skills. In 2023, Reedsy awarded over $500,000 in prizes to contestants.

2. The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition is one of the most prestigious writing contests, offering a grand prize of $5,000. This contest attracts thousands of entries annually and has categories including memoir, romance, thriller, and more. In 2023, the competition received over 5,000 submissions from writers worldwide.

3. Drue Heinz Literature Prize

This contest is open to authors who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher or at least three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution.

4. Young Lions Fiction Award

This award is given annually to an American author aged 35 or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories.

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5. Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prizes

This contest is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence and is available to published and unpublished authors alike.

6. The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans

This creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam War veteran and antiwar writer and activist.

7. Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

This contest is for African American authors of a novel or a collection of short stories published in the current year. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.

8. The Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

The Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition is a highly sought-after prize for unpublished crime novels. The winner receives a publication contract with Minotaur Books and a $10,000 advance. This competition has launched the careers of several bestselling crime novelists.

Discovering Free Writing Contests

While many writing contests require entry fees, there are plenty of free opportunities for writers to showcase their talents and win prizes. In 2023, over 50% of writing contests offered free entry, making them accessible to writers of all backgrounds.

Free writing contests can be found through various online resources, such as writing communities, literary magazines, and author websites. Websites like Reedsy, Poets & Writers, and Submittable maintain comprehensive lists of free writing contests, making it easy for writers to find opportunities that suit their interests and skills.

When searching for free writing contests, it’s essential to research the organization behind the contest to ensure its legitimacy. Look for contests organized by reputable publications, writing organizations, or educational institutions. Be wary of contests that seem too good to be true or require excessive personal information.

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Writing Contests Specifically for Teens

Many writing contests cater specifically to teenage writers, allowing young voices to be heard and recognized. These contests often have age restrictions, typically open to writers between 13 and 19 years old.

Contest NameOrganizationGenrePrize
The Scholastic Art & Writing AwardsAlliance for Young Artists & WritersMultiple$10,000 scholarship
The YoungArts National Arts CompetitionNational YoungArts FoundationMultipleUp to $10,000
The Ocean Awareness ContestBow Seat Ocean Awareness ProgramsPoetry, Prose, Film$1,500
The Foyle Young Poets of the Year AwardThe Poetry SocietyPoetryPublication & Mentorship

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, founded in 1923, is the longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the United States. With 29 categories in art and writing, this contest provides numerous opportunities for young writers to showcase their talents.

The YoungArts National Arts Competition, established in 1981, identifies and supports the next generation of artists across various disciplines, including writing. The YoungArts National Arts Competition winners have become leading professionals in their fields, with alumni including Pulitzer Prize winners and National Book Award finalists.

Teen writing contests offer prizes and recognition and provide valuable feedback and mentorship opportunities. Many contests pair young writers with established authors or industry professionals who provide guidance and support in developing their craft.

By participating in writing contests specifically designed for teens, young writers can gain confidence, hone their skills, and connect with a community of like-minded peers passionate about storytelling.

Contests with Monetary Prizes

There are numerous writing contests out there that offer monetary prizes. One of the most notable is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, which offers a grand prize of $1,500. The contest is open to writers worldwide and seeks original, unpublished works of fiction.

Another contest that stands out is the American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest. This contest offers a unique opportunity for high school students to critically analyze international relations and U.S. foreign policy. The winner receives a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expense-paid trip to the nation’s capital, and a voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea.

Creativity with Creative Contests

Creative writing contests offer writers a platform to express their creativity and originality. The Reedsy Prompts Contest is one such contest that encourages creativity. Reedsy sends out five writing prompts every Friday, and participants have a week to respond. The winner receives $250 and may be included in a future issue of Reedsy’s literary magazine, Prompted.

The Anthology Travel Writing Competition is another creative writing contest that seeks engaging articles that capture the reader’s attention and convey a strong sense of the destination and the local culture. The top prize for this contest is €500.

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Young Writers in Focus – Contests for the Youth

There are several writing contests tailored explicitly for young writers. The River of Words Poetry and Art Contest is an esteemed international youth competition that motivates students to articulate their environmental observations through art and poetry.

Another notable contest is the Teen Ink contest, which encourages young writers and artists aged 13 to 19 to submit their best work across various creative categories. This online contest is designed to publish exceptional works by teens in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art, photography, and reviews.

ContestAge RangeGenresPrizes
River of Words Poetry and Art Contest5-19Art, PoetryVaries
Teen Ink Contest13-19Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Art, Photography, ReviewsPublication

The Art of Essay Writing Contests

Essay writing contests have become increasingly popular, offering aspiring writers a platform to showcase their skills and potentially win impressive prizes. These competitions provide an opportunity for recognition and serve as a means to hone one’s craft.

In 2024 alone, Reedsy, a renowned publishing platform, is hosting an astounding 124 essay writing contests with prize pools ranging from $100 to $50,000. The topics covered in these contests are diverse, catering to various interests and passions.

Participating in essay writing contests requires a unique blend of creativity, research, and adherence to guidelines. Successful contestants often spend 10 to 20 hours perfecting their submissions, ensuring that every word counts and their pieces stand out from the competition. The judging process is rigorous, with experienced writers, editors, and industry professionals evaluating each entry based on originality, clarity, and overall impact.

High School Writing Contests – A Stepping Stone

For high school students, writing contests serve as an invaluable stepping stone towards a future in the literary world. These competitions provide a platform for young writers to express themselves and offer the chance to earn recognition and even scholarships. In 2024-2025, there will be an impressive 27 writing competitions designed for high school students, as Aralia, an educational resource website, reported.

One notable example is the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which has been celebrating the creative talents of students in grades 7-12 since 1923. This prestigious competition receives nearly 350,000 entries annually, with winners earning scholarships, publication opportunities, and even the chance to showcase their work at national exhibitions.

Other prominent contests for high school students include the Ocean Awareness Contest, the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest, and the National High School Essay Contest.

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The Digital Age and Online Writing Contests

The digital age has revolutionized how writers participate in contests, with online platforms making it easier to submit entries and connect with fellow contestants. Reedsy, a leading online publishing platform, hosts an impressive array of writing contests across various genres, with over 100 competitions listed for 2024 alone. These online contests provide a convenient way for writers to showcase their skills and offer the opportunity to receive feedback from industry professionals.

Contest PlatformNumber of ContestsPrize RangeUnique Features
Reedsy124 (2024)$100 – $50,000Diverse genres, professional judges
The Write Life40 (2024)VariesCash prizes, no entry fees
EssayPro20+ (2024)$100 – $5,000Essay-specific, international

Reedsy stands out with its impressive number of contests and substantial prize pools, while The Write Life offers a selection of competitions with no entry fees. EssayPro, on the other hand, specializes in essay writing contests and welcomes entries from writers worldwide.

As the digital world continues to evolve, it is clear that online writing contests will play an increasingly significant role in the literary world, providing aspiring writers with unprecedented opportunities to showcase their talents and connect with a global community of creators.

The Genre of Fiction Writing Contests

Fiction writing contests are a fantastic platform for writers to showcase their creativity and storytelling prowess. They span various genres, from crime and fantasy to romance and young adult. These contests allow established and emerging writers to gain recognition and kick-start their writing careers.

One of the aspects of fiction writing contests is their diversity. They can range from small, local contests to large, international ones, each offering different rewards and challenges. For instance, the Reedsy Prompts Contest offers a top prize of $250 and publication in Reedsy’s literary magazine. On the other hand, the SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction offers a grand prize of $2,500 and additional prizes.

Participating in these contests can be more than just an exercise in writing; it’s a commitment to putting your work under scrutiny to be judged and compared. This exposure is a significant benefit of participating in writing contests, as it fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art of writing.

Completing the Writing Journey

Embarking on the journey of writing contests can be both exhilarating and intimidating. The process can be overwhelming, from understanding contest guidelines, crafting compelling narratives, and managing word counts to coping with rejection. However, you can confidently navigate this competitive but rewarding landscape with the proper guidance and resources.

This article covered topics such as the top 8 Writing Contests 2024 and the last content update in May 2024. It’s important to remember that participating in writing contests is about winning, personal growth, and craft improvement. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting, grasping the essence of writing contests can open doors to new opportunities and writing achievements.

So, are you ready to take your writing to the next level? Follow our website, GiveawayListing.com, to stay informed about new giveaways, exclusive contests, and guides to maximize your chances of winning! Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

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Writing Contests FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about writing contests.

What are Writing Contests?

Writing contests are events where writers submit their work for review, hoping to win a prize. They cover many genres, including poetry, short stories, essays, and novels. These contests provide a platform for writers to showcase their talent, gain recognition, and enhance their skills.

How Can I Find Legitimate Writing Contests?

To find legitimate writing contests, look for those sponsored by established literary magazines, publishing houses, universities, or literary organizations. Websites like Reedsy and The Write Life provide lists of vetted writing contests. Always ensure to read and follow the contest guidelines to avoid disqualification.

Are There Any Free Writing Contests?

Yes, numerous free writing contests offer cash prizes and publication opportunities. These contests can be found on various platforms online. However, reading the contest rules and guidelines carefully is essential, as some may have age and geographical restrictions.

What are the Benefits of Participating in Writing Contests?

Participating in writing contests can offer several benefits. It can help improve your writing skills, provide motivation, and potentially lead to significant career advancement. Winning a contest can also provide prestige, monetary rewards, and publication opportunities. Moreover, it can increase your exposure, provide valuable feedback, and boost your confidence.

How Can I Increase My Chances of Winning a Writing Contest?

To increase your chances of winning a writing contest, follow these tips:

  • Understand and adhere to the contest guidelines.
  • Seek feedback from beta readers before submitting your work.
  • Proofread your work to eliminate errors.
  • Submit work that is appropriate for the contest.
  • Spread out your submissions evenly throughout the year.
    Remember, each contest is different, so tailor your approach accordingly.

What Types of Writing Contests Are There?

There are various types of writing contests catering to different genres. These include contests for short stories, poetry, essays, novels, flash fiction, and specific themes. Some contests may also focus on a particular demographic or topic. Choosing a contest that aligns with your writing style and genre is crucial.

Are There Writing Contests for Beginners?

Yes, there are numerous writing contests specifically designed for beginners. These contests provide a platform for emerging writers to showcase their talent and receive constructive feedback.

These contests include the Reedsy Prompts Contest, Flash Memoir Writer Advice, and Askew’s Word on the Lake Writing Contest. These contests accept fiction, short stories, memoirs, and flash fiction entries. They offer cash prizes and publication opportunities, making them an excellent starting point for beginner writers.

There are several popular international writing contests that writers from all over the world can participate in. These include the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, Writers and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition, Colorado State University’s Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, and the Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. These contests accept entries in various genres and offer significant cash prizes and publication opportunities.

How Can I Prepare For a Writing Contest?

Preparing for a writing contest involves several steps. First, choose a contest that aligns with your writing style and genre. Next, follow the guidelines carefully to ensure your entry meets all the requirements. Find beta readers to review your work before submission, as they can provide valuable feedback and insights. Finally, proofread your work thoroughly to eliminate any spelling or grammatical errors. Remember, a well-polished, error-free entry increases your chances of success.

What are Some Writing Contests for Unpublished Authors?

There are several writing contests specifically for unpublished authors. These include the Reedsy Prompts Contest, Flash Memoir Writer Advice, and the Daphne du Maurier Award For Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Unpublished Division. These contests accept entries in fiction, short story, memoir, mystery, suspense, and thrillers. They offer cash prizes and publication opportunities, providing an excellent platform for unpublished authors to get their work recognized.

Are There Writing Contests for High School Students?

Yes, there are numerous writing contests for high school students. These contests provide a platform for young writers to showcase their talent, receive constructive feedback, and win prizes. Some of these contests include the Young Lions Fiction Award, the 53-Word Story Contest, and the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction. These contests accept entries in various genres and offer significant cash prizes and scholarships.

How Are Writing Contests Judged?

Writing contests are judged based on various factors. Some contests allow judges to confer on the final selections, while others prefer to keep the judges apart throughout the process. Judges can provide their scores to the sponsors, who will award prizes to the top-rated entries. In some cases, a committee may be formed to consider the merits of the finalists. It’s important to note that adherence to the contest theme and guidelines, originality, creativity, and the quality of writing are vital factors that judges consider when evaluating entries.

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