'These darkly comic tales place the author snugly between Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. Be sure: Chris Fielden is one funny feller.' Allen Ashley, British Fantasy Award winner.
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Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions

Here, you will find links to all the resources on this website that are to do with writing competitions and publishing opportunities.

Most of them comprise extensive curated lists and calendars detailing submission information for contests, prizes, awards and publications that are open to unsolicited submissions from writers. These include opportunities for anthologies, books, flash fiction, non-fiction, novels, poetry, short stories and more. The competitions listed are from all over the world. Most of them are open to authors living anywhere on the planet. On each page, you will also find links to other writing competition list providers, meaning there are thousands of opportunities to browse through.

I'm often asked how to find writing contests, so I thought having all the different awards and prizes listed on one page would be useful.

So, here are the links to the relevant resources:

Book and Novel Competitions

Book and Novel Writing Contests

Some of the contests are for unpublished books, some for self-published and some for professionally published, so there is something for writers at every stage of their career.

Flash Fiction Competitions

Flash Fiction Writing Competitions

Competitions that celebrate the art of very short fiction, also known as flash fiction, micro fiction, sudden fiction, twitterage, twitterature, dribble, drabble, minisaga, nanotale, and micro-story. Word limits range from 6 up to 1,000 words.

Non-Fiction Contests

Non Fiction Writing Competitions

The prizes and awards listed here are for non-fiction writing. They include essay and memoir contests, as well as bursaries, grants and scholarships for students.

Poetry Awards

Poetry Writing Competitions

Most of these contests listed in this resource are for single poems, but you will also find details of competitions for chapbooks and poetry collections.

Short Story Collection Contests

Short Story Collection Competitions

This list is for single author short story collection competitions. It's quite short as there aren't many opportunities for this type of book, but there are a couple of highly prestigious prizes for this niche, so it's worth checking out.

Short Story Competitions

Short Story Writing Competitions

This is the most popular resource on my website. It lists hundreds of short story writing competitions. These are awards for stories over 1,000 words in length, up to around the 20,000 word mark. However, the vast majority of the competitions are for stories between 1,000 and 5,000 words in length.

Writing Magazines and Journals

Writing Magazines and Journals

These are publications open to general submissions of articles, flash fiction, poetry, short stories and more. Some are open all year round, some have submission windows. There are paying markets and non-paying markets, online and print. So, you will find a wide range of publishing opportunities via this resource.

Young Writer Competitions

Young Writer Competitions

This resource lists many publishing opportunities specifically aimed at young writers, including children and older students in full-time education. The lists include details of competitions, prizes, awards and challenges. Some of these offer publication and valuable experience to young authors.


All of these resources are updated throughout the year. They undergo a full overhaul every January.

I do my best to keep the lists as up to date as possible. However, it's hard to stay on top of it all as there are so many different opportunities listed across multiple resources. If you do spot any errors, please let me know - any help in this area is very much appreciated.

I hope you find those resources useful. If you would like to see any others developed, please contact me to make suggestions.

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Your comments:

Karen V
Hi Chris, it has been noticed that Fiction War is still listed as a flash fiction competition - Wolvesburrow Publishing. It may not be running at all now and the last year saw them running about a year behind with publication as well as owing many prize winners money. I was published in the second issue and paid but they heavily edited and rewrote my story.

One other observation is that NYC Midnight is missing from the list of competitions - they run Short Story, Screenplay, Flash Fiction and now microfiction. They have been running for about 15 yrs very successfully (NYC is New York City).

Thanks for compiling this information and sharing it :-)

Chris Fielden
Hi Karen. Thanks for your message and passing that info on to me - very much appreciated.

I have added a warning note to the Fiction War listing for now, so people see it. I will retire the listing next time I undertake an overhaul of the lists.

I have NYC Midnight listed on the short story competitions page. I shall add that listing to the flash comps page as well.

Thanks again for this, it really helps :-)

Kourtni J
I am 21 years old. I've always loved to write but never published anything, but I think this is finally my chance. I mainly write stuff for children and stuff about myself.

Chris Fielden
Thanks for your message, Kourtni, that's great. Try looking through my list of competitions and publishing opportunities for young writers. You might find something there you can submit to. Or submit to my Amazing Young Writers Challenge.

I wish you the best of luck with your writing :-)

Sylvia AT
Thanks, Chris. You're awesome! I'm so grateful to you for your wonderful lists.

Chris Fielden
Thank you, Sylvia, it's great to hear you find the lists helpful :-)

All the best to you.

Klaus G
Hi Chris, thank you for your tireless  effort.

Chris Fielden
No problem at all, thank you Klaus :)

Patrick E
Hello  Chris. Thanks for your newsletter, which I always look forward to. I am like many of your subjects, no doubt that does write but never have the writings published or entered into competitions. My comment is plain and simple, just to say a big THANK YOU.

Chris Fielden
Thank you, Patrick, very much appreciated. I wish you all the best with your writing :-)

Jayne J
Thanks Chris, your lists are amazing and always appreciated.

Chris Fielden
Thank you very much, Jayne :)

Shirley M
Hi Chris, just a quick comment about the REEDSY weekly prompt competition. If you wish to submit an entry to the competition, it now costs 5$ (it used to be free until about a year ago). You can still submit a story for free, but if so, it is NOT entered into the competition at all, but just available for other readers to check out on the site.

Chris Fielden
Thank you for letting me know, Shirley - much appreciated. I'll update the listing accordingly :)

Roger W
Hi Chris, please keep up the good work you are doing for many authors and possibly more would-be authors. Yours is still the best site of this kind.

Incidentally, I've a couple of drumming auditions next month, blues and R&B. Maybe not your thing? Best wishes, Roger

Chris Fielden
Hi Roger, thanks for your message and kind words - very much appreciated.

I like a bit of blues and R&B. I saw BB King a few years ago (actually, a lot of years ago...) in London at the Hammersmith Apollo. What a legend.

Good luck with the auditions :)

Barbie H
Hi - I am looking for competitions for adult writers who're writing short stories for children/teens. Are there any out there? When I try to search, I get lots of links to competitions for younger writers, but not for adult writers writing specifically for a younger audience. Any help gratefully received! Thanks and best wishes, Barbie

Chris Fielden
Hi Barbie, thanks for your message. These are the ones that I'm aware of:

  • Bath Children's Novel Award
  • Cheshire Prize for Literature
  • FanStory
  • Kelpies Prize For Writing
  • Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards
  • Searchlight Awards - Best Children's Picture Book (text only)
  • Searchlight Awards - Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults
  • The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition
  • Tim Saunders Publications' "The Paul Cave Prize for Children's Literature"
  • Wells Festival of Literature "A Book For Children" Competition
  • Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest

Some of them are for books rather than short stories, but children's books can be quite short, depending on the age group you're writing for. I hope that helps :)

Barbie H
Hi Chris, thanks so much for such a detailed and fast reply - I really appreciate it! This all looks very helpful. All my best wishes, Barbara

Chris Fielden
No problem, Barbara :) All the best to you.