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April Writing Contests and Awards

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Don't give in to your spring fever just yet. There are still plenty of writing contests and awards to submit to before the slower summer months kick in. For more specific information on each contest, click through to the site. Information is also available on this site on how to publish your short stories and how to know if you're ready to publish.

To submit the names of contests and awards for the month that I may have missed, please email me at fictionwriting@aboutguide.com. You may also investigate writing contests for other months, or read about our criteria for judging whether it's a legitimate contest or a writing scam.

  • Lake Forest College Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency -- April 1
    A two-month residency at Lake Forest College, a $10,000 stipend, and publication for an emerging writer under 40 years old. For 2010, the award will go to a poet. Send a CV, a one-page statement of plans for completion, and no more than 30 pages of manuscript in progress to Plonsker Residency, Department of English, Lake Forest College, Box A16, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045.

  • Passaic County Community College Paterson Fiction Prize -- April 1
    $1,000 for a novel or collection of short fiction. Submit three copies of each book and an application form to Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Executive Director Poetry Center, Passaic County Community College, One College Boulevard, Paterson, NJ 07505-1179.

  • Sherwood Anderson Foundation Grants -- April 1
    Grants of around $15,000 for writers who have published no more than two books of fiction. Send three of your best samples, a resume, and a cover letter to Sherwood Anderson Foundation, ℅ David M. Spear, 264 Tobacco Road, Madison, N.C. 27025. $50 application fee.

  • Thurber Prize for American Fiction -- April 1
    The Thurber Prize is conferred upon the author and publisher of the outstanding book of humor writing published in the United States during the previous year. Qualifying books should be submitted to Thurber Prize for Fiction, Thurber House, 77 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215. $65 entry fee.

  • Washington State Book Awards -- April 1
    The Washington State Book Awards (formerly the Governor's Writers Awards) are given annually for 10 outstanding books published by Washington authors the previous year. Entry forms and submission guidelines are available for download on their site or by calling the Washington Center for the Book at 206-386-4098. No entry fee.

  • New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grants -- April 9
    Individual Artist Fellowships recognize New Hampshire artists for artistic excellence and professional commitment. Since 1981, Fellowships have been awarded to artists representing a wide range of art forms in the broad discipline categories of literary arts, visual & media arts, and performing arts. Up to two awards of $5,000 are awarded. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts office at 2 ½ Beacon St, Suite 225, Concord, NH 03301-4447 by 4:15 p.m. on the deadline date. See site for full details.

  • Rusty Axe Games Pump Up the Purse Writing Contest -- April 15
    Submit stories of 5,000-15,000 words in any genre to story@rustyaxe.com. $100 first prize + $2/story entered (up to $200) and prize packages for second and third place winners. See site for details. $2/story entry fee.

  • Booktrust Early Years Awards -- April 26
    Supported by Bookstart and the Unwin Foundation, the Awards celebrate, publicise and reward the exciting range of books being published today for babies, toddlers and pre-school children. The winners of each category will receive a cheque for £2,000. In addition, the best emerging illustrator will receive a specially commissioned award by a leading illustrator. See site for details.

  • Crab Orchard Review's Annual Literary Contests -- April 30
    $1,500 prize for an original story of 6,000 words maximum. Mail entries to: Crab Orchard Review Literary Contests, Dept. of English, Mail Code 4503, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1000 Faner Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901. Indicate on the outside of the envelope if an entry is "Poetry," "Fiction," or "Literary Nonfiction." $10 entry fee.

  • Dylan Thomas Centre Dylan Thomas Prize -- April 30
    A prize of £60,000 awarded biennially for a book of fiction that "best displays creative, imaginative, and innovative use of the English language" by a writer under 30. Publishers submit three copies of a book with a £100 entry fee to: The Dylan Thomas Prize Ltd, The Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea, SA1 1RR. Entries must arrive by April 30.

  • Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest -- April 30
    Prizes of $1,200, $500, and $300 along with publication in Glimmer Train. Submit stories -- about family -- not to exceed 12,000 words. (Any shorter lengths are welcome.) Submit via their online submissions system. $15 entry fee.

  • The New Michigan Press / DIAGRAM Chapbook Contest -- April 30
    $1,000 plus publication for 18-44 manuscript pages of prose, poetry, or some combination. Submit electronically or via snail mail (see site for details). $16 entry fee.

  • The Nimrod/Hardman Writing Awards -- April 30
    Prizes of $2,000 and $1,000 (with publication) for stories of no more than 7,500 words. Send to: NIMROD Literary Contest -- Fiction or Poetry, The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104. $20 entry fee includes subscription.

  • Tennessee Book Award Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel -- April 30
    CURRENTLY ON HIATUS. Includes a $1000 cash award, publication of the novel by the University of Tennessee Press, and a standard royalty contract. Send entries to: Knoxville Writers' Guild, Tennessee Book Awards -- The Peter Taylor Prize, P.O Box 2565, Knoxville, TN 37901. $25 entry fee.

  • Writecorner Press E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Award -- April 30
    Prizes of $1,100 and $100 for stories of no more than 3,000 words. Send to: Koeppel Contest, P.O. Box 140310 Gainesville, FL 32614. $15 entry fee.

To check out contests for other months, click here.

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