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May Writing Contests


Though things are already slowing down for the summer, there are definitely writing contests to note this month. As always, click through for details.

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.

  • Fugue Prose and Poetry Contest -- May 1
    First place winner receives $1000 and publication in the University of Idaho's Fugue. Second and third prize winners receive publication. Submissions of 10,000 words or less may be sent via email only to fugue-prosesubmitATuidahoDOTedu or fugue-poetrysubmitATuidahoDOTedu. For each submission, please paste your name, contact information, and a short bio along with your work into the body of your email AND as an attachment. If you only send an attachment, we will not consider your work and you’ll receive a note saying as much. The genre you are submitting for (Fiction or Poetry) and the word "contest" should be typed in the subject line. $20 entry fee.

  • The Journal Short Story Contest -- May 1
    The Journal Short Story Contest offers $1,000 and publication of the winning story in the Autumn/Winter issue. All styles, subject matter, and forms are welcome. Please submit only previously unpublished fiction up to 7500 words to Short Story Contest, The Journal, Department of English, The Ohio State University, 164 West 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210. $10 reading fee.

  • Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest -- May 1
    Submit books of adult literary fiction and children's fiction of at least 22,000 and 20,000 words respectively via email. (See site for details.) $30 reading fee for adult literary fiction and $20 for children's fiction.

  • Novello Literary Award -- May 1
    The Novello Literary Award gives Carolina writers an opportunity to have their work published and distributed nationally. The winning author receives a book contract with Novello Festival Press, which includes publication of the work and a $1,000 advance against royalties. Send 200–400-page manuscripts to Novello Literary Award, PLCMC, 310 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202.

  • Sonora Review Short Short Contest -- May 1
    A prize of $1,000 and publication in Sonora Review is given annually for a short short story. Send an unpublished story of up to 1,000 words to Sonora Review Contest, Department of English, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. $15 reading fee.

  • Southern Illinois Writers Guild Contests -- May 1
    Three prizes will be awarded by SIWG: 1st Place $100, 2nd Place $50, and 3rd Place $25. Winners will also be published in the Writers Voice, SWIG anthology. Send entries to: John A. Logan College, Attn: Student Activities C109, SIWG Contest Entry, 700 Logan College Rd., Carterville, IL 62918. $5 fee/entry.

  • Southwest Review David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction -- May 1
    Prize consists of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review. Writers who have not yet published a book should send submissions of no more than 8,000 words to the David N. Meyerson Fiction Prize, Southwest Review, P.O. Box 750374, Dallas, TX 75275-0374. $25 entry fee.

  • Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowships -- May 14
    Individual Artist Fellowships in the amount of $13,000 are awarded annually to reward artistic excellence, advance the careers of Maine artists, and promote public awareness regarding the eminence of the creative sector in Maine. Apply online.

  • Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition -- May 14
    $3,000 cash and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to meet with editors or agents. Applications are accepted in ten categories. For fiction, apply online or send ms and fee to: Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition, 700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990. $20 entry fee.

  • The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture Hiett Prize in the Humanities -- May 15
    A cash award of $50,000 is awarded to "a person who has not yet reached his or her full potential, but whose work in the humanities shows extraordinary promise." Creative writers are eligible; authors must be nominated by someone already established in the humanities. Contact Dr. Claudia Allums at callums@dallasinstitute.org for more information.

  • H.O.W. Journal Short Story Contest -- May 15
    Prizes of $1,000, $300, and $100 to stories or novel excerpts of 12,000 or fewer words. Send submissions and reading fee to H.O.W. Journal, Short Story Contest, 12 Desbrosses Street, 
New York, NY, 10013. $20 entry fee.

  • Ramble Underground Short Fiction Contest -- May 15
    Every spring the online zine Ramble Underground offers a first prize of at least $100 and a second prize of at least $50 (amount varies with number of entries) to two stories. To enter, email stories of no more than 2500 words to fictioncontest@rambleunderground.org. $6 entry fee.

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