This is my fourth year competing in National Novel Writing Month. It is just me against the calendar. I’ve never won. But that doesn’t matter. I make new friends every year. And I discover some amazing authors. (Someday I’m going to brag that I knew them when…) Every year my NaNoWriMo goal is to write more than I did the previous year. (By the way, I already achieved that goal this year!) But what if you’d like to go beyond that? What if you are ready to see how your writing stacks up against someone else’s?
If that’s you, here are a few writing contests that will take you through the end of year.
I caution you not to just drop this year’s NaNo manuscript into an envelope and send it immediately off as your submission. Take these contests seriously and you may just be rewarded with your first publication byline.
Every Other Month – Writer’s Digest Your Story
- No entry fee.
- One entry per person
November 15 – Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition
- Early-Bird Entry fees are $20 per manuscript.
- Less than 1,500 words.
November 29 – J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction
- No entry fee.
- “We’re looking for carefully crafted short stories with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.”
December 1 – The Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction
- Works up to 750 words.
- $5 entry fee per submission.
December 31 – Driftless Review Annual Flash Fiction Contest
- Entry fee required: send up to three short-short stories per submission, accompanied by a $15 reading fee.
- Each short-short story limited to 500 words.