Free writing contests in June
So you’re here because you are looking for free writing contests. Entering contests is a great way to showcase your work and there are no shortage of contests to enter.
Here are three dozen free writing contests running in June. They cover the full range of topics, styles and genres, from essays, to poetry, to full-length works.
In addition to the prestige of winning a free writing contest, some of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.
Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.
Many contests are offered annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year.
List of free writing contests.
Amy Awards. Poets & Writers presents the Amy Award each year, free writing contests to recognize promising women poets, age 30 and under, living in the New York City metropolitan area or on Long Island. Winners receive a modest honorarium and give a reading in New York City. The award was established in 1995 by Paula Trachtman and Edward Butscher of East Hampton, New York, in memory of Ms. Trachtman’s daughter, Amy Rothholz, an actor and poet. Prize: “Modest”, but an award from Poets & Writers is prestigious. Genre: Poetry. Deadline: June 1, 2017.
The Society for Humanistic Anthropology Fiction Competition. Genre: Stories that relate to the four fields of anthropology. Restrictions: Stories should not exceed 20 pages typed double-spaced. There is a limit of one story submission per applicant. Prize: The first place story will be published in the Society’s journal, Anthropology and Humanism. The first place winner(s) will receive a certificate and award of $100. Deadline: June 1, 2017. Read guidelines HERE. (Scroll down the page.)
Singapore Poetry Contest. Genre: Poetry. The poem may be about any aspect of Singapore. Prize: 1st Prize $100. 2nd Prize $50, 3rd Prize $20; all winners will be published online. Deadline: June 1, 2017.
Governor General’s Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada. Genre: The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature (Text), Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: June 1, 2017.
Fraser Student Essay Contest. Restrictions: Free writing contests. Open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. International. Genre: Essay. Topic: Regulating the Sharing Economy: Do the Costs Outweigh the Benefits? Prizes: $500 – $1500. Deadline: June 1, 2017.
Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors. Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of free writing contests and anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation’s history. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction, Essay, Photography, Interview with a Warrior. Prize: $250 and publication. Deadline: June 1, 2017 (postmarked).
Texas Book Festival Youth Fiction Writing Contest. Hosted by the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin. Restrictions: Junior and high school Texas students. Genre: Original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length on theme of “Funny Running Into You Here.” Prize: Winners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, winners are awarded a plaque, have their stories published on the TBF website, and are invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend. Deadline: June 1, 2017.
“When I think of My Dad…” Essay Contest. Genre: Essay “We want to know what your father means to you and how he has made your life better. What has he done to lift you up and keep you on the right track? How has he influenced you? How has he helped you stay on the path towards healing?” Prize: $200. Deadline: June 5, 2017.
The Pandeism Collegiate Free Writing Contest. Restrictions: Free writing contests. Open to undergraduate and graduate collegiate students of philosophy, theology, religious studies, social sciences, arts, literature, applied sciences, or comparable disciplines. Genre: Article presenting original thought in exploring implications of the modern theological theory of Pandeism (pantheistic Deism, belief in a Creator wholly becoming our Universe, proposed to be discernible by application of logic and reason).
Papers written for course credit are acceptable. Submissions do not need to take a position in favor of or opposed to Pandeism as a theory, but must present original thought about its relative possibility, relation to other areas of theology, or implications for areas such as epistemology, ethics and morality, or science. Submissions must be a minimum of 3,000 words and a maximum of 6,000 words. Only one (1) article may be submitted by each student. Prize: $250 Amazon gift card and publication. Deadline: June 9, 2017.
Peter Blazey Fellowship. Restrictions: Applicants must either be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency. Genre: Non-fiction in the fields of autobiography, biography or life writing. Prize: $15, 000, and a one-month writer-in-residency at The Australia Centre. Deadline: June 12, 2017.
IUPUI Poetry Free Writing Contest. Restrictions: High school age students. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300. 2nd Prize $200, 3rd Prize $100. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime. Restrictions: Open to emerging writers of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
Bard Fiction Prize. Genre: Published fiction book. Prize: $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
Scotiabank Giller Prize. Restrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. Must be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: Books published between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 must be received on or before June 15, 2017.
Norton Writer’s Prize. Sponsored by W.W. Norton & Company. “The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered.” Genres: Creative Nonfiction, Scholarly Essay. Prize: $1,500. Two runner-up prizes of $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prizes. Genre: English translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose originally written in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish by a Scandinavian author born after 1800. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction/Warren Hollister Prize for Oz Nonfiction. Genre: Short Fiction, Art & Creative Nonfiction. All work must be related to the world of Oz. Prize: $100 in each genre. 2nd Prize $50 in each genre. Deadline: June 15, 2017 (electronic submissions only).
Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young People. Restrictions: Open to people 25 years of age or less. Genre: Essay (max 700 words). Theme: “Education to Build a Better Future for All.” Prize: 1st US$840, 2nd US$420. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
Vermont Studio Center – Full Fellowship Awards. The Vermont Studio Center offers 54 fellowships; open to anyone in the world. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
Towson University Prize for Literature. Restrictions: Open to Maryland writers. Genre: Book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, drama or imaginative non-fiction. The work must have been published within the three years prior to the year of nomination or must be scheduled for publication within the year in which nominated. Self-published works will not be considered. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2017.
Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing Contest. Restrictions: Author must be a Maryland resident or a student at a Maryland 2- or 4-year college. Genre: Speculative fiction short story. Prize: 1st place is $250, 2nd place is $100, 3rd place is $50. Deadline: June 16, 2017.
Linda Flowers Literary Award. Restrictions: Entrants must live in North Carolina. “The North Carolina Humanities Council invites original, unpublished entries of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry for the Linda Flowers Literary Award. Submissions should detail examinations of intimate, provocative, and inspiring portraiture of North Carolina, its people and cultures, bringing to light real men and women having to make their way in the face of change, loss, triumph, and disappointments.” Prize: $1,500. Deadline: June 16, 2017.
A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest. Theme: Summer Love. Length: 1,000 words minimum; 5,000 words maximum. Prize: $35 – $50 Amazon gift card. Deadline: June 21, 2017.
Ocean Awareness Youth Contest. Restrictions: Free poetry writing contest. Open to students in grades 6 – 12. Genre: Art, poetry, prose, film. “We want your submission to make viewers reflect on the impact of ocean pollution, inspire them to consider possible solutions, and challenge them to take action.” Prizes: $100 – $1,500 Deadline: June 19, 2017.
Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing Competition. Restrictions: Utah writers. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $1,000 top prizes for book-length manuscripts of novels, creative nonfiction & history, collection of poetry or short stories, and juvenile book; $300 top prizes for individual poems, short stories, and personal essays. 2nd Prize $500 for the book-length categories, $150 for poetry. Deadline: June 23, 2017.
Blue Mountain Poetry Card Contest. “Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.” Prize: First prize $300. Second prize $150. Third prize $30. Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Restrictions: The award is open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. Online and self-publication does not count toward this requirement.
Genre: A manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Prize: $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. Deadline: June 30, 2017.
L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest. Restrictions: Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment and at least 5,000 copies (or 5,000 hits for online publication).
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror. 17,000 words max. Prize: $1,000 1st Prize awarded each quarter; one of those winners also receives the $5,000 annual “Golden Pen Award” grand prize. 2nd Prize $750, 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Best New Writing (Gover Story Prize). Genre: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Works of short prose must be less than 10,000 words, previously unpublished. Prize: $250.00. Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Costa Book Awards. Restrictions: Prize is for books first published in the UK or Ireland by authors who have lived in the UK or Ireland for at least six months of each of the preceding three years. Books must be published between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of the current year. Self-published works not allowed.
Genre: Five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. Prize: £30,000.00 across all genres. 5,000 pounds in each category (poetry, novel, first novel, biography, children’s book). Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Ekphrasis: A Journal of Transformative Verse. Genre: Poem. Prize is awarded to the best poem submitted to Ekphrasis during the year. Each poem must address a work of art. Prize: $500. Deadline: June 30, 2017. Snail mail only.
Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry Prize. Restrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000. Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Words and Brushes. Genre: Short story inspired by artwork. Prize: $350 top prize. Deadline: June 30, 2017.
So get your submissions together and enter some of these free writing contests, at worst you will get some feedback and at best…well, heres hoping. And while your here, let us take this opportunity to remind you of The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest which closes on the fifteenth of June. The Next contest will be announced on 15th of September along with issue 39. Why not sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date on all contests run by The Blue Nib.