• Jessica Purgett

Writing Contests to Submit to this Month

City Limits Novel Contest

City Limits Publishing is hosting their first annual novel contest with a November 1 deadline. They are looking for people with already completed works to submit. For first place, they are offering a $500 cash prize, publishing contract, 100 author copies, and an author branding package. They also pay $250 and $100 for second and third place, respectively, with publishing contracts offered for both.


The work you submit must be an original work of fiction or non-fiction that is previously unpublished. There is a 30,000 word minimum and chapters must not exceed 3,000 words. According to their website, "all submissions will receive feedback from our judges after our winners have been announced at no additional cost." Their submission fee is $20.


Quill Prose Award by Red Hen Press

Their website says it best: "Queer literature is often found in the side stacks, in the back of the bookstore, under 'Gay and Lesbian.' These authors are put into a genre that barely fits them, excluded from mainstream funding, and alienated by submission questionnaires and prying questions about identity and the underlying, 'What are you?' The contradiction is that though labels can be alienating, they can also be empowering and community building. Red Hen Press seeks to work against the negative politics of labeling while honoring and empowering authors who identify as queer."


The winner receives $1,000 and book publication by Red Hen Press. The final judge is Amber Flame, and the deadline to apply is October 30. The entry fee is $10 for 150+ pages of prose by a queer writer.


Black River Chapbook Competition by Black Lawrence Press

For this competition, submit an unpublished chapbook of poems or prose between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.


According to their website, "Our chapbooks are perfect-bound, feature striking cover designs, each receive an ISBN, and are distributed nationally through Small Press Distribution, as well as on our website and at amazon.com. We treat our chapbooks just like our full-length titles in terms of aesthetics, production, publicity, and editorial love and care." There is a $15 entry fee for this award. The deadline is October 31.


F(r)iction Fall 2020 Literary Competitions

There are three different categories offered by F(r)iction. For their short story competition, stories of 1,001 – 7,500 words. For their flash fiction competition, submit up to three pieces in the same document (up to 1,000 words per piece.) Lastly, for their poetry competition, submit up to five pieces (max three pages per poem.)


Check out this link to find out what they look for in their creative writing submissions. The deadline to submit is October 30. The entry fee is $10.


Academy of American Poets First Book Award

This award has a $5,000 first-book publication prize. The winning book is published by Graywolf Press and the winner receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in the Umbrian region of Italy. The winner's book will also be distributed to thousands of Academy of American Poets members, and promotion in American Poets magazine. The judge for this year is Claudia Rankine and submissions are open until November 16.