Where to submit your work: 21 places that want your fiction

When I read about writing contests with deadlines so far off (summer is still, like, forever away, right?), I diligently bookmark them and move on with my day. I don't think to return to said bookmarks until the deadlines have long since passed, and then I only sigh an "Oh, well" and let loose an "It wasn't meant to be."

That's rubbish, friend. We have to make it happen, or it simply won't.

Because your work deserves to be read, here are 21 opportunities to submit in what remains of April and May. That's 21 chances you could be published, win a prize, be recognized for being the kick-ass talent you and I know you are.

Here, because your work deserves to be read, are 21 opportunities to submit in what remains of April and May. That's 21 chances you could be published, win a prize, be recognized for being the kick-ass talent you and I know you are.

I hope you'll take the time to thoughtfully choose a for-sure completed piece and craft a compelling cover letter for each submission (then track your submissions, too). Don't rush your submissions. Take care.

P.S. If you're interested in hearing specifically about writing opportunities like the below, click here and let me know that you'd like to hear about "insider literary info."



Dark River Review
General submission
Entry fee: none
Grand prize: publication

Students currently enrolled as undergraduates at two- and four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, reviews of recent chapbooks and books, and visual art.
Submit no more than six poems, three very short stories (up to 1,000 words) or one short story (1,000 - 5,000 words), three works of very short creative nonfiction (up to 1,000 words) or one creative nonfiction essay (1,000 - 5,000 words), reviews of chapbooks and books published since 2014, and six works of visual art.

General submission
Entry fee: none
Grand prize: publication

Our fiction staff is open to a range of subjects and styles. We enjoy work that takes risks with character, language, and form as long as it continues to impact us emotionally. Please send a single story under 6,000 words. If you're submitting flash fiction, include up to three stories in a single document.


University of Iowa Press
Iowa Poetry Prize
Entry fee: $20
Grand prize: publication (The winning manuscript will be published by the University of Iowa Press under a standard royalty agreement.)

The Iowa Poetry Prize, open to new as well as established poets, is awarded for a book-length collection of poems written originally in English.

ProForma contest
Entry fee: $18 - $24
Grand prize: $1,200 + publication

Every spring, Grist welcomes submissions of unpublished creative work for our ProForma contest in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and/or hybrids that explore the relationship between content and form. Our contest is open to all forms of literary expression.

Glimmer Train
The Very Short Fiction Contest
Entry fee: $16
Grand prize: $2,000 + publication + 10 copies

Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome. We invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words.

The Ghost Story
The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award
Entry fee: $20
Grand prize: $1,000 + publication

Ghost stories are welcome, of course -- but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we're looking for is fine writing, fresh perspectives and maybe a few surprises in the field of supernatural fiction.

General submission
Entry fee: none
Grand prize: publication

We will read one long prose piece, or up to three short pieces, at a time per author. The total word count should be under 3,000 words, although we will consider exceptional longer works. Submissions may include short excerpts from longer works, but an excerpt must stand alone.

International Writing Competition
Entry fee: $15
Grand prize: $5,000 in total prizes

The competition is international and open to all authors writing in English or any of the BCMS languages (comprising Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin). Authors who write in BCMS may submit their entries in Latin or Cyrillic script.
Short stories, essays and poems by writers who write in English will be translated in one of the BCMS languages and vice versa.

The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction
Entry fee: $20
Grand prize: $2,000 + publication

7,500 words maximum (one short story or a self-contained excerpt from a novel)



Noemi Press
2017 Noemi Press Book Award for Prose
Entry fee: $25
Grand prize: $1,000 + publication

Prose writers at any stage in their career may submit a manuscript (no page limit).

The First Line
The First Line Contest
Entry fee: none
Grand prize: $25-$50 + one copy

Prompt: "The plan suddenly made sense." 300 - 5,000 words. We understand that writers may add our first line to a story they are currently working on or have already completed, and that's cool. But please do not add our first line to a previously published story and submit it to us. We do not accept previously published stories, even if they have been repurposed for our first lines.


Bristol Short Story Prize
2017 Bristol Short Story Prize
Entry fee: £8
Grand prize: £1000

Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Children's etc.).


The Writer
Spring Cleaning contest
Entry fee: $25
Grand prize: $1,000

Spring is finally here. To celebrate, we're encouraging our readers to do a little spring cleaning of their own ... in their draft folders. Pick your very best draft, polish it up, and send it for consideration in our short story contest. No theme, no genre restrictions, just your favorite draft in 2,000 words or less. Don't have a draft in progress? Clean out your "idea bank" and write a new one!


Emerging Writer's Contest
Entry fee: $24
Grand prize: $2,000

The Emerging Writer's Contest is open to writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book. Fiction and non-fiction should be under 6,000 words, and poetry should be 3 - 5 pages.

The Malahat Review
Victoria PAST Victoria PRESENT Victoria FUTURE
Entry fee: none
Grand prize: $60 per printed page

Writers must live within the boundaries of the Capital Regional District. Submissions of short fiction may be up to 6,000 words in length, on any subject or any style. Unless the stories are very short (i.e., less than 1,000 words long each), no submission may consist of more than one story.

The Boiler
General submission
Entry fee: none (or $3 for Tip Jar Fiction Submission)
Grand prize: publication

The Boiler seeks fiction submissions that display commonalities in the human spirit which derive from an American ideal. Whether those commonalities display loss, defeat, triumph, humor, abandonment, fortitude, etc, at the Boiler, we pride ourselves on showcasing honesty within that human spirit. We admire duality of character, conflict and unique personality. Submit an unpublished piece of flash fiction, short story or story excerpt up to 3,500 words.


Twelve Winters Press
Larry D. Underwood Award in Children's Literature
Entry fee: $35
Grand prize: publication, cash prize and Shining Hall's standard publication agreement

The unpublished book should include original text and artwork -- produced by a single author/illustrator, or the partnership of an author and illustrator. The author and/or illustrator must have the rights to the work being submitted. There is no prescribed subject matter or theme.


The Fiction Desk
The Newcomer Prize 2017
Entry fee: £8
Grand prize: £500

Stories should be between 1,000 and 7,000 words in length.

New England Review
General submission
Entry fee: $3 prose, $2 NER Digital
Grand prize: $20 per published print page + 2 copies. $50 + one-year subscription to print magazine for online publication in NER Digital.

We welcome fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, translation, creative writing for the web site (NER Digital), cover art, and art for our website. For translations, please confirm that translation rights are available. We only accept writing that has not been published previously, whether in print or on the web. Simultaneous submissions are accepted in all genres.

Raleigh Review
2017 Laux/Millar RR Poetry Prize
Entry fee: $15
Grand prize: $500 + publication

Submit up to five pages of unpublished poems per entry.

Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest
Entry fee: $10 or $20, with a critique
Grand prize: $350

Open writing prompt, in any style and genre. Word count 250-750, not including the title.

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