There is nothing quite like putting "prize-winning author" after your name. And all these contests are free — so what do you have to lose?
In addition to the prestige of winning a 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. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.
Balticon Poetry Contest. Sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Genre: Speculative poetry. Prize: 1st prize: $100; 2nd prize: $75; 3rd prize: $50. Deadline: March 1, 2017. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.
Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest for High School Students. Restrictions: High school students living within 100 miles of St. Louis. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First prize $200, Second prize $125, Third prize $75. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
Madeline P. Plonsker Emerging Writer's Residency Prize. Restrictions: Open to an emerging poet under forty years old—with no major book publication. Genre: Poetry — manuscript in progress. Prize: Stipend of $10,000 with a housing suite and campus meals provided by the College, and three weeks in residence on the Lake Forest College campus during the Spring 2017 term. Possible publication. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
The Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award is sponsored by Broadside Lotus Press. Restrictions: This competition is open to African American poets only. If you have already had a book published by Lotus Press, you are ineligible. However, inclusion in a Lotus Press anthology does not disqualify you. Genres: Poetry collections of approximately 60-90 pages. Prize: $500 in cash and publication by Broadside Lotus Press within the first three months of 2017 as well as free copies and discounts. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
Natan Book Award. Genre: Nonfiction. The book should address one or more of Natan’s grant areas. Broadly understood, these are: the reinvention of Jewish life and community for the 21st century; changing notions of individual and collective identity for 21st century Jews; and the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry. The award is open to non-fiction books that have an existing publishing contract with a recognized commercial publisher. (Academic publishers are also acceptable in certain cases where the book is intended to appeal to mainstream audiences.) Prize: The Award is a two-stage award, offering at most a total of $25,000, to be divided as follows: a cash award to the author of $10,000, to be used during the writing process; and customized support for the marketing and publicity strategy for the book, up to $15,000. This is a pre-publication award and the prize winner will be announced prior to the book's publication date. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
New Welsh Writing Awards. Restrictions: Open to all residents of the UK and Ireland, plus those who have been educated in Wales for at least six months; the Novella Prize is also open to writers based in the US and Canada. Genres: Novella and memoir. Works may be a single, long-form piece or a book divided or structured as the author sees fit. No simultaneous submissions. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
William Foster-Harris Prizes for Young Writers. Restrictions: High school and undergraduate students currently enrolled in US schools. Prizes: Two $500 prizes for short stories by high school students (maximum 1,000 words) and undergraduate students (maximum 2,000 words). Deadline: March 1, 2017.
The Ungar German Translation Award is bestowed biennially in odd-numbered years. Genre: Book-length literary translation translated from German into English and published in the United States between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Prize: $1,000, a certificate of recognition, and up to $500 toward expenses for attending the ATA Annual Conference in San Francisco, California. Deadline: March 2, 2017.
The Premises: SPACES. Write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story in which the idea of “space” plays an important role. You may interpret “space” any way you want, as long as your readers can figure out how you’re using it.. Genre: Short story. Length: Between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Prize: Between US$60 and US$220, and publication. Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern US time, March 2, 2017.
Roswell Award for Short Science Fiction. Genre: Science fiction, 1500 words max. Prize: $500. Finalists have their stories read by celebrities in Hollywood. Deadline: March 3, 2017.
The Irish Post's Creative Writing Competition. Restrictions: Open to Irish residents of UK. Genre: Poetry, fiction on an Irish theme. 1000 words max. Prizes: €500, publication in the Irish Post, and a trip to the Listowel Writers’ Week in Co. Kerry. Deadline: March 3, 2017.
Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest. Genre: Short story(2500 words max). Prize: $1,500 to be divided among the five winners. Manuscript to be published in The Austin Chronicle in June 2017. Deadline: March 3, 2017.
RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Genre: Short fiction. Restrictions: Candidates must be: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident; Under the age of 35 as of March 6, 2017; Previously published in an independently edited magazine or anthology; Unpublished in book form and without a book contract. Prizes: Winner: $5,000; Finalists: $1,000. Deadline: March 6, 2017.
BBC National Short Story Award 2017. Restrictions: Open to UK residents or nationals, aged 18 or over, who have a history of publication in creative writing. Genre: Short fiction. Prize: £15,000 to the winner, £3,000 for the runner-up and £500 for three further shortlisted writers. Deadline: March 6, 2017.
NEA Literature Fellowships are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Prize: $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Deadline: March 8, 2017.
Nantucket Directory Poetry Contest. Genre: poem about Nantucket Island. Prize: $250 and publication in the print and online editions of the 2016-2017 Nantucket Directory. Deadline: March 10, 2017.
North Carolina Poetry Contest. Restrictions: Open to residents of North Carolina (including students). Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: March 13, 2017.
Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards. Restrictions: Open to all adult and high school age Chicago area poets. There is also an elementary and middle school category open to Evanston elementary and middle school students. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First Place: $100; Second Place: $50; Third Place: $25. Deadline: March 13, 2017.
Online Writing Tips Short Fiction Prize. Genre: Short story of 2000-5000 words. Prize: £150. Deadline: March 15, 2017. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.
Limnisa Short Story Competition. Genre: Short story under 3,000 words. Prize: One-week, all-inclusive writers' retreat or workshop in 2017 or 2018 in Limnisa, Greece and online publication, or five online personal tutoring sessions instead. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Prospero Prizes. Genre: Poems of philosophical and imaginative heft, haft, and polish. Prize: $150 and feature publication in their digital magazines. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
The Critical Junior Poet’s Award. Restrictions: Open to students between the ages of 13 and 18. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Governor General's Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written or translated 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 and the best French-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) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry Award. Restrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Poetry composed in the traditional modes of meter, rhyme and received forms. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Myong Cha Son Haiku Award. Restrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Haiku. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry Award. Restrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest. Restrictions: Open to Connecticut Student Poets in Grades 9-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: 1st $75, 2nd $50, 3rd $25. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Binnacle Ultra-Short Competition. Genre: Short story of 150 words as well as poetry of sixteen lines or fewer and 150 words or fewer. All works should have a narrative element to them. Prize: A minimum of $300 in cash prizes will be awarded, with a minimum prize of $50. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
ESME (Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere) Contest. Restrictions: Open to current or former single mothers. Genres: Poetry, fiction, memoir, essay, blog post. Prize: First ($500), second ($350) and third ($150). Deadline: March 15, 2017.
Hodson Trust–John Carter Brown Library Fellowship. Genre: Nonfiction (includes creative nonfiction). A book-in-process relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. Award: $20,000. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
The Tomorrow Prize. Restrictions: Open to high school students in Los Angeles. Genre: Science fiction, 1500 words max. Prize: $250. Deadline: March 17, 2017.
Sunken Garden Poetry Festival's Fresh Voices Competition. Restrictions: New England high school students. Prize: Reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and publication. Deadline: March 17, 2017.
Jane Martin Poetry Prize (UK). Restrictions: Open to UK residents between 18 and 30 years of age. Genre: Poetry. Prize: £700, second prize, £300. Deadline: March 17, 2017.
The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award seeks to elevate the written arts in Indiana. Restrictions: Any living published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years will be eligible. Authors who have published works of fiction, prose, poetry and/or non-fiction are eligible; reference works, scholarly monographs and books of photography will not be considered. Self-published authors are considered. Prize: National Author: $10,000 cash prize and $2,500 grant for his or her hometown Indiana public library. Regional Author: $7,500 cash prize and $2,500 grant for his or her hometown Indiana public library. Emerging Author: $5,000 cash prize and $2,500 grant for his or her hometown Indiana public library. Deadline: March 17, 2017.
Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition for High School Students. Restrictions: Open to students in Grades 7-12. Genre: Haiku. Prizes: $50. Deadline: March 25, 2017.
Southern Pacific Review Short Story Contest 2016. Located in Chile. Genre: They are not sure what they want, but they'll know it when they see it. Length: 1600 words max. Prizes: $100 USD and publication in Southern Pacific Review. Deadline: March 30, 2017.
EIR Longform Lyric Essay Award. Genre: 2000 to 10,000 words of a longform lyric essay only. No personal essays, generic creative nonfiction, etc. Prize: $250 top prize. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Striking 13. Genre: Flash fiction on theme of "Journeys." Prize: Three Amazon voucher prizes, for the top 3 entries ($25, $15, $10). Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Archibald Lampman Award. Restrictions: Open to residents of Canada's National Capital region (Ottawa). Genre: Book of any genre published by a recognized publisher. Prize: $1500. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Foley Poetry Contest. Genre: One unpublished poem on any topic. The poem should be 30 lines or fewer and not under consideration elsewhere. Prize: $1000. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
The Gover Story Prize. Genre: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Works of short prose must be less than 10,000 words, previously unpublished, or published with a circulation of less than 500. Prize: $250.00. Deadline: March 31, 2017. No reprints or simultaneous submissions.
The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. Genre: Novel published in 2016 (50,000 words minimum). Book has to be set in one of the original eleven states in the Confederacy. (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.) Prize: $2,500.00, and an expense paid trip to New York City. (The winner must come to NY to receive the award, attend a luncheon with the contest judges and a reception in his/her honor.) Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Speculative Literature Foundation Older Writers Grant. Restrictions: Open to writers who are fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application. Genre: Speculative fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest. Restrictions: 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. Genres: Science fiction, fantasy and dark fantasy up to 17,000 words. Prizes: Three cash prizes in each quarter: a First Prize of $1,000, a Second Prize of $750, and a Third Prize of $500, in US dollars. In addition, at the end of the year the winners will have their entries rejudged, and a Grand Prize winner shall be determined and receive an additional $5,000. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Jack L. Chalker Young Writers' Contests. Restrictions: Open to writers between14 and 18 years of age as of May 29 in the contest year who reside in, or attend school in Maryland. Genre: Science fiction or fantasy, 2,500 words max. Prizes: $150, $100 and $75. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Gary Fincke Creative Writing Prize. Restrictions: Open to undergraduates. Genre: Poetry and prose. Prize: $100. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Spank the Carp — 'Up Jumped Spring' Genre: Poetry. What does Spring mean to you? Why would it Jump Up? Can't it just sit still? You tell us! Prize: A coffee mug! (And publication) Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. Genre: Poetry or literary prose. Translation of modern Arabic literature into English. Books must have been published between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 and be available for purchase in the UK via a distributor or online. The source text must have been published in the original Arabic in or after 1967. Must be submitted by publisher. Prize: £3,000. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Sarah Mook Poetry Prize for Students. Restrictions: Students in grades K-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
Loft Literary Center: Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grants. Restrictions: Open to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in the state of Minnesota for at least one year. Writers who have published no more than two books in any genre are eligible to apply. Grant: $8,000 Deadline: March 31, 2017.
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