Writing competitions are attractive opportunities for writers, especially new authors. Not only do they allow you to hone your writing skills but the cash prizes that many of them offer can complement your income considerably. In fact, there are many writers around the world earning up to a third of their income by simply entering and winning writing competitions. 

Writing competitions benefit both beginning writers and experienced authors who want to establish themselves as authority experts in their fields of knowledge. Aside from helping boost your self-confidence and getting your creative juices flowing, writing contests can open doors to more writing assignments in the future.

Writing competitions are diverse and span a wide variety of topics, so locating contests that match skills, abilities, and preferences is not a difficult task. While a number of writing contests will charge their competitors a fee for partaking in the competition, there are more than enough free writing competitions in the literary arena to satiate the needs of anyone seeking. If you’re ready to put your writing skills to the test without incurring unwanted financial burdens, check out some of the most notable writing competitions out there:

Alexandra Fiction Writing Contest

The Alexandra Fiction Writing Contest is sponsored by the Clinton Literary Foundation, the Alexandra Manchester Foundation, and three other publishing houses. This semi-annual writing competition accepts submissions from authors in the areas of fiction, non-fiction and debut fiction, also known for hosting a young author category. The contest is open to authors in the United States and Canada, with the first place winner and second place winner earning $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.

Writers are expected to submit original creations and the Alexandra Manchester Foundation retains the right to publish these creations on its website. The winner is typically announced within sixty days of the closing submission date. 

Centerville Leaf eBooks Writing Contest

This annual creative writing competition features numerous categories, themes, and genres, with the focus of the competition varying each year. Writers are expected to submit works of literature intended for adult audiences in the USA and Canada. Winners are selected following a voting process by a celebrity reviewing panel (constituting three renowned authors) and previous prize winners. The best work is not only distributed as an ebook, but is gifted with a $1,000 prize.

Amazon Breakout Novel Contest

Open to unpublished and self-published fiction authors, this writing competition aims to recognize new talent and emerging authors by rewarding their efforts with a considerable publishing contract. On top of the publishing contract, the finalist can also expect to win a $50,000 advance payment — the remaining four finalists receive $15,000 advances.

Writers Village Writing Contest

This national writing competition for fiction works doesn’t have a defined theme and invites all styles. Authors are encouraged to submit works no longer than 5,000 words in length, though the contest will also accept entries of up to 10,000 words. Panelists welcome stories that are not only well written but emotionally engaging. The contest rewards the winner with $500.

Dayton National Story Award Contest

This competition encourages writers of all levels to submit constructive and inspiring short stories. They especially encourage the participation of newbies who have recently joined the profession and wish to test their skills by competing against established authors. The contest only accepts original manuscripts and they permit entrants to utilize graphic design artists to create their covers. The first place prize is $1,500.

Writing competitions are a great opportunity that all writers are encouraged to utilize in their efforts.  Not only can you make money, but you will also hone your writing skills and grow your reputation. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hit a home-run right out of the gate – it may take numerous entries before you’re crowed a “winner”.  But if you learn from each rejection, you’ll continue to improve your skills and move closer to writing a winning story!

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