Entering a contest can be a great motivating tool and a strong incentive to complete or polish work that has been sitting on your computer or in a drawer. Just the act of applying and submitting can give your creative juices a boost, because you are honoring your muse by taking your work seriously enough to submit it for scrutiny. So whatever happens, just putting yourself in the game can be a smart move. And as they say in Lotto, you have to be in it to win it!
The listings here are drawn from WritersMarket.com, which features more than 8,000 publishing opportunities, including contests, magazines, book publishers, literary agents, and conferences:
Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition is offered annually for the best previously unpublished short short story (no more than 1,500 words). The top winner receives $3,000 and a trip to New York City for a major conference. There are cash prizes for everyone in the top ten. Deadline: December 16.
Colorado Prize for Poetry is offered annually for the best previously unpublished book-length collection of poetry. The winner receives $2,000 and publication of the book. Deadline: January 14 (postmarked).
Crazyhorse Fiction Prize is awarded annually for the best previously unpublished short story. Prize is $2,000 and publication in Crazyhorse. Deadline: January 31.
The Eric Hoffer Award for books is offered annually for the best previously and independently published book. The winner receives $2,000. There are cash prizes for everyone in the top ten. Deadline: January 21.
Rev up those enterprising engines and write on!