As we leave behind the lazy, hazy days of summer, let’s all check our files, folders, and shelves to see if we have any projects we’d like to put out into the universe. One of the most productive ways to do this is via contests. Here are several with October deadlines, courtesy of WritersMarket.com, which lists hundreds of contests for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, and more:
Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest: Held annually to encourage analytical thinking and excellence in writing. Open to high school seniors, college undergrads, and graduate students. More than 80 cash prizes, including a $10,000 top prize, three 2nd prizes of $2,000, and five 3rd prizes of $1,000. Essay must be between 800 and 1600 words.
“The winning applicant will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged. Essay submissions are evaluated in a fair and unbiased four-round judging process.” Deadline: October 24. For essay topics and details, visit: Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest.
Gerald Cable Book Award: Offered annually for the best previously unpublished debut poetry collection. A prize of $1,000, publication by Silverfish Review Press, and 25 author copies are awarded annually for a first poetry collection. Dorianne Laux will judge. Poets who have not published a full-length poetry collection may submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages by October 15. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: October 15. For more information, visit: silverfishreviewpress.com
Indiana Review Fiction Contest: Offered for the best previously unpublished short story. A prize of $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review is given annually for a short story. Roxane Gay will judge. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Indiana Review. Deadline: October 31. For complete guidelines, visit: indianareview.org.
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards: Presented annually for the best previously unpublished genre fiction (up to 4,000 words). There are six categories: romance, thriller, young adult, crime, horror, and sci-fi. There is one grand prize of $2,500 cash, a trip to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference, and other prizes. Each category winner also receives $500 cash, recognition in Writer’s Digest magazine, and other prizes. Early bird deadline: September 15; final deadline: October 15. For details, visit: writersdigest.com.