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May Writing Contests

Writing Contests for May

International Publication Opportunities and Contests:

Domestic Publication Opportunities and Contests:

International Publication Opportunities and Contests:

Bridport Arts Centre
Entry fee: £7 for poems, £8 for stories, £6 for flash fiction
Prizes: 1st – £5,000 (approximately $7,900 US) and publication; 2nd – £1,000; 3rd – £500 for poems and short story category. Flash Fiction: 1st – £1000, 2nd – £500; 3rd – £250
Deadline: May 31, 2012

Two prizes of £5,000 (approximately $7,900 U.S.) each and publication in the Bridport Prize Anthology are given annually for a poem and a short story. £1,000 for the flash fiction. See the website www.bridportprize.org.uk for complete rules and guidelines.


Dylan Thomas Prize for a book of poetry or fiction for authors under 30 years old
Entry fee: $0
Prizes: £30,000 (approximately $48,000 US)
Deadline: May 31, 2012

The Prize, one of the largest of its kind for young writers, which is sponsored by the University of Wales and awarded annually, honors the internationally esteemed works of Dylan Thomas, and is open to any published writer in the English language under the age of thirty.

Launched in 2006, the annual Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers in the world. It is an international literary award aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide. Established in response to the enormous international phenomenon of new writing by young authors, the Prize recognizes the obvious ambitions of those writers as reflected in the marked popularity of creative writing classes. At £30,000, the Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the largest literary awards in the world. Peter Stead, the Prize founder and judge, speaks about the past years’ successes: “It’s great to see interest in the award growing steadily year on year. The last two winners of the Dylan Thomas Prize, Nam Le in 2008 and Rachel Trezise in 2006, have really seen their careers take off since receiving the award, and we’re looking forward to discovering and helping equally talented writers in the years to come.”

Dylan Thomas, the quintessential adolescent writer, was ideally suited to serve as an inspiration to young writers everywhere. The freshness and immediacy of his writing were qualities that he never lost. The Prize seeks to ensure that readers today will have the chance to savors the vitality and sparkle of a new generation of young writers. The Prize is a social enterprise and registered charity. For entry form and additional information, go to www.dylanthomasprize.com/prize/.


Oberlin College Press
Entry fee: $28
Prizes: $1,000 and publication
Deadline: May 31, 2012

The editors of FIELD award the FIELD Poetry Prize annually for an unpublished poetry manuscript between 50 and 80 pages in length. The contest is open to all poets, whether or not they have previously published a book. Oberlin College Press publishes the winning manuscript in the FIELD Poetry Series and awards the winning author $1,000 and a standard royalty contract. Entries are accepted during the month of May only. Oberlin College Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Using the on-line submission system, submit a manuscript of 50-80 pages with the $28 entry fee.

FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics

FIELD is published twice yearly, in spring and fall. We read submissions August through May and usually reply within six weeks, though occasionally we may take longer. Please keep in mind that FIELD is one of the most selective small poetry journals in the country. We suggest you familiarize yourself with our journal before submitting. FIELD accepts poetry only. Translations are welcome if publication permission has been acquired from the author of the original work. Poems (2-6 at a time) should be submitted through our online Submissions Manager. If you previously submitted work via snail mail, it will be read and replied to as soon as possible; please do not re-submit it online. To find Submissions manager, go to www.oberlin.edu/ocpress/submissions.html.


Philadelphia Stories: Fiction
Entry fee: $10
Prizes: $2000 and includes an invitation to an awards dinner in October
Deadline: June 1, 2012

The Marguerite McClinn Prize for Fiction and publication in Philadelphia Stories will be given annually for a short story. Kevin McIlvoy will judge. Using the on-line submission system, submit a previously unpublished story of up to 8,000 words; authors currently residing in or originally from the United States are eligible. Submissions will only be accepted on the website: go to www.philadelphiastories.org/marguerite-mcglinn-prize-fiction to see complete guidelines.


Southern Sin Essay Contest
Entry fee: $20
Prizes: $1,000 prize and publication in Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: July 31, 2012

Creative Nonfiction and the Oxford Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference & Workshop are looking for essays that capture the South in all its steamy sinfulness–whether you’re skipping church to watch football, coveting your neighbor’s Real Housewife of Atlanta, or just drinking an unholy amount of sweet tea. Confess your own wrongdoings, gossip about your neighbor’s depravity, or tell us about your personal connection to a famous Southerner headed down the broad road to Hell. Whether the sin you discuss is deadly or just something that would make your mama blush we want to hear about it in an essay that is at least partially narrative–employing scenes, descriptions, etc. Your essay can be serious, humorous, or somewhere in between, but all essays must tell true stories, and must incorporate both sin and the South in some way. Usually the wages of sin is death, but this time we’re making an exception. The selected essays will be published in Creative Nonfiction #47, and CNF and Oxford will be awarding $5000 for Best Essay. There is a $20 reading fee (or send a reading fee of $25 to include a 4-issue CNF subscription–U.S. submitters only); multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay) as are entries from outside the U.S. (though due to shipping costs, the subscription deal is not valid). Essays must be unpublished, 4,000 words maximum, postmarked by July 31, 2012, and clearly marked “Southern Sin” on both the essay and the outside of the envelope.

Please send manuscript, accompanied by a cover letter with complete contact information including the title of the essay, word count, SASE and payment to: Creative Nonfiction, Attn: Southern Sin, 5501 Walnut Street, Suite 202, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.  Guidelines to submit electronically: Essays must be unpublished, 4,000 words maximum, and uploaded by 11:59 PM EST, July 31, 2012. To submit, please go to the website and click the appropriate link.


University of Georgia Press – Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Awards
Entry fee: $25
Prizes: $1,000 and publication
Deadline: May 31, 2012

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Georgia Press are given annually to collections of short fiction. Established in 2983 to encourage young writers by bringing their work to the attention of readers and reviewers, it has since become a significant proving ground for newcomers. The press occasionally selects more than 2 winners. Submit a manuscript of 45,000 to 75,000 words. Visit the website: www.ugapress.org or write University of Georgia Press, Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Awards, 330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30802-4801.


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