Autumn Writing Contests

With a nip in the air, many of us are spending more time inside. That makes for a perfect time to polish up your poetry and prose for some Fall writing contests. Which ones will you be entering?

Autumn Writing Contests

Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest

  • Deadline: early bird – Nov 16th, 2015, final deadline – Dec 14th, 2015
  • short stories 1500 words or less
  • $3000 in cash prizes
  • entry fee – $20 US early bird, $25 US after

Narrative Fall 2015 Story Contest

  • Deadline: Nov 30th, 2015
  • short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction
  • no longer than 15,000 words
  • $5000 in cash prizes
  • $23 entry fee
Words & Brushes

Words & Brushes Short Story Contest

  • Deadline: Dec 1st, 2015
  • short stories based on pieces of art
  • between 2000-5000 words
  • $300 cash prize
  • no entry fee

Tethered by Letters – Summer Literacy Competition

  • Deadline: Dec 1st, 2015
  • short stories 1000-7500 words
    • $500 prize
    • $15 US entry fee
  • flash fiction of 55, 250 or 500 words
    • $150 prize
    • $7 US entry fee
  • poetry no more than 3 pages
    • $150 prize
    • $7 US entry fee

Prairie Fire Annual Writing Contests

  • Deadline: Nov 30th, 2015
  • poetry (up to 3 poems), short fiction (10,000 words), creative non-fiction (5000 words)
  • $2000 in cash prizes
  • $32 CAD entry fee

Prism Writing Contests

  • $2500 in cash prizes
  • $35 CAD/$40 US/$45 Intl entry fee

Creative Non-Fiction Contest

  • Deadline: Nov 20th, 2015
  • Max 6000 words

Short Fiction Contest

  • Deadline: Jan 15th, 2016
  • Max 6000 word short stories

Poetry Contest

  • Deadline: Jan 15th, 2016
  • Up to 3 poems

Spring Submissions

It must be spring. Writing contests seem to be sprouting up everywhere! That’s almost as good as sunshine for inspiration in my books, so I thought I would share a few that have caught my eye.


Spring Submissions


Literary magazine based out of Calgary, ON. Looking for prose, poetry, photos and art for open submissions to future magazine editions; April 30th – Fall Open Issue – Issue released in September; August 31st – Winter Open Issue – Issue released in January

  • 4000 word max for prose
  • creative nonfiction, short stories, postcard stories, novel excerpts, plays
  • poetry; 2-5 poems, any poem cannot exceed 6 pages
  • open to Canadian residents only


British women’s quarterly magazine (sorry guys—no need to apply). So many ways to submit, you’ll have to check the website for all the details. Deadline for current submissions April 13th.

  • pay for accepted submissions
  • poetry (4 lines/40 words), a week of tweets (7/140 characters), rants & raves (80 words), pen portrait (200 words – headteacher is current prompt), monologue (200 words – voice of a zombie is current prompt), guest blogger (check website)


A Canadian literary magazine, based in Vancouver, BC is looking for submissions. Deadline for Summer/Fall general issue is May 15, 2015. The theme for the Winter issue is “I live in an Apartment”; deadline Sep 15, 2015.

  • fiction (max 3,000 words, creative nonfiction (max 4,000 words), commentary (max 4,000 words), poetry
  • pays $50 per poem, $50 per page for prose


In its 84th year, you don’t want to miss Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. There are as many categories as there are prizes; Grand Prize, through to tenth place, plus honourable mentions!

  • Early bird deadline May 4th, 2015; Deadline June 5th, 2015
  • Entry fees: $15 poetry, $25 manuscripts for early bird; $20 poetry, $30 manuscripts
  • Categories:
    • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious) – max 2,500 words
    • Memoirs/Personal Essay – max 2,000 words
    • Magazine Feature Article – max 2,000 words
    • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.) – max 4,000 words
    • Mainstream/Literary Short Story – 4,000 words
    • Rhyming Poetry – 32 lines max
    • Non-rhyming Poetry – 32 lines max
    • Stage Play – send first 15 pages
    • Television/Movie Script – send first 15 pages
    • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction – max 2,000 words


How is that for a nice thing to happen on a Wednesday. Wondering what I had to do to win? I have been tweeting in the Malahat Review’s #140memoir contest. Curious as to my winning tweet?

Guess I’m not alone. There’s still time to enter!

Winter Writing Contests

It isn’t exactly a brand-spanking new year, but it is still early enough that you writerly types might still be keen in your writing. As much as we write for ourselves, there is another piece of most writers that also want to see their name up in lights. Am I right? Of course I am!

So how many aspiring writers have sent submissions to magazines or entered writing contests so far this year? Any? Hmm… How about a little inspiration. I haven’t shared any writing contests in a while, but there are a few that I have come across recently. Sometimes just knowing about a contest is enough to kick-start you writing. Why not try one of these?

Winter Writing Contests

CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction

  • unpublished non-fiction
  • between 1200-1500 words
  • $25 entry fee
  • Deadline – March 1, 2015
  • open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents

Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers

  • fiction, non-fiction
  • up to 2500 words
  • $29 entry fee
  • Deadline – March 1, 2015
  • open to Canadian writers that have not been published in book format


  • non-fiction
  • less than 1200 words
  • no submission fee (FREE!)
  • Deadline – March 21, 2015
  • THEMES: Animals (Feathers and Fur), Humor (Laughter – true stories to give us a good chuckle), Child’s Play (Humorous stories about children), Spirituality (Many faces of faith), Serendipity (Beyond coincidence stories), Miracles

Writer Advice: 10th Annual Flash Prose Contest

  • fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction
  • 750 words or less
  • $15 entry fee; includes preliminary response from B Lynn Goodwin & finalists receive response from all judges
  • Deadline – April 21, 2015
  • Cash prizes and publication for 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Honourable mentions receive publication

Writers Digest Annual Writing Competition

  • Multiple categories to submit to;
    • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious) – 2500 words
    • Memoirs/Personal Essay – 2000 words
    • Magazine Feature Article – 2000 words
    • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.) – 4000 words
    • Mainstream/Literary Short Story – 4000 words
    • Rhyming Poetry – 32 lines
    • Non-rhyming Poetry – 32 lines
    • Stage Play – send first 15 pages
    • Television/Movie Script – send first 15 pages
    • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction – 2000 words
  • Early Bird entry fee $25 for manuscripts & $15 for first poem, additional – Goes up to $30 & $20 after early bird
  • Early Bird Entry Deadline – May 4, 2015
  • Cash prizes; Grand Prize $5000, plus cash and publication for 1st-10th winners


Getting to Goals

Happy New Year!

Last year I set some goals for myself. Not quite New Year’s resolutions, but things to work on if you will. So…

Happy New Year! 

Now that 2015 has rolled around, it is time to get working on those projects. Darned if I haven’t even got a start on them. Look at me go! At present a course calendar is open on my desk with writing courses to sign up for. I haven’t actually handed my cash over yet, but I am this close. Should I go for ‘Grammar’, ‘Creativity for Writers’ or ‘Editing’? Hmm…

Screenshot 2015-01-06 16.06.45
The start of a contest deadline calendar – Pink squares are contest deadlines

Another goal was to create a writing calendar to motivate me. The calendar – writing contest deadlines. I am proud to say that this calendar now has several entries in it. They include fiction, nonfiction and poetry contests. The above month is for February and as you can see, already has 6 entries. Time to get cracking!

Not only have I done that, but I also have an idea for a story for one of those contests.

Any Mom’s out there with a story to share? Check out Tipsy Squirrel Press and their Martinis and Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe, and WTF?!. They are looking for short stories for an anthology they are putting together. If you have a tale of wonder, woe or WTF?! that is in need of a martini to go with it, it just might be worth your while to write it down. Mine just might involve duct tape…

How have you fared with your New Year’s goals/resolutions so far this year?