The 5 Best Writing Contests in 2019

Calling all writers! If you’re looking for ways to advance your career and gain recognition for your work, enter one of these 5 writing contests. From fiction to poetry, there’s something in this list to suit any writer with any skillset. Feel like penning some fiction? How about telling the story of your travels through the wilderness? Enter one of these contests and show the world your talent.

1. L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

This quarterly contest has deadlines every three months, with a $1,000 cash prize for the first place winner with $750 and $500 for second and third place, respectively. L. Ron Hubbard is renowned for creating the world’s most extensive body of fictional work.

To enter this contest, you must submit short stories or novels, with up to 17,000 words. The story must have a sci-fi, or fantasy theme and deadlines are January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

2. Reedsy Writing Contest

If 17,000-word manuscripts sound a bit heavy to you, consider entering the Reedsy short story contest instead. Reedsy offers all writers the opportunity to make money and gain recognition in the community. All you need to do to enter is sign up for the weekly newsletter at The editor sends out the contest guidelines every Friday, select one of the 5 genres to write about and submit your piece before the following Friday.

If you win the contest, Reedsy will feature your work on their Medium blog and award you with a cash prize of $50.

3. Tony Hillerman Prize

Word harvest and St. Martin’s Press present this writing competition for mystery novelists. Judges award the prize to writers of mystery novels set in the Southwest of England. If your submission is the winner, you earn a $10,000 prize and publication of your work in the St. Martin’s Press.

This contest is open to both amateur and professional writers that haven’t published a mystery novel. Additional guidelines include; “Murder or another serious crime or crimes must be at the heart of the story, with emphasis on the solution rather than the details of the crime.” Visit the St. Martin’s Press website for details on deadlines.

4. Tufts Poetry Awards

The Claremont Graduate University presents these awards to outstanding poets in two competitions. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award grants a staggering $100,000 for a published book of poetry by an established poet.

The second competition is for unknown and unpublished poets. Submit a book of unpublished poetry for consideration for the award. If you win, you receive a $10,000 grant from Tufts. Deadlines for 2019 include books published in the year July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

5. The Preservation Foundation’s 2019 Contest for Unpublished Writers

This non-profit organization hosts this contest with the intention of preserving the stories of ordinary people. Submissions must be non-fiction and fall into one of 4 categories; Biographical, travel, general, or animals. Your piece must be between 1,000 to 10,000 words.

There’s no entry fee, and the winner takes home a cash prize of $200, with the runner-up receiving $100 and the finalists $50 each. The deadline for this competition is August 31st, 2019.