7 Writing Contests With Huge Cash Prizes and How to Apply

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So, would you like to participate in prize and recognition competitions in writing? Isn’t that a great idea? Writing competitions are a great way to develop your skills in writing – yes, cash prizes are a huge plus. But, note, the main focus is on the fun.

Let’s get started!

  1. Sunday Times Short Story Award

Cash Prize: £30,000

Writers all over the world are welcome to participate in the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020. Winners of this contest earn a whopping £30,000 ($39,000) which makes it probably the most expensive reward in the world for a single short story. The reward is for stories up to 6000 words long and there is no entrance fee.

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Stories could be either undisclosed or made public. Writers should have a track record of success for creative writing published in the UK or in Ireland, irrespective of their ethnicity.

How to Apply

Applicants are expected to submit their online application form via the application portal as soon as possible before the actual deadline. If you cannot access the online application form, you can submit your entries per post.

  1. César Egido Serrano Foundation International Flash Fiction Competition

Cash Prize: $20,000

The Foundation of Cesar Egido Serrano hosts the “Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation” International Flash Fiction Competition. The $20,000 reward goes to the winner of the competition. Three awards of $1,000 each for consolation. The competition is usually attended by 22,571 authors from 119 countries.

Short stories can be submitted in the following languages; Spanish, English, Arabic, and Hebrew in this competition (as in the previous ones). This details the languages in which the world’s three monotheistic religions demonstrate their religiosity. The participatory level of the third edition is expected to surpass 22.571 in this fourth edition.

How to Apply

  • An original piece whose themes are free of plagiarism, and
  • A maximum of 2 entries per author is allowed in the competition.
  • The entry should be written under any of the following languages (Spanish, English, Arabic, or Hebrew).
  • The stories cannot be more than a hundred characters.
  • The texts should be original, unpublished in all media (paper, journals, e-publishers, etc) and
  • No entry should be a piece that has received prizes in any other contest
  • The only method of application is by completing the online form which may be found at the Foundation’s website, and no other form of submission will be accepted.
  • Any entry that doesn’t meet this criterion will be declared ineligible.
  1. The Montreal International Poetry Prize

Cash Prize: $15,000

The Montreal international prize of Poetry is a non-profit organization consisting of an advisory board as well as an editorial board. Every year editors and judges from existing poets from all over the world are re-elected. More than 2,000 entries from 70 countries have entered the most recent competition.

The International Poetry Prize in Montreal is currently being moved to McGill’s Department of English for the administration of its prize. Entries from anywhere in the world can be forwarded.

A biennial poetry competition granting $20,000 for one poem was the Montreal International Poetry Prize.

How to Apply:

  • Entries should be a 40-line or less original and unpublished poem
  • Entries can be on any topic of choice
  • Inscriptions should be in English 
  • Entry taxes (Canadian dollars are charged) for every additional entry
  • The winner earns CDN $20,000 (about US$ 15,000)
  1. The Manchester Writing Competition

The Manchester Writing Competition is the largest UK literary award for unpublished work, presented by the best writing university in the world. Carol Ann Duffy (UK Poet Laureate) initiated the competition in 2008 and awarded over £195,000 to poets.

The Manchester Poetry Prize for the best collection of poetry and the Manchester awards two £10,000 * prizes every year. The competition is globally open to young and established authors. It was designed to inspire and promote new creative writings around the world.

How to Apply

  • A portfolio of at least three and a maximum of five poems shall be submitted by applicants
  • For every poem, there is no limit – minimum or maximum – but the total length of the poems coupled should not surpass 120 lines. The line count does not count for names, blank lines or page numbers
  • The applicants may upload as many portfolios of three poems as they wish, however, a separate entry with a distinct entry form and a different entry fee should be forwarded with each portfolio
  • All uploaded works can be composed in any style or in any form but have to be the original written text of the participant and should not be published
  • Every piece of work must be written or written in plain language and clearly readable. Illustrations or artwork should not be included
  • Only through postal service or online through the competition website will entries be approved
  • Submission is not approved by other means (e.g. email)
  • Only when a completed registration form and payment are included will postal entries be declared legitimate
  1. Food and drink must be the cornerstone of the positive narrative

For example, your short story may be about crime or suspense, about a chance drink encounter, about a conversation during dinner, or maybe about specifics of an exploration of a relationship through drinking and eat.

This award was founded by Jeremy Mogford, manager of an independent hotel and restaurant collection in Oxford that houses the Old Bank Hotel with Old Parsonage Hotel, the Quod Restaurant, Parsonage Grill, and Gee’s Restaurant. Until Jeremy sold the group to Bass Brewery, Jeremy’s established Browns Restaurants in 1973 with John Mayhew, the former business partner.

How to Apply

  • Visit the site and pay the fees
  • Entries should be posted in English, in Microsoft Word format as well as through online submission.  
  • The only work of the applicant shall be entries. Any entries should not have been published on any of the web sites, blogs, or online forums. £ 10 for every short story received.
  1. The Moth Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2019 Moth Poetry Prize will be given €10,000, with three runner-ups receive €1,000 each. The   Poetry Prize, which used to be recognized as the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, is for a single, original poem that hasn’t been defined as any form (such as being self-published or published online).

The award is accessible to all well-established and emerging poets, and nationality and citizenship are not limited.

How to Apply

  • The Prize is open to anyone (over 16), as long as the work is original and previously unpublished.
  • There is a no-line limit, and the poems can be on any subject.
  • The entry fee is €15 per poem. You can enter online or send your poem(s) along with a cheque or postal order made payable to ‘The Moth Magazine Ltd.’ with an entry form or a cover letter with your name and contact details and the title of your poem(s) attached to The Moth, Ardan Grange, Milltown, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland H14 K768.
  • If you are concerned about formatting online, please go through the online process and then email your poem as a Word attachment with your entry number directly to [email protected].
  • Please remember to read the rules of the competition before you enter.
  • The overall winner of €6,000 will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland in Dublin
  1. Young Lions Fiction Award

“The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, formed in 1999, awards $10,000 each summer to a writer aged 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Every year, a reading committee of young Lions’ representatives, authors, publishers, and librarians selects five young fiction writers as finalists.

How to Apply

To be considered for this prize, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • The writer must be age 35 or younger at the time of the book’s publication.
  • The book must be written for adults (no children’s).
  • He or she must be a citizen of the United States.
  • The work must be either a novel or a collection of short stories.  We will accept submissions in galley form for works to be published after the submission deadline.

Entering these competitions is a great way to develop your skillset and even earn while at it. If cash is your main priority, you can concentrate on freelance writing work. If you are hunting for contests and a fun way to develop your skills in writing, then start now to apply to these contents and other similar ones.

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