Mid-May Fiction Writing Contests!

2016 Leeway Transformation Award

 "The Transformation Award provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000 to women and trans* artists living in the Delaware Valley region who create art for social change and have done so for the past five years or more, demonstrating a long-term commitment to social change work.

The Award is unrestricted (it is not project-based) and open to women and trans* people working in any art form, traditional or non-traditional.

We encourage you to apply if you are a woman or trans* artist who:

  • Creates art for social change that impacts a larger group, audience, or community.
  • Has been creating art for social change for the past five years or more, demonstrating a long-term commitment to this work.
  • Has financial need and limited or no access to other financial resources.
  • Has lived for the past two or more years in the Delaware Valley region: Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia County.

The Transformation Award application is a two-stage process.

Stage 1: This is a two-stage application process. The Stage 1 application is due May 15. Stage 1 is open to all eligible applicants. A panel of community-based artists will review applications and make decisions to invite applicants to submit work samples for Stage 2.

Stage 2: By invitation only. All invited applicants from Stage 1 will receive an application stipend to help cover the costs of preparing work samples. In addition to the stipend, we will offer each applicant support through in-person meetings and application feedback, as needed. The Stage 2 deadline will be announced to finalists only. All invitees will receive notification and announcement of final Awardees in December 2014.

*We use the term “trans” in its most inclusive sense, as an umbrella term encompassing transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, Two-Spirit people, and more generally, anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is nonconforming and/or different from their gender assigned at birth."

Deadline: May 15th
No Entry Fee

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

 "Now in its 16th year, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world.

The contest opens each year April 1 - May 15 and winners are published in the following fall issue in October.

2016 CONTEST GUIDELINES

+Winners announced August 1 and published in fall issue online and in print.
+Prizes: $1500 (1st), $500 (2nd), $250 (3rd), and two $125 (Editor's Choice).
+Winning stories will be read by three literary agencies.
+Honorable mentions and semi-finalists will be listed online for up to 6 months.
+We accept entries from anywhere in the world, but the story must be in English.
+No genre fiction (romance, horror, sci-fi); literary fiction only.
+Story must be previously unpublished (including online).
+Max word count: 6000. (Please do not query us about this; exceed it at your own risk.)
+All readings are blind.
+Winners of the past two Raymond Carver and Premium Edition contests are ineligible."

Deadline: May 15th
Entry fee: $17 online; $15 mailed

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The Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest

"The Emerging Writer's Contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book. The winner in each genre will be awarded $1,000. Read past winners of the contest here.

Publication
The winning story, essay, and poems from the 2016 contest will be published in the Winter 2016-17 issue of Ploughshares, and each writer will receive $1,000.

Eligibility
You are eligible if you:

  • Have yet to publish a book (including chapbooks, eBooks, translations, books in other languages/countries, and self-published works).
  • Have no book forthcoming before April 15, 2017.
  • Are not affiliated with Ploughshares or Emerson College as a contributing author, volunteer screener, blogger, intern, student, staff member, or faculty member.
  • Will not have a relationship with Emerson before April 15, 2017 (example: if there is a chance you will attend the Emerson MFA program in the coming year or if your work has been accepted for publication for an upcoming issue).

Submitting
Fiction: Under 6,000 words
Submit one entry per year via our online submission manager.

  • No entries via email or mail will be considered for the contest.
  • Submitted work must be original and previously unpublished in any form.
  • For poetry, we will be reading both for the strongest individual poem and the general level of work, and may choose to publish one, some, or all of the winner's submitted poems.
  • Cover letters are not necessary. All identifying information will be removed from submissions. 

Deadline: May 15th
Entry fee: $17
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The Breakwater Review Fiction Contest

"Breakwater Review is excited to announce the first annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. The winner will be published and receive $1,000 for a piece of short fiction.  Submit up to 5,000 words. All submissions will be considered for publication. Winners will be announced in September 2016."

Deadline: May 15th
Entry fee: $10
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Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

 "$2,500 Awaits Winners of Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

Writers of short fiction may now enter the 2016 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. The competition has a thirty-five year history of literary excellence, and Lorian Hemingway and her small judging panel are dedicated to enthusiastically supporting the efforts and talent of writers of short fiction whose voices have yet to be heard. Lorian Hemingway, a granddaughter of Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, is the author of three critically acclaimed books: Walking into the RiverWalk on Water, and A World Turned Over.

Ms. Hemingway is the competition’s final judge.

Prizes and Publication:

The first-place winner will receive $1,500 and publication of his or her winning story in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. The second – and third-place winners will receive $500 each. Honorable mentions will also be awarded to entrants whose work demonstrates promise. Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts was founded by editor-in-chief Pamela Uschuk, winner of the 2010 American Book Award for her book Crazy Love: New Poems, and by poet William Pitt Root, Guggenheim Fellow and NEA recipient. The journal contains some of the finest contemporary fiction and poetry in print, and the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition is both proud and grateful to be associated with such a reputable publication.

Eligibility requirements for our 2016 competition are as follows:

  • What to submit: Stories must be original unpublished fiction, typed and double-spaced, and may not exceed 3,500 words in length. There are no theme or genre restrictions. Copyright remains the property of the author.
  • Who may submit: The literary competition is open to all U.S. and international writers whose fiction has not appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a circulation of 5,000 or more. Writers who have been published by an online magazine or who have self-published will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Submission requirements: Submissions may be sent via regular mail or submitted online. Please visit our online submissions page for complete instructions regarding online submissions. Writers may submit multiple entries, but each must be accompanied by a separate entry fee and separate cover sheet. We do accept simultaneous submissions; however, the writer must notify us if a story is accepted for publication or wins an award prior to our July announcements. No entry confirmation will be given unless requested. No SASE is required.The author’s name should not appear on the story. Our entrants are judged anonymously. Each story must be accompanied by a separate cover sheet with the writer’s name, complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, the title of the piece, and the word count. Manuscripts will not be returned. These requirements apply for online submissions as well.

Deadline: May 15th
Entry fee: $15
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