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The best writing contests to enter in the second half of 2022

The first half of this year may have already passed, but there’s still plenty of time left to enter writing competitions in 2022. If you’re ready to unleash your creativity, there are writing contests with free entry and some with a minimal entry fee open around the world. Here’s a list of writing competitions currently open until to December 31, 2022.  

Short Story Competitions

The Reedsy Prompts Contest 

Enter a short story using a theme from one of Reedsy’s weekly newsletters released every Friday with five writing prompts. Writers have one week to submit a short story based around the prompts.

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Different themes each week.

Open to: No restrictions stated

Deadline: Weekly* December 31, 2022

*Word limit: Submissions between 1,000 – 3,000 words

Prize: $250 to the weekly winner with the story published on the Reedsy Blog within seven days.

Sydney Hammond Short Story Writing Competition

Want to write stories that allow your imagination to go wild? 

Genre: Fictional tale or a fictional tale inspired by a true story

Theme: Water under the Bridge

Open to: No restrictions stated

Deadline: 6pm August 1, 2022

Word limit: 1000 words

Entry fee: $15

Prize: First prize $250AUD Hawkeye Publishing Gift Voucher plus an anthology cover based on the winner’s story.

The Woollahra Digital Literary Award

This national literary award supports innovation in Australian literature and publishing, and if you’re a writer producing work in a digital medium, read on – there are two categories.

First Competition: 

Genre: Fiction. A novella or short story collection – published in the first instance online or in an electronic format that can be accessed on a computer, tablet or mobile device

Theme: Not stated

Open to: Entries must be submitted by authors that are Australian Residents over 16 years of age. 

Second Competition:

Genre: Non-Fiction. A monograph, collection of essays or a long essay – published in the first instance online or in an electronic format that can be accessed on a computer, tablet or mobile device.

Theme: Not stated  

Open to: Entries must be submitted by authors that are Australian Residents over 16 years of age.

Deadline: August 29, 2022

Word limit: 3,000-30,000 words (on both Fiction and Non-Fiction stories.)

Entry fee: N/A

Prize: $2,500 AUD for each competition category

2022 Alice Sinclair Writing Competition

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Out of the shadows

Open to: All writers

Deadline: August 31, 2022

Word limit: up to 2,500 words

Entry fee: $15 for each entry (maximum two entries per entrant)

Prize: $150 + certificate for first; $100 + certificate for second; certificate for third (most commended).

2022 The Minds Shine Bright Writing Competition

The arts business Minds Shine Bright runs two fiction writing competitions per year. This is their current competition. It’s open to short stories, poems, short scripts and flash fiction.

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Storm – the theme must be included in each entry

Open to: No restrictions stated

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Word limit: 2,500 words across all categories except flash fiction which is 1000 words

Entry fee: $5 for each entry (maximum two entries per entrant)

Prize:

  • The winner receives $500
  • Second place – $400
  • Third place – $300
  • Fourth place – $200
  • Five commended entries receive $100 each.
  • Minds Shine Bright will also publish the winners and commended entries in an e-book.  

The Letter Review Prize for Short Stories 2022

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Not stated. Accept all varieties of original unpublished short stories. Must be written in English.

Open to: Anyone from anywhere in the world over 12 years of age

Deadline: 11:59 pm on 31st October 2022.

Word limit: 400 – 3,000 words

Entry fee: $20 USD per story (Can submit multiple stories)

Prize: The total prize pool is $1000 USD. $600 USD and publication for first place, $250 USD and publication for second, $150 USD and publication for third.

writing contests

Creative Writing Competitions

The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) and Westerly prize for Life Writing

This popular competition highlights life writing and encourages writers to pursue creative approaches as they contemplate their memories and life experiences.

Genre: Non-fiction and creative non-fiction. Submissions of autobiography, biography, memoir, and essays

Theme: Not stated

Open to: Writers across Australasia, at all stages of their journey; including emerging and established writers.

Deadline: July 31, 2022

Word Limit: Entries should not exceed 3,500 words.

Entry Fee: $20 AUD

Prize: The winner will receive a $500 AUD cash prize, a one-year subscription to Westerly, and conference fees to attend the annual conference of the AAWP, where the winner is invited to read their work.

Entry is via: https://meniscusliteraryjournal.submittable.com/submit

For further information visit: http://www.aawp.org.au/news/opportunities/

Australasian Association of Writing Programs AAWP/Express Media Sudden Writing Prize

Genre: Short-short fiction, sudden fiction, sketchy stories, creative nonfiction and poetry.

Theme: Open

Open to: Emerging writers under 25 years of age across Australasia.

Deadline: Midnight July 31, 2022

Word limit: Up to 400 words prose, 40 lines for poetry, 200 words for prose poems.

Entry fee: $5 AUD

Prize: The winner receives $500 AUD, and a Voiceworks subscription, and a one-year membership to the AAWP. The winning work is published on the Express Media website.

The Unsealed

Write a letter to your children/ child or future children about what you want them to know about you.

Genre: Non-Fiction

Theme:  The letter must be a true story about your life

Open to: You must be over 18 and a member of The Unsealed Community. 

Deadline: Midnight October 3, 2022

Word limit: From 500 – 1,000 words

Entry fee: $5 USD

Prize: First Place $250 USD Second place $100 USD

Poetry Competitions

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is one of the biggest poetry competitions in the world for 11-17 year olds

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Any

Open to: International writers aged from 1 – 17-years

Deadline: July 31, 2022

Word limit: Any length and any style

Entry fee: Free and submit as many entries as you wish

Genre: Open to 11- 17 year olds,

Deadline: July 31, 2022

Word limit: submit as many poems of any length as they like, on any theme

Entry fee: Free

Prize: The top 15 Foyle winners are invited to attend a week-long writing retreat or receive alternative mentoring. All 100 winners will receive a year’s Youth Membership of the Poetry Society and a range of books.

The 2022 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Poems must have an environmental theme and be written in English

Open to: Entrants must be citizens of Australia or have permanent residency in Australia.

Deadline: 11.59pm August 10, 2022

Word limit: Poems must be no more than 80 lines of text

Entry fee: $10 AUD for each entry

Prize: $1,000 AUD The winning poems will be published on www.holmgren.com.au and in Rabbit

The Woollahra Digital Literary Award

This is an Australian literary award highlighting innovation in literature and publishing by encouraging writers who are producing poems for a digital medium.

Genre: Unknown

Theme: Works of poetry published in the first instance online or in an electronic format that can be accessed on a computer, tablet or mobile device.

Open to: Entries must be submitted by authors that are Australian residents over 16 years of age.

Deadline: August 29, 2022

Word limit: Maximum 3000 words. No minimum word count

Entry fee: N/A

Prize: $1,000 AUD

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre – International Poetry Competition

Genre: Unknown

Theme: Not stated

Open to: New and established poets from around the world aged 18 or over at the time of entering in two categories:

  1. Open category (open to all poets aged 18 years and over)
  2. English as an Additional Language (EAL) category (open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language.

Deadline: August 31, 2022

Word limit: All poems must have a title and not exceed 50 lines in length (excluding title.)

Entry fee: The first three poems submitted cost £5 per poem. Subsequent entries in the same submission cost £4 per poem. Entrants may submit a maximum of ten poems, following the instructions in the Oxford Brookes Shop.

Prize: The winners of each category will receive £1,000 and both runners up £200.

2022 Alice Sinclair Writing Competition – Poetry

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Out of the shadows

Open to: All writers

Deadline: August 31, 2022

Word limit: Free or traditional to 50 lines

Entry fee: $15 AUD for each entry (maximum two entries per entrant)

Prize: $150 AUD + certificate for first; $100 AUD+ certificate for second; Certificate for third (most commended).

Anthology Poetry Award

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Dreams

Open to: Poets of all nationalities, living anywhere in the world

Deadline: Midnight October 31, 2022

Word limit: 40 lines

Entry fee: Early Bird: 31 July 2022 – €10 per poem After that is €15 per poem

Deadline: 31 October 2022 

Prize: The winner will receive a €500 cash prize and have their work published in a future issue of Anthology. The winner will also receive a one-year subscription to Anthology magazine.

The National Poetry Competition 2022

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Any must be written in English

Open to: Poets worldwide aged 18 or over.

Deadline: October 31, 2022

Word limit: Must not exceed 40 lines (excluding title)

Entry fee: The first poem submitted costs £7. Subsequent entries in the same submission cost £5 per poem.

Prize: Ten Prizes:

• 1st prize: £5,000

• 2nd prize: £2,000

• 3rd prize: £1,000

• Commendations: £200

The Moth Poetry Prize 2022

The Moth is an international arts and literature magazine, based in Ireland. The Moth Poetry prize is considered one of the most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem.

Genre: Not stated

Theme: Any subject. The poem must be original and previously unpublished and written in English.

Open to: Anyone over the age of 16. 

Deadline: December 31, 2022

Word limit: No line limit

Entry fee: 15 € per poem subsequent entries in the same submission cost £5 per poem.

Prize: 

  • The overall winner  € 6,000 is to be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland in Dublin in the spring of 2023.
  • 3 runner-up prizes of €1,000
  • 8 prizes of €250 for commended poems

About the writer:

Jennifer Johnston is a freelance writer who writes about travel, people, business, the environment, culture, history, health, and wellbeing. She also is a content creator. Jennifer lives in Brisbane, and she loves sharing her stories to inspire others to be curious and seek out new adventures.

You can find more about Jennifer at her blog or on connect with her on Instagram

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