Legit Writing Contests 2022

Hola, Writer Peeps!

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I knew I was a serious writer when I won a humorous poetry contest. Before then, I volunteered writing newsletters for a nonprofit, published an informational website, and got a couple of bylines in national glossies. But winning a contest in 2007–being chosen, not because of availability or willingness to work for free or because a space had to be filled, but because someone actually liked my work–was a game changer. It made me feel legit. And it made my queries stand out a little. The prize money was icing on the cake.

Contests open doors, get you noticed. Even if you don’t win, you may get some valuable feedback from first-class editors. So, check the guidelines, polish your manuscript, and take a shot.

Where to Find Legit Contests

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The May/June issue of Poets & Writers magazine just came out with the summer of 2022 writing contests, including some with unusual prizes, and articles on how to choose a contest and submit your manuscript. This blog isn’t sponsored, but I recommend Poets & Writers and subscribe to it myself. Poets & Writers is at pw.org. Another good resource for legit contest information is Winning Writers at winningwriters.com. And Writer’s Digest at writersdigest.com/wd-competitions.

Some Legit Writing Contests for 2022
Click titles for links to more information on each contest.

North Street Book Prize
Submit your self-published print or e-book of up to 200,000 words in literary/mainstream, genre fiction, creative nonfiction and memoir, poetry, children’s picture book, graphic novel and memoir. Grand Prize is $8,000, marketing analysis, one-hour phone consultation, $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter. Prizes for top winner and honorable mention in each category. Every contestant receives valuable publishing resources.
Entry Fee: $70 per book; Deadline: June 30, 2022

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest
Submit your poetry, up to 250 lines maximum per poem.
Tom Howard Prize: $3000 plus 2-year gift certificate from Duotrope, for poem in any style or genre.
Margaret Reid Prize: $3000 plus 2-year gift certificate from Duotrope, for poem in traditional or rhyming style.
Ten Honorable Mentions in any style receive $200 each.
Entry Fee: $20 for 1-3 poems (unlimited submissions);
Deadline: September 30, 2022

Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
Enter a manuscript compilation of short fiction stories that adds up to 40,000 to 75,000 words. Grand Prize is $1000 and publication by University of Georgia Press.
Entry Fee: $30; Deadline: May 31, 2022

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition
Submissions accepted for rhyming and non-rhyming poetry (up to 40 lines), short story or genre short story (up to 4,000 words), and personal essay (up to 2000 words). Grand prize is $5,000, an interview in Writer’s Digest, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in NYC. Five honorable mention prizes of $1000 plus publication.
Entry Fees: Poetry: $25 first poem, $20 per additional poem;
Prose: $35 first entry, $30 per additional entry
Deadline: June 6, 2022

Petrichor Prize for Finely Crafted Fiction
Submit your novel’s manuscript of 100-350 pages. Prize is $1000 and publication by Regal House Publishing.
Entry Fee: $25; Deadline: July 15, 2022

Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation
This contest is for a debut novel set in the American South (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C.). Prize is $5,000.
Entry Fee: $35; Deadline: May 15, 2022

Halifax Ranch Fiction Prize
Submit a short story (2,000-6,500 words) to American Short Fiction. Prize is $2500 and publication in American Short Fiction. All entries are considered for publication.
Entry Fee: $20; Deadline: June 1, 2022

If you have submitted to contests in the past, please share your experiences with us–both good and bad. If you never have, why not? Scroll to the top of this blog to post comments. If you have any questions, just ask. We’re all in this together!


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