5 Writing Contests That Will Motivate You

Michael Green
Apr 26
5 min

If sometimes you find it difficult to have the motivation or discipline to dedicate time to your craft, writing contests are a great way to push yourself to write. Not only are the cash prizes welcomed, but the deadline gives you something to work towards, some contests feature feedback from experienced authors, and, in some cases, you may have your story published by renowned institutions.

Here are 5 writing contests that may be perfect for you:

1. Reedsy Writing Contest

If you are a beginner, or you simply want to exercise your writing muscle, Reedsy has a new writing contest every week. You can choose a writing prompt related to the topic of the week and participate to win a prize of $250. All contests have a $5 entry fee.

2. Short Story Fiction Factory Competition

For our short story writers, the Short Story Competition is an annual international writing competition open to published and unpublished writers, with no geographical restrictions. You can submit stories of any theme or subject (excluding Children’s and Young Adult Fiction) and are welcome in any style or genre, as long as they don’t exceed a 3,000-word count.

The closing date for submissions is 31st October, 2022, and there will be a total of 3 winners (£300, £100 and £50), in addition, winning stories will be published on the Fiction Factory website and, at a later date, will be included in a planned anthology. The entry fee is £7.00 (£12 for 2 stories, £16 for 3 stories).

3. Novel's First Chapter Fiction Factory Contest

If you have already completed the first chapter of your novel and are ready to pass it on to experts to get professional feedback, Fiction Factory also offers the Chapter Novel Competition contest.Shortlisted stories will get an appraisal from experts, and the big winner will get a £500 prize, in addition to getting their entry read by agent Joanna Swainson of the Hardman & Swainson Agency, who is looking for original, complex, larger than life characters (if you want to know more about outlining and creating great characters, check out our article How to outline a Character).

Fiction Factory has published that a new competition will be announced shortly and the entry fee will be £18. Stay tuned!

4. Tom Howard/ John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest

The Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest, by Winning Writers, give two prizes of $3,000 each, two-year gift certificates for membership to the literary database Duotrope, and publication on the Winning Writers website for a short story and an essay every year. 10 Honorable Mentions will receive $300 each.You can participate with any short work of fiction or essay. All themes are accepted, and entries may be published or unpublished, as long as they are up to 6,000 words.

The entry fee is $22 and you can submit your work from October 15, 2022 to April 30, 2023.

5. The Booksie 2022 Short Story Competition

For our short story writers, here's another great opportunity! Booksie has announced its Booksie 2022 Short Story Competition. This competition is open to all genres and themes and you can enter a previously posted story on Booksie or post a new one and enter it. Booksie will award a first grand prize and two runners-up. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash award, a gold winner badge, a free week of promote for any published content of the winner’s choice and a pro review of the winning entry by Sol Nasisi, the publisher of WorldMaker Media. The 2 runners-up will receive a $100 cash award, a silver winner badge and a free week of promotes for any published content of the winner’s choosing.

To upload your story you need to be a member of Booksie (don’t worry, membership is completely free). The maximum length is 5,000 words and you can enter an unlimited number of stories.

The world is waiting to read your stories. What are you waiting for? 

Don’t forget that Lynit is your perfect ally to outline any kind of story. Create Story Elements and Connect them to visualize your story’s structure.

Michael Green is the Founder of Lynit. He started the company unofficially back in 2018 when he was deep in the trenches of editing his first book. He had 500 pages, a lot of characters, multiple plots, and many notes on possible changes. To make sense of everything, he created the first version of the tool. Then he realized that other writers might find value in it too and decided to share. Find out more at www.lynit.app.