Writing Contests

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title, a list,

a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” — Jane Yolen

Add writing contests to the list of ways to exercise your writing muscle. You may want to be a novelist, but what’s wrong with getting your name out there by entering small contests? Even if you don’t win first place, second place, or honorable mention, entering a contest will prove that you can complete a story by a deadline.

If you don’t know where to find writing contests, below are a few suggestions.

Writersweekly.com has a 24-hour short story contest once each season every year. Entering costs only $5 per contest. The next contest will start on September 9, 2017. Check out their website for further details. http://writersweekly.com/

Rochester Writers’ 2017 Summer Writing Contest is calling for entries now. The deadline is September 1, 2017.

Categories: Poetry, Micro Fiction, First Page, Milestone Memory

Prizes: Cash Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Places in each category. In addition, Best of Show will receive a complimentary pass to a future Rochester Writers’ Conference. https://rochesterwriters.wordpress.com/writing-contest/

Writer’s Digest holds numerous writing contests: Self-Published eBook Awards, Popular Fiction Awards, Poetry Awards, Short Short Story Competition, Annual Writing Competition, Self-Published Book Awards. Check the website below for information.


You can find additional information in various writing magazines including Writer’s Digest, Poets and Writers, and The Writer Magazine. Find a contest that is reasonably priced, offers a cash prize, a critique of your work, or publication.

Exercising your writing muscles with contests can be rewarding.

Try it. I won the first place $100 prize, a third place, and an honorable mention by entering writing contests. I’ve kept for future reference several of my non-winning contest entries. Who knows? With careful editing, a better story could come from those efforts.




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  1. Great information, Barb, thank!

      • Barbara on August 16, 2017 at 9:44 pm
      • Reply

      You’re welcome, Phil.

    • Claire Murray on August 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    • Reply

    Great article Barbara! You are a fount of wisdom. Thanks for sharing all of this information.

      • Barbara on August 16, 2017 at 9:47 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you, Claire. I’m using the information to enter a few of the contests myself. Hopefully I’ll be successful with one of them.

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