Writing contests are a great way to get noticed. If you win, place, or show (first place, second, or third), writing contests also provide a good opportunity to earn some money. However, the main benefit of winning a writing contest is publicity, the feather in your cap, and of course, bragging rights. Even if you don’t win, you’ll gain experience and receive constructive feedback that can hone your writing skills.
A number of websites provide great information about up-and-coming contests for 2016. Freelance Writing is just one of several good resources you can tap into. Writer’s Digest also promotes a listing of popular contests and awards in numerous genres that includes scriptwriting, fiction, nonfiction, young adult, poetry, and journalism.
Upcoming writing contests
Some contests are geographic specific, such as the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award (deadline March 18, 2016) in three categories: $10,000 awarded to national authors, $7,500 to regional authors, and a $5,000 cash prize to emerging authors.
The Write This Speculative Fiction Novel Contest is fun (deadline March 15, 2016), challenging writers to take a contemporary headline and create a work of speculative fiction from it. Prizes of $10,000 ($5,000 cash advance + three book deal with another $5,000 advance with Realmwalker Publishing Group) are awarded.
Futurescapes writing contest (deadline July 15, 2016) offers a $2,000 First prize, a $1,000 Second prize, and $500 Third prize.
The National Writer’s Association sponsors a novel writing contest every year. Check their website for entry deadlines and length requirements. The prizes aren’t huge, but an award can increase the marketability and potential of publication, as manuscripts are judged by a number of agents and publication house editors. Perk!
Contests are an excellent resource for aspiring as well as established writers. Almond Press has an excellent list of regional and international writing competitions listed for 2016 as well. Perks range from large cash prizes to smaller prizes, publication, book contracts, and more. If you haven’t considered entering a writing contest, make 2016 the year that you do. You may just be surprised at the outcome.