writing contests


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I’ve gotten a few questions about writing contests recently, so here’s a list of good ones to submit to!

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards: open to grades 7-12; has the most writing categories out of any competition on this list including fiction, poetry, dramatic script, novel excerpt, journalism, memoir, and more; national medalists are invited to Carnegie Hall for a ceremony. Deadline is in December or January, depending on your region.

YoungArts: open to grades 10-12 or ages 15-18; writing categories include short story, poetry, dramatic script, novel excerpt, creative nonfiction, and spoken word; offers up to $10,000 in prize money; finalists receive all-expenses paid trip to Miami for a week. Deadline is in mid-October.

Bennington Young Writers Awards: open to grades 10-12; writing categories include fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry; offers up to $500 in prize money. Deadline is in November.

Sierra Nevada Review High School Contest: open to grades 11 and 12; writing

categories include fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry; offers up to $500 in prize money and publication in The Sierra Nevada Review; winners are invited to Sierra Nevada College for a ceremony. Deadline is in November.

The Claremont Review Annual Writing Contest: open to ages 13-19; writing categories include poetry and fiction; offers up to $1000 in prize money and publication in The Claremont Review. Deadline is in March.

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers: open to grades 10 and 11; poetry only; offers a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and publication in The Kenyon Review. Deadline is in November.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award: open to ages 11-17; poetry only; winners are invited to London for a ceremony. Deadline is in July.

Columbia College Young Authors Competition: open to grades 9-12; writing categories include fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry; offers up to $300 in prize money. Deadline is in January.

The Adroit Prizes: open to all high school and undergraduate students; writing categories are prose and poetry; offers publication in The Adroit Journal. Deadline is in February.

Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest: open to girls in grades 10 and 11; poetry only; offers up to $200 and publication in Cargoes. Deadline is in October.

Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students: open to grade 11; poetry only; offers up to $500. Deadline is in winter.

While submitting to writing contests has lots of benefits, please don’t stress too much about them! You don’t need to win for validation: you and your writing are enough already. 


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