Free-to-enter competitions

The Creatives Journal – Monthly Mayhem

The creative’s journal’s monthly mayhem challenge runs from the 1st to the 21st every month. Entrants are given 1000 – 3000 words to develop their best fiction short story while adhering to that particular month’s prompt. There are no cash prizes for this one, but 1st place gets a complimentary copy of their story in print and an author profile on the site for the year. 1st, 2nd & 3rd place entries are published on their website. Be sure to check the terms and conditions, as they have some pretty strict publishing rights clauses, but if you’re looking to get your work out there or spice up your author bio, this is a great way to do it. If you want an idea of what the judges are looking for, you can read my winning entry, “Peace in a willow”, here.

WritersToWritersChallenge of Instagram

The #WritersToWritersChallenge is a peer-to-peer competition run on Instagram that is free to enter. There were no prizes other than the bragging rights and exposure, but the massive writing group’ moms who write’ has now picked up the challenge and also announce winners in their monthly newsletter. So, if you want to boost your follower count or just practice your skills it’s great fun to enter.

If you’ve never entered the #writerstowriterschallenge before, here are some tips: Like many entrants, I always use Canva to create the background for my story. For ideas on creating yours, you can read my two previous winning entries, escaped goodbyes and S.O.S on my profile. Don’t forget to tag the host and use the # in your entry and don’t assume that the host is in the same time zone as you.

To enter search instagram for the hashtag #WritersToWritersChallenge and select the most recent challenge post. Included in the post you will find the prompt, word count, and closing date of this round.

Furious Fiction

The ultimate flash fiction challenge run by Flash Fiction magazine run’s quaterly and is completley free to enter. In this test of nerve and skill, entrants have just fifty-five hours to craft a winning 500-word story based on a prompt. So, keep an eye on that countdown clock and get your keyboard fired up and ready.

Get email reminders for the flash fiction challenge by signing up to the Furious Fiction mailing list.

Globe Soup 7-day challanges

If you’ve never heard of Globe Soup, they are well worth checking out. As well as their paid competitions they also run regular 7-day challanges that are totally free to enter. Simply sign up for their email reminders to get your prompt when the next challenge begins.

You can also find lots of other small free competitions and great support from their Facebook group ‘Love to Write!’

Competitions with a small entry fee

The Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story 2022

Hawkeye books – Entries are now open for the 2022 Sydney Hammond Memorial short story competition. This year’s theme is water under the bridge. There’s an array of prizes up for grabs, including publication in the anthology for the top 40 entrants. There is a small entry fee, but this is an excellent opportunity for writers. Entries close on August 1st, so you’ve got plenty of time to create a showstopping story of up to 1000 words.

Reedsy prompts competitions

Most writers have heard of Reedsy, but did you know about their weekly prompt contest? It’s a good bit of fun, and you could win $250 plus publication on the website. Sign up for reminders and you’ll get emailed five weekly prompts. You can choose any to work from or write them all. Plus, entry is only $5.

Asthetica Magazine

Asthetica’s creative writing award is now open for entries. Let your creativity run wild with this one, as it’s open to short stories and poetry of any theme, up to 2000 words. This annual comp doesn’t close until August 31st, so take your time and make sure you’re submitting your best work. With a small entry fee and huge prizes, this is one of my favourite annual competitions. As always, make sure you read the terms and conditions.

Asthetica Magazine

With $300 in prizes up for grabs for only a $5 entry fee, the Dandy Writers monthly competition is well worth a go. Every month writers are given a theme and 200 words to craft a competition-winning story. Entries close on the 28th of every month.

Short Memour Competition 2022

If, unlike me, you don’t totally suck at writing about yourself, the 2022 short memoir competition from Globe Soup is open for entries until May 17th. The entry fee is more if you aren’t a member but is still reasonably small. If you’re considering becoming a member, I highly reccomend it.

NYC Midnight Events

NYC Midnight runs a variety of competitions regularly. Many have time and length constraints as well as strict prompt or genre restrictions that make these challenges a great test of skill for any writer. The prizes and small entry fee make for a good incentive and the feedback forums are an added bonus. Plus, entry fees are often reduced if you sign up early, so it’s well worth signing up to their mailing list.

Get an idea of what the judges are after by reading my longlisted short story here

Open for submissions

Tell your 2020 story

This creative non-fiction open is your chance to tell your 2020 story. They are looking for stories written in first person, under 2000 words and focusing around your real-life experience of the pandemic. For the best chance of your work being accepted, make sure you read their full guidelines before getting started

KYD – Australian literary magazine of Arts & Culture

This indipendent online magazine pays for accepted submissions, including non-fiction, fiction, and memoir. It’s well worth a look if you have a short story or article looking for a home, or you could write a piece especially for them. Whichever you choose to do, increase your chances by making sure your piece fits their asthetic.

Fractured Lit

The host of several competitions, Fractured Literary Magazine is also currently taking submissions for several categories depending on the length and style of your work. Like many online publications that are open to submissions or run regular compteitions, Fractured Lit use the Submittable platform to manage submissions. You’ll need to set up an account, but don’t worry, it’s free.

If you love a challenge, this is the site for you. Forget micro fiction, 101 Words challenges writers to create an engaging piece in precisely (as the name suggests) 101 words. Like fractured Lit, they pay for accepted submissions provided they are chosen for print and not just the website. Either way getting a story accepted here is a considerable achievement for any writer. Take a look at the site and get an idea of what they are looking for by reading mine and many other tiny stories here..

Good luck to all entrants and if you know of, or run, a writing competition that you think should be included, send me an email via the form here including a link and I’ll check it out.

Happy Writing!

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