Everyone likes to win contests, and entering writing contests can be a wonderful way to beat a bout of writer's block. The lure of a prize and the pressures of a deadline can not only get creative juices flowing, but can also unveil things you didn't know about yourself as a writer. Check out the Top Ten resources for contests, in no particular order:
First Writer Competitions
The contest list at First Writer offers hundreds of links to contests, broken down into categories including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, scriptwriting and a special section of contests that are free to enter. The site offers its own competitions. The site is very up-to-date and contests are listed in chronological order.
Places for Writers
A site geared toward Canadian writers, Places for Writers has a simple, streamlined listing of contests broken down by month of deadline. The vast majority of contests listed are Canadian or European, giving authors from those countries a view of local contests and for American writers to broaden their horizons.
This British site offers a comprehensive list of contests open to writers on both sides of the pond. New contests are highlighted in the middle of the page, but don't overlook the list of links to contests down the right-hand side of the page. The site also offers a contest newsletter.
This site is dedicated to everything you always needed to know about poetry contests. It ahs a great section on "bad contests" and even sponsors a contest for the most outlandish poem to be accepted by a scam anthology. The site also has contests for serious poetry and short stories.
Inspired to Journal
If you're a writer who likes journaling and writing personal essays, check out this site's small listing of contests including anthologies and other publishers of personal essays and creative nonfiction. This is also a great site if you're just interesting in learning more about journaling and essay writing.
A Woman's Write
This site dedicated to promoting women writers offers writing contests twice a year. Entries receive critiques and are in the running for an $80 first prize. Winners are posted on the Web site. This site also has a list of links to sites about writing, contests, and author home pages.
If you're a writer of science fiction, fantasy or horror, you probably already know about this great site, which lists tons of markets (including books and anthologies). Click on contests to find an alphabetical listing of contests (not just for genre writers, there are general and literary fiction listings, too).
New York Screenwriter
The online home of Screenwriter magazine has a great collection of links to screenwriting contests, with contests with upcoming deadlines highlighted in bold. The magazine has seven criteria for reputable contests and rates each listing on a scale of one to four stars, making it easy to find the best contests.
This magazine all about writing for and about children runs numerous contests throughout the year. The criteria are very specific, from an early-reader mystery to a middle-grade adventure, so you can hone your skills on different kinds of stories and possibly win cash and publication in the magazine as well.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Warning Page
No list of contest sites would be complete without a warning that there are a lot of contests set up just to scam writers out of money. If you're concerned that a contest might not be legitimate, check out this site, which explains many of the warning signs of bad contests.
To gain free access to all of the writing resources, please register at http://www.fwointl.com/FWOSignup.html or, if you are already registered, log in to the database at http://www.fwointl.com/linkupgold/index.php
Writer and author Sarah White researches and makes available to IN readers her top choices of writing resource sites available on the internet today. Her themed site picks are an invaluable resource to all of our members.
To reach her: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see her previous works:
Doing the Write Thing: The Easy Way to Self-Edit http://www.easywaytowrite.com/selfediting.html
Check out my quick breads course!