A full comprehensive list of writers contests

Writing contests are an invaluable tool for you as a writer whether you’re published or unpublished. Below I’ve compiled 2 lists of writing contests. Some of the deadlines are coming up quick, so check those out! Some of the contests don’t open up until the early spring, so bookmark this page and come back to check ’em out later.

Oh, and please share with your writer friends so they can stay in the know.

writers contest

Part 1:

A My first list is a list of contests geared toward UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS. Website links have all the information you need. All links were double-checked upon publishing of this post. As always, if you know of any contest not mentioned, hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or via the contact page to let me know so I can add it.


American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)

Genesis Contest:

(opens in January, closes in March. Check back in late 2018 for 2019 dates)

Genres: All Christian fiction genres

Fee:  I entered this contest personally and it’s worth it to get professional feedback. The website lists the judges/coordinators, so if you’re at all curious you can research who they are and their qualifications.

Website: https://www.acfw.com/genesis

Opens in January. Check website for 2019 dates!

First Impressions Contest

Genres: All Christian fiction genres

Fee: Yes. Worth it for the professional feedback

Website: https://www.acfw.com/first_impressions

Opens in September

Romance Writers of America (RWA)

Pages from the heart: 

Open to unpublished manuscripts

Genre: All things romance!

You must be a RWA member. (you can become a member then enter)

Website: http://fthrw.com/pages-from-the-heart-contest

Deadline: June 31st. CHECK FOR 2019 DATES

Golden Heart Award 

For unpublished manuscripts

Genre: All things romance

Website: https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=541

Submissions open in December

Part 2:

My second list is a list of contests geared toward published manuscripts. All links were double-checked upon the publishing date of this post. As always, if you know of any contest not mentioned, hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or via the contact page to let me know so I can add it.

Blue Ridge mountains Christian Writer’s conference

Selah Award:

Genre: Christian Fiction and non-fiction

Submission deadline for published manuscripts in the previous year. VARIES EACH YEAR

Website: https://www.blueridgeconference.com/contest-info/

Romance Writers of America (RWA)


for Published manuscripts

Genre: All things romance

Website: https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=533

Submissions open in November. Check website for 2019 Deadline

Put your heart in a book: New Jersey RWA chapter award

Genre: All things romance

Submissions: Open in April, close in June. Check website for 2019 dates

Website: http://www.njromancewriters.org/golden-leaf.html

Writer’s Digest

Self published ebook award / Self-published print book award

Genres: Every genre

Website: http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-ebook-awards

Deadlines: Check website for 2019 deadlines.

INSPY AWARDS: bloggers choice ward (for printed books only)

Genre: All genres

Deadline: Between December and January. This award is nomination based, not submission based. Nominations are made toward books published in the last calendar year. (So for 2019, books published in 2018 would be nominated)

Website: http://inspys.com/?page_id=140

RONE award: For Indie and small press published manuscripts

Gene:: All genres

Deadlines: Review their website for 2019 dates

Website: http://indtale.com/2017-rone-awards

American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)

Carol Award: (very prestigious)

Genre: All genres within Christian Fiction

Deadline: March 31st. Double check for 2019 dates

Review website for specific guidelines. Very important! https://www.acfw.com/carol

Readers Choice Favorite Clean and Wholesome Romance novel 

Genre: all genres of romance

Submissions: This is a nomination based contest, where readers nominate books published in the previous year. Submissions for nominations are from Dec 18 – Jan 2nd  (2018)

Website: https://www.cleanwholesomeromance.com/2018/12/18/vote-for-your-favorite-clean-wholesome-romance-books-2018-readers-choice-awards/?fbclid=IwAR3orO50jzjGDjBGRK32Dj4ry06RRPKwxFLw2CigWubgOvZaw0rP740HIUI/


Christy Awards: (very prestigious)

Genre: All Genres within Christian Fiction

Submissions between March 1st – 28th

Website: https://www.ecpa.org/page/christy_submissions?


I am not affiliated with the promotion of any of these contests in any way, shape or form. I am simply just helping spread the word!  Some of the contests charge a fee. I’ve also not entered any of these contests, except for the Genesis contest, but I’ve met and spoken with several authors who’ve entered many of the aforementioned contests and experienced great success. Almost all of these contests cater to Novella and full length manuscripts, as apposed to articles, short stories, or essays, with the exception of Writer’s Digest which hosts contests for both novels and short stories, articles, essays and poetry.

If you’re more the magazine article or short-story writer, there are tons of writing contests for you. Search online and you’ll find plenty of other blog posts similar to mine. Good luck and keep on writing!

Check out my 5 reasons why you should enter a writing contest

If I missed any that you’re aware of, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add the contest in!


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