Here are ten contests with deadlines in mid to late January. None of these contests charge an entry fee. So, if you have a short story, an essay, a book or collection in the making - go ahead and submit. You have nothing to lose.
The Roswell Award. The Los Angeles Science Fiction One-Act Play Festival is initiating a new short story writing contest for adult writers over the age of 18 called THE ROSWELL AWARD. All submissions must be short stories (not plays) and must be an original work of science fiction (not fan fiction) and be no longer than 1500 words. The contest is open to U.S. writers and writers outside the U.S. Five finalists will be chosen and their stories will be read aloud by professional actors associated with iconic Sci-Fi TV shows in a special awards ceremony to be held at the festival on May 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM (Memorial Day Weekend). Prize: The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000.00. Submissions can be made at www.sci-fest.com. Terms and conditions can be read on the website. Deadline: January 15th, 2015. Finalists will be notified by March 15th. How to submit: Submissions can be made at www.sci-fest.com. Terms and conditions can be read on the website. Read submission guidelines HERE.
The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers was established in 2005 to honor the memory of Ellen Meloy. The Fund provides support to writers whose work reflects the spirit and passions embodied in Ellen’s writing and her commitment to a “deep map of place.” Ellen’s own map-in-progress was of the desert country she called home. Genre: Only literary or creative nonfiction proposals will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: January 15, 2015. For more details click HERE.
Transitions Abroad Narrative Travel Writing Contest. Professionals, freelancers, and aspiring travel writers are invited to write an article which describes how traveling in a slower manner and attempting to adapt to the space and time of locals, their culture, and their land has deepened your experience of both the people and the destination. One of the results of a slower form of immersion travel is the experience of epiphanies that change one's perceptions of the world, of others, and of oneself. We urge you to translate one or more of those moments into a narrative which will convey this view to many who still tend to see travel as a way to "do" as many countries, cities, and continents in the world as possible—as if travel was some form of competition or consumption. Prize: $500 first-place. Deadline: January 15, 2015. For more details click HERE.
Bethesda Literary Festival Essay and Short Story Contest. The Bethesda Urban Partnership & Bethesda Magazine have partnered to honor local writers at the Bethesda Literary Festival held April 17-19, 2015. Genres: Essays and short stories. Restrictions: Open to residents of Montgomery County, MD and Upper NW Washington, D.C. Prizes: First Place: $500 and published in Bethesda Magazine. Second Place: $250. Third Place: $150. Honorable Mention: $75. Deadline: January 23, 2015. For more details click HERE.
The Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction in the English language was initiated by John Gleed in honour of his late wife to promote and celebrate the genre of short fiction, which she loved. Restrictions: Canadian residents only. Prize: A $10,000 prize will be awarded for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalist will also be awarded $500 each. Deadline: January 30, 2015. Read full guidelines HERE.
Historical Novel Society Indie Award HNS Indie Award, first offered in 2014, recognizes excellence in indie-published historical novels. Restrictions: English language only. Prize: The winner shall receive £100 or $100 ($100Aus). Deadline: Closing date January 31, 2015. How to enter: Click HERE for complete rules.
Nelson Algren Literary Awards is a short story contest sponsored by the Chicago Tribune. This contest is open to residents of the United States. All entries must be: fiction, less than 8,000 words, double spaced, written in English. Prize: One grand prize winner will receive $3,500. Four finalists will each receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $500. Total value of all prizes: $10,000. Deadline: Closing date January 31, 2015. How to enter: Click HERE for complete rules.
Imagine Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories in Japanese or English for its second annual “Imagine Little Tokyo” writing contest. The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo – either past, present or future. Prize: $600. The winner of the youth division (18 or younger) will receive $400. Deadline: January 31, 2015. How to enter: Click HERE for complete rules.
Highlights for Fiction sponsors an annual contest for short fiction open to writers 16 and up. Genre: Mystery stories. Prizes: Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for any Highlights Foundation Founders Workshop. (For a complete list of workshops, visit http://www.highlightsfoundation.org.) Deadline: All entries must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2015. How to enter: Click HERE for complete rules.