Note: I post a list of free upcoming contests the last week of every month. But if you want to get a jump on contests, "Free Contests" is regularly updated. Be sure to check there for future as well as past contests - many are held annually.
Winter Tangerine Awards. Restrictions: Submissions will only be accepted from writers who have not yet published a chapbook, novel, or collection of any type. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Prize: $250 apiece for poetry and prose (fiction and essay compete together), plus trophy, used books, box of cookies, and one-year WTR subscription. Deadline: July 1, 2016. Read guidelines HERE.
Emmy Awards - Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. Restrictions: Non-US citizens under the age of 30 only. Prize: $2,500, a trip to New York City, and an invitation to the International Emmy® Awards Gala in November. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
Bop Dead City. Genres: Flash fiction, poetry. Prize: $20. Deadline: July 1, 2016. More details are HERE.
Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. The work submitted must be a first book of poetry published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Manuscripts, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted. Prize: $100,000. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. Book must be author's first full-length book of poetry, published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Self-published books are accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
Montgomery County Writing Contest. Restrictions: Open to Montgomery County residents only. Genre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Prize: $250 and publication in Montgomery Magazine. Runners-up will receive $100 and have their work published onmontgomerymag.com. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
Richard J. Margolis Award. Genre: Journalism. Prize is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. Prize: $5,000 and one month of residency at Blue Mountain Center. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime. Restrictions: Open to emerging writers of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
John Glassco Translation Prize. Sponsored by Literary Translators' Association of Canada. Restrictions: Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents only. Genre: The work submitted must be the translator's first published book-length translation into English or French. The book must have been published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Prize: $1000. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
Texas Book Festival Youth Fiction Writing Contest. Hosted by the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin. Restrictions: Junior and high school Texas students. Genre: Original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length on theme of "Note to Self." Prize: Winners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, winners are awarded a plaque, have their stories published on the TBF website, and are invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program. Restrictions: Debuting authors and writers with fewer than three previously published books who have yet to receive a major literary award are eligible for consideration. Exceptions are sometimes made for authors who have published more titles, but have yet to break out to a larger audience. Submissions must be original publications, penned by one author. Self-published works not allowed. Genres: Published or scheduled to be published fiction and literary nonfiction. Prize: $10,000 in each genre and in-store marketing/merchandising from Barnes & Noble. 2nd Place $5,000 in each genre, 3rd Place $2,500 in each genre. Deadline: July 7, 2016.
Stone Canoe. Restrictions: Open to people who live or have lived in Upstate New York (not New York City). Genres: Drama, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: July 8, 2016 (poetry), July 22, 2016 (fiction), July 29, 2016 (non-fiction).
Ethnographic Poetry Award. Sponsored by The Society for Humanistic Anthropology. Genre: Poetry associated with any of the five fields of anthropology: Archaeological, Biological, Linguistic, Sociocultural and Applied. Prize $100. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
Peter Blazey Fellowship. Restrictions: Applicants must either be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency. Genre: Non-fiction in the fields of autobiography, biography or life writing. Prize: $15 000, and a one-month writer-in-residency at The Australia Centre. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
FutureScapes Writing Contest. Genre: Short fiction up to 8,000 words, written in accordance with prompt: Cities of Empowerment. Prize: $2,000 prize for first place, $1,000 prize for second place, and $500 prize to each of the four runners-up. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
The Undergraduate No-Fee Contest. Sponsored by Sandy River Review. Restrictions: Undergraduates enrolled in college or a Spring 2016 graduate. Genres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
Mash Stories. Genre: Short story based on three prompt words. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
Norman Mailer Writing Award for Middle and High School Teachers. Restrictions: Middle and High School Teachers. Genre: Creative Non-fiction. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: July 18, 2016.
The New Writers Award. Sponsored by the thirteen members of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Genre: First published volume of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 25, 2016.
Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Restrictions: Books must be English-language, first-edition trade books published by a Canadian press, written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Titles must be published between May 25, 2016 and September 30, 2016. Genre: Literary nonfiction including, among other forms, works of personal or journalistic essays, memoirs, commentary, criticism both social and political, history, and biography. Prize: Winner: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000. Deadline: July 27, 2016.
Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Genre: Fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. Prize: $25,000 will be awarded to a novel or short-story collection published between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to each of the finalists. Deadline: July 27, 2016.
Black Country Museum Poetry Competition. Genre: "Poetry in any style which explores the concepts of earth and air, whatever they may suggest to you. Whether you think of the earth scarred and bespoiled by industry or the ‘Green borderlands’ that Elihu Burritt spoke of; whether the choke of foundry dust and the searing of the lungs by chemicals, or the weekend’s walk in the countryside; whether it is the town or the country; the realm of worms or of the birds; of the highs or the lows; of the freedoms or the internments: earth and air are central to our experience, they are at the very core of us, the place from which we write." Prize: £100 first prize. Deadline: July 29, 2016. Read terms and conditions here. Entry form is here.
Love: A Better Way to Work with People Essay Contest. Genre: Personal essay of up to 750 words that shares a true story about how Love and Compassion helped solve a specific work or business problem. Prize: First Place: $100.00 money order. Second Place: $75.00 money order. Third Place: $50.00 money order. Deadline: July 30, 2016.
Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Award. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, or prose poetry of about 7,000-12,000 words. "The manuscript may be a collection of mixed pieces--short stories, flash fictions, prose poems, essays, or a stand-along excerpt from a longer work--but should be unified by a common theme. We seek new, original work, though individual pieces that have been previously published elsewhere may be included." Prize: $250.00 honorarium and 25 copies of the winning chapbook, which will be printed and sold on Amazon.com. Deadline: July 30, 2016.
Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. Restrictions: Open to young poets age 11 - 17. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Publication. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
The Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature. Restrictions: Contest is open to any writer of English: who is a native of Kentucky, or who has lived in Kentucky for at least two years, or whose manuscript is set in or about Kentucky. Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: Publication by Sarabande Press. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest. Restrictions: Open to students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2015 semester. Genre: Essay:Topic for 2016 - Immigration is a controversial topic in American history, even more so in 2016. Citing examples from his writings, speeches, and policies, what was Abraham Lincoln's position on immigration? Did it evolve? Is it relevant to our contemporary debate? Prize: 1st Prize $1500 | 2nd Prize $750 | 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
SLF Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants. Restrictions: Open to writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. -- those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process. Genres: Book-length works (novels, collections of short stories) of speculative fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Contest. Genre: Travel articles, travel anecdotes and travel reflections. Prize: $200. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
Landfall Essay Competition. Restrictions: Open to New Zealand writers. Genre: Essay about New Zealand. Prize: The winner will receive $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
Library Journal 's Self-Published Ebook Awards. Genres: Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy. Open to all English-language self-published ebooks. No restrictions on date of publication. Prize: $1,000.00 USD plus review in Library Journal. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
USNI Naval History Essay Contest. Genre: Essay: Identify individual women and their contributions that have made it possible for the United States to build and maintain the world's finest military. Prize: First Prize: $5,000. Second Prize:$2,500. Third Prize: $1,500. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. The Feminist Press has partnered with TAYO Literary Magazine to launch a contest seeking the best debut books by women and nonbinary writers of color. Genres: Fiction, including novels and short story collections, or narrative memoir, of 50,000 to 80,000 words. Prize: $5,000 and a publishing contract from the Feminist Press. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
Bastiat Prize for Journalism. Established in 2002 by the International Policy Network. Genre: Journalism. Articles must have been published in English for the first time June 30, 2015 and July 31, 2016. Prize: The total prize fund is $16,000, divided between first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third ($1,000) prize winners. Deadline: July 31, 2016.