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.
The Governor General’s Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written, translated or illustrated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Genre: Best English-language and the best French-language book will be chosen in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustrated books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $1,000 - $25,000. Deadline: Books and bound proofs published between 16 May 2016 and 30 September 2016 must reach the Canada Council no later than 1 August 2016.
Milwaukee Irish Fest. Genre: Poetry. Entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: August 1, 2016.
Boardman Tasker Prize. Restrictions: Books published between 1st August 2015 and 31st July 2016 in the UK. Genre: Books with mountain,not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: August 1, 2016.
Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships. Restrictions: Delaware poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in Delaware for at least one year prior to application and who are not enrolled in a degree-granting program. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: Established Professional Fellowships of $6,000 each and Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,000 each. Deadline: August 1, 2016.
Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grants. Restrictions: Writers living in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties (Pennsylvania) who are 18 years of age or older and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: $2500. Deadline: August 1, 2016.
Costa Short Story Award. Restrictions: Residents of UK and Ireland. Genre: Short story. Prize: £3,500.00. Deadline: August 5, 2016.
Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize. Restrictions: Open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34. Genre: Short story translation from Norwegian to English. Prize: £1,000.00. Deadline: August 5, 2016.
RBC Taylor Prize. Restrictions: Citizens or residents of Canada. Must be published author. Genre: Literary nonfiction. Prize: $25,000 (CAN). Deadline: August 7, 2016 for books published between May 30 and July 31, 2016.
Blue Earth Review. Genre: Flash Creative Nonfiction. 750 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: August 12, 2016.
Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Restrictions: Emerging African American writers. Genres: Short story collection or novel published in the current year. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: August 15, 2016.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry Prize. Restrictions: Poets living in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., or West Virginia. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, ten author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer. Deadline: August 15, 2016.
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. Restrictions: Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. Genre: Book-length children's or young-adult fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: August 15, 2016.
Pockets Fiction Contest. Genre: Children's fiction. Stories should be 750–1,000 words. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: August 15, 2016.
Scotiabank Giller Prize. Restrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Must be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100.000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: August 15, 2016.
Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets. Restrictions: Book must be published in the UK between July 2015 and the end of June 2016. resident Genre: Published Poetry Book. Prize: £5000. Deadline: August 26, 2016.
Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Restrictions: Author must be resident of Upstate New York. Genre: Book of poems in English, at least 48 pages long, published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Prize: $2,000. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Restrictions: Authors must be Singaporean, Singaporean permanent resident or Singapore-born. Genre: A full-length, original and unpublished novel written in the English language. Prize: $20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Holland Park Press's Poetry and Politics Competition. Genre: Political poetry. Prize: £200 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Jacques Maritain Prize for Nonfiction. Genre: Essay, Catholic themes. Prize: $500 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction. Genre: Essay, maximum 5,000 words. Prize: $250 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation or Multi-Lingual Texts. Restrictions: Translators and authors of multi-lingual texts. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $200. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Lilith Magazine Fiction Competition. Genre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Holland Park Poetry and Politics Competition. Genre: Political poem. Prize: £200. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Rotting Post Humor Competition. Genre: Humor. Prize: $250. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest. Genre: Humor. Prize: £50. Deadline: August 31, 2016.