It’s time for The Writer’s Fall Short Story Contest! You can write on any theme and in any style; just be sure not to exceed 2,000 words. Grand prize is $1,000 and publication in the magazine; second and third prize winners receive $500 and $250 respectively and publication on the magazine’s website. $25 entry fee; deadline December 15.
The award-winning travel magazine Nowhere is accepting submissions for its Fall 2021 Travel Writing Prize. Submit longform fiction, a short story, narrative nonfiction, an essay, even poetry—as long as it conveys “a powerful sense of people, place, or time.” Winner receives $1,000 and publication in the magazine; up to ten finalists may also be published. $20 entry fee; deadline December 15.
Writer’s Digest has launched a lot of great writers. Now it’s your turn! Enter the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition (no, the repetition of “Short” isn’t a typing error; submissions must be 1,500 words or less). Not only can you earn a cash prize of up to $3,000 and publication in the magazine, but the winner earns a paid trip to the celebrated Writer’s Digest Conference. $30 entry fee; deadline December 15.
I admit I’m partly including this next one because I'm amused by it and thought my fellow horror fiction fans would be too. The contest host, InterAct Stroke Support, suggests “positive stories, as they will be read in the sensitive environment of a hospital setting.” Makes sense . . . until you learn this is the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition. Rendell was known for work that was dark and disturbing; a precise, elegant little chiller like her "The Convolvulus Clock" would have the patients shrieking out into the street. Still, it’s in a very good cause, so why not send 'em something upbeat and hang onto your Rendellian creations for the next horror contest? £15 entry fee (but non-UK writers are welcome); deadline December 21.
The staff at Lilith describe the magazine as “independent, Jewish, and frankly feminist.” If that describes you too, consider submitting short fiction of 3,000 words and under to their Annual Fiction Contest. First prize is $250 and publication in Lilith. No entry fee; deadline December 31.
This information is provided as a service to writers and is not an endorsement of any particular contest or sponsoring organization. Always check contest websites for complete rules.