16 Free Writing Competitions with Worthwhile Prizes

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GUEST Post Written By Cathy Bryant

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You’d love to enter writing competitions, but they’re so expensive. And what are the chances of winning? It doesn’t make good financial sense. You shake your head firmly, close the window on your screen, and sigh a little.

And then, I hope, you remember that not all writing competitions charge a fee, and you have some fun entering the free ones below.

You literally have nothing to lose – not even a few dollars – and there are some excellent prizes out there, just waiting to be yours.

I’ve done pretty well by entering these myself. Who doesn’t love accolades and money for their creative work?

1. Open internationally, this contest asking for a funny poem is a firm favourite in the writing comp world. It has twelve prizes ranging from $100 to $1000, and there’s no fee to pay. Entry is simple via a form on the site. Disclosure: I won this in 2015 and it’s just glorious. I got a shirt and a certificate as well as the money. Money is useful for grown-ups, but my inner child loves a fancy certificate. https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free

2. Again open worldwide, this comp from ThinkGeek is for techie haiku. Surely if it’s funny, as most entries are, then it’s a senryu? Either way, you could win a $50 ThinkGeek voucher. If a friend or relative does your tech support, as in my case, then giving them the voucher would be a great way to say thank you. Or, you know, you could actually pay them, though that seems a bit extreme. After all, they’re IT people and we’re writers. They have all the money already. http://www.thinkgeek.com/haiku/#details

3. Another international competition, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award has a delectable £30,000 prize and is a must-enter in your comp list. This year’s has already been won – congratulations to the winners! – but the next should be open early in 2016. Get writing short fiction now! How often do we writers see a prize that big, without having to pay a hefty entry fee? http://www.booktrust.org.uk/prizes/5/

4. The prizes for the regular themed fiction comps at On the Premises are small, but they host several comps and mini-contests per year, so it’s worth having a go. The themes make great prompts, too. The easiest way to stay informed is to sign up to their newsletter. I never win these but I find the prompts useful, and I usually place my work elsewhere eventually. http://onthepremises.com/index.html

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Thanks, Cathie!

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