5 International Writing Competitions for Authors in 2022
  • 5-minute read
  • 29th March 2022

5 International Writing Competitions for Authors in 2022

​​Writing competitions are great opportunities for authors to practice and perfect their writing. Winners can receive monetary prizes, publications, meetings with agents, and feedback from literary experts.

If you’re looking for inspiration to get you out of a writing slump, we have five international writing contests for you to enter this year, including competitions for short stories and poetry:

1 & 2. University of Pittsburgh Press

The University of Pittsburgh Press, a publisher out of Pittsburgh, PA, holds four writing contests each year. These two are still accepting submissions for 2022:

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize:

●  Submission Type: An unpublished manuscript of short stories, two or more novellas, or a combination of both; manuscripts should be 150–300 pages

●  Accepting Submissions: May 1, 2022–June 30, 2022

●  Who Can Enter: Any author, regardless of residence, who’s published a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher or has had at least three short stories or novellas published in nationally distributed magazines or literary journals

●  Submission Fee: Free

●  Prize(s): $15,000, press publication, and assistance with national book promotion

●  Rules: Submissions must be written in English. Manuscripts under consideration by other publishers are allowed but should be withdrawn if publication is then offered elsewhere

The Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, which was named in honor of the publisher’s first director:

●  Submission Type: Poetry manuscripts of 40–100 pages

●  Accepting Submissions: March 1, 2022–April 30, 2022

●  Who Can Enter: Any poet who’s not published a full-length book of poetry (i.e., in a volume of 48 or more pages in an edition of 500 or more copies)

●  Submission Fee: $25 per manuscript

●  Prize(s): $5,000 and publication by the press as part of the Pitt Poetry Series

●  Rules: Submissions must be in English, and manuscripts being considered by other publishers are allowed but should be withdrawn if publication is then offered elsewhere

Additional submission guidelines and information about previous winners can be found on each prize’s website.

3. Aesthetica Magazine

Aesthetica Magazine, an international art and culture magazine, hosts art, film, and writing contests each year.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award:

●  Submission Type: Poetry entries of no more than 40 lines, and short fiction entries of no more than 2,000 words

●  Theme: Any subject is welcome, except those that particularly “reflect upon our ever-changing world”

●  Accepting Submissions: Until August 31, 2022

●  Who Can Enter: Any established or emerging author, regardless of age or residence

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●  Submission Fee: £12 for each poetry submission, and £18 for each short fiction submission; unlimited entries per author

●  Prizes: Includes £2,500 for each poetry and short fiction winner, and publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual

●  Rules: Submissions must be in English, and works that have been published or are under consideration elsewhere are accepted

On the website, there are more submission rules and a complete list of prizes.

4. Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

The international bookstore, Desperate Literature, of Madrid, Spain, hosts an annual short fiction prize.

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize:

●  Submission Type: Original unpublished works of fiction of 2,000 words or less

●  Accepting Submissions: Until April 15, 2022

●  Who Can Enter: Any author, regardless of residence, who’s 18 years of age or older at the time of submission

●  Submission Fee: €20 for the first entry, and €10 for each additional entry; maximum of five entries per author

●  Prizes: The winner receives €1,500 and consultation with a literary agent, among other things, while runners-up each receive €750

●  Rules: Submissions must be written in English. Work already considered elsewhere will be accepted as long as it’s withdrawn at the time of selection

For more submission guidelines and a full list of prizes (including literary residencies and festival invitations!), visit the website. There’s also more information there about sponsored entries, which are free entries for underrepresented authors or those suffering financial hardship.

5. Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest

The American literary journal, Ploughshares, based out of Emerson College in Boston, MA, awards literary prizes to authors and holds a writing contest.

The Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest:

●  Submission Type: Unpublished original fiction and nonfiction works of 6,000 words or less, as well as poetry of 3–5 pages

●  Accepting Submissions: March 1, 2022–May 15, 2022

●  Who Can Enter: Any author who doesn’t have a published or self-published book; international authors should email (pshares@pshares.org) for further submission guidelines

●  Submission Fee: One submission per author is included for $24, which includes a one-year subscription to the journal and a free submission for current journal subscribers.

●  Prizes: Includes $2,000 for each author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and publication in the Ploughshares Winter 2022–2023 issue

●  Rules: Submissions must be in English, and work already considered elsewhere will be accepted

For more submission guidelines and a full list of prizes, visit the website.

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