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Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Summer 2022


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This contest submissions season covers deadlines from June 1, 2022 through August 31, 2022. Summer is a slower time for any literary journal or contest associated with a university, but there are still opportunities between beach waves and new drafts. Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, Submittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.

Since my last roundup, I’ve published a story in Palooka and been invited to give a free workshop about submissions at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. I’m also considering creating a submissions tracking alternative to spreadsheets or Duotrope and looking for submitters to chat with.

June 2022

Salamander Magazine – 2022 Fiction Prize – $15 fee

Deadline: June 1, 2022

“First Prize: $1,000 and Publication; Second Prize: $500 and Publication; All entries will be considered for publication. All entries will be considered anonymously. Send no more than one story per entry. Each story must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages in 12 point font. … Contest reading fee includes a one-year subscription.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Read on—entry fee includes one-year subscription
  • Rebirth—accepts published work
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

American Short Fiction – Halifax Ranch Prize – $20 fee

Deadline: June 1, 2022

“The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and publication in an upcoming issue of American Short Fiction. In addition, the winner will receive a week-long all-expenses-paid writing retreat (optional—dates TBD) at the Tasajillo Residency, which neighbors the Halifax Ranch just outside of Austin in Kyle, Texas. … Please submit your $20 entry fee and your work through Submittable. International submissions in English are eligible. … All submitters will receive a complimentary copy of the prize issue. All entries must be single, self-contained works of fiction, between 2,000-6,500 words. Please DO NOT include any identifying information on the manuscript itself. … Winners will be announced in September.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Prestige—#17 in Pushcart ranking
  • Wanderluster—prize includes lodging or travel

Bath Flash Fiction Award – £9 fee

Deadline: June 5, 2022

“300 word limit. £1000 prize for the winner, £300 second and £100 third. Two commendations £30 each. 50 longlisted entrants offered publication in our end of year print and digital anthology. Those accepting receive a free copy.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Willow Springs Books – Spokane Prize for Short Fiction – $28 fee

Deadline: June 24, 2022

“The winner receives $2,000 plus publication. … Open To: All United States authors, regardless of publication history. … Submit A book-length manuscript. Manuscripts should be no less than 98 pages (with no maximum page count) and include at least 3 short stories. Manuscripts should be organized with page numbers and a table of contents. Stories may have been previously published in journals, anthologies, or limited edition volumes. However, selected story collections (stories previously published in books) will not be considered. Please do not send novels.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Friendly to short story writers exclusively
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Prestige—#98 in Pushcart ranking
  • Rebirth—accepts published work

University of Pittsburgh Press – Drue Heinz Literature Prize – $0 fee

Deadline: June 30, 2022

“The award is open to writers who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution. Digital-only publication and self-publication do not count toward this requirement. The award is open to writers in English, whether or not they are citizens of the United States. … Eligible submissions include an unpublished manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 pages. Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic) makes it ineligible. Stories or novellas presviously published in magazines or journals or in book form as part of an anthology are eligible.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Friendly to novelists
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Rebirth—accepts published work

July 2022

Ruminate – The Waking Flash Prose Prize – Fiction – $8 fee

Deadline: July 1, 2022

“The Waking is an online literary magazine and part of the Ruminate creative community that houses high-quality literary writing about what it’s like to be human. This art can be beautiful, it can be strange, we just ask that it feels true. … Publication of the Winner, Runner-Up, and Select Finalists: Online AND in Ruminate’s annual print prize anthology” Submit up to two stories of 1,000 words each. “$500 cash prize and publication on The Waking will be awarded to the winner … All entries will also be considered for publication in The Waking.” Entry scholarships available.

Reasons to submit:

The Saturday Evening Post – Great American Fiction Contest – $10 fee

Deadline: July 1, 2022

“In its two centuries of existence, The Saturday Evening Post has published short fiction by a who’s who of great American authors … This contest is a tribute to the Post’s legacy of featuring the most renowned American fiction writers … The winning story will be published in the January/February 2023 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, and the author will receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $200 and will also have their stories featured online.” Submit 1,500 – 5,000 words.

Reasons to submit:

The Southampton Review – Stony Brook Undergraduate Short Fiction Prize – $0 fee

Deadline: July 14, 2022

“Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges for the academic year 2021-2022 are eligible. … Submissions of no more than 7,500 words. … Submission assumes the right of Stony Brook to publish the winning story on its Web site. … The author of the winning story will receive $1,000 and a scholarship to the 2023 Southampton Writers Conference Additionally, the winning story will automatically be considered for publication in TSR: The Southampton Review.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Prestige—#42 in Pushcart ranking
  • Wanderluster—prize includes lodging or travel

Bellevue Literary Review – Goldenberg Prize for Fiction – $20 fee

Deadline: July 15, 2020

“The annual BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. … First prize is $1,000 (in each genre) and publication in the Spring 2023 issue of BLR. Honorable mention winners will receive $250 and publication in the Spring 2023 issue of BLR. … The Bellevue Literary Review seeks character-driven fiction with  original voices and strong settings. We do not publish genre fiction (romance, sci-fi,  horror).  Our word max is 5,000, though most of our published stories tend to be in the range of 2,000-4,000 words. We have only occasionally published flash  fiction.  While we are always interested in creative explorations in style, we do  lean toward classic short stories.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Prestige—#27 in Pushcart ranking
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Nimrod International Journal – Francine Ringold Award for New Writers – $12 fee

Deadline: July 15, 2022

“The Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers honor the work of writers at the beginning of their careers.” $500 prize and publication in the spring issue of Nimrod. “Honorable Mentions will also be published and paid at our standard publication rates. … Winners will have the chance to work with the Nimrod board of editors to refine and edit their manuscripts before publication. Open onlFriendly to emergingy to writers whose work has not appeared or is not scheduled to appear in more than 2 publications…” Submit up to 5,000 words.

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Prestige—#117 in Pushcart ranking

2022 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest – $0-$15 fee

Deadline: July 30, 2022

“Residents of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, are eligible. … no restrictions on subject matter.” Submit up to 4,000 words. “First prize is $500 and an invitation to speak briefly about the story at the 26th annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival in October 2022. … Two runner-up prizes of $100 each. … The winning entries will be available online.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Regional restriction—less competition
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Crazyhorse – Crazyshorts! Short-Short Fiction Contest – $15 fee

Deadline: July 31, 2022

Annual contest expected to repeat this July. $1,000 and publication for first place. “Submit 1-3 stories of up to 500 words each. … All entries will be considered for publication. Before you submit, please remove your name and any other identifying information from your manuscript. Simultaneous submissions are okay, as long as you contact us should the work be accepted elsewhere. The $15 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Crazyhorse.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Prestige—#44 in Pushcart ranking
  • Read on—entry fee includes one-year subscription

August 2022

PEN America – Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction – $40 fee

Deadline: August 1, 2022

“The PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction is a career-founding prize, which promotes fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. Established by Barbara Kingsolver in 2000, it is awarded biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that exemplifies the prize’s founding principles. … Entries are judged blindly … The author of the winning manuscript is awarded a prize of $25,000 and a publishing contract with Algonquin Books, as well as an additional publishing advance. The winning author can expect to work closely with an editor from Algonquin prior to publication, and will receive promotional support from PEN America and Algonquin.” Submit an unpublished novel of at least 80,000 words in length.

Reasons to submit:

  • Friendly to unagented writers
  • Friendly to novelists
  • Prestige
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Blue Earth Review – Summer Writing Contest – $5 fee

Deadline: August 15, 2022

“Though we consider magazine-length writing, generally, we publish in a small, square, focused format, so we gravitate towards shorter works in which every word matters. That said, we want to see what you love, whatever the length. Send us that so we can love it, too. … Submit up to two flash fiction pieces of no more than 750 words each. … Winner will receive $500 plus publication in an upcoming issue of Blue Earth Review. We may offer publication to additional finalists.

Reasons to submit:

  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Third Wednesday – George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest – $6 fee

Deadline: August 15, 2022

Full disclosure: Third Wednesday was my first publication (as a result of submitting to this contest).

“Three Winning Stories will be awarded $100 each! The editors of Third Wednesday are pleased to honor the memory of George Dila, friend of Third Wednesday and the editor who originally brought fiction to 3W. … From May 1st to August 15th, 2022 we will accept entries of previously unpublished fiction under 1000 words in length (including title). Three winning stories will receive cash prizes of $100 each and a print copy of the contest issue. … Do not include any identifying information within files or file names. Our judge will read all submissions blindly.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

The Masters Review – Short Story Award for New Writers – $20 fee

Deadline: August 28, 2022

“DETAILS: Working with six agencies, our winner and honorable mentions earn agency review as well as publication. The winning story earns $3000. Second and third place runners up receive $300 and $200, respectively. Check out our Summer Award information and previous Summer and Winter winners, including Joe Bond, who earned representation from Sarah Fuentes of Fletcher & Company as a result of this contest.” Under 6,000 words by an emerging writer anywhere in the world. Judged blind.

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • No hunting for winners—can read past winners online
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Have I missed a great writing contest? Please leave a comment and let me know where you found it.

Happy submitting!

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About Arthur Klepchukov

Arthur Klepchukov was born between Black Seas, Virginian Beaches, and San Franciscan waves. He adores trains, swing sets, and music that tears him outta time. Read Art’s words in Glimmer Train, The Best American Mystery Stories 2019, The Common, Necessary Fiction, and more at ArsenalOfWords.com

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