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Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Fall 2022


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This contest submissions season covers deadlines from September 1, 2022 through November 30, 2022. 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.


September 2022

American-Scandinavian Foundation – ASF Translation Awards – $0 fee

Deadline: September 1, 2022 11:59pm EDT

“The American-Scandinavian Foundation annually awards three translation prizes for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a 20th or 21st-century Nordic author…” Awards $2,000+ and include publication in Scandinavian Review.

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Regional restriction—less competition

Black Warrior Review – 2022 fiction contest – $6 fee (flash) and $15 fee (fiction)

Deadline: September 1, 2022

Annual contest in fiction (up to 7,000 words) or flash (up to 3 pieces).

“Fiction winner “receive[s] $1000 and publication in BWR … The first runner-up … receive[s] monetary compensation, acknowledgment in the print issue, and online publication (if desired). We may consider any submission for general publication.” 

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Prestige—#88 in Pushcart ranking
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

Fractured Lit – Micro Fiction Prize – $20 fee

Deadline: September 19, 2022

“Guest judge Grant Faulkner will choose three stories from a shortlist. We’re excited to offer the winner of this prize $2500 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $600 and $400, respectively. … Fractured Lit is looking for flash fiction that lingers long past the first reading. We’re searching for flash that investigates the mysteries of being human, the sorrow, and the joy of connecting to the diverse population around us. We want the stories that explode vertically, the flash that leaves the conventional and the clichéd far behind. Fractured Lit is a flash fiction–centered place for all writers of any background and experience. … [Submit] 4 stories of 400 words or fewer each per entry.”

Reasons to submit:

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

JuxtaProse Literary Magazine – JuxtaProse Fiction Prize – $18 fee

Deadline: September 25, 2022

“$1,000 and publication in JuxtaProse Literary Magazine will be awarded to the winning piece. Up to three additional pieces, each by a different author, may be awarded “Honorable Mention” status, for which they will receive $100 and publication. All entries will be considered for publication, regardless of whether they receive honorable mention status. … Entries should contain a single story that is between 500 and 7,000 words.”

Reasons to submit:

  • No hunting for winners—can read past winners online
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

University of Iowa Press – Iowa Short Fiction Award – $0 fee

Deadline: September 30, 2022

“Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. … The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. … Stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion. There is no reading fee … Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press’s standard contract.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Rebirth—accepts published work

Sunspot Literary Journal – 2022 Inception Contest – $9 fee

Deadline: September 30, 2022

“Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the beginning comes. Word limit is 250 for prose … Prize: $250 cash plus publication for the winner. … Publication will be offered to runners-up and finalists.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Friendly to novelists
  • No hunting for winners—can read past winners online

Ghost Story – Supernatural Fiction Award – $20 fee

Deadline: September 30, 2022 11:59pm EDT

Fun fact: A previous winner of this contest is a Writer Unboxed reader who found it in this very roundup!

“Twice each year TGS awards $1,500 and both online and print publication to the winner of our short story competition. Two other writers receive Honorable Mention awards that include publication and cash prizes of $300. … Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is fine writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises in the field of supernatural fiction. Story length should run between 1,500 and 10,000 words.”

Reasons to submit:

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

October 2022

The Missouri Review – Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize – $25 fee

Deadline: October 1, 2022

$5000 prize. “Winners receive publication, invitation to a reception and reading in their honor, and a cash prize. … up to 8,500 words … Each entrant receives a one-year subscription to the Missouri Review in digital format (normal price $24).” 

Reasons to submit:

Zoetrope: All-Story – Short Fiction Competition – $30 fee

Deadline: October 3, 2022 11:59pm PDT

“First prize: $1,000 / Second prize: $500 / Third prize: $250 … The three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation … We accept all genres of literary fiction. Entries must be: unpublished at the time of submission; strictly 5,000 words or fewer; … We welcome multiple entries ($30/story), simultaneous submissions, and entrants from outside the United States. We will email contest updates and results to anyone who provides an active email address.

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Prestige—#6 in Pushcart ranking
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes
  • No hunting for winners—can read 2021 winner online

New Letters – Editor’s Choice Award – $20 fee

Deadline: October 18, 2022

“We’re looking for work that experiments, that crosses the traditional boundaries of genre and form. … Max word count is 8,000. … Entries must cross the traditional boundaries of genre and form. … The winner will be published in New Letters and receive a $1,000 cash prize.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Prestige—#42 in Pushcart ranking
  • Read on—entry fee includes one-year subscription

University of Louisville – The Calvino Prize – $25 fee

Deadline: October 15, 2022

“The Calvino Prize is an annual fiction competition sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the English Department of the University of Louisville. They will be awarded to outstanding pieces of fiction in the fabulist experimentalist style of Italo Calvino. … The first place entry will be published in Miracle Monocle journal at the University of Louisville. Further, the winner will be invited to read the winning entry, all expenses paid (within the continental US), at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900 held at the University of Louisville every February. The 10 finalists will be posted on the website. … First Place: $2000 and Publication; Second Place: $300.” Submit up to 25 pages. 

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Rebirth—accepts published work
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes
  • Wanderluster—prize includes lodging or travel

Uncharted Magazine – Novel Excerpt Contest – $20 fee

Deadline: October 31, 2022

“We’re looking for the best 5,000 words or less of your novel in progress! Have a favorite chapter? An exciting and noteworthy prologue? A section where the dialogue crackles and the characters loom larger than life on the page? Give us a chance to read that section of your novel that captivates your audience enough to make them want to keep reading! Guest judge Literary Agent Naomi Davis will choose three winning stories from a shortlist. … We’re excited to offer the winner of this prize $3000 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $300 and $200, respectively along with publication.”

Reasons to submit:

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

November 2022

Fiction Collective 2 – Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize – $25 fee

Deadline: November 1, 2022

“The FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize is open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English with at least three books of fiction published. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. … The Prize includes $15,000 and publication by FC2, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press. … Submit a previously unpublished manuscript of any length through our electronic submissions manager. … The manuscript must be anonymous.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Blind submissions are fine submissions!
  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Friendly to novelists
  • Rebirth—accepts published work

PEN America – 2023 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers – $0 fee

Deadline: November 1, 2022

“The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers recognizes twelve emerging writers each year for their debut short story published in a literary magazine, journal, or cultural website, and aims to support the launch of their careers as fiction writers.

Each of the twelve winning writers receives a cash prize of $2,000 and the independent book publisher Catapult will publish the twelve winning stories in an annual anthology entitled Best Debut Short Stories: The PEN America Dau Prize, which will acknowledge the literary magazines and websites where the stories were originally published.”

Reasons to submit:

  • Eligibility restriction—less competition
  • Flag-bearer—open to international submissions
  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Oh, wordy!—generous word count limit
  • Rebirth—accepts published work
  • Share the wealth—multiple prizes

The Writer’s Center — Compass Fellowship — $0

Deadline: November 1, 2022

“If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer looking for where to go next, The Writer’s Center Compass Fellowship is a great place to start! Our renewed fellowship program will introduce a new writer each year to our writing family, to help guide them along the next steps on their path, with $1000 in credits toward any TWC workshops within a two-year period, a $300 cash stipend, and opportunities to be published in The Writer’s Center Magazine and featured in TWC events. … No previous publication experience is necessary. Applicants must be local in the DMV area and be able to travel to Bethesda[, Maryland].”

Reasons to submit:

  • Friendly to emerging writers
  • Read on—entry fee includes one-year subscriptions to Poet Lore and Barrelhouse
  • Regional restriction—less competition
  • 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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