Short Story Contests: February

In Writing on January 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm

If your New Year’s resolution was to write more (and I’m sure, like me, you’ve stuck with your resolutions with steadfast determination) it may be just about time to send some of that new material out into the world.

Submit, I tell you, submit! Just, you know, in a good way…

The Madison Review Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction
  • Deadline: February 1
  • Guidelines: 30 pages or fewer
  • Entry fee: $10
  • First Prize: $1,000
The Nelson Algren Short Story Award
  • Deadline: February 1 (you have until midnight Friday, so get on it!)
  • Guidelines: 8,000 words or fewer
  • Entry fee: $0 (seriously)
  • First Prize: $3,500
Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Short Story Award
  • Deadline: February 15
  • Guidelines: 2,000 words or fewer on the theme of “A Winter’s Tale” or “A Spring Story”
  • Entry fee: $10
  • First prize: $200
The Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers
  • Deadline: February 28
  • Guidelines: 12,000 words or fewer
  • Entry fee: $15
  • First prize: $1,500
  • Deadline: February 28
  • Guidelines: 1,000 words or fewer
  • Entry fee: $0
  • First prize: Publication and Writers Workshop scholarship
The Ledge 2013 Fiction Award
  • Deadline: February 28
  • Guidelines: 7,500 words or fewer
  • Entry fee: $12
  • First Prize: $1,000
  • Deadline: February 28
  • Guidelines: 10,000 words or fewer
  • Entry fee: $22.09 (taxes and fees in there)
  • First prize: $1,000
WOW! Women On Writing Winter Flash Fiction Contest
  • Deadline: February 28
  • Guidelines:  250-750 words
  • Entry fee: $10
  • First prize: $350

As always, I’ve tried to only include the most updated, highest-quality contests here. That said, if you know of a contest that should be on here and isn’t, by all means let me know and I’ll add it! Keep in mind, this is only short story competitions — so you’ll find no fellowships or collection contests here! (
  1. Thanks so much for doing up this list!

  2. I second that. Thank you so much. This is invaluable information for us writers. I appreciate it so much. 🙂

  3. However, it would be much better if there were a lot more free contests here, its simply not worth it (not to mention WRONG) to have to pay entry fees just to have your stuff rejected anyway. I’d much rather enter contests that were reputable AND free. Why pay any money just to submit your stuff, you know? That just sticks in my craw. I shouldn’t have to pay anything to submit my stuff anywhere. I have limited funds, and I’m gonna shell out hundreds of dollars just to SEND in my stuff (over multiple contests)?! Even just $10 or $5 sticks in my craw. Why the bleep should I have to pay anyone anything to submit anywhere, when they’re most likely gonna reject it anyway and just use the $ to pad their own pockets?! The bleep with that! No way. I’ll never pay to enter ANY contest, no matter what. I don’t think its worth it. Sorry for the rant here, I just think there should be more free contests listed. Sorry. 🙂

  4. And in many of these contests, your entry fee is just a sneaky way of the magazine getting you to pay for a submission that you don’t even want and have no use for! Even in the free contests, they’re still pitching you to subscribe to their magazine AFTER you’ve submitted, in your confirmation email! Bleeping bleepity bleep. Makes me so mad. Grr… 😦 There should be more free, quality contests out there for people to enter. The Nelson Algren you have up there is excellent, but I missed the deadline…bleep. Argh. 😦 Next year, I guess! *sigh* 😦

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