7 Free Writing Contests

Get ready to showcase your writing skills! I trust you will find a contest within these 7 free writing contests that will suit your talents.  Take note that Guardian Angel Kids is offering four various submission themes, so technically you have 11 contests to choose from, and FYI, the highest paying contest is Real Simple offering $3,000 cash prize!

7 Free Writing Contests

7 Free Writing Contests

1. Blue Mountain Arts

Announces Its Twenty-eighth Biannual Poetry Card Contest

Deadline: June 30, 2016
1st prize: $300 * 2nd prize: $150 * 3rd prize: $50

In addition, we will display the winning poems  on our website sps.com.
Please read the following, then scroll down to submit your poem.

Poetry Contest Guidelines: Rhyming or non-rhyming poems, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write. Judgment of Poems  by originality and uniqueness. English-language entries only, please. Enter as often as you like!

Poetry Contest Rules:
Only enter the original creation of the submitting author. All rights to the entries shall remain the property of the author. The author gives permission to Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. to publish and display the entry on the Web (in electronic form only) if a winner or finalist.

Winners contacted within 45 days of the deadline date. Contest is open to everyone except employees of Blue Mountain Arts and their families. Read More.

2. Dappled Things (Extended submissions)

Dappled Things honors the best essays published in the journal in a year through the Jacques Maritain Prize for Nonfiction.

Maritain was an influential 20th century Thomist philosopher and Catholic convert whose work covered a range of topics, including metaphysics and epistemology, ethics and politics, and—significantly for us—literature and art. His book Art and Scholasticism has been a major influence on Dappled Things’ own approach to aesthetics.

Consideration is given to all pieces submitted to our nonfiction section for our yearly Jacques Maritain Prize for Nonfiction. An independent judge selects the three prize winners from among all the nonfiction pieces published in the magazine during the previous year.

The prize amounts are as follows:

First prize: $500

Second prize: $300

Third prize: $200

We are not interested in work that uses an overly academic tone. Avoid jargon and send us work that will be of interest to the well-informed non-specialist. Instead of including a list of works cited, include any citations in journalistic style, as a part of the piece itself.

We are open to a range of topics and approaches; take a look through past editions of the journal to see what sort of nonfiction we publish.

You may use this category for submitting essays, memoirs, interviews, and other nonfiction articles, but please submit book reviews through the category specifically designated for them. Note that neither interviews nor book reviews are eligible for the Jacques Maritain Prize.

Please send only one non-fiction piece at a time and wait for a response before making a new submission.

Please include a byline in your cover letter that we can use in our contributor notes.

Read More or Submission Form

3. Guardian Angel Kids


September | ALL ABOUT MONKEYS | July 1, 2016
October | HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS | August 1, 2016
November |HEAVENLY KIDS | September 1, 2016
December | SEEING EYEGLASSES | October 1, 2016

Each issue has a theme. We will only accept material for the monthly theme. Your submissions could be edited for content, punctuation, and spelling.
If you do not wish to have your work edited, then please do not submit.


Resources For Freelance Writers Including Original E books By A Successful Freelance Writer.


We pay

  • $0.03 cents per word for articles and stories.
  • Poems $10.
  • Photos $3 each with an article.
  • Original Artwork $5-25 per illustration-1 illustration/picture per article/story.

4. Lee & Low Books

17th Annual New Voices Award

LEE & LOW BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to announce the seventeenth annual NEW VOICES AWARD. The Award will be given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color.

Established in 2000, the NEW VOICES AWARD encourages writers of color to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Past NEW VOICES AWARD submissions we have published include The Blue Roses, winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People; Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds:

The Sammy Lee Story, a Texas Bluebonnet Masterlist selection; and It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor. Read More.

5. Real Simple.

Ninth Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest

Maybe you had to move cross-country after being relocated for a job, opening up new possibilities along with fears. Or maybe you needed to sell your house or leave an apartment before you expected to.

How did that situation influence the rest of your life? If one unavoidable shift changed your world—for good and bad—in enduring ways, write it down and share it with Real Simple.

Enter Real Simple’s ninth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000. Read More or Submission Form.

6.  Press

Scratchpost Press is a publishing experiment. Scratchpost’s goal is quality publishing at a fair price to the creators as well as the consumer, with a key interest in solid storytelling and an excellent understanding of genre.
Our goal is to edit your work to make it shine.
Our goal is to publish your books and comics.
Our goal is to create and publish collections of your short stories, flash fiction, poetry and graphic shorts.
Our goal is to raise the bar for anthro publishing just a little higher.

Join us, won’t you?


7. Sudden Insight Publishing

Theme: The Effects of Technology We want stories about technology regarding period pieces about some ancient invention, or a futuristic device; or about humans or aliens or faeries (or demons and angels, or zombies!) or whatever other kind of life form you relate to, in whatever version of reality you want to put them in.

The character or characters  involved in or affected by some technology in a meaningful way; other than that, it’s wide open.

Word Count: 6,000 – 10,000 words If we get too many entries, we might not have time to go through the ones that are too long or too short; if we do, and we really like the story, we might end up asking for a rewrite or making some cuts.

That’s a lot of ‘if’s’ for a story to survive just to get considered; we ask that contributors keep it in mind: 6,000 to 10,000 words, please.

Genre: Fiction (no erotica, please)
Audience: Adult/New Adult
Taboos: No excessive violence or vulgarity, please If this was a movie, we would be aiming for a PG-13 rating, so please keep that in mind
Submission Dates: April 1st – June 30th, 2016
Entry Fee: FREE!
Rights: If selected, you are to sign a contract giving Sudden Insight

Questions or submissions: [email protected]
One submission per author.

May these 7 free writing contests bring you so much joy, please give me feedback of your exciting results!


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