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Top 5 Writing Contests for Published and Unpublished Authors

By on July 02, 2013 . Category Tips

If you want your writing career to take off, you will need to get noticed. That sounds easier than it really is. One of the best ways to become relevant in the land of literature is through writing contests. There are many competitions you can enter each year, some for published authors, and many more for unpublished authors. You should enter as many of them as you can.

The rules and requirements to enter a writing contest will vary. It is your responsibility to follow all of the submission guidelines before you enter your work. If you do not follow the rules, your work could be disqualified.

Be sure to meet all contest deadlines, and adhere to all the submission guidelines, including novel formatting, page length, and word requirements. You want your work to be noticed, so your first impression not only counts, but it may be the only chance you get for that particular contest!

The Top 5 Writing Contests Chosen by Us

Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest has multiple contests for you to enter throughout the year. The contests are divided into genres, such as thriller, young adult, romance, and more. The entry fee for each contest is never more than $100. The guidelines will vary with each contest. The typical submission guidelines require you to submit a manuscript that is no longer than 4,000 words. The manuscript or document can be mailed in, or submitted online.

The National Book Foundation

The National Book Foundation writing contest is open to published authors. There is an entry fee of $125, and if you are one of the lucky winners, you could receive up to $10,000. Your entry must be a published literary work. You can submit novels, poetry, short stories, and more literary formats. You will receive a list of the five judges, and you must submit a novel to each judge separately.

The Benjamin Franklin Awards

The Benjamin Franklin Awards has 55 categories, and you can submit to multiple categories, which are divided by genre. You must submit a $90 entry fee for each category that you enter. Your entry fee must accompany the entry form, along with four copies of your manuscript.

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest is a great way to receive feedback from actual customers. When you submit your manuscript, you must give Amazon the rights to publication. If Amazon chooses to pass on your project, you are free to shop your literary work around. To enter this contest, you must meet the genre requirements, and your manuscript must be between 50,000 to 150,000 words.

Folio Prize

The Folio Prize is a global writing contest. In order to enter, your novel must be nominated. Publishers from all around the world, including indie-publishers, are responsible for nominating the authors. You have the opportunity to win up to $40,000.

Good luck!


  • Elsie weber


  • Genroa

    What kind of help?

  • Farida Shukoor

    Do stories need to be edited before submission? How long need a short story be?

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