Prize money. Recognition. Just knowing your work was superior. Whatever the reason, people who love to write are thrilled to win contests. Are you a content writer looking to get noticed? Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom with a story to tell, or an engineer with a great idea . No matter whom you are or what you do, you should enter an annual essay contest at least once in your life!
Whatever the contest, do your research and make sure the contest is legit and that the entry fee isn’t too high. Most essay contests are either free to enter or around $20 per entry.
Writer’s Digest currently offers 11 writing contests, one of which being the Annual Writing Competition. While most of the other writing contests for the magazine are based on fiction, this is a contest that accepts essays. The first entry you submit has a $25 fee, but the prize money may be worth the entry fee. With a grand prize of $3,000 cash, a trip to New York City and individual attention from editors and agents, who would want to pass this one up? The early bird submission deadline is May 12.
Since the year 2000, the magazine Real Simple has reached millions of readers, and for the past four years, the magazine has held an essay contest based on a theme. For example, the theme for 2011 was “When did you first understand the meaning of love?” The winning essay (no more than 1,500 words) is published in the magazine, and the writer receives $3,000 and a trip for two to New York City. Competition is fierce, as there were more than 7,000 entries in last year’s contest.
Fourth Genre, a journal showcasing works of nonfiction published by Michigan State University Press, holds an annual essay/memoir contest with a $1,000 prize and publication in an issue of the journal. Judges are looking for creativity and encourage unpublished authors to enter. There is a $20 entry fee for each submission. Essays are limited to 6,000 words. Last year’s contest had more than 300 submissions.
Wag’s Revue Summer/Winter Writers Contest
Wag’s Revue is an online-only publication filled with essays, stories, poems and interviews. Twice a year the publication holds an essay contest, offering a first prize amount of $1,000. Second place is awarded $500, and third place receives $100. Essays are to be no longer than 10,000 words and cost $20 per entry. Looking through past contest winners, you will see that length varies greatly. You need not write 10,000 words to win this contest.
Believe it or not, this Glamour magazine essay contest isn’t just for the ladies. Anyone over the age of 18 can enter. While there is no entry fee, you can only enter one essay. The winner receives $5,000, the possibility of his or her essay being published in an issue of Glamour, and the opportunity to meet with a literary agent. Winners in the past have written essays about topics like cancer and alcoholism.
Do you know of a reputable writing contest? Share it with us!