Want to make money writing, but tired of dealing with agents and publishing houses?

Here’s an idea: submit your work to writing contests. 

Writing contests are great ways to get paid for your writing without having to navigate the complicated world of publishing houses and agents.

You submit your work, if it’s good enough, you get published and paid. That simple.

But which are worth submitting to? How do you find high-paying, respectable contests?

An agent in our network passed us these three contests that pay well and are published by highly-respected organizations and journals. Check them out below.

Deadline too tight? Not the themes you’re looking for?

We put out a curated list of the latest publishing opportunities each week. Be sure to check back here in 7 days for 3 more contests! Or, you can get on our mailing list to have this list delivered straight to your inbox. Never miss a publishing opportunity again. Click below to sign up.

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Gulf Coast: The Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing

Who they are: Gulf Coast is a nationally distributed journal of Literature and Fine Arts housed within the University of Houston’s English Department, home to one of the US’s top-ranked creative writing programs. Gulf Coast differs from many other literary journals in its commitment to exploring visual art and critical art writing.

What they publish: For this contest, they will accept a variety of creative approaches and formats to writing on the visual arts, including exhibition reviews, thematic essays, and scholarly essays.

Word Count: Up to 1,500 words

Prize: First prize: $3000; Runners up (2): $1,000

Deadline: September 15, 2020

Submittable link: Click Here

More info and guidelines: Click here

Casa Africa Essay Prize: Climate Change in Africa: Climate change in Africa

Who they are: Casa Africa is a Spanish government organization which aims to promote “good understanding and trust between Spain and Africa, and strengthen” Hispano-African relations through dissemination, educational and cultural activities. They run an essay contest each year.

What they publish: For this contest, they want essays on climate change, its effects on the African continent, future trends and, especially, the way in which this threat is being fought. The essays may be presented in any of the following languages: Spanish, English, French or Portuguese.

Word count: 15,000-20,000 words

Deadline: September 17, 2020

Prize: €2,000

Read their guidelines and submit your work here. 

Dzanc Books Prizes

Who they are: Dzanc Books is an award-winning independent press and non-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to outstanding fiction and nonfiction. Their mission is to “advance great writing and to impact communities nationally with our efforts to promote literary readership and advocacy of creative writing workshops and readings offered across the country.”

What they publish: They have several open contests:

  • the Prize for Fiction, which recognizes novels that are daring, original, and innovative, and offers a $5,000 advance and publication;
  • the Short Story Collection, which seeks well-crafted and powerful book-length collections and offers a $2,000 advance and publication;
  • This year, we will offer a Diverse Voices Prize, seeking book-length literary fiction and nonfiction from writers in minority, underrepresented, or marginalized communities. The Diverse Voices Prize offers a $3,000 advance and publication.

Prize: $5,000, $2,000 and $3,000

Deadline: September 30, 2020

Read their guidelines and submit your work here. 

Is your work good enough to win these high-stakes competitions?

With big prizes comes big competition. Your work needs to be airtight if you want to even think about winning. If you’re not confident that your work is ready, we can help.

Run your work by an experienced writing coach and get professional feedback and editing so you can submit with confidence. Learn more about how we can help you prepare your work for submission and hop into our calendar for a consultation call.

Check out how our services helped Lauren get a short story published in an anthology:

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