A collection of writing contests

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Today I'm highlighting a few contests you might be interested in. These are for YA, mystery, and speculative fiction. Sometimes when you're dealing with writer's block, or manuscript fatigue, writing for a contest is just the thing to revive your flagging creativity. My current novel was inspired by a short story contest. You never know where it will take you.

Poisoned Pen has begun a new YA mystery imprint (The Poisoned Pencil) and is looking for manuscripts.

Carolrhoda Books is accepting unagented submissions of YA manuscripts for a limited time.

Do you write mystery, but not YA?  Criminal Element is putting together an e-anthology, The Malfeasance Occasional, and it pays $350. The theme is "girl trouble".

And finally, the StoneThread Publishing Speculative Fiction Contest II. They're looking for short stories in science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, psychological horror or suspense, ghost stories, urban fantasy, or paranormal romance, and can be set in any time frame.

Our first contest was such a huge success that we've decided to do it again! We're seeking speculative fiction short stories. For our contests, speculative fiction is defined as any story in any genre that responds to the question "What if?" in a way that depends on science or on any fantastic elements. The genres might include science fiction (hard or sociological), fantasy, magic realism, psychological horror or suspense (no slash and gash please), ghost stories, urban fantasy, paranormal romance (no erotica please), etc. They may be based in the past, present or future. With that in mind, send us your best effort. There are twenty-two monetary prizes.

And if those aren't enough, Carla Jansen has a few more in her contest blog post.

             Has a contest ever inspired you in a new direction?


  1. I think at least one of these fits you!


  2. I read a book about writing short story recently. A contest might be a good way to create a deadline to "try it" soon. - Stacy

  3. Thanks, Debbie. Like I've said in the past, I am always delighted to find great take-away value every time I visit your blog. I'll take a look at these contests, as well as those listed on Carla's blog.

    Hope you are doing great. Enjoy the weekend. :-)


  4. I hope you get to try it, Stacy! Best of luck!

    Janette, I hope you find a contest that fits your writing perfectly. And it's a lovely fall weekend here in the mountains! Enjoy yours, too.


  5. Hi Debbie! Contest inspiring me in a new direction? One did! I joined a flash fiction contest (I think you voted on it) and I changed the story around from something else I had written. I was really intrigued with the story and it set in motion a totally new WIP!
    Thanks for posting these!

  6. That's just what happened to me a few years ago! Best of luck with the new project.




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