List of Writing Contests [Due May 2024]

List of Writing Contests [Due May 2024]

Writing contests, challenges, and submissions are an excellent way for writers for get their work out there. Not to mention, these submissions are great practice for not only writing but also for submitting your work, receiving feedback, and (unfortunately) getting rejected.

Here’s a list of writing contests and submissions all due within the next month.

A QUICK NOTE: Remember to read every submission guideline on the submissions page, no matter where you submit your work. Information I have written here may change overtime and failure to read the follow the respective guidelines on the following websites may result in an automatic rejection of your work.

Good luck submitting your work!

Writing Contests

Due in May 2024

With No Entry Fees

Host: Common Ground Review
What:
Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Fiction
Deadline:
May 1, 2024

Host: Prairie Schooner
What: Essay, Fiction, Poetry
Deadline: May 2, 2024

Host: Foglifter Journal
What: Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction
Deadline: May 2, 2024

Host: Miniskirt Magazine
What: Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction
Theme: Pride
Deadline: May 10, 2024

Host: Kelp Journal
What: Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction
Deadline: May 16, 2024

Host: Labyrinth
What: Academic essays, Prose, Poetry
Deadline: May 18, 2024

Host: Lucky Jefferson
What: Poetry, Prose, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Creative Non-fiction
Theme: “Ember”
Deadline: May 20, 2024

Host: Lucky Jefferson
What: Poetry, Prose, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Creative Non-fiction
Theme: “Wildflower”
Deadline: May 20, 2024

Host: Oyster River Pages
What: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Host: Baltimore Review
What: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Host: Midway Journal
What: Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Host: Black Fox Literary
What: Fiction, YA Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Host: Poet Lore
What: Poetry
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Host: 3Elements Review
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Theme: Must use the words “wedding dress,” “crowd,” and “anchorage”
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Writing Contests

Due in May 2024

With Entry Fees

Host: Radar Poetry
What:
Poetry
Submission Fee: $3 ($25 with feedback)
Deadline: May 1, 2024

Host: Writer’s Digest
What: Annual Writing Competition
Submission Fee: $20 for poetry ($15 for additional poetry entries), $30 for manuscript ($25 for additional manuscript entries)
Deadline: May 6, 2024 (early-bird deadline)

Host: Baltimore Review
What: Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry, Flash Creative Non-fiction
Submission Fee: $8
Deadline: May 31, 2024

Rachel Poli

Rachel Poli

Author

Rachel Poli is a multi-genre author with a soft spot for mystery.

She often experiments with short stories and flash fiction, however, she's currently working on the first book of her detective fiction series.

When she's not writing, she's usually cleaning, reading, or playing video games. She currently resides in New England with her zoo.

Website | Ko-fi

Take a Peek at My WIP Updates on Ko-fi!

Take a Peek at My WIP Updates on Ko-fi!

We’re halfway through the month, so another writing update is now live on my Ko-fi page!

Click the button below to be brought directly to the update.

If you never want to miss a Ko-fi update, follow my Ko-fi page (it’s free!), and if you can spare it, consider buying me a coffee to help offset the costs of self-publishing.

Thank you!

Rachel Poli

Rachel Poli

Author

Rachel Poli is a multi-genre author with a soft spot for mystery.

She often experiments with short stories and flash fiction, however, she's currently working on the first book of her detective fiction series.

When she's not writing, she's usually cleaning, reading, or playing video games. She currently resides in New England with her zoo.

Website | Ko-fi

List of Writing Contests Due in April 2024

List of Writing Contests Due in April 2024

Writing contests, challenges, and submissions are an excellent way for writers for get their work out there. Not to mention, these submissions are great practice for not only writing but also for submitting your work, receiving feedback, and (unfortunately) getting rejected.

Here’s a list of writing contests and submissions all due within the next month.

A QUICK NOTE: Remember to read every submission guideline on the submissions page, no matter where you submit your work. Information I have written here may change overtime and failure to read the follow the respective guidelines on the following websites may result in an automatic rejection of your work.

Good luck submitting your work!

Writing Contests

Due in April 2024

With No Entry Fees

Host: Broad River Review
What: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Deadline: April 1, 2024

Host: Bare Hill Review
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: April 5, 2024

Host: The Tomahawk Creek Review
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: April 6, 2024

Host: The Healing Muse
What:
Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Host: Quarter After Eight
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Host: Paper Dragon
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Host: Flash Fiction Online
What:
Flash Fiction
Theme: Weird Horror
Deadline: April 21, 2024 (may close early if they reach 1,000 submissions)

Host: Chicken Soup for the Soul
What:
Non-fiction stories or poems
Theme:
Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, New Year’s
Deadline:
April 30, 2024

Host: Chicken Soup for the Soul
What:
Non-fiction stories or poems
Theme:
Funny Stories
Deadline:
April 30, 2024

Host: Marathon Lit Review
What:
Fiction, Flash Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Deadline: April 30, 2024

Writing Contests

Due in April 2024

With Entry Fees

Host: Writer’s Digest
What:
Self-published books
Submission Fee: $100 (early-bird)
Deadline: April 1, 2024 (early-bird)

Host: Atticus Review
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction
Submission Fee:
$3
Deadline:
April 2, 2024

Host: Blood Orange Review
What:
Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Submission Fee: $3
Deadline: April 2, 2024

Host: Palette Poetry
What:
Poetry
Theme: Love
Submission Fee: $20
Deadline: April 7, 2024

Host: Green Linden Press
What:
Poetry
Submission Fee: $3
Deadline: April 14, 2024

Host: Common Ground Review
What:
Poetry
Submission Fee: $15
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Host: Pangyrus LitMag
What:
Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Submission Fee: $3
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Host: Broad River Review
What:
Fiction, Poetry
Submission Fee: $20
Deadline: April 15, 2024

Host: The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park
What:
Short Story
Submission Fee: $15
Deadline: April 16, 2024

Host: The Good Life Review
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Submission Fee: $18
Deadline: April 16, 2024

Host: Quillkeepers Press
What: Story, Essay, Memoir
Theme: Grief Anthology
Submission Fee: $2
Deadline: April 28, 2024

Host: Ninth Letter
What:
Literary Awards for Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Submission Fee: $18
Deadline: April 30, 2020

Host: Brevity Mag
What:
Brief Non-fiction
Submission Fee: $3
Deadline: April 30, 2024

Host: Five Points
What:
Short Fiction, Fiction, Short Non-fiction, Essay, Poetry
Submission Fee: $3.75
Deadline: April 30, 2024

Rachel Poli

Rachel Poli

Author

Rachel Poli is a multi-genre author with a soft spot for mystery.

She often experiments with short stories and flash fiction, however, she's currently working on the first book of her detective fiction series.

When she's not writing, she's usually cleaning, reading, or playing video games. She currently resides in New England with her zoo.

Website | Ko-fi

List of Writing Contests [Due March 2024]

List of Writing Contests [Due March 2024]

Writing contests, challenges, and submissions are an excellent way for writers for get their work out there. Not to mention, these submissions are great practice for not only writing but also for submitting your work, receiving feedback, and (unfortunately) getting rejected.

Here’s a list of writing contests and submissions all due within the next month.

A QUICK NOTE: Remember to read every submission guideline on the submissions page, no matter where you submit your work. Information I have written here may change overtime and failure to read the follow the respective guidelines on the following websites may result in an automatic rejection of your work.

Good luck submitting your work!

Writing Contests

Due in March 2024

With No Entry Fees

Host: Chicken Soup for the Soul
What:
Non-fiction stories or poems
Theme:
The Power of Positive Thinking
Deadline:
February 28, 2024

Host: Chicken Soup for the Soul
What:
Non-fiction stories or poems
Theme:
Miracles, Messages from Heaven, Angels
Deadline:
February 28, 2024

Host: Gotham Writers
What:
Haiku
Theme: Honest Holiday
Deadline: February 29, 2024

Host: Bennington Review
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry, or Film Writing
Deadline: March 8, 2024

Host: Icebreakers Lit
What:
Fiction or Poetry
Deadline: March 10, 2024

Host: Jet Fuel Review
What:
Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, or Poetry
Deadline: March 15, 2024

Host: Barley South Review
What:
Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, or Flash Fiction
Deadline: March 15, 2024

Host: The Masters Review
What:
Fiction or Narrative Non-fiction
Deadline: Ongoing

Host: Kelp Journal
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, or Poetry
Theme: “The Wave” (coastal, travel, adventure, nature, ecological, conservationist themes)
Deadline: Ongoing

Writing Contests

Due in March 2024

With Entry Fees

Host: Gotham Writers
What:
Short Story
Submission Fee: $25
Deadline: March 1, 2024

Host: Burningword Literary Journal
What: Flash Fiction, Flash Non-fiction, Poetry
Submissions Fee: $3
Deadline: March 10, 2024

Host: Sonora Review
What: Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction
Submissions Fee: $3
Deadline: March 10, 2024

Host: Wild Roof Journal
What: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, or Essay
Submissions Fee: $4.50
Deadline: March 12, 2024

Host: Stoneboat Literary Journal
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Submissions Fee: $2
Deadline: March 15, 2024

Host: Phoebe Journal
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Submissions Fee: $7
Deadline: March 15, 2024

Host: American Chordata
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Submissions Fee: $3
Deadline: March 15, 2024

Host: Jabberwock Review
What: Stories, Essays, Poetry
Submissions Fee: $3
Deadline: March 15, 2024

Host: Sequestrum
What: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Theme: Slipstream & Magical Realism
Submissions Fee: $6.35
Deadline: March 16, 2024

Host: Sequestrum
What: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Theme: Optimism
Submissions Fee: $6.35
Deadline: March 16, 2024

Host: Atticus Books
What: Poetry
Submissions Fee: $3
Deadline: March 16, 2024

Host: Wild Roof Journal
What: Poetry
Submissions Fee: $4.50
Deadline: March 17, 2024

Host: CRAFT
What:
Novelette
Submissions Fee: $30
Deadline: March 17, 2024

Host: Hare’s Paw Lit Journal
What: Prose, Poetry
Submissions Fee: $4
Deadline: March 25, 2024

Host: Narrative Magazine
What:
All fiction and non-fiction
Submission Fee: $27
Deadline:
March 28, 2024

Host: Prime Number Magazine
What:
Short Fiction and Poetry
Submissions Fee: $15
Deadline: March 31, 2024

Host: Dream Quest One
What:
Short Story or Poetry
Submissions Fee: $10 for short story, $5 for poems
Deadline: March 31, 2024

Host: Black Fox Literary Magazine
What: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Theme: Fairy-tale Remix
Submissions Fee: $12
Deadline: March 31, 2024

Host: Sequestrum
What: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry
Theme: No theme, general submissions
Submissions Fee: $6.35
Deadline: Ongoing

Rachel Poli

Rachel Poli

Author

Rachel Poli is a multi-genre author with a soft spot for mystery.

She often experiments with short stories and flash fiction, however, she's currently working on the first book of her detective fiction series.

When she's not writing, she's usually cleaning, reading, or playing video games. She currently resides in New England with her zoo.

Website | Ko-fi

Do You Need An Editor?

Do You Need An Editor?

So you’ve written a book. Firstly, congrats! That’s a huge accomplishment, and no matter what comes after, that’s worth celebrating.

But what does come next? There are so many options and paths to take, and it can be hard to know where to go. I often hear people ask, “Do I need an editor?”

The short answer: It really depends.

If you’re planning to query, the short answer is “no.” The nuance is that your book should be as polished as possible, and it should have had eyes other than yours on it multiple times. That doesn’t mean those eyes need to be an editor’s, though. Most agents don’t expect your book to be perfect. In fact, traditionally published books often undergo many rounds of edits prior to publication after being picked up by a publishing house.

That being said, I know many people who hire editors to refine their work before querying, and it really does help. Especially if that editor has an industry background.

There are specific things that agents look for in various genres. For young adult fantasy, most agents are looking for an inciting incident within the first ten pages of the book. Advice like that is something an editor can help with.

Not to mention, publishing is a business in and of itself. Suppose your book is nearly perfect and needs virtually no edits. In that case, that’s a financially smart business decision for agents and publishers because they don’t have to put as much work into themselves–meaning less money they have to spend.

If you’re planning to self-publish, you also don’t have to hire an editor, but it is highly recommended. An editor will pick out all the little inconsistencies that get overlooked from being too close to a project. They’re going to help with flow, pacing, and word choice, depending on the type of editor you hire.

So, how do you know which type of editor you need?

Well, there are different levels of editing, and what stage your book is at determines which editor you might want to work with.

In a general sense, the process is as follows:

  1. Developmental/structural edits
  2. Line/stylistic edits
  3. Copy edits
  4. Proofreading

Developmental (Structural) Edits

Developmental and structural edits can differ slightly in definition from editor to editor, but the main concept is an edit that looks at the big picture of your book. Dev edits focus on plot, character, pacing, flow, worldbuilding, etc. All the things that make a book particularly enjoyable. They don’t look at word choice or clarity (unless it’s a larger-book problem).

This would be the type of edit you would want after the first few drafts. Some people might hire a dev editor after the first draft, and some might want to do a few drafts. This edit simply comes before all others to make sure that your story feels like a complete story. There’s no point looking at grammar and syntax if new scenes are going to be added or old scenes deleted. It’s a lot of added work for little to no return, and it will mean going back and forth between editors multiple times.

Line Edits

Some editors will combine copy editing with line editing (like myself), while others will offer them as separate services. The difference is subtle but important. Line edits come first, and this edit is focused on clarity and understandability. Line editors will look at your story line-by-line to consider:

  • Word choice (Is annoyed the best choice in this sentence?)
  • Tone (Does this line stand out as too happy for a darker scene?)
  • POV (Are we head hopping or is the narrator consistent?)
  • How the sentences fit together as a whole, among other things.

They are concerned with the author’s style, which is why line edits are sometimes referred to as stylistic edits.

A line editor does not look at grammar and punctuation.

This edit follows a developmental edit. Most editors won’t line edit a piece unless they know it’s already had extensive feedback for big-picture items.

Copy Edits

The reason many editors choose to separate their copy edits is because they really are separate functions, and it can help to focus on one thing at a time. A copy editor will also view the story on a line level, but they look for things like grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. If there is a style guide in play (like MLA or APA for academic edits), the copy editor is the one who ensures the piece follows the style guide. This is a more technical form of editing, and it has little to do with structure or style and more with consistency.

I like to put these together because I often can’t think of one without thinking of the other as well. A misplaced comma can have a big impact on the understandability of the text.

This is the second-last edit in the process. One might pursue a copy edit when they’re happy with the story and the tone/voice/clarity. I wouldn’t recommend doing this before finalizing the book as one whole story.

Proofreading

The final step. A proofreader’s job is to read through to catch any technical inconsistencies or notes that may have been missed in other edits. (Though it doesn’t touch on anything developmental.) This edit is the final pass to prepare a piece for publication.

Have you ever been caught in a book with a missing word or improper apostrophe usage? That was probably missed at every level of editing, but most notably by the proofreader and author.

It can be helpful to have fresh eyes for a proofread because the more you read your own work, the more likely a misplaced comma will slip through the cracks. Sometimes, we can be too close to our work to see those imperfections.

But, realistically, editing can be quite expensive and may not be feasible for every author. So, what are some ways we can cut down on costs and still receive the best feedback possible?

Get other eyes on it. Preferably, a few rounds of beta readers or critique partners before sending it off to a developmental editor. With multiple rounds of feedback, most of the tough stuff will have already been dealt with. This often means less work for the editor, and it can lead to lower costs.

This note is true at any stage. Even copy/line edits benefit from prior feedback so long as those giving feedback have your story’s best interest at heart. (Just because it’s industry-standard information doesn’t mean that it will always apply to your work.) I recently worked with a client who had received tons of helpful information, but not all of it applied to their story, and it led to a convoluted plot that wasn’t the story the author truly wanted to tell.

Cut your word count. Many editors charge per word these days, meaning the longer the project, the higher the cost. It helps to be conscious of what the industry standard for various genres is so you can see where your project fits. For example, YA Fantasy tops out at 100,000 words (even that is quite high, most sit between 80,000-90,000). But if you’re working with a YA Fantasy that’s 100,000 words plus, that can be a good indication to look for things to cut before sending it off. Contemporary Romance can be anywhere from 50,000-90,000. Sometimes editors are consulted to help cut those words back, but if you’re already aware of things that need to go, that can save you a good chunk of change.

Get feedback on part of your manuscript rather than all of it. While having an editor look at all your work is ideal, even having the first 10,000 words edited can give you a baseline to get through the rest on your own. I know for my early drafts, I got feedback on my first chapter that vastly changed the trajectory of the rest of the story. At that point, it wasn’t worth my reader going through the rest of the book when I knew almost every chapter would need to be revised. The same goes for copy and line edits. If the editor notices some consistent mistakes in the first few chapters, those likely continue throughout the manuscript. And if you know what to look for, you can make those changes yourself.

Be strategic about what type of edits you want and which ones you might be able to go without. It would be great if we could all afford to pay four different editors at every stage, but that’s not financially realistic for many writers. Sometimes, we have friends who are really good at knowing what to look for with characters and others who love grammar. Maybe that means you can get away with only hiring a line editor. Just be conscious of the type of finished product you’re looking for and what your publishing goals are.

Find an editor with payment plans. While this may not actually lower the cost, it does limit how much you’re paying at once. Some editors will have payment plans for up to 12 months. This can make a large price tag more realistic.

Look for packages. If you know you’ll want more than one type of editing or even multiple rounds of developmental edits, look for editors who offer package pricing. This can help reduce your costs because many will discount multiple edits with the same editor.

There you have it! I hope that the concept of working with an editor is a little less daunting. (And maybe even more financially feasible!) If you have any specific questions about working with an editor, I’d be happy to answer them through the contact page on my website.

Thanks for reading, and happy writing.

About E.A. Whyte

Erin (E.A.) Whyte is an author/editor hailing from Southwestern Ontario. She’s written eight books in the genres of young adult fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary. In the editing-scape, she works mainly with fantasy and sci-fi works in young adult and adult (although she’s always down for a good heist/spy novel).

If she’s not reading, writing, or editing, she’s consuming a conservative amount of coffee at local coffee shops and taking mini road trips to historic towns–or as historic as Southwestern Ontario really gets.

You can find her on Instagram or her website. To inquire about editing services, please visit the Editing Services tab.

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