Free Writing Contests and Events: October 2019

Welcome to my Calendar of free writing contests! Subscribe to the once-a-month newsletter here to get updated when this list posts.

Dates posted are either due dates or the dates of one-day events. Follow the Calendar on Twitter so you don’t miss any events that haven’t gotten to me as of this writing. Or check out these lists for monthly/weekly or future contests:

 Short Stories

Essays/Short Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction only. List does not generally include informative scholarship essays.


Includes poetry collections and chapbooks. 

Flash Fiction

Novels and Collections (Fiction/Nonfiction)

See the poetry section for poetry collection/chapbook contests.


For picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels by adult authors. See “Youth” for contests for young authors.

For Published Writers

Includes those who have published short stories, essays, novels, and poetry. Submission may or may not be the published work itself, depending on the contest. Does not include contests requiring the publisher to submit.

  • 10/31 UK/IRE/Commonwealth Gallon Award (Up to 5000 words by anyone with at least one story published.)
  • 10/31 UK McKitterick Prize (Books previously published in the UK are accepted.)



Does not include student scholarship essays, unless they are creative nonfiction.

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