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Honing Your Craft – 5 Elite Writing Contests for 2019

5 Elite Writing Competitions for 2019

Looking to put your writing skills to the test? Find out if you have what it takes to be a best-selling author by entering a writing competition. A quick search online reveals hundreds of opportunities, with winners gaining the prestige of recognition by the writing community, as well as some hefty cash prizes.

Here are the details of 5 elite writing competitions available in 2018, good luck with your submission!

1. The Weekly Reedsy Short Story Contest

This free contest starts every Friday. Sign up for the mailing list at, and you’ll receive a weekly newsletter Friday morning with 5 themed writing prompts.

Members have until the following Friday to submit their piece on one of the themes. Reedsy like short stories that are captivating, lighthearted, and entertaining. The winner receives a cash prize of $50, and their work published on the Medium blog.

2. Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

For those authors feeling adventurous, enter this prestigious competition. Wilbur Smith, famed South African author, founded this competition for his charity. Every year, the contest seeks to uncover the best-unpublished adventure novelist and showcase their skills to the world.

If your 50,000-word manuscript is the winner, you’ll receive a £15,000 cash prize, as well as a grant to cover the expenses of writing your next project! Winners also enjoy advice and mentorship from agents at Tibor Jones & Associates. Decent returns for a competition that’s free to enter.

3. American Short(er) Fiction Contest

If writing a 50,000-word masterpiece isn’t your thing, then enter this short story contest instead. American Short Fiction host this contest, with the winner receiving $1,000 and publication of their short story on the company’s website as well as a feature in a future copy of ASF’s tri-annual magazine.

The competition costs $17 to enter, but the opportunity is well worth the entrance fee.

4. Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Commonwealth citizens should take advantage of the opportunity to enter this prestigious competition for short stories. Entries from the countries of all Commonwealth members are considered, including entries written in Kiswahili, Portuguese, Samoan, or Bengali are eligible.

The Commonwealth Writers initiative founded this competition with the purposeful intent of discovering outstanding and unpublished short fiction writers. There is an overall prize of £5,000 as well as regional prizes of £2,500. The competition is free to enter, and your submission must be between 2,000 to 5,000 words to be considered for the award.

5. Reader’s Digest 100-Word-Story Competition

We saved the best for last. This elite writing competition is for master wordsmiths only. The winner receives the lofty sum of £20 per word. Doesn’t that sound like a dream for any aspiring writer?

Keep submissions for this highly successful contest to a maximum of 100-words; the judges like to keep the pieces short and sweet. Unfortunately, this competition is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland. However, if you happen to meet the criteria, give it a try, and you could even be the next Readers Digest columnist!