Writing Resources Masterpost

An  on-going list of writing resources


Help with Writing Structure:

10 way to launch strong scenes

How to write an exposition

How to write a climactic scene

How to write a resolution

How to write a backstory

How to write in the past

How to write in the future


How to write child characters

How to write teenage characters

How to write POC characters

How to write LGBTQ characters



Writing Contests – National & Local


June 18: Grades 5-12

The Young Authors’ Conference is a day-long adventure for young writers, grades 5 through 12. On Friday, June 17, 2016, at 6:00 pm, everyone is invited to the conference kick-off event with our 2016 Guest Authors, held at Schuler Books in Eastwood Towne Center, Lansing. The conference itself is held on Saturday, June 18, 2016, when our participants will get to spend the day in Michigan State University’s Bessey Hall, learning all about writing from professional authors and MSU instructors.

Apply at: youngauthor.wide.msu.edu 



Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
offers a total of AUD$12,500 (US$9000) in prize money and is open to writers worldwide. Entries must be between 2000 and 5000 words and written in English. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August. Entries close 11 April.

Bath Short Story Award
is open to stories up to 2200 words in length. Stories may be in any genre and entries from both published and unpublished writers are encouraged. First Prize is £1000 (US$1500) and a selection of twenty winning, shortlisted and longlisted stories will be published in a print and digital anthology. Entries close on 25 April.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
is open to original short stories and essays on any theme. The winner in each category receives US$1500 and there are a total of 10 minor prizes of $100. Entries should be maximum of 6000 words. Closes 30 April.

Conium Review Innovative Short Fiction Contest
is for new writing that takes risks and shows something new with its subject, style or characters.  Submission may include any combination of flash fiction or short stories up to 7500 total words.The winner receives US$500 and publication. Entries close open in February and close on 1 May.

David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction
is only open to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, either a novel or collection of stories. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Southwest Review, the third oldest continuously published literary quarterly in the United States. Stories can be up to 8000 words in length. The deadline for entries is 1 May.

Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
is open to writers from around the world. First prize is US$1500 and the guest judge for 2016 is Caitlin Horrocks. Entries open on 1 April and close on 15 May.

Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
is for unpublished manuscripts between 40,000 and 75,000 words and may include long stories or novellas. The authors of the two winning manuscripts will receive US$1000 and publication by the University of Georgia Press under a standard book contract. Writers must be residents of North America. Entries close on 31 May.

Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans
is a creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel and is hosted by The Iowa Review. Writing can be in any genre, about any subject matter and must be under 20 pages. First prize is $1000 and publication in the Spring 2017 issue of The Iowa Review. Entries open on 1 May and close on 1 June.

Narrative Magazine
awards a US$4000 new and emerging writers’ prize for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published in the magazine. The deadline for the 2016 award is 15 June.

23 Short Story Competitions in 2016


Writer’s Digest

DEADLINE: May 6, 2016

Writer’s Digest has been shining a spotlight on up and coming writers in all genres through its Annual Writing Competition for more than 80 years. Enter our 85th Annual Writing Competition for your chance to win and have your work be seen by editors and agents! The winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the 85th AnnualWriter’s Digest Competition Collection.

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest (subscriber issues only)
  • $5,000 in cash
  • An interview with the author in Writer’s Digest
  • One on one attention from four editors or agents
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • A one year subscription to Writer’s Digest Tutorials
  • A 30-minute Platform Strategy Consultation with Chuck Sambuchino

First place will receive $1,000 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Second place will receive $500 cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Third place will receive $250 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fourth place will receive $100 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fifth place will receive $50 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Sixth through Tenth place winners will receive $25 in cash and $25 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop


  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

Annual Writing Competition


 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

Whatever your feelings about L. Ron Hubbard’s work and philosophy, the prizes for this regular contest are nothing to sneeze at. Every three months, winners earn $1,000, $750 and $500, or an additional annual grand prize worth $5,000.

Submissions must be short stories or novelettes (up to 17,000 words) in the genre of science fiction or fantasy, and new and amateur writers are welcome to apply.

Deadlines: Quarterly on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

 Drue Heinz Literature Prize

You can win $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press with this prize, awarded for a collection of short fiction.

You may submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories, two or more novellas or a combination of novellas and short stories. Your total word count should be between 150 and 300 typed pages.

Deadline: Annual submission window is May 1 through June 30.

Real Simple’s Life Lessons Essay Contest

Have you ever had a “eureka” moment? If you have, and you can write a compelling personal essay about it in no more than 1,500 words, you may be able to win $3,000 in Real Simple’s annual essay contest.

Deadline: Annually; 2016 deadline has not yet been announced.

29 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes