25 Writing Contests in October 2018 - No entry fees

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May 27, 2016
Litopians! Rise up and compete! There are more than two dozen writing contests in October, none of which charge entry fees. This month there are contests for short stories, essays, poetry, and for both published and unpublished full-length works. Prizes range from publication to $25,000. As always, read the guidelines carefully. Many contests have geographical and age restrictions.

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 25 Writing Contests in October 2018 - No entry fees
Top Tip for entering contests, is to check previous winners. By that, I mean read their stories and poems to get an idea of what appeals to judges. Also, look at the nationality of the winners, for some competitions that claim to be international in scope are anything but, having never placed or commended a contestant from abroad.

I spent most of 2016 entering competitions, mainly those that were free. I noticed the same names again and again among the winners, so some writers specialise in this way of raising their profiles. Although any publicity is a good thing for a writer, consider the reputation of the contest. This is going to sound a bit cynical of me, but the only guaranteed way to make money from writing is to run a writing competition—anyone can start a literary competition—and many do! There's a vast difference between winning a contest run from someone's blog and those whose results are monitored by literary agents, such as the Bristol Short Story Prize or the Bridport Prize.
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