Writing contests: a list of lists
Writing contest wins are great for a writer's resume, and it can't hurt to net some cash for your trouble. One might be tempted to cast a wide net in search of that prize. However, if you enter several contests and your work doesn't surface on any shortlists, consider that a "batch test" and take the piece back to the workshop to consider your next revision. More importantly, keep writing. Ours is a craft that requires practice, long consideration, and then reconsideration!
A list of writing contest lists
There are a lot of writing contests out there, and not one place that lists them all. In spreading the word about our own contests, we've come across some great lists of contests big and small. So here you have it—the list of lists!
Short-fiction specialist Chris Fielden has done a great job at organizing several lists and other resources on his site:
Short story competitions (scroll down to the table)
FreelanceWriting.com has an extensive list that combines poetry, short fiction, essay, and screenwriting contests.
Over at WriterMag.com, you can sign up for their newsletter to receive regular contest announcements.
Almond Press operates as the domain DystopianStories.com—another comprehensive list of contests and writerly events.
FundsforWriters.com is another great site with many resources to help writers who are trying to make a living with their craft. Their contest list also includes a number of job opportunities.
The Australian Writers' Centre is known for their quality writing classes. They also have a great list of writing contests that comes out as an annual blog post.
Writers Online is a UK site with craft articles and courses. If you want access to their contest listing, you need to sign up for the site and newsletter (free).
Inkitt is a "reader-powered publisher," with free access to pre-published novels. Early feedback for authors is also an option, along with community-building tools.
Aaron Mullins is an author, editor, and writing mentor. He has a great list of competitions broken down by month, but this does not always correspond with the closing date, so do doublecheck.