Markets & Contests
Finding Legitimate Writing Markets & Contests
Avoid Scams and Suspect Contests
Not all writing contests and markets are what they seem. Some are designed to take advantage of the hopes of beginning writers, promising instant publication and huge awards.
Research the Market or Contest Before You Enter
You should first do some research on the contest or market you are contemplating and see what other writers have experienced. If you do enter, you can do so with your eyes open.
Check the Web
Research to see if there is a problem with the contest or market. Watch for similarities so that you can learn to identify the warning signs.
- SFWA Writer Beware lists "warnings about the schemes, scams, and pitfalls that threaten writers." It is the most comprehensive resource of its type.
- Check your local Better Business Bureau for complaints about contests and events in your community.
Ask Local Writers
- Check with your local CAA Branch to see if they have experienced problems with a particular contest or market and if they can recommend some to you for the genre you are writing in.
- CAA members have access to the CAA-members-only listserv to submit this question to a much larger audience. More about the listserv (user name and password needed).
- Check other writing associations for hints and recommendations.
Support Those That Help You
Most writing organizations are run by volunteers or minimal staff and may not have the resources to help you. Please consider supporting them by paying their membership dues if you would like their assistance and have determined that organization or set of organizations can provide for your requirements. Your writing career will benefit.
Learn Lessons and Teach Others
Remember, it is better to enter a legitimate contest and have your piece properly evaluated than to “win” in a scam and suffer a huge let-down later.
- Call for Submissions () from Canadian Writer's Journal.
- Canadian Writer's Journal () includes markets, contests and new writing ideas.
- The AA Independent Press Guide is an excellent submissions listing for Canadian, UK, US and other magazine markets and publishers.
- The Gila Queen's Guide to Markets is subscription-based.
- The Write Market () has hundreds of listings for print magazines, book projects, contests, eZines, and publishers.
- Writers Write: Writer's Guidelines Directory.
Writing Contests Sites
Contest Listings Sites
CAA Contests () includes current and annual contests sponsored by the Canadian Authors Association and annual contests sponsored by our various CAA branches.
- FundsforWriters has an excellent contest listing.
- Northern Ontario Poetry Competition () (Northern Ontario–defined by postal code "P") is sponsored by White Mountain Publications.
- The Art Deadlines List includes writing contests, grants, festivals, and funding for writers and other artists. There is a free email version or a paid paper or email version.
- The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar () is a printed calendar with detailed information on Canadian writing contests, awards and prizes, organized month by month according to their deadline dates. Cost: $14.95.
- This Magazine's Great Canadian Literary Hunt. ()
- West End Writers' Club Contest Listing () includes details about their own annual contest and links to other contests and awards.
- Writing Competitions is part of a general listing of competitions of all sorts.
In order for a contest to be listed here, the contest page must be maintained throughout the year and directly linkable (i.e. not requiring someone to click on another link to reach the page in a frames-based site).
- Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest () invites the participation of Canadian poets who have not published any of their original creative writing (poems or prose).
- Canadian Stories Contest () Contest for short stories, poetry, black & white art and a self-published book prize.
- PRISM international contests () include a literary non-fiction contest, short fiction contest and poetry contest.
- Rannu Fund for Writers of Speculative Literature () holds an annual fiction contest and poetry contest.
- Room Magazine () holds an annual writing contest for fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction by women writers.
- Sorrento Wave Short Story Contest () provides a starting line.
- The Fiddlehead () holds two annual contests in short fiction and poetry. Deadline: December 1 of each year.
- The Writers' Union Awards & Competitions ().
Updated: April 22, 2013