Popular Fiction Awards

LEARN MORE! CLOSED Writer’s Digest’s Popular Fiction Awards is not currently accepting entries. This is the only Writer’s Digest competition that celebrates short fiction in today's most popular genres. Winners will appear in our May/June issue.
Author:
Publish date:

Want to manage your competitions account? Log In Here

Image placeholder title

CLOSED

Submit your best short stories in the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards for a chance to win $2,500 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your writing career, choose your favorite categories—Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult—and enter your best short stories of 4,000 words or less.

ENTER THIS COMPETITION

Already Entered?
You can edit or manage your entry HERE

MANAGE YOUR ENTRY

Prizes
One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • $2,500 in cash
  • Featured interview in Writer’s Digest’s May/June issue
  • Winning story published on writersdigest.com
  • Paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • 2020 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  • $100 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com

One First Prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $500 in cash
  • Announcement in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest
  • Winning story published on writersdigest.com
  • 2020 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  • $100 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com

Honorable Mentions will receive:

  • Announcement on writersdigest.com
  • 2020 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

Categories

  • Mystery/Crime: From the classic whodunits and police procedurals, cozies and courtroom dramas, amateur and private detectives, hook us from the start and keep us guessing until the end.
  • Horror: Whether psychological, supernatural, or technological, crank up the tension and deliver an unsettling but satisfying conclusion.
  • Romance: Historical or contemporary, paranormal or suspenseful, chaste or sexy, no matter the path you take, don’t forget to deliver a satisfying happy ending.
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy: Science, magic, or a mash-up of both, introduce us to new worlds, alternate histories, or fantastic ideas that push the boundaries of our own reality.
  • Thriller/Suspense: Less whodunit, more how and/or why, with high stakes, compelling conflicts, and ever-increasing tension that keeps us turning pages through the adrenaline-pumping ending.
  • Young Adult: Your preferred genre(s), but written specifically for readers age 12-18.

How to Enter

  • All entries must be submitted online. During Checkout, entry fees can be paid by credit card/debit card (MC, V, AMEX & DISC) or by selecting the option to pay by ‘CHECK’. Checks are to be mailed (postmarked by the current entry deadline), and should be drawn on a US bank, in US funds (this includes cashier’s checks & money orders). All checks will be cashed within 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • Your entry must be original, in English, unpublished and unproduced, not accepted by any other publisher or producer at the time of submission. Authors retain all ownerships of their work. Upon submitting an entry, Author agrees to grant Writer’s Digest one-time nonexclusive publication rights to the Grand Prize and First Place winning entries in each category to be published in a Writer’s Digest publication. Any piece posted online, anywhere other than a personal blog, is considered published.
  • Entries are to be submitted as file uploads (.doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf). Please double space your story (preferred but not mandatory); we suggest an easy to read font style & 12 pt. font size, however this is also not mandatory. Submitter (author) information is collected on the submitter form; please do not include identifying information on the pages of the story.
  • BE SURE OF YOUR WORD COUNT! Entries exceeding the word limits will be disqualified. Type the exact word count (counting every single word, except the title and contact information) at the top of the manuscript.
  • Due to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Crimea.
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.

Enter your email below and receive a free download, "Writer's Digest Guide to Writing Contests." Be a step ahead of your competition!

who_are_the_inaugural_poets_for_united_states_presidents_robert_lee_brewer

Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.

precedent_vs_president_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.

new_agent_alert_tasneem_motala_the_rights_factory

New Agent Alert: Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

Miller_1:19

Timothy Miller: The Alluring Puzzle of Fact and Fiction

Screenwriter and novelist Timothy Miller explains how he came to write historical fiction and how research can help him drive his plot.

Batra&DeCandido_1:18

Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.

incite_vs_insight_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Cleland_1:17

Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.