Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest
Welcome to the 32nd annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $10,000 in prizes.
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Please submit during
October 15, 2023-May 1, 2024
- STORY: First Prize, $3,500
- ESSAY: First Prize, $3,500
- The top two winners will also receive two-year gift certificates from our co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $100 value)
- 10 Honorable Mentions will receive $300 each (any category)
- Top 12 entries published online
- Enter via Submittable
For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. Final judge: Mina Manchester, assisted by Sarah Halper. Please submit as many entries as you like. All themes accepted. Entries may be published or unpublished. Length limit: 6,000 words maximum. No restriction on age of author. All countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, or Belarus (due to US government restrictions). Fee: $22 per entry. Read the winning entries from the 30th contest.
First time entering? We prepared this brief video to guide you. See also our short entry checklist, then click the button below to submit. The results of our 31st contest will be announced on October 15, 2023. The results of our 32nd contest will be announced on October 15, 2024.
Our 31st Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest is now closed. Our 32nd contest will open on October 15, 2023.
What to Submit
Short stories, essays, or other works of prose. There are no restrictions on style or theme. Each entry should be your own original work. You may submit the same work simultaneously to this contest and to others, and you may submit works that have been published or won prizes elsewhere. (However, please do not submit work that has previously received recognition at Winning Writers.)
Works written with the aid of a text-generating AI such as ChatGPT are not eligible.
Prizes and Publication
First Prize, $3,500 cash
First Prize, $3,500 cash
Ten Honorable Mention entries will receive $300 cash each (any category)
All entries that win cash prizes will be published on the Winning Writers website and announced in the Winning Writers Newsletter (circulation 50,000+). Finalists may also be recognized.
Most Countries Eligible; English Language
Due to US government restrictions, we regret we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, or Belarus. All other countries are eligible. The works you submit should be in English. If you have written a work in another language, you may submit an English translation.
Entries are judged anonymously. Please omit your name and all identifying information from your entry. Please also omit any publishing credits from your entry. All the information we need is collected on our online entry form. Here is a brief video describing how we judge entries anonymously.
No Age Restriction
Writers of all ages may enter.
Your privacy is assured. We will not rent your information to third parties.
If your entry wins any cash prize, you agree to give Winning Writers a nonexclusive license to publish your work online. This includes possible publication in one or more ebooks. From time to time, selected winning entries may also be published in printed collections. If you win a prize and we wish to publish your work in print, we will ask you for permission to include your entry in one of these books. You may accept or decline this invitation as you choose. Your entry will not be published in print without your consent, and you retain all other rights. You are free, for example, to publish your work in print or online elsewhere, and to enter it into other contests, whether or not you win a prize in this contest.
Generally entry fees are not refundable. However, if you believe you have an exceptional circumstance, please contact us within one year of your entry.
Contest founder John Howard Reid (d. 2018) won first prizes and other awards in prestigious literary events. A journalist and magazine editor, he published several historical novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests, and over fifty books of film criticism and movie history. For several years, Mr. Reid was assisted by Dee C. Konrad, a former Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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