Www Write My Essay Competitions

When I was about 12, I saw an ad in a magazine for a poetry contest that sounded fancy and impressive, something like “International Library of Poetry.” I bled poetry at that age, so I crossed my fingers and sent in a poem I’d been slaving over for weeks.

And, lo and behold, the people behind the contest quickly wrote back to tell me my poem had been selected as a winner!

I was speechless with honor. Of the thousands of poets who must have submitted to the contest — no doubt many of them adults much wiser and more skilled than me — my poem had been chosen to be featured in an exclusive, hardcover anthology! And honored on a something-karat-gold plaque!

Of course, I had to pay $50 if I wanted to see my work in print in the anthology, and I had to pay another $100 if I wanted the plaque. Those were the only “prizes.”

Even as a pre-teen, I sensed a scam.

Sadly, not much has changed when it comes to companies trying to take advantage of writers who want a chance at recognition and maybe a little bit of money. Google the term “writing contests,” and you’ll come up with approximately 8 million results. It can be hard for a writer to know where to start looking for competitions, and how to tell if they’re legitimate or not.

So I’ve done the legwork for you.

Here are 31 reputable, well-reviewed, free writing contests for poets, fiction writers, essayists and more.Some legitimate contests do charge a small entry or “reading” fee, but often a fee can be a red flag for a scam, so you may want to stick to free contests — and there are certainly enough of them.

Fiction and nonfiction writing contests

Ready to share your novel or personal essay with the world? Whether you’re a newbie or more established writer, you’re likely eligible for a few of these contests.

1. L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

Whatever your feelings about L. Ron Hubbard’s work and philosophy, the prizes for this regular contest are nothing to sneeze at. Every three months, winners earn $1,000, $750 and $500, or an additional annual grand prize worth $5,000.

Submissions must be short stories or novelettes (up to 17,000 words) in the genre of science fiction or fantasy, and new and amateur writers are welcome to apply.

Deadlines: Quarterly on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

2. Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

Awarded to “the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre,” this prize provides a $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press.

If you live in the U.S. and have published at least one book (in any genre), you’re eligible to submit a current manuscript in progress for consideration. The judges look for winners who push the boundaries of traditional literary nonfiction.

Deadline: Contest is every other year, with the last one running in 2016. The 2018 deadline has not been announced.

3. Drue Heinz Literature Prize

You can win $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press with this prize, awarded for a collection of short fiction.

You may submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories, two or more novellas or a combination of novellas and short stories. Your total word count should be between 150 and 300 typed pages.

Deadline: Annual submission window is May 1 through June 30.

4. Tony Hillerman Prize

Presented by St. Martin’s Press and WORDHARVEST, this prize awards the best first mystery novel set in the Southwest with $10,000 and publication by St. Martin’s Press.

It’s open to professional or non-professional writers who have not yet had a mystery published, and there are specific guidelines for the structure of your story: “Murder or another serious crime or crimes must be at the heart of the story, with emphasis on the solution rather than the details of the crime.”

Deadline: TBD

5. St. Francis College Literary Prize

This biannual prize honors mid-career writers who have recently published their third, fourth or fifth work of fiction. The winner receives $50,000 but must be able to appear at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY to deliver a talk on their work and teach a mini-workshop in fiction to St. Francis students.

Deadline: Biannually; the deadline for work published between June 2015 and May 2017 is May 15, 2017.

6. Young Lions Fiction Award

This $10,000 award recognizes “young authors,” which the rules define as any author aged 35 or younger. Submit any novel or short story published or scheduled to be published in the calendar year. Works must be written for adults; children’s or YA pieces are ineligible.

Deadline: Annually in the fall (most recently in August or September). 2017 deadline not yet announced.

7.Inkitt

This boutique publishing firm offers a full-fledged publishing deal to its contest winner. Submit a novel of 20,000 words or more in any fiction genre (no fanfic, short stories or poetry) and if it’s selected, Inkitt will provide you with professional editing, a cover design, and 25 percent royalties. They also have a strategy to get you into the Amazon Top 100. (Not too shabby.)

Inkitt runs contests regularly, so be sure to check back often!

Deadline: See individual contest pages.

8.Real Simple’s Life Lessons Essay Contest

Have you ever had a “eureka” moment? If you have, and you can write a compelling personal essay about it in no more than 1,500 words, you may be able to win $3,000 in Real Simple’s annual essay contest.

Deadline: Annually; 2017 deadline has not yet been announced.

9. New Voices Award

Presented by Lee & Low Books, an award-winning children’s book publisher, this award is given for a previously unpublished children’s picture book manuscript (of no more than 1,500 words) written by a writer of color.

The winner receives $1,000 cash and a standard publication contract. You may submit up to two manuscripts.

Deadline: Submissions must be postmarked by September 30 each year.

10. Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

This contest aims to provide visibility for emerging African American fiction writers and to enable them to focus on their writing by awarding a $10,000 cash prize. Eligible authors should submit a work of fiction, such as a novel or short story collection, published in the calendar year.

Deadline: Annually; 2017 deadline has not yet been announced.

11. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Honoring the best work of fiction published by an American author in a single calendar year, this award has been given to the likes of John Updike, Philip Roth and Ann Patchett.

The winner receives $15,000 and an invitation to read at the award ceremony in Washington, DC. Four finalists also each receive a $5,000 award.

Deadline: Annually on October 31 for books published that calendar year.

12. Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize

Presented by the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival, this annual prize awards $500 cash for “the best Brooklyn-focused non-fiction essay which is set in Brooklyn and is about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters.” (So it’s Brooklyn-centric, if you haven’t picked up on that yet.)

Submissions should be four to 10 pages (up to 2,500 words), and five authors will be chosen to read and discuss their submissions at the annual December event.

Deadline: Annually in mid-November.

13. Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Fiction and nonfiction writers who have recently published a book that “contributes to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures” are eligible for this award, which offers $10,000 cash as well media and publicity opportunities.

Submissions must be published in the prior year (so books published in 2016 are eligible for the 2017 award).

Deadline: Annual submission window is September 1 through December 31.

14. Marfield Prize (a.k.a. National Award for Arts Writing)

Presented by the Arts Club of Washington, this award seeks to honor nonfiction books that deal with “any artistic discipline (visual, literary, performing, or media arts, as well as cross-disciplinary works).” This may include criticism, art history, memoirs and biographies, and essays.

Deadline: Annually in the last quarter of the year; the 2017 deadline has not yet been announced.

15. W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

If you’re a war buff, this competition is for you. It awards $5,000 to the best piece of fiction set during a period when the U.S. was at war (war may either be the main plot of the piece or simply provide the setting). Submissions may be adult or YA novels.

Deadline: Annually on December 1.

16. Friends of American Writers Chicago Awards

FAW presents two annual awards: an Adult Literature Award for literary fiction or nonfiction, and a Juvenile Literature Award for a children’s/YA book.

Authors must reside in the state of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin — or they must set their book in one of those locations. Prize amounts vary from year to year but are typically between $500 and $2,000.

Deadline: Annually at the end of the year; 2017 deadline has not yet been announced.

17. Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Contest

Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to medical humanities, offers two prizes annually for essays of no more than 1,600 words in two categories.

The Grand Prize of $1,200 is given for an essay suited for their Famous Hospitals section, while a Silver Prize of $1,000 is given to the best essay suited for the sections of Art Flashes, Literary Vignettes, Moments in History or Physicians of Note.

Deadline: Annually; 2017 has passed and 2018 deadline is not yet announced.

18. Nelson Algren Short Story Award

Presented by the Chicago Tribune, this award presents $3,500 to one grand prize winner, $1,000 to four finalists and $500 to five runners-up for a short fiction story of less than 8,000 words.

You may submit up to two short stories, but note that your name must not appear anywhere on your submission as the process is anonymous.

Deadline: Annually; 2017 has passed and 2018 deadline is not yet announced.

19. Minotaur Books / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Writers 18 and older who have never had a novel published (in any genre) are eligible for this prize, awarded for an original book-length manuscript where “murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.” The winner receives a publication contract with Minotaur Books and an advance of $10,000 against future royalties.

Deadline: Annually in the last quarter of the year. The deadline for 2017 awards has passed; the deadline for 2018 awards has not yet been announced.

20. FutureScapes Writing Contest

Want to change the world? Then listen up.

FutureScapes is looking for concrete, substantive pieces that “can provide a roadmap for cities, states, and nations to follow.” If you just want to write the next Hunger Games, this isn’t the contest for you, but if you’re inspired by politics and civic issues, you’ve found the right place. (Case in point: the inaugural theme, “Empowerment Cities,” features a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville.) First place wins $2,000; second place $1,000; and four runners-up will get $500 each. Oh, and did we mention publication in an anthology that will be “distributed to mayors, governors and members of the U.S. Congress”?

Deadline: Annually; deadline for 2017 is TBD.

21. Stowe Prize

This biennial prize of $10,000 honors an American author whose work has had an impact on a critical social justice issue (as did Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin).

In addition to submitting a copy of your book or written work, you must also complete a 250-word statement that describes the tangible impact your piece has made in the world and outlining any social justice work you perform outside of your writing.

Deadline: Biennially in odd-numbered years. The deadline for 2017 awards has passed, and the deadline for 2019 have not yet been announced.

22. The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Non-Fiction

Creative nonfiction essays of no more than 5,000 words on any subject, are eligible for consideration for this award, whose winner receives $250 and publication in Lunch Ticket, the literary and art journal produced by the MFA community of Antioch University Los Angeles.

Works must not have been published elsewhere. Award winners are required to submit a 100-word biography, recent photo and a short note thanking the Woods family for their generosity and support.

Deadlines: Biannual reading periods are the month of February for the Summer/Fall issue and the month of August for the Winter/Spring issue.

23. Words & Brushes

This contest seeks to foster collaborations between artists and writers. Select a piece of artwork from the gallery provided and submit a short story inspired by it and you could win $350 — plus a spot in a future art book showcasing these collaborations. Short stories should be between 2,000 – 5,000 words.

Deadline: Annually; 2017 has passed and 2018 deadline is not yet announced.

24. Write the World

For young writers ages 13-18, this cool contest also serves as a mini writer’s camp. Recognizing that “a first draft is never perfect,” submissions actually receive peer review by authors, writing teachers and other experts and writers are given the chance to revise their pieces based on this feedback before submitting them for final prize consideration. There’s a $100 prize for the winner and $50 for the runner-up (plus $50 for the best peer-reviewer). All three are featured on Write the World’s blog alongside comments from a guest judge. And since each month’s prompt is from a different genre, developing writers get a chance to test out different styles.

Deadline: Monthly.

25. Prose.

Stuck with writer’s block and looking for a way to jumpstart your escape? Prose offers weekly challenges meant to spark your creativity; many are just for fun, but look for the weekly numbered challenges posted by Prose (rather than community members or sponsors) for a chance to win money.

Prizes are typically between $100 – $200 and word counts are low — some as low as under 150, some as high as 500, but all say “quality beats quantity.” So even if all you get from the prompt is a chance to flex your brain, it’s not a bad deal.

Deadline: Weekly.

Poetry contests

Curious about opportunities for poets? Your stanzas — rhyming or not — could be worth a fair amount of money in these competitions.

26. Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award

Open to African American poets, previously published or not, this award provides a $500 prize and publication by Boardside Lotus Press for the best book-length collection of poems (approximately 60 to 90 pages).

Deadline: Annually on March 1.

27. James Laughlin Award

If you’re already a published poet, this is the award for you; it’s given for a second book of poetry due to come out in the forthcoming year. The winner receives $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid week-long residency. In addition, copies of her book are distributed to the 1,000 members of the Academy of American Poets.

Deadline: Annual submission window is January 1 through May 15.

28. African Poetry Book Fund Prizes

The APBF awards three prizes annually for African Poetry. The Glenna Luschei Prize for Afican Poetry gives $5,000 for a book of original African poetry published in the prior year.

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets gives $1,000 and a publication contract for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry by an African author.

The Brunel University African Poetry Prize is a new prize that grants £3,000 to a poet who was born in Africa, is a national of an African country or has African parents, who has not yet had a full-length book of poetry published. (U.S. citizens qualify.) To submit, you’ll need 10 poems.

Deadlines: See individual prize pages.

29. Tufts Poetry Awards

Claremont Graduate University presents two awards each year to poets they deem to be “outstanding.” The Kate Tufts Poetry Award grants $10,000 for a published first book of poetry that shows promise.

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award grants a mammoth $100,000 for a published book of poetry by an an established or mid-career poet.

Deadline: Books published between July of the previous year and June 30 of the current year are eligible for the following year’s prize (i.e. award for 2017 was for works publishing between between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016). Deadline for 2018 awards has not yet been announced.

Writing contests with multiple categories

Some contests accept submissions in multiple categories, so you could submit a novella as well as a poem or other work.

30. Binghamton University Book Awards

Sponsored by the Binghamton Center for Writers — State University of New York, this competition offers a $1,000 prize for work published in the previous year in two separate categories. The John Gardner Fiction Book Award goes to the best novel or collection of fiction, while the Milt Kessler Poetry Book award goes to the best book of poems.

Deadline: Annually on March 1 for books published the previous year.

31. Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

(Editor’s note: We were so excited to include this competition that we overlooked its entry fees. We’ll leave it in the post for those interested in submitting their work, but please note that this contest is not free.)

One of the longest-running writing competitions — it’s now in its 83rd year — this contest spotlights up and coming writers in a number of categories, including Memoirs/Personal Essay, Magazine Feature Article and Genre Short story.

The Grand Prize winner gets $5,000, a feature in Writer’s Digest magazine, a paid trip to a writing conference and more. Runners-up earn prizes in first through tenth places.

Deadline: Annually; May 5, 2017.  

Where to find more legitimate, free writing contests

Looking for more opportunities to submit your work to writing contests? Here are a few great sites to keep an eye on.

Winning Writers

A number of the contests found on our list came highly recommended by this site, which compiles some of the best free literary contests out there. You can sort contests by recommendation level (Highly Recommended, Recommended or Neutral), view plenty of info on requirements and even see which contests are better for beginners, intermediate writers and pros.

They also offer a handful of contests themselves, including the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (which sounds delightful).

Poets & Writers

Another fantastic source for legitimate writing contests I consulted when compiling this list, Poets & Writers vets competitions, contests, awards and grants to make sure they’re following legitimate practises and policies. It’s worth checking out regularly as it features both annual and one-time contests.

Cathy’s Comps and Calls

Writer, poet and editor Cathy Bryant sources legitimate, free-to-enter writing contests and calls for submission. She releases a new list of contests and calls each month, so check back monthly for new opportunities.

Are you planning to enter any writing contests this year? Which ones?

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!

This post originally ran in February 2016. We updated it in March 2017.

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Essay Contests & Non-Fiction Writing Competitions

Quick links on this page:

Last updated 1st March 2018

Below are tables listing various essay contests and other non-fiction writing competitions, prizes and awards. Some are academic, some offer scholarships and others are just for fun.

If you run an essay competition or non-fiction writing contest and would like me to add it to the lists below, please contact me providing the following information in the body of an email:

  • How often you will be running the contest (eg, annually, quarterly, one-off)
  • The name of your competition
  • A link to your website
  • The country you run the competition from
  • Closing date
  • The date you announce winners
  • Maximum word count for essays
  • Entry fee
  • Top prize
  • Any other details, including how winning writers' essays might be published and any guidelines on theme / style of essays you accept

I do my best to keep this page up-to-date, but if you spot any errors, incorrect information or links that no longer work, please get in touch and let me know - I try and fix any problems quickly :-)

Note On Affiliate Websites Offering Scholarships

Some of the contests listed on this page are run by essay writing service providers. While I'm not totally convinced that these services are entirely ethical (some of them essentially allow students to cheat, by paying someone else to write their essay/thesis), they are still listed here as they do offer large cash prizes, so can be of benefit to writers.

I have revised this page, placing all the essay writing service competitions in one list with a caveat at the top regarding the business niche.

Note On Affiliate Websites Offering Scholarships

In 2017 I started to receive a lot of requests for listings by affiliate websites that have little or nothing to do with writing. They often offer scholarships with decent cash prizes. However, my audience are writers, so I want to keep this page on topic and relevant to them.

Therefore I am no longer accepting listing requests from websites that are not about writing. I've also moved any listings I did have for off-topic websites into the History of Closed Contests list, with a note saying: REMOVED because website has nothing to do with writing.

Featured Essay Contests

Do you run an essay competition or non-fiction writing contest? Do you want it featured at the top of this page? If so, get in touch.

Featured contests will be added here soon...

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Regular Essay Contests

This table lists non-fiction competitions that are run regularly; weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually etc.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize
Michael Terence Publishing (MTP) Competition UKVariesVaries3,000£5£300
Notes on MTP Competition: Any style or subject but entrants must be new writers who have never had a full length work published - winners published in printed anthology - also accept short stories (fiction)
New Millennium Essay Award USABi-AnnuallyBi-Annually6,000$20$1,000

Notes on New Millennium Awards: Any style or subject - entry fee includes a copy of the anthology

YeahWrite Super ChallengeUSABi-AnnuallyBi-Annually1,000$25See notes
Notes on YeahWrite Challenge: Any style, but check website for current theme and writing prompts - prize varies (previously it's been $85 to $120) - every writer receives feedback on their submission - YeahWrite also run free weekly challenges for both fiction and creative non-fiction (word limit: 750) as well as a monthly microprose challenge (under 100)

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Prestigious / Large Prize Essay Contests

This table contains details of renowned contests, often offering large amounts of prize money. Any prize awarded in excess of £1,000 ($, € or other currency) is listed here.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize
Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay PrizeUKJanuary?3,500FREE£1,000
Notes on Bodley Head/FT Prize: Any style or subject - entrants must be between 18 and 35 years old - you can find more information on the FT website - doesn't seem to have run since 2016, but leaving listing live in case it resurfaces in 2018
Hourglass Literary Magazine Best Essay Award BosniaAprilSeptember9,000$15$1,000

Notes on Hourglass Contest: No theme, or genre limitations - winners published in Hourglass Literary Magazine

Nerdy Bot Scholarship Essay CompetitionUSAFebruaryMarch500FREE$1,000
Notes on Nerdy Bot Competition: Any style or subject but check website for current topic
New Millennium Essay Award USABi-AnnuallyBi-Annually6,000$20$1,000

Notes on New Millennium Awards: See notes in regular awards list above

Prism International Creative Non-Fiction Contest CanadaVariesVaries6,000See notes C$1,500

Notes on Prism International Contest: Any style or subject - all contest entrants receive a 1 year subscription to Prism International - winners published in the Prism International magazine - second prize C$600 and C$400 third prize - entry is C$35 if you live in Canada, C$40 if you live in the US and C$45 if you live anywhere else in the world

Ruminate Magazine's Nonfiction Contest USANovemberJanuary5,500$20$1,500
Notes on Ruminate's Contest: Any style or subject - entry fee includes a complimentary copy of Ruminate Magazine - winner published in Ruminate Magazine
SiW Internet Marketing ScholarshipUSADecemberJanuary1,200FREE$1,000
Notes on SiW's Scholarship: Any style but themed around internet marketing - winners published on the SiW website
The Notting Hill Editions Biennial Essay Prize UKVariesVaries8,000£20£20,000

Notes on Notting Hill Prize: Any subject in classic essay format - 2,000 to 8,000 words - 5 runner up prizes of £1,000 - winners published in anthology - entry fee includes copy of previous anthology

The Spectator John Murray PrizeUKMayOctober4,000FREE£20,000
Notes on The Spectator Prize: Any style or subject bu themed, so check website for full details - for previously unpublished authors only - prize is a £20,000 book deal with John Murray - winning essay published in The Spectator and anniversary anthology
Wonder Institute Essay Contest USANovemberDecember1,500$20$1,000

Notes on Wonder Institute Contest: Any style or subject but see website for current topic - winner published on the Wonder Institute website

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Annual Essay Competitions

This table lists contests that are run on a yearly basis.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize
Blue Mesa Review Non-Fiction Writing Contest USAAugustOctober6,000$12$500
Notes on Blue Mesa Review Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in the Blue Mesa Review
Iceland Writers Retreat Writing Contest IcelandNovemberDecember500FREESee notes
Notes on Iceland Writers Retreat Competition: Any style or subject but themed, so check website for current theme - top prize is a place at the Iceland Writers Retreat, including accommodation - also accept poetry and short stories
Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society - William Wisdom Creative Writing CompetitionUSAMaySeptember2,500 $25 Varies
Notes on Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Competition: Any style or subject - winners might be published - prizes in the past have been up to $1,500
San Francisco Writers' Conference Writing ContestUSAJanuaryFebruary1,500$35$250
Notes on SF Competition: Any style, subject or theme - in addition to cash prize, winner receives conference with an agent - they also accept short stories - winners published on website
The Royal Commonwealth Society 'Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition'UKMaySeptemberSee notes FREESee notes

Notes on Royal Commonwealth Society Competition: check website for current topics - 2 age groups; under 14s (max 750 words) and 14 to 18 year olds (max 1,500 words) - prizes vary, but in past prizes have included certificates, resources for schools, visits to London and activities /work experience at international organisations winners published in worldwide media

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Memoir Competitions

This table lists contests that are run on a yearly basis.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize

Field of Words Memoir Competition

AustraliaVariesVaries2,000$20$400
Notes on Field of Words Competition: Any style or theme - winners published on website
Fish Publishing Short Memoir Competition IrelandJanuaryApril4,000€17€1,000

Notes on Fish Publishing Competition: Any style or theme - winners published in anthology

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One-Off Non-Fiction Writing Competitions

This table lists details of one-off essay and non-fiction competitions.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize
ACW Journalism Competition UK 31st August 2018 30th September 2018 1,000£3£25
Notes on ACW Competition: Any style but themed around news stories, so check website for full details - prizes paid as book tokens - winning entry published in Christian Writer (ACW magazine, distributed to 800 members) - entry is free for ACW members
AussieWritings Scholarship Australia 15th May 2018 31st May 2018 1,000FREE$1,000
Notes on AussieWritings Scholarship: Any style or theme, but check website for list of topics

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Essay Writing Service Providers Scholarship List

As mentioned at the top of the page, there are an increasing amount of scholarships, contests, prizes and awards being offered by essay writing service providers.

I'm not convinced that these types of business are entirely ethical as they can offer students a way of cheating, by undertaking their work for them. However, they do offer some generous scholarships and the opportunity to see their work published. That can help writers along their career path.

They can also offer a good service to some customers - EG, if English isn't your first language, or if you want website content written. So, it depends on the focus of each business and how they conduct themselves.

Due to my reservations about this business niche, essay writing service providers that offer a non-fiction writing opportunity are listed separately here. Please make your own mind up about the niche and each business listed before you submit.

Sometimes, contests by essay service providers are listed in the one-off competitions list above.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize
123Writings Scholarship Writing Contest USAAugustSeptember1,000FREE$2,500
Notes on 123Writings Contest: Any style, subject or theme, but see website for current list of topics - winners published on website
Assignment Essay Help Benjamin Bloom Scholarship ProgramUSADecemberFebruary2,500FREE$2,500
Notes on Assignment Essay Help Scholarship: Any style or subject - entrants must currently be a student of a college or university
Australian Help Writing ContestAustraliaVariesVaries1,200FREE$700
Notes on Australian Help Contest: Any style or subject but check website for current list of topics - winners published on website
Confident Writers Scholarship Essay Writing ContestUKBi-AnnuallyBi-Annually700FREE$700
Notes on Confident Writers Scholarship: Any style or subject but check website for current topics
EssayPro Writing ContestUSAVariesVariesVariesFREEVaries

Notes on EssayPro Contest: Any style or subject, but you need to chose from a list of topics so check the link for current details - winners published on the EssayPro website - usually offers a $1,000 prize pool

Essay Service Writer’s Encouragement ScholarshipUSABi-AnnuallyBi-Annually1,200 FREE$500

Notes on Essay Service Scholarship: Check website for current topic and other rules regarding citations and style

Essay Writing Expert Essay Writers ContestUKNovemberNovember1,000FREE$500
Notes on Essay Writing Expert Contest: Any style but check website for current list of topics
Expert Assignment Help Student Essay Writing CompetitionAustraliaDecemberDecember1,000FREE$450
Notes on Expert Assignment Help Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in on EAH blog
Expert Assignment Help Global Goals Scholarship ProgramAustraliaDecemberJanuary3,000FREE$2,500
Notes on Expert Assignment Scholarship: Any style or subject but themed around Global Goals, so check website for full details
Lifesaver Essays Essay Writing Contest USAVariesVaries1,300FREEVaries
Notes on Lifesaver Essays Contest: Any style but see website for list of current topics - competition will be run up to 4 times a year - winners published on the Lifesaver Essays blog - top prizes have been as high as $600 in the past
Oz Essays Scholarship Essay Writing ContestAustraliaJulyJuly5 pages FREE$1,000
Notes on Oz Essays Contest: Any style, but entry must answer a question so check website for current details
SolidEssay Essay ContestUSAVariesVaries800FREE$1,000
Notes on SolidEssay Contest: Any style or subject but you need to chose from a list of topics, so check website for current details - winners published on website
ThePensters ScholarshipUSAMayJune500FREE$1,000

Notes on Pensters Scholarship: Any subject, but narrative writing preferred - check the website for details of essay requirements

A History of Closed Essay Contests

For reference, a record of non-fiction writing contests that have closed.

CompetitionCountryClosing DateWinners AnnouncedMax WordsEntry FeeTop Prize
24Writer 'How Winning Are Your Essays' Contest USA15th May 2016 1st June 2016 1,000FREE$500

Notes on 24Writer Contest: Any style but themed so check website for details - CLOSED, was a one-off

Academic Help Writing ContestUSAAugustSeptember1,200FREESee notes

Notes on Academic Help Competition: Any style or subject, but must be persuasive - winner receives a writing certificate - entrants must be a high-school, college or university student - CLOSED 2016

Affiliate Blogging Tips Scholarship ProgramUSADecemberDecember500FREE$800
Notes on Australian Help Contest: Any style, but see website for current subject matters - entries from US citizens / residents only - DOESN'T SEEM TO BE RUNNING ANYMORE, and website is for sale so removed listing Jan 2018
All Top Reviews Writing ContestUSA31st December 2017 10th January 2018 700FREE$500
Notes on All Top Reviews Contest: Review writing contest - prize money has to be spent with a website reviewed by All Top Reviews - CLOSED, was a one-off
Apps Free For PC Digital & Technology ScholarshipUSAMarchApril1,000FREE$500
Notes on Apps Free For PC scholarship: Any style, subject or theme - winner published on the website - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing
AskPetersen Scholarship: Essay Writing ContestUSAQuarterlyQuarterly1,000FREE$200

Notes on AskPetersen Scholarship: Any style or subject, but themed so check website for current topics - CLOSED 2016

Assignment Masters Winter Essay Contest USA20th February 2018 ?800FREE$1,000
Notes on Assignment Masters Essay Contest: Any style or theme - CLOSED, was a one off
Best Essay ScholarshipUK 30th November 2017 7th December 20171,000FREE$1,000
Notes on Best Essay Scholarship: Any style or theme, but see website for prompts - decent cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place too - CLOSED, was a one-off
Best of Bests Scholarship USANovemberDecember1,200FREE$1,000
Notes on BoB Scholarship: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on website - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing
Best Pressure Cooker Student ScholarshipBangladeshDecemberDecember1,000FREE$2,000
Notes on BPC Scholarship: Any style, but see website for current topics - you have to be a student to enter - the scholarship - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing
Bid 4 Papers Essay Contest USAQuarterlyQuarterly1,500FREE$500

Notes on Bid 4 Papers Essay Competition: Themed, so check website for current theme - entrants must be 25 or under - winners published on Facebook - CLOSED 2016

Boom Essays Writing Contest

USAFebruaryMarch1,000FREE$2,000
Notes on Boom Essays Contest: Any style, but check website for current topics - winner published by Boom Essays - 2nd prize $1,500 and 3rd prize $1,000 - NOT RUN FOR OVER A YEAR, so removed listing Jan 2018
Build Your Own Blog New Writer ScholarshipUSA29th Nov 2015 Dec 2015 no max stated FREE$4,000

Notes on Build Your Own Blog Scholarship: Any style or theme - CLOSED

Craft Resumes Creative Workforce Transition Scholarship USABi-AnnuallyBi-Annually1,000FREE$1,000

Notes on Craft Resumes Scholarship: Any style or subject but themed so check website for details - winners published on the Craft Resumes blog and offered a paid 1 to 3 month internship - CLOSED 2016

Custom Writing Essay Writing Contest UKQuarterlyQuarterly650FREE$800
Notes on Custom Writing Contest: Any style or subject but check website for current topics - winners published on the Custom Writing blog - NOT RUN SINCE 2016, so removed from lists Jan 2018
EduBirdie Essay Writing Contest USAQuarterlyQuarterly1,500FREE$500

Notes on EduBirdie Essay Contest: Themed, so check the website for current details - winners published on website - cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place writers too - CLOSED 2016

EssayHub Essay Writing ContestUSAQuarterlyQuarterly1,000FREE$500
Notes on EssayHub Contest: Any style but check website for current topics - winners published on website - CLOSED 2017
Essay Mama Writing ContestUSAQuarterlyQuarterly1,300FREE$450

Notes on Essay Mama Competition: Themed, so check the website for current details - winners published on the Essay Mama website - CLOSED 2016

Essay Mama Christmas Writing Contest USA25th December 2014 5th January 2015 4,000See notes $450

Notes on Essay Mama Competition: Any style / genre, but themed around Christmas - to enter, you must like their Facebook page and share the competition link - 15 winning stories published in a printed book - CLOSED 2015

EssayRoo Australian Writing Contest

AustraliaMarchMarch800FREE$3,000
Notes on EssayRoo Contest: Any style or subject but check website for current topics - 2nd prize $2,500, 3rd prize $1,500 - winners published on the website - CLOSED 2017
EssaysCapital Writing ContestUSABiannuallyBiannually1,700FREE$3,000

Notes on Prism International Contest: Any style or subject but there are a choice of topics, so check website for current details - winners' essays will be published on EssaysCapital Blog - I've recently received some concerns from users about this competition - it seems they have not announced winners and not contacted entrants - you can learn more on the EssaysCapital Facebook page, where users are asking what's going on with no response - I've contacted EssaysCapital to ask them if the competition is still running - if I don't hear back soon I'll remove this listing - UPDATE JAN 2017: I NEVER HEARD BACK FROM THEM SO HAVE RETIRED THIS LISTING

Essay Supply Cyberbullying ExperienceUSA30th June 2017 31st July 2017 1,000FREE$1,500
Notes on Essay Supply Contest: Any style but themed so check website for details - CLOSED, was a one-off
Garden Museum’s Festival of Garden Literature Writing Competition UKMay June2,500£5£2,500

Notes on Garden Museum’s Writing Competition: Memoirs inspired by or set in a garden - winners published by Granta Online - CLOSED 2015

Highfield Press 'Picture Worth 1000 Words' Essay ContestUSAQuarterlyQuarterly1,000$20$1,000

Notes on Highfield Press Competition: Themed - uses a different picture to inspire writers for each contest, see website for current details - winners published on website - entries may be a personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, commentary, travel piece, historical account, biography, or short story - CLOSED 2016

JetWriters Essay Writing Contest 2nd Edition USA15th Nov 2015 23rd Nov 2015 1,200FREE$400

Notes on JetWriters Competition: Themed, so check website for current topics - 2nd prize $250, 3rd prize $150 - CLOSED

Juicingbeasts Staying Healthy Scholarship

Malaysia OctoberNovember1,000FREE$500
Notes on Juicingbeasts Competition: Any style but check website for current topic - winners published on website - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing
Londnr Magazine New Voices CompetitionUK1st June 2017 1st August 2017 1,000£4See notes
Notes on Londnr Magazine Competition: Any style or theme - winner receives a paid feature-length article, published in A/W 2017 magazine and a paid contract for a set of three articles for the Londnr online, mentoring, free tickets to the launch party and other Londnr events - CLOSED, was a one-off
Ninja Essays Writing Contest USAVariesVaries1,000FREE$500

Notes on Ninja Essays Competition: Themed, so check website for current topics - competition is run every 3 to 4 months - NOT RUN SINCE 2016, so removed from lists Jan 2018

Noplag Scholarship Essay ContestUSA31st August 2017 September 2017 5,000FREE$2,500
Notes on Noplag Contest: Any style but there are a number of topics to choose from, so visit the Noplag website for full details - deadline was in June, but extended to end of August - CLOSED, was a one-off
OmniPapers Writing ContestUSAVariesVaries1,500FREE$500

Notes on OmniPapers Contest: Themed, so check website for current theme - participants must be 20-25 years old - winners published on the OmniPapers website - NOT RUN SINCE 2016, so removed from website 2018

Phenq Avis Value Of Being Fit Scholarship ProgramUSAMarchApril1,000FREE$750
Notes on Phenq Avis Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on the Phenq Avis website - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing
Productivity Spot Education Scholarship IndiaOctoberNovember1,000FREE$1,000
Notes on Productivity Spot Scholarship: Any style but check website for current subject/theme - winners published on website - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing
ProEssayWriting Challenge USA10th February 2017 20th February 2017 1,000FREE$1,000

Notes on ProEssayWriting Challenge: Any style but there are a number of topics to choose from, please visit the website for full details - 2nd prize $500, 3rd prize $250 - CLOSED, was a one-off

Rewarded Essays Writing Contest USA20th October 2017 30th October 2017 900FREE$500
Notes on Rewarded Essays Competition: Any style or theme - CLOSED, was a one-off
Sentence House Scholarship USADecemberJanuary1,500FREE$1,500
Notes on Sentence House Scholarship: Any style or subject - winners published on website - OPENS UP RANDOM SPAMMY LINKS, so removed from listings Jan 2018
Showboxa.Com Writing Contest For Science & Tech EnthusiastsUSAQuarterlyQuarterly1,500FREE$1,000

Notes on Showboxa Contest: Any style but themed, so check website for current details - REMOVED because site has nothing to do with writing

Smart Paper Help Writing Scholarship USAJanuaryJanuary1,000FREE$1,000
Notes on Smart Paper Help Scholarship: Any style but check website for current topics - 2nd prize $700, 3rd prize $400 - CLOSED 2016
Smart.Study Essay Writing ScholarshipUK1st August 2016 15th August 2016 700FREE$700

Notes on Smart.Study Scholarship: Any style but there are 3 topics to choose from, visit the site for details - winners published on the Smart.Study blog

SpeedyPaper Global Essay Writing ContestUSAQuarterlyQuarterly600FREE$1,000

Notes on SpeedyPaper Contest: Any style, but themed, so check website for current details - NOT RUN FOR OVER 6 MONTHS, so removed listing Jan 2018

Student Scholarship from Unplag Cyprus1st Mar 2016 9th Mar 2016 500FREE$2,000

Notes on Unplag Contest: Any style but themed so check website for details - winners published on the Unplag blog - prize money given to the University the student studies at, so goes towards their tuition fees - 2 runners-up receive free subscription to Unplag plagiarism detection service

Student Wordsmith 'The Growing Unease' Journalism Competition UK18th December 2015 Jan 2016 2,000£5See notes

Notes on Student Wordsmith Competition: Themed, so check website for current topics - winners published in a pamphlet and 'exciting prizes' offered to winners

Swift River 'My Mother, My Hero' Essay ContestUSA1st May 2017 12th May 2017 250FREE$200
Notes on Swift River Contest: Any style but themed - Swift River will use the winning essay as part of their efforts to fight addiction
The London Magazine Essay CompetitionUK 31st August 2017October1,500£10£500
Notes on The London Magazine Competition: Any style or theme - winner published in The London Magazine - runners-up published on website - 2nd prize £300, 3rd prize £200 - CLOSED, was a one-off
The Travelex Next Great Travel Writer 2017 UK5th February 2017 ?1,000FREE£1,500

Notes on Travelex Competition: Any style but themed around travel - in addition to cash, the winner receives a session with a Penguin editor - there's also a student category with a £500 prize - the contest is judged by journalists, Penguin editors and international bloggers - CLOSED, was a one-off

UK Writing's British Essay Writing ContestUKMayJune900FREE£3,500
Notes on British Essay Contest: Any style or theme, but check website out for the list of current topics - the 3 winning essays are published on the UK Writing website - NOT RUN FOR OVER A YEAR, so removed listing Jan 2018
Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Non-Ficiton Contest UKAugustOctober500See notes See notes
Notes on Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest : Humorous style and check website for current topic - if you enter for FREE, the top prize is £50; if you pay £5 entry, the top prize is £100 - winning entries published in Verbolatry newsletter and on their website - NOT RUN SINCE 2016, so removed from lists Jan 2018
Widows & Widowers Magazine Writing Competition UK1st Sept 2015 12th Dec 2015 5,000FREESee notes

Notes on Widows & Widowers Competition: Themed, so check website for current details - 3 winning essays published in magazine - all shortlisted entries published in an anthology

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