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Monday, September 2, 2013

Writing Prompts That Could Make You Money

It's the start of a new month and here's some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. None of these writing contests require an entry fee. Even if you don't win, at least you have a new piece of work  that could be the start of your next novel.

If you are not ready to submit this month, keep the contests in mind for next year as all are yearly contests.

Real Simple’s sixth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest - You could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000. That’s a prize that can get your attention! Topic: What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? 1,500 words maximum, preferably in a Microsoft Word document.  Deadline September 19, 2013. All submitted essays must be nonfiction. Details at

The Family Circle 2013 Fiction Writing Contest ends September 16, 2013 Entries must be postmarked on or before September 16, 2013 and received by Sponsor by September 23, 2013. Short story of no more than 2,500 words. Total ARV of all prizes: $2,880.00.  Details at

Past Loves Day Story Contest - "Nearly everyone has memories of a former sweetheart. Write your true story of an earlier love, in no more than 700 words. Tell us about someone whose memory brings a smile or a tear, or both....Your story may be heart-warming or humorous. Just tell about your earlier sweetheart as if you were talking to your best friend." Cash prizes will be awarded: $100/$75/$50. "Winning stories will be posted (anonymously, if requested by author) on this website."  Deadline: September 17, 2013

Glimmer Train Stories – Stories not to exceed 12,000 words.(No minimum, though it's rare for a piece under 500 words to read as a full story.) Deadline: September 30.  $700, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies of that issue

On The Premises – Prizes from $40 $180. The Current Contest: Theme - INSTRUCTIONS
A set of instructions, or just one instruction, must be an important element of your story. The instruction(s) can be written, spoken, or transmitted in any other way you can make believable.
All of that is up to you. Your challenge: In at least 1,000 but no more than 5,000 words, write a creative, compelling, and well-crafted story that is clearly built around the premise. If you have questions, ask us at Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Friday, September 27, 2013.

Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing. Applicants are invited from anywhere in the world. They can be published or unpublished authors, but the entry itself must be previously unpublished. Your short story should be up to 2500 words in total in English and have a food and drink theme at its heart. Entries should be submitted by email as a Word document to the by October 1, 2013 (one submission per person and not previously published). The winning entry will be announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in March 2014. The winner will receive £7500.