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The Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for best independently published book in any genre offers $500 (US), editorial coverage, a year’s worth of full-page ads in Shelf Unbound, and stocking and promotion in all 115 Half Price Books retail stores in 16 states. Entry Fee: $40 per book. Deadline: October 1.

The Writer’s Digest 9th Annual Poetry Awards offers $1000 (US), publication and a copy of the 2016 Poet’s Market for any poem up to 32 lines. Other prizes also offered. Early Entry Fee: $15 for first poem, $10 for each additional poem. Early Deadline: October 1. Standard Entry Fee: $20 for first poem, $15 for each additional poem. Standard Deadline: October 30.

The Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Short Story Competition for best 4000-word-or-less short story in science fiction, thriller, crime, horror, romance and young adult categories has a top prize of $2,500 (US), a trip to the 2013 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City and much more. Early Entry Fee: $20. Early Deadline: September 15. Standard Entry Fee: $25. Standard Deadline: October 15.

The Gerald Cable Book Award, for best book-length (at least 48 pages) manuscript of original poetry by an author who has not published a full-length collection, offers a top prize is $1,000 (US), publication and 25 copies of the book. Entry Fee: $25. Deadline: October 15.

The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest is offering 12th Graders and College Undergraduate and Graduate Students worldwide a chance at $20,000 (US) (or other amounts for placers) for an essay in one of three given topics. Entry Fee: Free. Deadline: October 23.

The Indiana Review Fiction Contest is looking for previously unpublished short stories up to 8000 words. Top winner receives $1,000 (US), publication in Indiana Review, and contributor copies. Each entrant received a one-year subscription to the Indiana Review. Entry Fee: $20, plus $7 postage. Deadline: October 31.

The Patricia Bibby First Book Award (Poetry) offers $500 (US) and publication for 50–84 pages of original poetry in English. Open to all poets writing in English who have not committed to publishing collections of poetry of 36 poems or more in editions of over 400 copies. Entry Fee: $30. Deadline: October 31.

Latest update: 2015

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