Category Archives: Competitions

Personal Essay Awards

ENTER NOW! DEADLINE: 9/15/20 Writer’s Digest’s newest competition, the Personal Essay Awards, will be open for entries In June. Winners of the competition will be announced in our May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

EARLY-BIRD DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

We’re looking for personal essays! Think you can write a winning essay in 2,000 words or less? Enter the first ever Writer’s Digest Personal Essay Awards for your chance to win $2,500 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

Prizes

Special Guest Judge: Windy Lynn Harris

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • $2,500 in cash
  • Their essay title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s May/June 2021 issue
  • A paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a coveted Pitch Slam slot

The Second Place Winner will receive:

  • $1,000 in cash
  • Their essay title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s May/June 2021 issue

The Third Place Winner will receive:

  • $500 in cash
  • Their essay title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s May/June 2021 issue

Fourth through Tenth Place Winners will receive:

  • $100 in cash
  • Their essay titles published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s May/June 2021 issue

Eleventh through Twenty-Fifth Place Winners will receive:

  • A $50 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com

How to Enter

  • All entries must be submitted online. Entries must be accompanied by the required entry fee (credit card information, check or money order made payable to Writer's Digest.). All checks will be cashed within 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • All entries must be in English. Only original works that have not been published in print, digital or online publications will be considered. Self-published work in blogs, on social media, etc. will be considered.
  • All entries must be formatted to 8-1/2 x 11 or A4 paper. All manuscripts must be double-spaced. Entries files should not include name, address, and phone number in the upper left-hand corner of the first page since that information is collected on the form.
  • BE SURE OF YOUR WORD COUNT! Entries exceeding the 2,000 word limit 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.