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It’s that time again in Minnesota—time to get ready to enter a spring writing contest. This year’s offerings target everyone from fiction writers to poets to students in the great North Star State, so you’d be hard pressed not to find something that suits your style and interests. Check out the list of Spring 2017 writing contests for Minnesota writers below, then gear up to get creative, share your writing, and earn some recognition—and cash—for your work.

2017 GPS (Geek Partnership Society) Writing Contest

Topic: Sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, graphic, poetry & short fiction pieces, youth and adult.

Deadline: May 1, 2017

Prizes: $50 - $75 Amazon gift cards

Basic guidelines: Submit original, unpublished works on the above topics to open, youth, poetry, and graphic novel (comics) divisions. No entry fee. This contest is not exclusive to Minnesota writers; the organization is simply based in Minneapolis. For more info, click here.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 2016-2017 Student Essay Contest

Topic: Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?

Deadline: March 31, 2017

Prizes: $100 (for 30 finalists) - $500, plus a paid internship for first place winner. Cash prize for teacher of winners, too.

Basic guidelines: Open to high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana, northwestern Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. For contest rules, check here.

2017 Great American Think-Off

Topic: Has the 2016 election changed our perception of truth?

Deadline: April 1, 2017

Prizes: Four $500 cash prizes and invitation to debate in New York Mills, MN

Basic guidelines: This contest is sponsored by the Cultural Center of New York Mills. Submit an essay of up to 750 words on the topic using personal experience and observations. Enter online, no fee, and all ages welcome. See the website for further details.

Minnesota Christian Writers Guild 2017 Writing Contest

Topic: Everyday people who are making a difference for Jesus.

Deadline: March 13, 2017

Prizes: $25 - $75 cash, plus a mentor session with an editor

Basic guidelines: Submit a personal experience article between 800 and 1,200 words. You must be a member of MCWG to enter, plus pay a $5 entry fee. For more information, click here.

2017 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest

Topic: Unpublished sonnet written in Shakespearean, Spenserian, Petrarchan, or Non-traditional rhyme scheme.

Deadline: June 1, 2017

Prizes: Cash totaling over $2,000 in several categories, including Local Area (Winona, MN, and adjacent counties), Best Youth, and Laureate’s Choice.

Basic guidelines: $5 entry fee; free for youth 17 and under. Click here for more info.

2017 LSW (Lake Superior Writers) Writing Contest

Topic: Rivers: mapped and unmapped

Deadline: April 1, 2017

Prizes: $250 per category for winner, plus publication

Basic guidelines: Theme of submissions must be real or metaphorical rivers. Categories include poetry, short-short fiction, creative nonfiction, and short story. Free to LSW members, or you can join and pay a membership fee of $35 to enter. Visit the site for complete rules.

BestPrep and Thomson Reuters High School Essay Contest

Topic: Martin Luther King famously wrote: “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Why is it important for students to develop their character alongside academics? How has your educational journey and life experiences developed your character?

Deadline: April 15, 2017

Prizes: MacBook Air, iPads, Beats headphones, Google Home, and Walmart gift cards, plus an invitation to an Education Forum and private reception at the Saint Paul River Centre in October. Visa gift card for teachers of top five winners.

Basic guidelines: Open to Minnesota high school students. Submit an essay of 600-750 words on the above topic. See website to download essay competition packet.

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sunset beach joyLife is full of joy, sadness, laughter, hardship, surprises—and stories. Why not share your life story in one of these new writing contests? Deadlines are coming soon, so get your creativity flowing and your fingers typing. Your effort may pay off in publication and cash. And what a great way to end the summer and welcome in the fall. Check these out:

Real Simple Magazine – Life Lessons Essay Contest. Did one decision change your life? If so, Real Simple Magazine’s Eighth Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest might be just for you. There is no entry fee for this contest, and essays should be no longer than 1,500 words. First, second, and third prizes of $3,000, $750, and $500 are available, along with publication for winners. Deadline to enter is August 21, 2015. See guidelines for more information.

Silver Linings Story Contest – Good Housekeeping. Here’s your chance to tell about a time when your life took a wrong turn but it all worked out in the end. Good Housekeeping Magazine is sponsoring this summer writing contest that offers a $2,000 prize and publication for the lucky winner. Stories should be 1,500 to 2,500 words, and the deadline for entries is September 1, 2015. Click here for more information.

Stage of Life Vacation Contest. Are you in high school? A college student? On your own? Whatever your stage of life, you can enter this fun contest by writing about a specific memory from a vacation. There are no writer’s fees, and essays should be no longer than 500 words. Gift card prizes go to winners. Deadline is August 31, 2015. Stage of Life holds monthly contests, so check back next month for more opportunities to enter.

Fan Story – What’s Your Story Contest. “Everyone has a memoir. Not an autobiography.” Write a story about a piece of your life for this Fan Story contest, and get the chance to take away a $100 cash prize. Stories should be anywhere from 500 to 7,000 words and be submitted by September 28, 2015. Contest is free to enter, and all writers receive feedback on their entries. What’s there to lose?

Everyone has an interesting life story to tell. Take advantage of these four exciting contests, and get the chance to share yours.