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Basic guidelines: Submit original, unpublished works on the above topics to open, youth, poetry, and graphic novel (comics) divisions.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Topic: Unpublished sonnet written in Shakespearean, Spenserian, Petrarchan, or Non-traditional rhyme scheme.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.