The Preservation Foundation Essay Contest 2021

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🕡 Deadline: Oct 31, 2021 (See all deadlines)
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The Preservation Foundation is hosting an essay contest open to all writers around the world who are previously unpublished.

The Preservation Foundation Essay Contest organizers previously had strict rules about what it meant to be an “unpublished writer” but this year’s rules seem more relaxed. You should include a biography with your submission that makes it clear you are not previously published.

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Rules for The Preservation Foundation Essay Contests 2021

For purposes of these contests, unpublished writers are defined as those whose job pay is not now or was not earlier based on their writing abilities or their freelance writing never produced revenues of over $500.00 in any single year.

  • The Preservation Foundation has sole authority to rule on any writer’s eligibility, the appropriateness of stories for entry, contest rules, and all other matters relating to the contest.
  • Regular Story Submissions–No Limit. Just to be clear–while there is a limit of two entries in each of the contests, there is no limit for stories not meant for the contests, whether nonfiction or fiction. So send in as many as you wish. Our purpose is to publish your works and you don’t have to enter any contests for us to do that.

Rules For the 2021 Contests

  • This year there will be five contest closing dates and prizes for five categories of nonfiction: Winners Circle nonfiction, Animal Nonfiction, General Nonfiction, Biographical Nonfiction, and Travel Nonfiction. See details below if you need clarification about any of these categories.
  • Stories must be between 1000–10,000 words in length.
  • There are no international limitations. Stories from any country are fine, although they must be written in English.
  • Language in the stories should be free of words or scenes not suitable for children since many children read the stories and some actually post their stories.
  • Be sure your stories are ready for publication. We do not provide copy editing services. If they aren’t ready to go up on the site don’t send them until they are.
  • You can include a short author’s introduction for the beginning if you wish and a brief biography of the author at the end. This helps the organisers determine if you are truly an “unpublished writer.” Send these along in the body of your e-mail or as attachments.
  • Just to be clear, the publishers claim no rights to your stories. They are published with your name as copyright holder.
  • However, since their objective is to preserve these stories for future generations, not to put them up one year and take them down the next, contest runners-up and winners are expected to remain on the site for as long as the Preservation Foundation exists.
  • The foundation will, however, have no objection to the stories being published elsewhere. If you anticipate submitting your posted story to a publisher that would object to previous publication on our site you could use a pen name with us and/or a different title.
  • We will take a story down if absolutely necessary but will no longer accept stories from you after that.
  • Contact them if you need further clarification.
  • Stories should be submitted as electronic text files. No paper manuscripts can be considered.
  • If you submit copyright material as text or as illustration it is your responsibility to obtain permission to use it.
  • No story may be entered in more than one contest. The author should state which contest he/she is entering when making the submission.
  • Stories entered in any of our previous contests will not be eligible for current year contests.
  • A writer may enter one or two stories in each contest. There are no entry fees.
  • First prize in each category will be $200. Runners-up will receive $100. Winners, runners-up, and finalists in each category will receive certificates of recognition suitable for framing.

First prize winners in previous contests automatically move up to the Winners Circle. They are no longer eligible for prizes in the regular contests. However, there is a separate Winners Circle contest for them. We hope this will encourage newer writers and increase their chances of winning the regular contests.


Feb 29, 2020 – April 30, 2021: Nonfiction Animal Stories

Stories should be factual and true accounts of an encounter or encounters by the author with a wild animal or animals. These include, but are not limited to, birds, fish, butterflies, snails, lions, bears, turtles, wombats, etc., as long as it is not a pet.

April 30, 2020 – June 30, 2021: General Nonfiction Contest

Any appropriate nonfiction topic is eligible. Stories must be true, not semi-fictional accounts. So-called “creative nonfiction” will not be considered.

June 30, 2020 – Aug 31, 2021: Biographical Nonfiction Contest

A biographical entry must be a true story of an individual(s) known to the author personally–not a fictional or historical character. Or, it could be autobiographical, a true story about the author’s life, the whole or an episode.

Aug 31, 2020 – Oct 31, 2021: Travel Nonfiction Contest

Stories should be factual and true accounts of a trip taken by the author or a person or persons known by the author.

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Judging will be as they have done it for the last several years. Click here to find out how.


The Preservation Foundation will continue to accept new fictional stories of all types for posting on the site. However, they haven’t had a fiction contest since the year 2000. This decision is based on the belief that many internet sites now offer programs for writers of fiction, while very few encourage nonfiction. The foundation believes too that writers of fiction are also capable of writing about real events in their own lives and the lives of those they know.

The foundation will love to read and post your non-contest stories, both fiction and nonfiction. So send them in. After all, their primary purpose is to preserve those stories for your children and grandchildren and maybe even for your grandchildren’s children.

Visit the OFFICIAL PAGE for further information. DROP COMMENTS for questions/suggestions. See deadline and SHARE below!

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