For writers who thought they could take it easy during the summer, I have one word: BWAH-HAH-HAH! Because the contests are out there, jumpin' like catfish on a trotline and with lures yummier than fish fry hushpuppies. I'm listing a sample, in order of urgency, with sources for even more.
May 31: Grey Wolfe Publishing's 2016 Monthly Writing Contests. Write a 2,000-word story about each prompt from Writer's Digest magazine. Winners receive a $25 Visa gift card. No entry fee. May's prompt is "Crazed fan." Further prompts include "The mysterious call" (June 30), "Creation simulator" (July 31), "Childhood piece of clothing" (August 31) and more. Source: Duotrope Digest. This is a paid-subscription site, but a 30-day trial offer is free.
June 1: Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. I listed this North Texas conference last week. If you're a serious nonfiction writer looking for fame, money, or book publication, check the site for details or contact writing contest coordinator Jo Ann Livingston at email@example.com.
June 1: Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest. Seeking 20,000-40,000 word novellas, with strong preference for submissions from authors of color, LGBTQ+ writers, and women. Cash prizes, $25 entry fee. For more information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Source: The Writer Magazine.
June 15: ArmadilloCon writing workshop, Omni Southpart Hotel, 4140 Governor's Row, Austin, Texas. This science fiction/fantasy convention takes place July 29-31, but if you want to attend the writers' workshop taught and critiqued by a panel of writing professions, submit your short story/first chapter manuscript by June 15. Workshop cost is $85, which includes a three-day convention membership.
June 15: FenCon Young Author Contest. You're signing up the young people in your family for your local library's summer reading program, right? Get them to write as well, with this contest for writers from grades 3-12. No fee. Winners receive cash prizes and free entry to the 2017 FenCon convention, plus publication (at judges' discretion) on the FenCon website. See the site for details.
June 17: New Millennium Awards for Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction. Cash prizes plus publication. $17 reading fee. Source: The Writer Magazine.
June 30: The Aeon Award 2016. Albedo One Ireland's Magazine of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror's short fiction contest. Cash prizes for speculative unpublished fiction under 10,000 words. €7.50 fee. (PayPal is happy to translate your credit/debit card dollars into euros.) Judges include Todd McCaffrey, son of the late Anne McCaffrey. Additional quarterly contest deadlines September 30 and November 30. Source: Ralan, a free subscription site.
July 20: FenCon Short Story Contest. Science fiction/fantasy stories by adult writers. Contests may submit one story at no chard, additional stories for $10 per entry. Cash prizes and free FenCon 2017 membership for wrinners and first two runners-up, with publication in the FenCon program book for first place and (space permitting) runners-up. See the site for guidelines.
August 17: Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Poetry and short fiction. Cash prizes $5 fee per poem, $10 fee per short story (plus $2 transaction fee for online entries). This contest is probably unique in allowing hand-printed entries. Source: Ralan.
(Next Tuesday, imagine yourself as star of your own book channel!)