Monday, October 27, 2014

Wordcraft -- Year end writing contests

Just when we’re revving up for National Novel Writing Month craziness (November 1-30), I’ve found a way to make things even crazier: totally unrelated writing contests.

I first thought somebody was joking when a couple of contest blurbs showed up in my email recently. Contests? This late in the year? Which started me on a hunt to see how many more I could find. The answer was¾ a surprisingly large number, which I’m listing in order of urgency. Contests, NaNoWriMo¾ do try to get a little sleep and maybe a meal or two somewhere in between it all.

October 31, 2014: The Red Line magazine’s deadline for its current bimonthly short story on the theme, “Sex.” No reading fee. For details see

October 31, 2014: Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award. (Although the magazine’s site,, notes that there’s always a one-week grace period for submissions.) Reading fee is $15 in this contest for stories up to 3,000 words. Upcoming deadlines for other Glimmer Train contests are November 30, 2014; January 2, 2015; January 31, 2015; and March 15, 2015. See the site for rules and reading fees for each.

November 1, 2014: The First Line Literary Magazine’s winter contest using the first line, “We went as far as the car would take us.” No fees. See for details.

November 15, 2014: Narrative 30 Below Contest. Open to writers, poets, and other artists between 18 and 30 years of age. $22 reading entry fee. See for details.

December 20, 2014: ConDFW XIV short story contest. Open to amateur writers only. No fee for attendees at this Dallas science fiction/fantasy convention, $5 for non-attendees. See for details.

January 31, 2015: The Writers League of Texas manuscript contest. You don’t have to
live in Texas to enter. You don’t even need a completed manuscript, only the first ten pages of your novel and a synopsis. It could be from those NaNoWriMo manuscripts we’re poised to start, or from nonfiction or memoir manuscripts. Fee is $55 for WLOT members, $65 for nonmembers. Submit using the online entry form, available November 1, at

January 31, 2015: Historical Novel Society Indie Award. Any genre of historical novels (pre-1965 setting) from all formats of self-publishing. No entry fee. See “Awards” for more information. (Details of additional contests for historical short stories and unpublished novels still to come at the HNS site.)

Want more contests? Check out listings at these additional sites:,, and

A late addition hit my inbox: Houston Writers House contests for novels, creative nonfiction manuscripts, short stories and poetry. Novel submissions are $10 per entry, and require only the first 10 pages of the manuscript. Deadline is November 30 (so maybe if we finish NaNoWriMo early?) See for details.

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