Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wordcraft -- Let the new year’s contests begin!

I promised previously to make this post about literary events, but a look at my inbox has convinced me that contests are more pressing issues. At this time, I’m only listing contests for book length works, but see www.thefirstline.com/, http://overtheredline.com/, http://carvezine.com/, and www.glimmertrain.com/ for current and upcoming short story contests.

I’ll list the long-form contests in order of deadline urgency. Although some were listed in posts last fall, after the stress of NaNoWriMo, a repeat may be in order. Others are new, or new-to-me items. There are always more than I can participate in personally, so I appreciate feedback from readers about their contest experiences.

January 31: The Writers League of Texas 2015 manuscript contest. You don’t need to have a completed manuscript to enter this contest, only the first ten pages and a synopsis of your work in any of ten fiction and nonfiction categories. Contestants receive professional critiques. Winners get individual consultations with literary agents and recognition at the WLT conference June. Contest fee is $65 for non-WLT members, $55 for members. See www.writersleague.org/109/Manuscript-Contest for details.

March 30: Houston Writers House genre novel contest is a chance to win $100 for unpublished novels in five categories, including middle school and young adult novels. Winners will be announced at the Houston Writers Guild June workshop. The contest opens February 1. Fee is $15. See www.houstonwritershouse.com for details.

April 1: 2015 Historical Novel Society new novel award. New this year, a complete manuscript is no longer required to enter. Generally, entries must be unpublished, but see complete rules at http://historicalnovelsocietylorg for exceptions for novels self-published since December 1, 2014. Cash prize. Contest fee is $35 ($20 for HNS members). A brief reader’s report is available for an additional $15.

June 1: Mayborn Writing Competition. Nonfiction writers who may be feeling a little overlooked will get their chance to shine at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in July. Winners in the book-length manuscript contest and a chance at publication by the UNT press. The conference’s site currently lists 2014 information, so check
www.themayborn.com/writing-competition for updates.

June 30: INK & Insights 2015 writing contest, from editors at Critique My Novel. Entries accepted beginning March 1 in two fiction categories (Apprentice and Master) and nonfiction. This is new to me, but includes cash prizes, writing resources, and feedback for the top three winners in each category. Top three manuscripts in the Master and nonfiction categories will also receive readings from literary agents. Fee is $35. The contest “officially” opens March 1, but entries between February 1-28 receive a $5 discount off the entry fee. For details, including a list of agent readers, see http://critiquemynovel.com/.

(Next Tuesday, a first look at spring literary conferences and events in Texas. For now, please note that the Literature + Medicine conference at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has been rescheduled for this Thursday, January 22. Cost is $25. See www.TexasHealth.org/LitMed/.)

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