Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wordcraft – Get a head start on summer writing contests

Is everybody ready for a new round of writing contests? Some of these are associated with writing conferences, but with deadlines significantly earlier than the conference. So though I’ll address conference dates in a future post, for now, here are the deadlines for some worthwhile and fun writing contests or workshops with writing critiques, and what they offer. I mentioned some of these early this year, but a timely reminder may be in order.
image: wikimedia commons

April 30: DFW Writers’ Conference, already notorious for terrifying (but thankfully, anonymous) contests is teaming with WRiTE CLUB for 10 weeks of writing bouts. To begin, contestants must submit a 500-word writing sample in any genre (even poetry) by April 30. Right – that’s day after tomorrow! See www.dlhammons.com/p/write-club-2015.html for guidelines.

May 15: Sword & Sorceress anthology. Annual anthology inspired by works of Marion Zimmer Bradley. Stories should be of the sword and sorcery type, with strong female protagonists. See www.mzbworks.com/guidelines.htm for complete guidelines. No contest fee.

June 1: Mayborn Writing Competition entries in personal essay, reported narrative and book manuscript. This competition is held in connection with UNT’s Mayborn Literary Narrative Nonfiction Conference. For information, contact writing contest coordinator Sarah Whyman at maybornconferenceinfo@unt.edu/

June 15: ArmadilloCon writing workshop. ArmadilloCon is the Austin, Texas, literary science fiction conference. This is for stories of fantasy, science fiction or horror, with small group critiques led by professional writers and editors in the field. Fee of $79.50 includes membership in the conference, scheduled for July 24-26. For guidelines, see http://2015.armadillocon.org/writers_workshop#submission/.

June 15: 2015 FenCon Young Author short story contest. Open to writers in grades 3-12. No contest fee. See www.fencon.org/page/young-author-contest for details. And see the rest of this post for more about writing at FenCon, the annual science fiction/fantasy convention in Dallas, Texas.

June 30: British Fantasy Society’s Short Story Competition. No contest fee for BFS members, £5 for nonmembers. Contestants do not need to be from the UK: PayPal will happily convert your currency if necessary. I can’t resist adding this since competition judge Allen Ashley posted his list of story likes and dislikes at the blog of UK writer Deborah Walker, http://deborahwalkersbibliography.blogspot.com/. Complete competition guidelines at www.britishfantasysociety.org/the-bfs-short-story-competition-2015/

July 17: Registration for writers’ workshop at FenCon, the annual science fiction/fantasy convention in Dallas. Registration is limited to 20 participants, with cutoff July 17, or when the workshop is filled, if earlier. This is a four-day workshop with USA Today bestselling author Jaye Wells. Registration for the workshop is $25 plus FenCon registration. (Membership fee not yet available, but typically $50). See www.fencon.org/page/writers-workshop for details.

July 20: FenCon short story (science fiction or fantasy) contest. No fee for first story submitted by FenCon members, $10 for nonmembers or for additional stories (up to three) from members. Winner and first two runners-up receive cash awards and membership in next year’s conference. See www.fencon.org/page/short-story-contest for guidelines.

(Why all the entries for FenCon? Honest, I don’t get paid to do publicity for the Con, I just think it’s a great deal for the money. I’ve used critiques from the workshops and writing contest to polish several stories for publication, including my last year’s second place story contest winner, “Planet, Paper, Space,” due out in June.)

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