Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writing contests – there's more here than book reviews

This site isn’t all about reviews. Sometimes it’s about competitions, like a chance to win a free writing residency (and more!) from the DFW Writers Workshop. Or can you be tempted by a chance to have bestselling author James Patterson pick you from among his writing students to co-author one of his books? How about a critique (and chance to pitch to) a literary agent in your field? Or, if you’re a medical professional with a yen to write, check out an opportunity just for you.

January 15: Deadline for the Writers League of Texas 2017 manuscript contest is this coming Sunday, January 15. This is a chance to get your manuscript (in any of several genres) before the eyes of writing professionals. Winners in each category will meet individually with the literary agent who was the final judge in their category. No finished manuscript required, only the first approximately 10 pages plus a synopsis. Plus, you don’t need to live in Texas to qualify.
image: wikimedia commons
Fees are $55 for WLT members, $65 for nonmembers. All contestants, winners or not, will receive written feedback. Or plunk members can plunk down $25 ($35 for nonmembers) to enter and forego the written feedback. (Although why wouldn’t you want feedback?)
See the site for details and formatting requirements.
February 1 – March 1: James Patterson’s 22-lesson writing starts with how to get started and covers outlines, plotting, characters, dialogue and more. Includes class workbooks and a chance to submit drafts for feedback from fellow students (and maybe from Patterson himself.) Cost: $90. See the Master Class site for class details and information on how to enter the contest to be his next co-author.

March 10:  The annual Literature + Medicine conference, previously hosted by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, is moving to the campus of Southern Methodist University for this year’s conference, April 1. In addition to some wonderful speakers (last year’s special guest was Dr. Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone, among other works), the conference includes a creative writing contest. Sorry, this is only for health care professionals, but it’s a chance to exercise your skill at essays, poems and short stories about your experience in medicine. Check the Literature + Medicine site for details.

March 22: Now, for those who’ve already written the first chapter of their novels for the Writers League contest, (who are hard at work on the same), get more bang from your work by entering the first-ever writing residence contest from the DFW Writers Workshop. This is the organization that hosts an annual literary conference (this year, May 6-7). Now they’re giving us a chance to polish our work, not to mention free or reduced price admission to the DFWWW conference.

Grand prize winner gets free admission to the conference (which includes a 10-minute pitch session with an agent or editor), admission to VIP events not open to general conference attendees, two weeks’ room and board at the conference hotel, airfare to Dallas-Fort Worth from anywhere in the continental United States, manuscript critique and mentorship by a published author.

Second and third place winners receive free admission to the conference. Fourth and fifth place winners receive half-price admission.

Submit the first chapter (up to 5,000 words) of a book-length work in any prose genre along with an outline or synopsis demonstrating your vision and ability to complete the project. Fee per entry: $50. See the DFW Writers Workshop site for details. 

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