Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ready, set, go – a lineup of autumn writing contests

How long has it been since I’ve posted a blog about writing contests? Well, that’s too long! So here goes, with both a selection of current contests and of do-it-yourself resources for ongoing events.

Now – Oct. 15: Time's nearly up for this tribute to the season: Pulp Literature’s Raven Short Story Contest. Fiction up to 2500 words (not necessarily of an avian nature!) can snag a cash prize! Fee -- $20 or opt for editorial feedback for an additional $25. Sponsored by Duotrope.
Now – Oct. 30: The annual Kathryn McClatchy Flash Fiction contest of the Writers Guild of Texas  is also coming down to the wire. Entries must be original stories, 300-1,000 words. First entries are free for WGT members, $15 for additional entries (up to three maximum). Non-WGT members pay $35 for their first entries (which gives them complimentary membership), $15 for additional entries. Cash prizes and publication in the WGT newsletter for first – fourth place winners.

Now – Oct. 31: Flash 500’s annual Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competition, judged by indie book publisher Crooked Cat Books. Fee: £10/€13, with cash prizes for first place and runner-up.  

Now – Nov. 15: Writer’s Digest’s current contest is its annual Short Short Story Competition for stories in 1,500 words or less. First place winner receives cash, publication in the magazine AND a paid trip to the Digest’s annual conference, including a slot in its Pitch Slam. Cash prizes and publication also for second through 10th place winners, and more! (Cost & details)
image: pixabay
Now – Nov. 30: Speaking of short fiction, check out the WOW! Women on Writing quarterly flash fiction contest, now in session for fall. Word limits: 250-750. Fee $10, cash prizes.

Now – Dec. 31: No matter how you feel about L. Ron Hubbard’s personal views, the late author’s Writers of the Future Contest is a recognized opening for writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror. No fee, and potential for cash prizes and publication. Submission periods repeat quarterly – there’s always one ongoing. See the site for details.

Now – Jan. 31, 2019: Writer’s League of Texas 2019 manuscript contest is now open for unpublished book-length manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction and children’s categories. Winners in each category will receive free registration to the WLT’s 2019 Agents & Editors Conference next summer to meet with a top literary agent (and the final judge in their category). Manuscripts need not be completed – only the first (approximately) 10 pages plus a synopsis are required. Entrants – winners or not – may opt for feedback from an experienced editor on their submissions. Entry fees are $55 for WLT members, $65 for nonmembers, which includes a written critique. Fees for authors opting out of the critiques are $25 for WLT members, $35 for nonmembers. Writers need not be Texas residents to enter. See the site for details.
Now – Feb. 28, 2019: Oh, you’ve already published a book? Then check out the Writer’s League of Texas book awards, open for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture books and middle grade/young adult categories published in 2018. Books may be traditionally published, indie- or self-published. For this one, authors must be Texas residents. Winners in each category receive cash prizes and public recognition at the 2019 Texas Book Festival. Fees: $60 for authors submitting directly ($40 for WLT members), $70 for agents/publishers submitting on behalf of authors. 

Now – Feb. 28, 2019: Another contest from Flash 500, this one sponsored by Duotrope – its annual short story competition. Up to four entries per author, with cash prizes for first, second, and third place winners. 

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UPDATE! Dallas-based literary magazine Carve's prose & poetry contest is open through November 15. Submissions accepted for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, with cash awards and publication for the winners. Entry fee: $17. See the site for details.
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You may have noticed several mentions of ongoing contests. Several sources provide free, searchable information about current contests. Among these are Ralan.com (source of the L. Ron Hubbard and WOW! contests as well as others), New Pages, and Reedsy.
I also mentioned Duotrope, a wonderful guide to contests as well as other writing information. It’ll set you back, but when I first started writing short stories, I found the $5/month (or $50 per year) fee well worth the cost. Check out a free trial period to see what you think. Plus, once you’ve joined, you’ll forever after receive its newsletter!

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