For a change of pace from looking for freelance writing gigs working for clients, why don’t you check out these upcoming writing contests and competitions? If you have been focused on non-fiction writing as part of your paid work, submitting something for consideration to a contest can be a welcome change of pace. If you win, you can pick up some prize money and get some welcome recognition for your work. You may even be inspired to run a contest on your blog.
Tethered by Letters Spring Literary Contests
TBL is running contests in three categories: short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Guidelines available online. Prizes range from $$50.00-$250.00. Deadline: January 31, 2014.
Erma Bombeck Writing Competition
Do you think you can “capture the essence” of the late Ms. Bombeck’s writing? If so, you could be $500 richer and win a free registration to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop! The competition closed February 17, 2014 at 8 a.m. and you can find out the details here.
Hektoen Essay Contest
The Hektoen Essay contest is open to submissions on subjects “related to medicine and culture.” Each essay should be between 1,500-2,000 words and the grand prize is $1,500.00. All entries must be received by March 1, 2014 to be considered. Guidelines are posted on the Hektoen International website.
Willow Springs Fiction Prize
The contest winner will receive $2,000, and will have his or her work published in Willow Springs. He or she will also receive a one-year subscription to Willow Springs. There is a $15.00 entry fee for U.S. residents and a $20.00 entry fee for international submissions. Only original, unpublished work will be accepted. Guidelines are available online and submissions can be made electronically or by regular mail. Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2014.
Sawtooth Poetry Prize
The Sawtooth Poetry Prize is open for submissions from January 1, 2014 to March 10, 2014. The winner will receive a $1,500.00 honorarium upon publication, as well as 25 copies of his or her published book. Entries must be filed between January 1, 2014 and March 10, 2014. Manuscripts should be 50-100 pages of poetry and there is a $25.00 entry fee. Get complete detail son the contest website. /sawtooth-poetry-prize/
Confrontation 2014 Poetry Prize
The winner of the Confrontation Poetry Prize will receive $750.00. He or she will also be published in one of the 2014 issues. Submit up to four previously unpublished poems for consideration. There is a $10.00 entry fee to be considered. The contest opens February 1, 2014 and the deadline is March 31, 2014. Details are available here, and simultaneous submissions are acceptable, as long as you let the magazine know if the poem has been accepted elsewhere.
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest
Submit your best short fiction or essay by April 30, 2014 to be considered for this contest. There is a 6,000 word limit and the entry fee is $16.00. Full guidelines are available on the contest website.
William Faulkner-WilliamWisdom Creative Writing Competition
The 2014 competition opens January 1 and accepts entries in eight categories: Novel, Novella, book-length Narrative Non-Fiction, Novel-in-Progress, Short Story, Essay, Poetry, and Short Story by a High School Student. Competition guidelines and entry forms are available online.
The New Letters Literary Awards
Submit your best group of poems, essay, or short story for consideration and a chance at $1,500.00. The deadline for entries is May 18, 2014. There is a $15.00 fee for the first entry, and a $10.00 fee for each entry thereafter. The fee includes the cost of a one-year subscription to New Letters. Guidelines are available online.
14 Independent Productions Script Writing Contest
Can you write a winning 22-minute sitcom episode? The winner of this contest will walk away with $10,000 in prize money and $5,000 for IPD assignment. (The prize will be shared if there is more than one winner.) The start submission date is January 5, 2015 and the closing date is July 1, 2015, so you have plenty of time for this one. You can check out the requirements online. (Free registration required.)
General Tips for Entering Entering Writing Contests
If you want to increase your chance of winning a writing contest, take your time and read through the guidelines carefully to make sure that your work is a good fit before you submit it. Give yourself plenty of time to complete your submission. If you have to rush to finish your work, either wait until the contest is open again or find another writing contest. You want to present your best effort to the judges.
Proofread your work carefully before you submit it for consideration. You may want to have a trusted friend or colleague look it over for you. Even the best spellcheck program on your computer won’t catch every spelling and grammar error, and you may be too close to your own work after looking at it several times to be objective.
Follow the instructions about submitting your work to the letter. Some contests are very specific about whether authors can include their names on submissions and the number of copies that should be sent in for consideration. If you don’t follow the instructions exactly, your submission will not be considered for judging.
Do look at previous winners’ work to get an idea of what a winning entry looked like for a particular contest but don’t assume that your voice is not just as valid when you are entering a contest. Submit it and trust that the people judging the contest will be able to evaluate it on its own merits. Enjoy the process and keep in mind that you have no chance of winning if you don’t enter the contest at all. Good luck!
image credit: sxc.hu
image credit: sxc.hu