Thursday, June 7, 2012

Conference and Publishing...and Contests?

Due to Literati request/demand, I am starting a new series about what I learned at the Backspace Writer’s Conference.  In this series I will discuss publication, querying, and the craft of writing.  So if you are an aspiring author or just looking to improve your writing, keep an eye out for these posts.  For your entertainment, I will wrap the series up with the horrible experience I had on the Super Shuttle back to JFK, trust me, it’s a good one.
The agents at the Backspace Writing Conference offered a great tip on getting published, a sort of lesser known road to publication.  What is this little shortcut, you ask?  Enter contests!  We all know that writing contests can offer a few hundred, or in some cases, thousand dollars to the winner.  We also know that winning a writing contest looks really pretty on a résumé or in a query letter!  What I didn’t know, is that agents tend to keep an eye on these contests so that they can snatch the writer as a client before said writer becomes more popular.
Whatever your reason for entering a writing contest (prize money, publication, prestige), I think you’ll find the below list of contests helpful.  If you do choose to give it a shot, leave a comment telling us what contest you entered and why!  Happy writing and good luck!
(Visit the contest’s website for more specific details.  Also note, I’m not endorsing any of these competitions, so read the fine print before entering any contest!)
Check out this site with helpful information on the Dos and Don’ts of writing contests.
81st Annual Writer's Digest Competition
Sponsor: Writer's Digest 
Deadline: 6/11/2012
Submission Type: Completed manuscript in one of 10 categories, including Screenplay!
Entry Fee: $30
First Prize: $3000  Consultation with 4 editors/agents   Paid trip to NYC + more

Books of Hope
Sponsor: Write Integrity Press 
Deadline: 6/15/12
Submission Type: Fiction and Non-Fiction three book series.  The books must carry a message of hope. Entry Fee: $25
First Prize: Three Book publication deal   2nd and 3rd: One book publication deal that may lead to three.

Short Shorts Contest
Sponsor: Literal Latte
Deadline: 6/30/12
Submission Type: Unpublished shorts 2,000 words or less
Entry Fee: $10 (for 3!)
First Prize: $1,000

Query Letter
Sponsor: Stacey O'Neale
Deadline: 6/30/12
Submission Type: Query Letter, see website for details
Entry Fee: None
First Prize: Literary Agent Representation

Goldenberg Prize for Fiction
Sponsor: BLR
Deadline: 7/1/12
Submission Type: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry 5,000 words or less related to themes of health, healing, illness, mind, and body.
Entry Fee: $15
First Prize: $1000 and Publication in the BLR Lit magazine

The Story Prize
Sponsor: Story Prize
Deadline: 7/15/12
Submission Type: Collection of Short Fiction (at least 2 stories or novellas)
Entry Fee: $75
First Prize: $20,000

Serena McDonald Kennedy Award
Sponsor: Snake Nation Press
Deadline: 7/20/12
Submission Type: MS of 50k or 200 pages or less
Entry Fee: $25
First Prize: $1000 and Publication

Very Short Fiction
Sponsor: Glimmer Train Magazine
Deadline: 7/31/12
Submission Type: Open to all writers (children's stories); stories must be 3,000 words or less.
 Entry Fee: $15
First Prize: $1500, Publication in GT Lit Mag, 20 copies of that issue

Nano Fiction Award
Sponsor: NANO Fiction
Deadline: 8/30/12
Submission Type: Collection of Short Fiction (at least 2 stories or novellas)
Entry Fee: $15 (for three entries)
First Prize: $500

Writer’s Digest (Individual contests for Sci-Fi, Romance, Crime, YA, Thriller, and Horror)
Sponsor: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: 9/14/12
Submission Type: Genre ms 4,000 words or less.
Entry Fee: $20
First Prize: $500, Spotlight in WD Magazine + more

The John Steinbeck Award
Sponsor: Reed Magazine & San Jose University
Deadline: 11/1/12
Submission Type: Unpublished story up to 6,000 words
Entry Fee: $15
First Prize: $1,000 and publication in Reed Magazine


  1. Replies
    1., no I have not. The short story is my archnemesis. I will probably look at some of the contests for full manuscripts and enter my novel once it's completed. Though I'd have to find one where I retain all the rights. Writer's beware of contests that take away your rights to the work!


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