Many of you know from other posts that before my mother’s dementia, she and I used to make a game of finding and entering writing contests. We learned these basic writing lessons along the way: 1) writing to the guidelines of a contest keeps you thinking and practicing your skill; 2) even if you don’t win or place in the contest, you’ll have a completed story that you can build on and submit elsewhere; and 3) no writing effort is ever wasted, and you might be surprised where this effort will lead.
This week I’m posting four writing contests that have NO ENTRY FEE but offer Cash Prizes and/or publication. No matter where you reside or what your age or writing experience, there is at least one contest for you!
First, here are two fiction reminders. Writer, producer and director Joss Whedon says: “You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, and you find out who they really are.” And sci-fi writer Iain Banks adds, “The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn’t.”
Now the contests:
INTERGENERATION SHORT STORY CONTEST sponsored by Intergeneration Foundation: http://intergenerationmonth.org/enter-the-contest/ No genre restrictions; electronic submissions by 9/30/2016; 400 words maximum, international eligibility. Awards: $500, $300, $200
KEY WEST LITERARY SEMINAR EMERGING WRITER AWARDS sponsored by Key West Literary Seminar for short fiction, novel excerpts, and individual poems. http://www.kwls.org/awards/emerging-writer-awards/ Electronic submission deadline 9/12/2016 Top awards $500 US writers
SUNDAY TIMES EFG SHORT STORY AWARD, sponsored by Society of Authors. Guidelines at http://shortstoryaward.co.uk/ All fiction genres, story length maximum 6,000 words, submit postal and electronic, international eligibility for writers of all levels, age 18 and older with publication experience in UK. Deadline 9/29/16 Top winner £30,000
REAL SIMPLE: LIFE LESSONS Essay Contest (this could also make a good writing prompt or journal topic) on this theme: “What was the most dramatic change you ever had to make?” 1,500 words max US writers www.realsimple.com/lifelessonscontest Prizes: $3,000, $750, $500 Submit electronic submissions by 9/19/2016
Based on previous writing posts, you know you can try writing your rough drafts with your left hand, your right hand, or mirror writing in crayons or chalk. Just choose a contest or topic and give it a try. And if you know of other contests and writing opportunities, please share them with us.