Friday, July 30, 2010

Writing Contests

In this month's issue of WEND magazine, one of the contributor bios mentions being a SOLAS category award winner for 'Best Travel Writing.' It took me a moment to realize, "Hey, I've had one of those too!"

Winning contests can add to your authorial resume. Even better, they can get your work published in high profile places and pay big bucks (mine didn't) at the same time. The down side: Most contests require fees, though nominal.

A word of warning: If your winning piece is posted online, as mine was, it might be considered published when you submit it elsewhere. And then it's stuck in no-woman's-land.

The most common writing contest sources are literary journals and conferences. For an ongoing, extensive list that includes chapbooks and ghost stories, check out this Creative Writing Contest blog. Poets & Writers Magazine, to which I just re-subscribed, also offers an online guide to writing contests here. Here's a sampler:

Glimmer Train Press: very short fiction award
fee: $15     deadline: July 31    word count: 3,000 words
winners: $1,200 plus publication & 20 copies ($500/$300 2nd/3rd place)

Narrative Magazine: spring story contest
fee: $20     deadline: July 31    word count: 10,000 words (story, essay or excerpt)
winners: $4,000 plus publication ($1500 other)

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