Polish your prose and enter a writing contest
Sending your writing out into the world is a good way to get recognition for all your hard work. My blogging partner Carol Despeaux should know. She was notified in December that she’d won 7th place in the Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards. Congratulations Carol! She’ll be receiving $50, recognition in Writer’s Digest magazine and promotion on WritersDigest.com, and a copy of the 2014 Poet’s Market.
To inspire you, I’ve listed several contests with upcoming deadlines. For information about other contests, check out writing magazines, including Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and Writer’s and Poets.
Award: VanderMey Nonfiction Prize
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2014
Entry Fee: $18
Ruminate’s annual VanderMey Nonfiction Prize winner receives $1,500 and publication in the summer 2014 issues of the magazine. The runner up receives $200 and publication. Submit an essay or short memoir by Feb. 15. Visit the website for guidelines.
Pacific Northwest Writers Association
Award: First and second place is awarded in 12 categories, including children’s, middle grade, nonfiction/memoir, poetry, and various other genres
Deadline: Feb. 21, 2014
Entry Fee: $35 per entry for PNWA members, $50 per entry for non-members.
Website: PNWA Contest
Each entry receives two critiques. Winners are announced at the Summer Conference in front of writers, agents, and editors. First-place winners receive $700 and second-place winners receive $300. For contest rules and submission guidelines, visit the website.
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
Award: Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Novel, Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2014
Entry Fee: $30 ($20 for AWP members)
Two prizes of $5,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. In addition, two prizes of $2,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a novel and a book of creative nonfiction. Submit manuscripts online by Feb. 28. visit the website for guidelines.
Award: Nelligan Prize (short story)
Deadline: March 14, 2014
Entry Fee: $15
The Colorado Review awards a prize of $2,000 and publication annually for a short story. Current and former students of Colorado State University are not eligible. Submit a story of any length with a $15 entry fee by March 14. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for guidelines.
I find that writing for submission to themed anthologies also helps me. It gives the pressure of a deadline and the inspiration of a theme, but without the cost of an entry fee. Of course there’s no guarantee of getting in, but then it’s the same with competition prizes!
So true! I always figure any writing, even if it isn’t accepted, is a good thing. You might find another market for it. Thanks for your idea.