Friday, 7 September 2018

Winning Writers newsletters

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Winning Writers

Has one of your poems been published or won a contest? Our Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest wants it! Unpublished poems are also welcome. We'll award $1,500 to the best poem in any style, and $1,500 to the best poem that rhymes or has a traditional style. The top 12 poems will be published online, and the top two winners will also receive one-year gift certificates from our new co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $50 value).

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

$12 entry fee per poem. Submit as many poems as you like. No restriction on country or age of author. Judge: S. Mei Sheng Frazier, assisted by Jim DuBois. This contest is sponsored by Winning Writers, one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest).

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Hello Winning Writers fans. We are thrilled to offer news regarding the Palette Poetry Prize this year: $4000 and publication with Palette Poetry. We are seeking one excellent poem that speaks to what poetry is and can be for our world today. Send us your incandescent heart on the page. The winner will be selected by our guest judge, Shane McCrae.
Click below to learn more and submit your best work! Award closes August 15th.

$4,000 in prizes |
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Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest
We invite you to enter our 16th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. The winners of our 2017 contest were Karen Harryman and A.T. Hincapie.
This year's deadline is September 30. We will award the Tom Howard Prize of $1,500 for a poem in any style or genre, and the Margaret Reid Prize of $1,500 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $100 each (any style). The top 12 entries will be published online. The top two winners will also receive one-year gift certificates from our new co-sponsor, Duotrope. The entry fee is $12 per poem.
Submit Here
Please enjoy judge S. Mei Sheng Frazier's remarks from our 2017 contest.
As final judge of the Contest, I was tasked with selecting two winning poems—one in each category—and ten Honorable Mentions. I failed.
It's not that I didn't read each poem assigned to me from among 2017's 3,223 submissions. I did. It's not that I didn't reread them. Over the course of several months, I did. And it's not that the poems were too similar; that none of them stood out. Indeed, it was their dissimilarity that undid me. For how to choose, when the comparison is not apples to apples but apples to a Hesco fence, a short bibliography of secrets, or the Towers of Silence where the dead of the Parsi tribe wait?
"Unshorn, we are death itself: serpentine / and secret. Our hair conceals our power / to bear souls into the world, to feed them / from our own flesh: sower, tender, reaper, / shepherd, wolf, wool and fur." These poems incited me. "...Birds practice ascending declensions / of birdsong: Amo; Amas; Amat..." These poems lulled me. "Gradually words scattered, fled their posts, / dictionaries, unread, lay open on his desk." These poems wracked me. "When you put Saturn in the bath / it floats. / It's true." These poems schooled me. There were too many standouts.
Winding through the Bay Area's redwood forests with my daughter, then, I noted which poems tracked and followed me. Teaching a class of MFA students, I considered which poems I might've used as examples of impeccable this or explosive that. And in bed, tossing and turning, I acknowledged which poems leveraged words, strategies, motifs, cadences I wished I'd come up with first. Ultimately, I settled upon fifteen poems—and Winning Writers was gracious enough to green-light the additional honorable mentions, because...well, read on and discover exactly why.
The Winners
Karen Harryman
"A Word Like Rat" by Karen Harryman
Tom Howard Prize for verse in any style
Each of us is, or has been, gripped by a secret; shaped and crushed by a secret. "A Word Like Rat" begs for turnaround: for secrets we can hold, shape, crush, and a word that compresses them further, till they're manageable. This dexterous poem ambushed me. First, I was meeting Aunt Sandra—a commanding woman, even in her housecoat—as though the speaker and I were childhood friends. In the space of a few lines, years went by. And I found myself face to face with the speaker again, sipping coffee. Concerned. But my experience of the poem didn't end in that cafe. Nor in this one, where I compose my remarks. For this poem is a blank, a puddle. As much as it contains the dirt—the speaker's distress in the wake of her father's solitary death—it also reflects the sky, and within that sky all our rising prayers for control over the uncontrollable.
A.T. Hincapie
"From the Mouth of Kitsee's Inlet" by A.T. Hincapie
Margaret Reid Prize for verse that rhymes or has a traditional style
This loose corona of American sonnets is no outdated artifact. "From the Mouth of Kitsee's Inlet" is as bold and modern a crown as any you might admire on a drag queen strutting the stage. Expertly forged from convention and rebellion, burnished to perfection through exacting revision, it stands up to scrutiny. If each individual poem in this crown of sonnets is autonomous, so, too, are the precise monostichs, couplets and tercets—every image, every argument and observation, every thematic concern bearing the glint of brilliance. A young nephew buries fish bones at the mouth of the empty inlet, "for next year's fish". An elderly mother hoards barrels of five-minute greenhouse gutter floods "for next year's food". We gather our obsessions, petal by petal, into our hungry mouths. "Now becomes nonverbal" so that we do not converse with these poems, but graze against them; run a finger along the crown's cool surface, circling smoothly from the first poem's opening word to the last poem's final word: "Look."
While this poem overturns multiple conventions, it pays strict homage to others. Traditional elements span both form and content: for example, each sonnet's closing couplets deliver a volta—or "turn"—whereby the argument or mood of the poem pivots, displaying the complexity of timeless issues such as mortality, obsession, and the unassailable passage of time (both seasonal and personal). To add flavor to this thematic profundity, the poet sprinkles in time-honored ingredients including laments, philosophical musings and explicit, time-honored references—e.g., to the tale of Icarus.
The most notable tradition upheld by "Kitsee's Inlet", though, may be the formal repetition that melds these artful sonnets into a crown. In a traditional corona of sonnets, the final line of the preceding poem is repeated as the first line of the succeeding poem: here, echoing words link each poem's last line with the first line of the poem that follows. Moreover, in a traditional corona, the first line of the first poem serves as the final line of the last poem—and here, lines hinging upon the word "look" both open and close the entire sequence. 
But these repeated bits are only words, and not entire lines, a stickler might argue. As mastery increases, I would respond, so too does the poet's understanding of how to spin tradition and manipulate form. Consider the Elizabethan poets' 12-line sonnets; George Meredith's 16-line sonnets; Rainer Maria Rilke's love sonnets (written, in colloquial language, not about the dark lady or the innocent girl—but about dogs and mirrors and the beloved act of breathing itself); Wanda Coleman's explosive American sonnets. These revolutionary responses to poetic predecessors represent what some consider the apotheosis of the sonnet form: classics made modern, thereby keeping the form alive. 
Honorable Mentions: Tom Howard Prize
"Water" by Sylvia Adams
This poem is full of deep imagery linking the physical and spiritual realms. As the living are rescued, panicked, from the trees and rooftops they cling to, the dead find respite in "Water". The living are saddened by the sight of homes lifted from their very foundations, contents spilled. Yet the dead discover comfort in the sensation of being unmoored. Even as the living attempt to dredge the depths—always keeping an eye on the forecast, in fear of another storm—the dead find quietude. And as material objects tangle and catch, rendered useless, the dead hum while they float. They are caressed and recognized. Respected. Not quite gone for good.
"Shorn" by Katie Bickham
Rhythmic and emotional as a hymn, but stripped of its faith and adornment, this poem stands before us naked, pleading, incriminating. "Shorn", a truly meticulous rant, embodies the unique quality that Wordsworth used to define poetry: it "...takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." It seethes. It envisions. It assesses. It alludes. And in the end, this poem doesn't even let God off the hook.
"My Brother In Law Leaves the World" by Richard Brook
The word "meaning" stems most recently from an Old English verb. Mænan is to mean: to intend or signify. But it is also to tell—to lament. And "My Brother In Law Leaves the World" is an elegiac poem, but also a meticulous piece of carpentry that turns meaning into a hinge, metaphor into a joist. The precision of its language is unequivocal, the cohesion of its imagery breathtaking. A man tracks the histories, the legacies of words from East to West. Afternoon sunlight whitens a desk. And finally a dictionary lies open, wings spread, as birds lose their names and the spirit itself prepares to fly.
"Celestial Bodies" by Rata Gordon
This poem is an ultra-compact galaxy of facts, impressions, and images bound by gravitational attraction. Each word, stanza, section that comprises it is both whole and part—and occasionally its center (the magnetic relationship between "me" and "you") generates vivid flares: "I don't like it / when you fall asleep / on top of me." Perhaps, like our own galaxy, "Celestial Bodies" is on a collision course.
"Belonging" by Atoosa Grey
How is it that, not knowing the name of the city in "Belonging", I'm certain I've been there? How is it I've seen its orange light bending like a whale; felt its wind following my running form? How is it that I have been both the daughter and the mother in this exquisite poem, which holds the reader close—breathing when we breathe, turning when we turn, sighing as we sigh too?
"A Short Bibliography of Secrets" by Mary O'Melveny
O'Melveny makes intimate reference to the stories shaping three generations' lives—identifying each subject and period; giving credit, sought or unsought, to the authors of major incidents. Like any bibliography worth consulting, this structured record provides critical notes leading to more: discoveries of misplaced faith and kindness; traumas rising from the depths of memory; reflections on the cowardice and wisdom of running away; and stupefying realizations like the fact that people leave, sometimes, without leaving, or that our lives are both larger and smaller than we know.
"Seeing Through Glass" by Michelle Tibbetts
This is one of the most unique poems I've read this year. Deceptively straightforward, it offers a literary lens for viewing the parent-child relationship. What merits a child's selfish love but the assurance of being seen, valued, saved? And what is the reward of bearing offspring if not perceiving the world anew? In fascinating symbolic imagery, the poet answers these questions and others.
Honorable Mentions: Margaret Reid Prize
"Aletha" by Trent Busch
"Aletha" was the first contest entry to haunt me. I moved past it, then circled back, as the poem inevitably circles back to memories of demure Aletha: etymologically, and in urban parlance, a powerful speaker of truth. Throughout many long nights of reading, I never quite shook this poem. Instead, its loose ballad rhythm and dark pastoral imagery shook me. Is it Time, or another speaker, whose advances Aletha chastened? No matter: both will be finished in the gloaming.
"Estate Sale" by Teri Foltz
The sestina is a complicated, unforgiving form. Appropriate, then, that "Estate Sale"—a complex, unflinching poem—should adopt this structure. Here, the living brush aside or cannibalize the dead. Here, intentions fray and tradition tires. Nobody will read the obituary. Nobody—not even the earth—will make drastic accommodations. The entire world is frozen solid, but for the scalding words that recur from opening to envoi, changing forms so nimbly that one barely recalls having met them in their former incarnations.
"Sonnet for the Driveways of Our Childish Years" by Curtis LeBlanc
Missed/violence. Lawn/down. Dishing/eclipsing. Mothers/other. Forced/outdoors. Palms/alone. Read this sonnet aloud, and you'll find that its near-rhyme reveals its true rhythm, which is as natural as the shhhh of your breath; the pound of your pulse. American as basketball, universal as growing up, "Sonnet for the Driveways of Our Childish Years" reflects a narrow slice of history but, in doing so, divines an expansive swath of our national consciousness.
"The Vultures of Mumbai" by Jeanne-Marie Osterman
This poem derives its hypnotic strength from a blend of formal structural elements—including couplets, rhyme, a cadenced refrain and other elements of the ghazal. Like a traditional ghazal, too, "The Vultures of Mumbai" evokes metaphysical questions and melancholic, symbolic visions. But unlike a ghazal (a form with seventh-century Arabian roots that have branched to take hold worldwide, thanks to literary heavyweights including Rumi, Hafiz, Goethe and García Lorca, as well as popular singers like Jagjit Singh and Begum Akhtar), this poem employs its own unique architecture. It disrupts the ghazal's time-honored rhyme-refrain scheme, just as modern advancements disrupt sacred traditions. Its surging cell towers and luxury towers expose and indict the living, even as the Towers of Silence ritually expose the dead.
"The Following Shadow" by Kathleen Spivack
The French Canadian sonnet's volta, or turning point, occurs in its rhymed ninth and tenth lines. Yet "The Following Shadow" takes subtle turns throughout: birds conjugate the original Latin love song as clouds dream and the sobs of somebody far away ring out with the rhythm of the waves. It is only fitting, then, that the poem ends with a clever homonym, sketching an elliptical moon directly above us—a faint, abstruse oval that will flutter from sight even as we crane our necks to track it.
"The Insurgent" by Eliot Khalil Wilson
There is a curving river in Ghana that was named The Volta by Portuguese gold traders, as its waters were where they reversed course and headed home. Like the river, the poetic volta (or "turn") in the final couplet of this modern Shakespearean sonnet represents a shift in direction: a devastatingly final current that turns us around and brings us swiftly home to the poem's central truth. But first, in fluid iambic pentameter with just enough metrical variation, we travel. We explore. For the quatrains of "The Insurgent" carry us nimbly over expansive terrain, past barriers that are no obstacle, into war and dreams of war, to witness protocols that fail and precautions that kill.

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Just $9.95 per month to enter all contests with cash prizes. Discounts available when choosing the one year or two year membership. Pricing information.
Don't miss these contests. All have cash prizes. At FanStory you can enter all these contests with upgraded membership. Find out more.
Haiku Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a Haiku poem. Haiku is a form of poetry that only uses three lines. Can you paint a mental image using only three lines? Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Tomorrow! - Aug 3rd

3 Line Poetry Contest
Write a poem that has three lines and a syllable count of either 5-7-5 or 5-7-7. The poem must address a loved one. Cash Prize!
Deadline In 2 Days! - Aug 4th

75 Words Flash Fiction
Write a story on any topic that uses 75 words. Enter for your chance at the cash prize.
Deadline In 4 Days! - Aug 6th

Love Poem Poetry Contest
Write a love poem. Your love poem can be fictional or non-fictional. It can be a humorous or a serious love poem. The choice is yours. Enter for your chance at the cash prize.
Deadline In 5 Days! - Aug 7th

Six Word Poetry Contest
Write a poem using only six words. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline In 6 Days! - Aug 8th

Non-Fiction Writing Contest
We are looking for personal essays, memoirs, and works of literary non-fiction. It can be spiritual, political, or funny. Creative approaches welcomed. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Next Week - Aug 10th

Nonet Poetry Contest
Write a nine line poem for this poetry contest. But you must count syllables. The first line of your poem will have 9 syllables. The second line has 8 syllables and the 7th line has seven. This continues until your final line which has one syllable. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Aug 13th

Acrostic Poetry Contest
Write an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word. View an example in the announcement. Cash Prize!
Deadline Aug 17th

Dribble Flash Fiction
Write a story on any topic that uses 50 words. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Aug 21st

20 Syllable Poem
For this contest you are to write a short poem. The poem should have exactly 20 syllables. You can structure it anyway you choose and choose the word count. But the total syllable count for the completed poem must have exactly 20 syllables total. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Aug 25th

Rhyming Poetry Contest
Write a poem of any type that has a rhyme. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Aug 28th

5-7-5 Poetry
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline Sep 2nd

Romance Writing Contest
Write a story the brings two people together, two people who don't necessarily realize that they belong together but the audience is rooting for them. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Sep 5th

ABC Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write an ABC poem. ABC poetry has five lines and often is used to express feelings. See the announcement for an example. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Sep 8th

Flash Fiction
Write a story on any topic that uses 150 words. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline Sep 12th

Cinquain Poetry
Write a 'Cinquain' poem for this contest. A cinquain poem is a poem that follows a specific format. Read the announcement for a sample poem. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Sep 16th

3 Line Poetry Contest
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Sep 20th

Loop Poetry Contest
A fun poetry type that requires you to use the last word of each sentence as the starting word of the next sentence. Cash Prize!
Deadline Sep 24th

One Line Poem
Write a monostich poem which is a poem that is only one line. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Sep 28th

150 Words Flash Fiction
Write a story on any topic that uses 150 words. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Oct 3rd

2-4-2 Poetry
Write a 2-4-2 syllable poem. It has three lines. The first line has 2 syllables, the second line has 4 syllables and the last line 2 syllables. The subject can be anything. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Oct 9th

5-7-5 Poetry Contest
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline Oct 14th

Write a Minute poem for this contest. A fun poem to write. It follows the "8,4,4,4" syllable count structure. Enter for your chance at the cash prize.
Deadline Oct 16th

Share Your Story
A memoir gives us the ability to write about our life. But you can write about life with the option to create and fabricate and to make sense of a life, or part of that life. Write a piece of your life! This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Oct 20th

Four Line Poem
Write a four line poem that has a specific syllable count. The first line has 1 syllable, the second line has 5 syllables, the third line has 5 syllables, and the last line 9 syllables. The subject can be anything. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Oct 24th

This Sentence Starts The Story
Write a story that starts with this sentence: Time travel isn't supposed to be possible. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Oct 28th

Free Verse Poetry Contest
Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry that does not follow any structure or style. See an example and details in the announcement. Cash prize to the winner.
Deadline Nov 2nd

5-7-5 Poem
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline Nov 6th

Horror Story Writing Contest
Put your readers on edge or terrorize them for this horror writing contest. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Nov 10th

Faith Poetry Contest
The theme for this poetry contest is 'faith'. We are looking for poems that in some way pertain to this theme. It doesn't matter if it's spiritual, political, intellectual or emotional as long as faith is clearly represented. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Nov 15th

Dialogue Only Writing Contest
Write a story using only dialogue. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Nov 20th

Flash Fiction Writing Contest
Write a flash fiction story that takes place during a hot summer night. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Nov 30th

I Can't
Write a poem that begins with the words "I can't" This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Dec 3rd

Tanka Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a Tanka poem. Tanka is a form of poetry with a specific syllable count. See the announcement for an example. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Dec 10th

True Story Contest
Share a memory from your life. Share a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Dec 15th

5 Line Poem
Write a five-lined poem that has a specific syllable count to enter this contest. Cash prize for the winning entry.
Deadline Dec 17th

Lune Poetry Contest
A Lune poem is a short and fun poetry form with only three lines. View the contest announcement for an example. This contest has a cash prize.
Deadline Dec 22nd

Rhyming Poem
Write a poem of any type that has a rhyme. The winner takes away a cash prize.
Deadline Dec 30th

100 Word Flash Fiction
Write a story on any topic that uses around 100 words. Cash Prize!
Deadline Jan 4th

5-7-5 Poetry Writing
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything. Cash Prize!
Deadline Jan 8th

These are just a few of our contests. View the listing.

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You won't be able to quit work and write, but you might find a grant to make your writing goals easier. Or a crowdfunding opportunity to fund your project. Find serious contests, too. Only those that pay in cold hard cash. No pay-per-click, $1 per blog or exposure markets either. Hope Clark writes for a living. If she wouldn't try these opportunities, she doesn't post them. Our newsletters are our world. Chosen for the 101 Best Writing Websites by Writer's Digest for the last 18 years in a row.

Contests are our forte! Contests like these:

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 1, 2018. Publishizer is proud to host three book proposal contests. Empowered is seeking thought leaders at the intersection of business, technology, and innovation.
Judged by Crown Business and Berrett-Koehler. Mind Body Science is for those researching the frontiers of consciousness and human wellbeing. Judged by BenBella and Findhorn Press (Inner Traditions). Superhumans seeks authors exploring health, wellness, alternative lifestyles, and peak performance. Judged by Running Press (Hachette USA) and Sourcebooks. Enter for a chance to land a publisher for your book and win cash prizes of up to $1,000 for each contest. Write a compelling 1,000-word book proposal based on an unpublished book idea and be prepared to launch it on Publishizer by August 15. Campaigns with the highest number of pre-orders for each contest will win $500. A panel of editors from traditional publishing houses will award another $500 for each contest. (NOTE: When they ask, tell them you heard about this contest from FundsforWriters.)
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 31, 2018. The Broken River Prize is an annual poetry chapbook contest from Platypus Press. Win publication and $250/£200 prize money. For books between 20 and 40 pages in length.
The contest is open internationally. Finalists will be considered for publication.

$14 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 9, 2018. Categories are fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Contest entries should be in keeping with our publishing mission which states: "Our emphasis is on the literature of the Southern Appalachian region, and we are committed to publishing excellent writing that does not rely on clichés and stereotypes. We want to feature writing that exemplifies the many layers and complexities of the region or that is written by an author with a connection to the region." Pays $250 each for first-place winners of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and publication in Still: The Journal, 28: Fall 2018. All other contest entries will be considered for possible publication.

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2018. Grand prize $1,500, professional staged reading at the festival, a VIP festival pass, and publication in Bayou Magazine. Finalists will receive a panel pass to the festival.

$12-$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 23, 2018. We love writing that is personal, necessary, darkly funny, unfunny, candid, unique, upsetting, untold, includes in-depth research into who bit Beyoncé, and writing that is deeply good and deeply you. The winner will receive $500 and publication in Cosmonauts Avenue. All long-listed pieces will also be considered for publication.

$14 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 31, 2018. We are looking for brief collections of poetry, between three and ten pages. The contest features a grand prize of $350, a second prize of $100, and a third prize of $75. Each winner will have their work published either on our website or in our anthology.

$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 31, 2018. Limit 1,000 words. The winner receives $500 and publication in Gris-Gris. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler will select the winner. All submissions will be considered for publication.

$99 ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 1, 2018. Writer's Digest's 6th Annual Self-Published Ebook Awards honor the best self-published ebook(s) in eight of the most popular categories with $5,000 in cash, a featured interview in Writer's Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer's Digest Annual Conference in New York City. In addition to $13,000 in total cash prizes, all entrants will receive a brief commentary on their work from one of Writer's Digest's judges. Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Memoir, Young Adult, Nonfiction (General, Cookbooks, Reference, Guidebooks, Textbooks). The competition is open to self-published authors of English-language ebooks which were published (or revised and republished) electronically between 2013 and 2018.

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 1, 2018. Opens for submissions on August 15, 2018. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Translations and previously published or self-published novels and collections are not eligible. The Prize includes $1,500 and publication by FC2, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press.

$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 20, 2018. The winner of the Omnidawn Single Poem Broadside Poetry Contest wins an immediate cash prize of $1,000, letterpress publication of the broadside by Omnidawn, 50 free copies of the broadside, and publication of the winning poem in the Omniverse online journal. Writers eligible from anywhere. We recommend that poems be between eight and 24 lines in length, with blank lines used as stanza breaks each counting as a line.

ENTRY FEE: FIVE EUROS. Every Tuesday around noon (UTC), from the 17th of April 2018 until the 29th of January 2019, five words will be posted on this competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit one or more poems which include all five words given for that week. A prize of 500 euros is awarded to one winner, who, if available, will be invited to read at Ó Bhéal's twelfth anniversary event, on Monday the 15th of April 2019. An additional travel fee of 100 euros plus B&B accommodation will be provided. The winner also receives a physical award, hand-crafted by acclaimed glass artist (and poet) Michael Ray. Entry is open to all countries. Poems cannot exceed 50 lines in length.

$22 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 15, 2018. For book-length YA fiction with strong female lead character(s). The winning manuscript will be published by Many Frog Press, an imprint of Hidden River Publishing, and will receive $1,000.

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2018. The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction recognizes daring, original, and innovative novels. A $5,000 advance and publication in Fall 2019 by Dzanc Books will be awarded to the winner. The contest is open to new, upcoming, and established writers alike.

$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2018. First prize $1,000. Second prize $300. Third prize $200. Send unpublished essays of 10,000 words maximum. All topics welcome. All entries considered for publication.

$5 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 24, 2018. Enter your poetry or fiction manuscript. Three-round voter process. The highest-voted manuscript in each genre wins $1,000. The top 15 short stories and the top 30 sets of poems are published. All issues free to read online and as ebooks and PDFs. Paperbacks available for around $10. Sixfold is not-for-profit.

$26 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 31, 2018. Open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. We're looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. First Prize is $2,500, Second Prize is $1,000, Third Prize is $500, and up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline August 15, 2018. The sixteenth annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for the winning book-length manuscript by a poet residing in the Mid-Atlantic states (DE, MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY, WVA, NC and District of Columbia) will consist of $500, two cases of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Beer, manuscript publication by Broadkill River Press, and 10 copies of the book (in lieu of royalties).

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The best free literary contests with deadlines through August 31 |
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Welcome to Our July Newsletter

John ReidIn Memoriam
With sadness we note the passing of John Reid at age 81. He founded the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest and the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. He was always generous, often prompting us to award more prizes in a contest than originally promised. We are proud to carry on his tradition of helping writers at every level.
This month, we found over 30 excellent free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between July 15-August 31.
View Free Contests
In this issue: An excerpt from "Birches" by Robert Frost, illustrated by Julian Peters.
Coming next month: We'll announce the winners of our Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest.
Want to view past newsletters? Go to Need assistance? Let us help. Join our 106,000 followers on Twitter at @WinningWriters.

Featured Sponsor: The 2018 Independent Authors Conference

The 2018 Independent Authors Conference

Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Try Literistic
Congratulations to  Mallory M. O'Connor, Diane G. Martin, Jeff Walt, Barbara de la Cuesta (featured poem: "The Shadow Gross National Product"), Joan Gelfand, Carolyn Howard-Johnson (featured poem: "It's In the Knowing"), Gary Beck, Emily Rose ColeJanet Garber, Lisa Ciarfella, R. Bremner, Laurel Blossom, and Ellaraine Lockie.
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A supportive and inspiring 4-Week Online Poetry Retreat created by poets for poets

Two Sylvias Press Online Poetry Retreat
WHAT YOU NEED: Access to email and a desire to write new poems.
WHAT WE PROVIDE: Poem prompts, sample poems, a Two Sylvias Press publication, a PDF of Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry (a 377-page resource of some of the best poets writing today), as well as reflection questions/activities to guide and inspire. All prompts, writing exercises, and inspiration sent daily or weekly to your email (your choice!)
AND new this year—at the end of the retreat, an award-winning poet will critique one of your poems and offer ideas on where to submit them! (Choose from Diane Seuss, January Gill O'Neil, Susan Rich, Jennifer K. Sweeney, and Jennifer Jean!)
·         Space is limited
·         All levels of poets are welcome (from beginning writer to published author)
Praise for Two Sylvias Press Online Poetry Retreat
"The Two Sylvias Press Online Poetry Retreat was an absolute delight. Two Sylvias Press provided fresh, engaging prompts accompanied by captivating sample poems. In addition, they kept a steady stream of encouragement going for the duration of the retreat, which helped me move confidently into my manuscript feeling supported, connected, and valued. Their end-of-retreat critiques were insightful, specific, and thought-provoking. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone looking to approach writing with greater depth and joy."
     —Catherine K.

New from Joan Gelfand: The 4 C's Approach of Successful Authors – Craft, Commitment, Community, and Confidence

You Can Be a Winning Writer
Writing strategies book filled with authorship and publishing tips: With a splash of humor, a dose of empathy and a volume of support, mastering the 4 C's includes real life anecdotes from famous and not so famous ─ but successful authors. You Can Be A Winning Writer is the go-to book for writers just starting out, for writers stalled after their first or second book, and for students. The 4 C's wisdom and stories will inspire and encourage.
You Can Be A Winning Writer includes:
·         Post-publication strategies
·         The mistakes that even the most talented prize-winning authors have made
·         How, with the help of the 4 C's, those same authors could have enjoyed greater success
·         What it means to "fire on all burners" and work to develop each of the 4 C's simultaneously
Maybe you've read Stephen King's On Writing, Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, or William Zinsser's On Writing Well ─ Now you need to read You Can Be A Winning Writer. Learn more and buy it now from Amazon.

Creative Nonfiction Seeks Essays for "Let's Talk About Sex" Issue

Deadline: July 16
For the spring 2019 issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine, we're looking for true stories about doing it. Whether you're straight, gay, or other; alone, in a couple, or in a crowd; doing it for the first time or the last, or not doing it at all, we want to hear your story.
As always, we're interested in stories that are more than mere anecdotes, and we love work that incorporates an element of research and/or makes a connection to a larger story or theme. We welcome personal stories as well as profiles, and above all, we are looking for narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that offer a fresh interpretation or unique insight into the theme.
Please note: for this issue, we are interested primarily (and perhaps even exclusively) in stories of consensual and/or victimless sex. Also note, we are not seeking erotica. No photos, please.
Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1,000 for Best Essay and $500 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication.
Creative Nonfiction

$10,000 Rattle Poetry Prize

Deadline extended to July 16
The annual Rattle Poetry Prize is once again offering $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 Readers' Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.
With the winners judged in a blind review by the editors to ensure a fair and consistent selection, an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a runner-up Readers' Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—the Rattle Poetry Prize aims to be one of the most writer-friendly and popular poetry contests around.
We accept entries online and by mail. See Rattle's website for the complete guidelines and to read all of the past winners.
Enjoy "Heard" by Rayon Lennon, winner of the 2017 Rattle Poetry Prize:
I am still
Alive so
I move out
Of my doc's
Cave-like office
And let the sun
Sip tears
From my
Pooling eyes.
I learned
I am
But all this
Pain is nothing
If death will
Erase it.
I am still
Alive so I
Buy Jamaican
Food at
A Jamaican
And savor
The muddy
Sauce …
[poem continues]

Tupelo Press July Open Submission Period

Tupelo Press July Open Submission Period
Submission period: July 1-July 31 (postmark or online-submission date)
Throughout the month of July, Tupelo Press is holding open submissions for book-length poetry collections (48-90 pages) and chapbook-length poetry collections (28-47 pages).
Submissions are accepted from anyone writing in the English language (whether in the United States or abroad). A reading fee of $30 (U.S.) must accompany each submission. Include a cover page with the title of your manuscript, your name, address, phone number and email address.
Our online submission manager, Submittable, will be accepting poetry manuscripts between July 1 and July 31, 2018. We also accept manuscripts via postal mail. Your manuscript must be postmarked between July 1 and July 31, 2018 and sent to:
Tupelo Press July Open Reading
PO Box 1767
North Adams, MA 01247
If you are submitting a paper manuscript, include two cover pages: one with the title of the manuscript only, the other with title of manuscript, name, address, telephone number, and email address. Cover letters or biography notes are optional. Include a self-addressed stamped postcard to confirm receipt of your manuscript, and a self-addressed stamped envelope if you'd like notification of July Open Reading Period results. An email announcement will also be sent to all entrants.
Please enjoy this selection by Lise Goett, who first came to Tupelo Press through the July Open Reading Period with her winning collection, Leprosarium (Tupelo Press 2018). For more information about Leprosarium, and our canon of 100+ books, please visit our website.
by Lise Goett
If you come to this cold bowl with ladle in the moonlight
and wish to strip the old self away, on a raw, clear night,
some time go out alone, toward the end of the year,
on a solitary road, limned by igneous fires, lit micas
of snow, until you reach a pasture of cattle lowing
beneath a rocky brink on a plain of continuous light;
and listen to the primordial moan
of creatures, sturdy heads hunkered,
that seek comfort in the cold and, not finding it, wander.
Then if you are ready to be broken by a heaven that glisters
like lodestone, make a poultice of this cold starlight
that siphons the heat out of being
and rarifies it, renders it crystalline.
Let heaven anneal your heart and leave it stronger.
Tempered by suffering, if touched,
all that once inflamed you will shatter.

The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

New deadline: August 15
The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will receive $250, and all entries will be considered for publication. Laura van den Berg is this year's final judge.
All entrants to the Barthelme Prize receive a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast, beginning with the year in which the corresponding prize winner is published. Click here for full guidelines and to submit online.
The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

The 2018 Grayson Books Poetry Prize for a poetry manuscript is accepting submissions

Grayson Books
Deadline: August 15
This is open to all poets writing in English. Electronic submissions only. Use Submittable to submit your 50-80 page manuscript electronically.
The winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize, publication, and 10 copies. The reading fee is $25.
Please do not put contact information on the manuscript.
Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if we are notified immediately about an acceptance elsewhere. Acknowledgments may be included with your submission, but are not required.
Patrick Donnelly is this year's judge. He is the author of four books of poetry and the director of the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH.
Please enjoy this poem by Sharron Singleton from her 2017 winning manuscript, Our Hands a Hollow Bowl.
Dostoyevsky and the Buddha
          The World Will Be Saved by Beauty
          I was born into the world…for the salvation of the world
Perhaps we'll be saved
by the beauty
in what is lacking
as emptiness
makes of our hands
a hollow bowl
or by the beauty
of the unsaid—
the note blown across
the mouth
of the empty bottle
by what is reduced
and waiting—
broth boiled down
to its hoard of gold
by all that is about
to be—
and suspended from the tap,
the drop
that swells with light
before it falls.

On The Premises Short Story Contest (no fee)

On The Premises
The premise of OTP's short story contest #32 is "Near Death Experience". For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which one or more characters almost die, but do not. (Other characters in the story can die, but not the one(s) the story focuses on.)
DEADLINE: 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Friday, August 31, 2018
One entry per author. There is no fee for entering this contest. Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication.
GENRE RULES: No children's fiction, no exploitative sex, no over-the-top grossout horror, and no stories that are obvious parodies of well-known fictional worlds/characters created by other authors.
To be informed when new contests are launched, subscribe to our free, short, monthly newsletter. On The Premises magazine is recognized in Duotrope, Writer's Market,, and other short story marketing resources.

The 2018 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation

New deadline: September 15
Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the Gulf Coast Prize in Translation. In 2018, the contest is open to poetry in translation. The winner receives $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will each receive $250. All entries will be considered for publication in print or online. Ilya Kaminsky is this year's judge.
Submit up to 10 pages of poetry translated into English and a copy of the original text. Excerpts from longer works are welcome.
Entry to the contest also includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast, beginning with the issue in which the corresponding prize winners are published. Click here for full guidelines and to submit online.
The Gulf Coast Prize in Translation

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

In addition to cash prizes and online publication, this year's top Tom Howard and Margaret Reid prizewinners will also receive one-year gift certificates from our new co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $50 value).
Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Creative Nonfiction Seeks Essays for "Games" Issue

Deadline: November 19
Creative Nonfiction, in partnership with the Center for Games & Impact at Arizona State University, is looking for new work about the role of games and play in our everyday lives. For this special issue, we're seeking true stories that explore the ways our society integrates games, and especially games whose impact transcends entertainment and changes us in ways outside of the gaming context.
We're looking for stories that illuminate the great variety of ways in which games have affected the lives of diverse individuals and communities—offering opportunities to fail forward within a safe context, play with possible selves and futures, collaborate with people from different backgrounds, develop professional or other skills, become protagonists in simulated worlds, or collaborate with others on solutions to real-world problems.
Above all, we are looking for vivid narratives—illuminative stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that offer unique insights into the subject. We want evocative narratives that allow readers to step into ideas, and stories should be grounded in factual occurrences and true events. All essays submitted will be considered for publication; this is a paying market.
Creative Nonfiction

Daughter of Destiny by Nicole Evelina

Daughter of Destiny
"A new twist on an old tale that gives agency, sympathy, and personality to a woman typically cast as a one-dimensional adulteress. Classic characters find their way into Guinevere's orbit in unexpected ways, keeping the novel both familiar and fresh." —Library Journal
"Evelina's re-imaginings of this familiar material is unfailingly energetic and innovative, and her version of Guinevere herself is captivating virtually from the first page—no small feat in an overall plot with such well-defined parameters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to its sequel." —Historical Novel Society
"This first offering by Evelina is rich and stunning, easily comparable to novels by other bestselling historical fiction authors. She has done her research and created a world that is compelling, historically accurate, and a realistic portrayal of the times balanced with the mystic and the magical." —Chanticleer Book Reviews

"Written in lyrical prose and deposits you right in the middle of medieval times. The writing is fast paced, historically correct for the era, and a page turner. I sympathized with the character whom fictional history buffs branded a lustful harlot...Great twist at the end. Evelina's 15 years of research are a powerful addition to a fantastic read. Can't wait for Book Two. Prepare to embrace Guinevere. I feel privileged to have read this outstanding novel by a great writer." —Sandra Masters, Readers' Favorite (5-star review)
"Wonderfully gripping. A stunning first novel." —The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

Two Natures by Jendi Reiter: "So Much Beauty Here"

Two Natures by Jendi Reiter
Set in New York City in the early 1990s, Jendi Reiter's debut novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press) is the coming-of-age story of Julian Selkirk, a fashion photographer who struggles to reconcile his Southern Baptist upbringing with his love for other men.
·         2016 Rainbow Awards: First Prize, Best Gay Contemporary Fiction; First Runner-Up, Debut Gay Book
·         Named one of QSpirit's Top LGBTQ Christian Books of 2016
·         2016 Lascaux Prize in Fiction Finalist
·         2017 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist
·         2017 Book Excellence Awards Finalist
·         2018 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist
"Painfully honest but worth it. There's so much beauty here—in the author's use of language certainly. And in the pursuit of non-dualism, in various levels of the story, creating complex characters that are so very human and contradictory, hypocritical. Extending the reference to Christ's two natures and how very not human it is to be split..."
Amazon 5-star review by Leah E.

Spotlight Contests (no fee)

Some contests are best suited to writers at the early stages of their careers. Others are better for writers with numerous prizes and publications to their credit. Here is this month's selection of Spotlight Contests for your consideration:
Emerging Writers
Diverse Writers/Diverse Worlds Grants. Two grants of $500 apiece for book-length speculative fiction rich in diversity. Diverse Writers is for "underrepresented and underprivileged groups...whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing/publishing process"; Diverse Worlds is for "work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer's background". Submit an excerpt of 5,000 words or fewer from an in-progress manuscript. Due July 31.
Intermediate Writers
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. Fellowship of $5,000 for an author of children's or young adult fiction. An eligible candidate is a writer of children's or YA fiction in financial need; candidates have published at least one novel for children or young adults which has been warmly received by literary critics, but has not generated sufficient income to support the author. The writer's book(s) must have been published by a US publisher. Due August 15.
Advanced Writers
Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing. Awards C$25,000 for literary nonfiction books about Canadian politics by Canadian citizens or permanent residents and first published in Canada during the calendar year. Books published between June 20 and September 18 must be received by September 19.
See more Spotlight Contests for emerging, intermediate, and advanced writers within The Best Free Literary Contests database.
Search for Contests

Calls for Submissions

·         Malahat Review: "Queer Perspectives" Issue (poetry and short prose by LGBTQ and two-spirit Canadians - extended to July 19)
·         Blue Heron Book Works: Military Women Anthology (creative writing by women about their military service - July 20)
·         Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest (poetry on selected speculative-fiction themes - July 21)
·         Kind of a Hurricane Press: "Without Words" Anthology (poetry and flash fiction on "silence" - July 31)
·         RHINO (poetry, flash fiction, translations - July 31)
·         Room Magazine "Magic" Issue (creative writing by women and gender-nonconforming authors - July 31)
·         Impossible Archetype (poetry by LGBTQ authors - August 1)
·         Linea (flash fiction - August 1)
·         Orison Books: Simone Weil Anthology (creative writing about the 20th-century activist/mystic - August 1)
·         Bosie Magazine (LGBTQ fiction - August 31)
·         Rattle "Persona Poems" Issue (poems written in a voice other than your own - October 15)
·         Squares & Rebels: Walt Whitman Tribute Anthology (poems by and about queer male poets - October 31)
·         Wood Coin: The Edge (excerpts to showcase poetry and prose manuscripts seeking publishers - rolling deadline)

PSA: If you want to help children


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"Birches" by Robert Frost, illustrated by Julian Peters

Here is Julian Peters' comics adaptation of a section of "Birches" by Robert Frost (written in 1913-14). This comic was commissioned by and originally appeared in Plough Quarterly. Read the complete poem.
Birches, illustrated by Julian Peters
Birches, illustrated by Julian Peters
Birches, illustrated by Julian Peters
Birches, illustrated by Julian Peters
Birches, illustrated by Julian Peters
Birches, illustrated by Julian Peters
Reprinted by kind permission of Julian Peters. Learn more at his website.

The Last Word

Jendi Reiter
July Bonus Links: Open Borders Edition
[S]trategies we can try at the local level...[include] pressuring our law enforcement agencies to stop sharing data with ICE and to end agreements whereby ICE rents space to detain immigrants in our jails...If you're in Massachusetts, call your state representatives and Governor Charlie Baker to pass the Safe Communities Act, which cleared the Senate in May. Also see this article from Colorlines about "How You Can Support Detained Immigrant Families". From protesting to donating to making phone calls, there's something for nearly everyone to do. I'm hosting a birthday fundraiser through Facebook for the National Immigration Law Center.
Jendi Reiter is the editor of Winning Writers.
Follow Jendi on Twitter at @JendiReiter.

One of the 101 Best Websites for Writers (Writer's Digest)

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