Allow me to begin this post by apologizing for the length of time past since my last entry. Opting for the most acceptable excuse (not reason), I will just say that May is the month which holds the annual celebration of my birth, and I took an hiatus. Contrary to Dictionary.com, however, I did not follow standard protocol for doing such. I have a bad habit of doing many things on impulse. So sue me…
Now, I am posting today about Writing Contests. There are many throughout the year, and most I have seen have a standard reading fee for entering most of them, thus the problem for me. As I am currently awaiting a disability claim (a whole story in itself), I am, in a word, broke. And more than just physically.
So, let us begin with the one I got an email about this AM. GlimmerTrain has several contests, and all but one charges a reading fee. One would have to create a profile in order to submit an entry, but that costs nothing, and signs one up for the newsletter, which is a good thing. Check out the basic guidelines here.
The contest running now is the Fiction Open. With a $19.00(USD) reading fee, it is the most “expensive” contest there, but has the highest award also. A “copy-and-paste” from the site;
“FICTION OPEN guidelines
Open to all subjects, all themes, and all writers.
Most entries run from 2,000 to 8,000 words, but stories from 2,000 to 20,000 words are fine.
Held quarterly: Open to submissions in MARCH, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, and DECEMBER.
Next deadline: June 30*”
If you have a polished, edited, ready-to-publish work and can afford the “nominal” fee, I suggest entering. I would advise against submitting a piece that has not been thoroughly honed to the best one can do, as the better the story is, the closer it will be to being chosen as a winner. And we all wish to be seen as winners, right?
The contests just finished are Short Story Award, specifically for new writers, which has a $15.00 fee. Their post on that reads thus:
“Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared, nor is scheduled
to appear, in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000.
Most entries run from 1,500 – 6,000 words, but
any lengths up to 12,000 words are welcome.
Held quarterly. Open to submissions in FEBRUARY, MAY, AUGUST, and NOVEMBER.
NOTE: The grace period for the May Short Story Award for New Writers has been extended to June 10 since there was a technical hangup on the last day of the month, for which we apologize!”
So, if one were to hurry, one could still make the submission deadline for this contest.
Also, there is the Standard Category. Here’s the info:
“Open to all writers.
Stories not to exceed 12,000 words.(No minimum, though it’s rare for a piece under 500 words to read as a full story.)
Held three times a year: Open to submissions in JANUARY, MAY, SEPTEMBER.
Next deadline: September 30.*”
Next up is the Very Short Fiction Award. Held twice a year with a fee of $15.00. Info:
“VERY SHORT FICTION guidelines
Open to all writers, this category welcomes stories
that have not appeared in any print publication.
Maximum length: 3,000 words.
Held just twice a year: Open to submissions in JANUARY and JULY.
Next deadline: July 31.*“
Also, they have a contest titled Family Matters. Once again, a fee of $15.00. The info:
“FAMILY MATTERS guidelines
We are looking for stories about families of all configurations.
It’s fine to draw heavily on real life experiences, but the work must read like fiction
and all stories accepted for publication will be presented as fiction.*
Maximum word count: 12,000. Any shorter lengths are welcome.
Held just twice a year: Open to submissions in APRIL and OCTOBER.
Next deadline: October 31.”
Other competitions include Writers Digest, Poets & Writers, the Phoenicia Library has one for young (read aged 5-24) writers, Chanticleer Book Reviews for already published works (here is a list of their contests), and more.
There are also several other lists of contests, such as those listed on About.com and Writers Views, as well as the list from FanStory.com, which has soon-to-be-closing deadlines ranging from today (06/05/2013) to the end of the month and further.
In closing, one can find a plethora of opportunities to enter contests, if one has the finances to fund such, but there are free ones. Just make sure not to submit the work until it is truly ready for such public scrutiny and exposure. It would be a real shame if one were really gifted, but got shot down for the “crime” of posting before completion.
Take Care, and Write On!!!