Our March Featured Author – Cathy Adams

It’s Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate women than by featuring an accomplished woman writer. This March’s Featured Author is Cathy Adams, an American author who currently resides in Xinzheng, Henan, China. We had the pleasure of working with Cathy on our fall collection in 2014, Autumn Magic, which featured her short story “Halloween Candy.”

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Cathy earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University’s Ranier Writing Workshop. Her first novel, This Is What It Smells Like, was published by New Libri Press in Washington. She has been published in Blue Monday Review, Tincture Journal, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Shooter Literary Magazine, Santa Fe Writers Project Journal, Best New Writing, Portland Review, The River and Sound Review, Steel Toe Review, and numerous other journals and magazines. Her story “Asphalt Chiefs” has even been nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize for short stories.

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We had the opportunity to catch up with Cathy and discuss writing, reading, and the amazing ability to perceive reality through smell.

 

When did you first start writing?

I completed my first creative writing project at age six, a play with two characters and five lines of dialogue about going out for dinner. It played a limited engagement of about ten seconds in my first grade classroom. My second play, a comedy written in the third grade, was banned before production because it contained the words “Nazi” and “Raquel Welch,” subjects my teacher felt were inappropriate for children’s theatre.

 

Where did you grow and how did it influence your writing?

I grew up in Alabama and was introduced to great southern writers such as Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty when I was a freshman at Jacksonville State University. When I read my first Eudora Welty story, “Why I Live at the PO,” I felt I had discovered an amazing treasure that I had been missing out on all my life. All three of these writers explored the nuances of southern identity in a way that is unsentimental and unflinching. It’s honest and hard and real. Not always pretty. I admire that forthright examination of culture and try very hard to tap into that vein in my own writing. Sometimes I succeed.

 

How has living and writing in China influenced your writing, if at all?

Oddly, many years before I had any inkling I would end up in China, I wrote two stories about Chinese people living in the south. Both of those stories were published after I moved to China three years ago. So, perhaps my fate has always been tied to Southeast Asia in some way. What I see here in China are people who are basically just like Americans, and in some ways just like southerners. They are just ordinary people who love their families and want a good job so they can live a comfortable life. China has a deeply rooted sense of community, and I think we have the same in southern culture.

Where do you write? Describe this area for us.

My husband, a professional photographer, and I live in a two-room apartment, a bit of a luxury for our area of China. I write on my sofa that faces a wall covered in my husband’s photographs of places we’ve visited. It’s easy to leave in my mind if I need to escape.

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When you aren’t writing, how do you spend your time?

I spend a lot of my time reminding myself to be nice to people because my default position is not to always be nice. My fantasy would be to be able to say what I’m really thinking for one full day, to be completely and utterly honest in my responses to everything that is said to me. I’d probably be deported. All the personality tests I’ve ever taken put me on the extreme end of introversion, probably a good place for a writer to be. I find myself tensing up around other people and wishing I was back on my sofa doing stuff like writing this.

 

What inspires you to get out of bed each morning?

Knowing that I can get back in it that night. Really, I’m a manic goal writer. I have lists of things that I must do each day, and I get a strange kick out of ticking them off. I get out of bed thinking of stuff that must be accomplished. That sounds depressing to write it down. Maybe I should make a goal to write fewer goals.

 

What are your five favorite books, and why?
  1. The Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Houses in New England by Brock Clarke. The narrator is maddeningly self-destructive and darkly funny in a way that made me wish I had written that book.
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Lee got it. She really got what was wrong with southern culture in the early 1960s, and she spoke it on every page.
  3. The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I really wanted to hate this book because everyone blathered on so about its perfection, and I was terribly jealous. The book turned out to be quite good, so I had to admit the praise was deserved, and my jealousy had to rot.
  4. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. There are scenes in this book that made me have to put it down and breathe, the connection was so great.
  5. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. She was a trailblazing writer who could take the reader into a stream of consciousness lasting only ten seconds in real time but it might take ten pages of reading to get there.

 

What is the best writing advice you can give another writer?

Don’t write for money. You will almost certainly not make any. If you are truly a writer, you will do it because you cannot not write.

 

This is what it smells like-Arron

 

Tell us a little about your book This Is What It Smells Like.

The title has to do with the main character, Val, who has the ability to perceive reality through smell. She knows if a person is lying, what day of the week it is, or what someone is thinking because she can smell it. But like most works with magical realism threaded into the plotline, it is not what the story is about, it’s just one of the ways she copes with life.

“My mother gave birth to me because she wanted someone to fix her a sandwich.” This is how the story begins, with Val’s strained view of her existence with her mother.

At age twenty-four Val has never met her father, Ray. Now he asks to return to her North Carolina home so that he can meet her and die in peace. When he shows up with the step-son no one knew existed and his pet gecko, Val wants nothing to do with either of them, but Tess, her drug-addicted mother, is ready to bring everyone together in one big dysfunctional family.

Val sniffs out a decades old secret between her mother, the brooding priest who has been spying on her from his office window at Edgar Allan Poe College across the street, and the dying father she knows only from old photographs.

The story is funny in a dark way that makes you cringe sometimes, much like a Wes Anderson movie. In fact, I think he should make this into a movie.

The book is available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com in electronic format (only $2.99) and paperback.

 What are you working on now?

Two chapters from the novel I am almost finished revising, A Body’s Just as Dead, have already seen publication and an award. One chapter received the Editor’s Choice Award in the Best New Writing competition for 2015. Steel Toe Review, a literary journal based in Birmingham, Alabama, published another chapter as a short story, “Daryl and Pete-O Go to Walmart.”

My hometown in Alabama inspired the fictional setting for the Boyd family struggling to make it in a world that once embraced the man who lived by the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrap motto. Now he finds that the world is dying, and no matter how hard he tries to take care of his family, he is economically squeezed such that he must take desperate measures for survival. Everyone, from the mother who tries to keep everyone together with Sunday dinners and vitriolic warnings about “acting right” to the overlooked, quiet teenage son who knows there must be something better somewhere far away, is trying to find a niche in an American Dream that is unraveling before them.

 

 

You can read Cathy Adam’s essays at: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/adamsjackson

 

Her book, This Is What It Smells Like, can be purchased online at:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-is-what-it-smells-like-cathy-adams/1109940133
http://www.amazon.com/This-What-Smells-Cathy-Adams-ebook/dp/B009AWATZA

The Crazy World of Indie Editing

The Crazy World of Indie Editing

The Crazy World of Indie Editing

Indie editing is an ever-growing, constantly evolving world of words. As the independent publishing world braces for its predicted lull in 2015, editors are working harder and pulling out all the stops to attract new clients and hang on to the ones they have. Here at Durham Editing and E-books, we’ve decided to weather the changes by holding on to our most basic, fundamental belief: treat each author the way we would want to be treated.

 
In this fast-moving, money-based world, common courtesy is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Oftentimes emails go unanswered, and the replies that do come are curt messages that seem like they were written by a person who would rather stab themselves with their pencil than answer your questions. Once services are rendered, all support is withdrawn, and you are left feeling alone, overwhelmed, and—mainly—unsatisfied.

 
Here at Durham Editing and E-books, that’s just not how we do business. We believe in building an open, honest, and supportive relationship with every writer we work with—no matter how large or how small. We’ve been newbies in the independent publishing world, and we know how overwhelming it can be. That’s why we started this company: to offer top-quality affordable services and support. That’s the biggest difference: SUPPORT.

 
Can’t figure out how to upload to Createspace? We’ll walk you through it.

 
Can’t understand why the last page of your e-book won’t show up on B&N’s previewer? We’ll format the book to override it for you.

 
Just can’t get through the differences between Kindle Select and Kindle Direct? We will explain things as best we can, and if that is not enough, we will offer you as many resources as we can find to help you.

 
Whether you’re a first-time author or a seasoned pro, we are here to help YOU. You will never be alone on your writing journey with us.

 
So, as you try to find an editor who is just right for you, we hope that you will consider Durham Editing and E-books. We’ll be here to help you navigate all the crazy ins and outs of self-publishing, searching for an agent, or just trying to find a way to perfect that book you’ve always wanted to write.

 
If you would like to find out what our writers have to say about working with us, please check out this page:

http://editingandebooks.com/recommendations/

Durham Editing and E-books is here to meet all of your writing needs. Best wishes on your writing journey and may the Lord bless you as you seek to share your story with the world.

Looking for an Indie Editor

Looking for an Indie Editor: Helpful Information for Writers Seeking an Editor for the First Time

looking for an indie editor
As a first-time writer, the prospect of choosing an indie editor may seem daunting. With a little information about the editing choices available and a little insight into independent editors, this process can be a whole let painful than it may seem like at first.

 

Editing in the self-publishing industry is all about choice. The writer, not the editor, decides how much editing that he or she can afford, feels comfortable with, and believes will help improve the piece. There are numerous options available to meet those needs and preferences.

 

Some such options include:

  • A manuscript critique to address the overall piece, its plot, dialogue, pacing, flow, logic, voice, perspective, characterization, and more
  • Content editing to look at syntax and flow, grammar, word choice, believability of dialogue, and the more subtle nuances of clarity and conciseness
  • Basic editing to adjust grammar, spelling, punctuation, typos, word choice, and large issues with syntax
  • Copy Editing to address simply punctuation, spelling, typos, and basic grammar

 

While an editor may suggest one form of editing over another, the choice of editing ultimately falls to the writer. Having a choice in the editing process has several benefits for writers. For one, writers can opt for editing within their budget. Indie authors now have a huge array of editors to choose from with a wide selection of prices. This means that pieces that normally may not have been edited due to budgetary restraints may now receive at least some editing. Most importantly, the writer has control over what path the editing takes, thus removing the worry of an editor changing the storyline of a piece without the permission of the writer.

 

At the same time, there are some downsides to this new world of editing. For instance, the writer may opt for a lower-priced editing option because of budgetary restraints when a more thorough form of editing may really be needed. While any editing is better than none at all, the piece may not be as strong as it would have been had more thorough editing been completed. There is also a big difference between affordable editing and cheap editing. If an editor offer to edit 50,000 words for $15, to make this low price worth the editor’s time, the editor is probably not going to spend a lot of time on the job.

 

As an independent writer, you have more say-so in your writing than ever before. Whichever editing option you choose, be sure to find out what is included in the price offered and consider how each form of editing might benefit your piece. After all, quality editing can help your piece go from good to great.

Grammar Basics – The Noble Noun

By Patrick Durham

Grammar Basics Nouns

The noun is the cornerstone of our language. There, I’ve said it. It may seem simple, and often taken for granted, but nouns name everything around us. These things can be concrete or abstract, but the noun is a noble creature. It is a person. It is a place. It is a thing. It is an idea. It is a boy and girl, school and home, computer and typewriter, liberty and justice. Nietzsche called them metaphors because he believed they could be disproven (as he said about all parts of the language), but nouns are there and can’t be denied. So let’s take a closer look at these building blocks of language.

 

The common noun, though just as noble as the proper noun, names general people, places, things, or ideas. A building is a common noun (not to be confused with the verb “to build”). It is a thing. Who works in the building? People work there: men and women (and maybe dogs, too, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish). Where is the building located? It sits in the middle of town. What is the building for? It contains people working for justice. It is a building in the middle of town with people who work for justice.

 

But let’s not take these things for granted. Without the nouns the sentence would read: It is a in the middle of with who work for. Doesn’t make sense, does it? When we inject the nouns, the sentence tells us the thing we’re talking about, the place, the person, and the idea. These nouns answer the four W’s of good writing: the what, the where, the who, and the why.

 

The proper noun gives a specific name to these common nouns. The town becomes Pleasantville. The building becomes Pleasantville City Hall. The people become Bob, Judy, and John. Thus we have: Bob, Judy, and John are Pleasantville Law Enforcement who work at Pleasantville Town Hall located in the middle of Pleasantville. Does this sentence seem repetitive? Sure it does. That’s why we use a mixture of common and proper nouns to give variety in our writing. Bob, Judy, and John are police officers who work in the middle of Pleasantville at the City Hall. The sentence is still a little stilted and could probably be reworded or broken into two sentences, but I’m painting a picture with the primary colors and can refine them later.

The noun is often overlooked and taken for granted, but it is just as important as all of the other parts of speech. Nouns live all around us—in our homes, our work, and our writing. Without them, we would not know who was doing what in where and why. Let us celebrate the noble noun and all for which it stands.

March 2015 Free Writing Opportunities and Fee-Based Opportunities

Are you looking for March 2015 free writing opportunities and contests as well as fee-based? Then this list will definitely be a helpful place to start. We’ve searched the web and come up with some great opportunities for March 2015 and a little further on down the line for those who like to plan ahead. We hope you can find one that is just right for you!

 

These 2015 writing opportunities are divided into continuous opportunities and opportunities with a deadline. Opportunities with a deadline are (usually) listed in chronological order and further divided into free and fee-based opportunities to help make the list more readily accessible. If you have an opportunity you would like added to this list, please email us so that we can add it. Thank you!

DEE March 2015 Writing Opportunties

Continuous FREE Writing Contests

New Verse News
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication on a website updated every 1-2 days
Contest: Send a genuinely poetic take on a current and specific news story or event.
Website: http://www.newversenews.com/

 

Fine Linen
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Pay 5 cents per word
Contest Flash fiction and short poems. Fiction only 200-700 words.
Website: http://fl-mag.com/guidelines/

 

Lime Hawk Journal
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Looking for fiction (5,000 words max), nonfiction (5,000 words max), poetry (up to 5 poems)
Website: https://limehawk.submittable.com/submit

 

Yalobusha Review
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Special Requirements: Now looking specifically for female poets
Contest: Accept 3-5 poems or 1 short story (up to 5000 words) or 3 flash fiction (less than 100 words per piece).
Website: https://yalobushareview.submittable.com/submit

 

Sweet: A literary confection
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accept only nonfiction. Writers may submit 3-5 or 1-3 essays (word total not to exceed 1500 words).
Website: http://www.sweetlit.com/guidelines.php

 

McSweeney’s
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Varies per piece per issue
Contest: Accepting on a rolling basis: fiction and nonfiction; no previously published works
Website: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/pages/guidelines-for-quarterly-submissions

 

Printers Row
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Special Requirements: Must be a legal United States citizen, 18 and over
Contest: Accepting on a rolling basis: fiction; no previously published works
Website: https://printersrow.submittable.com/submit

 

WIPs: Works (of Fiction) in Progress
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Seeking works of fiction that are part of a greater book project. In most cases that means a novel excerpt, or a short story headed for a collection, but WIPs is open to any piece that fits the bill. Pieces should be 1500-7500 in length.
Website: https://wipsjournal.submittable.com/submit

 

Pulp Literature
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: $0.035/word-$0.07/word depending on piece length with shorter paying more per word
Contest: Seeking any genre fiction up to 75 pages long. No non-fiction, memoirs, or children’s stories.
Website: http://pulpliterature.com/submissions/submission-guidelines/

 

Beautiful Things
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Seeking flash nonfiction 250 words or less about beautiful things.
Website: https://riverteeth.submittable.com/submit/27921

 

New York Times Modern Love Column
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting unpublished deeply personal essays 1500-1700 words that deal with relationships, marriage, dating, and parenthood.
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/fashion/howtosubmit_modernlove.html?_r=4&

 

Empty Mirror
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Memoirs, biographical pieces, essays, poetry and interviews on literature, poetry, art/photography, the Beat Generation, rock/blues/folk/jazz, films and filmmakers, counterculture/1960s, writing and publishing advice, book collecting, and others.
Website: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/submissions

 

Apple Valley Review
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting poetry, short fiction (100-4000 words), and essays (100-4000 words). Novel excerpts must be self-contained.
Website: http://www.applevalleyreview.com/

 

Josephine Quarterly
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Submit up to 5 poems of any length. Only one set of submissions at a time.
Website: https://josephinequarterly.submittable.com/submit

 

Hartskill Review
Deadline: December 31, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Submit 1-3 poems at a time.
Website: https://hartskillreview.submittable.com/submit/25799

 

Continuous Fee-Based Writing Contests

Illuminations
Entry Fee: $2.20
Prize: Publication
Contest: Now accepting no more than 6 poems at a time for 2015 edition.
Website: https://illuminations.submittable.com/submit/32972

 

Narrative
Entry Fee: It states that there is a nominal reading fee, but we could not find the cost exactly,
Prize: Some accepted pieces receive no payment, others vary from $50-$1000 depending on the piece. Submissions are also eligible for $4000 narrative Prize.
Contest: This site takes a wide variety of pieces on a rolling basis. Accepting short short stories, manuscripts 2000-15000 words long, novellas, serialization of book-length works, poetry, one-act plays, audio, and more. Please see the website for complete details.
Website: http://www.narrativemagazine.com/node/360

 

 

Hippocampus Magazine
Entry Fee: $3
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting memoir excerpts, personal essays, and flash creative nonfiction no more than 3500 words in length.
Website: http://www.hippocampusmagazine.com/submissions/

 

 

Tishman Review
Entry Fee: $2-6
Prize: Up to $75
Contest: Seeking poetry, art, cartoons, photography, illustrations, poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, book reviews, and more.
Website: https://thetishmanreview.submittable.com/submit

March FREE Writing Contests

 

Slice Magazine
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: $100 for short stories; $25 for poems
Special Requirements: Theme is Desire
Contest: Accepting short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Maximum word count is 5000 words.
Website: http://www.slicemagazine.org/submit-your-work/#.VLKvintmpMH

 

American Association of University Professors Centennial Contest
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: $1000
Special Requirements: Only open to students enrolled at accredited institutions of higher education in the US. Set theme: Academic Freedom: Its Concept, Its History, Its Successes, and Its Failures
Contest: Accepting essays and art on the set theme from both graduate and undergraduate students.
Website: http://www.aaupfoundation.org/centennial/centennial-contest

 

Tinge Magazine
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting short stories up to 25 pages double spaced, 1-3 poems, or personal essays/memoirs/interviews up to 25 pages double-spaced.
Website: https://tingemagazine.submittable.com/submit

 

Little Patuxent Review
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: March 1, 2015
Special Requirements: Must be US citizen
Contest: Seeking fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for issue with no set theme.
Website: https://littlepatuxentreview.submittable.com/submit

 

The Quotable
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Special Requirements: Theme of Atmosphere
Contest: Currently seeking flash fiction (under 1,000 words) – 1 submission per reading period; short fiction (under 3,000 words) – 1 submission per reading period; creative nonfiction (under 3,000 words) – 1 submission per reading period; poetry – 1 submission of up to 3 poems per reading period.
Website: https://thequotablelit.submittable.com/submit

 

Murder Under the Oaks
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: One copy of anthology and invitation to participate in signing at convention.
Contest: Held by Bouchercon 2015; writers may submit a short story (3500-5500 words) by email.
Website: http://www.bouchercon2015.org/anthology.html

 

Rappahannock Review
Deadline: March 9, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting general fiction (up to 8000 words), nonfiction (up to 8000 words or 3 smaller pieces at no more than 1000 words each), poetry, and submissions for a special summer edition with the theme of FLIGHT.
Website: https://rappahannockreview.submittable.com/submit

 

Steam Ticket
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Contributor copy
Contest: Submit 3-5 poems with no more than 50 lines per poem. Also accepting creative nonfiction and fiction (4000 word max). Flash fiction is encouraged.
Website: http://steamticket.org/submission-guidelines/

 

Family Travel Host USA
Deadline: March 20, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Pays in copies
Contest: Accepting stories, essays, and travel stories (500-2500 words) and up to 10 photos per submission/story.
Website: http://familytravelhostusa.com/

 

Cahaba River Literary Journal
Deadline: March 20, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Copy of journal
Contest: We need stories, poems, essays, and color and black and white photography on all subjects, in any form. Length of stories: no more than 2500 words; poetry no more than 25 lines (only submit 3 poems at one time).
Website: https://cahabariverliteraryjournal.wordpress.com/

 

Jet Fuel Review
Deadline: March 25, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting fiction up to 3000 words. Artwork, creative nonfiction up to 3000 words, and poetry (3-5 pieces up to 100 lines long)
Website: https://jetfuelreview.submittable.com/submit

 

2015 Earth Day Poetry Contest
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Gift bag of nature-related items, $25 donation to the charity of winner’s choice, publication in the spring issue of The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry; 2nd and 3rd place will be published as well
Contest: Submissions are now being accepted for the 2015 Earth Day Poetry Contest. Poems must be about nature, with a 32-line limit each and up to two poems per submission. Previously published poems are acceptable. To enter, send submissions in the body of an email along with name, address, and titles of poems submitting.
Email to: stacyrsavage@yahoo.com
Regular post: Earth Day Poetry Contest, 3121 Mounds Rd., Anderson, IN 46016

March FEE-BASED Contests

The Hal Prize
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: Publication, cash prize for 1st prize
Contest: Open to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Fiction and nonfiction under 2000 words and poetry one page or less.
Website: https://thehalprize.submittable.com/submit

 

Oxford American
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $2
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting fiction, nonfiction, poetry. See website for details.
Website: https://oxfordamerican.submittable.com/submit

 

Oregon Poetry Association Spring 2015 Poetry Contest
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Entry Fee: Members-$7; Non-members-$15
Prize: Publication and prizes ranging from $20 to $100 depending on which part of the contest you choose to enter
Contest: There are seven different categories of poetry, and there are detailed rules as to what needs to be done for each contest on the website:
Website: https://opa.submittable.com/submit

 

2015 St. Petersburg Review Poetry Contest
Deadline: March 2, 2015
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: $1000 and publication
Contest: Writers may submit up to 3 unpublished poems.
Website: http://stpetersburgreview.com/?q=contest

 

Carteret Writing Contest
Deadline: March 10, 2015
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: Each category has prized (1st) $100; (2nd) $50; (3rd) $25
Contest: Accepting flash fiction (750 words or less), Fiction (up to 3000 words), nonfiction (up to 3000 words), nonfiction (up to 3000 words), poetry (up to 50 lines), and kids stories (under 2000 words).
Website: http://www.carteretwritingcontest.org

 

Nelligan Prize
Deadline: March 14, 2015
Entry Fee: $17
Prize: $2000 and publication
Contest: Seeking unpublished stories under 50 pages. No set theme.
Website: https://nelliganprize.submittable.com/submit

 

Locked Horn Press
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: $250 and 2 contributor copies, along with print and online publication
Special Requirements: Only accepting poems on the theme below.
Contest: Up to three unpublished poems. Poems must answer/address: What is/are America(s)? What are its boundaries? Are you part of it? Where is it? Is it real? Looking for Americas of the mind, of physical space, of the body and bodies in and around it. Hoping to find poets who are re-writing borders—borders of inclusion and exclusion, safety and danger, the re-purposing/stealing of resources, of human over citizen—in order to compile an anthology that explores and grapples with the idea of America(s)
Website: http://www.lockedhornpress.org/about

 

The Washington Prize (Poetry)
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1500 and publication
Special Requirements: Must be a living poet from America or Canada.
Contest: Submit manuscript of poems 48-80 pages long.
Website: http://wordworksbooks.org/washington_prize.html#rules

 

Jabberwock Review Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize for Fiction and Poetry
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $500 and publication
Contest: Submit one short story or 1-3 poems.
Website: http://www.jabberwock.org.msstate.edu/

 

World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: $500
Contest: Submit up to 3 short stories under 500 words long.
Website: http://southeastreview.org/contests/

 

The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Poetry Contest
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: $500
Contest: Submit up to 3 poems no more than a total of 10 pages long.
Website: http://southeastreview.org/contests/

 

The Southeast Review Narrative Nonfiction Contest
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: $500
Contest: Submit one piece of nonfiction no more than 6000 words total.
Website: http://southeastreview.org/contests/

 

2015 Editors’ Essay Award (Florida Review)
Deadline: March 18, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $1000 and publication
Contest: One essay or memoir pre entry.
Website: https://floridareview.submittable.com/submit/37339

 

2015 Editors’ Fiction Award (Florida Review)
Deadline: March 18, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $1000 and publication
Contest: One story per entry.
Website: https://floridareview.submittable.com/submit/37340

 

2015 Editors’ Poetry Award
Deadline: March 18, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $1000 and publication
Contest: Up to 5 poems per entry.
Website: https://floridareview.submittable.com/submit/37341

 

Gulf Coast Prize for Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction
Deadline: March 22, 2015
Entry Fee: $23 per entry
Prize: Each category (1st) $1500 and publication; 2 honorable mentions $250
Contest: Submit up to 5 poems, one short story (up to 25 pages), or one essay (up to 25 pages).
Website: http://gulfcoastmag.org/contests/gulf-coast-prize/

 

Tall Grass Writers Guild
Deadline: March 27, 2015
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: $500 Cash
Special Requirements: Set theme of Embers and Flames
Contest: Accepting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for upcoming anthology.
Website: http://tallgrasswritersguild.submittable.com/submit

 

2015 Able Muse Book Award for Poetry
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1000 plus publication
Contest: Submit a poetry manuscript 50-120 pages long that is unpublished.
Website: http://www.ablemusepress.com/ablemuse-book-award

 

2015 Essay Collection Competition
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $28
Prize: $1000, publication, and a standard royalty contract
Contest: Accepting manuscripts 100-300 pages in length of collected essays.
Website: http://www.csupoetrycenter.com/essay-collection/

 

2015 First Book Poetry Competition
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $28
Prize: $1000, publication, and standard royalty contract
Contest: Manuscripts are eligible for the First Book Poetry Competition if the author has not published or committed to publish a collection of his or her poetry in a book of 48 pages or more with a press run of at least 500 copies.
Website: http://www.csupoetrycenter.com/first-book-poetry/

 

2015 Open Book Poetry Competition
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $28
Prize: $1000, publication, and standard royalty contract
Contest: Manuscripts are eligible for the Open Book Poetry Competition if the author has published at least one full-length collection of original poetry in English (of 48 pages or more with a press run of at least 500 copies).
Website: http://www.csupoetrycenter.com/open-book-poetry/

 

Prime Number Magazine Awards
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $15 per entry
Prize: In each category (1st) $1000 plus publication; (2nd) $250 plus publication; (3rd) publication
Contest: Accepting poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction for 3 separate awards.
Website: http://www.primenumbermagazine.com/Awards_2015.html

 

Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $28
Prize: $1000.00 honorarium and participation in a Four Way Books reading in NYC
Contest: Accepting book-length collections of poetry written in English, regardless of publication history.
Website: http://fourwaybooks.com/site/levis-prize

 

The Timberline Review
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: Publication and 2 copies of the journal
Contest: Accepting fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.
Website: http://timberlinereview.com/submissions/

 

“Spring is the Mischief” Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $12
Prize: $65, 15 free copies, and publication contract
Contest: 16-25 pages of poetry with one poem per page
Website: https://fiveoakspress.submittable.com/

 

Masters Review Emerging Writers Contest
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: 10 writers awarded $500 each and publication
Contest: Submit previously unpublished words up to 7000 words long.
Website: http://mastersreview.com/submissions/

 

New Women Voices
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $1000 and publication of chapbook-length book in print and e-book
Special Qualifications: Open to women who have not previously published a full-length book of poetry. Chapbooks do not disqualify.
Contest: Submit up to 26 pages of poetry with author bio.
Website: https://finishinglinepress.submittable.com/submit/37185

 

April FREE Writing Contests

Calabash
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Send all literary work (poems, short stories, one-act plays, interviews, book reviews, parts of memoirs, personal essays, critical essays, cultural news, announcements, and other new and emerging genres) with five copies to the editorial board. Bibliographies and documented articles should follow the MLA format. See website for postal address and additional information.
Website: http://www.nyu.edu/calabash/submissions.shtml

 

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: $1000 (1st); 10 honorable mentions receive $100 each
Contest: Submit one poem of any length.
Website: https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free

 

South85 Journal
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: South85 is accepting fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. See website for details as each has specific requirements.
Website: https://south85.submittable.com/submit

 

April Fee-based Writing Contests

2015 Frost Farm Metrical Poetry Contest
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $5 per poem
Prize: $1000, publication in Evansville Review and an invitation, with honorarium, to read as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry in the summer of 2015.
Contest: Poems must be original, unpublished and metrical (any metrical form). No translations. There is no limit to the number of poems entered by an individual, but an entry fee of $5 U.S. per poem must accompany the submission.
Website: http://www.robertfrostfarm.org/poetry-contest.html

 

The Citron Review 2015 Poetry Contest
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: $250 and publication in The Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara newsletter
Contest: Submit 3-5 poems up to 30 lines per poem.
Website: http://citronreview.com/

 

Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: April 13, 2015
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: Publication; $1000 (1st) and $500 (2nd)
Special Requirement: Must be an essay about weather.
Contest: They are looking for creative essays on “weather”.
Website: https://www.creativenonfiction.org/submissions/weather

 

Writer Advice 10th Flash Prose Contest
Deadline: April 21, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: (1st) $200; (2nd) $100; (3rd) $50
Contest: Submit up to 3 short fiction pieces under 750 words. Can be flash fiction, memoir, or creative nonfiction.
Website: http://www.writeradvice. com

 

Sequestrum Editor’s Reprint Award
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $200 plus publication
Contest: Accepting previously published prose (fiction/nonfiction) that the writer holds the rights to at this time.
Website: http://www.sequestrum.org/contests

 

Bristol Prize
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: £8 (about $13)
Prize: 1st £1000 (about $1500 USD) plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card (usable online worldwide); 2nd £700 (about $1050 USD) plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card; 3rd £400 (about $620 USD) plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card; 17 further prizes of £100 (about $155 USD)
Contest: Short stories up to 4000 words long may be submitted on any subject.
Website: www.bristolprize.co.uk

 

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: Fiction 1st prize $1500; Essays 1st prize $1500; 10 honorable mentions receive $100 each
Contest: All themes accepted, limit 6000 words. Short stories, essays, or other works of prose.
Website: https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/tom-howard-john-h-reid-fiction-essay-contest

 

 

Raleigh Review
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: It states there is a small submission fee but does not tell how much
Prize: $10 per piece plus one copy of the magazine
Contest: Accepting poetry (4-5 poems), flash fiction (1 piece up to 1200 words), and short fiction (1200-7500 words, but prefer less than 5000)
Website: http://www.raleighreview.org/Submission_Guidelines.html

 

2015 Willow Books Literature Awards Poetry
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1000, book contract, and sponsored reading for both grand prize in prose and poetry
Contest: Accepting prose and poetry submissions.
Website: https://aquariuspress.submittable.com/submit

 

Backbone Press
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: Publication and author copies
Contest: Submit manuscripts of 24-30 pages of poetry.
Website: http://backbonepress.org/submissions/

 

The Kracken Awards in Fiction and Poetry
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: $150 (1st); $100 (2nd); $50 (3rd) and publication in a special Kraken Edition of the Devilfish Review
Special Requirement: Science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative work only.
Contest: Submit one fiction entry up to 5000 words or up to 3 poems (no more than 25 lines per piece).
Website: http://devilfishreview.com/the-kraken-awards/

 

Trio House Press First Book Award
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1000, publications, and 20 books
Special Requirements: Must be written in English and poet must reside in U.S. with les than two books of poetry published.
Contest: Submit poetry manuscript 48-70 pages long.
Website: http://www.triohousepress.org/submissions.html

 

Trio House Press Second Book Award
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1000, publications, and 20 books
Special Requirements: Must be written in English and poet must reside in U.S. with less than 2 books published.
Contest: Submit poetry manuscript 48-70 pages long.
Website: http://www.triohousepress.org/submissions.html

 

The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1000, publications, and 20 books
Special Requirements: Must be written in English and poet must reside in U.S.
Contest: Submit poetry manuscript 48-70 pages long.
Website: http://www.triohousepress.org/submissions.html

 

Barry Spacks Poetry Prize
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: $500, publication, 50 author copies
Contest: Submit unpublished poetry manuscripts 48-100 pages long in 12 point font.
Website: http://gunpowderpress.com/wp/?p=83

 

May FREE Writing Contests

Heron Tree
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Seeking unpublished poems. Writers may submit 2-5 poems via email. Details on webpage.
Website: http://herontree.com/how/

 

Fairy Tale Review
Deadline: May 15, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting fairy tale pieces. For prose, you may submit up to 8,000 words of a single piece or three, linked flash pieces each under 1,000 words in a single document. For poetry, you may submit up to 5 poems totaling no more than 10 pages. There is not specific theme. Accepting fiction, nonfiction, and drama.
Website: https://fairytalereview.submittable.com/submit

 

Alaska Quarterly Review
Deadline: May 15, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Contest: Submit via mail. Accepting fiction: short stories and novel excerpts in traditional and experimental styles (generally not exceeding 50 pages); poetry: poems in traditional and experimental styles but no light verse (up to 20 pages); drama: short plays in traditional and experimental styles (generally not exceeding 50 pages); and prose: literary nonfiction in traditional and experimental styles (generally not exceeding 50 pages).
Website: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/aqr/guidelines.cfm

 

River Teeth Journal Submissions
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication, 2 complimentary editions of the magazine, one year subscription
Contest: Seeking creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays, and memoirs, as well as critical essays that examine the emerging genre and that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers.
Website: https://riverteeth.submittable.com/submit

 

One Story
Deadline: May 31, 2015
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: $500 and 25 contributor copies
Contest: Short stories 3000-8000 words long on any subject in any style.
Website: http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=submit

 

 

Cybersoleil
Deadline: May 31, 2014
Entry Fee: FREE
Prize: Publication
Special Requirements: No previously published work.
Contest: Please visit the website for very clear, detailed requirements for submissions. This venue accepts Art and Photo Essays. Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction, Recipes, Photo Essays, Book Reviews, Art, and Music.
Website: http://www.cybersoleiljournal.com/index.php?lay=show&ac=article&Id=539353578

 

May FEE-BASED Writing Contests

The Florida Review
Deadline: May, 2015 (subscribers may submit year-round)
Entry Fee: $3.00
Prize: Publication
Contest: Seeking fiction and nonfiction (3-25 pages), poetry, graphic narratives, book reviews, and visual arts. See website for details.
Website: https://floridareview.submittable.com/Submit

 

Emerald Coast Review Volume XVIII
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $10 ($5 students)
Prize: Publication
Contest: Accepting fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, and graphic design. Theme is the writer as artist, but pieces are not limited to that theme.
Website: https://emeraldcoastreviewecr.submittable.com/submit

 

Moon City Poetry Award
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $1000 plus publication by Moon City Press and standard royalty contract
Contest: Looking for a full-length poetry collection at least 48 pages long.
Website: http://mooncitypress.com/poetrycontest/

 

2015 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize
Deadline: May 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $16
Prize: $500 and publication
Contest: Submit up to 4 poems per entry, 8 pages maximum.
Website: https://crabcreekreview.submittable.com/submit/38412

 

 

June Fee-based Contests

Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize
Deadline: June 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: $300, 20 author copies of print book, 1930s depression glass trophy and published book as print and e-book.
Contest: Submit 17-24 pages of poetry not including title page, Table of Contents, and end notes).
Website: http://twosylviaspress.com/chapbook-prize.html

 

NOTICE: We are not affiliated with these writing opportunities or the websites that sponsor them. We can therefore not assure you as to whether or not they are reliable and trustworthy. While we have made every effort to visit the websites listed on this page, checked links, and read briefly into the events, there is no way for us to know whether every opportunity is the right one for you. Please visit the websites and read all information regarding the event before you make the decision as to whether or not the opportunity is one you are interested in pursuing.