Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

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DEADLINE: May 6, 2016

Writer’s Digest has been shining a spotlight on up and coming writers in all genres through its Annual Writing Competition for more than 80 years. Enter our 85th Annual Writing Competition for your chance to win and have your work be seen by editors and agents! The winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.

Prizes
One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest (subscriber issues only)
  • $5,000 in cash
  • An interview with the author in Writer’s Digest
  • One on one attention from four editors or agents
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • A one year subscription to Writer’s Digest Tutorials
  • A 30-minute Platform Strategy Consultation with Chuck Sambuchino

First place will receive $1,000 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Second place will receive $500 cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Third place will receive $250 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fourth place will receive $100 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fifth place will receive $50 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Sixth through Tenth place winners will receive $25 in cash and $25 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

All top winners will also receive:

  • A one-year Writer’s Digest VIP membership, which includes a one-year subscription (new or renewal) to Writer’s Digest magazine, access to WritersMarket.com for one year, discounts on Writer’s Digest University workshops and discounts off of purchases made at WritersDigestShop.com.
  • Their names listed in Writer’s Digest, on WritersDigest.com and in the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition Collection.

All Honorable Mentions receive:

  • 20% discount off of purchases made at WritersDigestShop.com
  • Their names listed in the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition Collection.

Categories

  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

How to Enter

  • Enter online or submit your entry via regular mail. Offline entries must be accompanied by an Entry Form, and the required entry fee (credit card information, check or money order made payable to F+W Media, Inc.). If you are entering more than one manuscript, you may mail all entries in the same envelope and write one check for the total entry fee; however, each manuscript must have its category indicated in the upper left-hand corner. You may enter online even if you are paying with a check. All checks will be cashed within 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • Your entry must be original, in English, unpublished* and unproduced, not accepted by any other publisher or producer at the time of submission. Writer’s Digest retains one-time nonexclusive publication rights to the Grand Prize and First Place winning entries in each category to be published in a Writer’s Digest publication.* Entries in the Magazine Feature Article category may be previously published. Any piece posted online, anywhere other than a personal blog, is considered published. For poetry, all online postings are considered published.
  • If you are submitting your entry via regular mail (NOT using the online entry form), the entry must be typed on one side of 8-1/2 x 11 or A4 white paper. Scripts and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other manuscripts must be double-spaced. The competition category and word count/line count must appear in the upper left-hand corner of the first page —otherwise your entry is disqualified. The first page should also include the entry’s title. As judging is blind, do not include your name, address, phone number, email address or other identifying information in the upper left-hand corner of the first page.
  • BE SURE OF YOUR WORD COUNT! Entries exceeding the word or page limits will be disqualified. Type the exact word count (counting every single word, except the title) at the top of the manuscript.
  • Mailed entries that are more than one page in length must be stapled.
  • Due to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Sudan.
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.

Writing Competitions Preparing Your Entry

WD’s writing competitions recognizes writing excellence on a global scale. See below for information on preparing your entry.

Click on the links below to go directly to that section of the page.

ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION
SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS
POPULAR FICTION AWARDS
SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOK AWARDS
POETRY AWARDS
SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION


GENERAL

Important & Helpful Information Prior to Entering

  • Nothing accompanying an entry will be returned. This includes scripts, books, stories etc.
  • For proof of delivery, we suggest that you send your package using an option that provides you a tracking number; we are not able to confirm individual deliveries. Mailed in entries can take up to 60 days past the final deadline to be processed. Online entries are processed immediately, as are credit card payments submitted online.
  • Competition logins/profiles are NOT the same as website, forum or other general logins/profiles.
  • Accounts/profiles are competition/year specific & need to be set up each year (for each competition you are entering). Once a competition deadline has passed, you will not be able to access the online entry system. The function of the online account/profile is to give you access to enter online and to reprint your submitter forms.
  • Once a competition’s final deadline has passed, you will not be able to access the online entry system; be sure to print copies of your forms in advance.
  • Once an entry has been submitted, no edits, replacements or exchanges will be accepted. If you wish to submit an edited version of a previously submitted entry, you should enter it as a new entry (fees at the time of submission do apply; you may wish to edit the title slightly as well so that you can differentiate them).
  • Check your spelling carefully including all login information, email addresses etc. Incorrect email addresses may result in transmission of important information being delayed and/or unsuccessful.
  • Be sure that our email addresses (anything ending in @fwcommunity.com or @fwmedia.com) are not blocked, or you may not receive critical information, receipts, confirmations etc.
  • Have your necessary information at hand when you are ready to submit your entry.
  • Writer’s Digest assumes all entries are original and are the works and property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein.
  • Writer’s Digest is not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant and will not become involved in copyright disputes.
  • Winner Notification dates refer to the date that all winners will be notified by.
  • Non-Winner Notification: Entrants not selected as winners will not be notified individually; non-winners will be emailed a competition status update in the weeks following the winner notification date. If you enter multiple times, please excuse duplicate emails, as you may receive an email for each separate entry.

Information to have ready when entering…

  • The submitter (author) is who we will refer to as the author, and who we will contact with any questions, updates etc. If the submitter and the author are not the same, please indicate accordingly in parenthesis, on the submitter name line. If you write under a pen name, please include both names on this line if possible.
  • Be sure that our email addresses (anything ending in @fwcommunity.com or @fwmedia.com) are not blocked, or you may not receive critical information, receipts, confirmations etc.

Entry Method Options/Preparing Your Entry:

  • Entries may be submitted either online or by mail unless otherwise noted.
  • Entry fees may be paid online by credit/debit card (MC, V, AMEX & DISC).
  • Entrants submitting entries online but wishing to pay entry fees by check (this includes cashier’s checks & money orders), should submit their entry online & checkout; selecting the “check” option from dropdown menu on the online payment page.
  • Checks should then be mailed by the competition deadline (at the time of entry) to the address listed on the submission confirmation. Please include your entry title & the competition name with your check.
  • Checks should be clipped securely & visibly (not stapled) to the entry form (or copy of the form if you entered online). Do not place checks inside books or envelopes.
  • All deadlines are at 11:59 PM EST, on the specified date. This is the date that all related materials (when applicable) must be shipped by as well. Mailed in entries/materials must deliver within 5 days of the current posted entry deadline, at listed on the website at the time of your submission.
  • For proof of delivery, please track your package with your shipper – we are not able to confirm individual deliveries.
  • Mailed in entries can take up to 60 days (after the entry deadline) to process.

ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION

Category Selection

Select the category that best represents your entry. If the judges feel that another category is more appropriate, we will switch the category for you, on your behalf.

  • Genre Fiction: Stories that fit into a specific classification such as mystery, romance, science fiction, horror or fantasy.
  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction: Serious, non-formulaic fiction that does not fit into a genre. For the sake of separating them entirely from genre fiction, are combined into their own category. Literary fiction is generally more concerned with style and characterization, and may be paced more slowly than commercial fiction. It usually centers on a timeless, complex theme. Mainstream fiction is usually faster paced, with a stronger plot line (and more events and/or higher stakes). Characterization may not be as central to the story and the theme may be more obvious than literary fiction. The category of both of these two indicates that the story would generally appeal to a larger audience and isn’t confined by the rules and structure you might see in a typical genre.
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay: This is an article that is distinguished by and draws its power from its personal viewpoint. In such pieces, the author examines an issue, event, experience, place or idea and offers an opinion or some other reaction to it. The goal of an essay may be to explain, justify or persuade. The last is most often the goal of newspaper op-ed essays. Examples of other types of essays may be found in such magazine columns as Redbook‘s “A Young Mother’s Story” or Writer’s Digest‘s “Chronicle”.
  • Feature Article: This is an article that is “reported”—the writer has researched a topic and explains the topic to readers. Often there is a “service” angle—a clear benefit that readers can take away from the article. There are many types of feature articles: how-to articles, personality profiles, Q&A’s, informational pieces, travel articles. They may include events drawn from the author’s personal experience, but the focus of the article is on providing readers with information. Features make up the bulk of most magazines’ editorial offerings.
  • Inspirational: An article, essay or story with an explicitly religious, spiritual or otherwise inspirational focus. An article that’s suitable for Guideposts or St. Anthony Messenger, for example, would be inspirational. An essay on how the power of Christ, (or Buddha, or Allah or Vashti) touched your life would be inspirational. A story about the power of religion, the power of prayer, or the power of the universe would be inspirational.
  • Rhyming Poetry: When the last word of some or all lines rhyme with each other. Ask yourself: What is the rhyme scheme of my poem? If you don’t understand what that question means, your poem is probably non-rhyming. Most formal poetry is considered rhyming poetry (such as sonnets or ballads).
  • Non-rhyming poetry: When there is no recognizable or purposeful rhyme scheme or structure. Free verse falls under this category.
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction: Fiction written for the children, adolescents, and young adults.
  • Stage Play or Television/Movie Script: Scripts—original or written for any series in production on or after January 1, 2015—are eligible; adaptations will not be accepted.

Word Count / Line Count Requirements
Online & Offline Entry forms must have the word/line/page count listed where requested.
Mailed in entries must also include the word/line/page count on their actual paper entry.

Count refers to all words making up the story (no matter the number of letters in the word). Do not count the title or contact information in the word count.

  • Poetry entries: count the lines containing text. Do not count blank lines between stanzas & do not count the title or contact information.
  • Stage play/movie script entries: Please provide the number of pages submitted instead of the word count.
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay, Magazine Feature Article and Children’s/Young Adult Fiction: 2,000 words maximum.
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story and Genre Short Story: 4,000 words maximum.
  • Inspirational Writing: 2,500 words maximum.
  • Rhyming Poem and Non-rhyming Poem: 32 lines maximum.
  • Stage Play Script or Television/Movie Script: Send the first 15 pages (the title page does not count toward the page limit) in standard script format, plus a one-page synopsis. Complete scripts are not eligible. Scripts—original or written for any series in production on or after January 1, 2015—are eligible; adaptations will not be accepted.

Entry Method Options/Preparing Your Entry

PREPARING YOUR ONLINE ENTRY:

  • Set up your competition account/profile by following the “enter now” links & signing up for your online account. After you have set up your account profile, you will be able to log in as long as the competition is still accepting entries.
  • Please be sure that the email address that you provide will be valid throughout the competition span. Please type carefully and list only one complete & legible email address. Competition related updates are sent via: email.
  • Cover pages are optional; they are not requested or necessary.
  • Please submit text only; illustrations are not accepted.
  • Select a font that is easy to read-please do not use a decorative or script font; 12-point type size is preferred but not mandatory. We have no requirements as to the number of words per page.
  • It is preferred that an entry be formatted to 8.5 x 11 paper, single sided, 1 inch margins. We prefer any of the various standard-formatting styles (although non-conforming entries will not be disqualified). Scripts (TV/Movie or Stage Play) and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other documents must be double-spaced.
  • Contact information is collected via: the online entry form; online entrants should not include this information on the file being uploaded. Only the category, word/line count and entry title should be included on the file being uploaded .
  • Word counts are not to include entry title. All words (no matter the length) are to be included in the word count.
  • For poetry entries, supply a line count instead of a word count. Line counts should include all lines that have text; do not include blank stanzas in your line count.
  • When filling out the online entry/submission form, you will be asked to upload your entry file. Acceptable file formats include: doc, docx, rtf and pdf. Do not attach zipped files, or documents stored on the web like Google doc’s etc. File types such as .wps, .pages, .abw and .scw will not be accepted.  File size should not exceed 5 MB. We recommend that you avoid adding your own symbols/punctuation in file names of the documents you are uploading.
  • To upload your file, click the SELECT A FILE button, locate the entry file on your computer & attach it. Because you are attaching a file- you are not able to edit the entry once it has been attached; edits should be done prior to uploading the file.

PREPARING YOUR MAILED IN (PAPER) ENTRY:

  • To ensure that papers do not become separated in transit, we ask that you staple multiple paged stories (please do not staple the entry form to the story however) together and that you include the entry category, the word count of your entry (or line count if applicable) and entry title on the entry. Your full contact information (name, address, phone, email) must be on your entry form (not on the story/poem/script itself).
  • Mailed in entries must deliver within 5 days of the current posted entry deadline, at listed on the website at the time of your submission. For proof of delivery, please track your package with your shipper – we are not able to confirm individual deliveries. Mailed in entries can take up to 60 days (after the entry deadline) to process.
  • Entry fees can be paid by credit card/debit card (MC, V, AMEX & DISC) or by check drawn on a US bank, in US funds (this includes cashier’s checks & money orders). Checks should then be mailed along with entries (by the competition deadline at the time of entry) to the address is listed on the entry form (online or mailed in). Checks should be made out to: F+W Media, Inc. & may take up to 60 days to be processed after the final deadline has passed.
  • Whether entering online or by mail, please be sure that the email address that you provide will be valid throughout the competition span. Please write/type carefully and list only one complete & legible email address. Competition related updates are sent via: email.
  • Cover pages are optional; they are not requested/required. They will not be forwarded to the judges.
  • Please submit text only; illustrations are not accepted.
  • Select a font that is easy to read; please do not use a decorative or script font; 12-point type size is preferred but not mandatory. We have no requirements as to the number of words per page.
  • It is preferred that an entry be printed on 8.5 x 11 white paper, single sided, 1 inch margins. We prefer standard formatting styles (although non-conforming entries will not be disqualified). Scripts (TV/Movie or Stage Play) and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other documents must be double-spaced.

Here is an example of what the first page of your mailed in (aka: paper) entry should include.

Sample page

 

 

 

 

RULES:

  • Your entry must be original, in English, unpublished* and unproduced, not accepted by any other publisher or producer at the time of submission. *Entries in the Magazine Feature Article category may be previously published. Any piece posted online, anywhere other than a personal blog, is considered published. For poetry, all online postings are considered published.
  • Writer’s Digest retains one-time nonexclusive publication rights to the Grand Prize and First Place winning entries in each category to be published in a Writer’s Digest publication. Authors retain all ownership of their work.
  • Entries exceeding the word (page/line) count requirements will be disqualified.
  • Entry fees are due at the time of submission.
  • Refunds are not provided for disqualified, withdrawn or non-winning entries.
  • If the Grand Prize Winner accepts the Writer’s Digest Conference portion of their prize they must agree to travel (flying round-trip from the same city) during the conference dates in 2017. The editors or agents who meet with the Grand Prize Winner are under no obligation to read, buy or represent the Grand Prize Winner’s work.
  • Winners must provide an appropriate tax form (W9 or W8BEN) in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not received within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest: employees of F+W, a Content and eCommerce Company., and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest contributing editors and correspondents as listed on our masthead; Writer’s Online Workshops instructors; and Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years.
  • Due to to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Sudan.

Source: http://www.writersdigest.com

WAW reserves the right to assist our registered writers with information and submission to writing contests and prizes. We have only reproduced this post from source as indicated. No rights or liabilities are claimed otherwise.

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