This year, I decided to create a writing contest. I feel it’s important to give growing writers a chance to submit their pieces to safe critique. Instead of keeping their writing to themselves so as to avoid harsh criticism, something like this can give them a chance to share their work and see how it does amongst pieces from other writers.
The rules are quite simple. Anyone of any age may submit. Prose, poetry, fiction, nonfiction; it’s all accepted. Anything below 21 words or above 2,100 words will be discarded. Font and style don’t matter; there must only be a name on it. It is allowed (and encouraged) to use something written beforehand, e.g. a piece written for a class or for personal enjoyment. The deadline is July 21st of this year and winning pieces will begin to be announced here on the blog come August 21st. At this point, the prize for winning is to be published on the blog. I hope that, in future years, I will be able to offer a monetary reward as well, but at this point, that is not a valid option for me.
That’s enough with the explanations. This post is to show what I’m looking for in your submissions. If your piece demonstrates the key attributes for its section, you will have a much better chance of winning.
While I do enjoy a bit of poetry, I am not much of a poet myself and I feel very inadequate as a judge of poetry. This is why I’m asking for someone who loves poetry to be one of the judges. They won’t be the only judge of a given poem, but they will have a good say in the matter. If you would like to be a judge, just email me here.
If you are planning on submitting poetry, here are some guidelines. Your piece should…
- Possess a good rhythm,
- be beautiful,
- be wise,
- be wholesome,
- and be on the lighter side (as opposed to dark and heavy).
Disclaimer: if it’s for a good cause and you make it work, you can throw out all these guidelines. You can write an offbeat poem with ugly wording and a foolish, dark tone, and if it all somehow works to make something amazing, you may very well have a winning piece.
I am looking forward to the fiction submissions. Genres include (but are not limited to): mystery, fantasy, historical, sci-fi, satire, realistic, dystopian, et cetera.
If you’re submitting a work of fiction, it should…
- Have depth,
- fascinate the reader,
- be light (as opposed to dark),
- and be wholesome.
Just as with poetry, these are just guidelines. If you’re convinced that a piece about a shallow, uninteresting character with dark thoughts and emotions will end up being magical in all the strange ways that are impossible to predict, then go for it. This is a writing contest, not a writing class.
Honestly, some nonfiction can be as drab, dull, monotonous, dreary, colourless, uninteresting, gray, bleak, flat, and boring as this sentence is. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some guidelines for those submitting nonfiction.
Your work should be…
- and insightful.
I do hope this isn’t becoming a redundant refrain, but do understand that these are only guidelines. You could write a shallow, uninteresting, unhelpful, and uninsightful (funny how latin helps us undo almost every word we have) piece that somehow captures one’s heart. Although, with the instance of nonfiction, that’s unlikely.
I hope you enjoy writing (or simply copy-pasting something you have already written) your submission(s), and the experience helps you grow as a writer.
If your piece cannot be accepted into the contest at all (because of word count or content) I will be sure to email you back as soon as possible.
If you’re not scared of competition and/or you have writing friends, let them know about the contest! You can also share this post on your Facebook or download this image and share on various social networks.
If you have any questions, just email me using this form.
Join the conversation and comment!