More Writing Contests for the End of 2013 and Beginning of 2014

A great way to gain credibility as a writer/author is by submitting to writing contests. There are lots of great contests and journals that are accepting submissions right now for many different types of work, including fiction, non-fiction, fan and flash fiction, essays, short stories, and poetry. These types of contests can help you keep your writing and publishing momentum going. Below is a list that we put together to help you as you think about submitting your work.

Story Share $50,000 Writing Contest

Submission deadline: December 7, 2013

Benetech Global Literacy, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and Orca Book Publishing are encouraging emerging and existing writers to submit original high-interest fiction and non-fiction reading material for young adults aged 13+ who struggle with reading. No prior experience writing for struggling reader audiences is required. A step-by-step guide is available to assist writers in leveling their stories. Eleven cash prizes will be awarded to winners in categories including best series, best character-based story and best use of illustrations. Prize levels range from $2,000 to a grand prize of $10,000. www.storysharecontest.com

Gival Press Poetry Award-2013

Postmark deadline: December 15, 2013

15th Gival Press Poetry Award for best original previously unpublished collection of poetry in English, 45 pages or more, in any style or form; include list of previously published poems in the ms. Prize: $1,000, copies and publication. Reading fee $20 per ms submitted. Deadline Dec. 15. For complete details, email givalpress@yahoo.com or visit website www.givalpress.com. Mail to: Robert L. Giron, Editor, Gival Press, P.O. Box 3812, Arlington, VA 22203.

Imaginary Friend Press Chapbook Contest

Online submission deadline: December 15, 2013

Imaginary Friend Press is holding a poetry chapbook contest. The reading period ends 12/15. There is a $5 entry fee or $7 if you want a copy of the winning book. Winning book gets $100 and 25 copies of the book. Winning book will be chosen by a panel of esteemed judges. Other entries will be considered for publication. Visit www.imaginaryfriendpress.com for complete guidelines.

2013 William Richey Fiction Prize, Yemassee

Extended deadline: December 15, 2013

Yemassee invites you to submit to our annual 2013 William Richey Short Fiction Contest. Submit one piece of unpublished short fiction of up to 10,000 words. Acclaimed novelist Emily St. John Mandel is this year’s guest judge. $500 prize, $10 entry fee, the winner and two runner-ups will be published in the magazine along with a list of ten finalists. Visit yemasseejournalonline.org for more details as well as to enter.

Tartt First Fiction Award, Livingston Press

Postmark deadline: December 31, 2013

Tartt First Fiction Award’s tenth annual contest is now open. American authors who have not yet published a story collection are eligible. One thousand dollar award, plus publication in trade paper, hardcover, and Kindle. Author receive 100 copies. Manuscript should fall between 150-275 pages. Open to all themes, styles. Twenty-dollar entry fee. Mail to Livingston Press, Station 22, The University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL 35470. We notify all entrants of receipt in January, of the winner in late May. Keep a copy of your manuscript, as we do not return entries. Thanks. www.livingstonpress.uwa.edu

Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Online submission deadline: December 31, 2013

Awarded to an outstanding, unpublished collection of short stories. Reading Fee: $30. Award: Publication of winning short story collection, $1,000 cash advance, travel expenses and lodging for a special reading and book signing party at Press 53 headquarters at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attendance to the 2014 Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers, and ten copies of the book. Enter September 1, 2013–December 31, 2013; finalists announced March 1, 2014; winner announced on May 3, 2014 (National Press 53 Day). Complete details at www.Press53.com.

bioStories Magazine Essay Contest. Theme: “Kindness”

Email submission deadline: January 15, 2014

Staying with its mission of finding the extraordinary in ordinary lives, bioStories solicits essays for a contest focused on the theme “kindness.” We encourage writers to interpret the theme broadly and creatively. Winner receives $250 and publication. Pieces earning honorable mentions will be announced on the magazine website and be eligible for publication. Entry fee: $10. Deadline for entry: January 15, 2014. Only nonfiction will be accepted. Maximum length 3,000 words. No previously published work. Essays will be evaluated by blind review. Complete contest guidelines are available at: www.biostories.com.

The Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize

Email/Online/Postmark deadline: January 15, 2014

One poet will receive $1000 and two poets will receive $180 each for a poem on the theme of Union. Joan Larkin will judge. The three poets will have their work featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Jewish Currents magazine, and 36 poets will be included in an anthology to be published Summer 2014. All entries will be considered for future publication in the magazine. (Please note: Writers of any background, regardless of religious affiliation, are encouraged to submit.) Submission fee of $18 includes a one-year subscription or gift subscription to Jewish Currents. Online submissions are accepted. For instructions and further contest guidelines, see jewishcurrents.org/poetry-prize-2.

Willow Springs Fiction Prize

Submission deadline: March 15, 2014

$2,000 plus publication. Submission deadline: March 15, 2014. Original, unpublished work only; no word limit for submissions. $15 entry fee, $20 for international submissions. All entrants will receive a one-year subscription to Willow Springs. You can submit a story online willowsprings.submittable.com/submit or mail a hard copy to The Willow Springs Fiction Prize. More details here: willowsprings.ewu.edu/contests.php

The Richard and Julie Logsdon Prize for Fiction

Email/Online submission deadline: May 31, 2014

To be awarded to a work of fiction published by Red Rock Review in Spring or Fall of 2014. Prize: $150. Contest guidelines at sites.csn.edu/english/redrockreview/Prize_Page.html. Submission guidelines at sites.csn.edu/english/redrockreview/Frequently Asked Questions.htm.

Good Luck!

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We’re also currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up a time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Guy Kawasaki’s Artisanal Publishing and How It’s Changing Publishing

You’ve probably all heard of Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley author, speaker, investor, and business advisor. If you haven’t – especially if you’re interested in self-publishing – you need to know who he is. After some bad experiences working with traditional publishers on a few books, Kawasaki self-published his book, What the Plus, which is when the term “artisanal publishing” was born. Artisanal Publishing refers to “writers who love their craft, and who control every aspect of the process from beginning to end. In this new approach, writers are no longer at the mercy of large, traditional publishers, and readers will have more books to read.”

The self-publishing process proved more challenging than he expected, and he learned a number of lessons throughout the process, which led him to self-publish APE: How to Publish a Book—all about the positives and the “pain and trauma” of being an indie author. APE stands for Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur.

According to Kawasaki, when a self-publisher successfully fills three roles—author, publisher, and entrepreneur—the potential benefits are greater than with traditional publishing. And while Kawasaki may now be a self-publishing convert, he has talked about both the pros and cons of going the route of self-publishing.

On the pro side, he cites editorial, sales, and marketing control; quicker time to market; and increased royalties. “APE sells for $9.99 as a Kindle e-book and we make $7,” he said. “And that is remarkable. That is like four times traditionally published…These are good numbers.” The drawbacks, Kawasaki said, include no advance, increased responsibility for all aspects of the publishing process, and loneliness.

In offering up his top 10 tips for self-published authors, Kawasaki urges writers to:

  1. Write for the Right Reasons: He cited writing to enrich people’s lives, furthering a cause, or meeting an intellectual challenge.
  2. Use the Right Tools: He suggests a number of different pieces of software, such as Word and InDesign, but the bottom line is that you need to make sure they are the right tools for your work and process.
  3. Write Every Day
  4. Build Your Marketing Platform
  5. Start with a Kindle E-Book: “When all the dust settles, for us, Amazon is about 85% to 90% of the action,” Kawasaki said. “There’s all these other platforms, but if you can make it with Kindle you’ve got it made….If you make it on Kindle the rest is cream.”
  6. Tap the Crowd: With APE, Kawasaki asked his social media followers to critique his book outline, finished manuscript, and the final PDF of the book. “It really improved the book,” he said. “The crowd really helped me…It probably doubled the quality of APE. It was truly a great experience.”
  7. Hire a Copy Editor
  8. Hire a Cover Designer
  9. Test Your E-Book: Kawasaki urged writers to test the readability of their e-book on all platforms, devices, and operating systems.
  10. Never Give Up

These are all great pieces of advice! As overwhelming as it was for Guy just starting out as a self-published author, you can see from his list that it helps to have a professional team behind you every step of the way.  We will be discussing some of them at more length in future blog posts.

At SDP Publishing, like Guy Kawasaki, we treat each book as its own independent business. Authors retain 100% of their rights, enjoying generous royalties while going through the process step-by-step with our team. Independent publishing means your name is the brand and your book is the product. As we’ve talked about in the past, publishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road, which is why it can be helpful to for writers build a team to help them succeed in self-publishing.

To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!