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15th Gival Press Poetry Award for best original previously unpublished collection of poetry in English, 45 pages or more, in any style or form; include list of previously published poems in the ms.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!

Click here to download your free copy of the “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher”! In this guide, we provide tips to help you make the right decision in regard to the publisher with which you choose to work.

Please fill in the form on our website and your download will be immediately available!

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!

Submit Your Work! Writing Contests for the End of 2013

A great way to gain credibility as a writer/author is by submitting to writing contests. Maybe you haven’t finished your book yet or are in between books. 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. The following contests have submission deadlines in October, November, and December. We will continue to keep you updated on writing contests in the coming months.

Some of the contests have nominal entry fees and specific deadlines for entry, which you need to pay attention to. We’ve tried to include them here to the best of our ability.

Nonfiction Contest, Judged by Cheryl Strayed

Online deadline: October 15, 2013

“…the raw truth of life: it isn’t always simple or pretty.” -Geoff Bendeck, LUMINANonfiction Editor. Each year, LUMINA hosts a national literary contest in a single genre. This year’s contest genre is nonfiction and the winner will be chosen by Cheryl Strayed. Grand prize: $500 and publication in LUMINA Volume XIII. We’re looking for pieces under 5,000 words and there is an entry fee of $12. Send us your best work and surprise us with your form. For further guidelines, information and to read more about what our nonfiction editor is looking for, go towww.luminajournal.com/contest.

The Briar Cliff Review poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction contest

Deadline: November 1, 2013

$1000 & publication. Submit unpublished story, essay or 3 poems w/ $20. Entrants receive issue. No name on mss. Include cover page with title(s), name, address, email, phone. Deadline: Nov. 1. SASE for results only. Briar Cliff Review Contest, 3303 Rebecca St., Sioux City, IA 51104. www.briarcliff.edu/bcreview

Dogwood Multi-genre contest, $1000 grand prize

Online submission deadline: October 15, 2013

Dogwood welcomes entries in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for its annual contest with a $1000 grand prize for one winning entry. The grand prize winner will be chosen from winners in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Winners in the other two genres will receive prizes of $250. Entry fee is $15; all submissions considered for publication in the 13th annual edition of this print and e-pub journal. Only anonymous submissions accepted. Submissions accepted online between August 1 and October 15, 2013. Please use our online submission manager for your submissions at dogwood.submittable.com/submit.

Glimmer Train

Submission deadline: Family Matters: October 31, 2013

Short Story Award for New Writers: November 30, 2013 (open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000)

One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry, New Stories from the South, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Submit online: www.glimmertrain.org.

$5,000 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize

Postmark deadline: October 31, 2013

The University of Arkansas Press will accept submissions for the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize in September and October. One winner and up to three finalists will be published. In addition to publication, the winner will receive $5,000. The series is open to all book-length manuscripts by a single author of 60 to 90 pages, except translations. Individual poems may have been published in chapbooks, journals, and anthologies. There is a $25 reading fee. For more information, visit www.uapress.com or call 800-626-0090.

Truman State University Press
Poetry Prize & Short Fiction Prize

Online/Postmark deadlines: October 31, 2013 (poetry)

T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry: annual award for the best unpublished book-length collection of poetry in English. The winner will receive $2,000 and publication of the winning collection. All entrants receive a copy of the winning book. Reading fee: $25.

The Chariton Review Short Fiction Prize: annual award for the best unpublished short fiction, any theme up to 5,000 words in English. The author will receive $1,000, and the winning story, along with finalists, will be published in the spring issue of The Chariton Review. All U.S. entrants receive a copy of the prize issue. Reading fee: $20. tsup.truman.edu/prizes.asp

Creative Nonfiction: Mistakes Wanted for Themed Issue

Online/Postmark submission deadline: November 1, 2013

For a special issue, Creative Nonfiction is seeking new essays about mistakes—major or minor, tragic or serendipitous, funny or painful. $1,000 for Best Essay & $500 for runner-up. Essays must be true stories, factually accurate, previously unpublished, and no longer than 4,000 words. There is a $20 reading fee (or send a reading fee of $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction—US submitters only). Submit online or by regular mail. Full guidelines at www.creativenonfiction.org/mistakes.

Coal Hill Review Chapbook Competition

Submission deadline: November 1, 2013

Coal Hill Review is interested in publishing a wide range of poetry. We ask that all submissions come through our annual contest. Please review the complete guidelines on our website carefully before submitting. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in an edition of 200 copies available through Autumn House Press, as well as online in the Spring issue of Coal Hill Review. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically or through the US mail from August 1 to November 1. The final judge is Michael Simms, founder and editor-in-chief of Autumn House Press.

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Writing Contests

Online/Postmark submission deadline: November 1 and November 15, 2013

One-Act Play and Short Fiction. $1,500 prize each, plus VIP passes ($500 each), reading/staged reading at 28th annual Festival (March 19-23, 2014), and more. $25 entry fee. Deadlines: 11/1 and 11/15 (postmarked). Writing Contest, 938 Lafayette St, Suite, 514 New Orleans, LA 70113. Guidelines and online submissions: www.tennesseewilliams.net/contests.

Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize 2013

Postmark deadline: November 15, 2013

Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize 2013 on the Jewish experience. Please submit 1-2 one-page poems, single space, submit in quadruplicate hard copy, cover page with contact information and list of poems. No email submissions. Deadline: November 15, 2013. NO FEE. For more information, visit www.poeticamagazine.com.

The Fiddlehead: Special Subscription Offer & Annual Contest

Postmark Deadline: December 1, 2013

Special Subscription Rate for Creative Writing Faculty & Students: Subscribe now to The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada’s International Literary Magazine, and save an additional 25%! Click on the image to access the .pdf order form. But hurry—this special offer ends January 31, 2014. Take a shot at literary fame & fortune! Enter The Fiddlehead’s 23rd annual contest in poetry and short fiction. Prizes: $2000 CAD for the winners + publication payment and $250 CAD for the honourable mentions + publication payment. Entry fee: $30 for Canadian residents/$36 all others. Visit thefiddlehead.ca for more details.

The Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize

Deadline: December 13, 2013

The Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize is open to published and novice writers alike. Entrants should submit an original short story (up to 3,000 words) on the subject of ‘spring.’ http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/going-out/who-what-where/short-story-competition

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.

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. www.livingstonpress.uwa.edu

If you’re interested in learning more about how to maximize your exposure and gain credibility through third-party reviews or by entering contests, contact SDP Publishing. We have extensive experience working with authors to submit their work to third-party reviewers and contests to help expand their marketing potential.

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!

Top 10 Reasons Why Authors Should Self-Publish Their Books

We recently wrote about Guy Kawasaki’s Artisanal Publishing and How It’s Changing Publishing and Kawasaki’s top 10 tips for self-published authors. Kawasaki’s tips can be really helpful for authors who are considering going the self-publishing route. As we discussed, 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.” It’s a revolutionary idea that’s changing the face of publishing. While we’ve been working with authors for years to help them to independently publish, market, and sell their books, it’s great to finally see this kind of validation on a mainstream level.

Still not convinced about the benefits of self-publishing? Kawasaki has put together a list of the top 10 reasons why authors should self-publish their books.

1. Content and design control. Self-publishers can control what’s in a book, how long it is, and how it looks. They only answer to themselves for most aspects of their books.

2. Time to market. Self-publishers can get their book to market in less than a week once it’s copyedited. Traditional publishers take six to nine months to get a printed book to market, and they will not release the ebook version earlier than the printed version.

3. Longevity. Self-publishers can keep their book in print forever—or at least as long as it takes for readers to discover it. Traditional publishers stop marketing a book once sales decline.

4. Revisions. Self-publishers can revise books immediately with online ebook resellers and printers that are working “on demand.” Traditional publishers can take months to fix errors because they print revisions after they’ve sold off current inventory.

5. Higher royalty. Self-publishers can make more money per book. Amazon pays a 35% or 70% royalty to ebook self-publishers. On a $2.99 ebook, most authors make approximately $2.00.

6. Price control. Self-publishers can change the price of their book at will. For example, they can set a lower price to try to sell more copies or set a higher price to communicate higher quality.

7. Global distribution. Self-publishers can achieve global distribution of their ebook on day one. For example, Kindle Direct Publishing will list an ebook in one hundred countries. Apple’s iBookstore reaches 50 countries.

8. Control of foreign rights. Self-publishers determine who buys foreign rights and for how much. They can make more money because they are not sharing foreign-rights revenues with a traditional publisher.

9. Analytics. Self-publishers can receive real-time or near real-time sales results. Traditional publishers provide twice-a-year royalty statements — imagine running a business with two sales reports a year.

10. Deal flexibility. Self-publishers can cut any kind of deal with any kind of organization. Traditional publishers only sell to resellers except for bulk sales of printed books to large organizations.

At SDP Publishing, we know the numerous benefits of self-publishing, and like Guy Kawasaki, we want to help spread the word. We’re 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 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!

Free 45-minute Consultation with SDP Publishing Solutions and Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher

self publishing, independent publishingLooking for some direction on how to get your manuscript published? SDP Publishing Solutions can help!

To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis 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!

Click here to download your free copy of the “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher”! Please fill in the form on our website and your download will be immediately available.

Why work with SDP Publishing Solutions?

  • Lisa Akoury-Ross of SDP Publishing Solutions brings more than 20 years of experience in the publishing business to help you independently publish your work quickly and cost effectively.
  • SDP Publishing Solutions differs from self-publishing houses because they work closely with authors to walk them through the complex web of getting published and marketing the finished product.
  • 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; SDP Publishing Solutions runs each title as its own business.

If you have any questions, please contact SDP Publishing Solutions.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal 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!

Additional Reading

We highlight some of the tips in the article that might be helpful as you decide if you should independently publish your book. Read more.
We look at the runaway success of Jack and Jasinda Wilder’s success with independently published steamy romance novels and a more recent independently published author, Richard Blomberg, the various levels of success they’ve achieved, and the ways in which any independent author can find success with indie publishing. Read more.
Self-publishing a book is one of the most practical and best ways to promote your business. It provides the opportunity to share what you know, build credibility, and promote your business. Read more.

Four Great Strategies for Independently Publishing Your Book

IndependentPublishingSo, you’re thinking about independently publishing a book. Creative control, shorter time-to-market, and greater royalty per copy are just a few of the benefits of independently publishing a book. A recent article in Writer’s Digest provides some strategies that you can use if you’re still deciding whether or not self-publishing is the route for you. Below, we’ll highlight some of the tips in the article that might be helpful as you decide if you should independently publish your book.

(If you’re thinking about writing a book, but aren’t sure where to start, check out our post, “I Want to Write a Book. Where Do I Start?”)

Strategy #1: Evaluate the latest options to find the best approach for your individual needs.

What are the goals for your book? Who is the audience you are trying to reach? Are you trying to promote your business or write a memoir for your family? Do you want to publish an e-book, a print book, or both? Identifying why you want to publish your book is important. Once you determine your end goals, you can set your course.

It also can be helpful to ask yourself these questions:

1. Who is your ideal reader?

2. What kind of books does he/she buy?

3. Where are most of those types of books sold?

Strategy #2: Put together a publishing team.

After you’ve set your goals, one of the next steps is to find help to make them a reality. Publishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road. It’s a good idea to pull together a team who can help you manage all of the moving pieces that publishing a book entails. A few key members of your team could include:

  • A developmental editor – Someone to help you shape the book – to organize your thoughts, create a theme that will attract your target reader, eliminate redundancies, and ensure the content is clear and concise.
  • A copy editor(s) – Someone to correct the final manuscript – to perform line-by-line editing, and ensure good grammar and readability for your target reader. The copy editor will catch the things the developmental editor might otherwise miss.
  • A designer(s) – Someone to help with the layout of the book – creates a professional interior design and eye-catching cover design.
  • Proofchecker – Someone to double check the design and content, ensuring all content is there, no conversion issues, and the design is consistent throughout the book.
  • A proofreader(s) – Someone to give a full proofread of the text after the layout is complete.

Remember! Not all developmental editors are good copy editors! Not all good proofreaders are good copy editors! These are three very distinct editorial roles. We highly recommend at least two separate editors. Several pairs of professional eyes will ensure a perfect manuscript. Also, consider having a third-party professional proofreader to give your book that final read through before publishing.

It’s also probable that you will need some assistance with figuring out the best way for you to produce and market your book once it is completed.

Strategy #3: Seek support & knowledge from the self-publishing community.

As we mentioned, independently publishing a book can be a long, lonely road. Finding like-minded people to discuss the triumphs and challenges along the way can be immensely helpful.

The article raises a great point: “All of these questions have been faced by many authors before you — which makes forums and community discussion areas great places to start asking questions. You’ll find lots of people who are ahead of you in the process, and whose experiences are fresh and up to date.”

Strategy #4: Be your own best marketer.

As we’ve discussed in past articles, marketing your independently published book is crucial. Whether your book is published by a traditional publisher or you decide to go the independent route, this is true. You’re going to be responsible for the majority of your own marketing and promotion. Some great ways to get started include:

  • Register your title to the trade (online and printed databases around the world)
  • Create a website with a blog, and blog regularly
  • Create an author Facebook page
  • Set up local readings and events
  • Publish online press releases
  • Pitch to book clubs
  • Pitch to reviewers
  • Set up a Goodreads profile

Check out: “’Warpath’ by Richard Blomberg – A Case Study on Successfully Marketing Your Independently Published Book” If you have questions about any of these strategies or how to determine if independent publishing is for you, please feel free to contact SDP Publishing Solutions.

SDP Publishing Solutions (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and self-publishing and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for our authors. Our services include developmental editing and copyediting, book marketing developing pitch proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development, and providing overall book exposure.