Archive for April 9th, 2010

Second Annual “Scare the Dickens Out of Us” Ghost Story Contest

9 April 2010

The second annual “Scare The Dickens Out of Us” ghost story contest offers $1000.00 first place, $500.00 second place and $250.00 third place prize money this year for a new, original unpublished ghost story up to 5000 words. Any genre is welcome.

This literary contest is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, the oldest continuously in use library in Texas. Entry fee is $20.00. The contest is privately funded, all entry fees go to the Friends for library projects.

Full rules are available at Entries will be accepted from July 1 to October 1, 2010.

We are also supporting a “Junior Scare the Dickens Out of Us” ghost story contest with a $250.00 first place prize. This is for ages 12-18 and requires a $5.00 entry fee.
EarthLink Revolves Around You.


Creative Writers’ Circle – Creative Writing Contest

9 April 2010

We always have a contest running! During each contest we provide a prompt (the beginning of a story, a theme, a picture, anything!) and entrants write a short story inspired by it. Entrants e-mail their submissions to us, and our judges select the best. The winner is awarded a cash prize, no strings attached. It’s free, and anyone can enter. So what are you waiting for? We’d love to read your story. Check out our current contest!

Current Contest Prompt:

The city was a distant smudge of light against a dark landscape. Here, away from it all, crickets sang and the breeze rustled the tall grass. Well, they would have, ordinarily, but it was raining. The crickets were silent, and the grass too heavy with water to make a sound. Thomas waited patiently in his old truck with one knee propped against the steering wheel and his small yellow dog curled on the seat beside him. The highway stretched out to his right, to the city in one direction, and into the nothingness of the country in the other. To his left was the edge of a dense forest where poplars and a few scrubby pines competed for sunlight. The dog sat up suddenly, a whine somewhere deep in his throat. Something moved in the corner of Thomas’ eye. Someone stood at the edge of the woods, leaning against a tree. Thomas peered through the blur the rain had created on the truck’s window. The figure stepped out of the woods, moving hurriedly towards Thomas’ truck…

Finish the story! (The above paragraph must be the first paragraph of your story.)

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2010

Word Limit: 3,500

Prize: $50 cash, first place

Winner Announced: June 30, 2010

How to Submit an Entry

How are entries judged?

Visit the Creative Writers’ Circle website for more info:


9 April 2010

Mad Hatters’ Review will consider submissions in FICTION or POETRY commencing on MARCH 1ST, 2010 (12 a.m. USA EST) and ending on June 30th (11:59 p.m.).

First prize winners in both genres will receive $250 (each) plus publication of their entries in Issue 12. The winning works of 5 runners-up in each genre will also be published in Issue 12.

All winning entries will be published in a print anthology called “Knock Our Hats Off: A Little Book of Curious Delights.” Each winner will receive a copy of this deluxe collector’s item.

The terms “fiction” and “poetry” may be interpreted broadly. Take a walk on the wild side through our pages. Take liberties. Governments are taking them away from us, so we’re giving them away free.

Our honorable judges:

Cris Mazza, Fiction

Sheila E. Murphy, Poetry

Our entry fee and modus operandi:
$12 per entry via PayPal to
Poetry: 3 poems max per entry.
Fiction: 3000 words max per entry.
By all means, enter as many times as you wish.

All submissions must be sent to with the following information in the subject line:
Your Name
Genre (Fiction or Poetry)
Title/s of submission
Word Count
Submitted works should be copied and pasted into the exquisite corpus of your email AND attached as an RTF Doc. If you’re submitting visual poetry or visual fiction, attach your entries as jpeg/s or gif/s. If you absolutely MUST, submit these offerings in PDF format.

Pages of texts should be titled, but your name should only appear on the subject line of your email, as submissions will be read blind. We’ll ask for your bio and optional pic if you’re a first place winner or runner-up.

Simultaneous submissions are expected. Just tell us immediately if some other lucky editor has grabbed your gem/s. But please realize that we won’t refund entry fees.

Winning entries will be announced by September 15th. Please address queries to (subject line: QUERY).

For details, visit their website at:

Bards and Sages 7th Annual Charity Speculative Fiction Writing Competition

9 April 2010

Bards and Sages Publishing announces the launch of its 7th annual charity speculative fiction writing competition. Each year, the publisher selects a different charity to support with its efforts. This year’s competition benefits Doctors Without Borders, an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid around the world. The grand prize winner will win an Amazon Kindle ereader.

The competition will accept submissions of original, unpublished horror, fantasy, and science fiction stories of up to 20,000 words beginning April 1, 2010. The deadline for entries is October 31, 2010. The grand-prize winner will receive an Amazon Kindle electronic reading device, pre-loaded with almost $100 worth of speculative fiction offerings from our participating sponsors, and cash prizes will also be awarded. Winning entries will also be published in an upcoming anthology.

This year’s competition has a unique structure. In lieu of reading fees, entrants are asked to make a direct donation to Doctors Without Borders using the special dedicated portal at A single donation of $20 or more allows entrants to enter as many qualified stories as they wish in the competition. Non-entrant donations can also be made through this portal, and if donations exceed $5,000, Bards and Sages Publishing will release the winner’s anthology in ebook format for free download.

Complete details of the competition, include full submission guidelines and a list of sponsors’ books that are included in the grand prize, can be found at It is strongly encouraged that potential entrants read the guidelines completely before submitting a story for the competition. Sponsors for this year’s contest include many popular independent authors, including William Campbell, David Derrico, Kevis Hendrickson, Valerie J. Long, C.S. Marks, Frances Pawley, and David Niall Wilson.

About Doctors Without Borders: Doctors Without Borders Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. A private, nonprofit organization, Doctors Without Borders was founded in 1971 as the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and bear witness publicly to the plight of people it assists. Doctors Without Borders is not a sponsor of this competition. Please direct all inquiries regarding the competition directly to Bards and Sages Publishing.

About Bards and Sages Publishing: Established in 2002, Bards and Sages Publishing publishes speculative fiction and roleplaying games. We are proud of the fact that almost a third of our authors and artists got their first paying publication credit with us. At a time when many speculative publications have stopped paying writers and/or gone strictly online, we have recommitted ourselves to supporting authors with our Bards and Sages Quarterly, a speculative journal sold in both print and electronic format. Now in its second year, the journal features a wide variety of both new and established voices in the speculative field to bring readers an exciting new collection of tales every three months. More information on the company can be found at