Needle in the Hay Writing Comps

6 November 2012

Needle In The Hay is a creative writing competition that runs weekly and monthly awards for participants in a variety of genres and categories.

The aim of the site is to encourage writers to participate by offering more frequent incentives then the traditional annual writing award. The funds for the awards come from my own pocket and the kind donations of others.

Entrance to all awards is free, however some awards may have eligibility criteria. Check the Awards and Guidelines  pages for more details.


On December 1, 1955, aboard a bus in Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

Conducted before a handful of people in an age without internet,

this refusal of authority sparked a civil rights movement that steered the course of American history.

The ROSA is the inaugural award for Needle In The Hay.

In honour of Parks, you are encouraged to write a story of no more than 1000 words

dealing the theme “Non compliance in the 21st century.”

Entry is open to everyone.

While there are no genre requirements,  

consider the theme carefully before making your decision.

ROSA  Award

Announced: Nov 6th 2012

Submission Deadline: Dec 1st 2012

Short List: Dec 3-8 2012

Winner Announced: Dec 9th 2012

Word Count: 1000

Prizes: $300 (Winner)

Eligibility: Open to everyone


To submit to an award send an email to with the following:

Name of the Award in the subject line.

Your piece as an rtf or doc attachment, or a link to a shared document on google drive etc.

A cover image that includes the title and the author’s name. Think of it as a book cover. You won’t be judged on it’s quality. It can be as basic as the title and byline on a blank background.

The awards page as more details on upcoming awards and their selection criteria.

General Rules

All pieces must be originals written to the criteria of the award.

Authors retain copyright of their pieces.

The Selection Process

From the pool of submissions a short list is selected and made available on the site. Readers are encouraged to comment on their preferred submissions in order to sway the vote.

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on quality of work and commentary of the readership.

Reading and Commenting

Needle In The Hay relies on an active readership to select winners for each award.  As a reader, you can contribute by viewing the submissions in the current short list, then commenting and sharing in favour of the ones you like.

Constructive criticism is also encouraged, provided the criticism is sandwiched between two positive comments. The Ed abides by this rule and so should you.


Judges are generally selected on an invitational basis. If, however, you feel you would make a good judge for an upcoming award send a brief email outlining why. You don’t have to be working in literature,  just an interesting \ relevant person with something to give to the community.


%d bloggers like this: