Archive for July, 2016

Become an Authorpreneur with this free 7-Step Guide‏

26 July 2016

Ok, just what is authorpreneurship?

Award-winning author Rochelle Carter defines it as, “Coming up with an idea centered on book publishing and turning it into a profitable business.” It’s a process any author selling their book can benefit from?and now you can get this eBook that has helped countless authors become authorpreneurs for free (a $9.99 value!).

The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship explains how to

  • Write and polish your manuscript
  • Create your business plan
  • Create your author platform
  • Engage your audience
  • Prepare for your book launch
  • Maintain your momentum
  • Sharing the value of your success

Get your free copy of Rochelle’s enlightening eBook now.

Download at:



26 July 2016

This year’s competition is for poetry on any subject or theme. There are no style or length restrictions but it should be stressed that a short poem is just as likely to be selected as a longer one.

1st prize is £100.

The top ten poems will be published in a special edition of CITN


Entry is by email to after an appropriate fee is paid by Pay Pal to the account of

all entries must be received before midnight 10th October 2016

Entries received after this time will be discarded. All entries are judged anonymously so please do not put any identifying features on the poems.

Entry fees are as follows;

1 poem £3.50

3 Poems £8.00

5 poems £10

Competition Judge; TBA

Competition Rules

Poems, which must be in English, can be on any subject and presented in any form or style .

There are no restrictions on content. Though if there is any doubt the poet might be asked to justify how their poem

engages the theme.

All poem must be the unpublished work of the person entering them into the competition.

The actual given name of the entrant must be given, even if the poem is to be published under a pen name.

Poems should not have any indication within them to allow for the identification of the poet.

There is no length or content restrictions and a short poem is just as likely to win as a longer one.

Poems must be entered by email to the appropriate fee is paid through PAY PAL in Pound

Sterling (GB Pounds).

Please attach all entered poems in one attachment using a standard Word file

Poems will not be accepted by post.

We cannot accept alterations to the poem once it has been submitted.

Poems cannot be withdrawn from the judging process once they have been entered.

Although copyright will remain with the poet, we reserve the right to publish any shortlisted poem on our website.

The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.



Free Guide – How to Find a Literary Agent

26 July 2016

You’ve polished your drafts and completed your manuscript. The next step? Finding a literary agent to represent your hard work in the industry.

But seeking out the best literary agents in the biz can seem like searching for a tiny needle in a giant Google haystack. That’s why we’ve collected the submission details and contact information for 88 agencies looking for queries.

We’ve also rounded up what genres and subjects each agency is looking for as well as tips from published authors on finding the right literary agent for you.

So go ahead, scribes: Start your querying journey today.

Download our free literary agent guide now.

Free Download – Guide to Finding an Agent


Last call! New Millennium Writings Literary Awards

22 July 2016

New Millennium Writings’ 42nd Literary Competition



Flash Fiction


~$4,000 in Awards~

Award Winner in each category receives $1,000 plus publication.

Every submitter receives a free copy of the anthology.

$20 per submission

July 31, 2016 deadline

Visit the website for details:

Contact: Alexis Williams Carr, Editor,

Creative Writing Institute Short Story Contest

22 July 2016

First, second and third place winners and seven additional Judge’s Choice stories will receive publication in our fourth annual anthology. In addition, we are giving cash prizes and professionally designed eMedals to post on your site.

First place: Professionally designed Gold eMedal and $100, plus publication

Second place: Striking Silver eMedal and $50, plus publication

Third place: Brilliant Bronze eMedal and $25, plus publication

Fourth and Fifth place: Finalist eMedal and publication

This is a themed contest and this exact sentence must appear in the story:

“Explain how that happened.”

  • Open genre.
  • Your story must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
  • No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, etc.
  • Your story must not have been published before. Winners grant minor editing rights for publication; Creative Writing Institute has first, non-exclusive, electronic rights to publish the winners and Judge’s Pick stories in our anthology. All Rights return to the author upon publication.
  • ONE submission per person, please.
  • Accepting submissions from July 15, 2016 until September 15, 2016, midnight, USA Eastern Standard Time.
  • Entries will only be accepted through the form at
  • As you go through the submission process, there will be a space for you to copy and paste your document. Do NOT email attachments as these will not be accepted.
  • Entry fee $5.

Visit the website:

Please direct questions to Ms. Jo Popek, head judge, at Our special thanks to all judges and award winning Competition Co-coordinator, Jianna Higgins.

*Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest 2016*

19 July 2016

*Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest 2016*

Entries are now being accepted for the Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot
Contest. Humorous essays and cartoons about writing/publishing.

Prize: £150 to the winning entry, via PayPal & publication in the Verbolatry newsletter
Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18, except contest judges and family
Topic: Writing/publishing
Language: English
Genres: Humorous fiction, humorous nonfiction
Types: Cartoon, Essay
Cartoon – JPG, PNG or GIF file, resolution 75dpi min., dimensions 900x1400px max., as attachment
Essay – 100 words min., 500 words max., in message body
Original, previously unpublished work only
One entry per author, regardless of type
Mention the category and title of your entry in the subject line
Include an accurate word count
Tell us where you heard about this contest (Our charismatic promoters)
Send entry to: v3rbolatry(at)gmail(dot)com
“Early Bird” submission period*: 1 April 2016 to 31 July 2016
Last date: 31 August 2016
Results announced: October 2016 newsletters
Send us your funnies about writing, and win £150!

Deadline 31 August 2016.

Two categories, free and paid,

Entry fee:  £5 per entry via PayPal , with cash
prizes and publication.

Results announced October 2016. Sponsored by
Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat.

Details at:

TWITTER: @v3rbolatry
#Verbolatry #LaughContest

Last call for entries! Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest – Summer 2016

19 July 2016

Attention: The contest deadline has been extended! All entries must be submitted via postal mail or electronically by August 18, 2016 – 11:59PM – Central Standard Time (CST).

The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves expressing innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful literary art of poetry and/or writing a story that’s worth telling everyone! And welcome to all, having the ability to dream… Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $1275.00. All works must be original.


Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.

And/or write a short story, 5 pages maximum length, on any subject or theme; fiction, nonfiction or creative nonfiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, all entries must be either typed or neatly hand printed.

Multiple and simultaneous poetry and short story entries are accepted.

Extended deadline: August 18, 2016, 11:59PM, CST.

All contest winners will be announced on October 9, 2016


Writing First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100.

Poetry First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125. Third Prize: $50.

Entry fees:

$10 per story, $5 per poem.

To send entries: Include title(s) with your story (ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation. Fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM”

Mail to:

Dream Quest One

Poetry & Writing Contest

P.O. Box 3141

Chicago, IL 60654


Visit for details on how to enter!


No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. “And remember, in whatever you do, it’s okay to dream, for dreams do come true.” –Dream Quest One

Submit Work to Teen Ink & Get Published!

13 July 2016

Submit Work to Teen Ink & Get Published!

  • All submissions of writing and artwork will be considered for publication in our monthly print magazine and on, and are also automatically entered into any relevant contests.
  • Teen Ink has no deadlines. We accept submissions year round. If, however, you are sending work that is holiday-specific, please submit it at least two months ahead.
  • You must be 13 to 19 years old to be a user, post your work online, and/or be published in Teen Ink magazine.
  • Requesting anonymity. If, due to the personal nature of a piece, you don’t want your name published, please check the anonymous box when submitting your work. We will respect your request and not publish your name in print or online, but we must still have accurate name and address information for every user.
  • All materials submitted become the property of Teen Ink. By submitting your work to us, you are giving Teen Ink and its partners, affiliates, and licensees the non-exclusive right to publish your work in any format, including print, electronic, and online media. However, all individual contributors to Teen Ink retain the right to submit their work for non-exclusive publication elsewhere, and you have our permission to do so. Teen Ink is copyrighted by the Young Authors Foundation, Inc.
  • Plagiarism. Teen Ink has a no-tolerance policy for plagiarism. We check the originality of all published work through WriteCheck.
  • Do not include last names, names of schools and names of cities/towns in your submission.

How to submit, visit:

Attention: Have something to say about the upcoming Presidential election? We want to hear it! Send us your election articles now for a chance to be published in an upcoming issue of Teen Ink:

2016 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest

13 July 2016

Announcing the 2016 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest

s p o n s o r e d   b y

Amy Carpenter-Leugs • Anonymous • Bryan Damien Nichols • Cafe Poets • Carol Dorf and Terri Saul • Clint Hirschfeld • Corey Mesler • Cross-Cultural Communications • D.L. Lang • David Flynn • Douglas Richardson • Dreams & Nightmares Magazine • E. Amato • Ed Werstein • Ellaraine Lockie • Frank Mundo • Hanoch Guy-Kaner • Helen Townsend • Ink Publications • Isobel Cunningham • Joy Wilson Parrish • Judith R. Robinson • Kaye Voigt Abikhaled • L.B. Sedlacek • Larry Bubar • Leilani Squire • LONE STARS Poetry Magazine • Los Angeles Poet Society • Magdalena Ball • Marianne Szlyk • Marie C Lecrivain • Marsha C. Markman • Martina R. Gallegos • Mary Langer Thompson • Michael Paul Hogan • Muddy River Poetry Review & Muddy River Books • Nancy Shiffrin • Neil Leadbetter • Pedestrian Press • Rattle • RD Armstrong • Recursive Multimedia • Richard Rensberry • Rick Lupert • Rolland Vasin • Ron Kolm • Sandra Soli, poet/editor • Science Fiction Poetry Association • Spectrum Publishing • StephenMeadArt • Steve Braff • The New Short Fiction Series • The Ontario Poetry Society • The Sacred Beverage Press • Thee Instagon Foundation Sticker Club • Theresa Stuart-One Unique Woman’s Words • Trish Lindsey Jaggers • • Unlikely Books • Vincent O’Connor • Voices Israel • Winning WritersIt’s our nineteenth annual Poetry Contest featuring cash prizes and62 sponsors who’ve donated 124 additional prizes.  Last year we were able to send every contest entrant a prize for participating and we’re hoping to do the same this year. (Click here for information on sponsoring this year’s contest.)

Read below for all the Entry Guidelines, The Complete Prize List, The Judges, and the 2016 Contest Calendar.

Entry Guidelines | Prizes | Meet Your Judges | Contest Calendar

Entry Guidelines

  • The Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest Is open to all human beings on planet Earth. (except for the three judges)
  • Enter as many poems as you like.
  • Previously published poems are eligible.
  • Poems may be of any style, length, or subject matter.
  • This contest is separate from weekly Poet of the Week consideration though submissions for Poet of the week consideration must be separate from Contest Submissions and the same poems may not be submitted for both.
  • There is a One Dollar Per Poem (US Funds Only) entry fee.
  • Poems are sent to the three contest judges with your name removed. The judges score each poem from 0-5 using quarter point intervals. (0, .25, .5, .75, 1, 1.25, 1.5, etc…)
  • Poems are sent to judges only after you fill out the Contest Entry Form and we have received your payment.

There are three easy steps to entering the contest:

Guidelines on how and where to email poems will be
displayed once you submit the contest entry form.
Guidelines on how and where to submit your $1 per poem entry
fee will be displayed once you submit the contest entry form.

Click here to go to the entry form.

Deadlines Etcetera

  • Deadline for postmarking entry fees (or paying them via PayPal or Venmo) isSaturday, October 1, 2016.
  • Regardless of when you postmark, your entry fees must be received by Wednesday, October 5, so if you’re mailing your entry fee, please account for the amount of time it will take for your it to travel between your home and Los Angeles.
  • This is a not for profit contest. All of the collected entry fees will be divided between the top three scoring poems (minus postage for mailing out additional prizes. See Prize List below)
  • Once your entry fee is received, your poems will be sent with your name removed to the three judges who will score them 0 – 5 (5 being best).
  • Your poems will not be forwarded to the judges until your entry fee is received.
  • If you have any questions or need any of the contest details clarified, please e-mail


First Prize: 50% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH

Second Prize: 30% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH.

Third Prize: 20% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH.

In addition, thanks to sponsor Rolland Vasin, an additional $250 will be added to the entry fees collected and divided with the above percentages among the top three scoring poets.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to supplement the cash prizes with an impressive array of prizes which would be of interest to poets and writers.

The following prizes will be used to bolster first through third prize as well as distributed to other contest entrants.

Our goal is to be able to send every single person who enters the contest something.

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor to this years contest in exchange for promotional consideration, please click HERE for the details.

Additional Prizes:

Amy Carpenter-Leugs
3 copies of Voices 2016, an annual journal featuring the poems of the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition hosted in West Michigan.Anonymous
$20 added to the cash prize shared by the winning poetsBryan Damien Nichols
2 copies of the book “Whispers From Within” by Kjell Nykvist and Alexander Shacklebury (heteronyms of Bryan Damien Nichols)Cafe Poets
2 copies of the book “Singing Our Song” by four poets

Carol Dorf and Terri Saul
2 copies of the book “Every Evening Deserves a Title” by Carol Dorf and Terri Saul

Clint Hirschfield
1 copy of the 2015 Pendle War Poetry Competition Anthology

Corey Mesler
1 signed copy of the book “Opaque Melodies that Would bug Most People” by Corey Mesler

Cross-Cultural Communications
2 copies of the book “ABC Bestiary” with art by Alfred Van Loen and poetry edited by Stanley H. Barkan

D.L. Lang
1 copy of the book “Poet Loiterer” by D.L. Lang
1 download card of the e-book “Happy Accidents” by D.L. Lang

David Flynn
2 copies of the book “Selected Poems” by David Flynn

Douglas Richardson
1 copy of the book “American Strays” by Douglas Richardson
1 copy of the book “The Book of Good Dreams” by Douglas Richardson

Dreams & Nightmares Magazine
1 set of of five different issues of the speculative poetry magazine Dreams & Nightmares

E. Amato
2 one-hour sessions of Writing/Editorial/Consulting Services

Ed Werstein
1 copy of the chapbook “Who Are We Then?” by Ed Werstein
1 copy of the Wisconsin Poets 2017 Calendar by Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

Ellaraine Lockie
1 copy of the chapbook “Where the Meadowlark Sings” by Ellaraine Lockie

Frank Mundo
1 copy of the book “The Brubury Tales (Illustrated Edition)” by Frank Mundo
1 copy of the book “Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories” by Frank Mundo
1 copy of the book “Different” by Frank Mundo

Hanoch Guy-Kaner
1 copy of the book “Terra Treblinka-Holocaust poems” by Hanoch Guy

Helen Townsend
1 copy of the book “Samadhipada: Word Yoga” by Helen Townsend

Ink Publications
1 copy of the book “Juggling Fire, Blindfolded” by Eric Evans
1 set of three Ink Publications broadsides (of the publishers’ choosing)

Isobel Cunningham
2 copies of the book “Northern Compass” by Isobel Cunningham

Joy Wilson Parrish
1 copy of the book “Sojourn” by Joy Wilson Parrish

Judith R. Robinson
1 blog post/column at (Good Poems) featuring your poem.

Kaye Voigt Abikhaled
2 copies of the book “Club des Poétes” by Kaye Voigt Abikhaled

L.B. Sedlacek
1 copy of the chapbook “A Breath of Paint” by L.B. Sedlacek

Larry Bubar
1 copy of the book “Breathe vol. 1” by various writers

Leilani Squire
4 40-minute Creativity Coaching sessions

LONE STARS Poetry Magazine
1 copy of LONE STARS Poetry Magazine

Los Angeles Poet Society
1 Set of 5 Poetry Zines From Poet Jessica Wilson’s Special Collection

Magdalena Ball
1 copy of the book “Repulsion Thrust” by Magdalena Ball

Marianne Szlyk
2 copies of the book “I Dream of Empathy” by Marianne Szlyk
3 copies of anthologies by Kind of a Hurricane Press

Marie C Lecrivain
2 copies of the book “The Virtual Tablet of Irma Tre” by Marie C Lecrivain

Marsha C. Markman
4 copies of the book “If We Dance . . . A Collection of Poems” edited by Joan Wines
2 copies of the book “Out of the Shadows” by Piri Piroska Badnar

Martina R. Gallegos
2 copies of the book “Grab the Bull by the Horns” by Martina Robles Gallegos

Mary Langer Thompson
1 copy of the book “Poems in Water” by Mary Langer Thompson

Michael Paul Hogan
1 signed copy of the book “Chinese Bolero” by Michael Paul Hogan, with illustrations by the contemporary Chinese painter Li Bin.

Muddy River Poetry Review & Muddy River Books
1 copy of the book “Fire Tongue” by Zvi A. Sesling

Nancy Shiffrin
1 copy of the book “What She Could Not Name” by Nancy Shiffrin

Neil Leadbeater
2 copies of the book “The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives” by Neil Leadbeater

Pedestrian Press
1 copy of the book “The Water Wars” by Cassandra Dallett

2 one-year (4-issue) subscriptions to Rattle magazine

RD Armstrong
2 copies of Lummox Poetry Anthology #5

Recursive Multimedia
1 12″ X 12″ print from the Crate Label Series by Jim D. Babwe.

Richard Rensberry
1 copy of the book “The Wolf Pack Moon” by Richard Rensberry

Rick Lupert
1 copy of the spoken word CD “Rick Lupert Live and Dead”
1 copy of the book “Romancing the Blarney Stone” by Rick Lupert
1 copy of the book “Professor Clown on Parade” by Rick Lupert

Rolland Vasin
$250 added to the cash prize shared by the winning poets

Ron Kolm
2 copies of the book “Night Shift” by Ron Kolm

Sandra Soli, poet/editor
1 copy of the book “The Magnetic Poetry Anthology” includes portable word pack and poetry game board

Science Fiction Poetry Association
2 one-year subscription to all SFPA publications

Spectrum Publishing
1 copy of the poetry anthology “Spectrum 1: 140 So Cal Poets”
1 copy of the poetry anthology “Spectrum 2: The Gift”
1 copy of the poetry anthology “Spectrum 3: Love Love Love”
1 copy of the poetry anthology “Spectrum 4: 2016’s Top Ten San Gabriel Valley Poets”
1 copy of the poetry anthology “Spectrum 5: Every Poem Is An Idea”

2 Poetry-Art Montage Prints (Broadsides), 8 x 10 inches

Steve Braff
1 autographed copy of the book “A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances” by Richard Jarrette

The New Short Fiction Series
2 tickets to the October 9, 2016 and November 13, 2016 performances of The New Short Fiction Series’ 20th Anniversary season at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. Tickets include parking validation for each performance.

The Ontario Poetry Society
2 copies of the book “Scarlet Thistles, A Canadian Poetry Anthology”

The Sacred Beverage Press
10 copies of the book “Percy, Bob and Assenpoop” by Elliott Baker

Thee Instagon Foundation Sticker Club
1 one year SOLO 2016 subscription to TIF Sticker Club (12 stickers)

Theresa Stuart-One Unique Woman’s Words
5 copies of the book “One Unique Woman’s Words” Release 1

Trish Lindsey Jaggers
1 signed copy of the book “Holonym: a collection of poems” by Trish Lindsey Jaggers
1 copy of the book “Orogeny, Vol. 2” by Rock Canyon Poets

Unlikely Books
2 copies of the book “Ashes and Seeds” by Michelle Greenblatt
2 copies of the book “Anchor What” by Vernon Frazer
2 copies of the book “Definitions of Obscurity” by Vernon Frazer and Michelle Greenblatt

Vincent O’Connor
1 copy of the book “Memories” by Lang Leav

Voices Israel
1 copy of the book “A Second Decade of Poems from Voices Israel”
1 copy of the book “Voices Israel 2015 vol 41” Poetry from Israel and abroad.

Winning Writers
2 copies of the book “Two Natures” by Jendi Reiter


Meet Your Judges

  • Brett Gaffney (Cincinnati, Ohio)
    M. Brett Gaffney, originally from Houston, Texas, holds an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University and edits art and poetry for Gingerbread House. Her poems have appeared in Exit 7, Penduline, Permafrost, Devilfish Review, Still: the Journal, Fruita Pulp, museum of americana, BlazeVOX, andZone 3, among others. Her chapbook, Feeding the Dead, is forthcoming in 2016 from Porkbelly Press. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her partner and their dog, Ava, and works across the river in northern Kentucky as a library associate, promoting poetry whenever she can.
  • Helen Townsend (Indianapolis, Indiana)
    Helen Townsend grew up in Fort Scott, Kansas, has lived in different spots around the world, and now finds herself in Indianapolis. If she were independently wealthy, she would spend her days hopping planes, practicing yoga, writing poetry, going for runs, and saving all the animals in the world. Because she is not independently wealthy, and has a short attention span, Helen has done many things over the years—taught English to speakers of other languages, taught high school English, taught yoga, coordinated the Indiana State Refugee Health Program, to name a few. Currently, she is a TB Nurse Case Manager.
  • Trish Hopkinson (Provo, Utah)
    Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. She has two chapbooks Emissions andPieced Into Treetops and has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Stirring, Chagrin River Review, and The Found Poetry Review. Hopkinson is co-founder of a local poetry group, Rock Canyon Poets. She is a product director by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at

2015 Contest Calendar

  • July 15: Contest begins
  • July 20-26: Judges featured as Poets of the Week
  • July 26, 2:00 pm (pacific): PSH Live Judges Event: Live broadcast where Judges will have the chance to read poems and discuss the contest and you can call in live and ask them questions. Click here for more info.
  • October 3: Final deadline for contest entries. (Entry fees must be received by PayPal or Venmo, or postmarked by October 3 or they’ll be returned.)
  • October 9: Judges deadline for returning scored poems.
  • October 16: Second round scoring deadline (in the event of tied scores.)
  • October 18: 2pm (pacific) PSH Live Event: “Winners Announced” in a special broadcast. Listen to it live and if any of the winners happen to be listening, they’ll be invited to call in and read their winning entries live on the air..
  • October 19-25: Contest Winners featured as Poets of the Week.

Extended deadline: Tethered by Letters’ 2016 Spring Writing Contests

13 July 2016

Extended Deadline: August 1, 2016

Tethered by Letters (TBL), a literary nonprofit and independent publisher. Our tri-annual publication, F(r)iction, is an art and literature imprint that is distributed around the world. It features short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and even a selection of graphic stories. It also showcases amazing artwork.

The deadline for Tethered by Letters’ 2016 Spring Writing Contests is August 1, 2016! This time around, Tethered by Letters is offering $1600 in prizes for our Spring Contest winners.

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, will be judging short story submissions; poet, teacher, and activist Suzi Q. Smith is the poetry judge; and Helen Phillips, author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat, will choose the best flash fiction submissions.

In addition to a weighty cash prize, winners of the Spring Contest will be considered for publication in F(r)iction, our tri-annual journal of fine art and literature.

The deadline (August 1, 2016) is fast approaching! Visit TBL’s website for guidelines and more information.



Visit the website:

Creative Nonfiction Contest

13 July 2016

How We Teach

Deadline: August 29, 2016

We’re currently seeking submissions for our “How We Teach” issue, which will go to print in the spring of 2017. We’re looking for original essays—compelling, true stories rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that give insight into what it means to teach.

For the spring 2017 issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine, we’re looking for original essays about teaching—whether in a traditional classroom or online; in summer camp or college; in preschool or in a prison; in the woods or in a workshop.

We welcome personal stories as well as profiles, and we’re open to a very wide range of experiences and circumstances. Above all, we are looking for narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that give insight into what it means to teach.

Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1,000 for best essay and $500 for runner-up, and all essays submitted will be considered for publication.

Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Everything we publish goes through a rigorous fact-checking process; editors may ask for sources and citations.

There is a $20 reading fee, waived for current Creative Nonfiction subscribers. You can also submit and become a subscriber, extend your subscription, or give a gift subscription by submitting $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction(US addresses only). Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay) as are entries from outside the United States (though due to shipping costs we cannot offer the subscription deal).

You may submit essays online or by regular mail:

By regular mail:
Postmark deadline Monday, August 29, 2016.
Please send manuscript and reading fee, accompanied by cover letter with complete contact information including the title of the essay and word count; and SASE or email for response:

Creative Nonfiction
Attn: How We Teach
5119 Coral Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224


Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm EST August 29, 2016

You can view our call for submissions to the “How We Teach” issue here, and our complete guide to (and list of) submissions here.

Upload submissions here >>

Current Creative Nonfiction subscribers, upload submissions here >>

OR upload and renew your subscription here >>


Visit the website:


10 July 2016

Musicworks’ 2016 Electronic Music Composition and Sonic Geography Writing contests are now open.

Musicworks’ two annual juried contests spotlight new and emerging literary and musical talents, and offer cash prizes and opportunities to be published and heard:

Electronic Music Composition Contest

Musicworks invites participants to compose an experimental piece in any electronic music genre with a maximum length of 10 minutes.

Sonic Geography Writing Contest

Musicworks’ asks prose writers and poets to choose one location and describe in a maximum of 500 words how sound shapes your experience of this place.

Contest entry fee is C$25, and includes a one-year subscription to Musicworks (less than our normal subscription rate!); each additional entry only $5. Contests close August 14, 2016.

2016 Contest prize details, eligibility and assessment criteria, rules and restrictions,

and entry forms can be found at:



Columbian composer and sound artist Juan Camilo Vásquez’s Calíope (canto de las abejas) has won first place in Musicworks’ 2015 Electronic Music Composition competition. “I was conceiving the piece as a sculpture,” Vásquez says about the winning piece, “My interest working in electronic music is about achieving control: how I work with electronics—interface or patches—to control things exactly.” Vásquez is profiled in the Spring 2015 print issue (#124), available now through subscription and on Canadian newsstands. Calíope (canto de las abejas) is included on CD#124.


Imogene Newland’s “Sonic City” won first place in the 2015 Sonic Geography writing contest, and is published in the Spring 2015 issue. Newland is a British multidisciplinary artist specializing in experimental performance and writing.


Musicworks congratulates the 2015 Electronic Music Composition contest winners:

First Prize: Juan Camilo Vásquez for Calíope (canto de las abejas)

Second Prize: Aaron Oppenheim for October 12 2014

Third Prize: Daniel Blinkhorn for frostbyte – wildflower


Musicworks congratulates the 2015 Sonic Geography writing contest winners:

First Prize: Imogene Newland for “Sonic City”

Second Prize: Luke Nickel for “Three Literary Field Recordings”

Third Prize: Darcy Spidle for “Ocean Bug and Bird Songs”

The fifth edition of the annual contest drew an impressive array of entries from Canada and around the globe. Musicworks thanks 2015 jury participants Sarah Davachi, Daniel Glassman, Peter Hatch, and Lee Singer.


Patrick Wakisaka

Visit the website:


2 July 2016


Plays MAY HAVE BEEN developed or produced elsewhere, BUT NEVER PRODUCED in New York City. There is no limit to submissions. Subject matter and character variations are open. There is no submission fee. It usually takes up to six months for us to read and process your script. Plays from overseas and throughout the United States are accepted and considered. BUT special attention will be given to playwrights who live in or near New York. No deadline. Year-round submissions accepted. Our $500 Emerging Playwright Award (coupled with press coverage) is given to playwrights who show excellence and dedication throughout this process – from development to the stage.

Visit the website:


2 July 2016

Hospital Drive, the literature, arts, and humanities magazine of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, is awarding prizes of $500 each in the categories of poetry, prose, and visual art. Submissions should relate in some way to the theme of “Decisions” in the context of healthcare (wellness, illness, caregiving, etc.) We welcome submissions nationwide from the public as well as healthcare professionals and educators. $5 ENTRY FEE. 

Deadline is August 2016.

Winning entries and selected finalists will be published in the Fall online edition of Hospital Drive.

Visit the website:

How to Use Backstory to Keep Readers Reading

1 July 2016

by K.M. Weiland, @KMWeilandV8374c_JaneEyre.indd

Backstory is a weapon. And just like any weapon, it can end up doing more harm than good to those who wield it without proper experience and care. But in the hands of a writer who knows exactly what it’s capable of and how to wield it to advantage, backstory can take even ordinary stories to extraordinary places.

Arguably, the most important function of backstory is its ability to hook readers’ curiosity. Forget explaining the protagonist’s past and what motivates him. Try notexplaining it. When we let readers know there’s somethingdelicious and dark in a character’s past, without telling them what that something is, we’ll hook their curiosity so deeply they’ll keep reading just to solve the mystery.

Charlotte Brontë understood how to wield the weapon of backstory as well any author. In her beloved Gothic romance Jane Eyre (which I analyze in-depth in my book Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic), she creates almost her entire plot out of the tantalizing hunt for the backstory. What can you learn from her and how can you apply it to your own novel? Start by answering the following questions.

What Is Your Backstory?

Before you can use backstory to hook readers, you first have to have a backstory. When creating your characters’ histories, look beyond just the obvious necessities of birthplace and parents. Look for secrets. Look for tragedy and shame. Look for hidden motivations. You don’t want to bore readers with tedious home videos. You want to thrill them with tabloid-worthy escapades.

Protagonist Jane Eyre’s tragic backstory is shared straight-up (for the most part). However, the story is powered by her need to uncover the shocking history of her mysterious employer Mr. Rochester. Something strange and possibly supernatural is afoot in the tower of Mr. Rochester’s Thornfield Hall, and he hints to Jane, again and again, that the mystery is all tied up in the sins of his youth. What better incentive for readers to keep reading?

How Does Your Backstory Power the Plot?

Even relatively mundane backstories can capture readers’ attention, but only if they matter to the story as a whole. An outrageous skeleton in the family closet only becomes interesting if it affects the outcome of the central conflict. Why does the discovery of the backstory matter to the protagonist? How will it help or hinder him in obtaining his main story goal?

Mr. Rochester’s history isn’t important just because Jane happens to be curious about him. As it turns out, its revelation—in one of the most enduringly and delightfully shocking moments in literature—affects Jane’s every hope of happiness and love. Readers are more than just curious about Brontë’s backstory; they care about the backstory because of how sharply it will turn the plot and affect all the characters.

What Is Your Backstory’s Hook?

Once you’ve come up with a great backstory and figured out why it is an integral piece within your main plot, you then have to artfully plant its hook. You must let readers know there is a great backstory without giving too much away. One or two solid details will often be enough to get the ball rolling, especially if you solidify their importance by making some of the characters adamant about hiding the past, just as other characters are adamant about uncovering it.

Brontë builds her hook into the very walls of Thornfield Hall. From the moment Jane arrives in the symbolically dark and dusty manor, readers sense something is afoot. The housekeeper warns Jane to stay away from the tower, Rochester himself speaks of the great mistakes of his youth, and creepy laughter wafts through the halls at night. With minimum effort, Brontë hooks her readers for the long haul.

How Can You Tantalize Readers With Clues?

After that first hook, keep the clues coming. To some extent, you can repeat some of those clues, since all you’re needing to do is keep reminding readers of their curiosity. But eventually, you’re going to have to add new information. The trick, of course, is to provide new clues to whet the readers’ appetite without giving away the whole mystery.

A good rule of thumb on backstory is to avoid sharing information until it becomes vital to the story. Clues need to be more than just breadcrumbs of information; they need to each be catalysts that drive the plot.

Brontë is one of the best at scattering her clues. She deftly adds new information, leading readers right up to the brink of the truth, only to cleverly misdirect them into believing what they think is the truth can’t possibly be right.

Why Will Your Backstory’s Payoff Matter to the Story?

Readers wait throughout your entire story to reach the truth about the backstory. You can’t afford to disappoint them. This is why it’s so important to come up with a humdinger of a backstory in the beginning. If you tantalize readers with promises of shocking discoveries only to back off in the end and say, “Surprise! The butler did it!”—they’ll probably chuck your book across the room.

Brontë perfectly times the revelation of Mr. Rochester’s backstory. The revelation arrives at the crucial Third Plot Point (at the end of the Second Act), which allows it to be the catalyst that powers Jane’s decisions and actions throughout the climactic Third Act. Every bit as important as the timing, Rochester’s backstory is just as powerful and moving as Brontë promised her readers it would be. Anything less, and we would have been disappointed. Instead, we were transported.

Powerful backstory can elevate otherwise commonplace stories to astonishing heights. Without Rochester’s backstory, Jane Eyre is just another nice tale of a poor orphaned governess falling in love with her wealthy employer. With that backstory, it has become a timeless classic that has thrilled and moved centuries’ of readers. With the right backstory, your story could do the same!

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survivesK.M. Weilandprimarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning websiteHelping Writers Become Authors.

Contests – Gotham Writers

1 July 2016
Invent a Word
Deadline: August 15, 2016
“We invite you to invent a word. Not just any word. A word you think will greatly enhance the English language.

Give us your word, a one-sentence definition, and use the word in a sentence.

The winner gets a free Gotham class of his or her choosing.

Submit your entries here:
Deadline: monthly
“Each month we invite you to post a story on Twitter using #storieseverywhere for a chance to win a free class.

Your stories (which can be true or made up) will be inspired by what you see, know, or do, and they should relate in some way to our monthly “themes.” 

Our theme for the month of June: Superhero.”
We’re always hosting contests. Writers can go to “” to check them out.

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2016 – less than one month to go

1 July 2016

Set up in 2009 to support emerging writers in competitive times,

the NWP has been successful in helping to boost the confidence of

creative voices of all ages and from all around the world.

Supported by renowned names in world literature, including Brian

Chikwava, Colin Grant, Maya Jaggi, Jackie Kay, Tabish Khair,

Toby Litt and Blake Morrison, we are delighted to have Diran Adebayo,

Imtiaz Dharker and Vesna Goldsworthy as this year’s judges,

with Wasafiri’s Founding Editor Susheila Nasta.

The prize welcomes submissions in three categories,

Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing,


The competition is open to anyone who has not published a complete book in the category entered. We welcome submissions in one of three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing.

Simply fill in anentry form and send it to us with your entry and fee of UK Sterling £6.00 if entering one category, £10.00 for two and £15.00 for three categories (please see the terms and conditions).

The closing date is 5:00pm GMT, on 15 July 2016. Entrants who are visually impaired or who are prevented from typing through disability can enter their work on audio CD.


£300 will be awarded to the winner of each category and the work will be published in Wasafiri.


Susheila Nasta MBE (Chair) Founding Editor of Wasafiri and Emeritus Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University.

Diran Adebayo Named ‘one of the Best Young Novelists’ in 2002, Adebayo is also a cultural critic, academic and journalist.

Imtiaz Dharker World-renowned prize-winning poet, Dharker also works as an artist and film-maker.

Vesna Goldsworthy Award-winning writer, former BBC World Service journalist and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.

and is open until 5pm GMT on Friday, 15 July 2016.

Further details are at:

Introducing Our Next Short Story Contest!‏ Lesson Learned

1 July 2016

School may be out for the summer, but The Writer is still looking to learn a thing or two. Our latest short story contest is about education in all forms: life lessons, coming-of-age lessons, lessons learned the hard way. Whether your character is steeped in academia or getting educated at the School of Hard Knocks, we want to see them at the brink of change – and about to learn a lesson they’ll never forget.


Deadline: August 31st, 2016

Grand prize: $1,000 and publication in our magazine

Word count: 2,000 words or less

Other prizes: Our second-place winner will receive $500 and publication on our website,; our third-place winner will receive $250 and publication on as well.  

Not the writing contest for you? Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear when we launch a new one. 



• The submission deadline is midnight eastern time on August 31, 2016.

• The entry fee is $25 (including processing fees).

• We encourage you to submit multiple stories – for a discounted entry fee of $15. All entries must be submitted on the same transaction in order to get the discounted rate. The first submission will be $25 and each additional submission (up to 5 per transaction) will be $15.

• You may enter simultaneously submitted work.

• Please remove your name, bio and any contact info from the file that you submit – including title page, header and footer.

• A blind reading of all entries will be conducted by the editorial staff of The Writer.

• $1,000 and publication in the December 2016 issue will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will receive $500 and publication on Third place winner will receive $250 and publication on

• Close friends and colleagues (current & former) of the The Writer staff and Madavor Media are not eligible to compete.

• All submissions must be submitted via our online submission form manager. We will not accept mail or email submissions. 

• All submissions must be previously unpublished.

• Entry fees are non-refundable.

• International (non-US) writers are welcome to submit. 

• Must be 18 years or older to enter.

How to submit, visit:

CLOSING in a Few Hours: $4K Worth of Writing Courses, Books and More‏

1 July 2016

Deadline: July 1, 2016

Full Details Here >>

I know I probably shouldn’t be surprised. After all, who offers more than $4,000 of writing courses, books and software… from 65 of the leading digital experts in the industry… and ALL for only $27 !?

At first, I thought the folks at Blogging Concentrated had LOST THE PLOT. But now, I wish I’d known about it in time to get one of my own products included!

Unfortunately, it’s about to close.

There are a few hours left, and because this has been so popular, I decided to send out one final reminder.

Check Out this SUPER Stack of Writing Courses, Books, Software and More:

Full Details Here >>

In a few hours it will be gone!

That’s it, I’m done. It’s time to get back to writing our newsletter for this coming Wednesday.

Have a good weekend!

Gary McLaren, Editor