Archive for the 'Theme Issues' Category

DENVER IN-PERSON ONE-ON-ONE SCRIPT CONSULTATIONS Full Script Workshop | May 26, 2017 | TBD

5 May 2017

 

Gordy Hoffman, the Sundance award-winning writer/director (LOVE LIZA, A COAT OF SNOW), will be available for one-hour, in-person script consultations in Denver between May 26-27, 2017 (Friday and Saturday).

Gordy will read your script in advance, and then when he’s in Denver, he will meet with you at your convenience to provide notes to you and discuss your script in depth for one hour. He will answer all your questions and give you a clear path forward on rewriting your draft, as well as answer any specific questions you might have about screenwriting and film making. The consultation is designed to support the development of your screenplay and you as a screenwriter overall.

Once you’ve booked the consultation, we will be determine the location and time that’s convenient while Gordy’s in Denver. If you have any questions regarding logistics or scheduling before you register for the consultation, please contact the BlueCat office at info@bluecatscreenplay.com.

Gordy has taught graduate screenwriting courses at USC and UCLA, as well as led workshops all over North America, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and England. He’s presented at numerous writing conferences, including IFP Script to Screen Conference, Lit Week at Lighthouse Workshop, Willamette Writers Conference, Script DC Conference, as well as serving as judge for the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowships in Minnesota. A proud Jayhawk, he sits on the Professional Advisory Board of the Film and Media Studies Department at his alma mater, the University of Kansas.

Gordy’s short film, DOG BOWL, had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Program. He’s currently developing a feature for Abigail Spencer.

Gordy Hoffman founded the BlueCat Screenplay Competition in 1998 and remains its judge.

Note: Screenplays submitted to the workshop are not eligible to be entered into the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

$225 (Full Registration) / N/A (Regular)

Location:
TBD

Read more at: http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/workshops/denver-in-person-one-on-one-script-consultations/#Wmusb8p9w02cTRZI.99

MUSICWORKS 2016 CONTESTS

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:

 https://www.musicworks.ca/contest

MEET OUR 2015 CONTEST WINNERS

 

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.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Patrick Wakisaka

Visit the website:  https://www.musicworks.ca/contest

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
Description: 
“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: https://www.gothamwriters.com/contest/invent-a-word-contest-2016
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#storieseverywhere
Deadline: monthly
Description:
“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.”
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We’re always hosting contests. Writers can go to “https://www.gothamwriters.com/contests” to check them out.

On The Premises Short Story Contest (no fee)

16 June 2016

Deadline: September 2, 2016. The premise of our 28th short story contest is “Darkness”. Write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the concept of “darkness” plays an important role. You may interpret “darkness” any way you want—literally, metaphorically, or any other way. Darkness doesn’t have to have a value judgment attached to it, and it doesn’t have to be symbolic in any way, although it can.

Please remember that we value creativity. A story about “the forces of light” fighting “the forces of darkness” will struggle to rate highly on the creativity meter. Try something else.

Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication. There is no fee to enter our contest.

GENRE NOTE: Any genre except children’s fiction, exploitative sex, or over-the-top gross-out horror is fine. We will also never accept parodies of another author’s specific fictional character(s) or world(s). No exceptions!

Click for details and instructions on submitting your story. To be informed when new contests are launched, subscribe to our free, short, monthly newsletter. On The Premises magazine is recognized in Duotrope, Writer’s Market, Ralan.com, and other short story marketing resources.

Visit the website:  http://onthepremises.com/current-contest/

 

July 2016 Artist of The Month Contest

7 June 2016

Win a featured showcase as TheArtList.com’s
July 2016 Artist of The Month – Call to Artists!

Deadline: June 28, 2016 – Don’t Miss Out!

Sponsored by TheArtList.com and online art supply company Jerry’s Artarama.com. Each month we host a FREE contest. The Artist of The Month Contest is open to *ALL* artists and photographers who have not previously been winners in the Artist of the Month contest.

Grand PrizeWinner selected by TheArtList.com Editors

  • Featured Artist interview page on TheArtList.com website that showcase several pieces of your work.
  • Featured on the homepage of TheArtList.com website for the month of July 2016.
  • Artwork featured on TheArtList.com’s Facebook page cover image during the month of July 2016.
  • $75 Gift Certificate to JerrysArtarama.com
  • NOTE – Grand Prize winner is selected by TheArtList.com Editors, NOT the highest number of votes.

2nd Place – Runner Up Winner selected by TheArtList.com Editors

  • Promoted on TheArtList.com’s Facebook page to thousands of artists and art enthusiasts.
  • $50 Gift Certificate to JerrysArtarama.com
  • NOTE – winner is selected by TheArtList.com Editors, NOT the highest number of votes.

Viewers Choice selected by Facebook users voting. Highest # of Votes Wins!

  • Promoted on TheArtList.com’s Facebook page to thousands of artists and art enthusiasts.
  • $25 Gift Certificate to JerrysArtarama.com

The Deadline to submit is June 28, 2016 and it is FREE to enter.

IMPORTANT: We will be selecting the winners on June 29th. If you are selected as the Grand Prize winner, we will email you an interview survey to be filled out for your July AOM page. This will need to be completed by June 30, 2016.

For an example of an Artist of the Month page go to:
https://www.theartlist.com/aom_06_16.html

=> Go Enter Now!

http://woobox.com/sgz7o3

__________________________________________________________________

About Jerry’s Artarama

JerrysArtarama.com provides more than just incredible discount prices on art supplies. They also provide instructional workshops, new art supply demos and special art related events, encouraging a sense of community for artists across the country.

Shop www.jerrysartarama.com online for discount art supplies and materials from an art supply store offering quality, selection and the lowest prices!

GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS, RESIDENCIES and such…

20 May 2016

BINDERCON SCHOLARSHIPS

Deadline May 31, 2016

The Out of the Binders Scholarship Program is designed to increase diversity by offering free admission to up to 25 promising writers who might not otherwise be able to attend due to financial hardship. Diversity includes but is not limited to: age; racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; sexual orientation; gender identity; marital and parental status; disability. The scholarships include free attendance to all the events on Saturday, October 29, 2016 and Sunday, October 30, 2016 networking opportunities to meet agents and editors, and a ticket to the VIP party, but do not include airfare and/or accommodations, or food. (Some meals may be provided as part of the conference programming.) Additionally, we are thrilled to offer stipends to select applicants: parents who require financial assistance with childcare and out of town attendees in need of travel assistance. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for any of these stipends. .

Visit the website:  http://nyc.bindercon.com/apply-scholarship/

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MEXICO RESIDENCIES
http://azarts.gov/arts-op/self-directed-instructional-artist-writers-residencies-mexico/
http://www.arquetopia.org

Arquetopia is an international award-winning, Mexican official nonprofit foundation run entirely by artists. Has many opportunities for those in the arts, to include writers,

with deadline of May 29, 2016.

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AUSTRALIAN INDIVIDUAL ARTIST GRANTS
http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/new-grants-model/arts-projects-for-individuals-and-groups/

Deadlines June 7 and October 4, 2016.

If you are applying as an individual or group, you must be a practicing artist or arts worker and an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident. Applications for funding to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander panel must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals or groups.

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THE CAMBRIDGE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIPS

Deadline June 10, 2016.

For student writers, diversity fellows, and writers who are parents. Join the CWW 2016 Summer in Barcelona and South of France Writing Retreat (July 18-26, 2016) and Summer in Granada, Spain Writing Retreat (July 28-August 5, 2016). Limited scholarships of $500-$1,500 are available for each program. Scholarships are available for student writers (for undergraduate or graduate students in literary fields), diversity fellows (for writers of color and writers from marginalized communities), and for writers who are parents.

Deadline June 10, 2016.

https://cww.submittable.com/submit/58767

https://cww.submittable.com/submit/52214

I MUST BE OFF CONTEST

20 May 2016

2016 Travel Writing Contest — Submissions are Open!

It’s that time of year again: time to type up those travel articles, travel anecdotes and travel reflections. If it’s about travel, we want to read it. We want to read about that place that changed you.We want to read about the experiences you can’t wait to share with other travelers. Whether your work is humorous, informative, quirky or profound–we want to read it.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Maximum 1200 words
  • Edited to the best of your ability for spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Up to three photos may be submitted with your entry. Photos not necessary to win.
  • Previously unpublished work only! Blog posts are considered published (and I research all finalists).
  • No entry fee. Yes, that’s right. You have nothing to lose.
  • Open to anyone worldwide, but you need (access to) a PayPal account
  • Entries must be in English
  • One entry per person
  • Deadline for submissions: July 31, 2016
  • Send entries with a 50-word third-person bio to christopher@imustbeoff.com with the heading TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST. Entries will be read blind by this year’s judge and travel writer, Paola Fornari. It is not necessary to delete identifying information from your entry. If your name appears anywhere, it will be removed before it’s forwarded to the judge.
  • Word doc, docx and rtf files only. 
  • Finalists announced in August 2016. Winners announced and published in late summer 2016.

The Prizes: 

  • The Top essays will be published at I Must Be Off! (Authors retain copyright.)
  • Second place prize: $50
  • First place prize: $200
  • Readers’ Choice Award ($50) based on unique hits and comments tallied on September 30, 2016.

Good luck and happy writing!

I must be off,
Christopher

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Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O’Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen’s writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Eclectica Magazine’s 20th-Anniversary Best of Speculative anthology, Indiana Review, Night Train, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, [PANK] blog, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Bootsnall Travel, Chicken Soup for the Soul and lots of other good places. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice.

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Previous Winners and Placers:

“A Leaf on the Wind” by Joel Hindson
“Burning My Boots in Cabo Fisterra” by Gabriella Brand
Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam” by Chris Galvin
“Oh, Calcutta” by Paola Fornari
“The Scarlet Mile” by Gillian Brown
“Bodrum, Turkey’s San Tropez” by Jack Scott
“The Children of Chitwan, Nepal” by Hannah Thompson-Yates
“God’s Own Country” by Saahil Acharya

    

      Pictured above: The 2016 Judge — Paola Fornari

Travel writer Paola Fornari was born on Ukerewe Island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. She has lived in a dozen countries over four continents, speaks five and a half languages, dabbles in several others, and describes herself as an expatriate sine patria. In every new posting, her curiosity leads her to explore every corner of her host country, and experience as much ‘real life’ as she can.

Her travel and lifestyle articles have appeared extensively online, and in print magazines as diverse as Cycling World, Practical Fishkeeping The Oldie andThe Buenos Aires Herald.

She has judged several writing competitions, and was co-judge in Expatclic’s prestigious Travel Reflections competition in 2013.

In 2013 she won the Senior Travel Expert travel writing competition, and was third in the Go Walkabout competition.

Her relationship with I Must be Off goes back a long way. Apart from having several interviews published on the site, she was highly commended in the first I Must be Off travel essay contest in 2013, and won in 2014.

She recently moved from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Accra, Ghana.

Visit the website:  http://www.imustbeoff.com/p/blog-page.html

The Biggest Error of a New Writer

20 May 2016

Here lately I’ve received a rash of emails asking me how to become a freelance writer and make money. Well, actually, they ask how they can write and get paid by me, and then they ask me to mentor them so that their writing is good enough.

So, let’s look at this for a moment . . . I’m supposed to take on someone who is not a commercial writer, teach them how to write such that it IS marketable, then pay them $50 for 500 words that fit FundsforWriters.

Some submitters become quite disgruntled when I refuse them. Some pitch me anyway, then when I reject (always with reasons to help them learn), they get angry that I am not giving a new writer a chance by educating them how to write it better.

Note to writers everywhere: It is not an editor’s job to teach you how to write. When you pitch, you are professing to already know the craft. It should be only a matter of the writer’s pitch fitting the need of the publication.

The best ways to learn how to write for a publication:

1) Read all the freelance chapters in a Writers Market.
2) Read enough of the publication you’re pitching to understand their style.
3) Read the guidelines and study the editorial calendar (if available).
4) Ensure your writing is polished enough so that the editor wants to read more.
5) Know the Chicago Manual of Style.

Second note to writers: Editors are not there to edit your work for you. They are there to edit for the publication, to find the best topics for their readers and then edit the stories to fit the space.

Take the time to learn how to write well. Then take the time to learn how to pitch smart. Do not use editors for your trial and error learning process. Find beta readers and critique groups to test drive your work.

You cannot undo a first impression, and yes, many editors remember. An idea that doesn’t quite fit is one thing….not knowing how to write is quite another.

Freelance writing resources for the new freelance writer:

http://www.therenegadewriter.com/
http://www.makealivingwriting.com/
http://www.writersmarket.com/

By C. Hope Clark, award-winning author of the Carolina Slade Mystery Series, creator and editor at http://www.fundsforwriters.com 

10-minute Play Fest 2016

18 May 2016

Scripts are being accepted in two categories: 

Category 1: An LGBT individual’s self-disclosure about their sexual orientation.

Category 2: Any interpretation of “Out of the Closet” literal or figurative. Plays may be comedy or drama. Both individual authors and collaborative teams are eligible.

  • Grand Prize Winner will receive $200.00 cash, a trophy and production of their play.
  • First Prize winner will receive $150 cash and production of their play.
  • An additional 4-6 runner-up scripts will also be produced.

RULES:

  1. Submissions must be original, unproduced plays.
  2. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older.
  3. Running time must be between 5 and 10 minutes.
  4. No monologues, musicals or children’s plays..
  5. Playwrights may submit one play in each category. (2 plays maximum.)
  6. Scripts will not be returned. ETC does not assume any responsibility for the loss or damage of scripts. All reasonable care will be taken.
  7. All entries must be received by June 30th, 2016.
  8. Winners will be announced by July 30th, 2016.
  9.  Plays will be staged in a black box setting (there will be no set beyond a closet door). Please write accordingly.
  10.  Plays must have 2-6 characters.

Winning plays will be staged at Theatreworks September 9 – 11, 2016!

How to enter

  • Submit 2 copies of your 10-minute script.
  • Your name should not appear on your script.
  • Include a cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, email address and the title (s) of your play(s).
  • Enclose a $10.00 entry fee for each play entered.
  • Make checks payable to Emerald Theater Company

MAIL TO:
Caroline at “Out of the Closet”
c/o ETC
P.O. Box 41408
Memphis, TN 38174

Visit the website:  http://www.etcmemphistheater.com/10-minute-play-fest-2016.html

 

We look forward to reading your work!

Write your story, change the world

18 May 2016

New Contest Seeks to Change the Future


Contest Partners with Award-Winning Author to Elevate New Voices

A university-based civic innovation office has launched a new writing competition to create a roadmap for the city of tomorrow. FutureScapes Writing Contest seeks short works of fiction of up to 8,000 words that envision life in future “Cities of Empowerment.”


The contest offers a $2,000 first-place prize, a $1,000 second-place prize, and $500 to each of four additional finalists as well as publication in an anthology that will be distributed to mayors, governors, and members of Congress. There is no entry fee, and winners will be published alongside prominent, established authors of science fiction.


“This contest really takes seriously the notion that ‘life imitates art,’” said Luke Peterson, contest director. “We want to use fiction to give policymakers a vision of what might be.”


Finalists will be judged by Hugo Award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal. This year the theme of the contest is “Cities of Empowerment,” and those interested in entering are encouraged to carefully read the rules and theme for the contest before preparing a contest entry. Deadline: JULY 15, 2016

Visit the website for details on how to enter:  http://futurescapescontest.org/

Sponsored by Utah Valley University

ROLL OF THUNDER PUBLISHING CONTEST

14 May 2016

The Contest is open to people of color (or those who self-identify as other than white) who are residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions, 18 years of age or older at time of entry and who have not had any works of fiction published in any medium prior to entering the Contest.

In 1974, the Council on Interracial Books sponsored a writing contest seeking out diverse voices. Mildred D. Taylor was the winner of the African-American segment for the manuscript that becameSong of the Trees (Dial, 1975), her first book. It introduced the Logan family and was followed byRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1976), which won the Newbery Medal.

Deadline June 21, 2016.

The submission must be in English, between 25,000-75,000 words and must not have been previously published in any medium. The confirmed winner will receive a book publishing contract for the publication of a novel for ages 8-14 by Penguin Random House LLC, with an advance of $35,000, plus royalties.

Visit the website for details:  http://www.rollofthunderbook.com/

A Smarter Way for Independent Authors to Advertise Books

14 May 2016

ADVERTISE SMARTER

By A.R. Wise

Successful independent authors advertise. It’s as simple as that. You can’t publish a book and expect the world to notice. You must get the word out. However, not all types of advertising produce the same results, and it’s easy to waste an awful lot of money without seeing substantial return. Trust me, I’ve wasted plenty, and I want to help you avoid some of the same mistakes.

I only advertise books that are on sale, or free, and I look for sites with a substantial mailing list. I avoid sites that boast huge Twitter followings as their claim to fame, because it’s easy to artificially inflate social media stats. I also avoid doing banner advertisements on sites, because the click-through rate on those are abysmal. To get the most for your money, you must place your book in front of as many eyes as possible, and I haven’t found a better way to do that than working with the following sites.

Bookbub

Let’s address the behemoth first. I haven’t encountered a site that’s more consistently worth the investment than Bookbub. At first glance, it’s expensive, but an ad with them is worth every penny. On average, for a free book in the horror genre, I see around 8,000–20,000 downloads on the day my ad hits, and the effect continues for several days until gradually coming back down to average. Bookbub can be awfully picky about which titles they advertise, which might be discouraging if they decline your novel. Don’t be disheartened. Acquire more reviews on your book (which is part of their selection criteria), and give them another try in a month.

For tips on finding more reviews, see my article in last week’s FundsforWriters newsletter: How to Get Reviews – Without Cheating!

Freebooksy/Bargainbooksy

This is another pricey option that’s had consistent, positive results, although with nowhere near the same success as Bookbub. Their prices run between $40 and $200 depending on the genre of your book, and I usually see an uptick of about 1,000 downloads (for a free horror novel). Advertising with Bargainbooksy is considerably cheaper, but I’ve never seen an impressive result from them. In my opinion, you should only use this site when your book is being offered for free.

Kindle Nation Daily / Bookgorilla

It’s daunting to look at the pricing structure of this site’s advertisement packages. I’ve participated in several different options (including some of the frighteningly expensive ones) and surprisingly discovered that the best one is also the cheapest. If you’re offering a free book, then it’s worth your time to invest in the $29.99 Free Book Highlighter option.

OHFB

Another free book advertising opportunity. This one competes closely with Freebooksy in terms of price and results, although I only utilize it when I’m putting a slew of ads out all at once.

Bookbasset

Here’s one that’s still relatively cheap (get them while you can), but still manages to drum up impressive downloads. One of its options makes you the featured author for the day and can be used to advertise all of your books. This one runs $21.99 and is a good option if you’re hoping to advertise books that aren’t available for free. If you’re marketing a free book, then there’s an option that runs a meager $7.99, but will usually land you a few hundred downloads.

Good luck advertising your book! If you find a different site that’s worth advertising with, please reply with  a comment.

BIO-
A.R. Wise is the author of several horror, mystery, and comedy novels, including314, which has more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon. Several of his books, including 314, are available for free. If you enjoy his work, then do him a favor by writing a review.

www.arwisebooks.com
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The Central Coast Writers Contest

14 May 2016

The Central Coast (CA) Writers Contest call for entries ends July 15, 2016.  Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry and Screenwriting must depict the theme of The Final Word.

Prizes up to $1,000.

Entries will be judged by an array of best-selling and award-winning authors, editors, and publishers.

For further details, submission guidelines, contest rules, judges profiles and to submit your entry electronically please visit: http://www.CCWritersContest.com.

Just Add Words – Video Description Contest

28 April 2016

There is no entry fee and there are cash prizes

($2,000/$1,000/$500) for first, second, and third place. 

This is the third year we have done this contest,

which is called Just Add Words

It is not a traditional writing contest,

as the entries are video description

(also known as audio description)

for a short film we have picked.

The contest runs the entire month of May 2016!

and is open to U.S. residents 18 or older.

Here is the website: http://videodescriptioncontest.com/

 

ROYAL NONESUCH HUMOR WRITING CONTEST

24 April 2016

“Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.” 

                                                                                          — Mark Twain

Welcome to the THIRD annual Mark Twain House & Museum’s “Royal Nonesuch” Humor Writing Contest for writers of all ages from all corners of the globe!

Recognizing that Samuel Clemens (aka: Mark Twain) began writing at an early age and to encourage other young authors, we welcome submissions for two categories:

  • Adult (age 18 and over at time of submission) at $23 per submission, and
  • Young Author (age 17 and under at time of submission) at $13 per submission.
  • Submissions fees go towards the preservation of The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT. This contest is a whole new way for “Twainiacs” to support Mark Twain’s legacy. We thank you sincerely!

Celebrity Judges will be announced soon.

Your deadline is Sunday, July 10, 2016. Word limit is 7,000 words. 

Submit your original humorous essays and stories for a chance at a cash prize, and best of all – bragging rights! Last year’s winners took home $3,500+ in prizes.

“If Mark Twain were alive, he’d be happy about this contest, because he’d win it.” – Andy Borowitz

Entry fee: $23.00 USD, $13.00 USD

Deadline: July 10, 2016

  •  Submit 7,000 words (or fewer) of any original work of humor writing. (Entries longer than 7,000 words will be disqualified.)

•  Previously published work is acceptable; please do not submit work that has won other humor prizes.

•  Submissions must be in English.

•  Submissions are not required to be in the style of Mark Twain or about Mark Twain. We want to hear your voice. And we want you to make us laugh!

•  Submissions will be judged by our Mark Twain House staff and scholars, Trinity College faculty, and celebrity judges (to be announced).

•  Submissions are due by July 10, 2016.

•  Winners may be asked to provide age verification regarding submission category.

•  You may submit more than one entry; a separate fee is required for each entry.

•  Winners will be notified by September 12, 2016.

•  Winners will retain ownership of their work. The Mark Twain House & Museum reserves the right to publish winning pieces in a public forum with credit to the author.

PRIZES (winners in both categories):

•      1st Prize: $1,000 (Adult), $1,000 (Young Author)

•      2nd Prize: $500 (Adult), $500 (Young Author)

•      3rd Prize: $250 (Adult), $250 (Young Author)

•      Three Honorable Mention Prizes: $100 Gift Certificate for the Mark Twain Museum Store (Adult & Young Author).

•  Staff and immediate family members of the Mark Twain House are not eligible.

The mission of The Mark Twain House & Museum is to foster an appreciation of the legacy of Mark Twain as one of our nation’s defining cultural figures, and to demonstrate the continuing relevance of his work, life and times. The Mark Twain House & Museum operates as a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation. Mark Twain built the house in 1874 and lived here with his wife and children until 1891. This is where he wrote such masterpieces as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and is located at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, CT. We appreciate your participation in this inaugural writing contest as it supports our preservation efforts.

Visit the website to enter:  https://twainhouse.submittable.com/submit

I MUST BE OFF! TRAVEL WRITING COMPETITION

13 April 2016

I MUST BE OFF! TRAVEL WRITING COMPETITION

NO ENTRY FEE.
Deadline July 31, 2016. We want to read about the experiences you can’t wait to share with other travelers. This contest is open to anyone worldwide. Top essays will be published. First-place prize $200; second-place prize $50. There is also a readers’ choice award ($50) based on unique hits and comments tallied on September 30, 2016.

Visit the website:  http://www.imustbeoff.com/2016/03/announcing-fourth-annual-i-must-be-off.html

Hard Times Writing Contest

24 March 2016

Hard Times Writing Contest

Deadline: Postmarked by May 30, 2016.

  •  Write about a difficult experience in your life, how you overcame this obstacle, and how you were changed by it. Winning stories will be chosen for originality and creative writing style. Stories should be previously unpublished, and should not exceed 5,000 words (double-spaced, 12 point font).
  • Your name, address, email and title of work should appear on a separate cover sheet. The entry fee per submission is $25 ($20 for Workshop members).
  • Multiple entries are accepted.
  • Enclose legal size self-sealing SASE for critique and list of winners. Do not use Fedex, certified mail, etc.
  • Make check or money order payable to The Writers’ Workshop, and mail to:  Hard Times Contest, 387 Beaucatcher Road, Asheville, NC  28805.
  • Emailed submission may be sent to writersw@gmail.com, with “Hard Times Contest” in the subject. Entry fee is payable online.

Visit the website:  http://www.twwoa.org/

Enter here

WRITERS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND

23 March 2016

WRITERS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND
The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers who, because of advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. However, applicants must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years, which means qualifications generally similar to those of ASJA members. WEAF does not award grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects, nor does it fund works-in-progress of any kind.

Visit the website for complete details:  http://www.asja.org/for-writers/weaf/

CLAYTON MEMORIAL MEDICAL FUND

23 March 2016

CLAYTON MEMORIAL MEDICAL FUND

The fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska deal with the financial burden of medical expenses.

Visit the website for details:  http://www.osfci.org/clayton/index.html

THE THINK-WRITE-PUBLISH SCIENCE & RELIGION PROJECT

23 March 2016

THE THINK-WRITE-PUBLISH SCIENCE & RELIGION PROJECT

We will be awarding twelve $10,000 two-year TWP Science & Religion Fellowships to develop a publishable true story or series of stories. Open to novice and experienced writers, anyone who has a compelling true story or true stories illustrating or exploring harmonies between science and religion is encouraged to apply. Over a two-year period, Fellows will develop, write, and market their creative nonfiction stories. They will be mentored throughout the project by experienced writers, editors and teachers. They and their stories will be featured in a series of regional and national events. As part of the workshop, Fellows will participate in three intensive training workshops.

Deadline May 15, 2016.

TWP Science & Religion is a project of Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology.

Visit the website: https://scienceandreligion.thinkwritepublish.org/

ACADEMY NICHOLL FELLOWSHIPS in SCREENWRITING

23 March 2016

ACADEMY NICHOLL FELLOWSHIPS

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Early Deadline: March 7, 11:59 pm PT ($45 entry fee). Regular Deadline: April 18, 11:59 pm PT ($60 entry fee). Late Deadline: May 2, 11:59 pm PT ($85 entry fee). Each year, the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters. To enter, submit a feature length screenplay and entry fee via the online application. Up to five fellows in the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition will be invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars in November. Fellowship recipients will be expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the fellowship year.

Visit the website for details: http://www.oscars.org/nicholl

ARCH AND BRUCE BROWN FOUNDATION PLAYWRITING COMPETITION

23 March 2016

ARCH AND BRUCE BROWN FOUNDATION PLAYWRITING COMPETITION

NO ENTRY FEE

Deadline May 31, 2016

Only full-length works (dramas, comedies, musicals, screenplays) will be considered. One entry per author, please. Scripts must be original and in English. All must concern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or genderqueer life and be based on or directly inspired by a historical person, culture, work of art, or event.

First Prize, $3,000; Second Prize, $1,500; Honorable Mentions, $500. Prizewinners will be announced before the end of the year.

Visit the website: http://aabbfoundation.org/comp-guidelines

 

The Great Break Short Story Contest

23 March 2016

As you already know, The Writer encourages all of our readers to practice their craft and put their stories in front of the eyes of as many people as possible.

The biggest advice to any writer is to keep writing, and to help you do that, we’ll be hosting writing contests across every genre. From time to time, we’ll team up with our esteemed colleagues in the industry to up the ante (and prizes).

Contests have always been a vital part of the writing world, giving writers the chance to have their work reviewed by editors and possibly published. Literary journals, universities and even The Writer regularly host contests, helping authors gain exposure and hone their craft. And sometimes even win some money.

Choose your inspiration, submit before the deadline and, as always, keep writing.


1603 TW Contest_400x400The Great Break Short Story Contest

Hosted by The Writer magazine

I need a break.

I broke through.

Don’t break my heart. 

Those are the breaks.

Break out! 

It’s time for your Big Break in the short story form. Frame a short story using any nuance, definition or understanding of the word “break.” Write 2,000 words of fiction and submit it to The Writer by April 25, 2016.

Heidi Pitlor, editor of The Best American Short Stories series and author of the novelThe Daylight Marriage, will judge the winning entries.

It’s time you had a break.

Visit the website:  http://www.writermag.com/writing-resources/contests/

Click Here to Enter

Call for poetry submissions: Dine and Rhyme

13 March 2016

CONTRIBUTE

this is to anyone who would like to contribute poetry to dineANDrhyme associated with a restaurant located anywhere in this small world. submissions will require restaurant information, a picture of any meal from selected restaurant, and a poem that highlights the menu, taste of food, information about the restaurant, and/or any relevant information that will show off selected restaurant in a way that dineANDrhyme has always strived to do.

I AM NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS. SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO DINEANDRHYME@GMAIL.COM

again, please include:

  • name and location of restaurant
  • picture of any meal from restaurant
  • poem that shows off selected restaurant in a way dineANDrhyme has always done
  • your name AND e-mail are required. a short bio and including any personal website, social network handle (Twitter, Instagram) are optional but preferred

IF YOUR WORK IS ACCEPTED YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA THE E-MAIL YOU PROVIDED.

Contribute your poetry: http://dineandrhymeblog.com/contribute/

Visit the blog website: http://dineandrhymeblog.com/

ABOUT ME

Donna Chlimon

DONNA CHLIMON

to put it simply,

I created the blog dineANDrhyme to combine the two things in my small world I absolutely love: food and poetry. I was born and raised in Chicago, IL and that is where most of the restaurants I have the pleasure of trying are located. I hope that with my writing you will not only enjoy the poetry but that you will be hungry while reading it.

yours,

Donna Chlimon