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                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 14:23          13,000 subscribers          December 4, 2014
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THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Moira Allen
     The Writer's Gift
     Calling All Authors: 
     The Key to Successful Social Media Promotion
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack     
     Why Don't You Reach the End?
Who Stumbled on the Secret of Making 6-Figures from Home as a
Writer! Click Here for Free Video
* FEEDBACK. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* CONTESTS. Over 50 contests are always open and free to enter.
* FUN! Get feedback, enter writing contests, and learn.
A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers! Plan your schedule, track billable hours, organize
tasks, and track your progress and achievements.  Each week brings
you an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E!
Download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or access the print
edition: http://www.writing-world.com/store/year/index.shtml
EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  "The Writer's Guide to Holidays, 
Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 events worldwide --
Instant inspiration for those days when you can't think of anything
to write about!  Holiday topics are a favorite of editors, so fuel
your inspiration and jumpstart your articles today!  Available in 
print and Kindle editions; for more information visit


The Writer's Gift
This is the season when we begin to think about gifts, giving, and
the spirit of giving-ness. It's not the spirit embodied in Black
Friday frenzies (which appear to be primarily about getting,
especially on the part of the stores). It's what we like to call
either the "Christmas Spirit" (to be precise) or the "holiday
spirit" (to be politically correct). It's a time when we think
about what we have to give.

As writers, the answer is often "a great deal." Writers have so
much to give, so many writers enter into writing with an amazingly
giving spirit. Perhaps that is partly because we are aware of how
much other writers have given US. I don't know about you, but when
I was a kid, nothing under the tree was as important as the books I
knew would be there. I didn't know what they'd be, but I couldn't
wait to find out. Once the debris of Christmas morning had been
cleared away, I'd dive in, and for the rest of the day I'd be found
with my nose in a book.

So, I wondered... what would our writing be like if we thought of
EVERY piece we put out into the world as a "gift"? Please
understand, I'm not talking about giving your writing away, or
writing for free. Gifts can be costly, and worth the price; I'm a
firm believer in writers getting PAID for their work. But what we
get for our work, and what we put into it, are not necessarily the
same thing.

While most definitions of "gift" include the "free/without payment"
aspect, one online dictionary also defines a gift as being given
"as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a
gesture of assistance..." Wikipedia adds, "By extension the term
GIFT can refer to anything that makes the other happier or less
sad, especially as a favour, including forgiveness and kindness."

For many, writing is all about making life better for others.
Often, it's about making people happier. Often, it's about helping
people, providing assistance in various types of life situations.
Whether an article is designed to help someone save money or cope
with a lost loved one, that article is a "gift," aimed at making
someone's world a better place.

If we think of writing as a gift, that leads us to take the natural
next step, and consider the recipient. Who will receive this gift
of writing? What will be the effect of our gift upon the recipient?
What will it mean to that person? How will he or she benefit from
the gift?

Now, at this point, if you know my editorials, you're probably
expecting me to go on in this vein for another page -- and I was
expecting to do the same myself. I was going to talk about the
importance of identifying and understanding the recipients of our
gifts (i.e., understanding our audience). Then I was going to move
into yet another reason for thinking about writing as a gift, which
is the fact that we are living in an era of fashionable snarkiness.
Snide comments on (and in) blogs, tweets, and any other place that
a person can write a comment is all the rage today. Snarkiness is
perhaps the antithesis of "a gift" -- it's a socially acceptable
way of saying I don't care about you, I think you're stupid, and I
want to prove how much smarter and cleverer I am. Snarkiness
flourishes wherever people can express themselves anonymously, so
in a way it's also the antithesis of "real writing," i.e., writing
over which we're proud to display our bylines. Snarkiness is free
-- it doesn't cost anything to snark or to read snarky comments,
but that doesn't make it a gift (and there's a reason why there are
few paying markets for snark).

But that wasn't what really derailed the course of your regularly
scheduled editorial. What really derailed it was coming across the
New York Times "year's notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction,
selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review." That's
100 books selected as most significant, meaningful, worth reading,
and presumably representative of our times. Cool news item, I
thought, so I broke off to scan through the list.

Let me share a few phrases from this list of "notable" books -- the
things that make the folks at the New York Times feel that a book
is, apparently, praiseworthy and representative of our times:

Tortured embezzler ... Blighted career ... Cautionary tale ...
"calamity is always close at hand" ... Guiltridden ... Traumatic
... Shadowy passages ... Hard times ... Lost and tormented ...
Shattered by tragedy ... Nihilistic ... Angry and bizarre ...
Ferocity ...

That's just the fiction section. I skimmed over the nonfiction, but
how can one pass up "a ... curiosity about the glittering
byproducts of personal pain"? (Glittering byproducts?  Seriously?)

This list puts me in mind of nothing so much as the fictional promo
in the movie "Scrooged"*:

"Acid rain. Drug addiction. International terrorism. Freeway
killers. Now, more than ever. .. we must remember the true meaning
of Christmas. Don't miss Charles Dickens' immortal classic,
'Scrooge.' Your life might just depend on it." 

OK, maybe it's me. Clearly there are lots of folks out there who
can't wait to get their next dose of calamity, nihilism,
tortured/tormented protagonists, and glittering personal pain. But
I have to ask: Is this a gift? Is there a benefit here, somewhere,
for the recipient? Is it making the world a better place? I'm sure
that some will answer "yes" and point out that we must face
darkness before we can dispel it.

But a key word there is "dispel." Dispel, not revel in. Dispel, not
exploit. There is indeed a great deal of darkness in the world; we
don't need more of it. Perhaps, now more than ever... we really DO
need to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Which is to light a candle. To give a gift. To make life better for
someone, anyone. To do something, however small, to make the world
a slightly better place than it was before. As writers, we have so
many opportunities to bring light into darkness. As writers, we
HAVE a special gift -- the gift of words, a gift that can change
hearts, minds, and lives.

So here's my holiday wish for all my readers: May 2015 be the year
that your gift make a place for you -- and makes the world a better
place because of you! Write -- and light that candle!

-- Moira Allen, Editor

*My second favorite Christmas movie of all time, my favorite being
"The Bishop's Wife."

This is our last issue of the year, so we wish you all a wonderful
holiday season!  See you in January!

This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained. (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 

Link to this article here:

Do you love Christmas?  Chances are, the traditions you love best
have their roots in the Victorian era.  From the tree to Ebenezer
Scrooge, the Victorians helped define "Christmas as we know it."

Now you can travel back in time (sort of) to experience an 
authentic Victorian Christmas!  The December issue of Victorian
Times is packed with Victorian holiday delights: Recipes, gifts,
decorations, folklore, history, fiction and poetry.  Download it
free at http://www.mostly-victorian.com/VT/issues/VT-1412.shtml

But there's more! Through December 15, save more than 40% on our
new "Victorian Christmas Treasury" -- over 250 pages of Victorian
Christmas!  These articles, from dozens of British and American
Victorian periodicals, offer a rare (and never-before-collected)
glimpse of Christmas in the Victorian home.  You'll find hundreds
of recipes, beautiful decorating ideas, plus glimpses of how
Christmas was celebrated elsewhere in the Victorian world. If you
love Christmas, you'll treasure this volume for years to come!

readers) on your gift list?  Then check out the new line of "mugs 
for writers and readers" designed by Writing-World.com editor 
Moira Allen! Our gorgeous mugs (the kind you drink from, we mean) 
are designed especially for folks who love books -- who can't get 
enough books -- who can't stop writing books -- you know.  
Folks like you!  See our growing lineup at 


Calling All Authors: The Key to Successful Social Media Promotion 


No matter whether you are traditionally, indie or self published,
all authors need to promote their books.  In the current publishing
market, authors are taking the reins in social media marketing and
I, for one, am proof that any author can be successful.  Promoting
your book can be overwhelming at first, but if you follow my lead,
you will draw more readers and sell more books.

I started writing "Princess of the Light" back in 2012.  Being a
social media novice at the time, I started tweeting about my
writing.  I think I had only 500 followers at the time, but the
more I talked about my writing, the more followers I gained.  Here
are some examples I used:

-Hey everyone, I am off to work on my book.  The characters are
really developing and calling my name.

-Hey Twitterworld, it has been fun but alas I must get some work
done. Off I go to my #writing corner.

-I get so excited for this time of day because it is officially
#writingtime. Have a great afternoon.

Suddenly, people started to reply.  They wanted to know what I was
writing and how it was going.  People are genuinely curious about
things, especially books and writers.  They want to get an inside
glimpse into what it takes to write a book.  Through Twitter, I
gained many followers and the buzz started to happen for "Princess
of the Light."  I would interact with people on Twitter and they
soon wanted to know when it would be published.
I also started writing a blog.  I was nervous at first because,
hey, it's a lot more than 140 characters.  What was I going to
write about?  Would anyone care?  I knew I wanted to start out
somehow and connect it with my book.  Since my book was inspiring,
I started writing an Inspirational Thought of the Day.  I also
started crafting blog posts about my writing experiences and
writing tips.

It was slow at first, but once I connected my blog posts to
Twitter, I started to gain followers to my blog.  I interacted with
my followers and was myself.  I have found that if you are
yourself, people will flock to you.
After the blog hit 500 followers, I started spreading my wings to
other social media outlets.  The more I interacted with people, the
more they seemed to be interested in buying my book.  Sure, it was
time-consuming, but in my opinion, it was time well spent.

The key for me in promoting my book on any social media outlet is
building connections.  There are a zillion books out there and in
order for mine to stand out, I needed to be authentic and
approachable.  I am not out there to give a hard sell of my book. 

Sure, I tell people where they can buy my book along with the link.
 But I am also on Twitter and Facebook talking about writing,
feeding the homeless, reading great books, inspiring people to be
the best they can be, inspiring kindness and of course, spreading
the Light.  People connect with me on a human level and people will
remember me for being kind.  They will remember my book the next
time they have $10 to spend at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

So here are my top eight quick tips for successful social media

* If you are on Twitter (and I highly recommend it for every
writer/author), be creative in your tweets.  You are trying to
attract readers, so have fun with words. Sure, you have a limited
number of characters, but you are a writer and you can be creative.
 Think about the tweets that pique your interest.  What would make
you click on a link about a book?

* Sign up for Hootsuite.  I can't stress this enough! Your time is
precious and Hootsuite is a fabulous author helper.  It helps you
schedule tweets, posts, etc. while giving you analytics at the same
time.  This is invaluable because Hootsuite can tell you what tweet
got the most response.  It's a huge help and it's free! 

* Post short sweet posts on Facebook and try to post a picture too.
I take graphics from Google with a quote related to either writing,
reading or my book.  I usually either ask a question or make a
statement.  People don't have much time and I have found on
Facebook, the shorter the better.

* When signing off on a blog post, always ask for comments and
shares.  It seems like a no-brainer, but it reminds people to
interact and spread the word.  People love to share good articles
with their friends and followers.

* Don't forget to use Google+ on all your blog posts.  Not only
will this increase your circle of influence, it will get you into
Google search faster.  Google search is key in attracting new
readers and new followers.  After I publish each blog post, I post
it to Google+.  It takes a second and it really works.  Make sure
you have the settings set to share your post to Your Circles and
Public. "Public" are those people who don't know you yet but Google
can show them your post.

* Goodreads is an absolute must for all authors.  I follow several
of their groups and make sure to interact on the message boards.
It's a great way to find new readers and connect with other
authors.  It's also a free advertising avenue.

* Retweet other authors and others related to your book's interest
on Twitter. This is a common courtesy and it really creates
goodwill amongst readers.  Authors and writers are readers too. 
When you show kindness to others, it will come back to you tenfold.

* On all social media outlets, talk about more than your book. You
have other interests, don't you? I talk about everything under the
sun including baking, cooking, the weather, sports, news, music,
television and many more topics. It will show you are real and well

You know more about your book than anyone else.  You should be the
one to promote your books to readers.  You are the #1 expert and it
will come across in your promotion on social media.  I hope these
tips help you in your promotion of your book.  Soon, it will come
naturally to you and you will have more followers/readers than you
know what to do with. 


N. N. Light was born in Minnesota and lived in Southern California
only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband
Mr. N. She is the author of "Princess of the Light," an inspiring
speculative fiction novel.  Her expertise while working for a large
bookstore has helped her tremendously in how to write, edit, market
and promote books in today's publishing market.  She is a graduate
of a small college located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and
loves helping writers achieve their dream of being published. She
is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music,
movies, art, sports and baking. Most of the time you can find her
on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on
Pinterest.  Visit her website at http://www.princessofthelight.com/


Copyright 2014 - N.N. Light

This article may not be reprinted without the author's written

Link to this article here:


30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or a short story, 5 pages 
maximum, on any theme, for a chance to win cash prizes totaling 
$1275. Writing Prizes: 1st $500, 2nd $250, 3rd $100. Poetry Prizes: 
1st $250, 2nd $100, 3rd $50. Postmark deadline: December 31, 2014. 
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details on how to enter!



A Gender Divide in Reading?
A recent survey from Goodreads suggests that readers are more
likely to read authors of their own gender.  Based on figures for
the books read by 20,000 women and 20,000 men in 2014, women were
more likely to read books written by women, and men were more
likely to read books written by men.  Women also were more likely
to read newly published books -- even though both sexes read the
same NUMBER of books, women read twice as many books published in
2014 as did men.  Men were more likely to write LONG books (over
500 pages).  What the survey didn't appear to address was the type
of book preferred by each gender.  I.e., do women read books by
women simply because the author is female -- or do writers of each
gender tend to write "toward" the interests of that gender?  For
more on this story, visit http://tinyurl.com/ot96m66

Bezos Says Books Are Too Expensive
At a Business Insider Conference on December 2, Amazon CEO Jeff
Bezos stated that he considers books to be too expensive, and that
this is a threat to reading.  $30 for a book, he says, is too much,
because books aren't just competing with other books, but also with
other forms of media and games.  "If you narrow your field of view
and only think about books competing against books, you make really
bad decisions... If we want to have a healthy culture for long-form
reading, you've got to make books more accessible – and part of
that is making them less expensive."  According to Bezos, lower
prices benefit authors by encouraging more sales.  (They probably
don't hurt Amazon either.)  For more on this story, visit 

St. Francis Comes to Brooklyn
Nineteen manuscripts and artifacts from the Sacred Convent of St.
Francis in Assisi -- the most ancient documents associated with the
life and tradition of St. Francis -- will be exhibited in Brooklyn
Borough Hall until mid-January.  The exhibition, "Friar Francis:
Traces, Words and Images" mark the first time these objects have
left Italy in 700 years.  Many of the manuscripts have been
painstakingly restored before the exhibition.  No actual physical
writings of St. Francis exist, and it is assumed that he probably
dictated his writings; these 19 artifacts "are the most ancient
documents of St. Francis' life and theological tradition."  For
more details, and to see slides of some of the artifacts, visit


WritingCareer.com is a free online resource to find paying markets
for your poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Updated daily, we report
on current needs of editors and publishers who are open for
submissions, pay competitive rates, and do not charge reading fees.


Why Don't You Reach The End?


In one of my on-line classes, a student mentioned that he had
trouble finishing his writing projects and he wanted to know why. 
As I know that other people have this problem -- and as I've
certainly experienced it myself -- I decided to devote a column to
the subject.  This article is written as a series of questions to
ask yourself, with suggestions with what to do depending on your

Do You Finish Other Projects? 
If not, perhaps the problem is not you and writing, but YOU.  You
need to review your general behavior and the projects that you do
finish versus those you do not. 

Maybe you only finish projects when you have deadlines.  If this is
the case, perhaps you can arrange to be in a writing situation in
which you have deadlines.  For example, you may take a class in
which you have to turn in a short story, or join a writer's group
where it will be your turn to present a chapter or a scene.

If you have trouble finishing everything, then perhaps you need
medication or counseling.  My suggestion is that you tackle this,
for once you do, it will make everything, and not just your
writing, much better. 

Do You Want to Write? 

I know this is a heretical suggestion, but there are plenty of
people out there who want to be authors -- that is, to see their
names on the cover of a book with the great sense of accomplishment
and all the expected fame and money (which often, alas, does not
arrive).  There are others who are moved greatly by the stories of
their imaginations and who want to have these transformed into

Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that they want to actually do the
real writing part, with all the time devoted to typing, thinking,
deleting, editing, and concentrating on a single story for as much
as two years or even more.  If you don't enjoy these activities,
well, then, perhaps you should not do them. 

Do You Actually Have Time to Write? 
If you're a mom with three kids under the age of five, a job
outside the home, and you haven't had a full night of sleep since,
oh, gosh, you don't remember, well, then, maybe you're too busy
just now.  You may think it's your right to have it all, but I
believe that it's simply too exhausting to have it all at the same

If you're in this position, but you know that writing is a dream
that has been with you forever, and will be with you later, keep
yourself in training.  Read -- read what you love; read critically
and keep expanding your mind.  Read, too, ABOUT writing. 

Write, too -- but perhaps this isn't the time of your life to start
work on a 1,500-page trilogy.  Write letters, e-mails, scenes,
blogs, short stories and essays.  Write SHORT items, when and if
you have the time.  Work on your vocabulary and on your skills. 

I am not saying that you can't start work on your dream project. 
Just don't beat yourself up if you don't get very far very fast. 
And, if writing is important to you, you will have to eventually
find a way to make it a priority.  This may mean sacrifices,
certainly of time, possibly of money and even of relationships. 

Do You Have the Training to Write a Book? 
If you had never jogged around the block before, would you sign up
for a marathon and drive to the starting point?  If you had never
run before, would you seriously expect to finish said marathon? 
And, even if you did finish -- instead of having a sprained ankle
or even a heart attack -- would you actually expect your time in
the race to be good? 

The same is true for writing.  You need to develop stamina for
concentrating on a story, for putting words down on paper.  Yet
there are many who think that they can just sit down and the words
will flow from their fingers onto the screen.  This happens
occasionally (I adore it when my muse is generous) but it doesn't
happen consistently. There are too many people who assume that,
just because they know how to read - and they may even be well read
-- that they're ready to write. 

More unfathomable are the people who DON'T read but assume,
nevertheless, that they can write.  Yet I have encountered a number
of these people too.  Often they don't have much respect for
fiction.  As you are reading this column, which is one way of
honing your craft, you're probably not in this group.
Of course, you have to start somewhere.  My suggestion, again, is
to begin with smaller items, such as short stories.  If no short
stories come to mind -- and short stories are an art form that is
very different from the novel -- try writing up a few events from
your life, or the lives of others.  Get in some practice, some
calisthenics; increase your stamina before buying your ticket to
climb Mount Everest.  Learn how to write a word, a phrase, a
sentence and a paragraph and especially a scene before tackling the
1,500-page trilogy. 

Is the Project Itself the Problem? 
If you have successfully reached the end of other projects and you
generally know how to write, but you are still having problems with
a particular project, perhaps this writing project itself has
problems.  Perhaps there's something wrong with the storyline.  Or
perhaps it is good so far but you don't know what happens next. 

If the story is truly flawed, there is always the possibility that
you may have to throw it away or edit severely.  I have many flawed
stories in my files.  Some I have rescued through serious cutting;
others don't deserve it. 

If you are stuck, then you need to think things through.  I hope to
cover this issue in more depth in other columns, but for now let me
suggest that you ask yourself questions about WHY you are stuck in
your story.  You can ask general questions such as "What is wrong
with me?" but you will probably be better served by more specific
questions such as "What is wrong with this scene?"  Do your best to
articulate the issues, for when you know exactly what the problem
is, you are far more likely to find an answer that really works.

The End...
Perhaps you work through these problems, personal and
project-related, and finally make it to the end. Let me be the
first to wish you the most sincere Congratulations!  You have
written a book.  Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. 

However, here's the next question -- is it a GOOD book?  Is it as
good as it can be?  It's time to look at your story critically, to
edit and to re-write.  These subjects, however, will be saved for
future columns. 


Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
such publications as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
She is the author of Crafting Fabulous Fiction, a step-by-step
guide to developing and polishing novels and short stories that
includes many of her beloved columns. With Alice Underwood, she
co-authors the Tapestry of Bronze series (including Jocasta,
Mother-Wife of Oedipus; The Children of Tantalus; and Antigone &
Creon), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze Age. Her
independent novels include The Highbury Murders, in which she does
her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie, and Academic Assassination (A Zofia Martin
Mystery). Victoria is married with kids, and (though American)
spends much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies include gardening,
hiking, bird-watching and tutoring mathematics. Visit her website
at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact her at tapestry (at)
tapestryofbronze (dot) com. 


Copyright 2014 Victoria Grossack

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here: 

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Get one-on-one
guidance with Victoria Grossack's personal writing class; visit


A publishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.


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find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!


READERS: This is YOUR section! Let me know about your favorite
sites or blogs for writers (including your own).  Please send
suggestions to editors@writing-world.com with "Write Sites" in the
subject line.

Romance University
This site has a lot to offer not just romance writers but every
writer.  Each week, three "courses" are offered: "Crafting Your
Career" on Mondays, "Anatomy of the Mind" on Wednesdays and "Chaos
Theory of Writing" on Fridays.  These "seminars" are absolutely
free and well worth "attending."

The Creative Penn, by Joanna Penn
There are a lot of excellent posts on this blog - they're just hard
to find in the midst of all the advertising!  Your best bet is to
click on one of the four tabs at the top of the page (Writing,
Self-Publishing, Marketing, Entrepreneur) and exploring the topics
in each section.

This site does indeed offer a brief tip each day, but the real meat
lies in the categories listed on the right.  Click one to be taken
to a wealth of information on your chosen topic!


CONTESTS, from Writing-World.com!  "Writing to Win" brings you 
more than 1600 contest listings from around the world.  You won't 
find a more comprehensive guide to writing contests anywhere.  
Available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon!

This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. 

DEADLINE: January 1, 2015 (given in odd-numbered years)
PRIZES: $1,500, $1,000
DETAILS: Recognizes the best literary depiction of an individual or
small group whose efforts resulted in a significant improvement of
their local community. Although the work of community improvement
must be significant, the basis of the prize will be the skill and
power of the literary or film depiction. Eligible media include
books, magazine articles, series of newspaper articles, or films,
published or released within the past two years of a prize cycle.
Materials should be submitted at the end of the year of
publication, even though the prize is biannual. 
CONTACT: The Langum Charitable Trust, P.O. Box 12643, Birmingham,
AL 35202, langumtrust@gmail.com
WEB: http://www.langumtrust.org/molott_prize.html

DEADLINE: January 1
PRIZES: $500, 4x $100, including high school category
DETAILS:  Submit 3 - 5 poems, maximum of 50 lines. The poems must
be within the four themes used by the Society; one poem must be on
the Falun Dafa theme. Metered and rhymed poetry is preferred but
not required. (We usually do not publish love poems, free verse, or
overly dark poems that don't teach a positive lesson.)  This site
also lists a prize for essay, although essays are not described in
the guidelines.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, to submissions@classicalpoets.org
WEB: http://classicalpoets.org/2012-poetry-competition/

DEADLINE: January 5
PRIZES: $10,000; $1000; 5x $500
OPEN TO:  US high school students in grades 9-12, including
students under age 20 enrolled in correspondence/GED programs, and
US students attending schools overseas. 
DETAILS: A "Profile in Courage" essay is a carefully researched
recounting of a story of how an elected official risked his or her
career to take a stand based on the dictates of the public good,
rather than the dictates of polls, interest groups or even
constituents. 700-1000 words.
CONTACT: Students must complete an online registration form; essays
may be mailed.

DEADLINE: January 9
PRIZES: Over $20,000 in prizes for various categories
DETAILS: Open to writers born or residing in Texas, or to works
whose subject matter substantially concerns Texas. Categories
include fiction and nonfiction books, scholarly book, poetry book,
book translation, children's book, young adult book, trade book
design, "funniest Texas book," newspaper and magazine journalism
and short stories.
Contact: Texas Institute of Letters, Southern Methodist University,
9021 Gunnison Drive, Dallas, TX 75231 (see guidelines for
submission addresses)
WEB: http://www.texasinstituteofletters.org/default.htm

DEADLINE: January 14
PRIZES: $5,000 and meetings with editors, agents, etc.
DETAILS: Created to recognize a rising new talent in the literary
world who has successfully published a first novel, nominations are
solicited from MFA programs nationwide as well as from publishers,
editors, agents, and writers.
CONTACT: VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, Department of English,
900 Park Avenue, Hibbs Hall, Room 306, P.O. Box 842005, Richmond,
VA 23284-2005, firstnovelist@gmail.com
WEB: http://firstnovelist.vcu.edu/submit/

DEADLINE: January 15 
PRIZES: $10,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000, $2,000, 10x $1,000
DETAILS: Designed to recognize creative, skillful writing that
presents in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner the biblical
position on issues affecting the world today. Articles must have
been published in the previous 12 months in a non-religious
publication and must be reinforced with at least one passage of
scripture. Examples of issues for consideration, but not limited to
these, are family life, divorce, value trends, media and
entertainment character, pornography, political morality, U.S.
National interests, abortion, religion and addiction to drugs and
alcohol. The biblical impact on individual character and outlook
are also appropriate issues.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, required, to amyawards@wng.org
WEB: http://www.worldmag.com/amyawards/

DEADLINE: January 15 
PRIZES: $1,000 and publication
DETAILS: For a first book of poetry by a Latino/a author. US
citizens and permanent residents only. Minimum 50 pages; maximum
100 pages. (The site says to consult the menu on the left for more
information, but no links for this competition are provided.)
CONTACT: Francisco Aragón, Coordinator, Andrés Montoya Poetry
Prize, Institute for Latino Studies, 230 McKenna Hall, University
of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

DEADLINE: January 15 
PRIZES: $2,500 
DETAILS: To encourage literary effort and research about historical
events and personalities during the days of the Republic of Texas,
1836-1846. The judges determine which entry best portrays the
spirit, character, strength, and deeds of those who lived in the
Republic of Texas. Manuscripts must be written or published during
the calendar year for which the award is given. No word limit. Open
to fiction, nonfiction, poems, essays, plays, short stories,
novels, or biographies. 
CONTACT: SRT Headquarters, 1717 8th St., Bay City, TX 77414 
WEB: http://www.srttexas.org/#!sgr/c1hl2

DEADLINE: January 15
PRIZES: $500, $150, $100, $50
DETAILS: Professionals, freelancers, and aspiring travel writers
are invited to write an article which describes how traveling in a
slower manner and attempting to adapt to the space and time of
locals, their culture, and their land has deepened your experience
of both the people and the destination. One of the results of a
slower form of immersion travel is the experience of epiphanies
that change one's perceptions of the world, of others, and of
oneself. We urge you to translate one or more of those moments into
a narrative which will convey this view to many who still tend to
see travel as a way to "do" as many countries, cities, and
continents in the world as possible—as if travel was some form of
competition or consumption 1000-5000 words.
CONTACT: Transitions Abroad, 18 Hulst Road, Amherst, MA 01002,

DEADLINE: January 18
PRIZES: £3,000 in each category
DETAILS: The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for
political writing. Every year, we award prizes for the work – the
book, the journalism and  the blog - which comes closest to George
Orwell's ambition 'to make political writing into an art'. The
Orwell Prize aims to encourage good writing and thinking about
politics. They should be of equal excellence in style and content –
the writing must be both political and artful. Entries must have a
clear relationship with the UK or Ireland, which could include
residence, citizenship, foreign correspondence with a UK or Irish
publication, foreign citizens residing in the UK or Ireland, or
publication in the UK/Ireland. Journalism submissions should
include 4-6 items. Radio/television broadcasts are accepted and
should be accompanied by script or transcript. Blog entries should
consist of 10 posts or microblogs. Accepts fiction and nonfiction.
CONTACT: The Orwell Prize, King’s College London, Virginia Woolf
Building, 22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NR, UK,
WEB: http://www.theorwellprize.co.uk/home.aspx

DEADLINE: January 31
DETAILS: Established by the Short Mystery Fiction Society to honor
excellence in short mystery fiction. Awards given for Best Flash
Story (to 1,000 Words), Best Short Story (1,001 to 4,000 Words),
Best Long Story (4,001 to 8,000 Words), Best Novelette (8,001 to
17,500 Words). For published stories only. Author need not be a
member, but only society members can nominate stories.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, to tony.rudzki@gmail.com

DEADLINE: January 31 
PRIZES: $2,000 and certificate
DETAILS: Awarded annually for the best nonfiction book on an
American theme published the previous year. The book, including
biography, can be on any aspect of the history of what is now the
US. Open to writers worldwide; book need not be published in US.
Copyright must be in the previous year.
CONTACT: amhistsociety@columbia.edu
WEB: http://sah.columbia.edu/content/information

DEADLINE: January 31
PRIZES: $700 and publication
DETAILS: 12,000 words max. No minimum word count, but prefer pieces
over 500 words. Maximum three stories per author per month.
CONTACT: Glimmer Train Press, 4763 SW Maplewood, P.O. Box 80430,
Portland, OR 97280-1430  
WEB: http://www.glimmertrain.com/standard.html

DEADLINE: January 31
PRIZES: £200 and publication
DETAILS: A competition for original short stories of not more than
6,000 words by non-professional writers. Science fiction. We will
define science fiction broadly and stories with fantasy and/or
horror elements will be considered. Stories that lack the element
of the extraordinary are unlikely to win.  Stories must be
strong—experimental fiction is fine but this is a short story
competition, so work with a strong plot, a beginning, middle and
end, is likely to be favoured.
CONTACT: The James White Award, 48 Spooners Drive, Park Street, St
Albans, AL2 2HL, UK
WEB: http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/rules

DEADLINE: January 31, 2015 (given in odd-numbered years)
PRIZES: $2,500 
DETAILS: Awarded for a book of historical fiction on an American
subject that makes a significant contribution to historical
understanding, portrays authentically the people and events of the
historical past, and displays skills in narrative construction and
prose style. Must be submitted by publisher.
CONTACT: amhistsociety@columbia.edu
WEB: http://sah.columbia.edu/content/information-1

DEADLINE: January 31 
PRIZES: $100
DETAILS: 1000 - 5000 words to appeal to Jerry Jazz reader.
CONTACT: jm@jerryjazz.com 

DEADLINE: January 31
PRIZES: £250 awarded to your church
DETAILS: Submit up to three poems on title theme, max. 25 lines/160
words per poem. UK residents only.
CONTACT: United Press, Admail 3735, London, EC1B 1JB, UK,
WEB: http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/competitions/

DEADLINE:  January 31
PRIZES: $200, $150, $100
DETAILS: Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but
must have a theme of Meditation, Mindfulness, Silence, Stillness,
or Solitude (we are referring to peaceful solitude - not
loneliness). Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none.
Poems must be previously unpublished.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Preferred, to Meditate@SpiritFirst.org
CONTACT: Spirit First Poetry Contest, PO Box 8076, Langley Park, MD
WEB:  http://www.spiritfirst.org/poetry_contest2015entry.html

The competitions below are offered monthly unless otherwise noted;
all require electronic submissions.

PRIZES: $100 and other prizes
DETAILS: Various monthly fiction, nonfiction and poetry contests;
for some, you must become a member of the site.
WEBSITE: http://www.fanstory.com/contests.jsp

PRIZES: $100, $50, $25, plus review and membership
DETAILS: Must be a member. Competitions throughout the year,
including novels and flash fiction. 
WEBSITE: http://www.thenextbigwriter.com/competition/index.html

DETAILS: Submit fiction, creative nonfiction, prose poetry, and
writing for children/young adults to 1,000 words. The first story
that "knocks the judges' socks off" each month is declared the
winner. Use the link below to access the submission page - that
page has links to the guidelines for submissions.
WEBSITE: http://whidbeystudents.com/student-choice-contest/

PRIZES: $50 to $100 Amazon gift certificates
DETAILS: Short stories, flash fiction, poetry, on themes posted on
WEBSITE: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/ 

PRIZES: $100 in WD books
DETAILS: We'll provide a short, open-ended prompt. In turn, you'll
submit a short story of 750 words or fewer based on that prompt.
You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your
WEBSITE: http://www.writersdigest.com/your-story-competition


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