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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 15:07             13,376 subscribers          April 2, 2015
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EDITORIAL, by Moira Allen
     To Quit or Not to Quit, Part II: 
     Understanding the Writing Continuum
     To Quit or Not to Quit: Readers Respond
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To Quit or Not to Quit, Part II:
Understanding the Writing Continuum

I'd originally intended to build this editorial from excerpts from
readers' responses to Shiela J's question about "giving up." 
However, when I began compiling those responses into a single
document, I discovered that they came to over 4,000 words -- not
even counting a couple of very lengthy replies!

So I decided to turn them into this issue's feature article

First and foremost, I'd like to use this space to thank everyone
who responded.  Twenty-eight readers spoke out with advice,
encouragement, understanding and support for Shiela's dilemma. 
Many had similar experiences of their own to share.  But throughout
the responses, one theme emerged loud and clear: To these writers,
"quitting" is not an option!

Another factor that struck me from the replies was that, for many
respondents, Shiela already seems extremely successful!  Many
respondents had not yet achieved the degree of publishing success
that Shiela has achieved, and many have not yet been published at
all.  Yet, not one seemed to feel that this represented "failure"
or "futility."  Many felt that publication, though certainly a nice
thing, was not really the ultimate purpose of a writer -- or the
only measure of "success."  Most respondents weren't fretting over
not achieving the "success" of M.E. James -- I suspect many would
have been more than happy to achieve the "success" of Shiela!

And this brings me to a concept that, once I grasped it, made all
the difference in bringing ME peace of mind with respect to my
success in the writing sphere, or lack thereof.  That concept is

A "continuum" is defined as "something that keeps on going,
changing slowly over time."  It can also "describe a range that is
always present."  This particular definition used an example of
high school students - just as students are always graduating from
a school and moving on to other things, new students are always
entering, so there are always roughly the same number of students
in every grade, but individual students move THROUGH those grades.  

Writers exist on a continuum as well.  We begin as beginners.  We
learn the ropes, hone our skills, discover what we are good at,
discover what we have a passion for.  If we are serious about
writing -- and about improving our writing -- we move forward. 
Perhaps we get published; perhaps we don't.  Perhaps we get
published in areas we didn't anticipate when we started.  We
continue to get better.  Some of us move on to increasingly levels
of success.  Some don't.  

But here's the thing... No matter WHERE you are on this continuum,
there will ALWAYS be writers who are, by some definition, "further
along."  No matter how successful you are, there will always be
writers who are more successful.  No matter how much money you
make, someone will always make more.  No matter how many books you
publish, someone will publish more.  (Unless you're James
Patterson, at which point that almost doesn't seem physically
possible...)  No matter how GOOD you are, someone will always be

At the same time, no matter how unsuccessful you are, someone else
will always be doing "worse."  No matter how poor a writer you
might be, you can bet there are many, many writers with far less
skill than you.  No matter how "new" you are, someone is newer.  

You, as a writer, are always moving forward along your personal
continuum - getting better, one hopes, coming closer to your goals,
learning more, gaining more experience, and, perhaps, garnering
increasing success.  If you spend too much time looking at the
writers "ahead" of you, it can be depressing.  "Look where they
are, and I'm not!  Look how far I have to go!"

Instead, look back.  Look at how far you have come.  Realize that
somewhere back there are hundreds of writers starting out at a
point where you once were -- but where you are no longer.  THEY are
looking ahead at YOU, and thinking, "Wow, look where she is, and
I'm not!  Look how far I have to go!"

Now look ahead once more, at that writer who just made the
bestseller list -- whether it's with a title that you think
actually merits such recognition, or one that does not.  They, too,
have traveled this continuum.  At some point in their careers, they
were where you are.  At some point, they were where you WERE.  At
some point, they probably thought they'd never reach the point
where you are today -- and when they did, they probably wondered if
they would ever go any farther.

For  me, recognizing this continuum put my writing life into
perspective.  It enabled me to relax, to stop beating myself up
over not being somewhere I wasn't.  Once I realized that the
continuum never STOPS, no matter how far I travel, I stopped
worrying about precisely where I was and when.  And once I realized
that EVERY writer has journeyed along the same road, I stopped
feeling envious of those who had traveled farther than I had.  With
luck, and perseverance, and skill, I may get there.  Or, I may end
up somewhere completely different, because there are to my mind
more important things in life than hitting the bestseller list
(though it might be nice!).  But I don't have to fuss and fret over
where I am, because where I am is simply WHERE I AM TODAY, not
where I'm going.  

As kids on a long road trip, we would bounce impatiently in the
back seat and ask, "Are we there yet?"  The reason we asked was
because WE were not in control of the journey.  Those who were --
the adults who had the maps and the wheel -- knew how long it would
take to get "there," so they didn't have to keep asking.  In the
journey of writing, WE have the maps and the wheel, but sometimes
we forget that WE are the ones in control.  And sometimes we forget
that, in every journey, we need to stop from time to time and take
a look around at where we are.  Because on a continuum, there is no
"there" -- the journey never actually ends.  If we're not enjoying
the ride -- if we're not able to be happy where we ARE -- chances
are, we won't manage to stay on the road long enough to find out
where it can take us.

Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

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:

THE APRIL ISSUE OF VICTORIAN TIMES will be available on Friday! 
This is our Easter issue, bringing you a peek at "the largest 
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The Associates of the Boston Public Library is currently accepting
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FEATURE ARTICLE: To Quit or Not to Quit: Readers Respond


To Quit or Not to Quit: Readers Respond 

In March, Shiela J. posed the following question to our readers: 

"At what point should an author give up writing? I can hear gasps
and immediate response of 'never,' but let me elaborate a bit.  I
make a living as a professional nonfiction writer.  But what I LOVE
writing is fiction - adult and children's stories, poetry, even a
novel that earned a bit of local media play and good reviews. Yet,
despite a social media presence, website, and word of mouth, it's
almost impossible to reach a wide net of readers (unless your book
happens to be a soft porn phenomenon and gets mainstream media
attention that leads to a movie deal). Yes, authors can keep on
writing because they have a passion for it, but when does it become
an exercise in futility? 

Here's are some excerpts from Writing-World.com's readers had to
say in response (in no particular order): 

It's a Gift, Not a Calling - Marion O.
When I first started writing it was because of the love of it...
the fact that I could craft words and turn it into something magic
with my imagination. I never write because it is a way of earning
money. I think what you have lost sight of is that being a writer
is a gift not a professional calling. So what if you don't succeed
in writing fiction as far as making profit is concerned! You will
have already lost the point of what you are doing if money is all
you want to gain accolades for your talent. You have already lost
the battle and your gift because you don't believe you have any
talent because no one wants to buy your books. I have received
numerous rejections and almost gave up on the whole thing because
... my wallowing in the guilt of [other people's] opinions almost
made me lose sight of why I was doing it in the first place. I
write now for the pleasure of it and because of that my gift has
grown and my pride of self along with it. Get your ego out of the
way and just let it be what you are.  

Sometimes the Fire Burns Out... - Donna M.
I believe that all writers have agonized over this question at some

With every life in an ongoing state of transition, no matter how
much we may love to write, many of us will go through periods when
the writing fire simply burns itself out. But that doesn't mean
that we are no longer writers, or that we will never write again.
There are no rules against taking a break to focus on something
different. As a matter of fact, the very act of immersing yourself
in an entirely different pursuit could be the catalyst that sparks
the match once again. I truly believe that if we're meant to delve
into the writing life again someday, then we will.   

We Can't Help Ourselves - Barb R.
My take on writing is that writers write because they can't help
themselves,  much as a photographer must take one more sunset
picture. We do it because  we love it. However, when trying to make
it into a business becomes a chore  or a source of resentment or
sadness what then? 

Personally I'd just go back to writing for the pure, unadulterated
pleasure,  not for any fame or fortune. I've had a writer's group
for 13 years. I've  seen many facets of writers, some stick with it
and some give up and go onto  other things. Sometimes a new member
will say apologetically, "I'm really  not a writer. I haven't
written a book." Who says writing a book makes you  a writer? I've
read some pretty awful books and would debate if that makes  that
person a writer. 

I don't believe it is about being  published. Write because you
love to write with or without the money. Don't give up on your
writing.  Do what makes your heart sing. 

See Where It Takes You - Derek T.
It's an interesting question that I'm sure many fiction authors ask
themselves from time to time. The first thing I'd do, in Shiela's
situation, is ask myself a few important questions. 1. What does
success mean to me? 2. What aspects of being writer do I actually
control? (The quality of the writing, a good understanding of the
genre and creating a vibrant network are three things to consider.
3. How much time can I commit to marketing? 4. Am I able to invest
in professional marketing services?

One final, heretical thought is that just because you enjoy
something it doesn't mean it will bring you financial rewards, even
if it has merit. Be glad you've found doing something that you love
and see where it takes you!

It Satisfies My Core - Janis H.
I've had three books published by a traditional publisher and have
not become rich by any means. Am I disappointed? Absolutely not. I
actually don't care if I make a lot of money. As the old saying
goes, "when you love writing, you can't not write." 

I eagerly write and finish one book to get it out of my system so I
can move on to my next one. Having it published by a traditional
publisher or via self-publishing gives me a satisfying release. 

I never consider my writing an exercise in futility because writing
is "in me" and it's got to come out. It satisfies some deep core
inside me.  

If one is writing solely for money, there will be inevitable
disappointment. And if money is the objective, perhaps that person
should consider another vocation. 

Follow Your Dreams - Jacqueline S.
Never give up on something you love doing. Of course, most of us
would like to became rich and famous authors, well admired and
respected for our work. That can't always happen. What we can do is
follow our dreams. My advice, be as tenacious as a pit bull. Keep
writing, improving, and sending writing out. And appreciate the
successes you do accomplish. 

Why Are You Writing? - Joy N.
It depends on why you are writing, on why you started writing in
the first place. It is good to earn a living with your writing, but
not all us are that fortunate. There are many reasons why people
write. If your reason is to make money, then you must find that
genre that pulls in a lot of money. 

I started off writing because I love telling stories, and people
who heard my stories were always in awe of how I created my story
web. A friend asked me once how I come up with the ideas I write
about, and that for me made my day, and encouraged me to weave on.
Who knows, one day, someone may discover my stories. I hope it
happens while I am still alive. In the meantime, I continue to
strive to make my stories better. I take courses in writing, I
network, and I read and review a lot. Above all, I enjoy what I do.
Maybe, you should find a job that will support you and your

Pursue What Makes It Fun - Alaina S.
When does it become an exercise in futility?  When it's not fun
anymore. Consider whether what you're doing is making you happy.
You can quit promoting and write only for yourself and for your
loved ones, but it really depends on what gives you joy. Is it
writing itself? Sharing your work with strangers (publication)?
Sharing your work with those you love (no formal publication
necessary)? Ask yourself what makes it fun, and keep pursuing that

Let Go If It's a Chore - Steve S.
If writing becomes stressful, keeping you awake worrying about the
article and starts feeling like a chore or a job than it's time to
let go.

Be Realistic - Martha E.
No one can tell Shiela whether to keep writing fiction or to give
up. However, the problem as I see it is one of attitude. 
Specifically, it's easier to have a negative, defeatist attitude
(ie,: "it has to be soft porn"... not true) than to put forth the
effort required for success or to admit one's work doesn't rise to
the level of a bestseller. First, write down your goal.  What does
success look like to you?  What will it take to get there? Are you
being realistic? If realistic, are you willing to put in the time
and work to reach your goal? If your goal isn't realistic, are you
interested enough in writing to put the work into setting a
realistic goal? It sounds harsh, I suppose, but maybe it will be

Keep on Running! - Ginger H.
The same question arises with runners.  We wonder why we should
keep running.  We never run well enough to receive an award.  We
never run fast enough for a PR (Personal Record).  We become too
old, too fat, too slow. I encourage runners to keep going, never
give up.  If you have that passion and it's fun for you, keep
running.  Otherwise, how will you ever know if you can reach that
PR?  How will you ever know if you can complete a marathon or
ultra, a triathlon or Ironman?  If you give up, how will you ever
know if you will become a better athlete?  Persevere.  Your next
race may be the breakthrough you've been waiting for. 

Writing is no different than running.  We may never write that
great American novel.  We may never write well enough to be
published.  We may never write well enough to be of interest to
readers.  If you have that passion and it's fun for you, keep
writing. If you give up, how will you ever know if you can write
that great American novel?  If you give up, how will you ever know
if you will become a better writer?  Persevere.  Your next
submission may be the breakthrough you've been waiting for. 

It's Like Breathing... - Marilyn M.
Writing is like breathing.  It is something writers do to take us
through the day. If you love to write, write no matter what. 

It Depends... - Debbie F.
My response to Shiela is 'it depends.'  If you truly LOVE writing,
the obvious answer is 'of course you keep writing.'  Using myself
as an example, although I have yet to publish a single work of
fiction, I write nearly every day and can't imagine not writing
creatively – to me, it would be like not eating.  So, even though
I'm not published, I keep writing because I must, regardless of the
salability of the results.  I never think of it as an exercise in
futility. It simply is.  On the reverse, if you have no passion and
are frustrated at a lack of commercial success, then it is probably
time to stop and find something else to do that you can be
passionate about.    

Stop Thinking Short-Term - Barbara T.
Shiela, you're thinking short term. First, the more you write, the
better you become, so it's not an exercise in futility. You never
stop learning and the more you write, the better you become. And
second, think about the long tail instead. With this new world of
publishing maybe your book - as long as it's always available on
all possible platforms and in all possible formats - will be
discovered next year or in ten years. As long as it has a good
cover, good blurb, good proofreading, just watch it grow. And keen
writing because you'll never know which book will take off and
become a bestseller. Writers are the worst judges of their work. Ms
James is not the only exception - Hugh Howey is another and he
doesn't write soft porn. Yes, they are exceptions, not the norm.
But more and more writers can live off their fiction writing - if
they stick to it. 

Writers Write... - Fred W.
Writers write.  You just can't turn off the passion.  I've sold one
novel (due to be published this summer) plus short stories, a
little poetry, and review articles, most to the same on-line
magazine.  I have many more rejections than acceptances.  But I
cannot imagine quitting.  If I never sell another thing, I'll still
be writing until I am mentally and physically unable to do so...
I'll probably croak over shortly after. 

Forge On... - Richard S.
Forge on. As a writer who has published over 2,500 articles and may
be self-publishing my first book of poetry with Amazon, I say forge
on. But then I am a writer who cannot, not write. (Double  negative
 intended.) I was first published as a third grader, got my first 
royalty as a HS senior, won the college prize for fiction, went on
to the Iowa International writers and then got nowhere for the next
ten years. Then I published 100 poems, getting paid for most of
them. Then nothing  for three years, then a 15-year stint as a
journalist, then nothing, then a finalist in theater and movie
scripts. So, just do it. Forge on, Forge On, FORGE ON!!!   

I Write for Me - E.B.
You're housed, fed, and can buy a new pair of shoes so money isn't
the  question. 

You LOVE writing. 

What has me in the gray area is while you're financially stable and
LOVE  writing, why are you concerned with major commercial

If some power said you had to give up all writing, would that be a
gut  wrencher beyond belief? It would for me but then I'm me and
that's peculiar. I write for me because I just gotta, hafta,
without exception, rain, snow, or dark of night put pencil to paper
or  fingers to keyboard. If nobody reads it or it never sees a
publisher, I've had the  pleasure. Then if it sells a trillion
copies and sees not only Hollywood but Broadway, so much nicer but
those are pluses, not the rock core of why I write. 

Quit writing? Horrors! Truly so. It'd be like no fried chicken. 
Unimaginable for it's in my genetic makeup. 

Write with Your Heart - Ishola T.
Hmm, giving up? Heck nope... there is a saying that some have caps
without heads while some have heads without caps. What that means
is that, many want to write but are not courageous enough to and
vice versa. Many wished to write but the waves of life deprived
them of their hands... so you got your hands to type your question,
then keep writing! Even when those hands are nowhere to be found,
write with your heart. I love to write but have never been
published, still not given to surrendering. Keep your ink pouring!
You are almost there! 

Write for Yourself - Anne N.
One good test is to not write for a few weeks. If not writing makes
you depressed, then you should NOT give up writing. You might not
get published, but you can write for yourself. If you have a lot of
stories inside, waiting to get out, then write them down, even if
no one cares. If you have children, you can give them your stories
in the future, or you can give them away to family and friends. I
know it's not the same as being published, but at least people get
to read your stories. 

That's What Writers Do - Linda O.
I knew from the start that most writers are never published. At the
beginning, I wrote because it was fun to play with words, then I
continued because I was in love with it. I keep working to learn
and perfect my craft. If my fiction ever is published (which I
realize will have a better chance if I'm as diligent about
submitting it as I am about writing it), that will be wonderful. If
not, I'll keep writing, because that's what writers (this one,
anyway) do. 

No More Dinosaurs - Jim P.
In this day, our books and stories need not ever disappear. Amazon
or Barnes
and Noble, like diamonds and James Bond, may be forever. And our
works can stay there for a long, perhaps a long, long, time. So
what is the futility continuing to market, even occasionally
throughout the year, your book or short story? None. They can still
sell, even years later. The other day, I bought a book from Amazon
on writing confession stories. The book I bought was written back
in the 1980s. It contained advice that is probably no longer
relevant. But the point is, the author keeps on marketing. Even if
you have to do it in your pajamas and robe, keep on telling the
world about your work. I seriously doubt that such a tale will ever
be futile. The only dinosaurs are the ones they keep digging up.

I Walked Away... Audrey H.
More than a decade ago I actually DID quit writing.  For years. I
only started writing again just a few years ago. I had been writing
since I was 11 years old.  I still have a book of short stories I
wrote when I was 15. It is one of my most treasured possessions. I
studied journalism and sociology in college and worked briefly as a
newspaper reporter in my hometown. 

I enjoyed writing spot news but wanted to write more in depth
features. I didn't have much success pursuing magazine assignments,
however. I eventually suffered a severe case of burnout triggered
exacerbated by life struggles and lack of income. That's when I
walked away from writing to become a pure researcher. 

To cut through what could become a long story I eventually came to
believe that what I need is balance.  I'm still working on the
particulars, but so far I'm enjoying writing for money and
developing my platform.  Finding specialties for my "for money"
writing has helped A LOT.  I earn more money and I draw fulfillment
from my writing that helps me maintain the energy I need for
developing my sustainability-oriented platform. Sheila didn't
mention whether she had specialty subjects but if she doesn't, I
strongly suggest she develop at least one or two. 

It is so easy to become overwhelmed with making a living.  I'm
guilty of that myself.  But I am finding that the only out of that
kind of trap is to get out. In other words, yes, making a living is
essential (duh). But you can't get caught up in the everyday grind
to the exclusion of all else. Finding my way out has involved
finding better paying markets and prioritizing my spending so that
I have more time to develop my platform.  Once she finds something
she LOVES to write it should be easier for her to find time.  

The Bottom Line - Moira A.
Why write?  Only Shiela can answer that question, as each of us
must answer it for ourselves.  One person's goal may not be
another's; one dream may not be sufficient for another.  But here's
a thought to part with: If your dream is causing you pain, it may
be the dream that's the problem, not the writing.  If what you
don't have makes you miserable, find out what you CAN have that
will make you happy -- and go for it.  Whether that means writing,
or digging ditches, find a dream that works instead of working for
a dream that hurts!


If you'd like to respond to Shiela directly, she invites your
comments at info@shielajane.com

Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

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

Link to this article here:

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.


Kindergarten Reading Requirements May Be Harmful
The Alliance for Childhood has released a study indicating that new
Common Core State Standards requirements for teaching reading and
reading comprehension in kindergarten may be doing more harm than
good.  The new emphasis on requiring children to learn to read in
kindergarten (rather than first grade, as was previously
traditional) may damage not only their long-term reading abilities
but a wide range of other social and learning skills.  The new
requirements, the study says, do not take into account the
developmental and learning processes of the age group. The study
states that "Research shows greater gains from play-based programs
than from preschools and kindergartens with a more academic focus"
and that "No research documents long-term gains from learning to
read in kindergarten." At best, the study indicates, children
taught to read in kindergarten show the same (no better) reading
levels than those who are taught to read a year later.  Find out
more at http://deyproject.org/

And If That Wasn't Bad Enough... Reading Has a Gender Gap
Girls are now outperforming boys across the board in academia
throughout the world.  According to an article in "The Economist,"
there has been a major shift in the academic performance of males
and females.  Girls have long been "ahead" of boys in reading, but
this gap is now turning into a gulf equivalent of a full year of
schooling, according to the study.  Meanwhile, in areas where girls
traditionally lagged behind, such as math and science, they are now
not only catching up but leaving the boys behind.  Until the
1960's, boys spent longer in school and were more likely to
graduate from college, but that trend has reversed.  This might be
good news if it were simply a matter of girls having more
confidence and doing better in school, but studies indicate that
boys seem to be "giving up faster."  Boys are reported as "twice as
likely as girls to report that school is a 'waste of time,' and
more often turn up late." Once in college, women are more likely to
graduate and to get better grades.  Read more at 


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

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. 

PRIZES: $150, $100; Sam Ragan Poetry Prize $150
DETAILS: Fiction to 8,000 words. Poetry must be limited to five
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, required, by e-mail
CONTACT: crucible@barton.edu
WEB: http://www.barton.edu/crucible/

PRIZES: $500
DETAILS: Entrants should submit a paper on an issue concerning
women's rights or the status of women in the law. Essays will be
accepted from students enrolled at any law school during the
2014-15 school year.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, required, Professor Jennifer Martin
at jmartin@stu.edu
CONTACT: National Association of Women Lawyers, American Bar Center
MS 19.1, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 
WEB: http://www.nawl.org/p/bl/et/blogid=10&blogaid=180

PRIZES: £150, £25, and additional prizes
DETAILS: Clearly evoke the time and place your historical piece is
set within no more than 1,000 words. That means we don't just want
a title of "Hastings: 1066." We want to get a sense of the world
your protagonist is walking through. What's happening? How are
people dressed? What are they eating? How do they talk?  The
winning entry will have succeeded in completely immersing us in
their chosen period. Your entry can be a standalone story or part
of a larger piece you're working on. And it CAN involve fantastical
elements, though it must still be set in the real world.
WEB: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/competitions

PRIZES: $1000 and anthology publication; 2 runners-up receive $250
DETAILS: For an anthology to be published in January 2017.  Seeking
unpublished short stories up to 5000 words, appropriate to a
middle-grade audience (ages 8-12).  Story must relate to the
prompt, "Once I began to read, I began to exist."  Open to
"diverse" writers who have not been published in a traditional
print fiction book format, including self-pubbed, independents,
small and medium publishing houses, in all genres whether for the
children’s or adult market. "We recognize all diverse experiences,
including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender
diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and
religious minorities." Applicants must provide information in their
bio as to what qualifies them as "diverse."
WEB: http://weneeddiversebooks.org/short-story-contest/

DETAILS: Awards recognize and reward excellence in literature for
children and young adults. Judges will select one winner and may
designate up to two Honor Books in each of the following
categories: Fiction and Poetry; Nonfiction; Picture Book.  Books
should be submitted by publisher, but all eligible books will be
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: No; see website for submission addresses.
CONTACT: Katrina Hedeen at The Horn Book, Inc., 300 The Fenway,
Palace Road Building, Suite P-311, Boston MA 02115,

PRIZES: $5,000 
DETAILS: For a second book of poetry by a US citizen. Poet must
have published one book of poetry in standard edition (min. 40
pages, 500 or more copies). Entry must have come under contract
with US publisher in preceding year. Must be submitted by publisher.
CONTACT: The James Laughlin Award, The Academy of American Poets,
75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, New York 10038,

PRIZES: $1,000, $500, $250, plus conference registration and lodging
DETAILS: Students interested in the life and works of Jane Austen
are encouraged to enter. Open to students world-wide at the high
school, college/university, and post-graduate levels of study. The
judges value original insights and clear, correct writing. Essays
should be directed to a well-informed general audience rather than
to a strictly academic audience. 6-8 pages, on theme posted on
website. This year's theme is "Living in the Jane Austen World."
CONTACT: Eric Nye, eric.nye@jasna.org
WEB: http://www.jasna.org/essaycontest/index.html

PRIZES: $2000, $1000, $500
DETAILS: The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American
Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Law
Student Writing Competition. Open to articles written while the
author is a student at an accredited law school in the United
States. Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to
December 1, 2014. Graduate students in law school are not eligible.
Entries may address any aspect of public or private sector labor
and/or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment
bar. Students are encouraged to discuss a public policy issue,
practical implications of a leading case or doctrine, a statute or
the need for statutory modification, or a common law doctrine. Max.
20 pages

PRIZES: $2000, $1000, $500
DETAILS: All J.D. candidates currently enrolled in accredited law
schools are eligible to participate in the IADC Legal Writing
Contest. Entrants must write on subjects in the fields of tort law,
insurance law, civil procedure, evidence or other areas of the law
of practical concern to lawyers engaged in the defense, or
management of the defense of civil litigation. The contest is
judged by a committee of the IADC.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, required, to Melisa Maisel at

PRIZES: $1,000 and publication in Alfred Hitchcock Magazine 
DETAILS: Mystery novellas from 15,000-20,000 words that conform to
the tradition of the Nero Wolfe series. No overt sex or violence;
stories may not include characters from original series.
CONTACT: Jane K. Cleland, BONA, P.O. 3233, New York, NY 10163-3233;

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  
WEBSITE: http://www.glimmertrain.com/standard.html

PRIZES: $200
DETAILS:  Open to US students in Grades 11 and 12. Poems should, in
any way possible, evoke humankind's awareness of the natural world
and nature as such.  One poem, any length or form. 
CONTACT: savetheearthpoems@gmail.com
PRIZE: $200
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/savetheearthpoems/

DEADLINE: April 30 
DETAILS: The title of the competition is Treasury of Verse, but
your entry doesn't have to be a poem on a fixed subject - you can
let your imagination run free. Send up to three poems, of no more
than 25 lines (including blank lines) and 160 words each. Open to
UK residents only.
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, online or by e-mail to
info@unitedpress.co.uk (postal entries also accepted)
CONTACT: United Press, Admail 3735, London, EC1B 1JB, UK
WEB: http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/free-poetry-competitions/

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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